Defy the Detox (and enjoy winter more)

~ in defiance of detox diets and a toast to the winter season

New Year’s Resolutions can be hard.  But mostly I find them annoying.  All this pressure to start my life anew, as if what I was doing was so bad or corruptive in the first place. 

These days it’s all about the “detox.” We are supposed to detoxicate ourselves from all the bad stuff we’ve been doing the 12 days leading to Christmas, as well as the debauchery from days following.  So begins the onslaught of verbs used in conjunction with food I detest the most – abstain, curb, stop, cut out, deny.  Unless sipping rum-spiked eggnog on Christmas Eve has turned you into a habitual drinker, may I suggest a different path?  

Detox being the dalliance of the day I choose to disregard it all together.  Rather, I resolve to relish winter.  Just as healthy, and a lot more fun. 

Compared to other parts of the U.S., winter in Los Angeles is, admittedly, not that hard to appreciate. Coming from the Mid-west, where winter is serious business, I didn’t even realize we had four seasons when I first moved here.   But whatever moderate temperature changes we have compared to other regions, I have learned that, indeed, there is winter here.   And I am out to celebrate it.       

To truly unify ourselves with winter, Asian traditions suggest we focus on the yin.  We should become more receptive, introspective, and storage oriented.  While the cold weather cools our outsides we task ourselves with warming our insides.  Doesn’t that sound better than a restrictive diet of warm water with lemon wedges and cayenne pepper?

Think winter and warm hearty soups naturally come to mind.  Equally welcome are whole grains, steamed winter greens, and seaweeds, seasoned with bitter and salty flavoring to help center and heighten our capacity for storage.  As we bring our body heat lower and deeper, we may notice the cold less.  Less denial, more comfort.  This is what solid resolutions are made of. 

In the coming winter weeks Radical Cooks (via its blog Radical Feasts) resolves to detox less and winter more.  Join us in relishing winter at    

raise a glass.  toast the winter light. 

raise a glass.  toast the winter light.