The lovely Megan Gilmore—perhaps better known as the popular health food blogger “The Detoxinista” and author of Everyday Detox—sat down with me to share her fascinating journey from fast food junkie to green smoothie goddess.
In her earlier days of searching for a healthier lifestyle, Megan tried a variety of extreme detox diets but found she would always yo-yo back to fast food or binge eating. Now a certified nutritionist consultant (CNC) with years of experience under her belt, she’s settled on a more moderate “everyday detox” approach that keeps her on track and works for her whole family.
More real food, more veggies, more sleep. That’s a detox that’s doable!
Everyday Detox for Your Best Health
So what does it mean to “detox,” really? That word can certainly take on a host of meanings in the health world.
Megan defines it as eating nourishing foods that support the body’s natural detox functions. And this makes so much sense. Every day we are exposed to toxins, many of which are beyond our control, creating a burden on the body. Everyday detox means also taking in, every day, those foods that best support the body’s design for purification, digestion, and elimination. (Basically, green veggies!)
This creates a sustainable, ongoing detox.
Everyday Detox for Your Best Family
I especially love Megan’s openness about the challenges and joys of being a mom and entrepreneur. She even developed the fast and easy recipes in her new No Excuses Detox cookbook while babywearing. (I can so relate!)
Because we’re both multitasking moms, we speak the same language when it comes to cooking. The ingredients in her cookbook are easy to find and steps kept to a minimum … because of course even health-conscious moms don’t want to live in the kitchen!
We both have a deep love for the Instant Pot, big batch cooking, and “sneaking” veggies into recipes so kids don’t even know they’re there. (And let’s face it, sometimes we grownups need to hide the taste of certain veggies too!)
Everyday health eating can’t help but influence the whole family for the better. And family is very much Megan’s focus.
In This Podcast, You’ll Learn
- how the Detoxinista got her start (she wasn’t always healthy)
- the principles of her everyday detox plan that doesn’t go to extremes
- the lowdown on “food combining,” a smart alternative to counting calories
- easy ways to simplify food prep for family weeknight meals
- how Megan handles picky eating in her house
- Megan’s favorite go-to meals and snacks to have on hand
- the important fruit that makes labor and delivery easier (imagine that!)
- tips and tricks to sneak more veggies into your family’s diet
- and more!
Resources We Mention
- Everyday Detox book
- No Excuses Detox book
- The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose
- Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Did you know that meal planning is my secret sauce for grocery shopping, meal prep, and cooking for a large family? Here’s how I do it– it’s been a game changer!
Child: Welcome to my mommy’s podcast.
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Welcome to “The Healthy Moms Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And I am here today with the Detoxinista herself. Megan Gilmore is a certified nutritional consultant and she’s the creator of the really popular blog detoxinista.com. I love her story because she wasn’t raised as a healthy eater. And actually, her journey is a large part of her story, and why she’s such a passionate voice for change in the industry.
She’s been featured everywhere on the internet, from the Guardian to Dr. Oz’s magazine, to Shape Magazine, to Clean Eating – Huffington Post, and even on the Hallmark Channel. So she’s widely known and widely loved, and I’m excited to talk to her. Welcome, Megan.
Megan: Thanks for having me.
Katie: I think it’s going to be so fun. In fact, I think this will just be like our conversation between friends, instead of an actual interview because I love your work and I’m excited for us to chat.
Megan: Thanks. Me too.
Katie: So to start, I always ask this question first. I feel all of us, especially anybody in the health industry got here, it was almost always a journey. So can you talk about yours and how you became the detoxinista?
Megan: Yeah, definitely. So, like a lot of my readers know, I was a military brat. My dad was in the Air Force and we moved every year. So sometimes we wouldn’t even unpack our kitchen. so my mom wasn’t a cook. I was raised on McDonald’s drive-through three times a day practically. So healthy eating didn’t come naturally to me. And it really caught up to me in college, I was a really active person so I kind of got away with it. I didn’t gain a ton of weight but I felt terrible all the time, because my diet was really lacking.
And when I graduated college, I got a job as a greeting card illustrator which has always been my dream job. but I was sitting at my desk for eight hours a day, still eating pretty garbagey food, and I didn’t understand why I was gaining weight. To my family, food was food and it didn’t really matter if you were eating McDonald’s or a salad. And so that’s when it really opened my eyes that I needed to make a change.
And so I read a book, it was called “The Raw Food Detox Diet” by Natalia Rose and it kind of changed my life as far as realizing that what we eat really affects how we feel and how we look. And it was kind of like making a change from the inside, rather than a cream that you could put on your face or anything like that.
So I really dove headfirst into the detox world, and it was the first time that I was introduced to the concept of food combining, which is keeping certain foods away from each other and anything else, you would eat starches with a protein. And that was really the only change I made to my diet. All of a sudden, I was just trying to practice food combining. But what was interesting about that is when you practice food combining, you can’t really eat processed food anymore, because things are naturally miscombined in that.
So I think what was really cool about my whole journey was, I naturally cut up processed foods, and I lost 10 pounds in a month and I was hooked. I wasn’t counting calories or really focusing on numbers which was a relief to me. And so that’s kind of where I got into the detox world because I just got instant results and was hooked.
But then I kind of went down a rabbit hole of going too far into the detox world. I started doing juice fasting, and at one point, I think I told you, I did a master cleanse where I only drink lemon water and maple syrup for a few days, and that was kind of torturous. And then I found that when I did these really drastic cleanses, my body would rebound when I was finished. And so even though, I had just eaten a raw food diet or juiced, when it was over, my body wanted to bounce back in the equal and opposite direction of how far I had gone, and all of a sudden, I would go through the McDonald’s drive-through and binge eat, or stuff my face with cookies.
And so it’s kind of this unhealthy yo-yo diet cycle that I got into. And so it really took me years to figure out that I needed to make more small manageable changes, and that’s where my blog has gotten today, is trying to encourage readers to make smaller changes, like adding a green smoothie to your morning. Rather than diving in headfirst to some super strict diet.
Katie: That makes so much sense. And that’s what I like about your approach. I think in a lot of ways, detox has gotten a bad name in the industry just because in a lot of cases it is a very extreme, restrictive, not fun thing. And I think you bring such a good balance to that. So let’s talk about that for a minute because maybe people have a kind of narrow view of the term detox. So how do you define that?
Megan: For me, I define detox…I take it as an everyday approach. So it’s really just eating nourishing foods that support the body’s detox organs. You know, the body comes equipped with everything we need, we are naturally detoxing every day, whether you want to or not. And it’s really just supporting those organs like the skin, the liver, and the kidneys are always detoxifying everything that’s going into us.
And then we’re also exposed to things that we have no control over, like environmental pollutants and just your air quality and everything that’s around our environment radiation that our body has to deal with anyway. So my approach to detox is just kind of giving those organs a little less to do because they’re already bombarded with things. And so by cleaning up your diet, you’re just kind of giving those organs more of a chance to do their job.
Katie: That makes perfect sense. So people can get an idea too, you actually do have a background in training now in nutrition. Can you talk about that as well?
Megan: I was one of those people and I think a lot of people can relate where, once you kind of dive into the world of nutrition, you read like every single book you can on the subject. And so then all of a sudden, all my friends and family knew that I had read a lot and so they would come to me with nutrition questions. And I felt even though, I read a lot of felt totally unqualified to answer these questions.
So, my first foray into this, I still work my illustration job. And so, I wanted to take kind of like a night class that I could learn more in nutrition. So, I rolled in Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I think that was about seven years ago. And I did their online course which certified me to be a Certified Health Coach. And then a couple of years down the line, is when I got my first book deal to write…my first book was called “Everyday Detox.” And it was one of those things where I still wanted to feel credible as a nutritionist. So I enrolled in the NHI College which is in Southern California and I did a course through them, which just kind of gave me another perspective on nutrition. And so those are the two courses I did.
And then that first book I read, “The Raw Food Detox Diet” by Natalia Rose, at one point, I went to New York and I trained personally with her, just to have a different take on the whole detox aspect of nutrition.
Katie: Awesome. I think I’ll make sure to link to the Institute for Integrated Nutrition as well because I linked them whenever anybody ask. If they want to kind of get into the field, if they want to work in their own local area as a health coach, they’re always the one that I recommend as well.
Megan: Yeah. They make it very easy.
Katie: Yeah. They’re great. You mentioned your book. And I want to talk about because you have another one coming out but you also already have your “Everyday Detox” book. So, talk us through your books and how they help moms and families especially.
Megan: Yeah. Well, it’s funny because my first book, I got the book deal…I think three days after I had my first child. My little boy was born and it kind of all these good things just fell in my lap at once. So, I had this book deal and I had to develop recipes over the course of four months with a newborn. So, all of the recipes in my first book I did while baby wearing. So, I had my son and his little ergo, and I was cooking all this food. And so almost everything had to be done really fast and really easily because, you know, sometimes you’re only cooking with one hand or juggling and trying not to get your baby involved.
So, all of my recipes are really fast and easy, and I always call myself a Lazy Cook. I will not be one of those people who like beats egg whites, I don’t own a stand mixer. I just don’t really get complicated because I don’t have the patience for it. But it also has to taste really good because I don’t really like the idea just like straight health food. I like it, it’s kind of taste like your old favorites. So, that’s what you’ll find in both books.
The first one focuses a little more on the food combining aspect that I had mentioned earlier. And the funny thing about food combining is, it did open my eyes to not calorie counting and so that’s what I really love about food combining, is a kind of just encourages people to simplify your meals. I always say that you can eat anything you want, you just might not eat everything you want, all on the same plate. And so, that’s kind of what the first book focuses on, is making really small changes and making mindful choices about your meals. And all the recipes are developed so that it’s already done for you.
And so, all you have to do is follow, there’s a meal plan in there and a shopping list, and all of the recipes are allergy friendly. So, they’re all 100% gluten free and then there’s a lot of paleo and vegan options for…my family is very mixed on a dietary scale. My husband really likes meat. We both eat pretty gluten free, I tend to go towards vegetarian meals. So we kind of just do a balance in the book where there’s a lot of vegetarian meals but then I suggest when you might add chicken to something or fish, and it just tries to appeal to everybody with special dietary needs.
Katie: I love that. There was a hashtag floating around, I think on Instagram and Pinterest. There was more vegetables than a vegetarian, and I think that’s awesome because I think no matter what your kind of core is, we could all benefit from eating more veggies. In today’s world, also I love that that’s a priority for you also.
Megan: Yeah, exactly.
Katie: Okay. So, you mentioned food combining a couple times since…if anyone’s not familiar with that term, can you explain the specifics of what that actually means?
Megan: Yeah. So, food combining is, it’s just a method of eating where you focus on optimizing your digestion. So, there’s not a ton of science on this and I don’t know if it’s because there’s no money to be made off of it or if it’s just a really hard thing to study in the first place like, no one’s going to really get into somebody’s digestive system and see exactly what’s going on. But the whole concept, it’s been kind of passed down for the last several decades by word of mouth and by anecdotal evidence, that when you eat starches, they need an alkaline environment to digest and when you need proteins, they need an acidic environment to digest.
And so, the concept is, that if you eat these acid and alkaline things together that it’s going to slow down digestion because they’ll keep neutralizing each other in the digestive system. So the whole concept is that if you’re going to eat starches, you should eat them with…by themselves with a pile of vegetables. So if you want to eat a baked potato, you can do that but you might eat it with a salad and some steam zucchini or some broccoli. And then if you want to eat a steak, you would eat that without the potato or without the bread, but you can eat the steak with a side salad and some roasted broccoli or just some other kind of non-starchy vegetable.
And so like I said, even if it doesn’t have a ton of science behind it, it makes sense that if you’re eating a lot of vegetables with your meat or a lot of vegetables with your potato, or bread that you’re just going to naturally balance your plate without stressing about it.
Katie: Awesome. And I think, yeah, the green veggies as the base for every meal is always a good idea.
Katie: So how does this look in your life? I love that you mentioned that you have to do this with a baby because that’s very much been my last 10 years, too. So how do you do this on a practical level every day making food for your family? And now that you have an older child too, I’m sure making food for your oldest.
Megan: Yeah. My son is the most challenging thing that’s ever happened to me, and he actually kind of inspired my second book which I’ll check back in a second. But my son was like the best eater. I’m not one of those people who will like cook to order. I make one meal and then I hope my family will eat it. But when my son turned two, all of that changed. Like, he would eat salmon, he would eat grilled broccoli, he would eat anything, until he turned two and then it was like, “I have power over you, mom, and I’m not going to eat anything you give me ever again.”
And so now we kind of have a thing where I still make one meal but I also keep a fresh fruit bowl on the table and if he doesn’t want to eat what I made, he can have a piece of fruit. And that way I don’t have to get up or make anything else, and he still gets fed. But that’s kind of how we run it in my house. And for the most part it works. I usually try to make something that my son likes whether it’s…right now the only vegetable he likes are baby carrots with some sort of dairy free dip or he likes roasted broccoli. And so usually one of those things are in the meal and then we make him try one bite of whatever else I make, and then if he doesn’t like it, he can eat fruit.
Katie: We do the one bite rule also. And I feel like a lot of kids go through that sort of picky rebellion phase in that like three to four-year range, and then they do grow out of it too.
Megan: Yeah. I’m waiting for that. I’m really excited about that phase to grow out of it.
Katie: I would say, it’ll come. My oldest, I didn’t know better, that was when I was very first learning about everything and so he got like rice cereal and all the packaged junk and he was our pickiest for a long time and now he’s by far our least picky. So, there’s hope.
Megan: Oh, that’s good to hear, yay.
Katie: Yeah. So, how’s the new book different than “Everyday Detox?”
Megan: So, the new book is called “No Excuses Detox” and it focuses…so I was pregnant with my daughter, my second baby, when I got this book deal and I was actually in my first trimester when I had to develop these recipes. And so I hated the idea of most foods and I really just wanted comfort foods. So in this book I tackled people’s most common excuses, when it comes to reasons why they don’t eat healthy on a regular basis.
So some of the excuses that I tackle in the book is that I’m too busy or eating healthy is too expensive or my family’s too picky, or I’m always on the go in the car and I can’t eat something fresh, or I have uncontrollable cravings and I just can’t commit to eating healthy all the time. So, those are my top five excuses that I tackle. And then I try to give actionable tips and recipes to help people overcome those obstacles.
So, in this book, it’s loaded with really easy recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. I have some make-ahead meals that can be prepared in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot or that can be stored in the freezer, and then there’s a lot more kid friendly recipes that I’ve been getting my toddler to eat. So there’s like a slow cooker applesauce and freezer waffles and things that will hopefully get, you know, those picky two and three olds to eat healthier food.
And then in this book, I did include the nutrition information. I am kind of stuffed it in the back of the book because I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to see calorie counts and fat grams and all of that kind of thing. But I know it’s important for some people so it’s there, if you need it, and then it’s not right in your face, if you don’t need it.
And then this book also takes a budget friendly approach. So each recipe has the price per serving listed for it. So people can budget accordingly. And then there’s meal plans that have…there’s a budget-friendly meal plan that feeds you for just $6 each day and I feel like that’s cheaper than, you know, eating for a drive through or something like that.
And then there’s a speedy meal plan that includes meals that are all made in 30 minutes or less, and then there’s a beginner meal plan for anybody who’s just trying to start out and get the hang of it. And there’s shopping list included, and basically, I try to do as much as I possibly can for readers, other than coming to the kitchen and cooking for you, you know.
Katie: Wouldn’t we all love that, though? That would be awesome. So take us through a typical day for you, because this is very much for your lifestyle, it’s not like you’re on a detox program or you’re just like fasting for three days. This is your daily life. So, can you take us through your typical day and also you said, you and your husband kind of both adapted to your personal needs, so maybe also through his and what he would eat?
Megan: Yeah, totally. So, in the morning, I wake up with my little three-year-old at 7:00 on the dot. And we go downstairs, we have some mommy-son time and we make a huge batch of smoothies for the whole family. Right now, we’ve been really into like a chocolate shake that’s filled with dates and chia seeds and hemp hearts and spinach, and I throw some spirulina or collagen in there. And we just blend up this big chocolate shake and my whole family will eat it.
Sometimes, my son, he’s kind of a grazer in the morning. And so actually I got this tip from you I think, Katie. He’s been coming down with cold lately this week. And so I put some elderberry syrup and popsicles, I make these little…if we have leftover smoothies, I make popsicles with them and I threw elderberry syrup in a popsicle. So he’s been kind of having an elderberry syrup popsicle every morning, also in addition to the smoothie. And so that’s what my husband takes to work with him, he takes his smoothie in a big to-go cup, and I drink it, as I work in the morning.
And then if I’m hungry, I usually, I’m nursing a four-month-old baby right now. And so I kind of eat constantly more than normal right now. I usually snack on something that I have been working on for the blog, so this week it’s been a vegan and paleo banana bread. It’s made with almond flour. And so I usually have that as a midday snack. And then for lunch, I been having…on the weekends is when I usually do my meal prep because that’s when I have more help at home with the kids.
And so I usually do big sheet pans of roasted vegetables, and this week I did sweet potatoes and broccoli and Brussels sprouts. And then I’ll have some chopped up raw vegetables too, like cucumbers or tray tomatoes. And then I do a big batch of quinoa or sometimes I do cauliflower rice if I don’t feel like doing the grains. But I did quinoa in the Instant Pot.
And so for lunch, I usually just throw together some sort of bowl, actually just before this podcast, I had about a cup of quinoa with a big bunch of salad greens and then I topped it with roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, and like a creamy tahini dressing and some pesto and it’s just this big flavor combination that I love. And then usually a snack in the afternoon, again, I’ll usually either have another smoothie or I usually have date balls in my fridge that I can just grab as kind of a treat.
And then for dinner, we usually…my husband’s obsessed with curry. And so one thing we usually have on hand is, I like to make a big batch of curry sauce and then I freeze it in ice cube trays, so you can pop out the little cubes and heat up as many as you need to for that meal. And so usually I do like four or five cubes of sauce per person. And I keep that up with like a whole pound bag of frozen chopped vegetables. So I don’t have to do any of the chopping. And then I’ll either serve that over cauliflower rice or if we served quinoa that’s cooked, I’ll do that.
And for me, I like to do vegetarian meals for a lot during the weekday. And so I’ll serve mine vegetarian and then I also cook up a big batch of chicken breasts in Instant Pot. I just dump Trader Joe’s organic chicken breasts into the Instant Pot and I press the poultry button and it cooks it for me. And then I will chop one of those chicken breasts and I’ll add it to my husband’s portion. So he gets more of that, manly feeling meal. And then my son usually has to take a bite of it and then we do that routine where he gets the fruit or whatever else he needs.
Katie: Got it, that’s awesome. So, the bowls that you mentioned that…I was recently in New York for my own book release and where we’re, we pretty much don’t eat out because there aren’t any really good options at all, almost we want to drive an hour to a bigger city. And in New York, we went to a place for lunch that had something really similar, like you could choose all these different vegetables if you wanted or you could have a base of greens or quinoa and you could have meat on top. And I loved it because it was absolutely packed. I think we waited for like 30 minutes to get food and I loved it, this is getting so popular that in big places you actually have to wait in line to get like kale and greens in a bowl. It was so amazing.
Megan: That’s crazy, I mean, wonderful, yes.
Katie: So just out of curiosity, a little bit of like a tangent for a second. You said that you eat dates pretty often like you mentioned them in the smoothies and in the date balls. Do you feel that improve labor at all or pregnancy for you? Because I know that’s a common thing as women eat dates in pregnancy and before labor to improve, both of those. Do you feel like it had an impact for you?
Megan: Yes. Big, big, big yes. Oh, my gosh. I went off on a tangent on it with my blog because…so my first pregnancy was when I heard about it. And thank goodness because I think I only read about, you know, the studies that show that dates…I think it makes like 98% of women go into spontaneous labor or something crazy like that in that study. And so I started eating the dates, I think like six weeks before my due date. And I actually did have my son three weeks early, my water just broke and he came on his own. But I got to the hospital and I pushed him out in like 17 minutes I think.
Katie: Wow. With the first baby?
Megan: Yeah, for first baby. So it was really shockingly fast, and I wouldn’t say easy but I really do think that they made a big difference. And with my second pregnancy, I ate the dates right from the get-go. Because I was like, “You know what? If a little is good, then a lots better. I’m going to start this right from the beginning.” And I ate probably six dates a day throughout my whole pregnancy, and this baby was just my whole labor and delivery was a lot easier. I also worked with the midwife this time which was a night and day difference than my first. But I still had her at the hospital and she was still out after just a couple pushes. So in my case, the dates definitely seemed like they made a difference, for sure.
Katie: Yeah. It’s interesting, the study, the six dates a day, I think it said that…like you said, women, almost everyone went into labor naturally, there are really good birth outcomes as far as low C-section rate, low use of drugs even. And then even like, their waters didn’t break prematurely, so for you like 37 weeks is actually a full term. So that would be perfectly within the realm of normal.
And I always ask that question now because I had seen the research and I don’t love dates so I kind of ignored it for a couple of kids. And then this last pregnancy, I was like, “Okay, you know what, I’ve got to find a way. I’m just gonna to try it, you know, for the blog, it’s for science.” So, I was putting them in a smoothie with like vanilla and stuff, that kind of mask the taste, and I did that. And she wasn’t early but so all of my labors to preface have been like 24 hours or longer.
And with her, our kind of day is like, if my stomach feels a little weird, I think maybe and I put my kids in bed at 7:30 and felt the contractions, I texted the midwife like, “Hey, maybe just a heads up, I think labor could be coming sometime.” And then like 10 minutes later, I was like, “Honey, call the midwife, make sure she’s on her way.” And vaguely she…my text, she kind of read into it and was already getting ready to go. And she was born at 10:00 that night. And it was like super-fast and super easy. And I’m really grateful because she was also born breech and so I’m glad that that part was easy, the labor part was easy because the delivery was not, but yay for dates.
Megan: Yes. Seriously. I will say with both of mine, I had to do it for both of my pregnancies, and I don’t know if it was the dates but my contractions were really just not as painful as everyone had led them to believe, like that they would be. And so both times I would call my doula and they would hear me and I would kind of sound like I do right now, just like, I’m starting to feel uncomfortable. And what they don’t know about me is, I will not head to the hospital until I absolutely have to because I’m so scared of being turned away. But I would sound pretty normal and not like I was in a ton of pain.
And so with my most recent delivery, my midwife was five minutes late and so was my doula because they just didn’t believe that I was actually in any sort of pain when I talked to them. And so when they got to the hospital, they’re like, “Yeah, we see your little baby’s head. We should probably get a midwife here.”
Katie: Oh, that’s hilarious. Send me a nugget.
Megan: Yeah. I mean, I was pushing by the time both of them made it, so it was pretty funny.
Katie: That’s awesome. Actually, so for my birth, do you know the blogger Mommypotamus?
Katie: Yes. She was going to be my birth photographer. We don’t live that far apart. And I told her as soon as I thought I was in labor but she had to get here. And, you know, once you’re in the transition zone, you don’t really remember anything or think of the fact that your friend is driving, frankly, to get there. So I was just like, once I got in that zone, forgot about it. And pushed my daughter out and what seemed an hour of pushing but it was five minutes. And two minutes later, she walked in the door and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.” But it was so fast, it’s just awesome in hindsight, but…
Megan: Yeah, you’re not going to hold that baby in anyway so.
Katie: No good luck. As a doula, I’ve seen them try to tell the women to hold the baby and I’m like, “That’s so ridiculous.” So, you also mentioned the Instant Pot couple times which is probably my favorite kitchen appliance. I’m guessing it’s on your list of favorites also. What are some of your tips for the Instant Pot and what do you cook in it most often?
Megan: Most often, I do a lot of batch cooking. I really hate touching meats. I was a vegetarian…actually my husband and I were both vegetarians when we met. We’re no longer that. But I still don’t like touching meat, and so I buy a lot of like frozen meat and then I kind of dump it into the Instant Pot with some olive oil or coconut oil, and sprinkle it with salt and then put the lid on. And I love opening it, knowing that it’s cooked to perfection and I didn’t have to do anything, except like hit the button.
And then I do a lot of batch cooking with quinoa or rice or whatever we happen to be eating that week. I love doing it for stews. I haven’t really played around with like the slow cooker function but that’s what I like to get into next time. And then I also bought it last year, actually, I guess it was two years and it going out,time flies. I bought it for the yogurt function and I have yet to try…I was going to try to make like a coconut milk yogurt in it but I haven’t really done that yet. So that’s one of my goals for this year.
Katie: Me too. I had another podcast guest, Wordy from…she’s a traditional cooking school. And she makes yogurt in hers all the time. And I was like, “Okay, it’s not hard. I need to just try it in the Instant Pot,” because I do it not on the Instant Pot, I’m sure it’s easier. Like I joked at the Instant Pot, remember those commercials back in the day, have hit the easy button. I don’t remember what company it was. But it really is the actual easy button in the kitchen.
Megan: It totally is. I love that I don’t have to worry about. And, you know, I was really stressed about having a pressure cooker in my house because you hear those horror stories of the old pressure cookers that the lid that blow through the ceiling or something. But I really feel the Instant Pot is super safe and I feel you can’t go wrong with it.
Katie: For real. Like my oldest two kids are eight and 10 and they can use it safely because it’s like, all the features it won’t work unless you do it right.
Megan: Yeah. And it won’t let you take the lid off if the steam hasn’t released properly. I feel that’s what the big issue was before.
Katie: Exactly. I know pressure cookers have been a thing for years and years and years but it was always, you have to put the thing on and wait till it rattles and do all these things, and if you did it wrong, you were gonna scourge your face. And Instant Pot eliminates all that. It’s like a no excuses cooking, to go with your “No Excuses Detox.” It’s so easy.
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Katie: Also, talk about bulk cooking because I think that’s something a lot of moms strive to do but unless, you’re in the habit, it’s hard to jump into. So how do you work in bulk cooking, especially with the baby?
Megan: Well, a lot of it is during nap time, which means, you know, it can be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour that I have to work. The easiest way I found to bulk cooked vegetables is roasting them. So I’ll usually just fill up whatever I have in my fridge. It’s a great way before you run to the grocery store again to use up all the stuff you have in your fridge so you don’t waste anything. If I have broccoli or a few carrots hanging out, I chop those up and I just arrange them on a sheet pan. I usually put down a piece of parchment paper or just rub some coconut oil in the pan. And I’ve found that almost everything roasts in 20 to 30 minutes at 400.
And so I’ll do sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts or broccoli or carrots or cauliflower or whatever’s in my fridge and I’ll bulk cook those for about 30 minutes. And while that’s going, you can multitask and throw something in your Instant Pot. And I think almost everything in the Instant Pot is almost done in 10 to 12 minutes unless it’s like a soup or something. And so usually, I’ll either cook chicken or quinoa or something like that, while the vegetables are roasting. And then, while that’s going, I mean, you could even throw a third thing in there and like make a sauce on the stove. My husband’s favorite thing is a curry sauce, on my website, there’s something called “Easy Coconut Curry” and it’s a sauce that we make at least once a week, or I’ll make a pesto or something. And all these things you can freeze, my favorite trick is to freeze them into ice cube trays so that you can pop it out and just…
So, you know, like if my husband’s working late or if he’s out and I only want to cook for one person, then I don’t have to make this like huge meal and you can just pull things out of the freezer. I’ll usually even freeze grains in one cup portions, and that way you can dump out some precooked rice or precooked quinoa and that’s already done for you. And then if you add in frozen vegetables or your precooked meat, it’s super-fast and convenient.
Katie: Awesome. Do you guys do a lot of salads in your house, too? I would guess that would be more of like seasonal spring and summer type stuff, but do you do salads also?
Megan: Yeah, definitely. I would say right now, it’s so cold. We actually used to live in Los Angeles, and this is our first winter in Kansas City. So we’re getting used to this freezing weather, where I don’t want to eat salads all the time. But usually, when it’s a little warmer out, I kind of do a salad bar in my fridge. So I will chop up…romaine is my favorite salad to keep on hand because it’s so sturdy, and kale, I guess is kind of the same way. So I make a big batch of salad dressing.
And I have dressings on hand, usually, anyway whether it’s winter or summer to pour over a keema ball or something like that. But then for the salad bar, I’ll chop up sturdier vegetables, like tomatoes are really easy one, cucumbers, and then like romaine lettuce, and I’ll just have everything ready to go. So then you can put chicken on top of that or salmon and then have a homemade dressing already, and it makes eating salads so easy and convenient.
Katie: That’s really cool. So the question that I always ask guest is, if someone’s new to healthy eating or real food, what are your baby steps approach to healthy living that you would have people start with?
Megan: I would probably have somebody start with trying a green smoothie. I feel people are kind of scared of savory vegetables sometimes but almost everybody loves the sweet taste. So what I love about green smoothies is you can throw a bunch of healthy fruits in there, like berries and…but then you can have spinach and you can’t taste the spinach at all. Like my three-year-old, who won’t eat anything, will still eat a spinach smoothie because it doesn’t taste like spinach.
Katie: Yeah. Mine too, and I’m all about the sneaky veggies. My own cookbook that just came out, we don’t do refined greens, refined sugars at all. So I always put in sneaky veggies, we use either zucchini or cabbage noodles for spaghetti. And if it’s lasagna, you can make them out of like the zucchini sweet potatoes almost anything, just anywhere you can put sneaky veggies, I love to do that with kids or even like avocado and chocolate can become ice cream if you freeze and things like that. There are so many easy ways to sneak it in. And I know a lot of your recipes are like that as well.
Megan: Yeah. I don’t like avocados, straight up. I will only eat them…I don’t mind guacamole. But avocado pudding is one of the ways that I like have to sneak it in for me and my son, or we’ll throw avocado into a smoothie too because it makes that creamy without like that overpowering flavor. But yeah, I love the sneaky veggies. And the zucchini noodles is great, and sometimes people can’t make the switch to straight zucchini noodles, that’s too much of a vegetable for them. So I’ll do a half and half approach, where I’ll mix some brown rice noodles with the zucchini noodles and it’s a kind of a way to ease yourself into it.
Katie: That’s a great tip. So then you still the little bit of the texture of actual noodles and it’s not quite so soft, but you’re getting the extra veggies, that’s really cool. And I go what you say on avocado. It’s interesting, a lot of people don’t love just straight up avocado, some do, and the ones that do like adore, it’s their food. I’m the same way, I have to sneak it in. And the funny part for me is, I cannot sneak in bananas, no matter what I try, it is literally the only food in the entire world I cannot eat.
Megan: Oh my gosh. So were you like that before pregnancy? Because I’m like that since pregnancy.
Katie: It definitely got worse after pregnancy. I just kind of avoided them when I was…I eat so many as a baby I think, I probably gave myself an actual intolerance to them. But I avoided them most of childhood and then after having kids, I literally like if there is a teeny bit of banana in a smoothie, I can’t swallow it. It’s so bad.
Megan: That’s so funny. I can’t do bananas in my smoothies anymore either, which is probably why I got more on the date kit because I needed something that would likesweeten it a little bit. But yeah, my one big aversion when I was pregnant with my first was, my husband loved peanut butter banana smoothies and I would have to leave the house, it’s not even that strong of a smell but I could smell it and I couldn’t be in the house, really.
Katie: Oh my gosh. When you’re pregnant, it’s like you’re a bloodhound, you can smell anything, anywhere, it’s crazy.
Katie: Awesome. So I love the tips of like using in slowly and that kind of things. Just to full circle back to the detox idea. What is your take on all these, more serious extreme detoxes, is that something you ever recommend to people or do you like just to focus on the whole foods and supporting the body to detox naturally?
Megan: I mean, I think it depends on which cleanse you’re talking about. And I think it depend on the person’s current health condition. I do think there are times where it might be…there might be certain circumstances where somebody needs to do a serious detox to save their health. But for the most part, I feel like my readers are not in that state and they’re more just trying to look for an overall health lift or to feel better. And in that case, I would say from a mental standpoint I think it’s better to do something that you can do for the long term. I personally have done a lot of these detox programs and I was never able to maintain them. So even if I saw…I wrote recently on my blog for The New Year’s Eve, New Year’s resolutions. People were talking about how they were going to do a Raw Food Detox or a Whole30.
And I think all of these things have a lot of health benefits. But if you can’t maintain it after the 30 days are over, it depends on how your brain works. Are you going to be able to keep some of those principles in your diet, or are you going to miss all the foods that you cut out so drastically that you start binge eating cookies that you couldn’t have for 30 days? It is up to you to know how your brain works and how you can handle those things. So I would say for the general person who’s looking to feel better or lose weight or support their detoxification system for the long term, then you should make smaller changes like adding the green smoothies. Maybe having a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch and then having a sensible dinner, is a better approach to approaching detox.
Katie: I absolutely agree, 100%. And I think if you distil all of the nutritional information out there, I feel you hardly find any who would say don’t eat more green veggies and don’t get enough sleep. I feel those are advice like, even the paleo vegan across the world, we can all agree like vegetables and sleep are super important. And so I love the…yeah, you make that very doable.
Megan: I hope so, I try to.
Katie: Awesome. And you mentioned your books, I’m going to make sure we link to both of those in the show notes. But can you tell people where to find you and what they’re going to find on your blog so they can stay in touch?
Megan: Sure. My blog is detoxinista.com. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, those are my two big social places where I hang out, and my handle is Detoxinista on both of those. I’m also on Twitter and Pinterest, and a little bit on YouTube, videos are kind of like my hook for this year but I’m learning about that still. And then you can find my books pretty much anywhere books are sold. It’s “Everyday Detox” and “No Excuses Detox” comes out on February 21st of this year, and I hope that the meal plans and shopping lists will help everybody.
Just so your readers know, if you do order the “No Excuses Detox” before the end of its release week, they get a free “Three Week Meal Plan” and “Physique 57” workouts and some discounts from my favorite brands. So that’s a little extra bonus for people.
Katie: Awesome. We’ll include those links as well in the show notes for anybody who wants to find them. And I hope that everybody will come meet you and stay in touch. You have some great recipes on your site and I think people will love to try them out. So thank you, Megan, so much for your time. This is always so fun to chat.
Megan: Yeah, me too. Thanks for having me.
Katie: And thanks to all of you for listening. I’ll see you next time on “The Healthy Moms Podcast.”
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Discussion (2 Comments)
After listening to this podcast on my bike ride this AM, I was inspired to come home and infuse my water with basil and cucumbers I received from my CSA yesterday. You are right; it is the small changes indeed that lead to the big benefits. Thanks for the inspiration!
I heard on the podcast that there was a special if you ordered the book through here. I do not see that. Thanks!