Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Detox: all about the juice

They don’t call me Juicy Lucy for nothing.

The last five days have consisted of purely liquid lunches (and breakfasts, and dinners) – and not the decadent, can’t-walk-in-a-straight-line-once-you’ve-finished-them kind.

The cleanse part of the program involves consuming five “meals” a day: vegetable juice for breakfast and mid-morning; soup at lunch and dinner; and a smoothie mid-afternoon. All are made by Anni and hand delivered to your door. Along with this, you drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning, a lot of herbal tea and at least two litres of water.

Of all this, the soups in particular have been a revelation: thick, spicy, flavoursome. I love soup anyway and this has given me great ideas for flavour combinations. Because the idea is to cut out salt, the flavour comes from herbs and spices; and the taste of ginger, cumin or coriander only enhances the flavour of the tomato, beetroot, carrot, pepper and other base ingredients. The soups change daily and this, along with the fact that I’m allowed to heat them, has made them the uncontested food highlight of each of the five days.

And by “food highlight” I do of course mean “overall highlight” because something that has really been hammered home to me throughout this whole process is quite what an important place good food has in my life. Not only is the relationship between food, physical energy levels, sleeping patterns, focus and mood much stronger than I had really realised previously, the psychological impact of eating food I enjoy is huge for me.

Food and sleep have become my drugs of choice. I am so rock n’roll.

Without wanting to sound too evangelical (and please don’t call me Gwyneth), I am really amazed by how much better I feel since I’ve started doing this. My skin is softer; my eyes are brighter and less puffy; I wake up more easily and can go an entire day without yawning. My mind is sharper; and now that the period of turbulent emotions seems to have passed I am making better decisions, focusing more easily, less troubled and preoccupied than usual. I feel lighter, more playful; I have more appetite.

Which is good because tomorrow I’m back on solid foods and the prospect of eating avocado and nuts in my salad is the source of great anticipation. I’ll probably pass out the day I’m finally allowed a burger.