Monday 24 March 2014

Glasgow Reviewed: Juice Cleanse with The Flavour Co

From my post last week you will have seen that I have just started having a play around with home juicing. I have had loads of fun trying recipes out but after reading a lot on the subject I was interested in going the whole hog and jumping in with a full juice detox. Now you can of course do these yourself at home but without the right equipment, ingredients and know how you wouldn't get the maximum results and benefits that a juice cleanse can bring so I decided to  leave it in the hands of the professionals. The Flavour Co have a lovely shop on Great Western Road where you can go for  delicious homemade soups and snacks alongside some amazing fresh pressed juices and smoothies but alongside this they now also offer juice cleanses to around the UK.

The arrival of my first 3 days of Juices
The Flavour Co offer a 3 or 5 day cleanse that floods your system with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while helping you detox from caffeine, refined sugar and processed foods. Natalie from the company explained that there are two options when doing their cleanses, you can opt to do their original cleanse or the lean green cleanse. The original cleanse is a good option for those not used to juicing as it is more colourful in that it incorporates more fruit so this option is quite low in fibre and higher in natural sugar. The lean green on the other hand are high in fibre and lower in natural sugar as they are more packed out with veg and  contains three green juices and two green smoothies a day ( as opposed to just juices on the original option) I think for many the original version would be the best place to start as the flavours might seem more appetising sounding and therefore help to commit to the detox fully but I love me some greens and liked the idea of having smoothies so opted to go lean and green for the whole 5 days!

What ever option you go with the idea is to have no food except your juices and additional water and herbal tea if needed, you are advised if you are finding it hard not eating you could snack on something clean such as raw carrots or fruit such as bananas or apples, can be added without disrupting the cleanse too much. I was so nervous going into it, I get pretty light headed if I don't eat regularly and I have a MASSIVE appetite but I am so pleased to report that my body was getting so much from the juices I felt much better than expected...

The Drinks

Juice 1- Melon, celery, cucumber,kale, greens+optional additions of chlorella or spirulina
Juice 2-Apple, cucumber, kale, greens wheatgrass
Juice 3-Smoothie- Kale, Greens, Banana, Mango, Apple, Orange
Juice 4-Smoothie- Kale, Greens, Banana, Mango, Apple, Orange
Juice 5-Carrot, Apple, Kale, Greens, Fennal, Lemon, Ginger
Juice 6-Banana, Hemp, Date,Vanilla extract, Cardamom

(greens include kale,spinach, spring greens and chard)

The Diary

Day One- I was actually nervous to get started this morning, breakfast in bed with a coffee is a total routine of Ally and I's and it is genuinely a highlight of my weekends! This first drink was much more palatable than I had told myself it would be but not my favourite most likely due to the cucumber in it (I know- I am weird!) but it was absolutely refreshing because of it and I finished it no problem.  The Second drink tasted similarly 'ground-like' when I had it mid morning, again because of the cucumber I imagine.Wolfed it down however as I was starting to feel a little peckish. Volunteering in the shop today so struggling a little in the quiet spells as I would usually be snacking on some veg and enjoying coffees but not as hungry as I thought I might be. Decide to crack on with the first of the smoothies early afternoon, excited to try these as think the texture will be more appealing to me than the green juices. Feels substantial as it is thicker ( but not super thick) tasty and appetising and looking forward to my next identical one all ready! Starting to feel a little 'foggy' no doubt from the lack of caffeine- glad I was out in the shop though which provided good distraction. The drinks definitely took a 'cleansing' effect very quickly today - be prepared to be visiting the loo!

Evening was a little tougher, I realised how much of my eating comes from boredom and routine. Getting in the door and not throwing on a meal and putting the kettle on for hot sweet tea felt very alien and I was definitely hungry for something, also felt fairly tired. The first juice of the evening was definitely refreshing and quite tart- I don't normally love fennel but this blend tasted lovely and 'botanical' and I sipped it slowly over a little while. I was so excited about big drink number 6 as it was the one that sounded right up my street that I had it far too early after drink 5, I just couldn't resist! It was just as delicious as I had hoped for and I guzzled it ridiculously quick. It was such a moreish delight I was already counting the hours until I could have it again! I had deliberately planned a very quiet night in anticipation of being grumpy, tired, hungry and all round rubbish company and I am glad I did ( although in some ways a Saturday night in with rubbish TV, and no wine/tea or food was pretty painful!) I took my tired self to bed really early to relax, although I was sleepy the last drinks left me feeling full enough and I felt better than I thought I would- nervous to wake up on day two as I feel I  have gotten away lightly today!

Day 1 Drink 1 and ready to go!
Day Two- I slept better than I thought I would and didn't wake up feeling ravenous. Absolutely amazed at my breakfast juice- although the morning ones were my least faves yesterday this morning they tasted completely different, my mind was blown! It's like my palette was totally reset- instead of just tasting like strong cucumbery earthy flavour, it actually tasted sweet and completely appetising and delicious. I couldn't stop going on about it I was just so shocked! Surprisingly I have so much more energy than I thought I would and I couldn't believe when I looked in the bathroom mirror how white eyes my are, they look bright and crystal clear- I guess around 30 portions of fruit +veg over the day does wonders! Polished off drink two mid morning and once again the taste was totally transformed to me- I loved it!

I Had my thicker smoothies while out at the shops and managed totally fine. Don't get me wrong I couldn't  run a 10k but I am in better shape than I predicted. It's weird how what you are craving is more veg and healthy food- instead of closing my eyes and wanting a mega burger literally all I want, because I miss chewing, is a beautiful grilled chicken breast with red peppers and hell maybe an egg too! Totally surprising myself. Not craving tea nearly as much today but I did crash out a little around 3ish and just felt v tired and blue for a couple of hours. Took myself to the couch though and just  let it pass. Picked right back up again after drink 5 and got a load of house work done with the energy then wolfed down delicious number 6 at 8 and that was me for the night. 

Day Three- I slept soundly and for long time which was amazing ( I am a terrible sleeper!) felt a little foggy all day but was ultimately fine. I was hungry when I smelt all tasty food but all entirely manageable and didn't drive me mad as each drink worked so well to keep proper pangs at bay. Went to cinema which was good distraction (still find evening In front of TV hard to break habit of mindlessly snacking) and I felt full of energy by bed time. It is strange, I am noticing that I  feel very calm and much more peaceful than normal which was not expected but a very pleasant surprise.  I guess I just feel more 'aware' of myself if that makes any sense. When you are an (over) eater like me you spend all your time thinking of what you are eating next and when and it was liberating that instead of spending all my time thinking of food it was the total opposite. I went to bed really happy with doing the first 3 days, impressed at how it much easier than I thought it would be and was excited to be carrying on for the next two days.

Day 4- I was amazed at my energy level this morning didn't have my first drink till half ten ( after walking 3.5 miles to work!) and then the drinks were staggered through the work day but I wasn't hungry at any point which was amazing! Really was scared of being unfocused and a riot at work but needn't have worried. I actually got more done than I have in forever!!  I had decided not to go to the gym at the start of the cleanse but honestly today I totally could have today- I am just bouncing off the walls. Really enjoying all six of the drinks and exploring different herbal teas over the day time and still feeling incredibly calm and together, which I am loving.

Day 5- I was actually sad waking up today and thinking it was my last day- I have become super attached to these green beauties! Day was as smooth as day 4, full of energy, very satiated, clear skin and eyes and feeling very focused. I even cooked dinner for my friends and managed just fine. I am actually surprised how much being around food hasn't bothered me really, I figure the juices must be doing such a good job of giving everything my body is after that it just isn't an issue. Go to bed genuinely a little sad I am off the drinks tomorrow and have to go back to fending for myself. Vowed to stay off caffeine for the nest few days at least as well as booze, meat, refined sugar etc as I just don't want to throw all this feeling good away! I couldn't resist using my juicer to make a little apple, pear and celery number to enjoy with my porridge in the morning.

The evening line up
So there you have it,I honestly can not believe this has gone as well as it has. Not to get too deep but it genuinely feels an almost spiritual cleanse- not constantly thinking about food and what I should and shouldn't be having was incredibly soothing to me and really helped me wind right down. I felt peaceful and incredibly calm through out this and it felt a real achievement to keep going. The first couple of days weren't without their ups and downs but it was completely worth it, I am definitely aware that it is different for every person though. I might have gotten off lightly as my diet currently ( due to some pesky IBS) is most of the time pretty good. I know others who have a lot more caffeine in a day ( I have 3-5 cups of tea with sweetener, and 4 or so cups of green tea a day) might suffer a bit more from headaches from the withdrawal. I wasn't looking at the cleanse as a long term sustainable weight loss method but yes you do shed a few lbs after it. I lost 5.5lbs over the 5 days which I didn't really notice during, I was just over the moon with how completely un-bloated I was and not struggling with my usual IBS niggles was a big blessing.

So would I do it again? IN A HEARTBEAT. I absolutely adored the whole process and found it taught me a lot about myself and my eating habits. It has definitely brought my attention to what it is in my diet that puts me on a bit of an energy roller coaster throughout the day and how much more I could be doing to get even more fruit and veg in my diet and what benefits that could bring. It has let me prove to myself what my body is capable of and when it is fed right that it can go a lot longer than I thought without snacking. I am so guilty of eating from boredom that this has helped me become so much more aware of it and hopefully fix it. Similarly with my insane sweet tooth I am glad I have given my body a proper break from it and I am going to keep it up and hopefully get it in check in the long term. I loved that The Flavour Co include 6 drinks in their cleanses and found this a perfect amount for stretching out over the day- it has definitely kick started a habit for me of stopping eating and drinking after around 8 or so at night as long as I have had a good healthy filling dinner and how much better I will sleep if I do. I also really like that each day is the same with this detox, you become pretty attached to each drink and actually crave each one as its due so I am glad they remain they don't change ( lets face it I would just NEVER give up drink 6!)

Feeling thrilled with how my skin looks ( thin layer of CC cream and cream blush) by day three!
Top tips I would pass on to anyone considering it- remember if you are to opt for a lean and green version that the drinks are designed to be cleansing on the system and because of it you might find yourself at the loo a lot in the first couple of days. Natalie advised that if you eat a typical stodgy western diet it is probably best not to go  straight on to this particular cleanse without trying green juices or smoothies first as otherwise that 'purging' effect might be pretty uncomfortable! If you are used to eating fruit and veg however and have tried drinks like these before you shouldn't have any problems. For anyone worried about the taste I found taking the drinks out the fridge to get them room temperature and enjoying them with a straw makes them much easier to enjoy in the beginning. Talking of the fridge- make sure you have space! If doing the 5 days you get the first 3 days in one batch and then the last two later so you will need room to keep the bottles fresh. I found keeping myself busy and focused on other things a good help in the early days but it is advisable to start at a weekend or a day off so that if you do start to feel a bit ropey as your body adjusts, you can be at home taking it easy. One thing you might want to avoid ( although it really didn't bother me at all ) is instagram. If you are feeling hungry staring at lots of snaps of other peoples dinners might not help...

Natalie from The Flavour Co has been a complete godsend throughout the process, her knowledge and passion for what she is doing is amazing and she answered my thousand questions before and throughout,  and has been behind me all the way. One thing I know many would be hesitant with when considering a cleanse, is the price. A 5 day Green and Lean cleanse like I have just done is £172 (including delivery) if you are in central Glasgow and £214 for the rest of the UK or for 3 days it is £106/£132. You can opt to go for the original cleanse instead which is cheaper at £95 for 3 days in central Glasgow or £158 for 5, or £121/£200 for the rest of the UK. It is worth noting that if you don't live or work in central Glasgow but aren't too far away you can contact Natalie on to see if a cheaper delivery option is available for you.

 Now this is a lot of money to shell out, but when you consider to try and put one together for yourself you first need a decent machine, time and ingredients ( and some good know how on amounts and benefits of the right ingredients) then I can see why using a company such as The Flavour Co can make it a much better experience. Now that I have completed the cleanse I can absolutely see why it is worth having someone like them organise and arrange it for you, plus when you think of what you save in not eating, drinking or buying coffees over those 5 days then the cost can be easier to stomach (terrible pun...sorry!) For me the huge benefits and results I have felt from the cleanse have been absolutely worth it and I will definitely be putting pennies aside to do one again.

To speak to the lovely Natalie about organising a cleanse for yourself you can contact the shop on 0141 339 5967  or email with any questions.

Cleanse given gratis for review, as always opinions are 100% my own

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