According to some reports the popularity of juice detoxes are on the wane, but at Grazia towers we'd dispute that: they're still very much talked about. Note we say 'talked about', as infact only a few hardcore people have actually ever attempted one. So when blogger Tess Ward came to us offering to be our 'detox guinea pig' for 3 days and write a diary for us, we said yes please! Tess is a cordon bleu trained chef and the brains behind hit blog The Yes Chef, which is all about creating easy healthy food anyone can make, we knew she was going to take this responsibly too. She choose to do a x-day Cleanse from Juice Delivery people Plenish Cleanse.
Tess told us, ‘For me this cleanse was an opportunity to reboot my digestion. I am a chef, writer, food lover and sufferer of IBS - for the last few months I have been undergoing strong treatment for a parasite and rebuilding the linings of my GI tract. This cleanse was part of an experiment for me to see whether juicing can give the body a much-needed break from digestive trouble and help the healing process. Because weight loss was not the goal for me, I added in at least four additional tablespoons of hemp, coconut, or flax oil a day, to ensure I got enough fats. This was a good way to get the benefits of juicing whilst maintaining.’
Day One: Friday
'Beginning a juice cleanse, tired, hungover on a grey London day is not advisable for even the most happy of Larrys. A throbbing head and rumbling tummy with three days of liquid ahead… Did I think about throwing in the towel before I had begun? Absolutely. But don’t tell Plenish that!
One sweet green juice of the day down, my first observation, was how damn chilly my flat had suddenly gotten. Call me silly but it hadn't occurred to me how much difference drinking a 500ml bottle of fridge-cold juice would make to my internal body temperature, and this was only the first. Had it not been a warm weekend I imagine I would have struggled. Had I had attempted this in the colder months I definitely would have been alternating sips with hot herbal tea, to avoid internal frostbite.
After the initial hangover blues had passed, the rest of day one really picked up. Any tummy gripes I had earlier in the morning had passed and the juices were by now flowing freely through my veins. Sluggishness had given way to a rare moment of mental clarity and I had one of the most productive work days since university, at dissertation time. This was largely thanks to juice number four. The spicy lemonade. Although not the most tasty of the bunch, the strong kick of chilli and fresh lemon juice made it, undeniably, the most energising. Well timed in the programme to avoid the 4-pm slump. Friday night was a movie night, and early bed. By this point I had reached a happy level of balance. Sugar levels were good, hungry surprisingly absent and my tummy was calm and cramp free.'
Day Two: Saturday
'After a good night I awoke Saturday morning full of beans and practically bounced to the kettle for my morning cup of hot ginger and lemon and a tablespoon of coconut oil, licked like a lolly from the spoon. After learning the hard way on Friday, waiting an hour before having a first cup of liquid, I realized the best way to avoid a breakfast cupboard raid first thing was to get a tea on the go pronto. It was only after an hour that I would crack into the first juice, which would be slowly slurped over the next couple of hours.
Not one to miss the first day of a spring heat wave it wasn’t long before me and my ‘mind body green’ - the third juice of the day was pottering in the park, followed by a very unwise to whole foods to pick up more oils. A word of advice - stock up on what you need in advance. In no circumstance should a hungry juicer be let loose on a supermarket. Especially one as seductive as Wholefoods, I was a very near miss with some free samples of parmesan (my favourite cheese).
By the later part of the afternoon, energy was lagging, but I was feeling calm and enjoying settling into a slower rhythm.'
Tess's Favourite Juices
'In terms of taste alone was definitely the rich ‘cashew milk’ in the evening. I would definitely buy it again. A little more date in the cashew milk and a whizz in the processor with a couple of ice cubes would made it cracking healthy milkshake. For the cleanse I found the most beneficial to be the lemonade. It is a great thing to try for an energy injection when you get that afternoon coffee urge.'
Day Three: Sunday
'By day three any plans of operating any heating devices, like a hair straightener was completely unadvisable, let alone an iron or rolling pin. Although awake, mobile and surprisingly perky, the strength in my muscles had started to seriously waver. Nothing was looking more appealing than the sofa and a marathon catch up of Girls. Three juices down, a wonder in the sunshine and a catnap, I felt thoroughly relaxed, yet thoroughly ravenous at this point. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t secretly hoping for was a sexy admirer to turn up at my door, wrapped in a shiny package and waiting for me to rip it apart with my teeth. Of course I am talking about a Chosen Bun… what else?'
'Aside from the final afternoon of exhaustion, the three days had not been what I expected. I thought it would be three days of ravenous hunger, borrowed juice energy, and a roller coaster of emotion. Actually it had been three days of calm. A chance to reconnect to my body and spend a little time moving a welcome slower pace. No digestive complaints, a flat tummy and a lot of rest.
It would be untrue to say that these were not three very welcome days of detoxing and calm. Much needed in the busy life of a twenty-something (lets not be too specific) Londoner. Thanks Plenish for my journey.'
A 3-day Plenish Harmony Cleanse costs £240 (5-day cleanse £395) including delivery to your door. The Cleanse consists of 5 x 500ml juices per day plus a cashew milk. Delivery is nationwide. For more details click here