My diet has not been what is normally is. Unfortunately lock down and Covid took a lot out of all of us and to be honest with everything that was going on, the last thing I worried about was the nutritional benefits or health aspects of what I was putting in my mouth. Even though i knew it would help. I still managed to move nearly every day. I walked around the house in early lockdown and then moved around the block once we were allowed out. I did yoga or Pilates a couple of times a week and really enjoyed it.
So instead of worrying about food I rather chose to really enjoy it. I baked with the children which they loved. This time in the kitchen ignited my love of cooking again and we really savored eating. And do you know what, we survived. We needed something to look forward to. Something to enjoy and share together.
Unfortunately, I reached a point where my pants got way too tight and started to feel super uncomfortable. I decided it was time to get back on track and prioritize my health again. This started off with changing some bad habits. It takes about 60 days to create a habit, so the key is small lifestyle changes that you can be consistent with. The biggest bad habit I picked up during lockdown was the sweets after dinner. I find that replacing rather than just stopping is easier. So, we went back to fruit after dinner. Obviously the first couple of days are a bit hard but time it really becomes easier until you do not think about it anymore. The other big thing is WATER. Have it around all the time and try for about 2 L a day. I find that if I am hydrated, I am far less likely to snack when I am not hungry. I started making progress with both aspects and then we went away for a well-deserved holiday.
This was a bit of a disaster food wise. The breakfast was a standard eggs, bacon, chips, toast, and sausage. It was also included in our stay. After that big breakfast we did not really need lunch but then ended up snacking (and snacking on empty calories without fibre.) Supper was very meaty. Ribs, schnitzel, etc all with chips. I also had at least two gin and tonics or Savannah’s a day. The salads and veg options were not great and there were no shops close by. So, I decided to just go with it and get back on track after the holiday when I had a bit more control. I hiked up the hill for the first couple of days and then I started to feel terrible. Stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, and heart burn. Heart burn? The only time I have had heart burn in my life was pregnancy. Surely these horrific symptoms were not caused by a week of bad lifestyle choices, but they were.
Once we got back, I cut out my alcohol consumption temporarily. I went back to my water and tried to eat whole unprocessed food. Almost right away the heartburn, nausea and stomach cramps stopped but the bloating stayed. My digestion was not great either (it is not great normally, so it had now become even worse) I really did not feel 100% and did not know what to do.
I decided to me needed to something a little drastic. I needed a complete reframe. I started looking into cleanses and did quite a lot of research. I finally decided on doing a 3-day juice cleanse. 3 days with no food and only juice. I have done a cleanse in the past for my immune system but never a juice cleanse. The company I decided to go with are based in the Cape and are called Juice Revolution. They include detox tea’s and supplements. The detox comes with an entire guide and Fiona, the owner has hands on with delivery and happy to answer any questions. The cleanse was pricey. I paid R1150 per person excluding delivery (This price may change) Here is a 5% discount code MICHELLE80507 (expires at the end of Oct 2020)
What did we get in the pack?
- 15 x 500 ml cold press juices
- 3 x 340 ml Nut Milks
- 6 x Detox teas
- 3 x Supplement packs.
So yes, there are many benefits of consuming fruit and veg juice:
- They are high in vitamins and antioxidants
- They boost the immune system
- They can remove toxins
- They could assist the gut to work more effectively.
- You may feel lighter.
- You may figure out any intolerances.
Obviously, there are also risks or cons involved too:
- Drinking large amount of juice can put pressure on the kidneys (I have happy, healthy kidneys)
- These sorts of diets are generally very low in calories. (Obviously, this is not ideal on a long-term basis, but 3 days will be ok.)
- It may slow down your metabolism.
- It may cause my blood sugar to drop and cause dizziness or light-headedness.
- Feel sluggish and grouchy
So how did I do?
Before cleanse: Before the cleanse I was working out 6 days a week. 2 days of Strength training and one of Pilates /yoga and 3 days of cardio.
During the cleanse: I did light yoga for only 30 mins and a 5 min meditation.
What was the hardest part?
- Roger thank goodness did the cleanse with me, but I did still have to prepare food for the kids over the 3 days and that was tough.
- I missed chewing.
- Coffee, I really wanted coffee, I normally drink decaf, so I am not sure what that is about.
Mindset is key
Did I get hungry?
Not as much as I would have thought. I had a moment in day one where I went to fetch the kids from school and did not take my next juice with me and my tummy started to rumble. The evenings were harder, and I was very thankful for the nut milk one at 5pm. It was something to look forward to.
Did I get brain fog?
I struggled to concentrate in the afternoons. I felt a definite lack in energy and was a bit moody.
Did I lose weight?
Initially I lost about 2.1 kg over the 3 days. This must have been mostly water weight or cleaning out my digestion as they weight came back over the next week. I did however see a huge difference in my bloating and my digestion. I did also find the mindset was amazing after.
So, was it worth it?
The reasons for doing the cleanse was for bloating, intolerance and to get my mindset on track and from that perspective it was worth it. I would not suggest doing a juice cleanse to get rid of a couple kgs.