Feeling a dire need to rid myself of all the unhealthy rubbish I ‘fed’ myself with over Christmas – and that’s without the months of abuse before December even started – I decided to embark upon the world’s biggest juice detox with the very funny and lovely Jason Vale and more than 20,000 other people from 40+ countries around the world that feel the need to do something smart for their bodies.
Now, I did actually do this same detox (which is Jason’s Juice Master 7lbs in 7 Days, in fact) back last year. While I did manage to get through the whole week without caving in or killing anybody, I did find I was very hungry. In fact, I swore never to do it again, but here I am, glutton for punishment, giving it a second go.
I will try to add to this ‘diary’ every day; but only if I have something to say. What I mean is, there’s no point saying every day: “Drank some juices, felt fine, went to bed” – I think readers will probably demand a bit more than that! So if I don’t have anything more to say than “drank some juices, felt fine, went to bed” I think it’s better to not update the post. Make sense? Good. Let’s crack on…
Day 1: Monday 7 January 2013
Had a stupidly late night last night – sat up ’til 2am smoking all the rest of my fags, because I didn’t want there to be any left over, tempting me (and I wasn’t going to chuck them away either, before you ask). So I got up a bit later than planned this morning – 8am instead of 7 – which meant already I’d cocked up a bit on the juicing front, because the first drink is hot water with lemon at 7 followed by the first juice proper at 8. Oops. Still, by the 11am juice I was back on track, and have managed to have all my juices on time since then (well, there are still two to go before the night’s over, but I’m sure I won’t be late drinking those).
It’s funny how the mind works. Quite often I’ll go through the day forgetting to eat, or only grazing on little bits and pieces here and there; I’m used to being hungry and ignoring it (rightly or wrongly, it’s what I do. Don’t beat me up over it. See, I did tell you I’d fallen back into bad habits). So why is it that today I actually noticed my hunger for a change? Although I’ve not felt really hungry – y’know, what we call starving but of course is nothing like actually starving – I have definitely noticed a rumble in my tummy today. And I’m fairly certain that’s because I know there will be no solid food this evening. On a normal work day, I can easily ignore hunger during the day because I know there will be a good solid meal in the evening. But today, there are no solids, only juices for a whole week – so perhaps my hunger is just psychological. Any road up, it won’t kill me. Just drive me mad a little, perhaps.
The overwhelming theme of today has been exhaustion. Not in a sleep deprived way though; the exhaustion I’ve felt today has been the sort of tiredness you get in early pregnancy, when your body just packs up and refuses to do anything else, and you have no choice but to fall asleep. That’s the sort of tiredness I’ve been feeling all day, and nothing will shift it. I fell asleep at my desk, with one of the cats (the heaviest one, of course) sleeping across my chest, making me feel as if I was suffocating. It was really hard to wake back up again. I still feel very woozy – like I’ve just come round after being unconscious or under anaesthetic – I just can’t seem to shake it. I’m guessing it’s a detox symptom so I’m sure it’ll pass. Early night for me, I think.
Haven’t exercised. Haven’t had the energy. And exercise is a bit of an alien concept to me, if I’m honest. Dragging myself out of the chair is harder than all the fasting and not smoking in the world, when you’re me.
Other than that – I feel absolutely fine. The juices are tasty, although I’m getting a little bit sick of the taste and smell of pineapple already (only day one as well – bah) – and even stopping smoking, which today I’ve done with no outside help at all (no hypnotism, no Jason Vale app in the end because I forgot to watch it last night, no nicotine replacement or electronic ciggies, no homeopathy even… no, this time it’s all just me, amazingly) isn’t bothering me as much as I thought it would.
This is only day one, though… let’s see if I’m as cheerful about it this time tomorrow…
Day 2 – Tuesday 8 January 2013
A very difficult day today. Realised that stopping smoking and doing the juice feast together was a bad idea – felt so tired and emotional, and had another day of not being able to do anything other than snooze at my desk. And each snooze didn’t leave me feeling refreshed, just more tired.
Something had to give, so I started smoking again. I know I was pushing myself too hard by stopping smoking and doing the juice detox at the same time – it’s just silly, removing all the things that give me pleasure (eating and smoking) at the same time – it needs to be done in stages. Funny enough, as soon as I started smoking again (mid-afternoon), I cheered right up and breezed through the rest of the day’s juices without complaint (yes, that’s the trick nicotine plays on you…). Had an hour or so in the bath, reading and relaxing, and felt fantastic for the rest of the evening.
Yes, I failed on the stopping smoking – this time. It’s a shame, but there you have it, and not really that much of a surprise. I do find stopping smoking is less stressful if I’m able to nibble my way through cravings – and I don’t mean sweets and bad foods necessarily, but being able to eat a handful of kale chips, a piece of raw chocolate or some other healthy snack would definitely take my mind off things – so once all the detoxing is done and I’m back on solid food, I’ll give it another go.
I’ve not been craving food that much, but when I do it’s healthy things I’m craving (remember that until I started to develop bad habits when I went on holiday last year, I ate mostly raw during the day and reasonably healthy cooked meals in the evening). I’d love a nice bowl of kale chips, or some of the raw chocolate that’s left in the fridge from Christmas, or the Thai-style raw stir-fry recipe I developed last summer. In fact, I’ve ordered in some kelp noodles ready for next week when I go back onto solid food, because that’s one of the first meals I’m planning to eat. I don’t fancy chips or sugar or rich sauces; just the healthy foods that I know keep me feeling on top of the world.
Day 3 coming up tomorrow and one of the juices has a whole 200ml of yoghurt in it… can’t wait! Never thought I’d be so excited about yoghurt!
Day 3 – Wednesday 9 January 2013
Feeling much, MUCH better today. Being able to smoke makes a big difference. Yeah I know, I know – it’s a toxin, I shouldn’t be doing it – but doing the detox and the not smoking at the same time was driving me mad.
Felt much more alert today, no drowsiness at all. And best of all, the sun was out – I was starting to forget what it looked like, so was delighted to see it shining there in the sky today. Took advantage of the warm, bright, dry weather by taking our dog, Huwci, down to the beach (about a 10 minute walk from here) for a game of football. Ended up being down there for about an hour and a half, running around like a loon on a big stretch of wet sand, just me and the dog. It felt a bit like coming out of a long quarantine, having all that open space and fresh air around me. Huwci even had a little swim (he didn’t have much choice really; he’d managed to knock his ball into the sea and it was in danger of being swept away, and there was no way I was going in the icy Irish Sea on a brisk January day to retrieve it!)
When I got back indoors I made my ‘Passion for Juice Master’ smoothie, which is a very simple one: pineapple, apple, natural yoghurt, a small piece of banana and half a teaspoon of spirulina. It doesn’t sound like much, but oh my DAYS it was delicious! I didn’t want it to end!
Slightly headachy this evening but that’s not down to the detox – it’s all the mad running around on the beach, followed by being hunched over my laptop, followed by driving in the dark (the headlights of other cars make me squint) to the supermarket to pick up my days 4-7 ingredients. Did I feel a bit strange, buying four pineapples, three cucumbers and 30-odd apples? Not at all! If the checkout girl thought it was odd, she didn’t say so. I also picked up a box of peppermint teabags as a change from the usual nettle or lemon and ginger infusions that I’ve been having in the evenings. I’m a bit late with tonight’s 8pm juice (just drinking it now, at 9pm) so I’m going to guzzle that now while I watch the live eviction on Celebrity Big Brother. But I will end by saying that this time round I’m rather enjoying my 7lbs in 7 days detox, and am not at all bothered that I have another four days of just juice. I’m in no rush to finish this detox (the trick is not to keep telling yourself you miss ‘food’ – what you’re drinking *is* food, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy so there’s no deprivation) and I’m looking forward to the next phase, which is the 14-day ‘turbo’ plan (if you’re interested in trying this, you’ll find a link to the book in the Jason Vale carousel under Day 1).
Back tomorrow with my next update. Night night!
Day 4 – Thursday 10 January 2013
I didn’t get the ‘juice high’ that’s supposed to happen around about now, but I have felt pretty serene, calm and content; maybe that’s my unique version of the high? In any event, pleased to be at Day 4 without killing anyone, though I am starting to crave a nice cup of tea.
Had a lunchtime game of ‘balloon volleyball’ in the garden with the dog, which was fun.
At 5pm disaster struck.
I was making my juice when the juicer started making a hideous noise. Turned out the bottom part of the feeder chute had cracked and a couple of large pieces had come off, meaning there was nothing holding the fruit and veg in place while it juiced – so I was getting tons of waste in the pulp box but very little juice (about half as much as I should have got). Luckily I had bought the juicer at Argos rather than online, and it was still under warranty, so I’ll be able to exchange it for a new one in the morning.
Missing my 8pm juice left me pretty hungry, so I had a banana. First solid food for four days – felt nice to chew for a change!
Day 5 – Friday 11 January 2013
Went to Argos first thing and asked for my juicer to be exchanged. Rather brilliantly, they did it without any questions. I simply handed it over, said I needed it exchanged, she said “OK love” and got on with it. So I got a brand new juicer with a new 1-year guarantee… nice!
More fun and games in the garden with the dog… tried to play balloon volleyball but the wind kept stealing the balloons, much to the dog’s distress. When we ran out of balloons we played a bit of football.
Nipped into the supermarket and bought some decaf Earl Grey and some unsweetened soya milk. The craving for a cup of tea was getting too much. Bit naughty and I know Jason wouldn’t approve, but today I’m starting to feel really fed up with living on nothing but juice. I’m really weary of it. I don’t want to stuff my face with takeaways, cakes and alcohol; far from it – I want food, but healthy food. The juice really isn’t cutting the mustard now. Dewi had a microwave curry for dinner tonight, and although I usually don’t like microwave food, the smell was making me drool. Roll on Monday when I can start eating real food again! The thought of a bowl of brown rice is almost unbearable – of all the things I could crave, brown rice is the one I’m looking forward to, bizarrely. Already know what I’m having for dinner on Monday night (brown rice, salad, and king prawns cooked with garlic, chillies and lemon); in fact, have planned out all my evening meals up to and including Thursday night, which is shopping night. Planning a raw food preparation day on Sunday, so that when Monday comes there’s plenty of healthy, delicious food in the fridge waiting to be eaten.
Day 6 – Saturday 12 January 2013
Starting to feel desperate for food now. Any food will do. It’s not so much that I’m hungry – I’m just sick of juice. I know all the juices have different ingredients and thus, different flavours; but they’re still juices at the end of the day, and they’re just not satisfying me any more. They’re filling the physical gap left by the lack of solid food, but not the mental/emotional one. Still not craving anything unhealthy, but I’d love to have a nice solid hot meal.
Spent several hours catching up with the ironing; the ‘mynydd smwddio’ (‘ironing mountain’) was getting a bit out of control again, so I stood in front of the TV and did the lot (about 4 hours all told). Watched ‘Bride and Prejudice’ which I’d got for Christmas but hadn’t yet seen. I love hearing ‘Bollywood’ music, and at the point I became conscious that I was jiggling my wobbly bum around in time to the music, I also became conscious that I was being watched. I turned around and looked behind me; there, at the window, was a gang of young boys pissing themselves laughing at the sight of a forty-something fatso shaking her booty to Bollywood music while ironing the sheets. Well that really set me off… couldn’t stop laughing, and was still giggling when Dewi got back from helping his parents fix their roof. Told him what had happened and we both pissed ourselves laughing all over again. Hilarious!
The real test tonight was going to the pub for a friend’s birthday drinks. I drove (so that would stop me drinking any alcohol in any case) but of course being on a detox, I couldn’t drink anything at the pub other than water. Actually, that didn’t bother me at all (I’m not much of a drinker); the hardest part was the lovely aroma of roast lamb that was wafting around the place. Now that really *was* hard. But watching people being drunk while I was stone cold sober was very interesting, I must say. Amazing too how many people seemed utterly scandalised that I’ve lived for a week on nothing but juice (all the usual “you know it won’t work, right?” and “that can’t be good for you!” and other such totally expected remarks. But despite the funny looks and know-all comments, I got through it without too many problems. Although of course, I still can’t wait for the juices to be over with and real food to be back on the menu.
Day 7 – Sunday 13 January 2013
Spent most of the day in the kitchen, ‘uncooking’ a selection of lovely raw food ready for tomorrow. I made a pint of almond milk, and used the pulp from the almonds to make Kate Magic’s lovely baobab brownies (looking forward to one of those tomorrow!). I also made a batch of raw granola, using Crazy Raw Vegan’s fantastic recipe – tomorrow’s breakfast, after a glass of green juice with added spirulina, probiotics, wheatgrass, barleygrass and milk thistle, will be a bowl of granola with almond milk. Oh and I made a batch of Kate’s delicious ‘brazilliant kale chips”, which I couldn’t resist a sneaky taste of.
As I write, Dewi is making a curry from scratch, and the smells wafting into the living room from the kitchen are unbearably good. The lack of food is now becoming unbearable, but it would be stupid to give up with only an evening left to go. I will no doubt have a teaspoon of the sauce to see what it tastes like (he’s following a recipe neither of us have ever used before, so I want to see how good it tastes) but I won’t cave and have a portion. No, I will be a good girl and have my final juice of the day – of the week – and look forward to real food tomorrow.
I’ve had a good think about what this week’s menus are going to look like, and have decided that I’ll start my days with green juice with added bits as described above, followed by a small bowl of granola and almond milk. For lunch, I’ll have a superfood smoothie – raspberries, bananas, purple corn extract, camu camu powder, maca, lecithin, water and vanilla. For snacks there are raw brownies, kale chips, home made raw chocolates (including some lovely white chocolates with home-dried rasperries, which are divine). And dinners on Monday and Tuesday will revolve around brown rice and salad, while Wednesday and Thursday will be all about the raw Thai-style stir-fried veg with kelp noodles.
Final diary entry tomorrow, when we’ll see what the results of all this suffering are!
Day 8 – Monday 14 January 2013
Could hardly wait to weigh and measure myself this morning! Jumped on the scales as soon as I got up, and here’s the long-awaited (by me anyway) results:
- Weight lost: 7lbs
- Inches lost: 4.5 (combination of bust, waist and hips)
- Body fat lost: 1 percentage point
Absolutely delighted with the results! So pleased, in fact, that I’m going to change my Facebook profile picture to a new one (which I’ll take later in the week) which is a little less unflattering! My current Facebook profile pic is one that a friend of mine took just before Christmas, which I absolutely hate. It’s a profile view and my fifteen chins are sagging down unashamedly. It’s absolutely hideous. One of the worst photos I’ve ever seen of myself, and Dewi (who usually offers a sympathetic opinion on things like that) even said he hates it and can’t wait for me to change it. So, I’ll wait until the weekend when I know I’ll be wearing makeup, take a new photo and also film my 30-60-second video to send in to Jason Vale (there’s £10k worth of fantastic prizes up for grabs, so I’d be daft not to really!)
Although this entry is dated Monday, I’m actually writing it on Wednesday evening. Since Monday morning I’ve been constantly distracted (in the nicest possible way) by a new Facebook group created by one of my fellow juicers from last week, for those of us who knew we’d miss chatting amongst ourselves on Jason’s page (we thought it’d be a bit rude to keep the conversation going there, distracting this week’s batch of new recruits). Spending so much time speaking to these wonderful, enthusiastic people has put a new fire in my belly where healthy eating and keeping this website up to date are concerned; they’re all so wonderfully keen to know more about healthy eating choices – especially raw food – I feel really inspired to have regular ‘kitchen days’ where I can come up with new healthy recipes to share with anyone who’s interested, and to share more information about some of the healthy ingredients we’ve been discussing (in particular, coconut oil- an article about which I’ve been threatening to write for the past year).
So doing this week of juice feasting has given me so much more than an internal cleanse. I’ve made new friends; I’ve rediscovered my passion for raw and healthy food; I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing; and, along the way, I’ve shed the equivalent of 14 packs of butter in just seven days. Thank you, Jason, for what you’ve done; you’ve brought me back to life, and I’ll always be grateful for it.