In January I made a series of New Year Resolutions including learn how to do the splits, run 10k, stop falling over as much, and the annual promise of a health kick. It is now June and none of these depressingly unambitious resolutions have come to fruition.
It was with this realisation that I made the (in hindsight) hasty decision to rectify my health situation by committing to a trendy juice detox. I followed the 5lbs In 5 days plan by Jason Vale the self-proclaimed “Juice Master”.
Jason claims the benefits of juicing to be far reaching and promises an improvement in your “hair, skin, nails, eyes, energy levels and every aspect of your well-being”. York’s own Xing juice bar offers the same juice detox plan in a three, five and seven-day format with the drinks conveniently pre-made for you to collect each morning. There is also an option to collect the juices for the whole stretch of your detox in one batch which you keep frozen until the day of usage.
Foolishly I decided to make my own juices and spent a large portion of each evening slaving away in a juicing production line.
The juices drinks are all concoctions of freshly juiced fruit and vegetables with added boosters like wheatgrass and spirulina. The detox plans consists of consuming a juice drink every three hours throughout the day which approximates to 5-6 juices.
You begin the day with a mug of hot water with a lemon slice and can also drink fruit teas in between your allotted juice “meals”. It is also recommended that you drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and help flush out those pesky toxins.
Jason advises that is also important to partake in regular exercise – however I am perilously unfit so due to the low calorie intake I decided to stay away from exercise other than my daily sprint for the train and hourly walks to the kettle.
I arrive at work with a bag full of green and purple flasks drawing more than a few funny looks from co-workers. There is strong novelty factor to this attention as I smugly tell everyone who will listen that I’m “detoxing”. The juice drinks closely resemble the sludge you find when you unblock a drain only with an added shot of wheatgrass.
A picture of my first juice was described by my good friend as looking like “a glass of polyjuice potion made with one of David Cameron’s hairs”. Throughout the day I do feel slightly hungry but the juices are well timed with hunger pangs as I drink one every 3 hours. I currently have high expectations that in five days time I will be frolicking around with my glowing skin and shiny hair like the lasses on perfume adverts.
Today was the real test of my will power as my body struggled to cope with being fed nutrient-filled juices rather than large amounts of cheese. I felt clammy, hot and flustered from waking up until bed time and an afternoon dash to the shops culminated in me throwing up in the toilets of John Lewis. Soon after the unpleasant vomiting incident I caved and ate a yoghurt. There was some minor self-flagellation at this point.
In a cruel twist of fate it is Cake Friday in the office. I can only conclude that I did something outright evil as a child and this is karma repaying the debt. Despite the vast array of doughnut, cookies and chocolate I stay strong and stick to my three flasks of juice. I feel considerably perkier than I did yesterday and don’t experience my usual mid-afternoon energy crash. I have also become something of a herbal tea maverick. Due to becoming so intensely bored of juice I have started mixing my up herbal teabags in mind-blowing combinations. Green tea with camomile and spiced apple. Enough said.
I feel well-adjusted to my juice diet at this point in proceedings. My energy levels are high and I’m comforted by the knowledge I am over the half-way point. I meet a friend for lunch in a healthy café and order a celery, spinach, cucumber, apple and orange juice as she tucks into a panini. What a cow.
You may now be wondering where my musings for Day Five of the aptly named Five Day Detox might be. It is at this point that I must confess at about 8pm on Day Four of the detox I let myself and the juicing community down by eating a curry. Swiftly followed by five chocolate mini rolls. I am now going to gloss over the fact that I am a weak-willed, sorry excuse for a human and jump straight to the results.
First and foremost I would like to note how grateful I am to my colleagues, friends and family for withstanding four days of my growling belly and me watching them eat solid food wide-eyed like a begging labrador.
Aside from finishing the detox a day earlier than planned I would definitely consider the whole experience a success. Other than the inevitable side effects I experienced on the second day of detoxing I actually felt surprisingly well overall. There were occasional pangs of hunger, headaches and tiredness but no more than you would experience from a diet of processed food and sugary drinks.
Day three and four I noticed I had much more energy than usual and this has continued on after the detox. I also lost 3lbs over the course of four days and my stomach is pleasingly flat. It is incredibly refreshing to be free of bloating and daily sugar comedowns.
From a lifestyle point of view one of the best things about this detox is the option of length. For those, like myself, with poor self-control then a three-day detox might be a sensible way to ease yourself into the world of juicing.
The total price of the ingredients, for five days’ worth of juice, was about £70. Markets are definitely the best place to buy the fruit and vegetables if you need to keep down the cost.
If you lead a hectic life I would also thoroughly recommend buying the juices rather than making them yourself. Prices for the three detox plans available at Xing are as follows:
- Seven days = £175
- Five days = £133
- Three days = £91
For more information pop into their shop on the Shambles or visit their website.