DAY 1 - 21-day detox BEGINS

A space to reflectIt's the big day! We've taken out the so-called 'toxins' from our diets and, for the next 21 days, our digestive organs are going to enjoy a well-earned rest while we put inside ourselves only those foods and drinks that are easily digested, easily assimilated and health-giving for our bodies and minds.I like to start the diet as I mean to go on, with a little ceremony! I start the day - and every day of the detox diet - by squirting half a lemon into a glass of mineral water and guzzling that. It gives the liver a kick-start on its detoxing duties for the day. Then I make myself a fresh herbal tea (in a glass, so I can see the wonderful natural colours) and retreat to my room to meditate for 20 minutes and then to plan my day. It's a good time to scribble down how you're feeling and the changes in the state of your body and mind that you are experiencing! Even if it means getting up half an hour earlier, this time is important.Today is a perfect time to reflect on what we have achieved so far – give ourselves a pat on the back - and look ahead at what we can expect over the next three weeks and how we can best support ourselves in our mission.Day one of the detox diet falls on a Friday for a reason. The first few days of the detox diet can be pretty heavy-going for the body and mind. The body, when it realises that it's no longer being overloaded with toxins, goes into full-on detoxification mode and this is a very energetic process.I also find that some of the most challenging detox 'side effects' - tiredness at peculiar times of day, headaches (typically caffeine withdrawal symptoms, but sometimes, caused simply by dehydration - the body uses up more water when it is detoxifying and it's always a good idea to drink more of it than you would normally as a result) often occur during the first few days. And it's challenging on the mind - it wants to reach out and grab something that would comfort it at this time - and the urge is usually to eat or drink something not on our list!Having the first three days of the diet over Friday and the weekend means we potentially have more of a chance to rest when we feel like it than we would, for instance, at the beginning of the week. So when you feel like lying down at a time of the day that you usually feel raring to go, don't chastise yourself. Instead, go with it – and have a lie down! Or better still, go find yourself a peaceful patch of ground and bask in the sun for a while - give yourself a dose of vitamin D! And when those cravings come around, make time to nurture yourself - have a bubble bath or make yourself some Marzipan Balls (see recipes page). And let those around you know what to expect – you'll have a much more pleasant time over these 21 days with them on board!We've already talked about the importance of finding good sources of plant-based protein on this diet. Tomorrow, we talk about finding a balance of other essential nutrients on your detox diet.