I am so proud to say that my 7-day juice cleansing is now done! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, which to be honest – I didn’t think I had the patience, willpower, or time for. But in all honesty, who can’t do anything for just seven days? Preparation is key, and I would definitely recommend getting the literature a few weeks in advance (from whichever juice programme you decide to go for) and study it properly, so you can both mentally, and physically prepare for what you are about to put your body through.
I decided to test the Jason Vale programme – The Juice Master Diet: 7lbs in 7 Days – after reading some great reviews and recommendations from friends. My goals? To cleanse, feel more energised and loose a few kilos. Well, I am happy to say, I did all of that, but the journey wasn’t easy…
7-DAY CLEANSE JUICE DIARY
– 5 juices a day (morning, mid-morning, lunch, early dinner, late dinner).
– Hot water with lemon (morning, before juice).
– Morning, afternoon and early evening exercises (from 20-40min per session).
– Minimum 8-hours sleep.
Optional: Hot water fennel/mint or hot apple juice w/cinnamon (evening, after juice).
– A juicer; I used Philips Juice Maker, now £69.99 (which I can highly recommend!). It’s not too messy, and relatively easy to clean.
– A decent knife, chopping board, peeler (for the lime) and strainer (to wash your vegetables and fruit).
– 2-3 flasks (if you’re planning on bringing them on-the-go) – I use Sigg bottles.
I decided to start on a Saturday, when I had more time to prepare and also get used to it. If you have all the ingredients to hand, the juicing process is super simple! I actually felt fine in the morning, before and after the gym, but towards the afternoon, I was feeling very tired, lightheaded and weak. Surprisingly no headaches all day. I felt refreshed after I had my early dinner juice and had a long soak in the bath. I was too tired to have my late dinner juice after this. Just before bedtime, I had warm apple juice and cinnamon, delicious! I slept like a baby.
Tip: Prepare all the ingredients all together in advance on the chopping board – it makes life so much easier!
Note: Be careful with the amount of wheatgrass you put in some of the juices; I messed up the measurements on the morning juice and added far too much – which was rather painful for the stomach! Other than that, the juices are pretty tasty and sweet.
The morning juice tasted much better with only one teaspoon wheatgrass (thank god)! I felt ok in the morning, and managed a 60-minute Body Pump class, without feeling weak or tired during. However, I did have a big dip in the afternoon again. It didn’t exactly help that I had a big brunch planned with a group of friends – the temptations were killing me! I felt a bit more revived after I had the early dinner juice (which again, pretty yummy!). I swapped my late evening juice for one with banana in it (you are allowed to swap and change, as long as you keep the basis of the juice with either pineappe, apple or carrot), as I was feeling a bit dizzy and craved the yoghurt/banana combination. I skipped my hot evening drink, as I drank the evening juice so late. Again, I slept great.
Tip: During this week, try to avoid any situations where you are surrounded by delicious food, especially in the earlier stages (the hardest period).
Monday morning. I got up nice and early and felt really refreshed (a rare account for me!), and prepared all my juices for work. My stomach felt a lot flatter. In general, the morning was fine and I had normal amounts of energy, not feeling too groggy. At around 11am I was flagging and feeling very hungry, so I had my mid-morning juice. After this, I was hungry again before lunch time, and was relieved I had the banana/yoghurt juice concoction. Again, it didn’t fill me up for long, and by 2.30-3pm I was feeling really faint and dizzy. I don’t know how, but I actually managed a ‘Body Blitz’ class at my local gym, which surprisingly made me feel better?! In general though, this day was hard and with evening plans after, I was quite dizzy and weak, and my mood swings were all over the place.
Tip: You can prepare your juices the evening before, to save time in the mornings! Just remember to seal the juices in an airtight flask/container/bottle and just squeeze some lime or lemon in your juice, to keep it fresh.
I didn’t manage the recommended 8-hours sleep (due to late night work commitments the evening before), so I was really tired when I woke up. My stomach also felt a bit bloated this morning, which was unexpected. I felt really groggy all morning, so didn’t manage any morning exersize. I had a busy day planned at work, and had little energy. Again, I had an afternoon dip, and had to drink my early dinner juice earlier. I actually ended up drinking more juices today (6-7, instead of 5) as I was quite hungry and in need of extra energy. This was by far the hardest day for me. I went to bed early and fell asleep within seconds.
I woke up more energised, and with a flatter stomach (thank god!). This was the first day of feeling ‘normal’. I had loads of stuff going on all day, and felt much stronger and clear headed. My mood swings seemed to have stopped (thank god!). I was still enjoying all the juices. I attended a high intensity aerobics class and managed it just fine. I went to bed early and again, fell asleep straight away.
This was my most challenging day in terms of what I had going on, with an all-day work event (in killer heels for 12 hours = not ideal) – but it actually went fine in the end! I had a few moments of feeling slightly dizzy, but I made sure to drink all my juices and loads of water throughout the day, and was feeling good most of the time. I also had a big evening event/party to attend (wearing even higher heels!) and was initially fine for the first few hours, then my body just said stop – understandably, and in hindsight, a lot of this probably had to do with me running around like crazy all day as well! I couldn’t wait to hit the sack when I finally got home.
Tip: Try not to plan anything too strenuous during your cleanse week!
Last day, and I have to admit, thinking back, I actually stopped counting down to the end after day 4. I am not saying; ‘YES, I can finally eat!’, it’s rather; ‘YES, I did it!’. This was a great day in general, and again, I felt normal (and even energised!). I also have to say that after 6 days of juicing – I’m still loving the recipes and taste (even my fiancee said they tasted nice, and he’s not a big fan of anything ‘overly’ healthy!). I finished off my last day with a good session in the gym and a relaxing Friday night with a hot bath, and my Friday treat in the programme, Sherbet Lemonade.
To conclude, I would firstly like to say, this was not easy (and I am someone with a lot of willpower and stamina.) I hate quitting things, and I knew after reading the very motivational book by Jason Vale, I would not quit. Looking back, I probably should have trialled a 3-day or 5-day cleanse programme first, but hey, I wanted a challenge. And this was by far, the most challenging thing I ever put my body and mind through.
There was many ups and downs (mostly downs in the initial stages of the programme) – but the one surprising thing throughout the whole process, was that I hardly thought about food or missed chewing something solid! Of course, I was very tempted on day 2 at the sit down Sunday lunch, but other than that I’ve been fine (just making sure I didn’t put myself in any other similar situations like that again!). The juices have also been surprisingly delicious, which was the nicest surprise. As there is a lot of pineapple/apple juice combos, many of the juices are quite sweet (which at times, can give you bit of a sugar rush), but in general, they kept me relatively full (although I ended up drinking slightly more/less on a few occasions.)
My main goal was to cleanse and feel more energised, which I did towards the end! I do suffer from occasional bloating and light heartburn after meals, so it was a delight when I didn’t suffer from this the whole week. I also slept like a baby each night and woke up relatively easy at 6am all mornings (to my standards, that’s early), to prepare all my juices.
In general, it’s made me really review and think about my food choices. I didn’t miss any heavy food or naughty treats, as the juices were quite sweet anyways – and I’m excited to start eating more green, consciously and nutritious!
Note: I didn’t manage all the daily 3 x exercises that were in the programme – it was physically impossible with my work hours and schedule – I did however manage some kind of gym class/exercises once a day.
Now, to the weight loss. I am aware I am not overweight; I generally just want to look healthy and fit. I did however want to shed some pounds for an upcoming holiday (in-line with a healthy exercise plan to tone up).
My final weight loss figure: 3.8kg / 8lb 6. Please note a lot of this was water weight.
Phase 2: The Turbo Charge Plan (also by Jason Vale) of the cleansing process, for the next 21 days. This consists of a diet of juice (often for breakfast), salad or juice for lunch, and a nice light dinner (i.e fish, brown rice, quinoa) for dinner. So a lot of lean protein, good fat (avocado, live yoghurt) and good carbs (sweet potato, dark rye, brown/wholegrain rice, etc.) So in plain, just simple and healthy living – pretty easy after a week of just juices!
Note: After a lot of similar questions in the comments field – I would like to clarify, in my opinion – this cleanse diet is not for long-term weight loss results. This is merely a kick-start into a new way of eating and healthier lifestyle; continuing to consume nutritious and healthy food, with regular exercise. You can’t just live on juices forever to keep the weight down!