It’s been on my mind for ages. My body has been begging me to take a break, bring in some stillness and enjoy the mental and physical silence of a 10 day detox. I started preparing because I knew the time was near. A friend of mine gave me an enormous bowl of the juiciest, seedless, organic lemons, hand picked from her garden and I stocked up on raw, wild collected honey and cayenne pepper, and a packet of senna tea, plus other herbal teas, for my own version of the master cleanse, also known as the lemon detox.
Last Wednesday the opportunity arose as I have the house where I’m staying and dog sitting in San Francisco, to myself for a week, so I began. I’m quite familiar with the process, having done it a few times before, and prepared my lemonade mixture for the day, in the morning, after having had my first cup of senna tea. For some reason this Day 1 was especially difficult for me as my body slipped straight into detoxifying my system and I had headaches, backaches, joint aches and my eye sockets and cheekbones hurt as toxins were being pulled from this areas. Mentally I raced between fearful and positive thoughts and went through a small roller-coaster of emotions similar to PMS. I sipped away at several glasses of lemonade throughout the day between glasses of water and herbal teas as well as senna tea again at night, and become extremely tired very early so took a detox bath that soothed my body and soul, and was in bed asleep by 9pm.
The next day, Day 2, I woke feeling more refreshed than I had in weeks, and even though it had been only one day, my skin felt immediately softer, smoother and more glowy. The whole day I felt really calm and at ease however I noticed that, much like the day day before, I wasn’t able to drink my daily quota of lemonade. In fact I only had a few glasses of it on the second day. The reason for me wanting to do this detox is to clean up my colon and give my central nervous system a rest so it can heal deeper and faster, not to starve myself. Again, as I had planned to do every night, I finished the day with a hot, relaxing detox bath and an early bed time.
Day 3 I woke up feeling restless and brave and decided to do the salt water flush that’s recommended by many detox experts for every single morning of the lemon fast. And I remembered why I had promised myself the last time, as well as the time before, why I’d never do it again! The pain! the gurgling! and the spending the best part of the first 5 hours of my day with my bottom firmly attached to the toilet, based on the very real fear that else I would soil myself. Not pretty, not glamorous, but very true. I’m definitely sticking to senna tea! (I say this every time!)
This day, however I can’t stand to go near my lemonade concoction, which is in fact ever so sweet and harmless but my body is simply rejecting it. I spend the day sipping away at tea and water, wondering why my body is behaving so strangely and recoiling at the thought of ever having to drink salt water again.
So, the next day I decide to listen to my body and change tactics. Clearly my system feels the need to be nurtured and nourished more than a lemonade water can, ergo it’s time to move on to the green juice detox. I wasn’t going to do it because I prefer to make my own juices and, being a modern day gypsy, don’t always have access to one, as in this instance. Hence, Day 4, I start a little differently. After my senna tea, I squeeze a lemon into a tall glass of water and when I start to feel a little hungry, take the dog for a walk to my local juice bar Sidewalk Juice and order the Green Energy Juice: spinach, parsley, kale, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger. This is followed by plenty of tea and water and a few more trips to the juice bar for the same, and finishing with a warm glass of almond milk and cinnamon before the senna tea and bedtime.
Today is Day 5 which starts with quite an incredible expel from the colon which I won’t go into but it’s fair to say that there’s a whole lot of cleaning going on! I feel fantastic, full of energy and jump out of bed, prepare my senna tea and lemon water, do 2 hours of work and take the dog out for his daily walk. I even consider going to Bikram yoga but then calm myself because I don’t want to get halfway and keel over.
Then something funny begins to happen. As I settle in for a few more hours of work there’s something that I just can’t get out of my mind. Avocado. And not just avocado. But fresh, perfectly ripened, soft and creamy avocado and still warm, just-out-of-the-oven sourdough bread. Topped with freshly cracked pepper and Himalayan sea salt. Of course. Now, I have cravings from time to time. Like on night 2 when I woke at 3am craving hot potato chips, which I pretty much never eat. Or day 3 when I was dreaming about almond butter. But this was different. Perhaps it’s my addiction to avocados. I have no qualms admitting that. Or maybe it was just that I needed more nutrition.
So off I go, on another adventure to the juice bar, when suddenly, I find myself in the fantastic locally sourced organic store nearby, Bi-Rite, with a large, perfectly softened organic avocado in one hand, and a small sourdough baguette in the other. Before long, I am in my kitchen, preparing to fulfill my culinary fantasies to the greatest degree.
And as I bite into the fluffy yet crunchy sourdough, smothered with a heap of avocado, I discover a blissful state of utter satisfaction. Sometimes life’s pleasures are worth quitting for. Sometimes you’ve ┬ájust got to go with it. Slowly I chew every single bite, enjoying every morsel and ensuring that it’s small enough for my food-free stomach to endure. I normally wouldn’t break a fast like this. I would start with soups and salads before hitting straight into carbs. But that’s just the way things went today. It was worth it!
In the past, I would have beaten myself up for quitting before my intended time. I would have felt guilty and punished myself with negative thoughts and promises to do a better detox, a stronger one, a longer one, next time. But not anymore. That me is gone. If this detox taught me anything, it is that I have grown and changed as a person. That I have become wiser, kinder, sweeter and gentler. That I know if my body is telling me something, that there’s a reason for it. That when plans change it because in the big picture, the one I can’t see, they have to, to support me and give me my best life experience. This feels really good. I love being an observer of my life. And I’m totally happy!
What next? I’m not sure yet. I think I’ll continue on in some other way for a little while until I feel otherwise. More green juices, senna teas, herbal teas and water over the next few days, as well as perhaps one meal per day, of salad, vegetables, fresh fruit, and of course, most definitely, avocado!

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