At the end of May we had some free days, so we took some time off and made our first hiking trip to our beautiful mountains. It was so great – the effort, the sweat, the moments you think you’ll give up, they were all instantly forgotten when we were rewarded by the amazing scenery from the mountaintop. It wasn’t a really difficult trail but for us, as beginners, it was quite a challenge and we ended up fully enjoying it! We used to visit the mountains just to relax with a coffee in beautiful surroundings, but from now on things will be different and I really recommend hiking to everyone who wants to switch things up for the better. It gave me energy, released tension, opened my mind, and balanced my emotions.
Healthy eating while traveling can also be a challenge, especially in remote places like the one we visited. After some heavy stews and soups, I couldn’t wait to be home and make a big salad. Farmers’ market stalls are bursting with fresh ingredients, so it was very easy to pick some green ingredients to make my favorite salad that always puts me back on track.
Most people seem to prefer mint, basil, or coriander, but when it comes to fresh herbs, I always go for parsley. I’ve used it with everything since I was a kid, because it is available year-round and my grandmother garnished most of the dishes with roughly chopped leaves, to give flavor and a yummy appearance. I can’t imagine our traditional dumpling soup without fresh parsley! And then, I discovered its amazing nutritional properties and included it in my daily diet.
Along with its high vitamin (K, C, A) and minerals (iron, potassium, and magnesium) load, the volatile oils in parsley have an interesting role in activating the glutathione-S-transferase enzyme, with a key role in eliminating oxidized molecules from our system. These prevent our bodies from developing chronic diseases (even cancer) resulting from oxidative stress. This healthy property of parsley is also supported by its antioxidants, especially flavonoids, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which increases the antioxidant capacity of our blood, preventing the free radicals from causing irreversible damage. Antioxidants are easily absorbed by our body’s cells if their source is consumed along with healthy monounsaturated fats, like the ones in coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, or avocado, which I always add to my parsley salad.
You can play with this salad’s ingredients any way you like, but I prefer to keep it green, so I added other fresh ingredients like cucumber, for their diuretic action, and zucchini for extra minerals. Quinoa makes it satiable enough to have this salad alone as a main meal, and also loads it with protein and antioxidants. I make it every time I feel my metabolism is slowed down, as it gives me an energy boost and really nourishes my system. I would love to hear what your favorite detox food is!
- 2 bunches fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 avocado, peeled, stone removed, cut into cubes
- 1 small cucumber, cut into small cubes
- 1 small zucchini, cut into small cubes
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon, juice only
- A pinch sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Mixed seeds and nuts (almonds, sesame, chia, pumpkin seeds), to garnish
- In a medium bowl add parsley, avocado, quinoa, cucumber, zucchini and onion and toss to combine.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil and lemon, season with salt and pepper, mix to combine and set aside for 10 minutes, to allow quinoa to absorb the flavors.
- Serve alone as a highly detoxifying meal.