“A what?” was the response I got when I informed my other half Norbert, that we’d be doing a 5-day juice cleanse. He wanted something to kick start weight loss and I, having just partnered up with Ju-Ice-It for Tonic Retreats thought it would tbe the perfect option – plus I was curious about whether I’d have the willpower to last and what the effects would be.
The conceptofa juice cleanse is simple; most of us are over-nourished (we eat too much!) which puts stress on our digestive system and liver, and eventually like filters on a vacuum cleaner, they clog up and become inefficient. This can lead to symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, poor bowel movements, indigestion, fatigue and poor skin. A juice cleanse (usually a minimum of 5 days but can be anywhere between 3 and 28 days) is a way to purify these organs and also give yourself a nutritional boost. You consume nothing but raw vegetable and fruit juices, the macro-nutrients are absorbed effortlessly, alleviating all pressure on the digestive system. If you enjoy your coffee and tea, you might unbeknownst to you also be physically addicted to caffeine, which can artificially raise cortisol levels and increase stress – a cleanse resets this , giving your body a break from stimulants
Naturally, we are not talking about shop bought pasteurised juice here; for optimum benefits you want fresh, cold-pressed and raw. This means juicing yourself on demand (if you have the time and necessary equipment) or thanks to clever companies like Ju-Ice-It you can have it delivered to your door. They juice and freeze within hours of cold-pressing, preserving the vitamins and minerals – all you have to do is defrost it.
A 5-day cleanse with Ju-Ice- It costs £120 pp for everything you need (in bold below)
Each day we consumed:
- Lemon juice and hot water- cleanses the liver and digestive tract
- Wheatgrass shot – cleanses the blood
- Ginger Shot – boosts circulation (also disguises the grassy taste of the above)
- 2 x 470 ml juices ( with yummy ingredients such as fennel, kale, spinach, lime, mint, pear, pineapple, carrot, turmeric, ginger)
- 2 x 470 ml smoothies (usually contains avocado or banana for a thicker consistency)
- Herbal teas and water
- NO food
- NO caffeine
- NO sugar/salt
Juliet, Founder of Ju-Ice-It gave us a few tips to help us manage our cravings : we should ‘chew’ the juice slowly as we drink it, to trick the body into thinking we were eating. We were also advised to save the smoothies for when we were hungriest or before exercise, and if we really needed to eat we were allowed a banana.
Here’s how it went:
Naz 65.2 kg Norbert 102.8 kg
Thank God we started this on a bank holiday Monday instead of an ordinary working week. By 3pm the lack of coffee (Norbert can clock up 5 a day!) made us soporific and we napped on the sofa for hours. My hunger pangs came in waves and extreme thirst woke Norbert in the night - an indication, apparently, of his body trying to flush toxins
Naz 63.7kg and Norbert 101.2
Not hungry on awakening but started to miss chewing. By the afternoon weboth had the a fug of a mild headache, which is normal. Went to a lunch meeting and had herbal tea and sparkling water whilst my companions guiltily ate paninis and chips. Felt smug.
Naz 62.7kg , Norbert 100. 2
Amazed by rapid weight loss and felt surprisingly bouncy and energetic. Have noticed a heightened sense of smell! By the evening found myself getting rather hungry and grouchy.
62.3kg Norbert 99.6kg
Despite the weight loss slowing down, I have started to notice real definition of my abs. Felt lighter and not hungry at all, but I do miss eating. Norbert has found a range of herbal teas he enjoys and asked “what have you done to me?” Went to hot yoga and roller derby training and felt great.
Naz 61.5, Norbert 98.2
Am a little ‘blocked up’ today and the waves of hunger have returned. Found myself reaching for a cherry tomato but stopped before I cracked. Am pleased at my willpower but glad that tomorrow we can eat. Go to Waitrose shopping for supplies and spend the evening talking about what we’re going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Final Results – Day 6
Naz 61.2kg Norbert 98.6kg
Weight loss 4kgs
Juliet recommended that for the week we stick to a plant based diet and chew everything properly but the temptation for a boiled egg on toast for our first breakfast was too much. The flavours of food tasted amazing but my jaw actually started to ache from all the mastication. We were full within minutes.
Despite finding it a challenge at times, I loved not having to think about shopping, juicing or cooking (and I had so much spare time!) and I enjoyed the variety of juices provided. I realised what a grazer I am and how often I reach for snacks (albeit healthy nuts, seeds, dates or fruit) so am trying to curb the impulse and swap in herbal teas.
Overall I was really impressed with the results; I wasn't really concerned with losing weight but I loved my super flat tummy, feeling ‘lighter’ and would definitely consider doing a cleanse every 6 months. Mr willpower himself, Norbert found the whole experience much easier than I did, although he really missed his coffee fix and was straight back on it Day 6. He too thinks we should make it a regular thing. Win win!