Hi, my name is Claire and I really like food.
I adore the eye-watering heat of a rich Thai curry, the ecstatic sight of a poached yolk oozing on to crusty bread, the dizzying pleasure of tasting that first bite of a toasty panini. Just typing this has me wondering whether I have enough change in my purse to buy a bag of Pret a Manger’s crispy kale (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it). If eating were an Olympic sport, I’d be up there with Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis-Hill, waving another gold medal for Team GB and rubbing my overstuffed belly with glee.
Like most of my fellow millienials with our FitBits, juice bars and jaunty early morning raves, I try to strike a balance. If I’ve devoured an entire pizza, I’ll try and run that little bit further on the treadmill. I eat a lot of spinach in the morning if I spent the night worshipping at the altar of tequila. You get the idea.
But there comes a point in everyone’s adult life when one questions whether mixing beer, Prosecco and McDonald’s mozzarella dippers are really steering you down the right path. The delicate balance between health and junk can be easily upset, and it’s a slippery slope from “I’ll just have one slice” to eating the entire cheesecake. My salad was consumed increasingly often inside a burger bun, and my fruits intake came at the bottom of a glass of Pimm’s, I’d reached a stage where I felt like I could do with a bit of a health reboot.
It was for this reason that I decided to embark on a one-day juice cleanse, provided by lovely affordable wellness company Nutriseed, who believe that staying healthy is not just for the wealthy. Here’s what went down.
Juice #1 – 12 pm: Yes you read that correctly, I didn’t start juicing until 12 noon. Nutriseed were only able to deliver my precious bottles of sustenance between 9am and 12pm, so I hovered by the window of my second floor flat for three hours like a sad dog waiting for walkies. By the time my little box of juices showed up, I was ready to eat my own arm. Sadly that wasn’t part of the cleanse, so I chug down Clarity, my first juice, which provides a hit of carrot, apple, mint and maca. It’s not the most disgusting thing I’ve ever forced down (Omega 3 fish oil still trumps everything else), but I’m not pining for more either (there’s a good reason carrot and mint soup isn’t a thing). One down, four to go.
Juice #2 – 1 pm: You’re not supposed gulp down the juices in such quick succession, but it was lunchtime and my body had become painfully aware of how empty my stomach was. Usually a large falafel salad with a side of Halloumi would be making its way down my oesophagus, but today I sipped on a Neon juice, a blend of mineral water, lemon, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Initial sips proved very sour, but by the end of the bottle I was into it; the bitter flavour of the lemon gave the lemonade a little more substance. Neon was no falafel salad, but I was struck by a surprising jolt of energy half an hour later – maybe these wacky wellness folk are on to something.
Juice #3 – 3 pm: Most juice cleanse guidelines strongly advise against any kind of strenuous activity so I skipped the gym, but being the rule-breaking rebel that I am, I went for a 45 minute walk. Outrageous, I know. At 3pm I arrived at the office feeling remarkably energised considering that my body was running on around 120 calories. Next up was Queen of California, a delectable combination of broccoli, romaine lettuce, celery, pear, chia seeds and cucumber. I felt like a green goddess as I savoured the last drop – less the Hulk and more Poison Ivy, fighting crime and taking names with my leaf powered strength.
Around an hour later as colleagues tucked into snacks and the scent of pesto lingered in the air, my stomach started rumbling. My desk neighbour apologised as she tucked into her jacket potato with cheese and beans, while I chuckled in response and took a hefty swig of lemon-infused water. The thought of cheddar flakes turning into delicious gooey melted cheese just inches from my mouth was almost too much to handle. How much longer would my resolve last?
Juice #4 – 5:30 pm: As it turns out, it didn’t last much longer. I caved into the call of my growling stomach and indulged in a packet of instant miso soup (18 calories) to quell my burning desire for something substantial and savoury. A point in my forehead had started to throb and I couldn’t hold a train of thought. Perhaps this kind of hunger might have been tolerable had I been loafing around the house or stretching my limbs with some light yoga, and not sat behind a desk desperately trying to write something funny.
I followed up my momentary miso slip with Another Kind of Green, a sweet blend of cucumber, apple, spirulina and parsley. To the non-health food fluent, spirulina is an edible algae packed with essential amino acids, B vitamins, iron and manganese, and was the power food of the Aztecs and Mayas. It could have been all the fructose (or, ahem, the miso soup), but I felt notably energised after this one.
Juice #5 – 8pm: Finally it was time for the juice I’d been dreading, Wildfire.
As you might have guessed, this little number contains beetroot, the Marmite of the root vegetable world (along with celery, apple and goji berries), one of the few veggies I shun at every opportunity. But despite its deep purple hue, the most prominent taste on the palette was celery, with a refreshing spike of apple. Many juice cleanses on the market end with a nut milk, so Nutriseed breaks the mould in that respect.
After work I headed home and collapsed into a deep sleep and dreamt about working in a restaurant but not being able to eat any of the food.
What did it feel like the next day?
I’ll let my “after” photo speak for itself. Here’s me just chilling in my underwear the morning after my cleanse.
Just kidding, that’s Lily Aldridge at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, but I wouldn’t blame you for getting us mixed up. It happens all the time.
Regrettably I didn’t wake up a VS model, but I did feel noticeably thinner, as anyone would for consuming less than half of their usual calorie intake. I slept like a baby, woke up earlier than usual and noted that my skin was a little bit brighter. Aside from that, not a lot had changed – perhaps you need to persevere with the proper three-day cleanse to feel the full effects.
Would I do it again?
I wouldn’t rule it out if I had a big event I wanted to feel on top form for, like a bikini body-baring holiday or a big social event, but I would be sure to time things better so that I wasn’t working into the evening. A three-day cleanse from Nutriseed comes in at just £69.99, which is a fraction of the price of the juice cleanses seen in the hands of celebrities, with some companies charging up to £200 for just 15 bottles.
If I were to hit the juice bottle again, I’d be sure to ease myself into it with at least a week of hearty soups and refreshing smoothies before I dove head-first into the wellness pool. As I could have predicted, I followed up my day of juicy goodness with half a pizza and a bag of chocolate M&Ms. It takes more than a few bottles of liquidised broccoli and apple to kick a habit.