On day two of her Health Regime at Grayshott Spa, Sarah Vine finds out the truth about fats and dreams of carbs...
Following a fitful night (dreams of my hairdresser performing liposuction on me, don't ask), I awake in a panic that the kids are going to be late for school. Then I realise it's not my problem and go back to sleep, only to slip into an even weirder succession of dreams in which my daughter (age 11) makes lunch boxes consisting entirely of Haribos.
When I finally get up, it's past nine, and I have a headache behind my eyes. My back aches and I have a slight ringing in my ears. Oh, and I feel dizzy. I lie in bed and drink water, feeling about 700 years old. No breakfast for me: this is a fasting day.
By noon I am a little restored, and make my way to the cinema for a lecture on fats. Our host is nutritional therapist Pippa Mitchell, and what she has to tell us is fascinating.
In a nutshell (although you can read more here ), Pippa explains why all the conventional wisdom about low fat diets is, essentially, poppycock and why a lethal combination of transfats (fats where the molecular structure has been altered by processing) and sugars - ubiquitous in processed and low-fat foods - plays havoc with our metabolisms.
Lunch is a tasty but saintly affair; vegetables, lentils, chicken with olives and almonds, with some spinach soup to start and the usual sauerkraut/bitters combination to aid digestion.
It's delicious, but I am starting to really feel the lack of carbohydrates. It's not that I'm not enjoying the food; it's just that my body longs for that familiar carb ballast: a slice of bread, or a potato.
Lunch over, I feel very sleepy. I drift around in a half stupor until it's time for my castor oil liver compress, designed to help with detoxification. It's a fairly straightforward affair, a warm muslin cloth placed over the liver, and then a little snooze.
After my nth cup of peppermint tea, I decide to go for a walk. The sun is out, and the gardens are beautiful - and vast. I enjoy getting thoroughly lost, and by the time I find my way back it's almost time for supper: a mug of meat broth, which doesn't touch the sides.
My fellow regime-followers and I stare mournfully into our empty cups before shuffling off to bed past the happy sound of tinkling cutlery in the main dining room. I go to bed thinking about boiled eggs and hot buttered toast with Marmite.