Monday, 2 February 2015

Plenish 3 Day Juice Cleanse

Plenish juice cleanses start from £80 a day,*
250ml sizes are also available from Ocado, priced at £5.95 

I rung in 2015 feeling like a woman on a yogurt advert. Not the sexy sort of yogurt advert where a fireman does unspeakable things to a lady eating a strawberry mousse in a bath, but the worst kind of yogurt advert - a New Year yogurt advert. Ones where sad, bloated women get their sluggishness cured by an omnipresent Gok Wan chucking probiotic pots in their handbags. Unfortunately yogurt didn't seem to be helping matters for me.

After a week of Christmas indulgence, my system clearly needed a rest, and what seemingly better way than to simply lie back and absorb a sea of cold pressed nutrients delivered straight to my door in the form of a Plenish juice cleanse.

I'd previously attempted a DIY juice cleanse at home but naively skipped the essential pre-detox process, meaning by 5pm on the first day I was hunched over a toilet bowl being dramatically sick, which consequently ended my juicing career. The culprit, I'm told, was beetroot juice which, apparently when drunk in a mad and unladylike frenzy leads to an overload of toxin release and a high chance of nausea and vomiting.... fantastic.

Learning from my indiscretion, I decided to get back on the juicing wagon after ditching the festive booze well in advance and briefly following a non-processed vegan diet. I opted for Plenish's three-day 'Level 1: Harmony cleanse', which promised a gentle, easy to stick to detox for the person who "always orders a side of spinach with their burger and chips".

Day 1

With a fridge full of 18 little rainbow hued bottles of juice, I was ready and raring to go. But just a few hours in I felt the familiar surge of exhaustion that comes with a detox. My body ached all-over and I found myself pitifully sipping my (quite pleasant tasting) juices, desperately craving something warm and comforting

Friends chose to avoid me, deeming me too 'hangry' (angry from being so hungry) and no fun. Except I wasn't actually hungry. Not once in the three days did I ever feel deprived of nutrition - the juices amount to a not-unreasonable 1,200 calories a day. There were no hunger pangs from an empty stomach - as someone who regularly doesn't drink enough water, consuming three litres of juice each day left me comfortably full.

With a new juice to drink every 2 hours, it's great for those who love to boredom eat - like me and a self-confessed Lena Dunham, who admitted in Not That Kind of Girl she aims for a snack every five to 15 minutes. But though I was constantly sucking at the teet of mother nature, I never felt satisfied. Then the cashew milk arrived before bedtime like a creamy white angel and answered my prayers. Something I could actually chew! Along with whining all day like one, I also fell asleep like a baby. A freezing cold baby with the worst muscle pains I've ever had.

Day 2

By day two, the end was in sight, but the novelty of trying the different juices had worn off and by now I was wise to which ones I liked and which ones I'd end up having to force down (I still don't think broccoli should be in a drink). I passed the hours wrapped up in bed taking copious naps or soothing my joints in Epsom salt baths, meticulously planning all the terrible foods I would eat as soon as I was allowed to re-join the land of the living.

Day 3

Then came the biggest surprise of all. I rose on the third day like a juice-powered Christ, feeling truly amazing. I'd lost 5lbs, my stomach was completely flat - I even had abs - my skin was glowing and I felt an abundance of sprightly energy I had no idea could exist at 7am on a Sunday. I didn't want the cleanse to end and wished I'd plucked up the courage to brave the five-day version, or even the seven-day. I was high on something. Did I mention I woke up with a full set of abs!?


Easing back onto Plenish's solid food meal plan wasn't hard at all, but by the end of the next day I had already committed a big pizza-shaped indiscretion, and cigarettes, and wine. But then I felt immediately crap again and remembered why I'd endured a juice cleanse in the first place. I now start my days with a homemade juice, minus the beetroot, and have actually found myself craving more fruit and vegetables - which has coincidentally helped to keep my weight stable at the post-cleanse point. Although now I'm having to work for the abs.

Want to try it yourself at home? Enjoy one of Plenish's most popular green juices from their new recipe book:

Sweet Sexy Green

This fresh-tasting green juice is a DIY version of Plenish's best-selling cold-pressed juice. For a formidable list of alkalizing greens, the pear and basil give it a very balanced, easy-to-drink quality. This juice is Plenish founder Kara Rosen's default juice of choice and will keep you buzzing all day.

1⁄2 head lettuce
1 1⁄2 pears (stalks removed)
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
4 broccoli florets and stems
1⁄2 cup basil
1 cucumber

Plenish: Juices to Boost, Cleanse & Heal (Published by Mitchell Beazley, £12.99) is out now
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