VT Challenge: Weekend Detox

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VT�s very own Food Editor Mary Margaret Chappell stepped up to bat to try out the �Weekend Detox� plan detailed by Lisa Turner in the May/June issue of Vegetarian Times (on newsstands now!). Here�s how it went!

Friday Evening

Am I ready for this? Am I really ready for this? Right now, I�m feeling like a devout Catholic on Mardi Gras. I want to swig a Diet Coke in the sunshine, order pizza for dinner, go out drinking with a friend�you�d think I was getting ready for a two-month detox, not a two-day detox.

Okay. Time to look on the positive side. There are lots of things in the detox regimen that I actually love. Baths � saunas � massages � they all sound pretty good. Bitter green salads? Always a fave. I even like lemon water. Maybe I�ll start tonight, come to think of it.

Saturday Morning, 10 am

So far, so good! I�ve �woken up with yoga��I didn�t know the cat and cow poses before, but they definitely took the kinks out of my back when I got out of bed. The first cup of (hot) lemon water was fine, but it�ll be interesting to see if I can keep up with the glass-an-hour thing. I already feel like I�m going to float away and it�s not even noon.

I have to admit, I�ve made a few changes to the regimen. First, I went for a run. I love running in the morning, and it seemed silly to give up a healthy activity I�m trying to do almost every day just because it wasn�t on the list.

I also mixed things up with breakfast. Because the idea of plain steamed vegetables didn�t sound all that appealing to me, I decided to cook the veggies in my crisper�some shredded carrots, a few leaves of Swiss Chard and some sliced mushrooms�in some homemade vegetable broth (sodium-free) and eat them as a soup, sort of the way they have healing soups for breakfast in Asia.

And to be honest�I am not going to �write and reflect.� When you�re a magazine editor, writing tends to equal work. It would totally negate the �restorative activity� (which, by the way, is going to be reading a highly recommended Young Adult novel, Skellig).

Now I�m off to dry brush my body (that sounds heavenly�I�m all sweaty and itchy after the run) and shower.

Saturday Evening

I am digging the dandelion salad (Click here for the recipe)! But then, I suppose I should�I was the one who taste-tested it and adjusted the dressing flavors. I didn�t mind eating it for lunch and dinner, though I have to say, I sure was ready for those collard greens and lentils. I made the mistake of turning a �gentle walk� into an �afternoon hike� (2 hours) and I was hungry. It wasn�t terribly practical to drink the lemon water on the hike, so I didn�t. Took a bath and had a nap when I got back (both felt sooooo good) and now I�m ready for my �quiet evening.� Haven�t decided just what I�m going to do yet. Maybe just keep reading Skellig.

Sunday 12 pm

I was pretty pleased with the way Saturday morning went, so I just hit the repeat button, only with some asparagus thrown in my breakfast broth. I�m going to have to do without the artichoke for lunch though � couldn�t find one anywhere, and I doubt that the marinated artichokes in the fridge that are all salty, spicy, oily and delicious, are going to help my body detox. Think it�s okay to top the salad with more asparagus?

The thing I�m most proud of this morning is that I actually sat down to meditate. It was only for 10 minutes, but I didn�t peek at the clock once.

It�s pouring rain out, so I�m trying to figure out what to do in place of this afternoon�s �gentle walk or hike.�

Sunday Evening

Once again, I modified the plan. I decided a hot bath with a book while listening to the rain was just my ticket to bliss�there�s something so wonderfully decadent about taking a bath in the afternoon!

The rain stopped after supper, so I took a 20-minute walk. (Hope that counts, even if it�s not in the right order.)

Now, before I head up to bed, let me note here the new habits I want to continue. (Writing in a journal still feels like work and � hey! I�m still on my detox weekend!).

1) Yoga poses�possibly one of the best wake-up tips I�ve ever had. I love doing them.

2) Meditating�I�d really like to stick to doing at least a 10-minute meditation in the morning. Maybe I�ll even come up with a mantra one day!

3) Lemon water (but not chamomile tea). Lemon water got me to drink more water. Period. Chamomile tea, however � both nights, the cups ended up half-full on the bedside table, just waiting to be poured out the next morning.

And finally � how do I feel? Pretty good. I�m not tired, but I am a little hungry. (I�m looking forward to eating some cheese or maybe some tofu tomorrow.) I could see myself doing a detox weekend like this�I dunno�four times a year at the start of each season just to get my habits back on track.

�Mary Margaret Chappell, Food Editor