Anyone that knows me knows that juice diets are my pet hate. For me, living a healthy lifestyle is living a lifestyle that is balanced sustainable and non-restrictive. Queue the hypocrite.. I went on a 3 day detox cleanse. Yep – the shame. I didn’t weigh myself at the beginning of this detox, nor at the end – why? Because I didn’t care how my weight changed. For me, this wasn’t about weightloss. So what was it about?
Embarking on a juice cleanse/ fast or detox of course will inevitably help you shift a few pounds as quite obviously, you aren’t eating. Yes they work…for 3 days (maybe a day after or two also). They are your ultimate quick fix – the kind of fix I don’t like. Yes you will lose weight but you will absolutely put that weight back on in days, actually minutes. Far too often I see girls juice cleansing for weight loss and then getting so excited when they can eat solids again that they over indulge – the classic binge beast that is inside of all of us when we are too restrictive of our diets.
HOWEVER, if you are embarking on a juice cleanse to actually cleanse and give your body and digestive system a rest then that’s a whole different story. For those of you that don’t know me –I suffer severely with IBS and pretty much every food intolerance under the sun. Without going in to to much poo talk, I go to the toilet, probably about once a week, twice if I am lucky and I bloat on a regular basis to the size of a 9 month preggers woman. Those of you that suffer with the same issues will know that it can completely take over your life.
Fasting for short periods of time has been proven to allow your digestive system the chance to catch up, so to speak. Our digestive system is almost always continually at work processing the food you just ate, as well as meals you’ve finished previously even days ago. After suffering for weeks with one of my worst flare ups in a while, I really had tried everything, everything but not eating of course. As you can imagine, I was dreading doing the cleanse because quite simply, I didn’t know how I was going to survive without my very special, very loved, 6 meals a day. Not sure how but somehow – I survived.. I’m here. Hello.
The Lemon Detox Diet – What is it?
Renowned for its celebrity ambassadors (think beyonce and naomi Campbell – so total boss girls) The Lemon Detox Diet is a naturopathic detox, aimed to help your body cleanse itself of toxins. The cleanse uses a mix of Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup, fresh lemon juice, water and a pinch of cayenne pepper provides the body with a balance of nutrients to support the fast. Embarking on the cleanse is said to aid with;
- Cleansing the body of toxins
- Weight loss if overweight
- Increased energy & vitality
- Shinier hair & stronger nails
- Clearer skin and eyes
- Better digestion
- Greater sense of wellbeing
While the actual inner cleansing and rejuvenation is performed by the body itself, the Natural Tree Syrup & lemon drink is said to fulfill important functions in assisting this process: It supplies the nutrients necessary for the body’s continuing alert functioning, assisting to restore the biochemical and mineral balance in tissues and cells and expediting cell regeneration. The acidity of lemon juice assists the cleansing process, acting like an internal detergent to dissolve excess fats and the cayenne pepper or ground ginger helps speed up metabolism, thus promoting circulation and the elimination of toxins.
There are two ways to complete the cleanse – depending on your goals. The ‘Total Detox’ programme is a full fast, which involves abstaining from solid food for a short period of time. Depending on how accustomed your body is to fasting, substituting solid food for The Lemon Detox can be done for 5-7 days. For people embarking on a fast for the first time, this should be done for 3-5 days. The ‘relaxed diet programme’ works over a longer period of time, you can substitute breakfast and dinner with 2-3 glasses of the detox drink, eating a healthy meal at lunchtime, abstaining from sweets, processed foods, red meat, fried foods, white bread, refined flour, dairy products, coffee cigarettes and alcohol.
so I guess I did a little mix of the two. I did it for 3 days, I fasted for two full days and had a light meal on day 3 and a few cheat nibbles (lol). During the cleanse you are supposed to allow your body time to rest also, abstaining from exercise and stress. It was totally impossible for me to find 3 days in my schedule that I could totally switch of and do nothing, I train quite a lot every day, train client’s and work full time and also had a bootcamp the week I did the cleanse – so I had to get some meals in else I surely would have died? Surely? I have to say I was completely surprised by the whole experience. Here’s how I found it.
Day 1 was the easiest/most confusing. For someone that eats 6 meals a day (plus snacks), I didn’t really know what to do with myself, I wasn’t hungry – just missed food, missed it dearly. The idea of the cleanse is that you have 7 cups a day/or whenever you get peckish. So as you can imagine, I had a cup in my hand at all times. But oddly – not because I was hungry, more habit. Despite desperately missing the food, I actually slightly enjoyed the break and also the taste if the detox. I was super tired by the evening but actually was more in shock than anything that I was still alive. I stupidly worked out in the morning so I found bedtime a little hard and thought I was going to pass out when I got into bed. Luckily I woke up the next morning – I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure I would.
Day 2 was the hardest, but waking up in the morning completely bloat free was the dream so I actually forgot about the food. Considering I went to bed so hungry it was odd not waking up starving. I didn’t feel hungry at all – literally still just missing food.
Day 3 was just filled with excitement at the fact I could eat the next day so it got me through. I have to say my energy levels were much higher than I expected and I wasn’t in a mood like all the girls in my team were expecting me to be. My only worry was that I hadn’t been to the toilet in four days (I guess there was nothing to get rid of) but I did think the break would help push out the toxins from before.
The most vital part is coming off the cleanse, I was warned by a good friend/nutritionist friend of mine that I needed to ease my digestive system back in to eating foo, especially as I was doing this purely for digestive purposes. Super annoying as I was DYING to enjoy something yummy ( exactly the reason why I don’t usually like the idea of cleanses as it makes you want to do exactly that – binge). I eased myself back in with lots of smoothies packed full of fiber – spinach, apples, pears, oats, flaxseeds in the hope (prayer) I would go to the toilet.
I have to say I didn’t feel drastically different post cleanse, perhaps I didn’t do it for long enough. But still the break was nice. One thing I will say is I had what I counted 11 people tell me I was glowing the week post cleanse. I was panicking that I was pregnant because why else would people keep saying it, as I write this – I realise why – the cleanse! So did it live up to its proclaimed results?
- Cleansing the body of toxins – definitely went to the wee a lot, my skin broke out slightly but not for long
- Weight loss if overweight – no comment
- Increased energy & vitality – oddly, yes (post cleanse, not during)
- Shinier hair & stronger nails – quite a lot of difference here, again something I didn’t realise until about a week after the cleanse.
- Clearer skin and eyes – have to say yes here, my skin has far more of a glow to it and is free from any breakouts
- Better digestion – tough one, not sure I did it for long enough – it definitely has helped a great deal but that could be because I used it as a kick start.
- Greater sense of wellbeing – I have to say yes here. I have felt so much better, just in general – I can’t explain it. It could be the cleanse, I would like to say it isn’t, but I think it could be?
The Lemon Detox cleanse can be purchased in Holland & Barrett and a whole host of suppliers listed here http://lemondetox.com/lemon-detox-suppliers/