the veggie diet – review

POSTED 09 January 2014 IN Wellbeing

By Donna Freed

I long to believe those who say that toxins don’t exist but they are the very naysayers who dismiss global warming as a bunch of hot air. Toxins do exist and unfortunately, they are generally rather tasty. However, even our earliest, most hedonistic philosophers espoused all things in moderation. Enter the dreaded detox!

In my experience, detox is synonymous with deprivation and is invariably undertaken in the shame filled aftermath of severe overindulgence (think five days of nothing but apples, honey and water in the early days of the New Year). And because it is performed as atonement for one’s ingested sins of caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and all other good things, it tends to be an extreme form of dietary self-flagellation.

Despite all that, I decided to try the Feng Sushi Three Day Vegetarian Detox Diet. My first impression is that they have made a mistake: there is no way you can eat this much food and detox! The calorie count alone gives me hope. Feng Sushi worked with nutritionist Yvonne Bishop – Weston to create a truly delicious, well crafted, diet to redress the balance of too many carbs, wheat and dairy and the aforementioned intoxicants, etc.

My first day’s breakfast arrived the evening before along with my midmorning juice with its handwritten label. Having to make my own porridge in the morning is an effective distraction from the siren song of the espresso maker. It is a satisfying breakfast and with the exception of three cups of coffee probably more than I would normally eat. The first day’s juice wisely contains beetroot which breaks down the fatty deposits in the liver caused by alcohol. It also contains some miracle powder: Synergy. It seems to give me the synapse energy usually delivered by caffeine.

My lunch delivery comes just in the nick of time as I start thinking of pizza. The mushroom onigiri are adorable pots of brown rice and poppy seeds filled with mushrooms and wrapped with seaweed and the Japanese bean salad has all the components of a good salad: crunch, zest, creamy tofu, rich miso dressing and nutty edamame. My afternoon snack of crudité and tofu dip is outrageously good and I delight in the idea that I’m going to get that each and every day.

Dinner’s detox broth is a bit on the skimpy side but this is detox, what do you expect? It is invariably, like all the other meals, tasty and the most filling of the three dinners.  It is also nice to have something hot. I recommend getting in to bed as soon as possible after consuming it all the sooner to reap the one consistent benefit of detoxing: a blissful and deep night’s sleep. It also gets you out of the kitchen and away from its toxic temptations.

The meals continue to be fresh, colourful and thoughtful, varying slightly to entertain both mind and palate. The juices are generous and filling. Day 2 offers the Barry Smoothie with raspberries, blueberries, almond milk, maple syrup and flaxseed and Day 3 is a spicy, crunchy, manly concoction called Coconut and Coriander Gaspacho. The dinners look and feel like starters in size. The second night’s crystal wrap with smoked tofu arrived forlorn looking without its jalapeño dip. The final night’s quail’s egg salad with smoked tofu and tahini dressing is delicious; I’ll take three please! The diet seems to be designed to keep you motoring through the day and allowing you to collapse feeling smug and worthy with your mug of herbal tea at night ready for your virtually guaranteed 8 hours of blissful, restorative sleep.

In this service starved nation (speaking as an American) Feng Sushi is the shining exception that proves the rule. They call me to find out when I want my delivery and text to tell me that they are on their way. My bell is broken so they call when they arrive. I even keep them guessing and have lunch delivered to work and dinner to home. This seems to present no challenge to the unflustered and charming staff.

In hindsight I am of two minds as to whether I should have stepped down the coffee or go cold turkey as the self punishing purist in me opted to do. I get a soul sapping withdrawal headache but on the final morning when I wake up bounding with energy and look in the mirror at my bright eyes and taut, gleaming skin, I am glad I made the effort.

Considering that all the other hard work has been done for me: meal planning, execution and delivery, it now seems a small price to pay. At the end of the three days, I feel indulged instead of deprived and rethinking detox altogether. Could this be the start of a new me? 

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