It Is Almost Christmas

Life is for living and there will always be social events and activities that bring you face to face with foods that you should be avoiding. That is why, with my Detox Programme, all is not lost if you are ‘forced’ to give in to temptation. If you are going to be naughty, it is not the end of the world. You are not suddenly going to revert back to square one and undo all the good you have done. Succumbing to a cheese straw and a glass of sherry at the chairman’s cocktail party isn’t going to wreck all your hard work. Hopefully, after the three weeks of Detox training you’ll be able to control your ‘naughtier’ days or plan them so they are not going to stretch into naughty weeks.


My sweet-toothed patients find the hardest things to avoid are delicious desserts. When the option of a dessert arises, think about the nutritional content of what you are eating or the choice you have on a menu. How much nutritional content are you going to derive from a slice of chocolate gateau, or a crème caramel? Even though it is extraordinarily tasty and tempting, once you have taken that mouthful you will only feel guilty and unhappy when you discover later that you have piled on those lost few pounds.

If you’re going to be naughty, in terms of dessert, I recommend having a fruit salad, or maybe a sorbet. The alternative is to cheat by having a spoonful of everybody else’s, rather than ordering one of your own. If you’re desperate for a quick fix, remember that a chromium supplement will help your body maintain balanced blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance and allowing your body to metabolise fat (which is more desirable if you are seeking to lose some weight).


When it comes to wine, try to make sure that it is very good quality and drink a glass of water for each glass of wine you consume. This will dilute its alcoholic effect and make it easier for the liver to neutralise. However, it would be far better to avoid wine and whisky and beer. These are all fermented drinks that allow yeast growth in the gut which makes it congested and unhealthy (and can lead to candida).

If you cannot resist alcohol the best alternatives are distilled alcohols such as gin/tequila or vodka. If you are going to have vodka, avoid having tonic water with it (which is full of chemicals) and opt instead for a plain vodka martini, or one with soda water and lime.

Eating Out During Christmas

Remember my diet is never about feeling deprived but about discovering new foods, so don’t feel you have to hide yourself away. Obviously, when you eat out, there are certain things you cannot control. However, if everything on the menu is immersed in butter, ask if they can grill you some chicken or fish. Ask them, too, if they add any gluten to their dishes. In an Italian restaurant, for example, choose the Dover sole with steamed greens. If you are dining at Pizza Express, choose the salad nicoise; the pasta will be a no-no, I am afraid, as will be the dough balls and garlic bread but there will always be an alternative. In a Thai restaurant, try the satay chicken, or the rice noodles with vegetables, with a clear soup. Be sure it’s not too spicy otherwise you may get hyperacidity. The choices are numerous if only you look at the menu and don’t automatically plump for all the usual favourites which have, in the past, made you feel bloated, sluggish and heavy.

Home-made Gluten-Free Mince Pies

Ingredients For Pies

  1. 1/2 cup white rice flour
  2. 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  3. 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
  4. 1 teaspoon xanthan
  5. pinch of Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
  6. 2 oz or 56 gms of vegan spread
  7. 4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. 2 tablespoons cold filtered water
  10. 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest


Preheat oven to 180 C.
Grease mini half muffin tins and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
Sift together flours, xanthan and salt in to a mixing bowl.
In your food processor cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and well combined.
Gradually add in the dry ingredients and lemon zest until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Add in a tablespoon of water at a time – just enough to create a soft workable dough.
Knead this dough with a bit of rice flour until workable.
Wrap the ball of dough in some plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

Ingredients To Make a Filling

  1. 1/2 cup grated apple (peeled and grated)
  2. 2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 medium oranges)
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
  4. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  5. 1 cup raisins
  6. 1/2 cup dried apricots
  7. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  8. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  9. 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  10. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  11. 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  12. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  13. 2 tablespoons maple syrup


Place all ingredients in the food processor with the chopping blade and puree until smooth.
Adjust spices and sweetener to taste and then allow to sit.
Makes 2 cups

To Assemble

Roll out the dough between two pieces of baking paper.
Cut bottom cases out with a cookie cutter and place those shells in the mini muffin holes.
Then cut the top stars with a tiny star cutter and place those on the baking tray.
Bake the cases in the oven for about 10 minutes or until just browned.
The stars will only take about 5 minutes.
Fill each case with filling and then top with a star.
Bake for another 5 minutes and then allow to cool.
Serve plain or dust with icing sugar to serve.