Overindulgence before and over Christmas is a common visitor of mine. Every year I keep telling myself I won’t walk into the sugar trap that is made of Christmas cake, Stollen, gingerbread, Christmas cookies and mulled wine – I could go on. The holidays seem like the perfect excuse for gorging on sweets that have been banned from my diet the preceding months. Family members, close friends or colleagues affirm that the Christmas holidays are meant to let loose, enjoy and “treat” oneself. Not that I am trying to pass the blame. No, I just realise every year, in late December, that my willpower has deserted me. So why don’t you join me on my little January detox adventure getting my willpower back and with it a healthier and fitter body?
Along with watching my nutrient intake through the foods I’ll eat in the upcoming month, I will also majorly increase my water intake (I would recommend drinking filtered tap water, hot water with lemon and herbal teas) and build up an exercise routine. I am a huge fan of yoga and walking, both excellent ways to get fit without overexerting your joints. Ask a friend to accompany your to a long walk in the neighbourhood or around the park or to a local exercise class. In my case, exercise can be very off-putting when I don’t have a workout buddy, because I always need someone to push me. Not only for exercising can it be beneficial to share your detox plans with a friend but for watching what you eat. Switching from a diet high in Christmas cookies to one consisting of raw carrot sticks is far from easy. But, from my own experience, once I pass the dreaded first 3 days, I feel visibly better in my skin due to the lack of processed foods and sugar-highs. I know it’s hard to resist the tempting smell of fried foods, but think about it – that food is all beige! Why would anyone prefer that over all the colours of the rainbow?
The upcoming detox weeks should be fundamental for upping my fresh veggie intake, rich in vitamins and minerals. Come and join me for a bowl of delicious courgette pasta with tomato sauce! Easy, healthy, yummy!
For 2 servings
- 2 long courgettes
- 1 pack or tin chopped tomatoes (without added sugar)
- 1 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt, pepper
- Fresh basil leaves
- Start with the sauce by finely chopping the onion. Gently heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan. Add the chopped onion and let it sweat on low heat until opaque. Be careful not to heat up the pan too much, because the onion pieces would burn instead. Frequently stir with a wooden spoon. When opaque, add the chopped tomatoes.
- Let the tomatoes simmer until the liquid is reduced. Then add a splash of water. Repeat this process for at least 20 minutes.
- Add a large pinch of sea salt, fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped or ripped apart by hand) and some cracked black pepper.
- Thoroughly wash the vegetables. With a Mini Julienne Garnishing Peeler, carefully produce long, thin courgette strips from each side of the vegetable. Discard the core that holds the seeds.
- Add the courgette strips to the sauce and cook them for no more than 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Feel free to round off the dish with a sprinkle of Parmesan or Feta cheese and cracked black pepper.
Author: Danica Utermohlen
Picture credits: Danica Utermohlen