10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet

By Melissa Diane Smith
© Copyright 2001 by Melissa Diane Smith


What you eat has a lot to do with how you feel. This spring, celebrate the season and energize your body with these versatile and easy recipes.

All recipes © Copyright Melissa Diane Smith. Recipes may be printed out for personal use but may not be reproduced in any publication or other media.

4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
Grated nutmeg
1 lb. sole, flounder, or other mild-tasting fish fillets
1 teaspoon olive oil
The fresh juice of 1 medium to large lemon
2 tablespoons dill weed or dill-based seasoning (a combination of dill weed, onion flakes, lemon peel & chives)

Wash the spinach well, then steam it for 3 minutes or until wilted. Place 1 tablespoon oil and onions in a frying pan. Sauté the onions until barely soft, then add the spinach, sprinkle with nutmeg and stir. Arrange the fish in a single layer over the spinach. Drizzle lightly with lemon juice and 1 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with seasoning.

Cover the pan, cook on medium-low and check after 5-7 minutes. (Scoop underneath the fish and spinach mixture once to make sure it isn't drying out or burning.) Fish is done when it's milky in color and flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with lemon slices on top, and sprinkle with extra lemon juice at the table, if desired. Serves 3-4.

* Recipe reprinted with permission from Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance (John Wiley & Sons, 2000).

Don't know the first thing about making and eating Globe artichokes? Here's everything you need to know to enjoy this nutritious, healing food delicacy:


1 or several Globe artichokes

Wash artichokes and chop stems off. Put water and a steamer rack in a stock pot or deep pan and steam artichokes on medium for 20-45 minutes (depending on the size) or until a fork or toothpick easily slides into the base (the bottom heart section). Be careful not to let the pot run out of water: check the water level every 15 minutes or so and add more water if needed. When done, snip off leaf points with scissors if desired.

To eat, pull the leaves off one at a time. Dip the fatter, meaty end in the Fresh Basil Lemon-ette Dip so that bits of garlic and basil remain on the end, then draw the end through your top front teeth, discarding the rest of the leaf. When you get through all the sturdier leaves, discard the flimsy leaves, and use a fork and knife to cut the fuzz (thistle-like portion) away from the heart (which is the best part!). Slice the heart up, dip the pieces in the dip and enjoy!

Artichokes are often eaten with heavy mayonnaise or drawn butter, which tend to inhibit liver cleansing. Here's a dip that's light and nutritious-a perfect accompaniment to such a healing food. Also great as a salad dressing on mixed baby greens or baby red and green romaine topped with broiled chicken breast, as a dressing for chilled cooked beets, or as a marinade for chicken breasts or turkey breast cutlets.


3 Tbsp. organic, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
1 small fresh garlic clove, finely minced
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Unrefined sea salt to taste (optional)
Dried oregano leaves or ground oregano to taste (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a coffee cup, or put them in a small covered jar or plastic container and shake well. Adjust the ingredients to taste. (Amount of lemon juice may vary depending on the ripeness of the lemon.) Makes enough for 2 small artichokes or 1 medium to large one.

4 bone-in chicken breasts with the skin
2-3 tsp. herbs de Provence or poultry seasoning or herb of your choice
Pinch of unrefined sea salt and pepper (optional)

Pull skin of the chicken breasts back, crush the herbs in between your fingers and sprinkle over the breast meat. Pull the skin back to its original position, place the breasts in a baking pan, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until just done in the center. Pull skin off and top with natural au jus and salt and pepper if desired. Serves 4.

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