Somewhere between an overindulgent Ireland trip and an impending wedding, I decided to sign up for a three-day juice cleanse. A simple google search will give you plenty of people preaching about the benefits of a cleanse, but I just wanted to share my experiences as a girl who really adores eating food. It can be done, but let me tell you straight up, things got pretty real.
As a bit of background, I’ve never done any kind of detox before and the reason the Urban Remedy Cleanse jumped out at me was because it came fully prepared (I don’t own a juicer) and it had a normal amount of calories per day, so it wasn’t one of those ‘lose 10 pounds in 2 minutes’ type thing. My normal self tends to scoff at cleanses and detoxes, but the realisation that my wedding is, like 68 days away, was enough to send this otherwise sane girl a little nuts. I’m pretty healthy, but I’ve been having a little too much caffeine, a little too much sugar and a few too many late nights recently. I thought it would be a good way to kickstart my pre-wedding healthiness, brighten up my skin and eyes and yeah, maybe get rid of a holiday kilo or two.
The program comes with six juices per day, which equates to one juice every two hours. All sounds pretty reasonable right?
Day one: 7am. I wake up with a pretty killer headache, which I put down to the fact that I ordered a ridiculous dessert last night, as some kind of reward to myself for the impending cleanse. Never mind that the cleanse recommended tapering down your eating for a few days prior and cutting back on sugar and caffeine. Oops. Anyway, I start with the recommended glass of warm water with lemon juice and walk Mia as I impatiently wait for 9am to arrive for my breakfast smoothie. It is made with berries, mango, banana, acai and chia and is absolutely delicious. Great start! It filled me up and I’m not even a little hungry for the next two hours.
11am. The second juice is lemon and cayenne pepper with water. Bleh. Not my favourite. Isn’t that what Beyonce and Liz Hurley drink non-stop as part of that lemon master cleanse thing? No thanks. I finish about half of it and put it back in the fridge in case things get desperate later on. It is sweetened with stevia and gives me something to fill my stomach with. I already start to realise that my problem is not going to be hunger, it’s just that I enjoy the sensation of eating. I really like it. Eating is fun. So it is more of a mental thing to get over than actually being hungry. I’m daydreaming about food and noticing every single ad for food on TV. I loath KFC and even the gross sticky chicken thing they are advertising is starting to look good.
1pm. The lunch soup is eagerly devoured and is just as delish as the smoothie. It is made with lentils, tomato, carrot, celery, garlic and olive oil. Yum. The soup makes me feel like I’m eating an actual meal. Despite all the drinking, I’m finding myself very thirsty and am drinking lots of water. I booked in for a massage at 2pm, which is one of the things recommended to help with the results of the cleanse. I can’t say I had any problem with it and I enjoyed every second of that little treat. Other recommendations are dry brushing your skin, pilates and yoga, hot and cold showers and going to a sauna. I don’t know if I’ll try any of those, but I wouldn’t mind another massage.
3pm. My afternoon juice is pineapple, apple and mint and is sooo good. It’s a sweet treat for the afternoon munchies. The ‘wanting to eat’ feeling has subsided and I am starting to settle into the program. Seriously, how good is eating though?! I’m switching from high energy – need to clean the house and do some pilates, to low energy – need to sleep moments pretty quickly. 5pm. The dinner soup is better than I thought, seeing as I’m not really a broccoli fan, but it is warm and delicious and really hit the spot. I’m such a nighttime snacker so I was looking forward to the coconut milk and cashew smoothie to finish off the night on, but it was a bit disappointing. It had a weird taste and a chunky texture and I couldn’t finish more than two sips. Oh well! I’m not too hungry anyway, surprisingly. I am a tad emotional though (I watched Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility back to back and cried watching an episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show, I’m ridiculous).
At the end of the first day I am feeling good – a little tired, a little agitated but ready to finish days 2 and 3. AK not being here definitely made starting the program a bit easier, because we love eating out together and he’s great at the ‘oh darling, you look great. Eat that second piece of cake’. It’s sweet because I know he loves me as I am, but it’s no good for trying to get into wedding/honeymoon shape. I’m in bed by 8.30pm.
Day two: Wow, I slept until 8am and had some crazy vivid dreams. In one of them I was friends with people from Made In Chelsea, but really wanted to kick Ollie out of our group. Weird. I’d read people raving about how much energy they woke up with, but no such luck for me. Despite almost 12 hours sleep I wake up feeling a tad groggy and skip my planned visit to the gym, walking Mia instead. Loving the breakfast smoothie and then I’m off to a vintage fair, with my lemon pepper drink in tow. It was actually better this time and the fair was a much-needed distraction from my lack of eating.
But by the time I get home I’m feeling a little light-headed and scoff my lunchtime soup. A friend pops in with a beautiful punnet of fresh strawberries from the West End market, so I break the rules and eat 2 of those. I figure it’s alright seeing as I’m not having the coconut milk drink in the evening. My friend comments on how my skin is ‘glowing’ and I must say, as ridiculous as it might sound, it actually does look better. I know it’s only been one day, but maybe all the nutrients are giving me a good colour. Or maybe the lack of real food is making me hallucinate.
I love the afternoon juice with pineapple and mint – it gives me a real kick for the next few hours and I buzz around the house, cooking my lunches for the week, cooking Mia’s food, cleaning and washing. I save my dinner soup for a little later than the 5pm recommended time as I know I don’t want the final one. So at 6.30pm I sit down to the end of my second day and reflect a little. This juice cleanse isn’t so bad, I think, but I sure would love a banana and maybe some almonds. Weird that my cravings aren’t junk related as they usually are.
Day three: I wake up from some more crazy dreams – this time my florist completely effed up my order and didn’t even make bouquets. Random. The final day of my cleanse, hooray! I do a little happy dance and completely plan out my first day of real eating – breakfast will be oats w/ almond milk, blueberries and LSA, lunch will be chickpea and lentil stir fry with vege (that I cooked on Saturday) and salmon and vege for dinner. I might snack on some hommus and carrot sticks if I like. The thought of such a day of eating seems decadent and exciting. But, I digress. I still have 24 hours of juicing to get through. I wake up groggy, with a bit of a headache. Still not buying this whole ‘you’ll just jump out of bed with so much energy’ thing. But a big glass of water makes me feel a bit better and I down my lovely breakfast smoothie before hitting a pilates class.
10am. OK, I’ll be honest here. When the juice cleanse website talked about pilates being ‘reenergising’, I called BS. It seemed like something a pretentious yoga-loving hippy would say. Exercise makes me tired, it doesn’t give me more energy. But, I actually bounced out of the gym after my glass, despite being late for my second juice and stopped off at my normal gym for a 30minute run before heading home. Yep, I’m that guy. I was definitely ready for my lemon detox drink when I got home and I dived straight into my lunchtime soup an hour later.
The afternoon is a little harder, but the end is in sight so I sip water until 3pm finally comes around and I get my favourite juice of the day. I also do a face mask and paint my nails to pass the time. What a fun weekend of me-time. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I seriously love being home on my own, pottering around, reading, watching trashy tv, cooking and just hanging out. I adore AK (obviously) and don’t really enjoy him being away for more than 2 nights, but I definitely cherish the alone time when I can.
8.30pm. I hit bed pretty early again, looking forward to my first day of eating ahead. I lost about 1.5kilos during the juice fast, a lot of which I presume is water weight, but it did give me a clearer perspective on my eating habits. I eat mostly because I like it and don’t really listen to my body telling me when it needs food and when it doesn’t. So I vow to eat smaller meals, more often and hopefully treat my body with a little more respect.
So that’s about it guys, my three-day juice cleanse was far less traumatic than I anticipated, but still a bit of a challenge. Hit me up if you have any questions, but otherwise, here’s to eating! Yay!