Waist management: detest detox

I am having one of those days.

And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

I think a massive chunk of people around the world—people who have shoved at least four or five holidays into the space of about 5 weeks time—are feeling much the same as I do:


We’re all plumped up on high fat, high carb, highly salted foods that were liberally washed down with bucket after bucket of spirits, wine and wassail.

We’re all glossy-eyed over late night movies, all night Twister games and unsuccessful attempts at sleeping in inactive airport gates staring at going nowhere aircraft.

We’re all hyped up on candy canes and gingerbread, rum balls and Yule logs, cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels (yes, maybe I got carried away, but you get my point). I cannot eat one more forkful of panettone or stollen. No more fruitcake nor wedges of pie. I’ve hidden all the chocolate and I’ve thro—wait … what? No, of course I’ve not hidden all the chocolate. I know exactly where it all is.

But the rest of the stuff … totally trashed. Except for the eggnog. And that last bit of trifle. UGH! Can you see what I mean? Once you start—and by start I mean make a six week long practiced and perfected habit of stuffing yourself to the brim full of “just this once” holiday fare–it is ridiculous to imagine your body is every going to look at a piece of kale again and say, “Umm, yeah, I could go for that.”

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Maybe if it’s coated in peppermint bark first.

And if you’re not one of us—the bloated, thickened, pot-bellied pudgesters—then I kindly ask you to stop reading any further because I have the feeling that you’re simply going to leave a comment down below that’s basically the equivalent of a giant raspberry.

And I am much too full even for a raspberry at this point.

Unless it’s coated in peppermint bark.

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And even though the word DETOX is not one that rolls off my tongue in a familiar, family friendly kind of way, it has multiplied like a rabble of rabbits in my inbox, pinging its “new arrival” announcements at an exponential rate. It’s oddly reminiscent of just how quickly the THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE FOR FREE SHIPPING and WE’RE REALLY SERIOUS THIS TIME AND WE TRULY MEAN IT NOW: THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE emails piled up. They attempted to share the same space with the plethora of “You’d be crazy not to make this recipe” newsletters.

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The nerve-wracking moments all leading up to each holiday left me (and yes, many of you) desperate for some sort of respite from the frenzy. A marvelous solution I’ve stumbled upon is simply to provide an extra layer of fat to protect those vulnerable internal organs.

Stress needs to be cushioned.

Except now that the festivities are officially over, I can’t walk around in my floor-length, three-ply plush robe of rapture with the excuse that holidays are meant to be cozy and comforting. And I translate that to mean I’m not required to change out of my PJs. Well, I suppose I can keep wearing the robe as long as I’m willing to ignore the sky high eyebrow raising that occurs whenever I’m filling up my gas tank or standing in line at the bank. I’ve found that reaching into my fur-lined pocket and handing the bank teller a rum ball sends the crisp and unmistakable message that I’m not ready to give up the holiday and join the rest of the world who are already ear-marking seed catalogs and looking for their Easter baskets. Not yet.

I realize now is the time when I have to make friends with grains, greens and the graceful act of surreptitiously crying in front of the bakery window. I must walk that extra mile, ignore that Ben & Jerry’s and cover every mirror in the house. I will make pasta out of zucchini, suck on lemons liberally sprinkled with cayenne pepper, and whizz up every fruit and vegetable into a frothy liquid fiber. I will nibble like a rabbit, forage like a ferret and snuffle like a pig. Wait … scratch that last one.

It’ll probably end up being something more like ‘cry like a baby.’

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But not without effort first. (The healthy detoxing, not the crying bit, although I’m sure they all go hand in hand. Plus crying is a form of expunging inner demons, right? So yes, I shall endeavor to cry with monumental exertion.)

I shall put my back into it, give it the old college try, use some elbow grease. Egads, we’re right back to foodstuffs again, aren’t we?

It’s no use. Who are we trying to fool? Winter pudge is here to stay. I might as well start getting ready for the holidays early this year.

Pass me the peppermint bark.


Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery (here) and what we all talked about down in the pub (here). And to see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone–click here.

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29 thoughts on “Waist management: detest detox

    • With the massive amount I still have strewn about from the holidays, if I keep at it until somewhere around June, there will definitely be some green in it. It might be in the form of mold, but some darn good things have come from mold, haven’t they? 🙂

  1. Great post.
    I always promise myself not to get too many goodies for the festive period. Thing is, I always forget that promise as soon as I see said goodies. I tried buying smaller packets but ended up buying twice as many. Even the theory that we could have them twice as often just made us eat twice as much (sigh). Never mind. At least I got out of cooking for four days, and the dog’s getting an extra walk at the moment!

  2. Love this post…I have stocked up on said lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for a good old detox… But I think it will have to wait until next week I’ve got far much to do this week and I need to keep my wits about me… And so it goes, week after week 😉

    • Isn’t that always the way? You think you’ve got your act together and then bam!, it’s BBQ season and you end up using the maple syrup for basting on your ribs. (while the previous holiday food is still stuck firmly on your derriere from being basted on your butt!) 😉

  3. All those holiday goodies are part of the merriment and special traditions and the special time of year! Glad you enjoyed and indulged!! (I will refrain from telling you how different it was for us in Costa Rica this year…. lol). Cheers girl!! xo

    • No peppermint bark in Costa Rica? Okay, well surely you could make up for it with an abundance of super duper rum balls. Those folks do make some awesome rum. Regardless, I do hope you made some merriment with some new food traditions. xx

  4. Thus doth sound as if you have given censure to how one celebrates in a multitude of gluttonous ways the 120 days of every holiday which is packed into this time of the year. I am quite sure that Escoffier would be envious of your pantry as we know not everyone has a Whole Foods store in their own kitchen. Hence, why we have the option of a New Year’s resolution, and a membership to the Y.

    So, I expect you have already planned out your celebratory meal for the second most important day of the year (that being after Christmas… oh, and I should most likely include the 4th of July… do they have that in England? Sorry Sir Rob.) Groundhog’s Day!

    My meal will be simple: a small pan seared medallion of foie gras served over a grilled pheasant half and a poached Quail egg, fresh micro greens and arugula with a balsamic veal Demi redux and a glass of sauternes and finished with a few chips of Michel Cluizel’s dark chocolate bar (you can find this at Trader Joe’s), some triple cream sheep’s cheese and a simple glass of pinot noir. I don’t even plan on using a napkin.

    For Christmas I had a bowl of Cheerios.


    Stoshu 🙂

    • If YOU had a bowl of Cheerios for Christmas, I’ll eat my left foot. Toasted, roasted and gently charred smorgasbord of woodland chow is more like it. The day I see something as plain as boxed cereal on your table is the day I’m calling the mayor to see about scheduling a parade down main street.
      Okay, that all just came from a place of incredible envy at not being able to cook like you or eat at your table every day. Sorry.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your Cheerios Christmas dinner. Sounds miserable. A couple of boiled leeks would have been a far better bet, but there we are.
      By the way, English calendars don’t include 4th July at all. There’s the 3rd, followed by the 5th. I’ve been told that there isn’t a 13th floor in some US buildings, and although I’m sure this is slightly apocryphal, there are parallels 🙂

      • We get it, Rob. Some days are scarier than others and make you want to bury your heads in the sand. But heck, you’ve come a long way since the Romans were in charge, right? They used to ignore the entire months of January and February. Progress.

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  6. Hear, hear! The peppermint-bark-coated kale would be better for you than those Detox cleanses. I tried one of those once. It was some 48-hour cleanse with all the “right nutrients” so that you wouldn’t feel faint or hungry or cranky. After eight hours, I felt faint and hungry and cranky while chugging a concoction with the consistency of sludge. After 10 hours I gave up chugging the cleanse and started chugging Pepto-Bismol, because my tummy was in massive revolt. I’m trying to be more sensible this year and get back to my mostly vegan diet. Thank goodness for vegan chocolate!

  7. Okay, now I’m in the mood for peppermint bark. Not fair Shell Bell. And if mom got you her famous bark I will scream. It”s my favorite. Uggggggg!

    • No. I promise. She didn’t buy the thirty-eight pounds of it this year. I did. And there’s still some left. I just had some for dinner tonight. Well, that’s not all I had. I had a big honkin’ huge bowl full of chili AND peppermint bark. It’s like the newest version of chocolate covered bacon. Except for the totally adventurous diner. 😀

  8. Of course, if you’re allergic to chocolate, gluten, and a host of other “edibles,” it’s “easier” to navigate the ravages of “The Holiday Season.” However, it also makes for a lot of boring. Leaves you out of the loop when it comes to commiserating. It definitely takes the fun out of eating. I mean, you wind up eating to live (as opposed to living to eat!). How incredibly boring is that … especially when handed peppermint bark and you have to pass it on … without even a NIBBLE?!

    Shelley, Would you really want to trade the need for Detox for not having the need to Detox?

    Rob — LOVE the Detox Brothers doodle. Just yesterday I was listening to Belushi/Akroyd Blues Brothers rendition of the Peter Gunn theme song. You so doodled them! MAJOR fun!!!

    • Thanks. It’s been a while since I saw/listened to the Blues Brothers. Maybe it’s time to drag them out of the box in the attic, dust them off and let them stretch their legs a bit. As Jake says in the movie – “Hit it!”

  9. So difficult to adapt to detox after so much fun with delicious holiday foods. I have shopped for the complete detox ingredients but my system has repelled. I need more time to get to detox. God how am I ever going to go through it, looks to be impossible. Fun post and I enjoyed every word of it. Take care Shelley and God bless.

    • Don’t you fret, Samina. We’ve got ourselves another shot at the whole detox debacle in about 10 months time, right? Here’s to the holidays. (Plus, who doesn’t look good with a bit of plumping up now and again. It smooths away the wrinkles.) 😉

  10. This would be waaaay funnier if I wasn’t actually in day 5 of a 30 day detox!!! You have a marvelous way with the English language! Thanks for visiting–I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. Gail

    • Oh, Gail, I feel for you. And yes, the sense of humor is the first to go. It seems wrong somehow, doesn’t it? That we couldn’t lose the wretched body fat and evil toxins first and stop right before the new purification diet attacks the thing that makes it most bearable? Stay strong. And feed your funny bone. 😛

Don't hold back ... Hail and Speak!

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