How To Jump Start Your Health Kick With A Pre-Summer Juice Cleanse
If the warmer climate has sent you into an anxious spiral over your regretful diet during the winter period, don't worry: SAME.
As party season looms and the sun-soaked days get longer, there is still time to set up a new routine, establish healthy eating habits and rebuild your body. It is possible.
But how do you start?
Personally, I had just returned from a work assignment overseas and was desperate to get back into a positive routine. My plane touched down on the morning of October 1st and immediately decided I would undertake the ominous 'OcSober' or 'Sober October' that came around yearly on my social media feeds as I sat back and sipped (chugged) a glass (bottle) of red wine.
By cutting out alcohol I was strategically bypassing the hangover cravings that had me knee deep in pizza boxes on the weekends and the refined sugary snacks I consumed daily at 3:15pm were now prohibited.
However, a week into the 'My Body Is A Temple' mantra, I FTFO. I was complaining non-stop to my colleagues, family members and friends as my body struggled to rid itself of built up toxins, when finally someone suggested a juice cleanse to ease my body back into craving healthy food.
While a 'cleanse' of any sort can cause a cynical eye-roll, I had completed a three-day cold pressed juice cleanse once before and found it not only manageable, but it also had the science to back up the claims.
I knew I was up to the task, but this time, I wanted a challenge. I would undergo *drum roll* a complete detoxification cleanse for FIVE days courtesy of Pressed Juices.
Under the guide of in-house Nutritionist Molly Wescott, I was talked through the process and she explained exactly how Pressed combines raw, organic and vegan ingredients with a gentle juicing method that retains all of the important nutrients and enzymes your body needs.
"When your digestive system isn’t working to break down food, it gives your body the chance to heal," Molly explained. "If you drink a green juice you pretty much absorb 95% of the nutrients because it bypasses the digestive system and goes straight into the blood stream. It’s actually helping your cells to renew and draw toxins out of the cells."
I was sold on the theory, but needed coaxing on the practice. To receive the full benefits of the cleanse I would need to cut out caffeine and alcohol. I had already done the latter thanks to OcSober, but my daily triple shot of coffee was my one true vice.
"When your body gets used to eating unhealthy foods, that’s what your body tends to crave more of," she continued. "Whereas when you’re eating a healthy diet, that’s what your body is used to and that’s what your body craves. You’re not denying but instead setting yourself up on a path of success by removing caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars."
Thankfully, each day of the cleanse consisted of eight juices spaced two hours apart and in between you are encouraged to drink two to three litres of water and decaffeinated teas.
I started with 'The Black Lemonade' followed by the thicker 'Smooth Vitality' to keep me fuller for longer. Next came a 'Green', 'Earth', 'Zest' and another 'Green' juice, which took me through to the evening where I had my absolute hands down favourite: the 'Chocolate Almond Mylk'. (It's so. fkn. tasty.) Finally, I would end the day with 'The Slippery Elm'.
I literally could not fit one more drop of liquid into my body if I tried. Plus, the consistent schedule of my 'meals' meant I rarely felt hungry.
So that's pre-cleanse sorted - but what about post-cleanse?
I was concerned about just returning to copious amounts of takeaway food, but I took comfort in OcSober continuing and I was really struck by how my body responded to the detox. While I experienced some light-headedness and fatigue (both normal and nothing to worry about), I undoubtedly felt lighter, cleaner and even my skin was brighter.
"Honestly by the end of it your body isn’t craving those kind of things. You feel so light and pure you don’t want to ingest fatty foods," Molly explained. "It’s also important to ease back into eating. We have nutritionists at all of our stores so we’re happy to make you up a meal plan for to ease you back into healthy food post-cleanse."
While Pressed Juices are not targeted at weight loss, it was an added bonus of the jucing process as I shed just over two kilos and my stomach was much flatter.
"Weight loss is definitely a long term journey and people should treat it as more of a process rather than a quick fix," Molly told me. "That's why we focus on a holistic approach where if you’re eating so many fruits and vegetables it makes you feel amazing and that’s when weight loss will naturally take place."
While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from start to finish and have yet to binge on a tub of ice cream, if you're still not convinced on jumping straight into a five day cleanse, I definitely recommend starting small with three days or even just one day to familiarise yourself with the process.
Not only do I feel back in control of my body, I am more conscious of what I consume and how much I really need to feel full. Summer, COME AT ME.
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