Christmas has left me in a BAD way. Well, what do you expect when my diet for the last month has consisted pretty much exclusively of Quality Street, turkey/ham/chicken/whatever’s in the fridge and coleslaw sandwiches, and cheese? So. Much. Cheese. Over the festive period, the closest I got to consuming my five-a-day was the time I ate three slabs of Christmas cake in one hour (a personal best, if you please). And man, am I feeling the effects. On top of the weight gain (pretty much a stone over the course of December), I’m tired all the time, my skin is constantly breaking out and I generally feel URGH.
But all that’s about to change. Oh yes. The second I saw the email inviting me to take part in the World’s Biggest Juice Detox, I knew I wanted to take part. Christmas cake binges aside, I really don’t eat enough fruit and veg in my everyday diet, and I rely far too heavily on an evil concoction of sugar and caffeine to get me through the day – both things I’d like to change. And, with promise of a leaner figure, glowing skin and a ‘natural high’, I’m totally willing to forgo food for five days.
And so, on 13 January I’ll be embarking on the Juice Master’s 5lbs in 5 Days juice detox to see if I can flush out the bad stuff, surviving only on a diet of fresh juice and hoping I don’t die. Stay tuned…
On Monday 13 January Stephanie wrote…
DETOX DAY 1
And so it begins. Four juices a day, no ‘food’ in the traditional sense, a ginger shot to start the day and a herbal tea first thing in the morning and last thing at night: this is my life for the next five days.
I woke up this morning feeling excited and daunted in equal measure. I was very much up for the challenge, but all sorts of doubts weighed on my mind: would I be hungry? Would the juices taste disgusting? Would I forget I was meant to be detoxing and absentmindedly reach for a chocolate bar, thus ruining any progress I’d made pre-choc fail? These are the questions I’d been asking myself ever since the ENORMOUS box of fresh fruit and vegetables had arrived at my door on Saturday morning (that’s it, pictured up above). My fridge and cupboards had never seen so much good stuff and, quite honestly, it was all rather intimidating.
But my fears instantly started to ease as I fired up my new juicer (I’m using the Philips Viva, as recommended by his holiness, the Juice Master) and juiced my first drink this morning, a mix of apples, pineapple, spinach, celery, ginger and avocado called Turbo With A Kick. The first thing to hit me was the smell: everything was so fresh that I actually started looking forward to getting going. And, having downed my ginger shot (half an apple and two centimetres of ginger root – intense to say the least), I took my first mouthful of juice and was amazed at just how good it tasted; it was naturally sweet, and I could actually distinguish each of the individual flavours, something I’ve never been able to say of bottled juice. It was the perfect start, and enough to make me think that perhaps the next five days wouldn’t be so bad.
On Tuesday 14 January Stephanie wrote…
DETOX DAY 2
Once I finally make it into the office, it’s pretty much time for my first juice of the day, the Veg Power Smoothie. This one tastes similar to yesterday’s Natural Energiser but, with lemon instead of lime, is less zesty, and is perfectly pleasant. Once again, by midday I’m feeling very tired, and find it hard to concentrate on anything other than how long it is until my next hit. I’ve essentially become a juice junkie, so my 1pm and 4pm juices, the Ruby Tuesday, can’t come quick enough. At first the juice tastes good, and the fact that it matches my outfit pleases me unexpectedly (there I am posing for a juicie – juice selfie – on the left), but as my glass goes down I find that all I can taste is the beetroot. I like beetroot, but drinking so much of it is a challenge.
By evening, all I want to do is go home and lie very still on my sofa, but I’ve arranged to meet my old uni friend, Adam, who I see approximately once every two years so I drag myself off to Drink, Shop, Do in King’s Cross. I expect to be a conversation-less detox monster, but to my surprise I’m able to function pretty normally and actually have fun, although I feel guilty about the fact that all I order is a glass of tap water, and have to sneakily drink my final juice of the day from my travel bottle. It’s also pretty difficult to watch Adam wolf down a slice of carrot cake, despite him supportively hiding it behind a menu. I’d really like a slice of cake right now. I make it to 8pm before making my excuses and scuttling off home, where my spirits are buoyed by my housemate telling me that my skin looks good. With no evening meal to look forward to, I go to bed early with my chamomile tea and juice bar again.
On Wednesday 15 January Stephanie wrote…
DETOX DAY 3
I wake up with a headache, and realise that today is The Day. In his 5lbs in 5 Days book, the Juice Master calls today ‘Tetchy Tuesday’, as it’s usually the day that people experience the worst effects of sugar and caffeine withdrawal, with symptoms on top of headaches including tiredness and irritability. I gulp down a large glass of water and the dull ache soon subsides, and I’m able to get excited about the fact that today’s 10am and 7pm juice contains not only BERRIES, but also FAT-FREE YOGHURT and MIXED SEEDS! After two days of more leafy greens and citrus fruits than I’ve ever known, the Berry Banana Crunch feels like something I’d actually eat in my everyday, pre-detox life (albeit atop a stack of pancakes).
And it’s every bit as good as I’d hoped: thick, creamy and totally filling. My second juice, The Green Refresher, is a dark green colour and resembles pond water, but once again I’m surprised at how delicious it is – the mix of pear, apple, spinach and broccoli is light and fresh.
On Thursday 16 January Stephanie wrote…
DETOX DAY 4
On Friday 15 January Stephanie wrote…
DETOX DAY 5
However, there’s still one more day of juices to get through. I’ll admit that my first juice of the day, Pear ‘n’ Parsnip, didn’t sound particularly appetising, but it was actually one of the tastiest juices on the programme (yep, it’s that glass of beige on the left). Sadly, the same can’t be said of my second and third juice, the Sweet Beet Smoothie – despite having mixed berries in it, the taste was overwhelmingly beetroot-y, and I struggled to finish all of it. The beet juices have definitely been my least favourite.
As I sit down to my final juice of not only the day, but the whole detox, I open my copy of 5lbs in 5 Days at the chapter entitled The Rough After Plan. Most of what the Juice Master’s post-detox recommendations are pretty obvious: swap a diet mentality for a freedom mentality, where no food is off the table, but make good choices most of the time; avoid refined fat, sugar and salt as much as possible; apply a low HI (human intervention) principle to your diet; eat when you’re hungry and drink plenty of water. But it’s the chapter called Be Limitless that really gets me thinking. In it, he talks of the power of momentum, highlighting how great it is to make it through five days of juicing, and how, by making it this far, you’ve given yourselfthe best possible chance of turning things around for good. Given how good I’m feeling, I make a mental oath to incorporate juicing into my everyday life.
As the night draws in, I start to get *incredibly* excited about the prospect of eating actual solid food again – and, of course, about weighing myself at the gym the next day. Stay tuned for the final results!
On Wednesday 22 January Stephanie wrote…
So here I am, five days after successfully finishing my detox, and I’m feeling pretty darn good. But I’m aware that all you really want to know is how much weight I lost, so let’s start there. On weighing myself at the gym on Saturday, after a breakfast of just one slice of toast and a hard-boiled egg (partly because I didn’t want to fill up pre-weigh-in, partly because I just wasn’t that hungry – honest!), I was pretty pleased to discover that I’d lost five pounds as promised – the Juice Master was true to his word.
And so, while the detox may have ended, I’m treating this very much as a beginning – the start of a happier, healthier, juice-enriched me. Viva the juice!