x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

The detox diaries - following Detox Delight juice regime

I forewent solid food for five days in pursuit of healthiness. Here is my diary of how it all went.

Courtesy Detox Delight
Courtesy Detox Delight

Day 1

For two days before the detox began, I ate lightly and drank lots of water. I skipped the colonic that the Detox Delight ladies suggested I have, and instead took the natural laxative they advised – all this information was in the starter pack they sent me.

I have some advice for anyone considering doing this detox. Make sure you are within easy reach of a bathroom.

To tell you the truth, my friends were getting a bit tired of me constantly talking about the impending “juice diet”. It’s just I had honestly been feeling so bad about myself.

I mean, I was happy that I stopped smoking but I felt so unattractive with the weight I had put on. And the spots. Oh the spots. I woke up full of excitement on Day 1.

This was it, my chance at a fresh start. Right on time (8.00am) the doorbell rang and there was the polite delivery man in his Detox Delight uniform. The juice is kept in special styrofoam boxes and he brought the box in. I opened the lid of the box, and there, nestled in ice, was my entire diet for the next two days.

Oh, they looked good, those juices. Healthy! The packaging is a delight in itself. It looks so special that you know it’s not going to hurt you. I unpacked the bottles into my newly empty fridge and settled down to read my welcome pack. The first juice, detox lemonade, was delicious. It wasn’t sour and left me with a warm feeling inside.

I arrived to work with my juices for the day carefully packed into my cooler bag. My colleagues were all excited to see the juice and everyone exclaimed on the packaging. I started to feel hungry in the afternoon, but before I knew it, it was time for another juice. After I got home, I went for a gentle stroll around my neighbourhood – light exercise is encouraged. Dinner that night was my juice in front of Mad Men.

Day 2

I woke up raring to go, kind of hoping for some side effects so I would know it was working. It was a little bit hard at work because, as the information pack said, “Expect to go to the bathroom at irregular times”.

I mean, it was not unbearable and nothing to have to stay at home for, but it was not the greatest morning, if you get me.  A slight headache set in towards midday but after having the “lunchtime” juice, it faded. In-between juices, I kept myself hydrated with herbal teas and water. I could not stop thinking about food. About what I would have eaten, how much I would have eaten by this time of the day, testing myself for signs of hunger.

Wondering if this was only Day 2, how would I get through another three days? I got home and went for a slow swim. And this is where something strange happened. I knew that very soon I was going to have a hungry Mr on my hands. How would I feel about making him some food when I wasn’t eating? I love cooking. But I like to be able to eat what I’ve made as well. Still, though, it wasn’t his fault that I had chosen this path for myself.

I began preparations – chicken pasta, I thought, would be a quick and easy option. I took extra care over the herbs I put on the chicken before it went in the pan, and I decided to make a broth concoction to stop the chicken drying out. I made a salad, putting more crunch in it than usual, and what would it hurt to make the poor hard working man some garlic bread to go with it? I felt happy making it, and I even felt happy sitting there sipping on my juice while he ate it. He declared the best chicken pasta I have ever made, I think it was. I went to bed, happy and feeling light.

Day 3

I woke up with a terrible feeling in my mouth. A look in the bathroom mirror confirmed that there was something wrong. My tongue was covered in a kind of gross coating. And I was happy to see it!

This, according to my detox information, meant that things were in motion! It was working. The tongue is the perfect indicator of exiting toxins, and if mine was anything to go by, those toxins were on a mass exodus.

I skipped downstairs to answer the door to the Detox Delight delivery man (on time again) and unpacked my sustenance for the next three days.

I then went straight into my new routine of body brushing before my shower, and a proper face scrub and cleanser session. No need for me to rush – I didn’t have to worry about breakfast after all, right?  I got to work, happy, and I sat down. And then it hit me. A whiff of the most wonderful thing I think I have ever smelt.

A steaming latte. My colleague gestured as she talked, wafting that wonderful smelling elixir around and my eyes followed its every move. I was angry and felt hard-done by.

My colleagues’ interest in my juice had waned somewhat, so I took it out and sulkily supped away as the lucky eating people took what seemed like hours discussing what to have for lunch. 

A headache for the afternoon and the worst mood for a long time. I phoned the Mr and suggested that I pick up a take-away for his dinner. Where I live, it’s quite difficult to order. I picked him up a butter  chicken, biryani rice and a garlic naan. And then felt so upset, I had to put it in the boot of my car because I didn’t want to smell it.

He was very happy to see it and I thought he hadn’t noticed my bad mood. I went upstairs for a body brush session before an epsom salts bath and a face mask. I felt better and quite superior when I came downstairs. Food would not defeat me, I was its master.

The kitchen was suspiciously clean and Mr said he could tell that I was a bit upset, so he had cleaned up. I then burst into tears. He, shocked, asked me what was wrong.

The answer was everything. A little girl I had heard about earlier with a liver disease, to a lesser extent I hadn’t seen my little niece for months, practically since the day she was born, my family was too far away, and lastly there was too much laundry to do.

Day 4

I woke up glad there was only one day left after today. I lay in bed contemplating what I would eat first. There is a particularly heavy Yemeni dish called Mendhi. While I had never had a particular affection for this dish before, it was all I could think of.

Oooh Mendhi, beautiful Mendhi, with your greasy delicately flavoured rice. And what to accompany you? Chicken or lamb? This debate stayed with me during the morning routine, and I got to work, feeling rebellious.

Yes I would complete this juice diet to prove I could do it but I was having Mendhi FOR BREAKFAST on Day Six and I didn’t care what anyone thought. And for lunch, madam? Well, I think I could quite easily make my way through a KFC dinner box AND a twister, thank you. I supped away on the juice, dreaming of Mendhi and KFC.

That night on my way home, I went to a steam room – something that is encouraged for helping to release toxins through the skin. I felt OK leaving and Mr called. “Don’t worry about my dinner, I will pick up a shawarma and eat in the car on my way.” This kind offer was obviously for my benefit and I suddenly felt ashamed of myself. I knew I couldn’t cook, but I assured him there was no need to eat in the car, I would cope. Emotional again, but happy as I had lost 4kg, I went to bed early.

Day 5

I woke up feeling happy. It was the last day. I took special time savouring my morning juice. But there was something odd. I wasn’t in the least bit hungry.

Thoughts of Mendhi no longer plagued me, and instead, I decided that what was offered on the suggested menu for Day One after detox – fruit for breakfast and steamed vegetables for the rest of the day – seemed lovely.

The work day started with a lovely compliment from a colleague saying I looked slimmer, another commented on how well I was looking. I felt happy, and the day passed by with no cravings and my juice tasted delicious.

I went for a manicure and the manicurist commented on my “strong nails”. Strong nails? Me? They are normally split and not very well looking. I looked down and sure enough – all the same length, no cracks, and shiny. I got home and savoured my last juice, thinking that I really was rather sad it was all going to be over.

Yes, Days Three and Four had been tough, but if only I could carry it on for longer. What else would my body repair if I gave it more of a time out from digesting? You will be pleased to know that my food of choice for my “first breakfast” was not a big greasy helping of mendhi, but a lovely, fresh peach.

fcampbell@thenational.ae