Then, I make myself a cup of peppermint tea and make friends with the mini enema. Things work out well. I have lots of work to do, so there is not much time for any intense feel good private wellness or woo-woo. In between, I have a tablespoon of honey (by the spoon, not in tea); it's meant to be “therapeutic”, but mostly, it's to prevent your blood sugar levels from crashing (which mine love to do and turn me into evil jittery bitch). I also cut a lemon (the organic ones from Sainsburys that go mouldy so quickly...) into eights and suck on them during the day. This is meant to give your body vitamin C and those invisible mini-micro-nutrients. Mostly, it's good to prevent the taste of well, nothing, in your mouth.
You are supposed to create a routine during the cleanse, but unless you can manage to not work at all, that won't work, as much as anybody would love to spend their entire days napping and being massaged with fragrant organic oils.
So today, I quickly make my fasting 'broth': 2 potatoes, a carrot, a quarter of an onion and two sad looking spring onions are boiled in water for 30 minutes. And nope: you don't get to eat the veg, just the resulting stock, which is eaten slowly and meditatively. The cleanse gurus say you shouldn't add any salt, but medicinally, this leads to nothing but a total lack of any taste (unless you have issues with your body retaining water, then going salt free would be the solution), so I add a little bit of salt and pepper. Presto: it doesn't taste half bad!
So far, I don't feel hungry at all, but the big challenge awaits: I have been invited to meet friends for a matinee of “Jiro – Dreams of Sushi”. 1 hour and 16 minutes of sushi. When 10 minutes into the film, my stomach starts to grumble, I have the Innocent smoothie I brought along, and magically, I am not longing to EAT ALL THE SUSHI THAT EVER EXISTS. Not even when after the film, I manage to convince my friends to go to Whole Foods instead of the pub. Irishman manages to find the unhealthiest food in the entire shop and chomps down on fried chicken while I have a hot spiced tomato juice (which also tastes like the most delicious concoction on earth now!). As a short online search reveals, lots of people actually do eat the veg from their stock, pureed really finely – so I decide to take two pots of lovingly handmade organic vegan soup home with me as my friends hit the pubs.
For me, surprisingly, the hardest part of the cleanse is to say “No” to much of my London social life, which always seems to involve some kind of food or drink. Wednesday, there's a big communal lunch with Canadian vegan icon and cook book author Sarah Kramer, and I'll have to miss it. Food is a massive part of my life: I love to buy groceries, to look at recipes, to cook, to eat, in or out. I even read cookbooks before going to bed.
But tonight, instead of going out in Soho, I go back home, work a little more, have a shower, scrub all the dead skin cells off my body, lather on lots of coconut oil and then try a guided meditation. Aum, surprisingly still not hungry at all.
I try to go to sleep at 11 pm, but am full of energy. Funny, considering I gave my body a maximum of maybe 300 calories all day. Sometime around 1 am, I fall asleep.