Tag Archives: arise & shine

Arise & Shine Detox with a Berry Smoothie and Watercress & Sweet Potato Soup

I’ve finished the Arise & Shine 4-week Cleanse 28. WOW! I’m now 8.5kg lighter and I have spent the last few weeks feeling revitalized, energized, more focussed and sleeping like a baby. It’s amazing to get back into all my pre-Zoe clothes but what’s even more amazing is just how do-able the diet was. I’ve only ever done a detox when I’ve been able to ignore other people’s meals and I’ve been able to concentrate solely on what I was doing. But this time, I had to buy food for Peter and Zoe, make Zoe’s meals and sit with her as she ate them. Sounds impossibly hard but it actually wasn’t. I think because the benefits were so obvious, I was able to keep my mind on those as I went about the daily feeding of a little girl (and sometimes her father!)

It was a great feeling winding up the detox. On my last day, I swam 60 lengths and sat is a steam room for a few minutes and then in a wonderful jacuzzi. I lay in the jacuzzi thinking about how I could do a massive spring clean to our home (cleaning seemed to be a big thing for me during the detox!) I found myself leaping out of bed early the following morning and starting clearing the shed and the storage cupboard. Peter (who’s a hoarder) and Zoe (who’s little and therefore a hoarder, too) were shocked by the mounds of clothes, toys and general paraphernalia that piled up to go off to friends’ and charity shops. There was a fair amount of pulling items out and emptying bags to look through them – but the end result is awesome! Our shed now has room for the bikes and you can actually get to the gas meter in the cupboard!

I made a fruit-only smoothie that morning. It’s very simple – you simply use banana to add thickness and creaminess. You can either make the apple juice yourself in a juicer or buy it. (I was too busy dragging 4 different prams, a cot, a toddler bed that Zoe’s never used because she’s much keener on the double bed in her room… out of the shed to juice the apples myself!) Later on, I made the watercress soup and sat drinking it, thinking about how I was going to persuade Peter to get rid of the questionable shirts in his cupboard…

Berry Smoothie

Preparation time 1 minute     Serves 2 – or you can just keep it all to yourself

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free


  • 300g/10½oz frozen berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants
  • 1 large banana
  • 500ml/17fl oz/2 cups freshly-pressed apple juice
  • 1 tsp acai berry powder (optional)
  1. Put the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

Watercress & Sweet Potato Soup

Preparation time 5 minutes     Cooking time 15–20 minutes     Serves 2

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free


  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 150g/5½oz watercress
  1. Heat 4 tablespoons filtered/bottled water in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and steam-fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the garlic and steam-fry for 30 seconds, stirring frequently, and adding a little extra water if needed. Add the sweet potato and stir-fry for another 3–4 minutes then pour in 500ml/17fl oz/2 cups boiling filtered/bottled water. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10–15 minutes until the sweet potato is tender. Add the watercress, then either transfer to a blender or food processor, or use a stick blender, and blend – either until smooth and creamy or until roughly blended, depending on how you like it. Serve hot.

Arise & Shine Detox and Steamed Veggies

I’m now in week 3 of the 4-week Cleanse 28 from Arise & Shine – the Power Phase. Peter says I look glowing (yay!) and I’ve now lost a total of 5½ kilos. I’m finding that I’m full of energy – and definitely more clear-thinking. When I get tired at the end of the day, I’m really tired (which is how it should be, I guess) so I’m sleeping incredibly deeply.

On this week’s the schedule, I’m having 4 shakes throughout the day and veggie juices and lunch. (Next week will just be shakes and veggie juices.)

What’s still amazing to me is just how do-able this all is. It sounds daunting and yet I’m not finding it too difficult to do. One of the things that’s lovely about following a diet like this is how much you start to appreciate the taste of the food you eat. Without any seasoning, sauces or other ingredients, you start to really appreciate the pure, natural taste of the fruit and veggies. I remember when I did this detox before, I had just bought a fantastic new saucepan that had a very heavy base. I cooked some veggies in it over a very, very low heat and they steamed very gently in their own juice. This method brought out the sweetness of those veggies and made them utterly delicious. I’ve been doing this again this time, and I’ve also been having a lot of steamed veggies, too. My favourite, I’ve decided, is definitely broccoli – and the combination of beetroot, carrot, broccoli and spinach is awesome!


  • 3 beetroots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into large batons or slices
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into large florets
  • 200g/7oz baby-leaf spinach
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  1. Put the beetroots in a steamer and steam, covered, over a high heat for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and steam for another 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and steam for another 2 minutes, then add the spinach and steam for 1–2 minutes until wilted. By now, all the vegetables should be cooked but still either firm or crunchy. Serve hot with a little oil drizzled over.

Arise & Shine Alkalizing Vegetable Mineral Broth

Onto week 2 of the 4-week Cleanse 28 from Arise & Shine – the Gentle Phase… Week 1 – the Mild Phase – has been easier than I anticipated (although I’m conscious that it’s referred to as Baby steps by the company!) I started getting some cleansing reactions on day 4, but they have been mild – just some slight dizziness and nausea. I’ve also been waking early and finding it hard to go back to sleep again (so I am getting tired) which feels like it’s due to feeling hungry at that time of the early morning. And I’ve been experiencing some emotional cleansing, too – with some outburst of tears! But, apart from that, so far, so good. I’ve lost over 3kg in weight, my skin is looking clearer and I feel more vibrant and clearer-headed.

The hunger aspect of this detox is proving to be fascinating. Generally I eat heartily – not masses, but certainly full plates of food. I’ve never been one of those people who has gone on starvation-style diets to lose weight, and I don’t usually skip meals as I feel too hungry if I do. I normally eat healthily, but I don’t pay particular attention to calories. I won’t eat loads of sweet food and I won’t eat junk food – because they’re unhealthy – but I don’t particularly restrict the amount I eat.

Just before I started this detox I decided that I wasn’t going to let fear of hunger become an issue during the program. I decided that I was simply going to see how I get on. And so far it feels like it’s not an issue. Certainly I don’t feel full at the end of a meal in the way I normally do, and certainly I am feeling hungry throughout the day and night. But I’m eating large platefuls of veggies and fruit and it’s proving to be enough – and I’m finding that I’m not dwelling on it as a problem. In fact, I’m even finding it ok to make Zoe’s meals and sit happily with her as she eats them. Phew!

During the week I’ve had fresh juices and some soaked nuts in the mornings and often salads at lunch (as this is much easier at work.) In the evenings I’ve either had steamed veggies (wow, steamed broccoli tastes good!) or quinoa with different types of veggies, either steamed or raw. I’ve also been making the Alkalizing Vegetable Mineral Broth from the Arise & Shine Sample Menus in the Program Guide, and this tastes really good.

Arise & Shine Alkalizing Vegetable Mineral Broth (made with organic ingredients) – often also known as Potassium Broth

The recipe below is for a simple version. You can spice it up with a dash, or more, of cayenne pepper or raw apple cider vinegar. Fresh or dried herbs such as parsley, oregano or thyme, or any salt-free, msg-free herbal seasoning blend can be added for extra flavour. And truly, any organically-grown vegetable can be added to the broth.


  • 3–4 unpeeled potatoes of any variety, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3–4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1–2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large handful of greens, such as kale or chard (I can’t get either at the moment, so I’ve been using cabbage)
  • 1 sweet potato or yam, diced (optional)
  1. Put all the ingredients in a very large, heavy-based saucepan. Pour in 3.4 litres/3 quarts/generous 13½ cups bottled or distilled water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to gentle and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Strain all the liquid through a sieve, discard the veggies and drink the broth either warm or cold.

Arise & Shine Detox – and Steam-Fried Veggies

This weekend I started the 28-day Arise & Shine Cleanse. I’ve done this one before – about 10 years ago – and I remember vividly how incredibly powerful it was. It’s certainly not an easy detox to embark on, or carry through with. But it delivered incredible results for me the first time, so I’m hoping it will do the same this time!

According to Rich Anderson, who created the program, this is a complete intestinal cleanse, not just a colon cleanse. While on The Cleanse, he claims that you’ll cleanse your entire alimentary canal, from your tongue, to your stomach, and all the way down through your colon. Apparently people testify that they feel significantly healthier – especially in terms of their energy levels. And he also says that while you rid your body of toxins, you can also release built up negative feelings and emotions – and experience a profound sense of well-being.

When I did The Cleanse a few years ago, I found that my energy levels soared and I felt full of vitality. I noticed that my eyes were more shiny and my skin was much clearer. I became slimmer and more toned, certainly, and I felt thoroughly cleansed. I even experienced the extraordinary mucoid plaque removal. (I’m not going to go into that now – but if it happens again this time, I’ll probably be so excited that I won’t be able to stop myself telling you all about it!)

I haven’t done a proper detox for a long, long time. I used to do at least one full one a year. Six years and pregnancy, breastfeeding and high-carb and comfort food eating later, a thorough detox is long overdue! I’m a size and a half larger than I used to be, I crave comfort food and chocolate, and I feel that my energy levels are lower than they used to be. And my skin feels a little dry and depleted. So bring it on!

I started by preparing for a day. On Saturday I ate only veggies, vegetable juices and water. Then on Sunday I did the ph Test in the kit Arise & Shine had sent me. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be too bad but damn! my ph levels were pretty low – not the bottom of the chart – but not great. Damn, damn!

I continued with the Mild Phase and I’ll follow this for a week. Each day, you have a Shake which you make from Bentonite Clay, Psyllium Husk Powder and either water or a combination of juice and water. The idea is that Bentonite clay can absorb toxins and Psyllium husk powder is a fibrous bulking agent that can push toxins out of your body and help you not to feel too hungry. After that it’s Breakfast time – fruit, fruit or veggie juices or smoothies (home-made without dairy products) soaked nuts and herbal teas. Then time for a mixture of herbs – Chomper and the Herbal Nutrition. Chomper is a herbal mixture that apparently helps remove toxins and helps to cleanse the alimentary canal, liver, organs and deep cell tissues. The Herbal Nutrition helps with this, too, apparently, as well as providing dietary supplementation to keep you strong.

Lunch and Dinner consist of salads, steamed veggies, some limited potatoes, corn, quinoa and millet, and also veggie soups or what they call Alkalizing Vegetable Mineral Broth (which is also often called Potassium Broth.) There’s another Shake and another dose of herbs and a dose of Flora Grow (beneficial bacteria) before bed.

To be honest, this is all a little daunting because this is the easiest week! As the weeks go by, you cut out Breakfast, then Dinner and then finally Lunch. I have been quite nervous in the gear-up to doing this as my days are very hectic – I work full-time and life with Zoe is very full-on. I’ll have to do this program while doing everything else I generally do – including shopping for food, making meals for Zoe and sitting and eating with her. Having said that, I’m surprised by how do-able it was this weekend. I felt a little shaky and certainly hungry, but I haven’t experienced any strong reactions (yet…!). I’ve had some delicious juices, salads, steamed veggies – and even this steam-fry, and I’ve had a great weekend with Peter and Zoe, walking around the park, playing Fairy Princesses and all the normal weekend things…!

Steam-Fried Veggies

Preparation time 5 minutes     Cooking time 10 minutes     Serves 1

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free


  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1cm/½in piece of root ginger, finely chopped
  • 100g/3½oz green beans, halved
  • 2 red peppers deseeded and sliced
  • 200g/7oz shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
  1. Heat 4 tablespoons filtered/bottled water in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and steam-fry for 1 minute, then stir in the garlic and ginger. Add the beans and pepper and steam-fry for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, and adding a little extra water if needed. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for another 3–4 minutes until the beans and peppers are cooked but remain crunchy. Pour the olive oil over and serve hot.