To de-tox or not to de-tox

To de-tox or not to de-tox

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It’s been a long 2010 thus far and, at the time of writing, we are only seven days into the new year. The reason is simple. I allowed myself to be talked into a 9 day liver de-tox programme and have had to give up things like fatty bacon on crusty bread with lashings of tomato sauce, good strong coffee, early evening gin and tonics and wine with a meal. Instead I am getting by on carrot juice, lots of vegetables and fruit and plates of oatmeal soaked in warm water with blueberries for breakfast. For a real treat I am allowed a few olives or hummus with raw veggies. Thank heavens it’s only 9 days.

The first three days were the worst. The sudden absence of good strong coffee at the breakfast table makes the start to the day very boring. Instead I drink a cup of warm water with lemon squeezed into it. I am allowed to drink Rooibos tea which I’ve always hated but have come to quite like now. I try to imagine it tasting like coffee when I drink it. Instead of sausages, bacon, salami and steak the fridge is now full of vegetables. Every meal involves veggies and the de-tox programme strongly recommends a daily dose of broccoli, possibly the most unpleasant vegetable on the planet. I seem to spend hours chopping garlic, onions, sweet potato and heaven knows what else so it can be mixed up in yet another healthy dish to cleanse my liver.

The headache came at the end of the second day so I knew this de-tox thing must be doing me good. “No pain, no gain”, as the saying goes. But the headache didn’t last too long and I started to feel pretty good by the fourth day. Not happy good which is what I feel if I have a large steak and a nice bottle red wine. More, healthy good as in I knew this de-tox thing was working and I was feeling far more vibrant. Better still, I have lost 5kgs and my stomach no longer hangs over my trouser belt quite so much. By Sunday I will be a healthy shadow of my former self and will be faced with the dilemma of whether to continue with this healthy lifestyle.

Well, the answer to that is “No”! While the 9 day de-tox may make you feel great at the end and is a convincing argument for more healthy eating, it is also hugely time consuming. You spend your life hunting down organic produce, chopping it up, preparing it and clearing up. There’s very little time to do anything else.

You also can’t go to a restaurant because it’s pointless paying somebody good money to give you raw vegetables to eat. Mind you, it’s not exactly cheap to eat healthily at home these days which is probably why our Metro cops are so out of shape. Two avocadoes cost me R40 last week and we had to have them because they were on the programme. You could get a couple of portions of non-nutritious comfort food for that amount.

But the real reason I can’t stick to this liver de-tox diet is that I still have a large amount of wine to drink, half a lamb in the deep freeze and a stash of coffee beans to grind. If I don’t consume all of it then somebody else will have to and I could never have it on my conscience that I have damaged somebody else’s liver could I?

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