This blog is not just for posts about Pilates. It’s for all things health and wellness related, as Pilates is just one part of the picture. So, I thought I’d share some of my personal experiences on my own health and wellbeing journey.
In this post, I’m talking about juicing.
During COVID lockdown 1, I spent 3 months trying to sort out my poor eating habits with a nutritional coach. I have what’s known as binge eating disorder – where you obsess over food all day – trying to fight the urge to gorge, and then binge (usually when no one is around – in my case late at night). I use food to fill a gap in my life – I’m not sure why it started or what I’m missing, but its got really bad over the last year – I’m totally out of control. So I decided to take action. I am awaiting CBT and paid for this coach to help me get some control back.
I transformed my diet – I started eating rye bread, lentils, vegan food and lots of nutritionally rich ingredients. I also introduced a spinach, banana, blueberry, almond butter, hemp seed and coconut water smoothie to my daily diet.
My meals were all freshly cooked (I hate cooking!) and my favourite meals were ‘spelt pasta with pesto, cherry tomatoes and avocado’, vegan chickpea Thai curry and lentil bolognaise.
I swapped from cow’s milk to oat milk (I never thought I would like oat milk) and full caff to decaf coffee… I still can’t believe that!
About 2 months in, my coach started talking about the juicing company her husband runs (The Real Juice Company). I was curious so signed up for a 7-day experience. You can do 3, 5 or 7 days, but I thought, if I’m going to do it, do it properly.
The fruit and veg were bought fresh by Josh from an organic farmers market and he made them (35 bottles plus 14 shots).
You drink 5 juices a day, plus a ginger shot (DELICIOUS) and a flu shot (boosts the immune system). No food, no coffee, no naughties.
There’s a guidance booklet about the cleanse – for a week before, it’s advised you slowly cut out caffeine and sugar, so the withdrawal symptoms aren’t too severe. This is great advice – especially if you have a 9 coffee a day habit like I did. That’s the one thing I struggled with during the cleanse.
I liked some of the juices and not others, but I didn’t feel hungry at all during the 7 days. The constant urges went away, and I could walk past the fridge without helping myself to all the contents.
I remember smelling bacon and not craving a bacon sarnie. That was a first. I also wasn’t tempted by any of the delicious meals I saw other people eat. It was only on day 6 I wanted to have something, but not because I was hungry – because I missed the routine of eating (it breaks up the day, right?) It made me realise how much of the day I spend eating.
In terms of struggling, the second day was tough. I got a REALLY bad headache that lasted for hours. My stomach was hurting – I generally felt poo. It got so bad I had a banana in the evening (bananas are allowed if you have severe symptoms).
The third day was iffy but not as bad as the day before, and on day four I felt a massive burst of energy. I turned a corner and it felt awesome.
On day 5, I could feel my body had changed shape. Things had tightened up.
On day 7 I was disappointed it was ending but was looking forward to the routine of eating.
I lost 11lbs, my skin improved, I had loads of energy, but knew it was temporary. You see the thing with juicing is, it’s not real weight loss. Your calories are so severely restricted, it’s not sustainable back in the real world, so you put the weight back on once you stop.
It is great for the digestive and immune systems though.
I’m surprised at how well I did.
I’d recommend a juice cleanse in summer – but not in winter. I did a second juice cleanse in December through another company, Fuel Station. I really liked these drinks but because of the lack of calories, I was freezing – all the time. I couldn’t get warm no matter what I did (this is very strange for me as I am generally way too hot). I was literally frozen to the core.
I will definitely do it again. I suffer from binge eating disorder and it is the one thing I have done that gives me some relief from obsessing over food. It doesn’t make any sense but both times I have juiced, I have not binged or had the urge to binge. It’s so empowering for someone with an eating disorder.
If you’re thinking of doing a juice cleanse, I recommend it, but don’t do it to lose weight. Do it for these reasons:
Juicing is the fastest way to get nutrition into your body
When you eat food, your body tries to break it down as much as it can to find the nutrients in what you’ve chosen to eat. Fruit and vegetable juices (which are full of phytonutrients, vitamins and mineral) are easy for our bodies to absorb, as we don’t have to break them down, meaning the nutrients get to our cells quickly to nourish and repair them.
Juicing is an easy way to consume fruit and vegetables
If you’re anti-broccoli or can’t stand kale, juicing is a great way to get your veg intake up.
My favourite juice from Fuel Station was Super Green, which contained lemon, apple, kale and cucumber. You wouldn’t know there was kale in it. It was lovely.
For me, juicing was a great experience. I know other people who have really struggled and couldn’t manage more than two days. I think it depends on your mindset. I had to prepare mentally for 7 days with no food. Once I did, I was okay.
The two juicing companies I went with were:
If you do a cleanse, tell us how you get on in the comments below!