WHY I’VE ALWAYS DISLIKED THE WORD “DETOX”: I write a lot of reviews about getting sweaty and prattling around in fitness clothes. Most of these reviews end with me exhausted and shoving cake or macaroni cheese in my face. The idea of starving myself skinny instead of working out and getting sexy and strong completely goes against why I set this website up in the first place.
That’s why I have always been dubious of a detox. I’ve tried them in the past. By 11am on day 1, the knowledge that I am losing a food group or two renders me on the verge of clawing my own face off through craving whatever it is I’m denying myself.
In short, I have two real problems with detoxes:
1. I’m shite at cutting out food groups, even if they are wrecking havoc with my body. (Example: I developed an allergy to red wine aged 26 after a long and successful relationship with cheap merlot, and now much to my shame just pop an antihistamine before I sink a glass).
2. I refuse to starve myself thin. Jelly babies are my friend.
After talking to the wonderful Claire Stone Superhero Nutritionist about her happy, healthy and sensible 5 day detox, I was intrigued. It wasn’t about starving yourself; it was a way of helping your body adjust to the winter months sensibly- a way of showing it a little love from the inside out. It sounded like a big hug of nutritious love and I surprised myself when I decided to darn well give it a go.
Five days with no meat, wheat, sugar, gluten, caffeine, dairy… and gentle steps towards a really nutritious, simple and easy to digest diet throughout the week.
Upon reading what I had just signed up for, I felt the reflex kicking in and my feet start walking in the direction of the nearest bakery. And I’m not going to lie, it was a tough week. Especially during the first two days. This made me realise I must have been stuffing myself with sugar since the day I learned what a penny sweet was.
I know I’m sensitive to caffeine (can’t drink more than two coffees a day or I get a bit over-excited!) but I definitely rely on it to kick-start my day; people genuinely avoid me at work before I’ve had a coffee, I’m that grumpy. But I was looking forward to the no meat, wheat or gluten aspect of the detox, as I know my digestive system is not so hot on these.
Dear belly, I am going to be sooooo kind to you this week! Fruit, veg stews and curries, short grain brown rice, nuts, seeds and fish. Get ready!
Day 1: I felt full and sated throughout the day, but know I was guilty of snacking in the afternoon when I wasn’t hungry, more just through habit. The snack was veg sticks and hummous though, so perfectly acceptable! Realised I’m not too keen on camomile tea and have invested in some oatflower and lavender as this is tastier and seems just as soothing.
I drank more water than a thirsty elephant today. Dying for a sugar hit, and went to bed early feeling a bit low and groggy to dream about cronuts.
Day 2: I woke up feeling a lot better than when I went to bed, but I was honestly going to punch someone unless I got a cup of coffee soon. A huge bowl of porridge with some delicious healthy toppings started the day off nicely, and I tried some camomile with brekkie. Luckily I adore porridge and start most days with it, and so this made me slightly less angry about the caffeine situ. Spent the day hiding in our satellite office so people left me alone and I didn’t snap at them grumpily.
Day 3: Was still ready to make sweet, sweet love to a cup of caffeinated beverage on Wednesday. However, I was looking forward to the most basic day of the detox- today the food groups have been stripped really bare. I’m starting to feel more “clean” within my body. Less bloated after meals and no stodgy afternoon lag (apart from the lack of caffeine lag!) I feel full and not stuffed. I am sheepish at how often I must fail to stop eating when I am full on a normal day.
My tummy is FLAT even after lunch, when I usually end up in a grump because my body doesn’t like bread and I insist on feeding it sandwiches.
I dreamt about jelly babies dancing around my head from approximately 4pm. It was the best food hallucination ever.
Day 4: Feeling ok today! Sugar headache finally buggered off, and I am just THIRSTY as hell. I think I am coming round to camomile tea. Although I admit won’t be able to maintain this caffeine abstinence when the detox is over. I must have yawned in about 5 people’s faces today. This might just be because they are boring, though.
Day 5: Last day! Lovely little email from Claire today (she sends one out every day once you start your detox, which has been really helpful and kept me focused). My tummy feels so flat and clean on the inside, and I am no longer ready to fill a nose bag with jelly babies in order to satisfy my shitty sugar craving. Decided to definitely leave sugar out of my cuppa tomorrow.
THE VERDICT: I’m writing this entry on Sunday and the weekend has been great, food wise. I haven’t gone mad and eaten all of the things I couldn’t eat during the detox, and I am actually enjoying feeling light and energised. I had one cup of tea on Saturday, and no caffeine today- just didn’t feel like I needed it! I had a bite of chocolate brownie last night and decided that a bite was enough as I wasn’t actually hungry or in need of the hit. This is pretty revolutionary.
More than anything, this detox has made me more in tune with my digestive system, and I want to look after it a bit better. It is making me think about what I am going to put into my tummy a bit more thoughtfully, and I’m reluctant to aggravate it. Although I will be snaffling cake until the day I die, I am definitely not going to go back to the cycle of sugary cereal, sandwiches and afternoon biccies, as it just made me tired, bloated and sluggish.
Roast veg and rice for tea- Hurrah for Superhero Nutrition!!
THE EXTRAS: Claire will be talking about sensible nutrition for normal women at the Real Girls Sweat Fitness Workshop on 11th January– can’t wait to see lots of you there!