I was recently contacted by NOSH who had seen my various ramblings about food and bloating and energy levels and other things. They offered me the opportunity to try their three day beginner’s fast. They thought their juice detox would be the ideal way for me to stop, take a break, and give my eating habits a bit of a refresh.
Always willing to give things a try, and having considered fasting before but never getting around to actually doing it, I replied to NOSH and said ok, let’s do this thing. Why not?!
My “food” for one day. Six drinks and some herbal tea.
The day before I started the NOSH detox I had a great conversation with one of their nutritionists, Candice. I asked her loads of questions about detoxing and juice diets, mainly to do with hunger and digestion, and she gave me lots of information about what I should expect. The detox is a three day juice fast but doesn’t cut everything out. I was promised that hunger wouldn’t be a problem, mainly because there is a lot of protein in the juices and it’s not limited to just a couple of juices a day. My parcel from DHL weighed 9kg – that’s a lot of juice!
My juice delivery. Everything I needed for three days in one cool box. Complete with schedule to follow.
The whole point of this exercise is the break it gives your digestive system. Stopping your regular eating habits means your digestion can slow down, which will give your liver a chance to catch up with the process of cleansing your blood. Replacing chewable foods with natural juices containing fresh fruit and vegetables blended with superfoods (such as goji berries), and a lot of water, is supposed to do wonders for your body and mind. I am no dietitian or nutritionist so I can only go on what I’ve been told and what I feel, but the information does seem to make sense. Processed foods and refined sugars cannot be good for us, really, and while I don’t like it and don’t want to I have become rather reliant on them. So I was willing to believe the spiel and take a break from food for three days in the hope it might instil a new respect for my body and get me ready for some much healthier choices.
My NOSH detox came along with an “immune booster box” including lots of supplements and more herbal teas to help keep me healthy. There was also some lovely fresh salts to put in the bath, which were a very nice treat.
I admit even as I drank my first NOSH drink I was still sceptical about the whole thing. I know people who’s done fasts similar to this one, and a couple of my friends fast regularly (for a couple of days every three or four months), and they all seem to rate the benefits highly. On the other hand when told people I was doing it I had more than one ask me why and questioned my sanity… and I didn’t blame them in some ways!
I wrote a diary of sorts during my three days and thought you’d like to read it… I drank a lot more water than this demonstrates, but hopefully it’ll be a useful way to demonstrate how the three days went.
6.30am | Got up. Drank a couple of glasses of filtered tap water instead of my usual morning cuppa. Not quite the same – I enjoy waking up with a cup of tea.
7.40am | Cycled to work. Much more gently than normal, trying to not exert myself too much having been advised that only light exercise such as walking and yoga is recommended.
Lemon and ginger tonic and water, not my normal morning tipple!
8.00am ish | Another glass of water instead of a cup of tea. While I only drink a couple of caffeinated drinks a day as a rule, I am fully expecting to have a caffeine withdrawal headache very soon.
8.30am | My first Nosh drink of the experiment – the lemon and ginger tonic, which I really enjoyed. Not strong in flavour (not like a diluted cordial, more like a water with a hint), but had a warming kick and felt like a good start to the day. This thing might be ok!
9.45am | A cup of herbal tea – the Cascara Bark Tea. Very bitter. As in so bitter I couldn’t prevent my face from screwing up. I drank a full mug over the next 45 minutes or so, it took that long, and I did not enjoy it. I’m not sure I’m going to get on with the herbal teas!
11.00am | My first juice of the detox was a “rehydrator” and contained passion fruit, strawberry, orange, parsley and flaxseed. It was thin runny juice, which surprised me as I think I was expecting something with some body to it. Despite the fantastic colour it really didn’t have a lot of flavour. Every juice is different, though so I’m bound to like some more than others.
1.00pm | ‘Lunch’ is a protein juice known as the “eliminator” – orange, banana, grapes, coconut and some added acai powder. Much thicker and tastier than this morning’s juice, and it definitely did the trick as far as hunger goes, I’m surprised.
5.20pm | I had my “4.30pm” juice when I got home from work. My “healer” drink was a thick green juice with avocado, mango, watercress, pineapple – my first ever proper green smoothie with vegetables in. Interesting. Not unpleasant, a bit neutral on my palette, I’d be happy to try it again some time. It contained green synergy powder which apparently contains lots of nutrients; it’s not really clear what the powder is made from.
Healing drinking. My first proper green smoothie, and not unpleasant. Maybe I should buy some avocado and watercress to use in my Blend Active.
8.00pm | After making dinner for LincsGeek (sausages and mash… mmmmmmmmmmmm – I promise I didn’t cheat!) I had my ‘dinner’ drink. I’m not sure that drinking it while watching Bake Off was such a good idea, but it definitely filled me up.
9.00pm | Each day finishes with a small bottle of nut mylk, which you are supposed to drink an hour before bed. It felt like I’d only just had my evening ‘meal’ and I didn’t really want anything other than water at this point. I admit I wasn’t that enamoured by the taste, although I appreciated the occasional “bit” of nut that was floating in the drink – I’d definitely have preferred a handful of brazil nuts though!
6.30am | Waking up to a glass of water rather than tea just isn’t the same. I didn’t get a headache yesterday after all, but I do miss the warmth and flavour of tea. This morning I tried hot water instead, but it’s just not the same. Oh and as a side note, one of my concerns was whether I’d get a dodgy stomach from all the juice, but thankfully no such side effects to report.
8.30am | I was looking forward to my lemon and ginger tonic this morning, knowing I enjoyed it yesterday. I love how the lemon refreshes and the ginger makes me feel warm inside. I must add lemons and fresh ginger to my shopping list.
10.00am | Very sorry but I didn’t even make it to the bottom of my herbal tea today. I’m a bit worried I’m going to miss out on a whole load of benefits from the teas, but I really don’t like them! I am drinking lots of water (so much water) instead and hope that is enough; I am not interested in subjecting myself to something that I dislike that much!
11.00am | This morning’s “rehydrator” was loads better than the one I had yesterday – grapes, strawberry, pear, apple, lime and flaxeed. It was very pleasant. I have flaxseed in 9Bar bars, but haven’t used it in drinks, perhaps I should consider adding some to my morning smoothies. Something to research.
12.00noon | A really big test of my willpower… I met my sister for lunch in a local coffee shop. Eek! I had a cup of tea (not the herbal variety, but there was no caffeine and no milk!), and she had a very nice looking panini. I am genuine when I say I wasn’t hungry at all, but you all know I could have easily devoured something if given the opportunity. My will power did a pretty good job I reckon.
1.00pm | My lunch-time protein smoothie contained green leaves, berries, mango and oranges, with acai. Nice, especially after being in a lovely sweet smelling place for the previous hour. The little comment on the back said it would be calming on the nerves, and would give me roots to grow and wings to fly. Interesting…
2.20pm | For the first time since I started my detox I’m feeling a little peckish. I really don’t enjoy the herbal teas on my palette, they are very difficult for me to drink, so I’m on glass number 100 of water. On any normal day I would have automatically reached for chocolate or crisps, or most likely both, by now (there are both in my desk drawer, which I have left locked). I just seem to be thinking about food ALL THE TIME. This is good for me, right?!
3.00pm | I had a phone call from Sarah at NOSH to see how I was getting on. Good timing! I naturally mentioned I was feeling peckish, and how a bit drowsy too, so she suggested I ate a carrot stick with a bit of salt on to help curb those feelings. I can’t do that right now as I’m at work but might do it later if I still feel the same.
4.45pm | My “healer” today was a horrible brown colour, probably due to the banana that’s been sitting in there for a few days (I never make smoothies with banana the night before, it seems to only stay fresh for about six hours). Apart from banana it also contained peach, pineapple and apple along with some “the best green superfood in the world” – no idea what that actually is! Despite the odd colour it tasted good and while I did consider the carrot I didn’t need it once I’d finished my juice.
8.00pm | I can’t stop thinking about food. Actually, to be more specific, I can’t stop thinking about burgers! I don’t know if it’s just because I know I can’t (shouldn’t), or if I’m craving salt or meat or something, but I am salivating at the thought. My evening smoothie was goji berries, peach, mango, pineapple and lime; it filled me up, but didn’t take the cravings away.
9.00pm | Nut mylk done. Two days done, one more to go.
Nut mylk. Not sure which nuts, possibly brazil nuts. A strange taste, something I could get used to. Do you drink almond or other nut milk?
6.30am | Still no headaches, and those salty cravings didn’t keep me awake all night, which is good news. I am considering permanently replacing my first cup of tea with a large glass of tap water. That would be a step in the right direction of good habits, I think.
8.30am | Really enjoyed my last lemon and ginger tonic, which is a shame as there’s none left for tomorrow!
11.00am | This morning’s “rehydrator” was quite nice – orange, apple, mango and flaxeed. It tasted like a smoothie I might have made myself, and had lots of bits in from the apple which is very nice to have when you’re not eating any solid food!
1.30pm | I walked up Steep Hill in my lunch break. I’m not sure that constitutes light exercise I was quite out of breath when I got to the top! I’m glad I had taken a bottle of water with me or I might have been tempted to buy a drink at the top; I’m a big fan of taking my own reusable bottle of water everywhere. My protein smoothie today was acai powder with mango, pear, grapes and lemon – it was really nice actually, the best yet; that brightness you get from adding lemon is a big hit for sure.
Possibly the best juice/smoothie of the three days.
4.30pm | Tonight’s “healer” drink included that green synergy powder again, which is a mystery, along with green leaves, apple and kiwi. I assume the green leaves were watercress and maybe spinach. If I’ve learnt nothing else it’s that I don’t need to be scared of green vegetable smoothies, they can be really tasty and aren’t in the least bit odd.
8.00pm | I have found that I cannot be lazy in front of the television on this NOSH detox, as that is when I wish I was eating the most. I kept busy this evening doing bits and bobs around the house, and my thoughts rarely turned to food. My last proper juice of the detox was a “rejuvenator” – goji berries, banana, berries, orange and lemon. Another citrus one, which was a good way to finish.
9.30pm | After some very busy days at work and reducing my calorie intake significantly, I was absolutely shattered and headed to bed with my final nut mylk of this three day journey to read and relax. But was asleep before I’d finished the bottle. Oops!
Another day of juice… the second one from the left was the one I had first – I expected so much more flavour from it based on the colour. Thankfully all the others were much nicer.
On the morning of day four, the first day off the detox, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to eat something! I cooked myself some scrambled egg (no toast) and tried to eat it slowly, but enjoyed eating it SO much it didn’t last long! Eating – simply chewing and tasting – is such a nice experience, I love it! I was advised to try and avoid heavy carbs, red meats and rich food, for a few days following the detox.
If you’re interested I did lose a teeny bit of weight and my clothes fit a little bit better now. I have also not craved sugar in the same way since the detox (although I have been eating it – I found white twix for sale and couldn’t resist; I know I need to stop that). Most importantly, I think the experience of not eating for three days forced me to think carefully about my nutrition and make some decisions about my eating habits. Mainly to do with eating good honest food made from real ingredients (apart from white twix, and marshmallows, which are excused), and drinking water or flavoured water rather than other drinks (more cold water than tea, that’s going to be tough!) – two things which I know are right and already try to do, but also two things that are very easy to forget.
Over the three days food was all I thought about – take something away and it becomes the hottest topic going!! I won’t admit to being super healthy in the two weeks that have gone by since I drank my last juice, but I have definitely been making different food and drink choices. I’m not sure you’ll ever make a paleo friend out of me, but it certainly made me stop and take note.
I don’t think this is something I will be doing regularly, certainly not every couple of months anyway (apart from anything else, it’s not cheap!). It was, though, an interesting experiment and did prove to me that I don’t need all those things I eat. I might like them, but I don’t need them. And I know my body is thankful I gave it a go, too.
I would say a NOSH detox is a great kick start if you feel you need one. It’ll certainly make you think hard about your nutrition. Go for it.
Thank you to NOSH for inviting me to try the beginner juice detox on them. It was interesting! For more information about NOSH and their detoxes (including ones that include actual food…) use these links: NOSH website | NOSH twitter | NOSH facebook