It’s that time of year again: the postholiday detox season. It’s not easy detoxing in Paris as all the galettes des rois hit the local bakeries in celebration of the Epiphany, but it’s important to get a head start if a girl wants to indulge in a generous dose of Valentine’s Day chocolates, Mardi Gras crêpes and Easter treats! Detox is generally considered one of the top things to do in Paris. But, unknowingly, French grandmothers have been detoxing for generations. It’s the famous soupe aux poireaux diet mentioned in Mireille Guiliano’s best seller French Women Don’t Get Fat. Naturally, in many homes, Grandmère will still start each morning with her traditional café and 2-3 inches of buttered baguette, because even while detoxing, the Parisienne needs a bit of decadence, but for the rest of the day it’s water to drink and all-you-can-eat servings of leek soup.
Recipe for the French Detox
6 leeks, dark green stems removed
2 yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
about 1½ liters (about 6½ cups) of water
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the vegetables in large chunks. In a soup pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil until golden, add the leeks and potato, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Pour in enough water to cover the vegetables and let simmer for 20 minutes. Cool, blend and add additional water to adjust the texture. Season to taste, et voilà—bon appétit!
For a modern option, Bob’s Juice Bar in the 10th Arrondissement has cold-press juices and green smoothies as well as vegan salads and other treats so you can create your own detox routine. If you’d like a bit of guidance, it offers the BCP Cleanse, created in collaboration with nutritionist Melanie Stephens. Based on juices as well as proteins and solid foods, the BCP Cleanse focuses on replenishing the body, not depriving it. A typical day on the BCP Cleanse begins with lemon and ginger water and includes nut milk drinks, greens, roots and more greens, all prepared in Bob’s Kitchen, and may include a recipe for a dish you can make at home.
The local markets are the perfect places to stock up on the vegetables you need to follow the BCP Cleanse recipes. Until recently, kale was one of the few ingredients that are nearly impossible to find in Paris. Now, thanks to the Kale Project, there is the Kale Spotted map to help you find the most important vegetable of all for a proper detox.
An even more comprehensive program is delivered to your door every other day by the amazing team from Detox Delight, the ultimate detox solution in Paris. The kit includes everything you need, including the moral boost of having your meals arrive in festive pink candy-striped packages that feel more like decadent gifts than healthy eating alternatives. Detox Delight has a variety of programs, from the strict Super Green liquid diet to the combination routines with liquids and solids. The drinks change regularly, ensuring a bit of variety for the 5-19 day detox routines.
If all this talk of detox and healthy eating gets depressing in a city overflowing with buttery treats, remember that dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and perfect for your postdetox celebration!