I organized this cleanse to start the day after I got back from a mid-winter escape to The Whitsundays figuring it would be penance for any naughty holiday eating (hello French Fries with every meal). Annoyingly I had a cold for the entire time I was away and I arrived back still feeling pretty average. I wouldn’t normally advise cleansing when you’re not well, but, as it turns out, this cleanse is very geared towards immune boosting and it’s not crazy-strict so I think I’m going to be able to manage it.
I pluck my first ‘meal’ of the day from the cardboard carton – a cute Immune Booster shot with supercharged cold-fighting goodies including lemon, ginger, garlic, oregano oil and honey. Don’t let its diminuitive size fool you. This stuff is potent. I take a tiny sip and nearly gag – the raw garlic is pretty strong and the oregano oil makes my tongue feel a bit numb. On the back it says you can have it with warm water, which I decide to try, but after a few sips of that I think next time I’ll try shooting it back instead. I know it’s doing me good though – these are all antibacterial ingredients and my trainer Ricardo Riskalla swears by Oil of Oregano for flu-fighting so I persevere through the warm mug full, fighting back waves of nausea.
Desperate to get the taste of raw garlic out of my mouth I go straight to meal number two – a coconut and raspberry chia pudding. I’m working at my laptop, so I eat it straight from the jar, without realizing you’re meant to heat it gently. It tastes good and I finish it fast and feel sated.
At 11am I pop the top on my green juice. It’s the perfect balance of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley, lemon and ginger, light and fresh and delicious.
At 4pm I hit the fridge again for my Turmeric Tonic. I’m not super hungry and I’m feeling good, and maybe even a little smug, I can do this cleanse thing! But then an alert comes up on my laptop from my diary – I’ve completely forgotten I have a work dinner at Sake tonight. Quelle horreur! It’s too late to cancel, I will just have to wing it.
When I arrive I mention quietly to the waitress that I’m on a cleanse and she assures me they can tweak the menu to avoid any gluten, carbs and red meat. I eat some tasty tuna sashimi, salad, steamed fish and – in a moment of weakness - a couple of prawns which someone tells me is only lightly fried (whatever that means). I can really taste the oil and regret it instantly. I also find the dressing on the salad quite sweet – it’s amazing how just a day of eating clean food makes you so sensitive to sugar and oils. Oh well, no point feeling guilty about it, instead I concentrate chewing really well and eating mindfully, to try and stay in the cleanse zone. The hardest part is lasting until 10pm without a single sip of wine as everyone around the table gets more raucous. Word of advice: avoid all social events like the plague when you’re cleansing.
When I get home I heat “dessert” up - Golden Ashwagandha Almond Milk. It contains turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, brown rice malt syrup and ashwagandha (an Ayurvedic herb great for minimising stress). It’s really soothing and quite delicious.
It’s a new day. I’m determined not to fall off the wagon today. I wake up and pour the Immune Tonic into a mug and add just a splash of boiling water to heat it up then try and drink it as fast as possible. I actually feel a bit better cold-wise today so maybe all these immune boosters are making a difference? My sore throat has gone completely.
I heat the chia pudding in a small saucepan and eat it while Max has his breakfast. It’s even yummier warm with the coconut and berries stirred through. Drinking the Immune Shot faster has also made a huge difference, I don’t have that lingering garlic flavour. Since I have a busy morning ahead I decide to drink the green juice now too – I drink it quickly as I’m running around the house getting ready. So much for being mindful.
I get back from a morning running errands and I’m starving, so I heat the chicken stock up and wolf it down, followed by the Turmeric Tonic. It’s pretty tart with the lemon and has a kick with cayenne pepper but I feel refreshed afterwards. I have to remove myself from the office when the girls bring back burgers and eat them, but once there’s no food around I’m okay again. The afternoon whizzes by so I barely notice my hunger until I stop to pick up Max from daycare.
Even though it’s only 5.45 I’m famished, so I eat dinner with Max. He’s getting spag bol, which I try not to inhale as I tuck into my Vedic Mung Dahl & Kale Soup. It’s pretty yummy considering how healthy it is. It fills one of my big bowls, so it’s quite substantial, too.
After dinner I heat the Golden Milk on the stove. You’re supposed to heat it gently but I got distracted and it boils over – it tastes a bit funny after that, I think I’ve destroyed the composition. It’s a nice treat to finish the day and helps me wind down for bed.
I’m feeling worse today cold wise but I’ll put it down to the fact that Lulu was up every hour from 3am. I slug back my warm immune drink as fast as possible as I’m getting dressed and pack my ‘breakfast’ into a plastic bag. I have a meeting at a nearby café today.
When I arrive everyone orders coffees and it’s so freezing, I feel I need something other than herbal tea so I ask for a steamed almond milk with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Then I ask the waitress if she doesn’t mind heating up my chia pudding. I surrepticiously sip the green juice while I wait. She microwaves it in the glass jar and gives it back to me, which is a little sad as I suspect the microwave would have killed all the nutrients. It’s still tasty. I want to cry while the other people at the table crunch through their eggs and avocado on toast, but at least I’m chewing something with my chia. Thank God for small mercies.
I have a huge day of meetings and launches so I’m running around and I barely notice that I miss lunch. When we stop for coffees with Analise, I order a steamed almond milk again and it tides me over. I don’t get home until 4pm and I’m ready to eat my arm. I slosh the chicken stock into a saucepan and eat it so fast that I burn my mouth. Once sated, I realize that surprisingly I haven’t been that hangry- I thought that by day three I’d be a superbitch.
At dinner time I’m really looking forward to my dhal and settle on the couch with a bowl of it and a big blanket. It feels like a hug from the inside and I eat it slowly and carefully, already dreaming of my almond milk for dessert. We watch an episode of Orange Is The New Black while I sip my warm milk and I actually feel content. My stomach feels flat and I feel very clean and pious. As I turn in early with a book, I wonder what my first meal back will be. I don’t want to pollute my body with rubbish now.
The verdict: I don’t take scales too seriously because I often deviate by a few kilos, but I find that I’ve lost a kilo in a week. My stomach feels flat and lean and the best part is that my cold has cleared up. This is a great option if you have been overindulging or you feel like you need a mid-winter immune boost.
Story by Sigourney Cantelo