New Year Detox No. 2!

In case you missed last week’s gripping installment, Muddy and I having been inspired by the juicing guru Joe Cross’ weight loss documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, started a 3 day juicing detox.  We’re both very impulsive, once motivated we wanted to get started the morning after watching the film.  Five juices per day and a meal of only fruit and vegetables plus water and herbal tea. Day 1 was surprisingly easy, even though we missed 2 of the 5 juices, we had an avocado salad for dinner and went to bed feeling quite smug.  This is going to be a breeze.

The first two juices of Day 2, carrot, apple ginger and kale cucumber celery apple lemon ginger, were really great, but by lunch time we’re both missing coffee and also finding it difficult to fit any more liquid in on top of the 2 ½ pints we’d already drunk.  Another 1 ½ pints of Gazpacho pulp for lunch, same quantity of more green juice mid afternoon and ditto of pre dinner red juice sweet potato, carrot, red pepper, beetroot, apples orange.  I must stress all the juices are delicious but by now I’m not feeling so good and I’ve got headache.  We manage the rest of yesterday’s salad with some roast aubergine, but minutes into episode 2 of Transparent I have a full blown migraine and have to go to bed.

Day 3 missing coffee so much it’s making us quite cross although really enjoying the first 2 juices of the day.  My migraine is still banging on and at several points during the course of Thursday I almost give up and eat a biscuit but decide I’ve come this far…  We couldn’t face the Gazpacho pulp at lunch so replace it with water.  It’s difficult to stomach pints and pints of fluid when you’re not used to it, unless it’s beer of course, so drink as much of the afternoon and pre dinner as possible.  Go to bed quite soon after dinner feeling thoroughly miserable.

Friday I sprang out of bed with clear head, backache noticeably improved, we’ve continued to have 2 juices a day and 2 meals, still off coffee and salt and honestly feeling better than I have in years, in fact if I hadn’t fallen down the stairs I think my back ache would have virtually gone.  I’ve lost 11lbs in a week.


New Year’s detox

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We did, although it was totally exhausting.  Eating a ton of rich food doesn’t help, yesterday feeling lethargic I remembered a documentary our friend Chris While had mentioned about this unhealthy fat ill fella who through drinking fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days became an Adonis-like happy healthy glowing sort of chap – so we watched it.

It was quite inspirational, large unwell Australian Joe Cross drove across America talking to other large people about their eating habits all the while drinking his juice after 60 days he’d lost 6 stone, stopped all his medication.  Around day 40 he meets an overweight trucker with the same auto immune disease.  Phil the trucker eventually calls Joe for help, over the rest of the film we then watch Phil shrink from nearly 30 stone to 15.  Like I say the people involved looked so rudely well we thought we’d have a go at a three day detox taster course.

Luckily we still have a juicer left over from our last Jason Vale juice master craze so I blew the dust off it whilst Muddy went shopping. The idea had been to go first thing but we had loads to do.  Once unpacked I could barely see her over the huge bags of kale, spinach and parsley, 18 cucumbers, 12 peppers, 42 carrots basically a small mountain of fruit and  vegetables.

Having missed the breakfast and midmorning juices we dived straight into the gazpacho lunch pulp.   4 plum tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 2 celery stalks, 1 red pepper, 2 cups of Parsley and 1 lime produces about 1 ½ pints each of surprising tasty yet earthy liquor.  Next is the afternoon snack juice of kale spinach cucumber and clementines, followed by pre-dinner juice of sweet potato, carrot, red pepper, beetroot, apples and orange then a meal of only fruit and vegetables – pretty much what we’ve been drinking all day but in chunky form.

Muddy reckons she spent about £80 on ingredients which admittedly is a lot of dosh, roughly £13.33 each per day, but then I think of what I’ve consumed and quaffed over Christmas, the weight gain incurred etc.  I’d love to feel fitter and have more energy so we’ll give it a go.  I’ll tell you how we got on next week. In the meantime I’ve kale and clementines to pulverise.


Farewell to Grant

This was our 4th visit to Brighton, but whereas usually we drive there, park at the venue, eat, sing and drive home this trip was purely social.  We were attending a one year old’s birthday party, the yearling in question is actually an independent supermarket called hiSbe.  The brain child of sisters Ruth and Amy Anslow, hiSbe stands for ‘How it SHOULD be.’ They sell a large range of fresh food and groceries – all the stuff you need for a weekly shop, but wherever possible the goods come from local suppliers, and all concerned want to produce healthy sustainable products and at a price that everyone can afford.

Before you all rush out the door – there’s only one branch at the moment and that’s in Brighton – but the Anslows of hiSbe have big ideas so remember the name.

Muddy is in serious cleaning and decoration mode, anything standing still is either polished or sprayed silver or sometimes both.  Alan the dog and I are making an effort to keep moving.

This week we start our annual Christmas tour – The Festive Fiesta.  First stop of the sleigh London, then Exeter, Maidstone, Birmingham, Bristol then we head north for the remaining two shows

A few weeks ago we threw down the gauntlet to the talented folk of Yorkshire and surrounding areas to apply to take part in our Massive Festive Fiesta at The Royal Hall in Harrogate on Thursday 18th December, after many hours of difficult decision making, we are ready to announce the first two successful acts, exciting saxophonist Emma Johnson and accordionist extraordinaire Thomas Hardaker.  This will be a real feel good fest, one which we’re hoping to make an annual event in Harrogate.  Musical director Grant is leaving us after the tour to move back to Australia and we want to give him the best send off possible so the Christmas dates have added good cheer.

Our last concert of the year takes place in the Settle’s beautiful Victoria Hall, pianist Grant Windsor and I played there on Valentines Day and had a brilliant evening, it’s a hidden gem just a few hundred seats with a wonderful atmosphere.   Originally the December show was to be another duo performance but as it’s Grant’s final concert the whole band will be squeezed onto the stage.  There’s a Jing Jing a Ling in the air – This will be a tour to remember.


We’re Stuffed!

Take That turned on the Christmas Lights in London on Sunday November 16th and declared it, “The official start to the party season.”  Is it me?  Why don’t they just bring Christmas forward to September then we could get Easter out of the way in December?

If I ate and drank like I do between 24th Dec – 1st January from mid November I would be in a very sorry state, but since Summer it seems the supermarket’s have been out in force trying to tempt us by whatever means they think fair.  Tempting offers on sweet tins the size of space hoppers, not to mention discount booze. A gallon of Baileys for £12.

I have to admit I am rather partial to the old Irish cream – having mocked it for years I was finding it worryingly moreish that is until I worked out that my little glassful was equivalent to nearly 300 calories!   If I had a daily dose of that from November 16th till New Year’s Day that would add an extra 13,800 calories to my waist, 4 Quality Street sweets per day 7,222.  The average mince pie contains 289 calories. Over the new 46 day festive marathon this equates to 13,294.  Some of these luxury buttery biscuits contain nearly 100 calories each and I can never have just one so throw in a couple of them a day and that’s 9,200 calories.  A handful of nuts 243 calories multiply that by 46 equals 11,178.

I read that on average we consume 7,000 calories each on Christmas Day alone, that’s 3 1/2 times the recommended intake for women.  A full turkey dinner with trimmings is equivalent to 1450 calories add another 1174 cals for pudding, custard and brandy butter.

It’s bonkers when you see it written down not to mention obscene when there are so many people in the world without enough food to survive, but the truth is many of us over indulge, but whereas in years gone by when Christmas lasted at most a week I knew I’d put on a few extra pounds but also knew it wouldn’t take long to get rid of it again, if Christmas party season is now over 6 weeks long. We could be looking at a couple of extra stone.

I know I’m exaggerating but if we don’t maintain our self-control at the checkout.  We’re going to be stuffed – literally.