"I Just Finished My First Juice Detox, Here’s How I Feel…"
Working at a place like Food Matters, food is never far from my mind. I’m often thinking about my next meal or snack and, while I eat a healthy, varied diet, I have been known to overeat. What can I say? I love food that much! For me, there’s nothing nicer than coming home to cook a big, flavorful dinner - but then comes the overeating. Soon I wonder, did I really need all that food right before bed, or was it time to change my eating habits?
Since joining the Food Matters team just a few months ago, I have been devouring all the nutritional knowledge (and recipes!) I can get my hands on. Then, after hearing the stories of the amazing health results experienced by all of our Juice Detox alumni, I put this program at the top of my to-do list. The final straw was when I noticed I was getting more breakouts than usual, and a desire to clear up my skin was the tipping point for me in deciding to finally sign up.
My partner Jordan was happy to sign up for a week of detoxing too; he was as curious about the program as myself. Working as an autobody technician, he needs nutritious meals to fuel him for long days on his feet, so we weren’t sure how satisfying he would find the program to be - but we knew all of the recipes were nutritionally balanced and supercharged. So with the two of us now undertaking a detox, we doubled the ingredients on our shopping list and headed off to the farmers’ market.
Guess what - it took a couple of trips to get all of the fresh produce we purchased back to the car! We were blown away knowing we would be enjoying all of these fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs across the week when we were meant to be ‘detoxing’. Plus, what we would later learn was that it is possible to take a short break from proteins, dairy, and refined products to rebalance the way we eat.
I wrote this piece as a newbie to detoxing, wanting to share my positive experience of the Food Matters Juice Detox with anyone who may be doubting their own ability to complete it too. Sure, it’s somewhat challenging, but it’s totally doable and really beneficial. Below you’ll find my journal entries from this past week. Read them and discover what it’s really like to undertake a 7-day juice detox (or, you could try one yourself)!
Feeling keen to kick this week off!
I’m a breakfast person, which means I jump out of bed in the morning excited to eat my usual avocado and egg on toast. Breakfast juice today included fruit… and parsley? Bit different, but not bad! I’m not much of a sweet tooth, so I think I’ll find eating the vegetables and herbs easier than all the fruit.
First day of no coffee - ouch. Felt a bit foggy, but I’ve really liked the taste of the juices, and it’s refreshing having a lighter lunch. Ready for Day 2!
I could really use a croissant right now!
Celebrated my friend’s birthday today and found myself surrounded by warm, buttery croissants. Opted for a glass of carrot juice instead (wouldn’t you?). First temptation test complete. ✅
Jordan and I have been craving salty foods, so have been adding a pinch of salt to the meal plan recipes where it makes sense.
We chose the Cooler Months meal plan, and are loving the nightly vegetable soups (with coconut milk - yum!). I noticed that by adding a little extra pumpkin to the soup tonight it’ll help us use up the produce by week’s end, plus it bulks up the soup a little more to get us through to breakfast.
Went in search of tips and tricks, and the Food Matters Community Facebook group did not disappoint! Turns out I’ve probably been peeling carrots and other vegetables before juicing unnecessarily. (Rookie mistake.) Something James said stuck with me in the perfectly in-tune guided emails today - learn to sit with your hunger. We’re so used to having food close by and at the ready, that we hardly have any time to get truly hungry. This is the first step to shifting old habits.
Soaking cashews tonight to make cashew milk in the morning. That’s a first! I don’t think Jordan and I have even ever tried cashew milk before. (We did sneak a few cashews in as a snack before dinner tonight, sorry James!).
The headaches that everyone warned me about have kicked in, so I’ve cracked out that peppermint oil and am heading to bed.
How do I get the smell of cabbage out of my house?
Had the Liver Loving Cabbage Juice for breakfast. Loved the community’s tips on adding extras like cucumber and apples to sweeten the taste (and I have to say, I’ve never once thought of juicing lettuce leaves before today).
The cashew milk turned out really yummy and creamy! I can see us using this easy recipe post Detox.
Today was the first day I noticed not being hungry before mealtimes, and I was seriously surprised! Over that hump. Bring on the next few days!
I may have spoken too soon. Definitely feeling hungry today, but now I’m adjusting to coping with it. (And we are actually consuming so much food as part of the juices and meals, I know I’m not really missing out.) It’s really been transformative for both Jordan and me taking the option of constant snacking off the table. And you know what? After five days without coffee, I have heaps of energy! My mind is clear and I haven’t noticed any mid-afternoon slumps at work. Jordan has had some long work days so is looking forward to getting some protein back into his diet.
Jordan has completed his detox and I’m proud of him - what an amazing break he’s given his body! Will definitely be recommending that people try the Juice Detox as a couple - simplifies the grocery-buying process for the week, and gives you access to in-house support.
I’ve been looking at the Food Matters Post Detox Recipes for us both to try. Starting to look forward to proteins like beans and lentils, so the Moroccan Sweet Potato, Lentil & Feta Salad sounds right up my alley.
The final day! Wow, what a journey it’s been.
Had a little leftover produce in my fridge, like part of a fennel bulb, so I added it to the last juice to use it up. I can’t believe we I actually got through all of that produce from the farmers’ markets we started with seven days ago!
I went grocery shopping today (for my post-detox recipes), and there were all sorts of temptations. Full fridges, full shelves, bread baking... But happy to report no naughty purchases were made! (And did I mention that it’s the weekend, so everyone seemed to be cooking a BBQ on their balcony down our street today?)
I have been hanging out all week for tonight’s Creamy Spinach Soup and I am happy to report it was worth the wait! Even Jordan (who, if you remember, finished his detox yesterday) enjoyed it. Whoever placed this soup last on the Detox meal plan is a genius.
So where am I at now?
After finishing the Food Matters Juice Detox, I am enjoying clearer skin, and feeling lighter, energized, and fuller for longer, albeit eager to get back to some of my beloved whole foods!
While replacing heavy foods with plant-based liquid nutrition was a step far out of my comfort zone, I found help and support in my Food Matters friends and the Food Matters Facebook Community. (Yes, they did need to teach me how to use and clean a juicer on Day 1. Which goes to show they can help anyone!)
I never found myself tired or low in energy this week, and, at some point, I stopped feeling so hungry and eager for every meal. In fact, most days I didn’t even choose to have the mid-morning snack, and that’s coming from someone who started the program with tendencies to overeat! I’m looking forward to listening to my body to know when it’s full, now that I’m more in sync with it.
I still love my vegetables and will continue letting them lead the course of my diet, but I’ll also be looking to add in more fruit, cashew milk, and coconut milk post-detox. And I don’t think I’ll be relying so hard on the morning coffee moving forward!
I’d recommend the Cooler Months meal plan to anyone who wants to eat a more hearty meal at night throughout the Juice Detox, regardless of the season you’re in. As for the Juice Detox, I’d recommend you grab a friend or family member and sign up together - you’ll spend the next week of catchups chatting about this amazing thing you did for your body! I’m sure of it.