Day 1 The 21-day detox begins!

A space to reflectSo! It's the big day! We've taken out the so-called 'toxins' from our diet and, for the next 21 days, our digestive organs are going to enjoy a well-earned rest while we ingest 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. So I kick-start today - and every day of the detox diet - by squirting half a lemon into a glass of good quality water (more of that later) and guzzling that. It helps support the liver, the main detoxifying organ, in its 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 10 minutes or so.I like to use this space in the morning to reflect on how I'm feeling - any changes in my body-mind that I'm experiencing as a result of the detox programme! It's also a good time to 'tune in' to your needs... Is the detoxing process taking more out of you than you thought... and do you need to adapt your lifestyle to suit? Perhaps you need to come home and rest at lunchtime rather than going to the pub with friends for a few days, to support yourself through this phase? Maybe write your thoughts down in a special 'detox notebook' that you've set aside for the purpose - so you can keep track of your progress over the 21 days.Use this time, today, perhaps, to think about what you've achieved so far – give yourself a pat on the back - and look ahead to what you can expect over the next three weeks - and how you can best support yourself.For instance, 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 of 'allowed' items!Having days three to five 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. This is intentional - because this is often when the most demanding side effects can hit. 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! And when those cravings come round, make time to nurture yourself - have a bubble bath, or make yourself a treat - some Marzipan Balls, say (see recipe, below), or a banana and apple rice milk smoothie (which I'll introduce you to in a couple of days). And let those around you know what to expect – you'll have a much more pleasant time over these 21 days with them on your team!Marzipan balls80g (3.5 oz) almonds2 tablespoons (30 ml) Manuka honey1-2 teaspoons waterMaca powderGrind the almonds finely and knead with the honey and water to a smooth mass. Form small balls and roll them in the maca powder.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.