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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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Ingredients:

  • 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.