Author: Tracey McAlpine

Day Six and a kitchen disaster!

Another broken night’s sleep and when I wake up I think my throat has been cut.  I can’t swallow and my throat is so sore, I’ve no idea if I would have picked up this virus whether I was on the programme or not, but I feel rubbish.

I’m relieved it’s Saturday and I don’t have to go out, I have a slow start to the morning, make some juice and plan what to have for lunch.  I realise that I haven’t been very adventurous with recipes and that this must be a bit boring for anyone reading the blog, it’s hard to drum up enthusiasm cooking for one, this programme would be much easier if you were on it with someone else, it would encourage you to try new recipes.  So with this in mind I decided to follow one of Clare Shepherd’s recipes from her Your New Life Plan. 

Sweet Cherry Tomato & Roasted Pepper Soup


* 1 red pepper, stalks and seeds removed and chopped
* 1 yellow pepper, stalks and seeds removed and chopped
* 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
* 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
* 12 cherry tomatoes, stalks removed
* tbsp. coconut oil or rice bran oil
* 600ml yeast free vegetable stock
* Ground black pepper
* Fresh thyme, few sprigs, leaves removed from the stalk

Here’s how:

* Preheat the oven to 180º/350º/Gas Mark 4
* Place the peppers, onion, garlic and tomatoes on a large baking tray, drizzle with oil and roast in the oven for 15 minutes
* Remove the vegetables from the oven and empty into a large (note to self large!) saucepan, add the stock, seasoning and thyme
* Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
* Remove from the heat and, using a blender (hand or jug), blend the soup until smooth
* Pour into a bowl and enjoy


Sounds simple enough, delicious and good enough to share, what could possibly go wrong?  I chop the vegetables and put them in the oven, realising after a few minutes that I had forgotten the garlic, no problem the cloves will just have slightly less time than the other veggies.  I roast the veg, make up the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, so far so good, I then put the hand blender into the pan, which is smaller than any I would usually use to make soup as I make it by the gallon, instantly the soup splatters out of the pan all over the hob.  Bad move, I should have used the other blender, so I tip the contents of the pan into the blender pop on the lid and switch on. 

Tip of the day: Hold the lid on the blender tightly at all times!

If this was a sketch show I would think this too farfetched, as I switched on the blender the lid flew off and the soup and vegetables covered the wall, the worktop and everything around it.  Hot bright red, slightly sticky soup everywhere, at that point I should have known that either I or the soup was doomed.  But being as I wanted to tell you how delicious it was I cleared up the mess, blended the soup, reheated it and poured it into a bowl.  I had used the wrong stock powder, not the reduced salt and it tasted mainly of salt.  I’m sure my taste buds have changed already.  Still not prepared to give up, I boiled some brown rice and put that into the soup, it mopped up most of the salty taste and meant I could eat the soup.  Mr M came in and tasted it and said he didn’t think he was very hungry; a very polite way of saying it wasn’t good.  If I had used the correct stock and maybe less of it, the soup would have been delicious.  I will definitely use the recipe again.

Another glass of juice in the afternoon, by then I needed a treat, so cantaloupe melon with a little ginger did the trick, and I still wasn’t feeling hungry, my throat felt a little better but I was lethargic, although I had plenty of work to do I couldn’t really be bothered with it.  In the evening I made a salad of mixed vegetables, avocado and brown rice, with a dressing of olive oil, cider vinegar and whole grain mustard (not entirely sure this is allowed), this Mr M informed me was delicious, phew at last I had made something we could both enjoy.

I did treat myself to some soaked jumbo oats with cinnamon and grated apple as this was going to be my last solid meal for a while.

There is so much conflicting advice about detox programmes, whether they are good for you, or harmful to you, this is what I really want to find out for myself, if there are any benefits.  At this half way point I would say that the biggest benefit is in retraining yourself to want less and better food, which in turn would be good for a weight loss programme.  I feel slimmer, less spongy and lighter in myself and if it wasn’t for the sore throat and cough I might actually feel good.  The supplements that I am taking with the Chris James Mind & Body Cleanse are making a huge difference; I think it would be much harder to do this without them.  I haven’t felt hungry and the gradual change in my diet has been so much better for my system than a drastic detox.

Tomorrow I start three days of only juice, judging by the mess I made in the kitchen it’s a good thing!

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Chris James Mind & Body Cleanse £120.00 available from Space NK

Your New Life Plan