If you’d told me I could exist on just four smoothies a day (no coffee, no wine, no cakes, no sausage butties), I’d have laughed. But you know what? I did – and I felt better than I’ve ever felt in my life. Oh, and I lost 7lb in five days.
Food is very much about habit. We eat because it’s breakfast time, not because we’re hungry. And often we eat when, in fact, we’re thirsty. These are two of the facts I’ve gleaned through doing a NOSH juice detox fast. For five days I lived off just four smoothies a day (delivered the previous night as long as you live within the M25), herbal tea and litres of water.
I am a glutton. I admit it. And that old adage about never being more than three metres from a rat in London holds out in other ways too: working from home as I do means you’re never more than 30 seconds from a biscuit tin. Mmmm…but it has its downsides: weight gain, sluggishness, guilt.
With this in mind I decided to embrace the NOSH juice detox, set up by healer and nutritionist Geeta Sidhu-Robb. You have to like smoothies to do this one, but they’re filling and imaginative enough – mango, apple, pineapple and mint; green leaves, apple and kiwi; papaya, orange and mango; carrot, apple, ginger and lemon. They are all carefully thought out to offer cleansing, rehydrating and eliminating benefits. Health-giving acai, flaxseed, goji and Green Synergy powder mean that, nutritionally, they are as good as it gets.
You don’t have your first smoothie until 11am, but even this is manageable. The day starts with hot water, lemon and ginger, then a teaspoon of castor oil (ghastly, but helps with elimination) followed by half a cup of coffee. Ah yes, coffee: I was convinced my cafetiere addiction would be hard to give up but amazingly not – obviously habit again. And I slept brilliantly so am sure this is why. Herbal tea of the day at 9.30am (the first day’s tea, cascara bark, was so bitter I almost gave up, but they do get better!). Further smoothies at 1.30pm, 4.30pm and 8.30pm are interspersed with as much water as you can drink.
Apparently many people hit ‘the wall’ on day three when motivation dips and they suffer withdrawal headaches and low mood, but for me this didn’t happen at all. You can do the programme for three days or five. I was astounded by how brilliant I felt, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally, and energy-wise, I was even more Tiggerish than usual! It’s made me rethink my attitude to food. To lose 7lb in such a short time is remarkable, but it’s the feeling of wellbeing that is the truly best thing.