If someone told you that you could live purely on juice for three days and still function, you probably wouldn’t believe them. I certainly didn’t – until I went to a three-day juice detox with the Juice Master, Jason Vale.
The course, which took place at Champneys Forest Mere, started on a Sunday, which gave me plenty of time to prepare with slap-up meals on Friday and Saturday.
When I got to Champneys, I was surprised by the ingredients in the first juice I was given – apple, cucumber, celery and spinach – and worried it would taste like pond scum, but it wasn't that bad. With three and a half hours to kill until my next one and looking for something to take my mind off food, I took advantage of the hotel’s gym and indoor pool.
Over the next few days I chugged unlikely-sounding concoctions made from beetroot, apple, pineapple, lemon and water (H2O Detox); apples, spinach, beetroot, cucumber, parsley and avocado (Beyond Detox); and apples, lemon, cucumber, celery, ginger (Dreamy Detox). I was still sceptical about many of the recipes but I have to say I enjoyed them all. And although I felt hungry, I also felt energised and on the second day I managed a 12km run and an array of gym classes, for a total of around six hours of exercise. The food-free juice diet obviously wasn’t slowing me down – besides, there wasn’t much else to do.
According to Juice Master Jason, the reason I felt so good even when exercising is because the fruit and veg give you a huge amount and variety of nutrients and they nourish your body straight away. There is little digestion process, which means your body can use its energy to fuel your activity rather than digesting food.
Most of us on the course lost a kilo or so over the three days but one guy, a marathon runner, lost three. I wasn’t there to lose weight, but I walked away feeling energised and cleansed of the usual rubbish that goes into my body – it was definitely three days well spent.
So much so, in fact, that after the course I invested in a juicer – the Philips Wide Chute Aluminum Juicer HR1861 – and swapped my usual breakfast of cereal for a ‘turbo charger’ juice. This blends pineapple, celery, cucumber, spinach leaves, lime and avocado to produce a green slush that looks like pulped grass but tastes like manna from juice heaven and keeps you full until lunchtime.
For loads of tasty health-boosting smoothies, check out these smoothie recipes.
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Lucy Miller is an experienced journalist who has worked across a range of health and fitness titles. She was the fitness and nutrition editor at Men’s Fitness UK, and has also been fitness editor of both Health & Fitness UK and Women’s Fitness UK. Lucy qualified as a NASM-certified personal trainer and nutritionist in 2008.