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The 7 day detox (and other dilemmas) - By Rebecca Wicks

As my facebook status informed the world “Becky is on a detox”, the messages started flooding in. “What the hell’s wrong with you?”, “Why the diet?”, “Are you mad, eat some pies!” But in spite of outside influences such as bars, restaurants, boozy brunches and inevitable mockery by those less understanding, I was determined to treat my body like a temple, instead of a garbage disposal unit for once.

I’d been feeling a little sluggish for a while; a little slow and “can’t be bothered-ish”. It was time to address the matter, and quite strangely, prior to my trip to Hong Kong, an angel in disguise got in touch and told me she could help. After a week of eating street-side snacks at 6am and sucking jelly shots off strangers (don’t ask), I thought it was the perfect time to take up the offer of a made-to-measure detox programme.

The angel sent to aide me on my quest for inner beauty was Ahlaam � the glossy-haired voice of wisdom responsible for “creating a healthier community, one person at a time.” Her website, is full of testimonials from satisfied souls, who’ve cleansed themselves free of all sins and emerged, a week later, feeling lighter, more energetic and full of the joys of life. All I needed to do to feel pure and holy was devote seven days to ditching alcohol, caffeine, bread, meat, chocolate biscuits, cheese bread from the Lebanese bakery, pies from 24/7� ok, everything, absolutely everything that tastes nice, and swap it for fruit, veg, water and herbal teas.

Armed with a menu and a list of suggested fruit smoothies to aid my suffering, I hit Carrefour with a vengeance on day one. Even with the olives and cheese triangles calling, I blocked my ears and made a beeline for the fresh produce aisle, where I filled my basket with superfoods, like broccoli and blueberries. I got some funny looks when I loaded it all onto the conveyor belt with a blender. I think the cashier must have thought I was a bit weird, but maybe that’s because I also seized the opportunity to buy the new wheely case I’ve needed for ages. I felt more than a few eyes on me as I zipped up my nutritious wares and wheeled off with it into the crowds. Heavy-veggie transportation made simple.

It was a battle between head and heart when I passed the food court. It’s only when you can’t have a Whopper with the works that you want one, really, and having only eaten an apple since 9am I was ravenous. Once home and away from temptation, a lunch of melon, peppers and celery sticks, and a blueberry and banana smoothie filled me up, and I was allowed to snack on seeds. Although, stupidly I bought the wrong ones. They were covered in salt. I ate a few before I realized I’d made another faux-pas. I’d also been swallowing them in the shells. I’m not used to eating animal food, salt covered or otherwise.

At dinner time I experimented with my homemade steamer - basically a saucepan with boiling water inside, covered with some tinfoil, pierced with a fork. It did the job and I resisted the urge to cover my broccoli, red cabbage and carrots in gravy and dial for a pie delivery. Even the cat thought I was weird as I munched in tasteless misery in front of the food channel.

By day two I was starving. I woke up at 4am and couldn’t sleep for the rumbles in my tummy. In my dreamy state I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t another earthquake at work in Dubai, but finally a blended fruity breakfast left me full. At the advise of Powereat’s in-house nutritionist, I’d also started taking vitamin B6 and B12 to calm my caffeine cravings and increase my metabolism. I felt a bit like a little old lady as I reached for them on my bedside table but strangely, I didn’t miss my morning coffee one bit. Lemon and ginger tea was fast becoming my new fave.

That day, and on day three, I had a few mood swings. I shouted at the cat. I know, I know, I’m a bad person, but she was eating meat and still whining. She didn’t know how lucky she was. I didn’t have the headaches I’d been warned about, although day three and four at work were pretty tough. My colleague waved her goats cheese and pesto bagel in front of my face as I sat making crunching sounds with a Tupperware box of veggies. My afternoon snack of a few grapes and an orange left me hungry and, thankful that I’d cancelled all my plans for the week, I raced home early and furiously steamed up some more broccoli.

Day five, and my energy levels were completely different. Dare I say it, I was on a high. My body felt great and I might have imagined it, but I’m sure I had less of a bingo wing going on under my arm than before. All the vitamins and nutrients had started to make my hair shine (as promised), although I did experiment with a box of red dye before the detox. On day five I even survived my man ordering Chilis to the flat, happy to watch him scoff his chicken wings beside me as I basked in the healthy glow of my carrot and orange smoothie.

The best parts about the detox are the two lovely cellulite busting massages you receive as part of the programme, at the Powereat villa in Barsha. I swear I felt an inch come off each thigh after their special machine had worked its magic.

The programme might not be something I could continue for more than a week � my cravings for red wine can and will never be silenced by the power of a vitamin pill, like caffeine was � but for a quick fix, I’d definitely do it again for a few days on the trot. If you’re considering a detox yourself, cancel all your dinner plans and get these lovely ladies to put you back on track. And get yourself a nice wheely case from Carrefour to help with the veggie-shopping, too. It really did come in handy.

Check out to fix yourself quick, like me.

Posted: 22 October 2008

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