Paleo Detox Salad

Today is a great day. Today is a great day because you are alive, well, and found it in your heart to read about a detox salad. It’s a great day because I can finally stop worrying about how to soak up every last minute of October’s awesomeness. AND, it’s a great day because I get to start my very 1st 21-Day Sugar Detox! Woo!

This detox comes just in time. My body needs some attentive healing after the massive number of Homemade Paleo Almond Joys I had to “taste test” …while I was “recipe developing” …you know, because I wanted to make sure the recipe was perfect n’all.

I’m seriously excited about this detox.

What on earth is this gosh darn 21-Day Sugar Detox you keep hearing about everywhere??! OR, if this is the first time you’ve heard of it, I welcome your less frustrated confusion too. You’re all welcome here. {I imagine a larger than life friendly cowboy waving people in for a dinner …I’m in a weird mood}.

WELL, you can learn ALL about it when I launch my brand new nutrition challenge series “21-DSD.” It will go live tomorrow! I’m going to give you a quick introduction to the new book 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo {author of Practical Paleo}, document how I’m feeling and what I’m eating each of the 21 days, and provide an honest recap at the end. SO, keep your eyes peeled for that.

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To kickstart my detox, I made a massive Paleo-friendly detox salad. Yous guys, this salad is delicious. Even better, it’s a great way to help clean and heal your gut. It’s raw, vegan, easy, and super delicious.

Why worry about a detox salad?

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Well, you know that feeling you get after an indulgent night/week/year? Your belly feels swollen, you have more of a giggle than you’re used to, and you can’t shake a headache? Maybe BMs have been irregular or you keep breaking out. The reasons to start a detox can be many, but the solution is so simple.

First, make sure you’re drinking enough water. THEN, eat lots of colorful vegetables, reduce or eliminate all grains/dairy/legumes, significantly reduce sugar intake, chew, enjoy your now healthier food, and {as if by magic} you’ll start feeling better.

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Sound easy? That’s because it is! Silly bunz. You can learn more about how in the 21-Day Sugar Detox book and by following my 21-DSD log.

In the meantime, I’ve prepared a gorgeous, tasty salad packed FULL of amazing nutrients.

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Enough talk. I’m ready for salad!

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I like big BEETS and I cannot lie.

BEETS! What an incredible food. Beets are great roasted or raw. They’re known for being anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogen, and liver cleansing. They’ve been used to treat anemia, promote menstruation, and alleviate constipation.

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Peel the raw beets and then either chop them into pieces that will fit in your food processor’s shredding shoot {not sure of real name} OR just break out your greater and start shredding by hand.

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Bam! That’s a lot of healing goodness right there.

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Next, cabbage! Whoa. Talk about powerful foods. Cabbage is known for having the highest concentration of the most effective anticancer properties of all vegetables. Them big words. All members of the cabbage family have a huge amount of Vitamin C {even more than an orange}, B6, and biotin {metabolism booster}.

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I chose green cabbage for this salad for the color difference. Savoy or purple cabbage would work great as well. Chop and shred as finely as you can.

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Are you tired of hearing about how great kale is? I feel your pain, so bare with me. KALE is actually a cruciferous vegetable just like cabbage! It’s extremely rich in carotenes {antioxidant that enhances immune function}, Vitamin C, B6, and manganese {important for blood sugar control, energy metabolism, and thyroid function}.

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Unless you have a thing for chewing on twigs, I recommend you remove the kale stems. What’s the easiest way? Grab the stem and run your fingers up the spine. The leaves will peel right off.

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Chop ‘em up real fine.

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Cilantro! I friggin love cilantro. If you’re a cilantro hater because you fall into the group of people who have a genetic distaste for the stuff {meaning, it’s not your fault}, feel free to use parsley. Cilantro has been known to help with anxiety and aid in the conversion of cholesterol to bile in the liver. In other words, it’s good for ya.

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Chop up as much as you like {I used about 1/2 cup}.

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Now lets move onto the amazingly creamy detox dressing.

My dressing starts with lemons! We’re going to use two parts of the lemon: the juice and the outer peel. My goodness lemons are good for you. Lemon juice has a cooling effect on the body. It supports liver function, aids in mineral absorption, and has been used to treat high blood pressure. Lemons are known to aid in weight loss and help alleviate gas {which may be important considering all the raw cruciferous veggies in this salad}.

The essential oils found in the lemon peel are useful for combating anxiety, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and a sore throat. Zest the lemons before you cut and juice – just a suggestion. We’ll add the zest at the very end as a finishing touch.

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Sunbutter! Have you heard of this stuff? It’s seriously tasty. I make mine at home. I just take about ½ cup of sunflower seeds, throw them in the food processor for about 5 minutes, and poof! Sunbutter is born!

Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, unsaturated fat, calcium, iron, and vitamin E. They’ve been known to aid in dental health, treat constipation, and reduce inflammation.

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The all-mighty ginger root. I’m sure you’re no stranger to the fact that ginger is really, ridiculously good for you. Let’s briefly discuss the specifics. It is known to relieve gas, have a direct impact on inhibiting inflammatory compounds, and stimulates digestion. It has a powerful anti-nausea effect and has been used to relieve arthritis pain.

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Peel about 1” of fresh ginger and then grate with a microplane {making about 1 Tbl}.

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The last ingredient in our creamy detox dressing is apple cider vinegar. Bragg’s Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is the way to go, folks. Vinegar has its own tremendously effective detoxifying properties; it aids in digestions, has warming characteristics, and supports liver function.

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In a food processor, combine 1/3 cup sunbutter, juice of two large lemons {about 4 Tbl}, 1 Tbl of grated fresh finger, and 4 Tbl apple cider vinegar.

Note: if you prefer a more heavily-dressed salad, feel free to double the dressing recipe! I like my salads lightly dressed, so that’s what this recipe calls for.

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Blend for 1-2 minutes. When it’s done, it’ll have this smooth, creamy, frothy consistency.

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In a large mixing bowl, add 2-3 cups raw shredded beets, 2 cups of shredded green cabbage, 2 packed cups of chopped kale, and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.

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Pour the dressing over the raw mixture.

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Got it in there?

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Mix it all together with some tongs and plate up!

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Finish the salad with a generous sprinkling of your lemon zest.

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Bam! Doesn’t that look tasty? I love this salad. My tummy feels better just writing all this.

Paleo Detox Salad

Serves 6 cups     adjust servings


Detox Salad

  • 3 large beets, peeled and shredded {makes 2-3 cups}
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, finely chopped {makes about 2 cups}
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and shredded {makes about 2 cups}
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon {~1 Tbl}

Detox Salad Dressing

{double recipe for heavier dressing}


    Detox Salad

      Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

        Detox Salad Dressing

          Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

            Note: to make sunbutter, place ½ cup sunflower seeds in a food processor for ~5 minutes, or until “buttered.” 


                Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Plate and top off with a generous sprinkling of the fresh lemon zest.



                  Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, NY: Atria Books.

                  Wood, R. (2010). The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Penguine Group (USA)