1. Diary of a Metabolic Detox – Day 13

      Day 13 – Planing for The Last Hurdle

      Just two days to go – albeit a weekend which can present its own challenges. On the one hand old habits die hard – either out socialising or in by the fire with a glass of something red; so for this weekend, I’ve come up with a menu planner a) to keep me on the straight and narrow and b) because I’m really enjoying experimenting with the cooking, and at least there’s a little more time to cook when the phone isn’t ringing! my menu plan is on my Facebook page if you ant to see what’s in store at Maison Detox this weekend!

      Weekend menuMeal planning is something I recommend with all my clients. Rushing around and fitting healthy meals into a busy schedule isn’t easy, and it’s all too tempting to grab a takeaway or ready meal when you think it’s the quickest solution, but I have found this week that most of the meals I have tried have been as quick, if not quicker, than a ready meal and much tastier (and almost certainly cheaper). I have also made lots of soups with leftover portions now stacking up in the freezer.

      A common perception of a ‘diet’ or detox is deprivation and hunger, so last night I had a kebab (detox style) and my plan for the weekend Chicken kebabs with fragrant riceincludes a wholesome fireside meal for tonight whilst watching Strictly, and a Sunday roast, which will give me plenty of easy leftovers for next week and bones for some amazing stock.

      Yesterday we had our final group webinar on maintenance and moving forward, which has triggered some ideas; to be shared with you soon! This has been too valuable to waste, and I’ve discovered not only new foods and habits, but the fact that there are some I really don’t miss; so all change in my fridge and freezer!

      I will start uploading a few more recipe on my Recipe pages, but will also hold some back for those of you game enough to have a go in the New Year and join my post Christmas Detox group. Let me know if you are interested, but I will post details as soon as I have them.

      Don’t forget to visit my Facebook page here if you want to see my day by day progress; and let me know if you have any menus you would like me to share.

      Diary of a Metabolic Detox – Day 11

      Day 11 – Motivating results!

      iStock_000019276692XSmallWhat a relief to have other people doing the catering yesterday! Much as I enjoyed the 3 days of juices, and felt fantastic at the end of it, my kitchen has become a serious mess and the washing up seemed endless. I have made multiple portions of soups and juices though, so there’s plenty in the freezer for busy days.

      The great motivating news was that when I stood on the scales on Tuesday, I found I had lost 10lbs of body fat, increased my muscle mass by 8lb (purely from lots of walking and one swimming session on Sunday), and  my metabolic age has dropped by 12 years; all in 10 days. Wow – that definitely makes it worth it! Also, friends and colleagues over the last few days have been commenting on my clear skin, glowing complexion and the fact that apparently I look younger. (I’ll pay them later!)

      That was all helpful feedback to set me up for Day 10 back on proper meals, and the challenge of both lunch and dinner out. Both, in the event, proved to be really simple to navigate, and really enjoyable.

      Grilled Dover SoleLunch was over a meeting at English’s in the Lanes – a fabulous fish restaurant, so really not hard to find plenty of delicious options, and I settled on a large mixed salad starter and grilled Dover sole for my main course, with spinach and mash on the side, which was quite sublime. I didn’t feel too hungry before lunch, so avoiding the bread sticks wasn’t an issue, and I also happily resisted the wine in favour of lime soda.

      Supper was mid evening at Sussex Cricket Club as part of a networking quiz and curry night. Again this wasn’t a big problem – a lovely chicken curry with rice and just a poppadom and naan bread to resist. What I discovered yesterday that my appetite has shrunk, so I really don’t need the portions I would have previously gone for, and my taste buds also seem to be sharper. I really noticed all the flavours.

      2013-10-17 12.27.12Back to the kitchen today but so far leftovers are working wonders, and I had lots of mixed fruit and seeds for breakfast, and another portion of the squash and beetroot soup for lunch after an invigorating walk along Hove beach.  Tonight I’m going to have a go at making some gluten free crackers to go with the soup and will share how that goes in due course!

      Salmon beckons for supper; I probably need a bit more essential fat over the next few days, so I need to come up with autumn vegetablesomething creative to do with that and the assortment of goodies in my fridge. There are so many amazing recipes online (in fact it can be a great time waster), but one of my favourites in Big Oven where you can select your preferred ingredients, put in details of anything you want to avoid, create shopping lists and then store your favourite recipes. There’s a great app as well.

      If you are enjoying my detox journey, please visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/LGMNutrition and tell your friends!

      Diary of a metabolic Detox – Day 9

       The First Blip

       Day 9 – coming to the end of the 3 day liquid only diet, and this has certainly been more of a challenge. Up until now I really felt the benefit of cutting out wheat and dairy and significantly reducing sugar. My stomach felt flatter and I felt lighter, I hadn’t really been hungry, and I’ve felt far more energetic.

      Liver cleanse juice ingredientsThe ‘liquid only’ days started well with my kitchen overflowing with piles of fresh vegetables, and the surfaces covered in mixers, blenders and bowls of soup. Day 1 (Sunday) was fairly straightforward and I ventured into new territory with a beetroot and squash soup for lunch and then a white bean and rosemary recipe for supper; with the UltraClear shake as an afternoon ‘snack’. So far, so good.

      Carrot, red lentil and coriander soup.Monday also started well. The Super Nutrition smoothie at elevensies hit the spot and my carrot, red lentil and coriander soup was a triumph. By the afternoon, however, I started to feel bloated, and in spite of drinking plenty of water and going for a long walk, my blood sugar crashed and I felt quite weak and shaky. I have to admit deviating and having a handful of almonds which my body felt they needed (and was the only thing I could quickly buy whilst out and about that wouldn’t ruin all the hard work.) Back home to an early night, and I’m glad to say I woke today feeling really good again.

      I’ve learned that the trick is to include as much protein as possible in the soups – and also to not try to be too rigid about sticking to liquids only. Everyone is different, and in my case, that handful of nuts was obviously badly needed.

      The liquid days are a great way of resting the digestive system, but also for including really good quantities of the fruits and vegetables which will help the liver carry out all phases of its filtration and detoxification function. Detox programmes with limited nutrients and a lack of essential enzymes can trigger the process but not provide enough support to carry it through its various stages, which can leave you feeling extremely unwell. So, whatever you do, avoid the drastic fasts and water only versions and stick to a programme which feeds the liver!

      My other hiccup today has been my trusty blender, which decided mid-morning that it no longer liked its job description. After several frustrating attempts at blending the beetroot, celery and broccoli for my liver cleanse juice with no luck, I gave in and resorted to a new one courtesy of Morphy Richards. It has two flasks so now I have somewhere to store my spare smoothies and juices! Having read the other ‘detoxer’ posts on our forum, it appears I’m not alone and that at least one other blender decided it had developed an intolerance to beetroot.

      Liver leanse juice & blenderThanks to my new toy, I eventually whisked up a delicious liver cleanse juice and a fabulous pea and mint soup forPea and mint soup & peashoots lunch. Tonight I’m back to leftovers from yesterday’s carrot soup – but adding ginger and turmeric to give it a twist. A day of vibrant colours, which all helps make the meals more palatable and interesting, but it would be lovely to have some fresh crusty bread with it. maybe next week.

      Tomorrow: proper food again, and a much-needed day off from the kitchen and washing up bowl….but with that, new hurdles to overcome!

      Diary of a Metabolic Detox – Day 7

      This weekend has been all about preparation. Three days ahead on a balanced and healthy liquid only diet isn’t easy, so the provisions are in and the batch cooking has begun! The other challenge is trying to break normal weekend habits which tend to revolve around friends, food and drink; so a change of routine this weekend has helped. I had a fabulous aromatherapy massage yesterday afternoon – my reward for sticking to week one without deviating – and this afternoon spent the afternoon at a local health club where I swam and then sweated out even more toxins in the steam room. I discovered a great online site www.payasugym.com which allows you to buy day passes to hundreds of gyms and health centres across the country.

      Beetroot and butternut squash soup I love cooking and the results seem to turn out well– even though my finished recipes don’t seem to be nearly as impressive as the others in the group who have been sharing their pictures online. My ‘Nigella-style’ finishing and presentation is coming along and it has encouraged me to start being more creative with my food. When the ingredients are more restrictive (particularly when cutting out dairy and wheat), the two things which become so important are taste and visual appeal. More herbs and spices are really helping – the beetroot and squash soup was delicious but made even better by the nutmeg and cinnamon in the recipe.

      Adding blended mixed berries to the UltraMeal drink today also made the difference between something functional and nutritious, and something which was a real treat. This week I will be stocking up on frozen berries which are perfect to throw into a juice or smoothie to add a bit of fibre and sweetness.

      Berry and pineapple smoothie with mint

      The other lesson I’m learning this weekend is how to keep my protein levels up when eating just soups and juices. Today has been fine so far, but I am beginning to wilt and am off to make a more hearty soup with cannellini beans to get those proteins in. I would normally reach for a handful of walnuts or almonds at this stage, but solids are off the menu until Wednesday so creative alternatives are required and I think beans and pulses will come into their own here over the next two days.

      My daily Epsom Salts baths before bed have also been great. The magnesium in the salts helps promote sleep and that’s definitely something I have benefited from over the last week.

      Support form the rest of the ‘detox group’ has also been key over the last few days. It has been interesting hearing other people’s high’s and low’s and comforting knowing that not everyone is out for a pub lunch, or curled up in front of Strictly with a glass of red wine. So far the sacrifice seems to be paying off. Whilst there are the occasional hunger pangs, I’m learning how to quell them without falling off the wagon; and I’ve noticed a very definite lack of cravings. That’s what no sugar for a week can do for you!

      The smell of fresh bread in the supermarket was a challenge, and I had never noticed just  how many fish and chip shops Brighton had until I walked along the seafront yesterday, but overall my appetite has diminished and I’m feeling satisfied with smaller portions. Hopefully the first of many long term lessons!

      A new working week with another group webinar tomorrow morning to check in with the group and keep us all on track; and I will also be getting out the scales to how the vital statistics have improved. The jeans are definitely looser so here’s hoping!

       White bean and kale soup with rosemary and thymePS: Tonight’s white bean and kale soup with rosemary was quite sublime.


      Diary of a Metabolic Detox – Day 5

      Planning for the weekend ahead

      Today has been the most challenging so far. I still feel great and slept well again; in fact so well that I overslept and was Quick mixed berry breakfast with mixed seedsthen running late and had to cobble together a quick breakfast. Just before running out the door I threw together some berries, pear and kiwi fruit and concocted a fruit salad, topped with mixed seeds to add protein. I grabbed my UltraMeal drink and headed into town to a morning seminar on chronic Fatigue Syndrome and realised when I arrived I had forgotten to take my morning supplements. One thing we did learn today is that apparently kiwi fruit at bedtime can really help with sleep due to the levels of magnesium in it (a natural tranquilliser), so I’ll be trying that tonight.

      lakeland carrot peeler and sharpenerThe seminar was fascinating but meant I didn’t make it home until 2.30pm, having successfully negotiated the temptations of a supermarket by only stocking up on fresh fish and more vegetables. I also found a couple of new gadgets on an unplanned detour of Lakeland and now have a carrot sharpener to play with over the weekend. Who knew I needed that!

      By the time I made it home I was very hungry, but it only took minutes to make lunch of mixed salad and leftover chicken and avocado from last night (+ supplements I forgot this morning).

      Tonight I will be cooking fish and chips ‘detox style’, so will post the result tomorrow; but it helps make Friday feel more normal and avoids the temptation of slipping back into any bad habits. Weekends can feel like an obstacle on any kind of eating programme, but I have decided to turn it on its head and have fun tomorrow batch cooking some delicious soups and smoothies to last me through the 3 liquid only days which start on Sunday.

      I have also planned an afternoon aromatherapy massage to celebrate sticking to the programme in week one, so have that to look forward to.


      Diary of a Metabolic Detox – Day 4

      Day 4, and so far things seem to be going well.

      need a bigger kitchen!Admittedly this programme has taken a degree of planning and preparation, but thank goodness for great health food shops in Brighton & Hove! Infinity Foods makes life so much easier and local grocers and supermarkets are now also stocking much more variety when it comes to alternative flours and unusual vegetables, so it’s more a question of being organised! My kitchen has transformed into a healthy mini-mart, but a good distraction for the weekend could be a kitchen cupboard clear out.

      This isn’t intended as a weight management exercise, but my clothes are definitely feeling looser, which is very motivating. More importantly, I have been sleeping very deeply, my mind feels clearer and I’m waking up quickly and with plenty of energy, so I seem to be getting through so much more during the day.

      The hard part is planning meals. I have all the ingredients and plenty of menus, supplied both by the organisers but delicious quinoa porridge with cinnamon apple raspberriesalso other participants who are kindly sharing theirs on the group Facebook page we are using; but fitting the meal preparation into a busy working day needs a bit of organisation. I have to say though, the results have been fun and I’ve tried all sorts of things which I have never sampled before. (Admission to former clients – I had never actually tried quinoa porridge before, but it’s genuinely delicious!)

      The other challenge is planning meals whilst away from home – a reality for most of us face on a regular basis, and one of my biggest this week. Again pre-planning so the key here. Work out where you are likely to be, and the options you will have available. If eating out in a restaurant, it is usually possible to look at the menu online before you go. This helps your brain engage with the choices you want to make and helps avoid making hasty bad decisions when faced with the waiter and his notebook. When heading out for a day’s work, take prepared food and snacks to avoid the temptation of the local sandwich shop or garage.

      The foods, meals and supplements we are working have all been carefully selected to support the liver and gut with their natural processes of removing waste matter and toxins from the body. If these aren’t efficiently removed they can cause all sorts of problems such as IBS, bloating, PMS and a range of other hormone-associated complaints; so this really is the basis of achieving good health.


      As for today; lunch will be an avocado salad (full of essential fats and Vitamin E) and tonight I’m aiming for something creative using chicken.

      Watch this space, and visit my Pinterest and Facebook pages to see what I come up with. (with apologies to any proper cooks out there!)

       If you have any detox recipes you would like to share, send them through and I will post my favourite on my recipe page.

      Fridge leftover salad rocket, spinach, watercress, avocado, slcied pear, bean sprouts and tomato. Sprinkled with pomegranate and walnuts, & drizzled with flax seed oil P.S. This is the avocado salad I came up with – from anything I could find in the fridge, which ended up comprising:

      A mix of spinach, rocket and watercress; sliced avocado, tomatoes, bean sprouts, sliced pear, walnuts and pomegranate seeds; all drizzled with flax seed oil.

      Slightly off-menu but it worked for me!

      Diary of a Metabolic Detox

      It’s time to ‘walk the walk’, so I have decided to join a two week Metabolic Detox programme being organised by Nutri and being followed by a large group of fellow Nutrition Therapy practitioners.

      A detox is a concept which is commonly misunderstood; particularly come the New Year when it is all the rage in the media, and attracts a variety of madcap fad diets and programmes advocating extreme dietary regimes restricting food and drink intake. Whilst the objective may be to achieve vitality, cleansing and health benefits, the process can be extreme and harmful, so it is really important to follow a sensible plan and to make sure it fits in with your health status and lifestyle.

      autumn vegetable So, is detoxing really necessary?

      Nowadays our environment exposes us to more toxins than ever before, with environmental pesticides, household chemicals (such as make up and cleaning products), and air pollution. We also ingest a large number of toxins though chemicals in our food and water, and through alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and food additives. The liver works to neutralise and make these safe, and this process is carried out with the support of the skin, lungs, gut and kidneys.

      In reality, our body is extremely efficient at detoxifying itself using the liver as our internal chemical factory. When functioning properly, it processes all these toxins (as well as those which we produce internally through our own metabolic activity), it neutralises them and excretes the redundant end products.

       BUT to carry this process out, the liver relies on a specific variety of nutrients to do its job, so these need to form the basis of a healthy detox.

      The programme I am following has been carefully structured to deliver a healthy selection of nutrients through a sensible eating plan, with regular meals, snacks and some supplements included.Fresh fruit Taj

      We have been provided with questionnaires aimed at gauging our toxicity levels and to gather our vital statistics, and will track these again at the end of the two weeks. We also have a great selection of menus, food shopping lists and ideas to work with, and most importantly, the support network of a Facebook group to keep each other in touch and motivated.

      This isn’t about weight loss (although that would be a welcome by-product!), but more about giving the liver some healing and regeneration time, and other detoxing organs such as the bowel, skin, kidney, and lungs, some much-needed support. I’m looking forward to the shiny hair, glowing complexion and endless energy which I’m hoping will result!

      Shopping in preparation fo metabolic detox. It has needed some careful preparation to re-vamp my larder, but I’m really motivated and actually quite excited, and after Day 1 can report that I have successfully negotiated the possible perils of a night out in a restaurant, the temptation of pastries at the local cafe over a business breakfast, and had a very busy but productive working day. Last night I had a fantastic night’s sleep and am really looking forward to it.

      Over the course of the programme we will be eliminating dairy, gluten, saturated fats, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol, and reducing sugar intake. Time to experiment with gluten free products, to increase the fruit and veg, and experiment with some new recipes. I have already raided Taj in Brighton for a few or the more unusual ingredients on our recipe sheets.

      Follow my progress over the next 2 weeks and see how I get on. The aim is to roll this out to my clients in due course, so watch this space! I will also be posting pictures of my meals on my LGM Nutrition Pinterest page and will be Tweeeting regularly @hove_nutrition.



      Never undertake a detox plan without consulting your GP and taking advice from a qualified health professional.