Who needs a detox? Me, apparently. The first thing to say is that I am sufficiently weak minded to both need a detox and to be talked into doing one. That is a given. Unfortunately the fact also remains that I am weak minded enough to struggle to stick with a detox and it is typical that once again I find myself stuck on an ironic fairground ride where my mind and body is unsure whether to be terrified, miserable or elated. The second thing to say is that I am at least relieved to get to September intact and with almost all faculties working on if not quite full capacity, then at least respectable levels. I did wonder way back in March how I would cope with lockdown and days of boundless time and leisure and wine and roses and so to gasp a breath of fresh autumnal air is quite a relief. Weak minded I may be but I’d rather be that than dead.
This detox however is not quite the detox I had in mind. Pretty much everything I have ever enjoyed eating or drinking has gone and been replaced with pills and capsules (there is a difference but I’m not entirely convinced that it matters) and greenery; supplements, seeds and super foods, mostly mashed together because if you thought about it too much you just wouldn’t bother. Here was me just planning on squishing the usual demons and taking it easy on the cheese but Dr Detoxin and his little elves had far more elaborate plans, the only snag being that I had bloody well feel better for all this otherwise someone is going to have some pretty heavy questions to answer.
A typical day goes a bit like this. Wake up and go to the gym on very little, perhaps a smoothie of pineapple, wheatgrass, pumpkin seeds and flappy slaps of mildly offensive spinach leaf, lurking in there somewhere, refusing to be blended: best to just swallow it in one and think of something else. Sometimes breakfast is oat milk porridge (normal milk does not exist anymore) or two boiled eggs with a side serving of salt and pepper. Lunch could be dairy and soy free yoghurt with fruit, or pea soup, or salad stuff with humous or perhaps some grilled cauliflower and butternut squash. Flaxseed has usually reared its do-goody little head by this stage – I still don’t know what it does but I’m told it does it very well. Dinner has introduced me to ‘nomato’ soup (tomatoes are relegated to a crevice of exile where they have long belonged, though I don’t know what it is that makes them so unwelcome for the purposes of this diet) as a sauce for lentil and vegetable stew, which has to be heavily spiced to make it palatable to this little mummy’s boy. Salmon or prawns feel like a treat and I haven’t eaten meat (if you don’t count a slice of ham; detoxes are much easier if you don’t count the things you don’t want to count) for as long as I haven’t had a drop of alcohol. This is progress.
The hardest moments are chiefly Pavlovian. A slice of bread with the eggs. A bowl of crisps before dinner. A little something sweet (other that fruit) after dinner. These tiny tummy rubs I miss almost as much as sitting out in the garden with a chilled glass and a cigarette. The probiotics I am popping proudly guarantee that they have 50 billion of the little buggers to help cheer up my colon but they must know (Americans quacks, of course) that no-one is ever going to count them, and so for all I know I am ingesting finely crushed dog biscuits. Oddly enough what I miss the most is having normal urine, mine having taken on a bright fluorescent yellow sparkle which startles me every time. It is a colour you might expect to haunt you from an 80’s disco. If I tinkled on my feet they would glow in the dark. I am told this is perfectly normal and it is just something or other from something or other flushing itself out of my system. Or something.
Apart from being mentally sharper (not that you’d tell from reading this) and less anxious (one wonderful side effect of ditching the pop) I’m not sure that having wee the colour of a high visibility jacket is quite enough alone to convince me this detox is worth the bother. I am used to looking forward to most meals. I am used to short breaks from vices to make a return all the more blissful and I have grown used to a cosy reality in that. If living like this, this new this, for the rest of my life could guarantee an extra five years I really don’t think I would necessarily take that deal. But wait! What am I saying? I’m talking about 2 weeks of my life, that’s all. I should be grateful. Pity poor Wifey who has signed up for 9 weeks of this, a world where you might be allowed a bit of organic chicken in week 4, some dark chocolate after week 6 and a naughty thought just before the very end. It is pathetic to be so pathetic and perhaps a sign of how weak I have truly become.
Maybe it’s all a conspiracy. The government say they want people to be healthier but in actual fact they want the electorate fat, addicted and uncomplaining. By letting these detox types run riot they are allowing another chink in their grotty armour as more and more people like me have their own lovely, fragrant haze of indulgence lifted so they can get a sniff of the real world. This is a test. Yes, it must be. A test to see if I am in fact the answer that nobody really needed to a question they didn’t know they’d asked (and probably wouldn’t bother to if they had). In which case I need to stay sharp and suit up for the hard times ahead, hard times that I can feel coming in my newly invigorated bones. I’m going to do it. I will persevere and I will prevail and when I say I can ‘de’ those ‘toxes’ then that’s what I mean. For now and for ever and for the glittering mystery of glow in the dark urine. Detox rules. Until the the end of time. Or September the 15th, whichever is sooner.
G B Hewitt. 06.09.2020