Ladies and (perhaps less) gents, I have an announcement to make: I did a detox for 12 days and I survived. Not only that but I really, really enjoyed it. I have never been "fat" or "overweight" as an adult (my mother will gladly show you photos during my "cheese phase" as a teenager - quite frankly, horrendous) so it was difficult to gear up drive to do anything particular to make changes when I was already pretty happy with my dress size...
one of the juices I tried: raspberries, melon and pear = yum
But a couple of months ago I met up with Holly from Clare Forde and Chris James - the mastermind behind the regime. Over copious amount of caffeine (which you absolutely can't have during the program) he went over the principles and teachings he'd picked up along the way to help him create the detox. What did make it seem pretty doable was the fact that Chris was just so honest with me - told me what to expect, when, how - and how proud you'd feel having done it.
I know it isn't supposed to be about weight loss, but lets be honest here, when it comes to happiness and confidence nothing makes a girl feel happier than fitting in your skinny jeans straight out of the wash. I lost 12 pounds overall and 3 weeks later (considering I've had two pretty heavy weekends) I am still 10 pounds lighter - and haven't gained any inches on my body (I lost 8" overall - the equivalent of 1.5 dress sizes).
the supplements you are given as part of the pack - pride of place so I didn't forget to take them!
The principles are quite straight forward - control what you are eating by cutting out particular food groups - no meat, no dairy, no processed food and no fish - alongside more prescriptive tips with particular fruits and nuts to avoid, etc. The 12 days are broken down in 4 groups of 3 days, each time you take different groups of supplements which are supplied in the pack and different recipes and exercise tips (he even advises not exercising during phase 3 - total win).
Half way through and I seriously didn't expect to have lost much as I'd been so damn full the whole time and concerned about the number of packs of almonds I'd munched through. When I weighed myself and had already lost 6 pounds I was pretty shocked, and felt a lot more inspired to persevere with the biggest challenge; 3 days of juicing...
Which isn't that bad! As a tip, get a Nutribullet. I know there are various debates on blenders vs juicers, but quite frankly if you're going to live on fruits and vegetables for 3 days, you want the pulp as otherwise you may as well just be drinking water. Nutribullets are quick and easy to use and clean easily - perfect for me. My favourite recipe was 1/2 a gala melon, handful of blueberries, handful of kale and a pear. Tasted strangely like a strawberry milkshake. I felt full and missed physically chewing on something more than any food groups (I did sneak in a few dried apple chips and almonds a few times, oops).
the aloe oil you add to water every day first thing in the morning - tastes a little funky but seemed to do the job!
At the end I felt pretty proud of myself, if not a little uplifted. I had struggled with sleeping patterns for a while and it seemed to sort that out and I just felt a lot cheerier, although who wouldn't having lost the best of a stone in under a fortnight... The best things I learnt were all about nutritrtion - it's made me think about what goes in my body, not mixing up food groups so much - let alone any processed food etc. It really has changed my life, and I cannot thank Chris enough.
Here are a couple of tips I picked up:
. start the day with hot water and lemon to boost your metabolism
. not all fruits are good - avoid high sugar ones like mangoes and pineapples if trying to lose weight
. eat your biggest meal before you are most active (ie: probably not dinner)
. start the day with one food type - easing your body into the next few hours of digestion