So the pack arrived, beautifully packaged in a sturdy cardboard box along with an instruction booklet.
Unusually for me, I read the booklet right through to the end – well, if you’re going to do something, you might as well make sure you do it right! There are seven different supplements to take, at varying phases throughout the cleanse, and a detailed plan that takes you through the 12 days, with tips and pointers on what to do, what to expect, which supplements to take when, and what to do to maximise the effects of the cleanse, such as light exercise, meditation and even the odd snooze! The twelve days are split into 4 phases, each lasting 3 days each.
While there is no actual food or meal plan, there is a comprehensive list of foods that you can eat and those you can’t. At first my heart sank on seeing this – not because it was a limiting list of foods. On the contrary, there is so much food you CAN eat that I wondered how I would actually consume so much. No, my heart fell at first as I thought it would be difficult to follow the programme without an actual meal plan, prescribing each and every meal in detail. How wrong I was! The flexibility to eat whatever you want from the list of allowed foods means that you never complain there’s nothing to eat. Recipes included both in the booklet and on the website are a godsend and are really yummy too.
First thing to do was to go shopping to get all the foods you need – lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, lentils, pulses, brown rice, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds… the list goes on and on.
The First Phase, Pre-Preparation, was easy enough but I was lucky. I had already given up the coffee three days prior to starting the cleanse, so the awful coffee-withdrawal headaches that all but debilitated me had disappeared by the time I started the cleanse. Also, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, so I didn’t suffer too badly with sugar withdrawal symptoms either.
Feeling incredibly positive about it all, I took myself off the gym on Day One, and ate a hearty breakfast of museli sweetened with maple syrup. Lunch was slightly more challenging as I had to attend the Shiseido launch at Nobu – all that sushi and sashimi and not one morsel passed my lips! Willpower indeed! Grabbed myself a plain salad and hummus from M&S but starving by 4pm, so satsumas, olives, walnuts and grapes kept the hunger pangs at bay. An extremely delicious dinner of a lentil and bean-based salad hit the spot. My normal desire to snack and nibble my way through the evening out of habit, not hunger, no longer reared its ugly head, but I have to say, it felt odd not to be munching all evening.
Day Two was the day of THE Royal Wedding and I was wide awake by 7am and full of energy – amazing for a Friday morning! I’m normally shattered by this point in the week, so I was elated. And without going into too much detail, it was clear that my regular diet had been woefully bereft of fibre. Within fifteen minutes of getting out of bed, I felt less bloated than I remember and incredibly comfortable in my clothes and just ‘lighter’ somehow. I did wonder if this was just placebo effect, but I wasn’t complaining. Foregoing the champagne and the fabulous lunch my friend had laid on for us while watching the Wedding, I stuck to water, hummous and crudites, followed by berries but didn’t feel cheated at all. Cancelling dinner plans with friends was a no-brainer, and a light dinner similar to the previous evening kept me going through a trip to the cinema. Abstaining from my beloved popcorn was super-easy!
Day Three started off in a similar fashion to Day Two, with the resulting flat tummy effect – I’m loving this already. I really haven’t missed eating meat, and although I thought I’d miss my daily egg for breakfast, I’m loving my museli with maple syrup or honey. Quite a snacking day, as I think my lunch didn’t give me enough taste, but I stuck to nibbling on almonds, walnuts and prunes. I decided to take my mind off any cravings by going for a Shellac manicure. Inspired by my tweethearts on Twitter, I decided to make Spicy Bean Burgers and a Tomato & Avocado salsa for dinner – my husband thought my dinner was more yum than his shepherd’s pie! It was so satisfying that when I joined friends at my favourite Greek restaurant, I was happy to pick at a rocket salad and some melon – that too, just to pacify them, not because I wanted to eat anything! Went to bed still feeling full of energy and looking forward to Phase Two…..
To be continued…….