Last Friday morning, just in time for breakfast, I took delivery of a cool bag, stuffed full of fresh, organic, cold-pressed green juices from Purifyne, ready to start my 3-day green cleanse.
I was offered the chance to roadtest one of their nationwide juice cleanses and as their ‘green cleanse’ plan is designed to create an alkaline enviroment within the body (it is well researched that many diseases, including cancer, cannot thrive in an alkaline environment) and boost the immune system, I signed up immediately. Hoping to rebalance the last two months of stress, glandular fever and general run-downness.
A quick word about juice detox delivery companies. Working as an editor in West London in the Noughties, it seemed that in-between the Fro-Yo bars and Cupcake Bakeries springing up by the dozen, the other booming business was juice/raw food delivery brands. In the name of research, I tried them all. From the good (Raw Fairies raw food detox is sublime and utterly delicious) to the ridiculous (namely the ‘one colonic a day for a week and barely enough nutrition to sustain a hamster’ approach). That said, my thrice yearly cleanses always did reboot my sugar/caffeine dependent, sluggish system and give me a whoosh of energy. Not to mention that rather welcome flatter tummy and 3-5lb weight-loss.
By moving to the country I begrudgingly accepted that, like a good Lebanese restaurant or haircut, juice cleanses just weren’t going to be at my beckon-call in the Shires. Until the email from Purifyne popped up and, after an email consultation, day one of my juice cleanse arrived.
For the uninitiated into the world of the juice cleanse, a green juice plan may be a little hardcore – each of the three 500ml daily juices contains a potent mix of lettuce, spinach, cucumber, celery, broccoli, green pepper, parsley… you get the jist. If it’s green and good for you. It’s in. So, if you’re expecting a fructose-heavy, fruity number – forget it. Purifyne are on a mission to rebalance your pH levels in 3 days, and they give you pH strips to wee on each night to chart your progress. Besides the juices (which I actually loved: fresh, clean and green), there is the daily ‘raw alkalising soup’. A thicker ‘smoothie’ consistency, it has added avocado (high in good fats) and a good hit of cucumber (known for it’s cleansing properties) as well as a rather potent kick of garlic, spring onion and lemon. When you get to that stage in a cleanse where you are desperate to actually chew something (usually about day 2 for me), this savoury, more filling recipe really hit the spot.
Purifyne have also devised a supplement plan to support the cleanse. Unlike a lot of programmes I’ve tried where you have to soak this or measure out that, Purifyne deliver everything pre-portioned and with your itinerary clearly laid out on a laminated side of A4. Idiot-proof. There is simply an alkalising mineral supplement and a colon cleansing powder that you mix with some juice in the morning. It is, frankly, a kinder and more gentle alternative to a colonic. Releasing oxygen through your digestive track to aid cleansing of ‘stagnant matter’. I’ll leave it there I think.
On the pampering front, there is a bag of Epsom Salts which they encourage you to bathe in each night to help release toxins; plus a sisal mitt for dry brushing each morning, to kick start a slugging lymphatic system, ergo helping the body to flush out those toxins.
With a fridge load of juices, some alkaline tea to sip in between and the box of Miso soup and cartons of coconut water that I stocked up on, I can honestly say I never, not once, got a hunger pang. Purifyne advise that rather than necking the juices at each ‘traditional mealtime’, you sip one slowly over 30-40mins, every 3-4 hours. Finishing your last juice 2-3 hours before bedtime to give your digestive system a good rest. Rather than missing food it it amazing how much time is frees up in your day when you’re not food shopping, preparing or cooking. I felt liberated and, which is very common, astounded at how much food I eat on a daily basis that my body, clearly, doesn’t need.
Those under-skin bumps on my arms (which are apparently a mild wheat intolerance) vanished, my tummy lost 5cms in bloating and that heavy fog of fatigue that has been hanging around since my glandular fever diagnosis, lifted gradually. Yes, a common goal for juice cleansers is weight-loss, and while I don’t really feel this kind of ‘quick fix’ is a healthy or particularly long-term weight loss tool, I did lose 4lbs.
A week post-cleanse and I still feel energised and my diet feels rebalanced. I have started juicing my own green juices for breakfast and lunch (more posts on this to follow), with plenty of raw salads and recipes from my favourite cookbook du jour, Honestly Healthy.
If you’re feeling rundown, need to fortify your immune system, or simply want to give your digestive system a bit of an overhaul after a period of over indulgence, give Purifyne a go.
3-day cleanse, £235*, www.purifyne.com