Photo by PetersPic924

As you may have read, my New Year’s resolution is to do twelve different things for thirty days each throughout 2010. And I thought that after the excess of Christmas and New Year, probably the best way to start is with 30 days of detox – starting January 2nd.

I’m not going to go mad with it, but I am going to be reasonably strict. I reckon that strict is something that can be maintained for a relatively short period – especially when there’s a clear end in sight.

Just so we’re clear – we’re not talking about those extreme detox diets where you eat nothing but lemons for a week or do that crazy no solid food thing… just a focus on increasing the good stuff and decreasing the bad stuff for a set period of time.

I’ve done a little bit of research into how this can be done sensibly, and I’ve come up with what I’m going to use as my ‘formula’.

1) Drink a glass of water before every meal;

2) After dinner, before bed, a glass of water every hour;

3) Have a probiotic each morning, first thing;

4) Take Omega 3 with meals (eg: chopped flaxseeds or Udo’s oil);

5) Use white cheese (feta, goat’s cheese, etc.) instead of cheddar;

6) Have wheat-free, gluten-free bread instead of the processed stuff;

7) A glass of red wine with dinner from time to time;

8) Mix whey protein with organic yoghurt and fruit for breakfast;

9) Eat fish at least every second day;

10) Eat meat first – then carbs separately;

11) Snack on fresh fruit and raw nuts;

12) Drink wheatgrass in juice when/if available.

While there may be traces of quackery in some of that (I’m most skeptical of the food separation bit, but it can’t hurt), what I’m not going to do is eat abnormally.

I’ll eat when I’m hungry, and I’ll eat food that I like. But these small changes should make something of a difference to the way I feel – and I suspect I won’t be able to tell which of these 12 factors it is that’s doing the work.

Probably less of this kind of thing

Naturally, I’ll lay off the obviously bad stuff, and I’ll lean towards the obviously good stuff. If there’s a choice of deep-fried lasagne or grilled chicken salad, I’ll opt for the latter. I’ll also seek out salads where possible, though that doesn’t mean I’ll ban myself from eating anything in particular. I enjoy food far too much to become an ascetic about it.

After all – this is not a punishment and it’s not a diet – this is just a system cleanse as a good way to start the new year, and as an antidote to the chocolate, beer and carb-fest that was a recurring theme throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

I may even look at replacing the afternoon coffee with a green tea or something – but we’ll take that as it comes. Let’s not go crazy or anything…

I still have a few days of holiday season toxification left before this kicks in, and that also gives me a bit of time to go shopping for a few bits and pieces I’m going to need for the coming month.

Detox on the move
I’m going to be in the Netherlands for a week in January, so I’m going to have to locate a local wholefoods shop, but I’m sure that won’t be too much of a problem.

I’m also going to London for a few days for a conference, and Manchester for ten days for the Aftershock Project – so it’ll be something of a challenge maintaining this on the road – and Aftershock in particular is a work-hard / play-hard environment – but there is really no good time to do anything like this. Especially since I’m pretty much constantly on the move.

If anything, I think this will help with energy levels and concentration, but we’ll see how it goes. All up, it looks like I’ll be away from home for 20 of those 30 days.

How to follow my progress
If you’re particularly fascinated about how it’s getting along, you should click here to read my food photoblog, but I’m probably not going to say too much about it here on this site as it goes along. The odd update, perhaps.

But while all that’s going on, I’ll also be thinking about what my next 30 days should be all about. Your suggestions will be welcomed.