Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

The Millenium Binge Detox


You may think it's all over now but it isn't. The excesses of the combined Christmas and millennium binge are still with you - and not just in the bulges you can see around your hips. They're in your liver, your bloodstream, your digestive system, in fact they're in just about every single cell of your body. And to make matters depressingly worse they're also in your brain, your nervous system, your emotions, thoughts and feelings.

In fact you are a physical and emotional toxic time bomb which is set to self-destruct. Exhaustion, depression, bad temper and anxiety hover round the edges of your life, made worse by grey puffy skin, chronic indigestion, vague aches and pains and a total absence of even a flicker of the feel-good factor.

The weather's at it's worst, your immune system has had the stuffing knocked out of it, and you're surrounded by sick people at home or at work. Unless you act now you'll be the next victim. But it doesn't have to be like that - the Sunday Express Survival System will help you rescue yourself from disaster and set you up on the sane path of fabulous vitality living for the new millennium. A plan for real women living in the real world who've had enough of the empty promises of the miracle diet and instant weight loss brigade.


BioStrath Elixir, the Swiss herbal immune booster, one teaspoon three times a day.

St. John's Wort Kira, herbal antidepressant, especially effective in winter, one tablet daily.

Cynara, extract of artichoke, the best of all herbs for the liver, one capsule a day.

Selenium ACE, the healing antioxidant combination, one tablet daily.

Solgar B Complex 100, for blood and nervous system, one tablet daily.


This seven day cleansing plan starts with a short sharp shock specifically designed to detox the liver, rest the kidneys and cleanse the colon. As a bonus it provides a huge shot in the arm for the body's natural immune defences so helping ward off the awful bugs that are sweeping through the country at the moment. This week's eating is not a diet for life, nor one that should be followed for weeks on end. Based on the traditional naturopathic principles of fasting its main objective is to boost the protective white cell count and give the body a chance to restore vital functions to their optimum performance. If you've put on some weight during the festivities you could easily lose five to seven pounds following this plan, but don't repeat it more than four times a year.


This three day plan is pretty low in calories and you will feel hungry from time to time. Don't spoil the effect by cheating. You won't be drinking coffee, and only very weak tea without milk or sugar, so your caffeine intake comes to an abrupt halt. The combination of less food, no coffee and the effects of detoxification will almost certainly cause a headache. Drink masses of water and try to avoid pain killers. The headache is transient and you are going to feel absolutely great by day four and you'll be full of the protective antioxidants you need.

I advise my patients to do the first two days when their workload is at its lightest. To help overcome the hunger pangs take two teaspoons of the BioStrath Elixir from the supplement package, three times a day, and if you don't have a juicer, Biotta Organic vegetable juices are salt free, delicious and available from good health stores.

Day 1: Kick start your metabolism with this first day of the Detox Plan, providing loads of potassium, vitamins B1, B6, folic acid, niacin, A, C and E - the powerful and protective antioxidants.

An orange, half a grapefruit, a large slice of melon
A glass of unsalted vegetable juice
A cup of herb tea with honey

A plateful of raw red and yellow peppers, cucumber, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, radishes and lots of fresh parsley. Add extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
A large glass of unsweetened fruit juice.

Evening meal:
Large mixed salad with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Lettuce, tomato, watercress, onion, garlic, beetroot, celeriac, fresh mint and any herbs you like.
A large glass of unsweetened fruit juice or unsalted vegetable juice.

Drink at least three pints of fluid, water, weak tea or herb tea.

Day 2: An abundance of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, vitamin B1, B6, folic acid, vitamins A, C and E, with protein, calcium, fibre, iron and selenium.

Breakfast: a large glass of hot water, a thick slice of lemon, a dessertspoon of honey. A carton of natural low fat live yogurt

Mid morning: A large glass of vegetable juice, a handful each of raisins, dried apricots and fresh nuts.

Lunch: A salad of grated carrot, red cabbage, apple with sliced red pepper, tomato, radishes, celery, a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, lemon juice and olive oil. A cup of herb or weak Indian tea with honey, no milk.

Mid-afternoon: A glass of fruit juice and a banana.

Evening meal: Any three cooked vegetables (not potatoes) with olive oil, nutmeg and lemon juice, herb tea or weak Indian tea.

During the evening: a mixture of dried fruits and unsalted nuts and as much fresh fruit as you like.

DAY 3: More than your day's needs of fibre, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, B1, B2, niacin, B6, folic acid, vitamins A, C and E, with some B12, calcium and iron as well.

Breakfast: fresh fruit salad of apple, pear, grapes, mango and pineapple, with a carton of live yoghurt and a tablespoon of unsweetened muesli. Weak tea or herb tea.

Mid-morning: 6 dried apricots. A glass of fruit or vegetable juice.

Lunch: lettuce soup - soften half a chopped onion in a large pan with a little olive oil - add half a shredded Iceberg lettuce, stir for a couple of minutes, add a pint and half of vegetable stock, lots of black pepper, simmer for 20 minutes, sprinkle with a large handful of chopped parsley. Enjoy with a chunk of crusty wholemeal bread, no butter. Herb or weak Indian tea.

Mid-afternoon: an apple and a pear.

Evening: Pasta with lettuce pesto - use the rest of the Iceberg processed with a handful of pine nuts, a little olive oil, one clove of garlic and a carton of low-fat fromage frais. Tomato, onion and yellow pepper salad. Herb or weak Indian tea.

DAY 4: This is a very special day where your main food will be rice. Like fasting, rice days are traditionally used by Naturopaths as a cleansing treatment. Start by preparing the rice for the whole day. You'll need 3½ oz dry brown rice cooked in a pint of water. If you prefer, cook half the rice in half the water and the other half in vegetable stock for a more savoury flavour.

Breakfast: 3 oz cooked rice with 5 oz stewed apple flavoured with honey, cinnamon and grated lemon rind.

Lunch: 3 oz cooked rice with 7 oz steamed vegetables - celery, leek, carrot, tomato, spinach, broccoli and shredded cabbage.

Supper: 3 oz rice mixed with soaked dried apricots, raisins, sultanas, and the flesh of a pink grapefruit.

Drink only water today.

DAY 5:

Breakfast: 1 portion fresh fruit - choose from apple, pear, mango, grapes, pineapple, grapefruit - plus 2 slices of wholemeal toast spread with low fat cottage cheese, a carton of low fat live yoghurt, a small glass of skimmed milk and a cup of herb or weak Indian tea without milk or sugar.

Lunch: 1 apple, 1 pear, 6 oz raw vegetable salad - cauliflower and broccoli florets, carrot, spring onion, grated red cabbage, mange tout - tossed in olive oil and cider vinegar dressing, sprinkled with a teaspoon of raisins, and 3 chopped brazil nuts. Large jacket potato filled with 3 oz steamed spinach chopped with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, clove of garlic and a generous grating of nutmeg. Herb or weak Indian tea.

Supper: 3 oz fromage frais mixed with a carton of low fat live yoghurt, poured over a generous bowl of mixed fruit salad, including kiwi, pineapple, orange, grapes, blueberries, apple. Cup of herb tea.

DAY 6:

Breakfast: 1 portion fresh fruit - choose from apple, pear, mango, grapes, pineapple, grapefruit - plus 2 slices of wholemeal toast spread with low fat cottage cheese, a carton of low fat live yoghurt, a small glass of skimmed milk and a cup of herb or weak Indian tea without milk or sugar.

Lunch: Banana, 6 oz mixed salad - shredded iceberg lettuce and one dark green or red lettuce, tomato, olives, red pepper, carrot, spring onions, cucumber, a clove of garlic, fennel and watercress - with a dressing of lemon juice, walnut oil and tarragon. Plus a large jacket potato with 3 oz steamed french or runner beans with a dessertspoon of sunflower oil sprinkled with finely chopped onions. Herb or weak Indian tea.

Supper: 3 oz muesli mixed with a dessertspoon lemon juice, teaspoon honey, grated apple, carton of low fat live yoghurt. 1 slice wholemeal bread with a matchbox sized piece of brie, camembert or similar soft cheese. 1 slice wholemeal bread with honey. Cup of tea.

DAY 7:

Breakfast: 1 portion fresh fruit - choose from apple, pear, mango, grapes, pineapple, grapefruit - plus 2 slices of wholemeal toast spread with low fat cottage cheese, a carton of low fat live yoghurt, a small glass of skimmed milk and a cup of herb or weak Indian tea without milk or sugar.

Lunch: 6 oz mixed salad - watercress, baby spinach, mixed lettuce leaves, parsley, celery, garlic, chives, basil, tomato - with a dressing of one third walnut oil, one third olive oil, one third cider vinegar and a teaspoon of dijon mustard, sprinkled with sunflower seeds. 3 oz boiled potatoes and EITHER trout stuffed with finely chopped parsley, onion, tomato and pine nuts, covered in thinly sliced lemon, baked in foil with a little olive oil, OR vegetarian alternative - stir-fried tofu with shredded carrot, beansprouts, mange tout and soy sauce OR a grilled vegeburger. A glass of dry white wine.

Supper: A whole pink grapefruit, 2 poached free range eggs on 2 slices of wholemeal toast with a scrape of butter. Herb or weak Indian tea.

Well done. If you haven't cheated you're probably four or five pounds lighter, your eyes are bright, skin clear and you feel terrific. The high fibre content of this week has really got your digestion working and all the super-protective natural chemicals in pure, unadulterated food has lifted your spirits physically and mentally.

Taking some exercise is really vital and no matter what the weather, dress appropriately and get yourself into the fresh air and daylight whenever possible. Even on an overcast day enough light will get into your eyes to help ward off the awful problems of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). A brisk 20 minute walk three times a week will make all the difference.

Remember to take your supplements every day and make sure you don't miss next week's real eating plan for real women - a guide to healthy eating that will keep you fit, bounding with energy, bursting with health and the weight you want to be without ever counting a calorie.


For a terrific extra vitality boost, drink these vitality juices regularly - a juice machine is probably the best health investment you can make.


handful of watercress
1 kiwi fruit (unpeeled)
2 apples
2 tomatoes
2 large carrots
handful of spinach leaves

Promotes concentration, improves mental and physical activity and is rich in vitamins A, C, and betacarotene. It also contains iron, calcium, and the heart and cancer protective substance, lycopene.


4 apples
1 lemon

'An apple a day keeps the doctor away' - but it should be two. Apples reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and regulate the digestion. Super rich in vitamin C, this is a real wakeup juice to kick start your vitality in the morning.


3 carrots
generous handful of watercress
generous handful of spinach
1 large leaf spring greens
half a cucumber
quarter red pepper, deseeded

Dark winter days sap your vitality. Decoke your sluggish system with this blood purifying, body cleansing and vitality stimulating drink. Super rich in vitamin A, carotenoids, sulphur, vitamin C and minerals - honestly, it tastes much better than it sounds.



We are constantly bombarded from all sides with endless advice on how to lose weight, stay slim and be healthy. Every newspaper, woman's magazine and countless radio and TV programmes urge everyone to think thin. We are all targets for the multi-million pound slimming business which is more concerned with extracting pounds from pockets than it is with the nation's health. Unless you are seriously overweight you are almost certainly better off staying as you are than making your life a misery by trying to reach the mythical "ideal weight".

Diets don't work - that's why there's a new one every week. The most unwelcome comeback is the high protein, low carbohydrate diet which has been resurrected from the seventies. No matter what you might read, this is desperately unhealthy and flies in the face of all the most modern scientific nutritional knowledge. All extreme diets based on pseudo-science and hocus-pocus lead to only temporary weight loss and possibly serious health problems.

If you've gained an extra inch or two and this makes you feel uncomfortable and not able to wear your favourite clothes, then here's a simple healthy one week eating plan that provides good nutrition, happy eating and real food for real women. You won't be hungry, you will be healthy and you will lose pounds if you need to.

Following on from last week's detox plan, get the best out of this seven days of healthy eating with an all natural herbal helping hand. At the beginning of each day add one measure of herbal Pure Plan (from health stores and chemists) to a litre bottle of still mineral water and make sure you drink it all by bedtime. This mixture of birch, meadowsweet and dandelion for fluid elimination, artichoke to stimulate the liver, burdock and wild pansy for the skin, fennel and fucus to stimulate metabolism, and tamarind and prune for the digestive system, will help you to a healthy half stone weight loss by the end of the week.

You can use this eating plan as a general guide to your regular eating habits but don't take Pure Plan for more than two weeks or more than six times a year.


Baked beans on toast with a grilled tomato; a cup of tea or coffee with semi-skimmed milk. Have either drink with breakfast every day.

Light meal:
A large portion of coleslaw made with red, white and green cabbage, carrots, sultanas, onion, apple, plain yoghurt, a little olive oil and a tablespoon of cider vinegar, with a small cup of cottage cheese and a piece of fresh fruit.

Main meal:
Chicken breast (skin removed) covered with a sliced courgette, thin strips of red pepper, a little garlic, the juice of a lemon, half a glass of dry white wine and quarter of a pint of vegetable stock (from a cube) cooked in a covered casserole for 30 minutes at 175C/350F/gas mark 4, with carrots and parsnips mashed together. A baked apple (cooked in the oven at the same time). Remove the core, cut off the bottom quarter, put it back in the hole and stuff with 1 oz ground almonds mixed with orange juice, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and nutmeg.


Porridge with half water, half skimmed milk, a slice of wholemeal toast with a little butter and honey.

Light meal:
A large bowl of vegetable, bean and barley soup - 1 oz pot barley, one and a half pints water, 4 sliced carrots, 1 chopped turnip, 2 sliced leeks, 2 sticks celery, 1 chopped onion, 1 dsp tomato puree, black pepper, bring them to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Add a can of kidney, butter, haricot or any other sort of beans, cook for another 5 minutes to make six large portions. Serve with a green salad with oil and vinegar dressing.

Main meal:
Any grilled fish with a green vegetable followed by some soft cheese with a large stick of crunchy celery.


Half a grapefruit, 2 poached eggs, 2 grilled tomatoes.

Light meal:
2 or 3 large flat mushrooms or a good handful of button mushrooms fried in a little butter very gently in a covered pan for about 15 minutes on wholemeal toast with a salad.

Main meal:
Grilled lamb chops with most of the fat removed with peas and carrots, a portion of dried fruits soaked and served with low fat natural yoghurt mixed with a pinch of cinnamon, grated lemon rind and a teaspoon of honey.


A mixture of an orange, an apple and a pear sliced into a bowl with a carton of natural yoghurt and a teaspoonful of honey,

Light meal:
A sandwich of wholemeal bread without butter, a mashed banana, a couple of chopped up dates, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of any chopped nuts. A fresh pear and a few grapes.

Main meal:
Chicken cooked any way you like, but not fried, with at least two different vegetables. Chopped ready to eat Californian prunes and apricots soaked in the juice of a lemon, an orange, a tablespoon of brandy, half a teaspoon of sugar.


2 boiled eggs, 2 slices of wholemeal toast spread very thinly with butter.

Light meal:
A bowl of bean and barley soup (left over from Tuesday) with a wholemeal roll.

Main meal:
Put a fillet of hake or cod on a finely chopped onion, tomato and garlic mixture onto a large piece of cooking foil, sprinkle more of the mixture on top of the fish, season with pepper and a little olive oil. Wrap the foil into a parcel, bake at 200C/400F/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes. Serve with a salad of watercress, orange segments and chicory. A piece of soft cheese (Brie, Camembert etc) and a bunch of grapes.


As much fresh fruit as you like.

Light meal:
Italian toast - bruschetta. Toast a thick slice of coarse wholemeal bread until lightly brown on both sides. Rub one side with a cut clove of garlic, dribble on a little olive oil and pile with thin slices of fresh tomato - a wonderful snack for any time of the day or night.

Main meal:
Chicken, beef or lamb casserole - remove skin and fat, cut into cubes, seal for a few seconds in hot oil, remove the meat with a slotted spoon, add onion, garlic and celery, continue cooking till soft but not brown, add vegetable stock (from cube) with diced parsnip, carrot, swede, leek, turnip, potato, return meat to the mixture, cover tightly and cook at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for one to one and a half hours till meat is tender. 2 tangerines in segments with a small carton of fromage frais and a teaspoon of honey.


2 slices of wholemeal toast with a little butter and honey. A glass of fresh orange juice.

Light meal:
Green pasta and tuna fish. While the pasta is cooking put 4 coarsely chopped spring onions including the green tops into a frying pan with a little oil. When they're soft add a small can of drained tuna and stir until warm but not cooked. Drain the pasta, return to the saucepan, mix in the tuna and spring onions and serve. A piece of fresh fruit.

Main meal:
Stir fry lamb. Remove all fat from the meat and cut into thin strips. Put in a shallow dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons soya sauce, 1 tablespoon dry sherry and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Then in a wok or thick bottomed frying pan heat some olive oil, add the lamb and some of the marinade, stirring vigorously for 3 minutes. Add a small leek thinly sliced lengthways, stir for another 2 minutes, then add a chopped spring onion, a chopped clove of garlic and a little freshly grated ginger and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve with a tomato and onion salad. Half a small melon.

You must drink at least two pints of fluid each day - water, diluted unsweetened fruit juices and some tea and coffee plus your one litre of still water with added Pure Plan. You may have one glass of wine or half a pint of beer or one pub measure of spirits each day as well. This is seven days of delicious healthy eating which I hope you will enjoy. All the recipes are very simple and most of them extremely quick - you'd spend as much time queuing at the takeaway or burger bar to get much worse nutritional value for money.

This week is not a diet but a guide to help you change the way you eat for good.


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