My Spring Renewal Detox is approaching Week Four (aka the Final week!) and we're all feeling great! Why? Because we get to enjoy things like this while shedding unwanted toxins:
That is a pizza I made with a buckwheat crust and topped with homemade tomato sauce, black grapes, manchego & buffalo mozzarella, caramelized onions, toasted pine nuts and basil. Yes, a detox-friendly pizza. I'm showing you this because a) it's a delicious and gluten-free pizza recipe and b) I want you to know a bit more about my detox program and why it isn't scary. You'll find the recipe below. In the meantime, allow me to highlight some of the more important parts of the program.
7 Key Aspects of the Renewal Detox
- Avoiding gluten, dairy, and soy. Those are the big ones. There are other more obvious substances we avoid too (such as alcohol, sugar, and caffeine) but these 3 tend to pass us by on a regular detox. The reason we steer clear of gluten, cow's dairy, and soy is because they are inflammatory and allergenic, manifesting in the body as pain, irregular digestion, and brain fog. While the the detox isn't an elimination diet, it does factor in a few of the main culprits of unpleasant symptoms that often go undiagnosed and untreated.
- No fasting! On this program, you EAT! I am a big believer in moderate change, and a fast will only cause you to immediately go back to your old ways once finished, resulting in weight gain and metabolism reduction, among other health issues. This is not a "cleanse", though we are gently purifying our bodies through our food choices. Some people feel that a juice fast is a good way to detox in the warmer seasons - instead, I want this experience to be practical and convenient for all without having to completely change our routines.
- Quality breakfasts. There are some pretty exciting breakfast recipes in the Renewal Detox! Break out of that toast or cereal rut and try something that will actually fuel you for the day and keep you going until lunch. At first, we might feel lost without gluten and dairy, especially at breakfast. Don't worry - I've got 28 days' worth of breakfasts that don't rely on either of those substances but are still easy to prepare and tasty too!
- Pampering ourselves. A detox is really a time to slow down and allow your body to rest. 28 days is a long time though, so while we can't pretend we're in a spa all month, we can incorporate nourishing pampering activities into each week. For example, scrubbing our skin with a dry brush, getting a massage, or having reflexology treatment. These are all great detox-supportive practices.
- Emphasizing fresh fruit & vegetables. To say the Renewal Detox is plant-based is an understatement. Every meal incorporates a ton of fresh whole foods, especially leafy greens. It's a good idea to get to know your local farmer's market, produce store, or organic foods shop before you begin, since you'll be frequenting it a lot! As the seasons shift, I change up the meal plans and recipes based on what's in season, which will always provide the most nutrients.
- Eating healthful snacks. Again, this program is about nourishing, not depriving. I give you loads of snack ideas for those in between moments when your blood sugar is starting to dip and you feel you can't hold on until your next meal. Of course, all of these snacks are whole-foods based and don't come from a package!
- Carrying on. The Renewal Detox would be nothing without the follow-through. Incorporating even one of the practices from the program beyond the 28 days is a wonderful thing and can provide some real health benefits for life. Going straight back into a toxic lifestyle is not only foolish but dangerous. A slow adjustment is vital; bringing foods such as gluten, cow's dairy, and soy back into our diet needs to be done gradually, one-by-one, which will hopefully provide some clues into any symptoms you experienced before the detox began.
I hope this gives you a bit more clarity on what the Renewal Detox is all about. If you have any other questions about it, feel free to email me. And let me know if you're interested in joining the Summer program, which starts July 14th!
Now, onto the pizza. I was looking into gluten-free pizza crust recipes that don't just rely on a white flour mix, such as Dove's Farm or Bob's Red Mill. While both of those brands are awesome and useful in gluten-free baking, on the detox I am trying to steer clear or refined or processed foods, and that includes white flour (whether it contains gluten or not). The issue with this is texture: a gluten-free or whole grain pizza crust will never have that fluffy, bubbly texture that white flour pizza crust does. However, if you're craving pizza and don't want to feel guilty about eating it, try this one out. The cheeses I recommend are goat, sheep, or buffalo milk-based (on the detox, we avoid cow's milk). In this pizza, I used manchego (sheep's) and buffalo mozzarella (check the ingredients label, as mozz can sometimes be made from cow's milk). Here it is, pre-oven:
A word of warning about buckwheat: it has a strong flavor. If you've never tasted buckwheat noodles or flour before, you may want to try it first to see whether you like it. The key to reducing this flavor is in the toppings. Go for bold tastes here to balance out the strong buckwheat crust.
I've also experimented with a crust that is made up of chickpea flour and brown rice flour. It tasted great but the texture wasn't quite right. I'm going to play with that one a bit more and try to bring it to life a bit.
For now, though, here's the buckwheat-based recipe - enjoy!
Buckwheat Pizza Crust
Prep Time: 15 mins + 2 hours rising
Cook Time: 13-15 mins
Keywords: entree gluten-free nut-free soy-free vegetarian wheat free Italian
Ingredients (serves 1-2)
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 3/4 cups buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and slowly stir in the olive oil and warm water. Add a little at a time, using a wooden spoon or your hands to mix (but just so you know, this is a messy dough!).
The dough is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl but is still slightly wet.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes on a floured surface.
Form it into a ball. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl and place the ball in the bowl. Toss it around to coat it in oil and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Leave it to rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size (a warm place but not TOO warm).
Preheat the oven to 500F.
Stretch the dough out onto a floured baking sheet. Patch any cracks with a little olive oil or water.
Add sauce and toppings of choice.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the toppings are done!
Note: this pizza benefits from strongly-flavored toppings, such as a spicy or rich tomato sauce, sweet caramelized onions, or strong cheese!