I started off 2014 with the best of intentions.
Join the gym. Drink 2 pints of water a day. Drink less alcohol. Eat less chocolate. Try and do the 5:2 diet. The list went on.
January 1st saw me smugly sipping a Lime & Soda, having run 2 miles that morning, and eating a green salad for lunch.
January 5th saw me necking a glass of champagne with a vodka chaser, having just feasted on a warm Camembert like a ravenous dog.
I have terrible will power, and was getting very bored of starting new diets or new exercise routines, and then failing miserably three days later. I wanted something extreme to kick start my healthy lifestyle, so back at the beginning of this month I embarked on a juice cleanse.
There seem to be hundreds of companies doing juice cleanses at the moment, so after careful research, I came across Just Juices.
Louise from the company very kindly sent me their 3 day juice cleanse to kick off my healthy lifestyle change, and they were delivered on a Tuesday, ready for my cleanse to start on Wednesday.
Just Juices were founded in 2013, where they began their cleanse mission on the people of Liverpool. A year later, they now deliver juices all over the UK.
I was hugely impressed by the delivery- it turned up on time, with all the juices packed freshly in a cool bag. It fitted perfectly in my fridge at work, ready for the cleanse to begin the very next day.
The general advice is to wean your body gently off caffeine and sugar for the few days running up to your juice cleanse starting. I decided to ignore that advice and rounded off my Tuesday night with a Franco Manco pizza and an ice cream. This decision would eventually come back and bite me in the bum!
I kept a mini diary over the three days to share with you all.
Woke up feeling nicely full from my naughty pizza last night. Bound downstairs to get the kettle on to have my hot water and lemon. I usually have this most mornings, but having it before I am at my desk at work is a bit of a revelation. Neck my mini shot of 'Wake Up Juice' and make a hideous face from the grapefruit overload.
Loved my first green juice of the day- a mix of green beans, cucumber, spinach and fennel. Don't feel hungry as midday creeps up, and nearly forget my second juice of the day at 1pm. The second juice is really difficult to drink; a combination of beetroot, berries and basil. I struggle to get to the end of the bottle, but when I do, I feel super full.
The toughest part of the day. Felt full from 1pm until 4pm, again nearly missing my 4pm juice. This one was my favourite, a heady mix of carrots, oranges and ginger. Sip it away feeling smug at my desk whilst everyone at Secret Escapes headquarters demolishes the cake in the kitchen.
Smugness turns to anger as by 7pm I have the kind of 'hanger' (hungry anger) that could kill. Am grumpy with anyone who dares get in my way on the commute home, and the boyfriend has to eat his dinner in the kitchen to avoid my lusty glare over his stirfry. Fall into bed at 9pm, exhausted. Finish off the evening with a peppermint tea, and a vivid daydream about the ham in the fridge.
At my desk abusing my neighbour for eating her hot, white buttered bagel in front of me. My boss is avoiding me as I am being so vile, and feel so hungry. But as soon as I finish my 10am juice, a serene calm washes over me. I find it takes me more time to drink the juices as I feel so full, and manage to extend my lunch juice until 2pm, as I am just not hungry.
Everyone disembarks for a night at the pub. I sit in the toilet and neck my 4pm juice so that I won't be tempted until my 7pm juice is due. Sip water with LOTS of ice and lemon and avoid the peanuts. Feel like cracking, but the fact my stomach is so flat really gives me that extra boost to continue.
I know I shouldn't, but can't help nipping on the scales. Have already lost 5lb, and feel very pleased. Empty out my 7pm juice which is a fruity berry combo into my Magimix, and blitz in some fresh strawberries, almond milk and ice. I know it's against the rules but I just need something relatively food-like to get me through the evening and to fall asleep. It works, and by 11pm I am fast asleep in bed.
My skinniest of jeans feel comfortable this morning, and I feel very chirpy on the tube on the way into work. My green juice doesn't inspire me much this morning, and I am feeling slightly sick at having to drink the juice as it does have a real fennel kick to it. Stick lots of ice in it, and I finish the last sip at 11am.
I can't face my beetroot juice- I don't feel hungry, and I feel it might be more counterproductive to force myself to eat it. Wait and have my carrot and orange juice at 2pm instead, which feels much nicer. My skin feels lovely and less oily, and people have already commented that my face looks a bit slimmer!
The part of the week I dread most. Cocktail hour at work lasts from 5-6pm, and to celebrate a year of our incredible Swedish site, we have a kitchen rammed full of Swedish treats. I hear the words "Daim Bar" and want to cry. Want to cave so badly, so I decide to eat an apple instead. Again, I know it's not recommended, but it made me feel incredible, and I happily sipped my 7pm juice with glee, knowing that I had really pulled off an incredible juicing feat!
Sitting with friends enjoying the lovely evening, and have drunk more icy lemon water than I ever should. I round my evening off with the beetroot juice I didn't drink earlier in the day. Wake up on Saturday feeling incredible, and remarkably, not hungry at all.
I am delighted to see 8lb has magically dropped off my weight, and I have lost inches from my thighs, waist, stomach and arms.
I decide to swing straight into the Paleo diet, which means I am eating like a cavewoman, and avoid falling into the trap of a 'post-juice binge' session.
I cannot recommend Just Juices enough- their service was amazing, and Louise was so quick to pick up my e-mails regarding my concerns and queries.
The 3 day cleanse costs £69 including delivery- but you can also pimp it to a 5 day cleanse for £120. Both prices are incredibly reasonable, when comparing with London based juicing companies.
They also have this amazing deal where you can get 2 3-day juice cleanses for £125, so you and a friend can embark on the journey together.
Check Louise and her team out- @justjuicesuk or on their website Just Juices