No, no, no. Not a starvy, fasty, juice-y one. Just a planned period of time where I spoil myself with some clean, wholesome food; instead of ramming grease and simple carbs down my neck during the brief interludes from manic office and mothering life. Why not. I’m worth it. Plus I NEED it.

I’ve always fancied that I look a little younger than my 37 years. Not that hanging on to youth is a big prize in my opinion, my 1991 perm and acne deserve to stay buried in the annals of history, but looking ‘fresh’ is something I value. Recently, my face and figure have been racing up to my birth certificate age however, and are in danger of lapping it. No longer do people appear surprised when I tell them my age (and yes I know much of it is politeness, like when an old lady at the bus stop tells you she’s ’82, you know’ and you have to look incredulous), in fact they are more likely to tell me I’m looking ‘tired’, ‘ill’, ‘pale’, ‘rundown’. Pick a vaguely insulting adjective of your choice.

It’s got the point where blusher ain’t cutting it. But more importantly than my appearance, I’m starting to worry I’m just not a very nice person anymore. I am tired a lot, and grumpy. I complain and I snap irritably at my children. Yes, life is busy, but I’m not doing myself any favours with my appalling diet and exercise regime. I think I may have the worst eating patterns of just about anyone I know. Certainly more than anyone else in my demographic. I eat like a 17 year old boy. A neglected one, who lives in a hovel smoking weed and eating takeaways intermittently. Not that I smoke weed. Honest. My addictions lie elsewhere. Sugar, wheat, salt. All the crappy stuff. And the exercise thing? Well, I just don’t. Ever.

I have a monthly massage to help my slumpy knitter’s shoulders at the fabulous Natural Health Centre. My therapist Jean is an advocate of healthy living, and a fantastic advert for it I may say. Very glowy. She told me about Jane Shrivner’s Detox Programme. I had heard of it before. It’s one of the original round of programmes that were very popular a decade or so ago, combining eating well with exercise and beauty treatments. I was working at The Body Shop at the time and sold a gazillion cactus bristle brushes for the dry body brushing which is an important part of the detox. My therapist knows Shrivner professionally, and tells me she has updated the detox several times. It’s the orginial book I bought though, and read cover to cover. And do you know what? I am totally up for this. Not in the half-arsed give-it-a-go way I consider a lot of things, but in a proper stick-to-it 30 day kind of way.

The key thing about this particular detox is that its not particularly restrictive in any way. Yes, it means cutting out caffeine, sugar, wheat and dairy, but although that may be a challenge there is nothing there I feel I really should be eating anyway. I have chronic rhinitis (perpetually snotty nose in layman’s terms) and I have wondered if an exclusion diet might help identify if wheat is a problem; I eat it A LOT.

Instead of fretting about what I can’t have, I’ve been able to think of loads of nourishing and good foods I can have. And no girl from good Irish stock is going to cry at the loss of wheat when potatoes are still on the menu (roasted in olive oil no less!). The only thing I’m struggling with is giving up eggs. In my world, they are not dairy, and I only have eggs from the farm up the road so they are as organic as organic can be. I may re-introduce them before 30 days, we’ll see. I love eggs.

But before I go and buy all of Holland and Barratt, I have been preparing. You know; fail to prepare, prepare to fail and all that. I have pages of lists of meal ideas and things I will be able to eat. PAGES. My plan is to start at the weekend as I have a quiet one planned and two days annual leave booked Mon/Tue. I have already quit caffeine and booze and come out the other side of the headaches so that’s not so bad. I anticipate some difficulties given my intensely emotional attachment to food (how does one celebrate without cake??), but it’s only 30 days. And Autumn is such a fabulous time to detox. January Schmanuary. When is it more important to get your immune system in tip top shape than just before winter hits?

At the moment all of the Christmas festivities seem a long way away, whilst all the socialising budget is eaten up with Christmas shopping, so it’s a good month to lay low and eat brown rice.

Wish me luck!

I thought I should insert some kind of ‘before’ picture of myself here, but I bottled it, so here is a picture of some lemons instead. Very Detox-y