There are times when you feel like your body needs a reset. Whether you’ve been overindulging in treats or rushing through life skipping healthy meals rich in fruits and veggies, sometimes you just think, “Enough”. After a particularly crazy month of work capped off by the excesses of Australian Fashion Week, I was at the “enough” stage. I had a niggling sore throat, my skin was breaking out, I wasn’t sleeping properly and I needed a quick fix. Cue a juice detox, a fast-track way to stopping the excuses and getting serious about what I was putting into my body, often without even thinking.
While this type of hard-line approach may not be for everyone, I’m super busy and time-poor at the moment, and the idea of ingesting nothing but cold-pressed juice and soup for a few days felt sort of like… a relief. After researching the various options available near me, I decided on Schkinny Manniny, a Sydney-based juice detox specialist (that delivers in Melbourne and Brisbane, too) for a couple of reasons. Their juice-and-soup combo felt more suited to the chilly weather, with a soup included for lunch and dinner, while the low-fruit option was important to me (I prefer to avoid too much sugar where possible, and love veggie juice). Also, their early-morning home delivery options suited my schedule best. Ordering online was super simple and, before you know it, you’re committed, for better or worse! Here’s how my four-day detox went down…
I wake up full of confidence. My little esky is waiting outside my front door as promised, and I feel a bit excited unpacking my bottles into the fridge. I feel healthier already! I start out with a mug of hot water with a squeeze of lemon to warm up and prevent me from guzzling Juice One in moments. It’s a busy day of meetings so I pack Two, Three and Four into my bag and race to work, sipping Juice One en route. It’s very green and a little sour – which I actually really like (if you’re not a veggie juice lover, you might struggle a bit here). I polish off beetroot-y Juice Two around 11, and make a dandelion tea, plus one of the detox teabags that came with my delivery. Lunch is carrot and cashew soup which you can gently warm. I’m not a huge fan – it tastes sort of sweet – but it’s warm and I eat it with a spoon so it feels more like a meal. I chug down some water in the afternoon before Juice Four. This was tough as there was a birthday in my office today, accompanied by a huge cheese platter, chocolates and wine. I sing “Happy Birthday” and then politely excuse myself before I’m tempted. It’s been a busy day and I’ve barely had time to feel hungry and don’t get around to my dinner soup (a tasty take on pumpkin) until 8pm. I feel tired and cold, but not too bad. The final juice of the day is a delicious almond-and-brazil nut blend with medjool dates and cinnamon to fill you up before bed. I sleep so well and wake up early, feeling energetic.
Day two’s juices had been delivered the day before, so they’re in my fridge, ready to go. I follow pretty much the same process as yesterday, although I feel a bit headachey today and would kill for a mug of green tea. Thankfully it’s another busy day, so I don’t have much time to think about being hungry. I’m actually surprised about how thirsty I still feel, despite just drinking juice. The program encourages you to drink a lot of water alongside the juices, so I try to obey. Also stowed in the esky was a little package of pumpkin-and-sunflower seeds which are so helpful to crunch on when you’re missing chewing something solid. I can’t get through the whole night-time almond milk tonight and feel so cold that I take myself to bed earlier than normal. Before I do, I put my esky outside, ready for recycling pick up when my juices arrive bright and early the following morning.
I’m not going to lie, I’m over it today. I’m beginning to realise just how much pleasure proper food brings and how not having it makes life pretty boring. Interestingly, I’m not craving burgers or pizza, or even wine. All I want is a piece of grilled salmon and an avocado. I’m honestly dreaming of avocado. I feel cold and grumpy today, and a bit hungry, even though I thought day three would be easier. It’s interesting how cold I felt on the cleanse in general – sure, the weather isn’t warm, but it’s a different sensation. Apparently this is normal, so I amp up the herbal teas (and the heater) and look forward to my twice-daily soup, which is mainly made from raw vegetables and water you can gently heat, but not cook or boil. Watching Masterchef as I sip my night-time soup was probably a mistake. Non-food related TV shows are much more appropriate detox viewing…
The last day! I’m not hungry in the morning but as the day progresses, so does my hunger and irritability. I tell myself I can break the detox tonight and eat something solid, or have a glass of wine. But when I get home from work, I decide I want to finish properly and stick with my final juices. Today’s lunchtime soup was very rich and lemony and made me feel a little queasy, but dinner’s was a delicious rocket and tomato combo I really enjoyed. And the yummy green salad juice, which got me through every afternoon, helped me to the finish line today. I can only make it halfway through the almond milk and go happily to bed.
I wake up feeling amazing on Friday. My stomach is flat, my eyes are clear and I have so much more energy that normal. This is not a sales pitch – it’s the actual truth. I start the day with hot water and lemon, and when it comes to breakfast time (which is at the airport before a quick work trip) I actually choose a green juice. Crazy, I know, but I’m loving the feeling of ingesting so many veggies and am not quite ready to stop just yet. Plus it’s hard to find something nourishing in the terminal.
I feel so proud of myself for completing the cleanse. Sure, it was only four days, but it took willpower and has really made me rethink how much I absent-mindedly eat without needing or even wanting to. I’ve also realized how great fresh veggies can make you feel, and commit to eating more every day. And a break from the nightly glass of wine was important, too. Would I do it again? Absolutely… but I might wait until summer!
THINGS THAT HELPED ME
- I scaled back the caffeine in the two weeks before the cleanse, so by day one, I was down to one or two cups of green tea only a day. I have no doubt this helped the headaches. If you’re a coffee addict, this will hurt
- I also cut back on sugar in the lead-up to help avoid the cravings and detox symptoms which I believe made a huge difference, too
- I chose a package that included soups to mix things up a bit – also, I really love soup. Other companies offer some food in the mix, too, such as salads, chia pots and fruit. Pick one that works for you to help you through. The more it suits your lifestyle and taste preferences, the easier it will be to stick to
- Having a massive weekend before you start a cleanse will only make things harder come Monday morning. Ease into it by being healthier than usual in the days before you begin
I did the Shkinny Manniny Juice and Soup Cleanse for four days: schkinnymaninny.com.au