Delectable Detox Slaw

They’ll never know this Cauliflower-Broccoli Slaw is actually good for detoxing! This crisp, fresh slaw with a slightly sweet dressing is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free,  nut-free, yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet.

Sugar-free, vegan, candida diet cauliflower-broccoli detox slaw

Ah, my first time. . . You know, I remember it like it was yesterday.

Initially I felt a little hot and breathless with anticipation of what was to follow. My mouth was dry and I could hardly speak. Next, I felt my knees go weak and practically give out under me. I even began to experience a slight nausea.

I mean, I had heard what to expect from friends, but real life is never exactly the same as your expectations, right? And besides, I was a late bloomer at around 40.

AROUND 40?!! What the heck–???

Well, yes. My very first detox experience did happen a little late in life.

What did you think I was talking about? (Silly!).

When you ask an allopathic physician about detoxification, a typical response (unless the patient has been caught in the aftermath of Chernobyl, for instance) is usually something like, “Well, your body knows how to detox naturally. You don’t need any other special detoxification protocol.”

When you ask a holistic or functional medicine professional about detox, a typical response (unless the patient is under 6 months old) is, “OF COURSE you need to detox! We live in a highly toxic world and virtually everyone is carrying a toxic load nowadays.”

Until very recently, I’d say my response to that question probably fell somewhere between those two (maybe a 20 year-old patient who was located at least 60 miles/100 km away from Chernobyl, say).

My own first detox experience occurred after I’d been diagnosed with candida and my naturopath suggested taking an herbal tincture to help flush out some toxins (along with cleaning up my diet). As it turned out, that tincture alone was enough to throw me into a full-blown Herxheimer reaction (also called die-off). Basically, my body’s detoxification pathways were overwhelmed by too much internal debris at once, and my detox organs couldn’t keep up–hence, feeling fluish, nauseated, weak and generally quite sick. (Since that inauspicious first detox, I’ve learned to ease into my cleansing slowly and deliberately, thereby avoiding any subsequent episodes like that one).

Candida diet, broccoli-cauliflower detox slaw recipe on

Ever since I studied holistic nutrition and first changed my diet to embrace whole, real, unprocessed foods, I’ve advocated seasonal detoxing via gentle methods like juicing, consuming targeted foods, dry skin brushing or using infrared saunas. And those are all fabulous ways to help support the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin–your major detox pathways.

Then, when I visited the Hippocrates Institute for a 3-week stint last year, I experienced first-hand the incredible benefits of adding more regular detox practices to my regime, such as oil pulling, daily saunas, acupuncture, and energetic therapies. (I also became fiercely convinced of the relationship between stress and illness, but I’ll save that rant proselytizing diatribe topic for another post).

Recently I’ve been reading the latest book by Suzanne Somers, TOX-Sick (written after her husband was erroneously diagnosed with Parkinsons disease when he was actually ill with mold toxicity) and have been blown away by the various interviews with experts on toxicity, mycology (molds and fungi) and detoxification. Here’s just a sample from one of the doctors, Garry Gordon, MD,  with whom she speaks:

“Detoxificaton must be done daily by everyone today, children and adults. It is now essential that detoxificaton is a part of everyone’s everyday life in order to live long and healthy. Preventing illness and feeling your absolute best is predominantly done through living a  healthy, responsible lifestyle. But to achieve lasting wellness in today’s toxic world, there are steps that must be taken. Detoxification must be a daily, lifelong pursuit.” –Garry Gordon, MD, quoted in Suzanne Somers, TOX-Sick

Given my own health history, this approach makes perfect sense to me. Although I’ve been following an anti-candida lifestyle for about 15 years now–absolutely nothing like the Betty Crocker-Little Debbie buffets I used to scarf down before that first detox–my symptoms continue to flare occasionally (in the worst case) or remain steady (the best case).

When things are going well, I’m 95% clear of candida. But that situation hasn’t remained stable since I first achieved candida clearance around 2010. (I actually hesitated to share this fact on the blog lest people think the ACD doesn’t work; but I think it’s also important to understand that candida is merely one of myriad factors contributing to your overall health, and that wherever there is candida overgrowth, there is always at least one other, predisposing, factor. The other factors need to be addressed at their root before the candida will be permanently eradicated).

One way to remove those elements that make you more vulnerable to candida is through detoxification. These days, I’m rotating through various methods, including castor oil packs, dry brushing, rebounding and dietary changes. (I’ll be talking more about these and other forms of detox with my friend Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple in my next blog post–stay tuned! I’m also embarking on a ten-day liver/kidney cleanse supervised by my naturopath. I’ll share my experience with that in a future post as well).

In addition, I think one of the easiest ways to maintain daily detoxification is by eating clean, organic (as much as possible), real foods that gently support the body’s detox processes.

This detox slaw is actually a knock-off of one I’ve eaten from Whole Foods (which seems to be a great source of salad inspiration this year!). It contains vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower that naturally support liver and kidney function, as well as rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals–all essential when your body is under stress of detoxification.

But the real beauty of this salad is that it’s tasty and appealing enough to be eaten every day, whether or not you’re detoxing. It’s just plain good. So go ahead, and serve this to the family tonight. And if they’re newbies to detox as I was, just be sure to call it “yummy slaw” instead of “detox salad” in that case!

Candida diet, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, sugar-free cauliflower-broccoli slaw recipe

“We love it, Mum! But we’d better steer clear of those onions, or we might end up needing our own detox!” 

cute dog on

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  1. Well I don’t detox much myself but I am doing some recipe testing for a cookbook at the moment and really missing how good I felt when testing the recipes from your cookbook – feel like I need to eat a bit more from it at the moment! – that is probably my sort of detox – but I would happily eat up that slaw too

    • The anti-candida diet is a perfect detox diet, whether or not someone is on the program, Johanna. Low sugar, low glycemic, high veggie–what could be bad? 🙂 But recipe testing still does sound like fun!! 🙂

  2. First, thanks for the Elsie cameo and wisdom! Second, this salad looks great, Ricki–detox or not as you say. (And, yes, typical detoxes do a number on me. Tinctures of any kind have never been my friends.) Last, your opening was hysterical!

    Thanks, Ricki!

    • I find that dogs are always full of wisdom. 😉 And glad you like the look of it, Shirley! I’ve been pretty good with tinctures since then. . . but then again, my diet is much cleaner these days. And glad you liked that opener (lol!).

  3. This is a GREAT post! And I will try the recipe. Sounds great!


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