By Stuart Gates
Published 6th January 2021

Well, January is here already and it’s Detox Time.  Time to get involved and do yourself some good.

Perhaps people have not indulged so much this past year what with all the lack of not being together with others (although I suspect the opposite is truer!). Whichever is the actual truth, maybe you now have a nagging feeling of “do I need to cut back on my food indulgences?” and to that may I cheekily suggest the answer is “Yes” since most of us need to in today’s current daily life.

Many will view January as the perfect month to realign our dietary habits…

Veganuary (I have to admit that I’m not a fan of these blended words) has been picking up a pace over the last few years. And this year apparently some 500,000 have signed up from 14,000 last year! When I think back to my original Harrods days when they had a department called ‘Health Foods’, the Food Hall team all look on this section as akin to something from the 1970s TV programme “The Good Life” (which, in fact, was ahead of its time) and viewed the Health Foods section with suspicion with all its ‘healthy’ foods and supplements stocked to help detox and refresh the body. How wrong were we to do so! Years later my time managing at Daylesford taught me even more about health foods and rebalancing bodies and detoxing and all that was available for the health-conscious consumer. Many will view January as the perfect month to realign our dietary habits and take the opportunity to feel better for a while (although no doubt a lot of us will soon ‘retox’ again with chocolates and Fizz on February 14th!). But in the meantime, many will start the year off on a healthy path.

Farm shops, markets and independent stores are all a good place to start and whatever you are planning to give up or take up, there are plenty of great products out there whether plant-based, non-alcoholic drinks, meat-free or simply good British seasonal veg. Very little can beat fresh, seasonal ingredients creatively combined with products by some incredibly talented new and established artisan producers that we are blessed with here on these isles.

Best wishes for 2021 to all regardless of whether you’re detoxing or realigning or just continuing a life of moderation. Enjoy however you’ve planned to kickstart the year.

Illustration: Ailbhe Phelan

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