[pipdig_padded_text]If you follow me on Twitter you may know that a few weeks ago I did a 3-day juice cleanse, following Jason Vale aka the Juicemaster‘s plan. He has several books on the benefits of juicing and recipes as well as different plans- the 3-day, 5-day and 7-day plans. I’m quite cynical about detoxes and cleanses, as many of they claim to be good for you but really just force you to starve yourself of nutrients and/or calories. After reading more about Jason’s plan I decided to give it a go after I had over-indulged over my birthday and as a result I was feeling sluggish. So, here’s my account of how I found it.
– Hot water with lemon on waking
– Four juices a day: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Evening. Five juices on day three
– Herbal teas and water are allowed
– Light exercise every day.[/pipdig_padded_text]
I started my day with a cup of warm water and fresh lemon slices. I had made all of my juices up until the dinner juice the night before, so I grabbed my Mason Jars and headed off to work. I had a cup of green tea to tide me over and then had my breakfast juice. This one had the most ingredients out of all of them but didn’t taste great- I think that’s because I’m not a huge fan of beetroot. Unfortunately I had to have the same juice for lunch. The recipes made just under a litre of each juice, so it was quite a lot and I felt quite full after having half a litre. That feeling didn’t last long though, just before I was due to have my lunch juice my stomach felt like it capsized and had begun digesting itself. I went from feeling satisfied and thinking ‘I can do this’ to fantasising about anything and everything I could chew. I ran for my lunch juice but I really didn’t enjoy the taste. I struggled to drink it and my stomach was threatening to become a black hole. In a moment of weakness I reached for a Clif bar and my stomach instantly felt better, but my pride was hurt. I had my dinner juice as an early evening snack before leaving work, but I put too much lemon in it. Every time I took a sip I pulled the sour face, I just couldn’t drink it so I added about 1/2tsp of honey to it just to make it drinkable. Note to self, go easy on the lemon! Once I got home I didn’t feel hungry, just tired so after I’d made my juices for day two I decided to skip my evening juice and have an early night. 7.30pm early!
I slept right through to my alarm which surprised me. I can’t remember the last time I’ve slept so long! I had my hot water with lemon again. I really like having that first thing in the morning- I try to have it normally, but sometimes I forget and then I don’t eat or drink until I get to work. Breakfast today was a smoothie, which sounds great on paper- pineapple, blueberries, blackberries and yogurt- but in reality tasted so incredibly bitter and sharp. Again I really struggled to drink it so I added honey to it. I don’t know what it is with my belly and lunchtime, but again I felt deep hunger pangs which was a painful reminder to get my lunch juice. I normally eat every 2-3 hours and I was spacing my juices the same, so I don’t know what was causing the sudden hunger pangs. Lunch was, to my delight, the first juice I actually enjoyed the taste of. The recipe called for ginger, but as I hate the taste of ginger I only put in the tiniest amount. It tasted lovely! I had my dinner juice (with less lemon this time!) as an early evening snack then headed home and made my juices for the next day. This week the temperature had dropped to the lowest it had been and every night I was freezing so after I’d made my juices I’d get into my bed and put my electric blanket on. I intended to get up and make my evening juice for dinner, but I was so warm and snug that I just nodded off.
This time I didn’t sleep throughout the night. I woke up around 11.30pm and drifted back in and out of sleep for quite a while. I didn’t wake up feeling tired though when my alarm finally rang. I had my hot water and lemon, picked up my Mason Jars and headed off to work again. This time I’d made a change to the plan. It said that I should have the same breakfast that I had on day one, but I really didn’t like that so I switched it for day two’s smoothie. I amended the recipe by adding more pineapple and omitting the blackberries to try and avoid the bitter taste, but it didn’t work! I gave some to my boss who believes the worse things taste, the better they are for you. He agreed that it was nice on first sip but then left a really horrible after taste. I couldn’t finish this juice so I gave the rest to my boss. Luckily today on the plan calls for a mid-morning juice which I was eternally grateful for, especially after not finishing my breakfast. I drank my snack juice with glee and for the first time avoided the pre-lunch hunger pangs. My lunch time juice was the same one I was supposed to have for my evening juice on days one and two. It was delicious! I was gutted that I hadn’t had it sooner, I sipped it slowly to try to make it last. Again I had my dinner juice as a snack before leaving work and for the first time I had my evening juice. I was the fullest I’d been on all three days, not surprising as I’d had two more juices than the first two days. For a fleeting moment I thought maybe I could carry on and turn it into Jason’s 5 Day Detox, but I shook that thought away and reminded myself how excited I was to eat food tomorrow!
Weight: Down 4.2lbs
Body Fat: Up 0.7%
Belly: Considerately flatter and no longer bloated
Well, I achieved my goal. I lost weight and didn’t feel bloated anymore. I have to say, I started this detox after a very over-indulgent weekend (hey, it was my birthday!) so I was holding on to a lot more water than usual and I would’ve lost weight anyway just by going back to eating healthily. I’m not sure how effective this detox would be if you were only a couple of lbs away from your goal. However, this detox did speed things up for me so I’m grateful! As you can see, my body fat % went up ever so slightly, which means I’ve lost muscle mass which I’m not happy about. But Jason does recommend that you do exercise every day on this plan and I did none, choosing to crawl into bed super early every night instead.
On the whole it wasn’t that bad if you ignore the pre-lunchtime hunger pains. I didn’t feel like I had no energy in the evenings, in fact I was surprised at how much energy and how focused I felt throughout the whole of the three days. The reason I went to bed so early was simply because my house was freezing so I crawled into my bed with my beloved electric blanket whacked on. I then naturally drifted off to sleep, despite not necessarily feeling tired.
I would do this detox again, only I would amend/swap the recipes that I don’t like for ones that I do. I would have found day one a lot easier if I actually enjoyed the juices that I had to drink. I would also make sure that I did a bit of light exercise and that I had every juice. No more skipping on the evening juice!
I hope this post was interesting/useful. Let me know if you want to know anything else of if you have/are going to try a juice detox in the comments below.