A juice-detox, a creamy avocado smoothie and a fresh spring salad with poached cod

A fresh spring salad with poached cod :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Friends often ask me if I always eat as healthily as it appears on the blog. And my answer is no.

I’ve tried an array of “healthy” flours, good fats, natural sweeteners and “odd” vegetables. And overall my diet is a healthy one with almost entirely organic whole foods, nuts, seeds, fish & seafood and lots of veg. I’m not super strict or neurotic about the food I cook and eat though, but over time I’ve made conscious decisions to shift my everyday habits.

Shift to habits that work for me.

I need to add though that first and foremost I think food should be delicious and fun. It shouldn’t be about restrictions. That stuff just makes us anxious and feeling guilty every time we eat something that is not on the list of “healthy foods”.

And healthy eating to me doesn’t mean every meal during a day has to be super healthy. That I cannot let myself have an occasional croissant if the mood strikes me. Or that we can’t, between the four of us in the family, share a bag of potato crisps on a friday night.

To me a healthy lifestyle is to aim for a balance overall and to eat mindfully and with moderation. To be aware of the pitfalls (often white stuff like wheat flour, refined sugar and processed foods) and to find a way of healthy eating that suits the life you live.

What’s does healthy eating mean to you?

Fresh herbs in my kitchen :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

That said I suddenly felt that I needed a change. I had somehow lost track way too often of that healthy path. And I was feeling tired. My skin was dull and my stomach often bloated. I know it is March and everyone feels this way after a long dark winter. Perhaps especially here up north.

But I wasn’t feeling good about myself and I had to do something about it. A three days’ juice fast seemed like the perfect idea. Not to loose weight (mind you!), but to get a kickstart to get on that healthy track again.

So the first three days this week I was on a juice-detox inspired by Renée Voltaire’s book Juice Power and Detox. I had about three liters of fresh veg- and fruit juice every day. And on top of that loads of herbal tea and water.

That head ache the second day almost killed me. But the third day I felt great again and now that the fast is over I don’t feel tempted to stray too much from my healthy path again. It truly was a kick start! And I can really recommend a 1-3 days’ detox/fast if you feel you need to kickstart your body for spring.

It isn’t hard to make good juices. All you need is a juicer and loads of veg and fruit. I normally use a lot of ginger and lemon for all of my juices because they help balance the tastes whether it’s a veg juice or a sweeter fruit juice – or a mix. And I won’t be giving you any recipes for juices – there are loads of them out there. My favorite though is beets, celery, apple, lemon and ginger.

What I found the hardest when fasting was to find a healthy but filling drink for those times of the day when you’re feeling awfully hungry and really need a “pick me up” drink. And that’s when this creamy, chocolatey avocado thing with raspberries saved me!

A creamy avocado and almond milk smoothie with raw cacao and raspberries :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

So today I will share with you both the recipe for that creamy smoothie treat and the spring inspired salad that was my first proper lunch after the fast (oh boy, it tasted so good!).

Enjoy and happy weekend to you all!

Printable recipe – avocado smoothie

Creamy avocado and almond milk smoothie with raw cacao and raspberries

for 1 if replacing a meal during a fast/detox or for 2 as a snack in between meals

2 cups (approx. 500 ml) almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 avocado (banana works too, but I like avocado better)
2 tbsp raw cacao
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla pod seeds scraped out)
1-2 tbsp agave syrup
pinch of sea salt

For the raspberries
250 g raspberries (thawed if using frozen)
2 tbsp agave syrup

1) Bring raspberries and agave syrup to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft and runny. Set aside. This can be made in larger batches and kept in the fridge for up to five days.
2) Mix all the ingredients for the smoothie to a creamy consistency in a blender.
3) Divide a couple spoonfuls of the raspberries between two glasses and pour the smoothie over. Have a spoon ready to be able to scrape all the goodness out!

TIP! If you’d like to make the smoothie a little more filling e.g. for breakfast you can add a couple spoonfuls almond flour or cashew nuts (soaked over night).

Printable recipe – spring salad

A fresh spring salad with poached cod

serves 2

1 small chioggia beet, scrubbed and thinly sliced (a mandolin is of good use here)
6 radishes, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, chopped
a good bunch of pea shoots
bunch of dill fronds
bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves
edible flowers (optional)

For the dressing
2 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
1/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
a squeeze of lemon
sea salt to taste

1) Whisk all ingredients for the dressing together.
2) Toss the salad with the dressing and serve with poached cod.

Poached cod
250 g fresh cod
water enough to cover
1-2 tsp sea salt

1) Cut the cod in two pieces. Bring the water to a boil/simmer and add the fish in a single layer, making sure it is completely covered with liquid. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes until the fish flesh flakes easily.
2) Use a skimmer to pick up the fish and place it on the plates with the salad on the side.

A fresh spring salad with poached cod :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

show hide 16 comments

Emmy - March 14, 2014 - 9:01 pm

Bra skrivet. Jag är ungefär som du. Det är viktigt för mig vad jag och min familj äter, men jag är inte nitisk. Fast jag kan känna mig sådan ibland med just barnen, när andra föräldrar tycker det är okej att äta onyttigt (ofta mycket socker) i tid och otid. Jag vill inte ha sockerspeedade barn och är rädd om deras tänder även om jag som sagt inte är helt strikt.

thecitygourmand - March 15, 2014 - 6:17 am

Wow, those ingredients look incredible. The cooking becomes easy!

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - March 16, 2014 - 6:54 pm

Emmy – så sant som det är sagt! Här äts det socker ibland (helger främst) men absolut inte i tid och otid. Fast det tror jag är ganska vanligt iaf bland mina vänner.

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - March 16, 2014 - 6:54 pm

thecitygourmand – Absolutely. Great ingredients = hardly no cooking at all!

Sini | my blue&white kitchen - March 17, 2014 - 8:37 am

I smiled when I read through your words, Sonja, because it’s how I myself feel about food. Like you know, I already wrote about my thoughts about this subject on my blog. Moderation and finding the love for food are the keys to better eating. I’ve never been on a juice cleanse (pretty rare nowadays, huh?) but would absolutely love to try it! I’m always open for new things. And your salad looks lovely – a perfect spring day lunch with the sun shining through the windows.

Have a great, energetic week,
Sini xo

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - March 17, 2014 - 2:46 pm

Sini – Thanks a bunch Sini! I know, read your post a couple days after I posted this and there are many similarities :-) You should try a juice-detox if you ever feel like you need a cleanse or a re-boost. I’ve also heard of detox programs that aren’t purely based on drinking but also includes some salads and soups with detoxifying ingredients.

Maria - March 18, 2014 - 5:51 pm

Så fantastiskt vackert!

Ingrid - March 26, 2014 - 11:09 am

Hi! How do you maintain a healthy weight with your diet? I try to gain weight and eat similar like you.

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - March 26, 2014 - 11:17 am

Hi Ingrid! I’m not sure what you mean because I’m 40+ and I eat three proper meals a day + 2-3 snacks. And once in a while a croissant, a chocolate bar or a cookie. I exercise 3-4 times a week and never count calories – I just eat what I feel like and what I know is healthy (most of the time). I have no problems to maintain my weight with this diet – but if I did skip that occasional cookie or chocolate bar I might even loose weight ;-) If you’re trying to gain weight you should probably add more proteins and perhaps more good carbs to your diet?

Thuy - July 2, 2014 - 7:06 pm

This looks beautiful! Just one note- I think you forgot the “g” in grape seed oil!

Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - July 2, 2014 - 8:40 pm

Thuy – Thank you! And no, it’s totally rapeseed oil which is commonly used here in Scandinavia anyway :-)

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