After having enjoyed the festive period a little too much and followed by a whole week of birthday celebrations, by mid January I was desperate to return to my healthy eating routine.
So to get myself back on the right track, I gave my very first detox/cleanse a go and started the Chris James 12 Day Cleanse. I was really excited to start the cleanse but also slightly apprehensive as I really wasn't sure what to expect, would it be impossible to follow? would I be hungry all the time? would it even do anything? you can imagine the rest.
The purpose of the 12 day program is to reduce acid forming foods in the diet, including meat, dairy, bread, pasta, alcohol and caffeine and replace them with alkaline ones in order to get the foods functioning at optimum level. The cleanse is split into 4 stages, which made it really easy to keep motivated and on track.
Whilst on the cleanse, I started each morning with hot lemon and water and lots of different supplements, it definitely took a couple of days to get used to take so many supplements but once I had adjusted it wasn't so bad. For the first half of the cleanse I was mainly eating porridge and smoothies for breakfast, LOTS of veg, grains and salads for lunch and dinner and then fruit or nuts for snacking. So in actual fact it wasn't too restricting and I could eat as much as I wanted as long as it was in my allowed list. With the 12 Day programe came clear guidelines on which foods you could and couldn't eat along with Chris's own recommended recipes.
A couple of days in and I definitely noticed that my cravings had lessened. I was saying no to chocolate, cakes and biscuits in the office, which was groundbreaking and I felt more alert and even lighter. I think I saw the most difference in the first couple of days and I definitely did feel more toned. By the juicing phase of the cleanse (days 6-9), things did become more difficult and I completely see why Chris recommends doing this phase over a quiet weekend if possible. During this point of the cleanse I did begin to feel quite tired and with a very busy job and social life it was hard to keep on track. I also found it hard to keep explaining to friends about why I had to skip our regular coffee, brunch and dinner dates. It's also worth mentioning that throughout the cleanse I had to prep all my meals in advance and be super organised. There were many trips to the supermarket to stock up on fresh produce and although this wasn't something I personally minded, it's just something to keep in mind if you want to give the cleanse a go yourself.
Now having completed the cleanse, I'd say I was happy with the results and it was a real eye opener on how certain foods can make you feel and can impact the body. I'll be honest and say my eating has gone back downhill in comparison to what it was like whilst I was on the cleanse but as we all know life on the go can mean that making the right choices can be challenging. I would definitely recommend the cleanse to others and now that I know exactly what to expect, I'd love to try it again when perhaps I can enjoy a more peaceful and restful 12 days.
If any of you have given cleansing a go then please do let me know by either leaving a comment below or tweeting me @phoebe151
If you're interested in learning more check out the Chris James site for info on the cleanse and Chris’ Yoga Retreat breaks, one of which is in the Himalayas and looks incredible!