From Hollywood to Bollywood, leading ladies everywhere are extolling the virtues of the juice cleanse. So we asked columnist and mum Cursty Mitchell to try a three-day detox with UAE juice cleanse brand Essentially.
From broadsheet to tabloid, it’s impossible to escape the juice cleanse right now. Salma, Rosie, J-Lo and co are continually papped dashing between appointments clutching a bottle of fresh pressed, organic, vegan and raw juiced meal substitute. And seriously, if it helps them look that good, of course I want to give it a go. I often feel (and look) energy sapped, my skin could be happier and who wouldn’t want to lose a few pounds?
I’ve done tough stuff. I worked in Africa, I trekked through Kashmir and even had a major operation in a hospital in the developing world where no one spoke English. Three tiny little days of not eating solid food, really, how hard can it be?
Essentially products are delivered to your door, moments after they’ve been ‘pressed’ and bottled. As I take delivery from the cheery driver, the amount of liquid appears quite daunting. I’ve chosen the beginners cleanse called Revitalization, designed apparently for those with very little previous experience (and although it doesn’t say it, I’m pretty sure they mean those of us with suspect willpower too).This programme has the most diverse group of juices and sheer volume of product; surely it will keep me full?
Day 1- Freelancing from home
I’m so excited, but I don’t start immediately. I’ve read the welcome pack and it tells me to have a lemon infused water first to start my metabolism, this is a novelty. Considering most days start with at least 2 cups of coffee, I’m feeling virtuous and its only 7am! My first pangs arrive as I make the kids pack-lunches, so I crack open handily numbered bottle one. A hefty mix of green veggies, and it’s tastier than I imagine.
By 2pm I’m ravenous, deeply incoherently arm-chewingly ravenous. I’ve spaced my drinks out like they’ve told me, am downing water in between, but I just can’t seem to focus my brain properly and nothing will stop me thinking about the luxury of actually chewing food. I decide a compromise, a handful of walnuts, they’re also raw, vegan and healthy, I tell myself, hardly cheating at all. Now with both brain and stomach satiated I manage to work for the rest of the afternoon.
Day 2- The Office
I’m ready for today, I’ve found my detox mojo (so I think) and I’m off. A little hunger pang as I make the school lunchboxes but with the hassle of getting everyone out the door on time I’m distracted from any thoughts of food.
I make it through the morning but with on and off headaches its tough, later I find myself in the staff canteen secretly clutching a chocolate brownie (I don’t even buy them normally) and stuffing it guiltily in my handbag. Although I don’t eat it, I need to know it’s there. The lack of solids are apparently making me a little insane. By evening I am obsessed with the final juice of the day, cashew milk, forcing my family to taste its thick creamy almost solid consistency, they appear worried about me.
Day 3- Home
I cook the family dinner. My husband is anxious that cooking while detoxing could be termed spousal-cruelty, and keeps offering to cook, but weirdly I am happy smelling the food and chopping and stirring. Dinner is a little bleak as the family tucks into solids and I down the Red Roots, a palatable mix with an exciting deep red hue.
OK, I admit, I’m horribly weak willed. I cheated, but compared to what I normally eat, which although healthy, is certainly not Hollywood starlet portions. There’s no two ways about it, the detox has been a massive shock to my body and it would seem, my brain.
But it certainly wasn’t all bad and neither was I. Since the detox I’ve been exploring my attitudes to food, how I eat, when and why. It taught me to slow down, listen to my body; it’s played an important part in a mental shift or recalibration, in my attitudes to eating.
Several days post cleanse my skin is amazing. So good people comment, and ask what I’ve had done. How much of this is the massive organic raw boost of fruit and veg or the ditching of caffeine, alcohol and meat from my diet, I can’t be sure. But either way, it’s seriously noticeable, and you know what? I’m not going back! I’m going to steer clear of the baddies more often while adding far more fruit and veg to my diet. But as the juices contain an unbelievable 4 pounds of fruit and veg per bottle, it’s unlikely I will be mimicking Essentially any time soon.
Essentially is available across the UAE from their Essentially Juice Shop. www.essentially.ae (04 889 5753).