I started Dr Joshi’s 21 Day Holistic Detox on Monday. I did this detox last year, with great results. It is pretty difficult. You must cut out alcohol, caffeine, gluten, yeast, sugar, salt, deadly nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini etc), and all fruit, except bananas. It alkalises your body and changes your palate so that you crave the good stuff and not the nasties. I decided it was time to do it again, especially after several months of surviving on a shoe-string and then thoroughly enjoying the novelty of being able to eat out again. It’s not a stretch to say I’m capable of craving hot chips for breakfast. Definitely time to re-balance the ol’ body. And give my ever-tortured liver a break.

So far it has been a spectacular failure. It has gone a little something like this:

Sunday (detox eve): Had a marvellous time eating remainder of non-detox foods left in fridge and pantry (best to get them completely out of the house) including enough bread and vegan cheese to feed a music festival. Began polishing off my two-thirds-full bottle of Oxford Landing Shiraz while doing the housework… at 1pm.
Monday: Smashing first day. Lots of yummy detox-friendly goodies including roasted brussels and broccoli over saffron quinoa for dinner. An hour after dinner, convinced I am starving, I eat the portion of dinner I was reserving for lunch on Tuesday. Hmmm.
Tuesday: After some bad news and a rather shitty day I have a blow out: a block of Conscious Chocolate and a soy chai. I restrain myself enough not to have coffee. That’s ok, I tell myself. One little slip up. Just get back on the wagon. I stop in with Captain Someone and it’s not long before we are planning a decidedly non-detox dinner. Bugger. I’ll start the 21 days over again tomorrow.
Wednesday: Stayed at Captain Someone’s so haven’t organised detox food for the day. Give in at lunch time. Never mind. I’ll stick to doing the right thing with my liquids, whatever happens NO coffee or alcohol will pass these lips. I’ll start the 21 days over again tomorrow. Feeling much more motivated now anyway. Yep, tomorrow.
Thursday: After a woeful night’s sleep and a very difficult morning I console myself in the best way I know how: a good book and brunch. And coffee. Glorious coffee. My entire body is enveloped in the warm hug of caffeine. Bollocks. My detox attempt is an abomination.

Buuut, it means I have one more brunch review to share with you before I embark on 21 days of slightly duller (cough, cough) cuisine. Because — and I really mean it this time — tomorrow is D Day.

So here it is. I popped into Milkwood on Nicholson Street in Brunswick, up on the corner of Blythe. The service was friendly with the waitress giving me a few vegan options and explaining that two of the chefs are vegetarian so they are very accommodating to vegans. I am discovering that Melbourne café’s vegan option of choice is almost always the humble bean. I might have to do a ‘best of Melbourne’s beans’ post some time. Lucky I love ’em. There were two bean options this time. Smashed cannelinis with avo on toast or tomato butter beans. I went with the latter and they were once again delicious. Butter and barlotti beans in a rich tomato sauce with lots of chopped basil throughout. Yum.

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Vegan options: A few. A couple of bean dishes to choose from and a yummy looking porridge/fruit combo too.
Coffee: Supreme
Soy: Bonsoy
Moola: Not cheap, but fair at $18.30 for breakfast and coffee
Ear candy: Paul Simon and Pulp, back-to-back. Perfect! Thursday I’m ready for you!

With my last non-detox meal (I REALLY mean it this time) in my belly, I practically skipped out of Milkwood. But as I returned to my scooter to find the keys dangling, very visibly, in the ignition I wondered if a life without coffee was really the best option for me.

With the kind of renewed sense of hope and determination that a cup of caffeine injects, I rode off into the mid-morning sun feeling positive. “Vitality begins tomorrow!” I bellowed to the applauding Nicholson Street pedestrians.*

*whether this scenario occurred on Nicholson Street itself or inside my head is uncertain.