Alright. I confess. I am being rather disingenuous in plastering my pictures of detoxifying health potions all over the place. The truth is, I have never been particularly adept at “detoxes”, whether due to lack of discipline or simply not seeing the point of such militant abstinence. I prefer a kind of gentle resetting of the system, as it were, whereby some more puritanical dietary measures are observed alongside a general disposition of moderation. What that essentially translates to is the removal of alcohol and chocolate for at least five days, with a serious injection of non-starchy fruit, vegetables, lemon water and potassium broth. This is a design of my own (although, I hesitate to even call it that and I certainly have no expertise in the area), its components subconsciously (and consciously) hand-picked over time from various dietary fads of mine.
Day 1: A fast, of sorts.
Breakfast consists of a large glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it and a cup of green tea. The rest of the day is spent sipping on lemon infused water (not warm). For dinner, I slurped down a couple of bowls of potassium broth (see below) and a plate of fruit – strawberries, kiwi, blueberries and some grapes.
To make the potassium broth, throw into a pot a couple of whole carrots (skin on), a couple of sticks of celery, a quartered onion (no skin this time), a bunch of whole beetroot (leaves, stalks and all), an entire head of garlic (I went to the trouble of skinning each clove for this), a small bunch of parsley (with stalks and unchopped), a few sprigs of rosemary, potato skins (only the skins!) and, something which I forgot in my concoction but a vital purifying ingredient, some chucks of ginger (skin on). Cover the colourful, tuberous, root-laden pile with water and leave to simmer for an hour or so. Strain and retain the liquid – therein lies your delicious, dirt-flavoured purple drink.
An added bonus is the beetroot are now cooked and ready to use in salad and side dishes. The rest of the veg probably ain’t worth keeping and best off going to your compost (if you are lucky enough to have one. Which I am not). I would also add, that a splash of soy sauce makes the drink far more palatable, giving it more of a miso soup quality than something that otherwise just feels like punishment. Not strictly “detoxing” I suppose, but as my earlier caveat suggests, I’m notoriously half-arsed at these things.
Day 2: the break fast.
The day begins similarly with warm lemony water and a cup of green tea. But this time, a ruby grapefruit as well, which frankly, after a day of culinary blandness, tastes fracking brilliant. Also, by this stage I’m basking in my smug virtuous glow, as if one day of abstemious behaviour is sufficient to remove all traces of previous gluttonous hedonism and elevate me to the status of a higher being.
The course is then followed by a plate of fruit; as yesterday, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and grapes. By elevenses though, my resolve is already faltering and I make myself a cup of fresh coffee and a piece of toast with almond butter. I appease my guilt by asserting that the purpose of the detox was to ‘reset’; in other words, I was averaging two cups of (builders) tea followed by two cups of coffee each day, so after my one caffeine-free day, I have now ‘reset’ to one caffeinated drink per day. This is acceptable so far as I am concerned. Mission has therefore been accomplished. Well done, Willow. As for the toast (a flagrant disregard for my no wheat or yeast rule)? Meh…
For lunch I eat salad – beetroot, green leaves, pine nuts. It wasn’t very nice and I should have thought through this part more. I chased it down with a bowl of broth. And then another bowl. I then decided I would simply stave off any urges for snacks or hot caffeinated drinks with bowlfuls of the stuff.
Dinner was equally disappointing. Having planned to make a grilled trout salad, I couldn’t be bothered to buy both fish and chicken, the latter being what the toddler was having for dinner. I marinated the chicken breast and grilled it, giving some to her and reserving some for myself to have with a mixture of sidey-salady things. It was a poor mixture of flavours. I washed down the calamitous dinner with another bowl of broth.
Day 3: the end of dieting
Having woken up and felt absolutely no different from three days ago, I have decided detoxes are for suckers. Although, after eating one of Astrid’s chicken goujons at lunch I felt like I’d been poisoned, so perhaps the detox had done something for me after all. I will however, keep to a number of basic practices.
1. Start the day with lemony water, green tea, followed by fruit. A cup of coffee and a piece of toast after this is fine.
2. Incorporate beetroot as much as possible into my diet. If for no other reason, they make going to the toilet eventful. I also hear they’re good for you.
3. Snack on fruit as opposed to chocolate and keep booze for occasions or the weekend rather than for purposes of daily nutrition.
What was the point of this blog, I hear you ask? Well, I’m not sure. I’d really like to have another baby some time soon and with that lingering in the back of my mind, the impetus for improved health has emerged. That, and the looming physical decline brought about by the ageing process – one must do something to combat the expansion and increasingly repugnant cottage-cheese state of one’s behind, not to mention the sense of perpetual bloatedness that just never seems to go.
More so, I suppose this entry is for all those who, like me, have embarked on a virtuous trajectory only to fail spectacularly. To those people I say: you are not alone.