Home Spa Weekend Menu Planner
Give your system a refreshing boost by following this easy, three day eating plan. With everything set out for you, day by day, you can get pre-organized and create a stress free restful few days. Use it, too, alongside your home spa weekend and feel the benefits almost straight away.
Aims Of The Program
This dietary regime aims to kick-start the ‘refreshing process’ from within. To do this, take a complete rest from the kind and the quantity of foods you eat on a daily basis. So the first day is a fruit and vegetable fast.
Don’t despair! This doesn’t mean you’ll starve all weekend. It just means you eat nothing but fruit and vegetables for just one day. It’s not that hard! You can choose all favorites – exotic passion fruits and papayas, or melons and mangoes – and eat as much as you like. The emphasis is on indulgence rather than deprivation. And in the process you’ll give your digestive system a well-deserved rest. By avoiding fatty, refined foods your body may find food easier to digest – which may well leave you feeling more energetic.
The beauty of fruits and vegetables is that they provide many vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant pigments called flavonoids, while being low in calories at the same time.
Leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, cabbage, watercress, endive and dandelion leaves feature strongly because they are infused with the green pigment chlorophyll which, according to naturopathic tradition, has remarkable purifying and revitalizing properties. Chlorophyll is also a rich source of the mineral magnesium, which is often referred to as nature’s tranquillizer. This is because magnesium soothes nervous irritability and in doing so can release a wealth of energy. You may be amazed at how much more energetic you will feel after just one day of eating ‘rabbit food’.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant which can neutralize potentially toxic substances. Watercress, parsley, cabbage and green peppers are even richer in this nutrient than oranges and lemons. Onions, garlic, celery and watercress stimulate and decongest the liver (the organ responsible for neutralizing or breaking down many unwanted wastes), while fennel, celery, artichokes, parsnips, green beans, cucumber and radishes act as diuretics, stimulating the kidneys to flush excess fluid from the body. The skins of fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of soluble fiber which acts like a kind of intestinal broom, cleansing and toning the digestive tract – another major organ of elimination.
While most fruits and vegetables are high in essential nutrients, they are particularly rich in potassium which fuels energy levels. Many enzymes involved in breaking down carbohydrates and fats to release energy need potassium to work properly. Nutritionists now recognize that chronic fatigue is closely linked to low levels of the minerals potassium and magnesium. If eaten in combination, a broad spectrum of vegetables should provide ample amounts of all the vitamins and minerals needed to sustain and maintain good health.
Break your fruit and vegetable fast gently so as not to overwhelm your digestive system. Natural ‘live’ yogurt makes an ideal breakfast for day four. The ‘live’ element means the yogurt is rich in good bacteria that occur naturally inside our intestines. These bacteria are valuable partly because they manufacture significant amounts of B complex vitamins which are vital for maintaining good looking skin, lustrous hair and healthy nerves.
The numbers of these minute organisms tend to dwindle in times of stress, illness and when we eat too much meat, refined carbohydrates and sugars. Eating live yogurt helps replenish their population. If you are sensitive to cow’s milk, try yogurts made from goat’s or sheep’s milk instead.
The menu planners for the second and third days form a basic blueprint for healthy eating because they contain all the essential elements the body needs in the right proportions. Check every now and again that you haven’t slipped back into the habit of eating too many of the foods on the ‘to avoid’ list.
What To Drink
What you drink during your spa weekend can enhance the effects of this regime. During a cleansing program it is important to drink plenty of bottled or filtered water, ideally up to 2 liters a day, more if you sweat a lot in hot weather or with vigorous exercise. This provides plenty of fluid to enable your intestines to deal with the fruit and vegetables you eat, and also hydrates – or moisturizes – every cell in your body.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices provide a valuable way of boosting your fluid intake, whilst reaping the benefits of their nourishing properties. Some of the best are grape, pineapple, apple, cranberry, carrot and grapefruit. Go for freshly squeezed, or the pressed variety, as opposed to those made from fruit concentrates. Avoid sweetened juices.
Fresh juices supply us with vital nutrients in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. Fruit juices, particularly the citrus variety, can help combat fluid retention – so try grapefruit, lime and lemon. Watermelon juice is also particularly good at getting rid of excess fluids, or try fennel for banishing fluid retention and getting to grips with cellulite.
Aim to drink up to three 8 fl oz (230 ml) glasses a day of fruit and vegetable juices over the three days, each diluted with 4 fl oz (115 ml) of water (from your daily quota).
Drink them in place of sugary, carbonated drinks and glasses of wine. Herbal teas make good substitutes for ordinary tea and coffee, which should be avoided if possible. Alternatively, choose a fruit or vegetable juice you enjoy – even if it does not have any particular therapeutic properties.
Avoid the temptation to binge on all the wrong things – especially refined foods – before you start the weekend. On the Friday evening, before you begin, choose a simple meal like grilled chicken or fish and steamed vegetables.
Similarly, after the weekend try to follow the healthy eating guidelines as much as possible. Ideally you should aim to repeat this spa diet once a month to give your vitality a boost, but be warned, even as part of an all-out attack it may take three to nine months to see any cellulite improvement.
Acid vs Alkaline
All foods can be classified as either acid or alkaline forming. Ideally, your diet should be made up of approximately 80% alkaline forming and 20% acid forming foods to help the body preserve a healthy pH balance. To get this balance right, just remember that most fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming whilst acid forming foods tend to be the protein rich ones such as red meat, chicken and fish, together with cereals. Once you’ve cracked this delicate balancing act and increased the acid to alkaline ratio, it can work wonders for reviving your vitality, clarifying skin and streamlining the body’s contours.
- Make a light salad dressing by blending 50 ml natural yogurt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp clear honey. Add sea salt and black pepper and a large pinch of herbs (oregano, thyme, mint or basil work well).
- If the fruits in season seem dull, try more exotic dried varieties instead, such as papaya, mango, peach and pineapple. Soak them overnight, in bottled or filtered water, and use in place of all or some of your fresh fruit.
Day By Day Menu Planner
Day 1 (Saturday)
Breakfast – Fresh fruit salad
Create your fruit salad with any fruits you like. Good combination are: melon, kiwi fruit and grapes; mango, strawberries and pears; apples, pineapple and raspberries. Moisten with freshly squeezed orange or pure apple juice. Spice up by sprinkling with cinnamon, nutmeg or ground ginger.
Lunch – Vitality salad
Choose lots of leafy varieties – make traditional lettuce leaves more exciting by adding endive, baby spinach leaves, watercress, dandelion or Chinese leaves or radicchio. Add grated carrot, shredded cabbage, avocado, cucumber and spring onions. Flavor with herbs such as parsley, borage, mint, chives or thyme. Dress with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice blended with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp honey, sea salt and black pepper.
Dinner – Home made vegetable soup
DAY 2 (Sunday)
Breakfast – Natural live yogurt (no added sugar, fruit or cream)
Mix with sliced banana or any other fruits, such as peaches, strawberries and blueberries.
Lunch – Vitality salad
As day one, but today you can sprinkle in chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds. Or make a fresh coleslaw from grated carrot, white cabbage, apple, celery and onion, plus a few organic raisins or sultanas. Dress the salad as for day 1 and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Dinner – Vegetable paella
Serve with a small green salad.
Day 3 (Monday)
Soak about 2 tbsp of rolled oats overnight in fresh apple juice diluted with mineral water. In the morning, stir in raisins, finely chopped dates, chopped nuts and wheat germ. Serve with a little yogurt or fresh fruit. Alternatively you could have a slice of lightly buttered wholemeal toast, but be sure to eat at least one portion of fruit with it. This could be half a grapefruit, a peach or a few grapes.
Lunch – Avocado and prawn salad or Smoked chicken salad
To make a tempting avocado and prawn salad, mix together chopped avocado with celery, green pepper, spring onions, fresh peeled prawns and a small quantity of crab meat. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil, and serve on a bed of crisp lettuce and endive or watercress.
To make smoked chicken salad, onto a green, leafy base of spinach, lettuce, endive, chicory and watercress, toss small pieces of smoked chicken and a handful of toasted pine kernels or cashew nuts. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
Dinner – Seafood pasta