If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will know that I’ve just completed a 5 day juice cleanse. I’ve always steered away from doing bottled juice cleanses because I loathe plastic bottles. I couldn’t imagine subsisting on juice which had been made days previously, as I’m sure it would have lost its vitamin content once it got to me. I wanted to make the juices myself and have a little flexibility around ingredients.

One of the first things that I did before I embarked on my cleanse was a lot of research. Using an online cleanse as an example, I realised that I would have to change things around if I were to exist for five days without solid food. My life doesn’t have a 5 day pause button, it’s 24/7. I have two children and so I couldn’t  even perform the first thing on the list, which was rest and relaxation with a de-stress morning ritual of a 10 minute body scrub in the shower, and a 10 minute meditation. I have lunch boxes to prepare and children to get to school!

I did get through the five days, but not without struggle. I did have to prepare plenty of almond milk and chia pudding to keep my energy levels up so that I could continue with everyday life.

One of the hardest things I did was give up caffeine. I’m a coffee lover. It was my last vice but I really needed it out of my life. It’s hormone disruptive but I love the smell of it and the wide awake feeling it brings. I have foregone many a sleep-in because I’ve wanted my morning coffee more than a good rest!  During my research I’d learned that three days prior to a cleanse, it was best to begin the detox and stop drinking it. I didn’t, so for the first three days of the cleanse I felt as though my head was full of cotton wool and when I turned my head too quickly it was painful. I would liken it to a mild migraine. On day four that stopped and it was such a relief.

Most people ask me whether I was hungry. I can honestly say that hunger wasn’t the problem. The problem for me was that I missed biting down on food. I was craving salty, crunchy things..mostly snacks. I soon realised that this is a weakness of mine. Mealtimes were hard times too, because my body had been trained to eat at those times out of habit. To combat this I chose meals for the family that I didn’t personally like and removed myself from the vicinity once I’d cooked dinner, rewarding myself with a juice which had a satisfying or exotic attribute. These juices were either spicy, naturally sweet, or contained good old nourishing coconut fat. I learned to distract my tastebuds by entertaining them with novelty. Regular juice cleanses don’t do this. I’m guessing that this is why people can’t stick to them.

What kept me going was the thought that it was only for 5 days of my life. That I wasn’t missing out on anything. That the next juice was exciting and would be delicious. That in the morning on the scales I would see what my hard work had done for me. I had these thoughts constantly battling the demons in my head that said quit.The ritual of making each juice just before drinking it with the freshest nutritious ingredients I could find was a winner. If I had just had to reach into the fridge and drink the next pre-packaged instalment that would not have worked for me.

Now that I’ve finished I am eating more consciously. I am considering each ingredient I use. I am replacing a meal/salty snack with a juice because I know that I can and I know I’m not missing out. I have seen and felt the benefits.  I haven’t had a coffee since,  and the morning and bedtime ritual of hot water and lemon has stuck. I will be cleansing on a regular basis to reset and detox my body.

I will be producing an ebook to help others to find their way to cleanse, as it’s not a one- size-fits-all solution. Pre-packed juice cleanses seem to set people up to fail. Everybody is different and will struggle with different aspects of the cleanse. Knowing this before it happens is a bonus that can facilitate success.

Watch this space for details and feel free to email me on rawmenu@yahoo.co.nz if you would like me to guide you through a personalised cleanse.





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