Warning

IMG_2657Postscript – A Cautionary Tale From Jill

On the evening of Day 11 I noticed a thermos with its lid on, sitting on the kitchen counter. A smoothie I hadn’t consumed! When you drink that many smoothies I suppose it’s easy for one to fall by the wayside.

When I opened it up, it exploded. All over the kitchen, all over me. It looked like a scene from ‘The Exorcist’. I think it had only been fermenting in there for a day, but that was clearly long enough to develop its horrific, evil green frothiness.

So if you DO decide to follow this plan, don’t leave your smoothies to fester. And if you do so by mistake, approach with caution.

Results

scaleWeight Lost

Lis: 2.7kg (6lb)
Jill: 3.5kg (7.7lb)

Review Of The Plan

Simple, straightforward and easy. We loved that it’s not complicated meal plans and cooking lots of different meals every day. You get one thing a day and that’s your lot. We loved that it said it was not a ‘starvation diet’ and indeed the few times we did feel hungry, we were able to meet the need immediately and completely with either the smoothie or the permissible snacks. We liked the option of adding in the protein powder and think we would have struggled without that. So we consider it to be a reasonably sensible plan that anyone can follow.

Best Parts

Easily able to substitute fruits with similar kinds if you run short / run out or some are unavailable. We loved the no-cooking, a bit of prep in the morning and you are off. It was really great to have a break from preparing meals. While Lis still had to make tea for her family, she largely gave them things she doesn’t like. So she wasn’t too fussed.

Worst Parts

If you don’t like the day’s smoothie you’re stuck with it (unless you ditch it like Lis did one day and make another). The repetition also became a factor, we were thoroughly bored by day seven. The headache was probably the most debilitating part but you’re not going to get away from that with any ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ unless you’re not toxic in the first place, in which case – why do it?

Tips For Others Considering It

Do it with a friend, preferably one with whom you feel a sense of healthy competition. Also one that is unlikely to let you down – someone who will embrace it as wholeheartedly as you. Blog or be accountable in some way. Prepare to be headachey and stroppy in the first few days and tired in the final days. Don’t plan to do much, avoid social events. Don’t expect to feel amazing until it’s over. Do have the rooibos tea and almond milk with a spoonful of peanut butter at the end of the day – it is gold.

Things We Plan To Change As As Result Of The Cleanse

Lis

  • Smaller portions
  • Less stodge and more salads
  • Less alcohol and coffee
  • Less snacking, especially with the boys’ tea – I found that I often went to finish off their meals and I think I actually do that quite often
  • More herbal teas (I am in love with most in the Pukka range)
  • More super foods like quinoa and kale
  • More green smoothies – I know it seems unlikely but I can see myself making a few of those smoothies again

Jill

  • Less processed sugar (I think lack of sugar was the main cause of the 3 day headache)
  • Diet coke to be a rare treat not a daily habit
  • Drink half caffeinated tea and half rooibos
  • Drink mostly still water instead of sparkling (I think that was part of the reason for my bloating)
  • Keep taking the probiotic and the super oil blend
  • More green smoothies
  • Contemplate another colonic at some point (just for fun)

Would You Do It Again?

Lis: Yes. What I would do however is make days 7 to 10 the ‘coming out of the cleanse phase’. So incorporate a little chicken, fish and salads as JJ suggests you do post day 10 while still keeping up the smoothies for breakfast and lunch. By the time I got to day 10 I’d just had it and wanted to get back to normal. It would have been nice (and probably wise) to ease back into normality.

Jill: Yes, but not for the full 10 days. I think 5 or 6 days would be more bearable and gives almost all of the benefits of the longer cleanse. I can see myself doing it once or twice a year – definitely in the new year after the toxic Christmas period.

Conclusion

Lis

It really was fun in parts, mainly because I did it with Jill. Had I been on my own I think I’d have chucked in the towel on Day 8. I’m really pleased with the results, my clothes fit better. I’ve gone back to normal meals today (Day 11) but have found I’m eating less. Also, I’ve felt wonderful today, revitalised. I spent all day in the kitchen cooking food I love for myself and my family and running about doing jobs I’ve been putting off. Overall, a big thumbs up.

Jill

I fully agree with what Lis has said. I wouldn’t even have made it to day 3 without her to answer to. I actually find it amazing that I feel so different after just 10 days. Sure, I’ll gain some of that weight back but for me the main result has been the gentle nudge (ok, brutal shove) it’s given me towards eating healthier. I think that when I slide into bad habits again (which at some point I inevitably will) I could use this, even for a few days, to get back on track. On Day 11 I felt fab. I did a nordic walking class, went to yoga and made a healthy dinner with Bernd. I second the thumbs up!

Day 10

Peanut butterDay 10 Smoothie

  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 500ml water
  • 110g frozen raspberries
  • 180g frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1Tb ground flaxseeds
  • 1Tb Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend
  • 1 scoop SunWarrior plant-based protein powder

Lis to Jill

Wake up feeling: Headachey. My back has been a royal pain this week though so I don’t think it is the cleanse.

Front up to Thermomix, throw JJ’s method out with her madness and use whatever I have leftover to make the final smoothie – pineapple, blueberries, bananas, spinach and spring greens (didn’t they sound delightful on Day One!). Chuck in the usual suspects – protein powder, flaxseeds and spirulina and off it goes. The consistency seems about right. Get it down, any which way but loose.

12pm. I go out for an hour and forget to take snacks, arrive home, ravenous and oh so tempted to fill up on egg, seeds etc. Have the smoothie instead. Tell a friend about the cleanse and she looks at me like I’ve grown another head.

2:30pm. Off out again, going out and having fun seems the best distraction from the cleanse. I try out a friends’ trampoline, fly through the air now free of at least 2kg of unwanted flab. Feel a bit lightheaded, remember how old I am and get off.

5pm. You know what’s great about this smoothie? It’s the last one. Race to the bottom of my glass and fling it into the sink. Buh-bye.

7pm. Dive into my rooibos tea and spoonful of peanut paste. I must admit, that spoonful has grown and grown over the last few days. It started off as a teaspoon and ended up as a well-rounded dessert spoon. Still, no one is looking.

9pm. Bed. I cannot wait to get up in the morning. I plan to have a piece of toast with ham and masadam cheese. I might have a cup of tea, I’m not sure I  should have a cup of coffee straight up. It might be the end of me. I can’t believe breakfast is almost here. My last supper of curry and white rice seems a million years ago. Thank you SO much for doing this with me, I never would have lasted the distance without the thought of letting you down driving me on. Plus the shame of having to admit failure publicly in a blog. It’s been great. Will be sending in my digits and closing comments in the morning.

Jill to Lis

Wake up feeling: Gleeful. I can eat food today! Hold on… no, that’s tomorrow. Still feel elated that after another 24 hours of this malarkey it’s time to party down in pizza town.

9am. Great minds think alike. My final smoothie is also a ‘leftovers special’. Frankly I need to use the stuff I’ve bought because after today, I don’t want to see a frozen blueberry for quite some time. Throw it all into the T’mix and tell it: ‘All I’ve used you for lately is drinks, but you’re capable of so much more’. Accept that I may be losing it slightly at this point.

12pm. Lunchtime smoothie and a handful of nuts.

1pm. I go to the movies, in the spirit of keeping busy. A lone woman further along my aisle rustles a plastic bag throughout. Near the end she announces ‘This movie is terrible’. I snap ‘Why don’t you leave? Or be quiet’. Decide that the effect of the cleanse on my temperament has been negligible.

7pm. Final dismal plate of boiled egg, tomatoes and cucumber.

9pm. Rooibos and peanut butter, which is still good. Hugely excited that the 10 days are over, and proud that I managed to stick to it. It’s all down to you though – without you to answer to I would’ve caved on day 2. I’ve already planned tomorrow’s food. I’ll start cautiously with mini wheats, banana and almond milk with a cup of tea. Soup and toast with cheese for lunch and wasabi salmon with mushy peas for dinner.

Results and conclusions tomorrow!

Day 9

IMG_2651 Day 9 Smoothie

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 500ml water
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 250g frozen raspberries
  • 180g frozen Tropical smoothie mix (Waitrose – mango, pineapple, kiwi)
  • 2Tb ground flaxseeds
  • 1Tb Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend
  • 1 scoop SunWarrior plant-based protein powder

Lis to Jill

Wake up feeling: Good. Tried to get an earlier night than normal but think it was still past ten by the time I turned the light off. Up at 6am.

I had to substitute frozen raspberries for strawberries today and I like it a lot. The seeds are quite bitsy, must remember to check my teeth before I smile! I add a banana as I just think the smoothies just suck without one.

12pm. Lovely walk in the sunshine and another Pukka tea. This time I have ‘Love’ which is chamomile, rose and lavender. I don’t love it but it grows on me. I think I’m going to continue with these teas after this is over, I’m hooked.

2pm. I find myself unconsciously flinging seeds into my mouth. It’s uncanny. The afternoon passes quickly, a colleague drops by my desk to talk about something and asks that I put my ‘sludge’ out of his sight while we talk.

5pm. Oh how I long for a meal! I think my highest point might have been day 6. It’s been on the downward turn since then. Understandably, it’s dull to eat the same thing for ten days in a row. I ask Nix if he’s proud of me for getting through it, he’s undecided. On the one hand he’s impressed I’ve stuck to it for the duration. On the other he doesn’t think it’s healthy. I’m very interested to see how I feel on the weekend when things get back to some sort of normal.

8pm. My evening highlight the peanut butter and rooibos tea. One more day!!!

Jill to Lis

Wake feeling: Not bad. I still have a cold but I’m definitely more alert first thing than I used to be.

7am. Front up to the T’mix with a big sigh, for smoothie time. Today’s banana is bruised and manky but I throw it in anyway. The freshness of ingredients is irrelevant at this point. No plant powder today although I do remember to add a tablespoon of my special oil. It’s always a mystery what colour the smoothie will be, I never have any idea until I open the T’mix lid. Today it’s pea soup green and tastes pretty good. I think the oil has made it smoother. I don’t mind the seeds, and I don’t check my teeth as I’m not doing much smiling at the moment.

8am. At work, sipping my breakfast. When I’ve managed to get to work during this cleanse, I’ve been at my desk by 8 which was previously unheard of. Then again, sometimes I haven’t made it in at all. Swings and roundabouts.

10am. Rooibos tea. I brought almond milk to work so I don’t have to resort to the herbal stuff. That tea you mention has nothing to do with love. Even putting that word on the packaging is an abomination. I cannot stomach any of the herbal teas I’ve tried, except the lemon, ginger and honey and I think that’s purely down to the honey granule.

1pm. If dinner is no longer the highlight of the evening, lunch is no longer the highlight of my working day – and it very much was before. I can hardly be bothered to stop working long enough to get the smoothie out of the fridge. I wait until my nearest colleagues have gone to lunch to avoid the sort of comments you’ve had! Then I furtively suck it down before anyone sees.

6pm. End-of-Project drinks. The only tempting event I’ve had to endure during the 10 days (social butterfly that I am). I sip an orange juice while my colleagues down several pints in quick succession. I beat a hasty retreat when the sharing platters come out (mini hamburgers, mini hotdogs, potato wedges…) There’s only so much a girl who hasn’t eaten proper food in over a week can take.

I think my high point was Day 5, just after the headache subsided. This last 5 days has felt like months.

8pm. Home to my hard boiled egg and smoothie part 3. I ask Bernd whether he’s surprised that I’ve stuck with it, he replies ‘No, you’re very stubborn’. Like Nix he is unconvinced of the long term, and indeed short term, benefits of the cleanse.

9pm. Rooibos and peanut butter. Definitely the gastronomic highlight of the day. And only one more remains – woohoo!

Day 8

TmixDay 8 Smoothie

  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 500ml water
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 220g frozen blueberries
  • 2Tb ground flaxseeds
  • 1 scoop SunWarrior plant-based protein powder
  • 1Tb spirulina powder

Lis to Jill

Wake up feeling: Tired.

Make up the day’s smoothie with as much energy as one can muster after eating rabbit food for a week. Taste the smoothie, revolting. Manage to eat half of the morning portion then ditch it along with the rest. It was the texture more than anything, just not nice. Make up the day 6 smoothie which was my favourite. I’m sure there was some method to JJ’s madness with the order in which she wrote those recipes but I couldn’t give too much of a toss today.

I am really lethargic today, I did go to bed quite late (11pm) and was up briefly at 6am then properly at 7am. So probably not quite enough sleep. I am however determined to go to yoga tonight and push on through. Feel like I am no longer limping to the finish line, I’ve dropped to my knees and am reaching for the white flag.

Not a bad afternoon, did a few ‘difficult’ emails that I’ve been storing up at work for a day like today (itchy trigger finer hovering over the ‘delete’ button). I have definitely had a few cranky days on this cleanse.

6pm. It’s time for downward dog. The class is good, I am somewhat disturbed to be sweating and breathing heavily during the ‘warm up’ but I get through the rest of the class without too many stumbles. A quick ‘happy baby’ and I’m home.

8:20. Rooibos tea, a spoon of peanut paste and some trash TV.

My food cravings have passed, it is however a misery like no other to prepare meals for your family knowing you can’t eat any of it. It has struck me how often I go to snack on a corn chip or finish off the boys’ tea and then have my own. I eat more than I realise.

Let’s be having you, Day 9.

Jill to Lis

Wake up feeling: Rubbish.

6am. After fitful night’s sleep full of coughing, I awake, email my boss to say I’m sick, then go back to sleep.

10am. Make up the day’s smoothie. I’m not quite throwing ingredients into the T’mix from across the room like the Lean in 15 guy, but I’m getting close. Taste it and think ‘mmmm! This is the best one yet, Lis will love this’. How wrong I was.

Majority of the day: Sloth on the sofa watching Orange Is The New Black. Smoothie part 2 and a plate of tomatoes, cucumber and hard boiled egg. Well done you for going to yoga. My yoga plans have sadly not come to fruition. During the 3 day headache the downward dog would have finished me off, and now I’d be dribbling mucous onto my mat. There’s always next week.

4pm. Out for a walk and to get some supplies. Wonder whether the small amount of sugar in strepsils constitutes cheating, then decide I don’t care and buy some.

6pm. Bernd returns from work. When the cleanse began, one of the things I thought would be good about it was the break from cooking. But it hasn’t been good at all. It’s the anchor of our evening – making dinner and talking about our days. Conversation across the table over something delicious. Now I sit and grimly sip my smoothie while Bernd microwaves the rest of the dinner he made last night, or heats up a frozen pizza.

This has made me glad not to be a vampire – they don’t eat (blood doesn’t count in my opinion, being a liquid) or sleep. What’s the point in existing? Also, what on earth do they do with 75% of their time? That’s how much time I spend on those activities.

8pm. Rooibos tea and peanut butter. It has never tasted so decadent.

10pm. Bed. 2 more days. It still seems like a long time. On the plus side, you’ll be here in 2 weeks – just 2 weeks!!

Day 7

IMG_2647Day 7 Smoothie

  • 2 handfuls spring mixed greens
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 500ml water
  • 1 banana
  • 160g frozen Tropical smoothie mix (Waitrose – mango, pineapple, kiwi)
  • 160g frozen exotic fruits (Waitrose – melon, pineapple, mango, papaya)
  • 2Tb ground flaxseeds
  • 1 scoop SunWarrior plant-based protein powder
  • 1Tb maca powder

Lis to Jill

Wake up feeling: Good.

I’m not sure how interesting these remaining days are going to be for you! Only so many times you can read that I feel good and am eating my greens?! Am disappointed there is only one banana in the smoothie today, I’m getting greedy.

Post-cleanse eating is on my mind. Am positive it’s not a good idea to wake up Saturday morning and hoe into a plate of bacon, eggs and blood sausage. But nor do I want to wait too long to get back to enjoying everyday food – cheese, bread, cheese… I’m hoping I will just naturally favour better selections post-cleanse. Or at least eat smaller portions of the devil’s food. There is a cheese festival on all weekend which is a lovely thought.

12pm. Overall I think my body has adjusted well to the cleanse but I am starving today. I eat my egg but I nearly gag. I really like that I can eat something as big and solid as an egg during this cleanse but I still do not really like the taste of yolk. I have a few ‘seed chasers’ to get the taste out of my mouth.

9pm. Arrive home from Kindy information session, ‘cave’ and have a spoonful of peanut butter. I say ‘cave’ as I have resisted so far as I’m not sure it’s entirely kosher. It’s home made so I know there is no sugar in it but I do add vegetable oil to make it ‘spreadable’ so it’s not 100% nuts. JJ won’t know I say (the scales might though).

10.30pm. Bed. Limping towards the finish line. I try not to think about food too much and I am completely committed to seeing this through but I am EXCITED about Saturday. I feel like someone who’s lost their best friend. I will never take chewing on something that had parents for granted again.

Jill to Lis

Wake up feeling: Hard to say, as I have a hacking cough and sore throat (thanks husband). If I didn’t have those I think I’d feel pretty good.

Morning routine is similar to yesterday although I throw a tablespoon of maca powder in the smoothie. I’m free-styling. By 8am I’m at work, smoothie in hand, ready for what the day brings.

12pm. Struggle town. The first time I’ve really felt hungry on this plan. I have to go out to the post office. I hunch against the cold wind in my trenchcoat and scarf, and pass Eat which is selling hot pork and apple rolls – the scent drifts out of the shop, it’s almost calling me… I drag myself past, cursing you and the blog once again.

I’ve read some post-cleanse advice too, and whilst on one hand it all sounds very sensible, on the other hand I think ‘bollocks to that’! For example, ‘On day 4 after your cleanse, you may introduce some light animal protein (if you wish) such as steamed fish or chicken. On day 5, you may re-introduce dairy and meat if you desire’. Are they &*%^$£* kidding me? I may as well stay on the smoothies. I do plan to ease back into things gently but Saturday has ‘cheese on toast’ written all over it.

2pm. My Udo’s Choice goods arrive from Discount Supplements. Hurrah! They may slow my decline back into diet disaster. I proudly display them to my (male) colleagues. They’re always getting whey protein powder and nitric oxide boosters delivered (gym junkies) so now I feel like ‘one of the boys’.

By the way I don’t think you need to worry about the peanut butter. I’ve had a big spoonful of it almost every day and it hasn’t slowed my progress. We’re consuming very little. JJ says sugar-free pb is a-ok. She may also specify salt-free, but pb without salt is an affront to humanity.

6pm. Smoothie and some cherry toms. I give the egg a miss tonight as I have 2 left and I can’t be assed preparing more. Can’t believe it’s the yolk that causes a problem for you! I have to chew and swallow the white really quickly or I’ll heave. However, it’s still been the highlight of most days.

10pm. Bed. I’m also committed to seeing this through and like you, I’m super keen to get back to eating beings. Preferably humanely raised and killed ones. And their delicious by-products.

 

Day 6

IMG_2643Day 6 Smoothie

  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 2 bananas
  • 500ml water
  • 450g frozen Tropical smoothie mix (Waitrose – mango, pineapple, kiwi)
  • 2Tb ground flaxseeds
  • 1 scoop SunWarrior plant-based protein powder
  • 1Tb chlorella powder

Lis to Jill

Wake up feeling: Good.

Weigh in: I have lost 1.6kg. I think this is good! Nix almost seems disappointed (hoped I had stayed the same or gained so that I would go off it early!)

I make up the day’s smoothie and I really like it! It is very smooth and I think the pineapple gives it a nice lift. I have also added in a tablespoon of spirulina to ensure it is rich green not brown.

12pm. Very hungry but forgot that I had my smoothie early (7am) so I really should have had some more of it by now. I have to go off in search of a boiled egg at lunchtime as I forgot to bring one from home! This was easier than I expected, I was anticipating weird looks but a sliced boiled egg was handed over, unseasoned, no questions asked (a buck and a half).

3:45. I am a bit tired but otherwise feel fine. Have had quite a few cherry toms today but have had to stop myself going back to my stash of seeds. I had a lovely ginger tea at lunchtime, now I can see the obsession you once had with mocktails – there are some nice things out then when you look! I am a bit surprised I don’t feel AMAZING but perhaps that’s not surprising when you have zero carbs fuelling you throughout the day.

6pm. I decide to go for a walk. This is a bit unprecedented as I never do this but it’s a warm day, I feel good so off I go. So maybe I am feeling amazing and I just don’t realise it. It’s been too long haha.

10:30. Day is done, can’t believe tomorrow is day 7. It’s too to say ‘nearly there’ but at least it’s more than halfway over!

Jill to Lis

Wake up feeling: Alert. I get up, do half an hour of blue light therapy, shower, get ready for work, make smoothie, decant into 2 thermoses for transport and leave for work. I arrive at work at 7.45. This level of pre-breakfast activity and enthusiasm is unprecedented, especially considering that I’ve picked up Bernd’s cold and have a sore throat and a cough.

Weigh in: I’ve lost 2.5kg. This is an awful lot but I think my initial weigh in was inflated by the gnocchi feast the night before. Real loss is probably more like yours. I hope I can manage to keep some of it off after this ends.

8am. Smoothie at my desk. Nobody notices that my mug contains a thick green liquid instead of tea. Today’s smoothie is good – the 2 bananas! That’s what it is. I added a spoon of chlorella powder today, to get the greenness.

12pm. I go for a 40 minute walk, over the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern and back to work. I do this sometimes, but not nearly often enough. The colon lady said I need to increase my vitamin D intake and it was somewhat sunny, so thought I’d make the most of it. Eating lunch at my desk is no good for me but I do it far too often.

Return to work and drink my smoothie and a herbal tea. They ripped you off with that egg, but it’s good that one was available!

3pm. Drink more water – trying to keep my intake up. I wouldn’t say I feel ‘amazing’ either. Things are a bit odd downstairs but I guess that’s to be expected, given yesterday’s activity. I do feel a bit more active and awake than usual which shouldn’t be sneezed at.

4pm. I order the supplements the colon lady recommended:

They promise a super healthy bowel, luminous skin, strong nails and lustrous hair. I think my luminous days are over but any improvement would be welcome.

7pm. Take delivery of some clothes I ordered during the long headache, to cheer myself up. I’m suitably cheered. Drink remainder of smoothie, eat boiled egg, raw veg, nuts & seeds. I haven’t had a problem with the smoothie in the evening, each day I’ve polished it right off. Rooibos tea and a spoonful of peanut butter – decadent.

4 days to go, it seems like a long time.