Admittedly apart from last winter when I was pregnant, I don’t remember the last time I had a dry January. Detox is just something I’ve not had the discipline to do, except for when I’ve been expertly guided. For example, when I stayed at Park Hotel Igls which was amazing.

January is tough enough without having to sacrifice one of the greatest pleasures known to the universe, unless of course you’re in sunny climes – when a margarita on the beach becomes compulsory.

But saying that, like most folks in January I’m on a mission to fill my body with as much goodness as possible. Call it post-festive indulgence, post-pregnancy or generally project get-fitty. Whatever the reason, I was very excited to go along to The Botanist to review their latest range of cocktails.

Imagine freshly made fruit and vegetable juices involving ingredients that take you by surprise. Add a dash of Kamm & Sons ginseng sipirit, which is believed to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as promote relaxation  – all served in one of Chelsea’s favourite cocktail bars. What do you get?

You get …

Beetroot Mary, which involves freshly juiced beetroot with raspberries, coriander, lemon juice, Kamm & Sons and pepper.

The Botanist - Beetroot Mary

At first I was dubious about this cocktail. I wasn’t sure how the earthiness of the beetroot would work with raspberries as well as lemon juice. But this cocktail completely works. It was a great revelation. There is a balance between the sweetness of the fruit and the savoury of the vegetable whilst at the same time it was really refreshing and very easy to knock back.

Next on the list is the Canary Mary, which includes yellow tomato juice, lemon juice, fresh grated horseradish, Kamm & Sons and green Tabasco.

The Botanist - Canary Mary

If you are a fan of the Bloody Mary, you will love this and then some. This cocktail’s depth of flavour is something to savour. Definitely one to take your time over.

The Green Twist, which includes juiced spinach, spirulina, Kamm & Sons and celery, feels and tastes like a health juice. It is the epitome of the guilt-free cocktail and if you love green juices, this is one to try.

The Botanist

The Root Remedy cocktail has fresh carrot and orange juices mixed with ginger and Kamm & Sons. This is another refreshing cocktail with the ginger providing the right edge to it.

The Botanist

And finally there is the Double Apple Mint, which includes pulped pineapple & apple juices with Kamm & Sons and fresh mint. I loved the deep mint flavour of this cocktail with the taste of pineapple mixed in. I’m a huge pineapple and mint fan so I really loved that this was the last cocktail to try on the list.

The Botanist

During the cocktail tasting, I couldn’t resist ordering the soft-shell crab burger which I absolutely love …

The Botanist

… whilst the OH ordered a burger from the bar snacks menu, which he also enjoyed.

The Botanist

True, burgers are probably not top of the January foodie-list but when you’ve been sipping all types of juices it almost feels like you’ve earned the right to bite into burger. You know?

Each of the cocktails is £8.50 and will be available at The Botanist throughout January so if you’re looking for a guilt-free cocktail, I recommend you try one.

Disclaimer: The food and cocktails were complimentary which didn’t affect my opinion. As the OH says, the cocktails were outstanding. It’s clear that The Botanist team worked hard to get the balance of flavours right. They’ve really hit the mark with the healthy cocktail.

The Botanist • No.7 Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8EE

On Sunday morning, I returned to Mermaid Maternity Retreat on the King’s Road to review their nutrition workshop. The session was a one-to-one, which I was looking forward to.

Mermaid Maternity Retreat

Following the birth of baby boy, my mother had lived with me for two months. That’s two months of home cooked meals and not having to think about going into the kitchen, let alone think about what I was going to have to make myself. My meals were delivered on the dot because that’s what mummies do; they look after their little ones.

Needless to say, since my mother’s departure back to sunnier climes, the memories of her home cooked meals now seem like a luxury.

Nowadays, I grab what I can when I can. And for someone who never used to skip a meal, I’ve been finding myself having lunch at 2pm, 3pm and even 5pm. That’s right, as a mummy, I’m thinking less of me and more of my little one.

But after this nutrition workshop at Mermaid, I realised that this has to stop. This and the just grabbing anything I can lay my hands on at the time. Why? Because what goes into my body affects baby boy.

The food I eat could help to calm down his eczema for example and to satisfy his appetite, it’s about the amount of nutrition not the volume of milk he consumes. So the more goodness that’s inside me, the happier and healthier he’ll be.

I also learned about the importance of planning ahead. I know this is something that a lot of people do without a baby to care for. But if you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll also know that I like to eat out. I used to cook lots as a teenager but for one reason or another, the excitement of being outdoors replaced the fun in the kitchen.

So now I’ve realised I have to get that fun back because there is plenty to discover and enjoy. Like chia seeds in my porridge for protein with my complex carbs and like smoothies and soups: goodness knows my soup machine and blender need to be used at some point.

But all in all, I remembered that during these formative years of a newborn the value of breastfeeding cannot be underestimated. And in order to stay on top of that game, I also learned that I need to consume 3 litres of fluids a day. 3 litres!

With so much to think about, it’s no wonder breastfeeding ran more smoothly when my mother was around. But after my nutrition workshop I’ve learned how to put myself back on track. And surprisingly, it’s not as time-consuming as I’ve assumed it to be. It just takes knowing what to pick up at the supermarket and health shops; and throwing it all in a blender.

Vicki Edgson, the nutrition consultant, made a smoothie for me. It contained coconut water, almond milk, blueberries and avocado. It was sooo good and of course, it was a nutritious meal in a glass. Thank you Vicki!

Blueberries and Avocado Smoothie

To find out more about Mermaid Maternity Retreat’s workshops, see their website.

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