Friday, June 22, 2007
Day six of the detox
Well it's day six on my vegan, no-caffeine detox and I think I am over the worst. After drinking strong coffee three times a day for fifteen years, the physical and psychological withdrawals from this powerful stimulant have been unpleasant.

I have had a constant headache since I gave up, plus lethargy, irritability and a sort of glum, mid-winter feeling.

I walk past my favourite cafes and peer into their cosy, steamed-up windows with a sad wistfulness - sort of like some Dickensian waif who peers into windows of rich and happy families eating pudding, while she must go home to sleep in a cardboard box and eat toenail clippings.

I also haven't gone out this week. So it's been boring on detox. I've watched a lot of those diet and makeover shows where dreadful posh harridans find obese chavs and then bully them into eating pulses. I've been on Facebook alot, cyber stalking my friends. I cooked a vegan meal at a friend's house and we drank 'mocktails'. I've drank a lot of juice and eaten a variety of vegetables. I had a Kitkat in a moment of weakness. Otherwise I've been sleeping a lot. I haven't been near cigarettes, non-organic food or red meat.

It's over tomorrow and I have to say its been a good thing. My skin is quite fresh looking, eyes sparkly and I feel quite chilled out despite the headaches. Maybe I'll even carry over some of the habits of the detox into my normal life.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The long and winding road
It’s been a bit over a one month since CNN’s Project:Life launched and I have been blogging on ‘wellness’ and my ‘journey’ daily.

In that time I have:

-Investigated the benefits of Shamanic Trance Dancing
-Joined a gym
-Employed a hardcore South African personal trainer
-Been killed by the personal trainer twice a week
-Been told by the personal trainer that my cardiovascular fitness is a "two out of ten."
-Been in a floatation tank
-Been rescued from the floatation tank by concerned staff
-Had a ‘musical massage’
-Had four facials, including one made out of birds**t
-Been in a warm bath in Chiswick that contains Dead Sea particles
-Learnt how to meditate
-Been on a week-long urban retreat at a Buddhist Centre
-Been rambling in the county
-Seen two naturopaths, including one who told me not to eat wheat
-Have not eaten wheat for a month
-Have only been drunk three times
-Have increased sleep to 9 hours a night
-Have stopped drinking coffee and soft drinks
-Am on a detox where I only eat organic food
-Have become a vegan

Yet I have PUT ON WEIGHT! I cannot believe this! And I am exhausted. Being ‘well’ is tiring me out. I am sick of people touching my face – it only makes me sleepy.
I do not feel pampered, I feel harassed.

I never have any energy. My room is messy because I am too exhausted from meditating, lifting weights, running on treadmills, brewing decaff, booking massages, chasing Frisbees in parks, and checking the internet for the nearest African drumming class to do anything else.

And I have become boring (even more than before). And heavier (even more than before.) I do not understand what is going on.

My detox book by Max Tomlinson tells me this sort of existential crisis is normal during a detox - but still!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007
That self-righteous feeling
One of the things Max Tomlinson advises in his detox book is to eat organic food in a form as close to their original state as possible.

Luckily my detox has co-incided with the opening of a brand new organic superstore – Wholefoods in London.

The store that specialises in organic produce in a supermarket environment has generated a large amount of coverage in the London media over the last week – so it was not a surprise that when I visited on Saturday it was almost uncomfortably crowded.

American readers will be used to Wholefoods but for Brits it’s something of a novelty. One checkout chick told me that people were queuing along Kensington High Street to get in. To a supermarket. That sells organic food. A sign of the times or faddish? I’m not really sure.

I was happy enough to trek across town to Wholefoods as it meant I could shop for the detox in one go.

The issue many people have with organic food is that it is more expensive than its chemical cousins.

Well it is and it isn’t – the trick is just to be discerning.

The receipt I have in my hot little hand tells me I was thoroughly ripped off when I paid £4.44 for a small bag of mushrooms. They taste good – but not that good.

But the seeds and pulses were a nice surprise. As Max advised that I made my own seed mix, I thought I’d spend big on the ingredients but at 15p for a tub of linseeds, 25p for sunflower seeds and £1.75 for a big tub of pistachios its quite good value.

As for eggs, fruit and vegetables, they were around the same price that I paid for them at my local Waitrose.

But there is something you get from shopping at Wholefoods that money can’t buy: a feeling of supreme self-righteousness.

You might be hungover. You might have just eaten McDonalds. You might be 70 stone overweight. You might be a prime candidate for diabetes and a heart attack. But as soon as you line up with your organic vegetables to take home in your cloth carry bag, you feel like the healthiest, most right-on person alive.

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Monday, June 18, 2007
Diary of a detox
It's day two of The Struggle and I'm not faring too well.

One kindly comment that came through this morning suggested I move to an Islamic country as evidently I have no self-discipline and need some sort of structure imposed on me by the State. But as my politics are Libertarian, that degree of interference wouldn't suit my sensitive political sensibilities. So instead I have decided to interfere with myself.

As you can see from my previous post, in a fit of self-loathing coupled with a hangover I decided to embark on a one week detox cutting out caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, red meat, lollies, junk food (see above) etc...

My last hurrah was Saturday night when my high-flying lawyer friend James had shore leave from his compound in Dubai. Carbohydrates and trans fats were on the menu while our glasses were never wanting for wine. Later we moved about a bit in a nightclub and happily inhaled second hand smoke. How joyless life seems now on detox - without the energy to dance, without the smoke to breathe....

Day one of The Struggle was yesterday. Without caffeine I felt like I had been injected with lead. I was all woolly and slow. I wrote a story but it wasn't very good. I went home and fell asleep. At 6pm. I woke up at 10 and then couldn't get back to sleep until 3am. I had to drink 1.5 litres of a foul smelling broth. I frequently felt like weeping.

This morning I tried to roast linseed and other assorted nuts for a homemade cereal the detox book suggested. But the nuts exploded all over the kitchen and without my morning coffee I lacked the deterixity to adequately marshall the mess.

When I added the nuts to some yogurt, the heat of them curdled the yogurt. The nuts tasted like gravel. The yogurt tasted like gravel. The gravel even tasted like gravel.

Now I feel weak and clumsy. I can;t typpe prop;ly. On my way to the kitchen to draw water for a herbal tea, I tripped on a box.

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Welcome to the diary of a reluctant exerciser. Having previously shunned fitness regimes in favour of bacon sandwiches, Brigid Delaney vows to finally shape up, get fit and eat more healthily. Over the next three months read how she gets on in a brave new world of gyms, exercise classes and no bacon sandwiches.
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