I’d started 2011 with the intention of eating healthier, i.e cutting out processed foods. It went well for a while; I was at home, and cooking in a big, light kitchen made the process fun and enjoyable. This simple salad was one of the first on the new menu. Inspired by my cousin, who served us spinach doused in red wine vinegar and olive oil, covered in fried and baked shallots, it was the easiest, lightest, and most delicious starter I’d ever had. I made a new version of it at home, the exact same thing but with the addition of cubed grapefruit. I’m a firm believer that grapefruit makes everything better, and that philosophy totally worked in this instance.

Many people become discouraged at the very utterance of the word “detox”. Many detox plans come with strict rules that make life harder; steadfast rules and low energy in the beginning can lead to stress. Even the word ‘detox’ conjures up images of extreme dietary changes, switching from eating hearty and delicious red meats to what my father would call “rabbit food”, i.e. bland health food – great for your body, but you have to pinch your nose while consuming it (wheatgrass, anyone?). But this doesn’t need to be true! The best way to succeed at your detox is to tailor it to your wants/needs/likes/schedule. My detox, for instance, basically just cuts out all processed foods, which are abundant in chemical additives that are foreign to me. I can’t imagine not eating red meat or other ‘unhealthy’ foods. It comes down to moderation and curtailing excess. Don’t deny yourself of anything. The goal is not to lose weight here, it’s to be healthy.

I had a hard time adjusting at first. My main problem was that I just couldn’t think of anything to eat that was easy, good, and good for you. I found magazine recipes that claimed to be all of the above just not appealing, and many of them took a long time to make or had strange ingredients that are really pricey in supermarkets. The salad pictured is probably my ‘go-to’ food when creativity abates. It goes above and beyond perfection and I can see myself never growing tired of it. My recommendation: collect several ‘go-to’ recipes that are reliable, easy, and most importantly, delicious. This will undoubtedly help you carry those newfound detox habits into your daily routine. And voilĂ  Your life (and health) has changed for the better.