I’ve started a detox this weekend. I haven’t done one since before I got pregnant with Zoë and I fell like a really need to do one. Over the summer I ate lots of sugary foods and I’m really noticing the effect – I’ve put on weight and I’m feeling really tired, especially after eating, and I don’t feel refreshed when I wake up in the morning. Of course, when you have a small child, it’s hard to tell whether tiredness is due to broken nights or your general health. But the fact that I’m really craving sweet food and I’m also waking up at the classic sugar-rush time during the early hours of the morning are telling me that it’s time to detox.
I’m going to do a combination of the detox plans from one of my all-time favourite books, Clean Up Your Diet by Max Tomlinson and herbs from the A Vogel Detox Box. I first met Max about 10 years ago and he has been an incredible inspiration in my life ever since – and he recommended this detox kit. It is made up of tincture mixes of Milk Thistle, which is meant to help your liver function, which in turn helps your body to eliminate toxins, Solidago which is a traditional tonic for your kidneys, helping to reduce fluid retention and things like puffy eyes, Frangula which is said to aid digestion and is a mild laxative and Calendula which is wonderful for boosting your immune system.
So, I’m going to cut out all alcohol, sugar, packaged, tinned or processed foods and red meat. And I’m going to seriously boost my intake of fruit and veggies and eat just organic chicken or fish. On top of that, I need to drink 2 litres of water a day, minimize my salt intake, do food combining, try not to eat after 8pm, and try to make lunch my biggest meal of the day. I’ll probably have a juice for breakfast every day and have a handful of nuts and seeds, too. And then I think I’ll try to do the protein/veggies combo – with probably a huge salad – for lunch and then the low-GI carbs/veggies combo – again with a large salad – for as early a dinner as I can possibly do. And I’ll snack on fruit and veggies during the day.
Here goes – wish me luck! This was my juice this morning. It’s a classic but I love it because of the taste and also the beautiful colours –
- 3 beetroots, scrubbed and ends removed
- 4 large carrots, scrubbed and ends removed
- 2.5cm/1in piece of root ginger
- Push the ingredients through an electric juicer and serve immediately.
Zoë is now 2 years old! We had a birthday party in the park at the weekend to celebrate with her friends, including Ivy pictured here – and it was wonderful! For the tea I cooked chicken nuggets, squash nuggets, sweet potato wedges, sausages and dips with vegetable sticks. And then I made Carrot and Beetroot Cupcakes from my book, The Best Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes. I still don’t give Zoe sugar generally and I thought these cupcakes would be good because they’re much lower in sugar than most cupcakes. I promised that I would post the recipe…
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 15–18 minutes makes 12
150g/5oz dairy-free margarine, softened
125g/4oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
75g/2½oz/scant ½ cup rice flour
75g/2½oz/⅔ cup gram flour
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp ground cinnamon
200g/7oz carrots, peeled and grated
100g/3½oz beetroots, peeled and grated
100g/3½oz soya yogurt
2 tbsp clear honey
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Arrange 12 paper cupcake cases in a bun tin.
- Using an electric whisk, beat the margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well mixed.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon into the mixture, then quickly fold it in, followed by the grated carrots and beetroots, using a metal spoon. Make sure the mixture is well blended, but take care not to overmix.
- Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then cover them with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment to prevent them from overbrowning and bake for a further 5–8 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Take the cupcakes out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- When the cupcakes have cooled, prepare the topping. Using a whisk or electric blender, whisk together the yogurt and honey in a bowl until smooth. Spread a little of the topping over each one.
Do you like the new taste of Alpro’s Plain Soya Yogurt? www.alprosoya.co.uk I realised that they’d changed the recipe recently – changing it to a sweetened yogurt with tastes of vanilla, despite the fact that it’s still called plain and they already make Alpro Vanilla Soya Yogurt. I often use soya yogurt in savoury dishes – risottos, pastas and curries, for example, and Alpro’s new flavour just doesn’t work in these. So I emailed the company to ask whether they had changed the recipe – and whether they would reconsider. Here was their answer –
Dear Ms Cheetham
Thank you for your comments and feedback regarding the change of recipe to our Plain yogurt alternative and I am sorry that you have not enjoyed this product. We believe that there were improvements to be made to our Alpro soya plain yogurt alternative in order to improve the texture of the product and to eliminate water that could on occasions form on top of the product. We wanted to offer a product which tastes good, especially on its own with fresh fruit or with cereals, we do appreciate that it will no longer have the sour taste associated with some plain yogurts. We do appreciate that this product may not be suitable for savoury cooking. You may like to try our Provamel Organic range of products which are available in health food stores such as Holland and Barrett and independent health stores and does include our Organic plain yogurt which maybe more to your taste.
So I’ve tried to get hold of the Provamel Organic Natural Yofu but it’s hard to get hold of. The beauty of the Alpro yogurts is that you can get them in pretty much any large supermarket and in every health food shop, making it possible to buy them almost whenever you want. But I couldn’t find it in any supermarket or in my local Holland & Barrett. So I trekked to Wholefoods (which I do love, though!) and managed to find it there. And yes, it does taste just like the Alpro Plain Soya Yogurt used to – with a lovely tanginess. And I also bought the Sojade Bio Organic Natural + Bifidus yogurt which was good, but a little watery. But I’ll have to make a special effort to buy this now. I honestly don’t care that you needed to stir or whizz the original Alpro yogurt in order to get a smooth, creamy texture. But I mind hugely that it’s now difficult to get hold of a savoury soya yogurt.