25 Aug 2020
Inspired to detox from a cycle of increasingly unhealthy diet habits, I recently did a 5-day juice cleanse. This is what I experienced.
WORDS: Jessica Zoiti
Five days and nights of nothing but juice.
It didn’t sound all that appealing. Not to me. I mostly avoid fruit, need a hat trick of coffees to kick start my day and love nothing more than unwinding at the other end with a generous glass of wine. Needless to say, my diet leaves a little to be desired.
But that was just the point. A vicious cycle of unhealthy habits (made worse by COVID-19’s comatose-like weeks of isolation) was finally taking its toll – on my skin, my waistline, my mental clarity, and quite probably, my gut health. Enough was enough and it was time to push reset on my increasingly toxic lifestyle.
On the recommendation of a good friend, I decided to give Refresh a go. Refresh offers three different juice cleanses – Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. With detox my main objective, I opted for Level 2, which promises less fruit, more greens and is designed to aid the body’s natural detoxification process by flushing out toxins. Perfect.I also decided to go all out and committed to the longest available cleanse – five days.
ABOUT THE CLEANSE
The cleanse is pretty straight forward. It involves drinking eight pre-made juices daily – each is made from 100 percent raw, cold-pressed local ingredients.
Customers are told in which order to drink the juices (but not at what time) and are advised to sip them slowly while continuing to drink plenty of water.
Juices in the Level 2 cleanse include:
Activate: Designed to get your metabolism moving, this juice is made from activated coconut, charcoal, lemon and agave.
Green A+ (drunk twice a day – once in the morning and another in the afternoon): Apple, celery, cucumber, cos lettuce, kale, parsley give this juice its power load of essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes, which help to prevent premature aging, lower cholesterol and remove toxins.
Green Plus: With pineapple, silver beet, orange and aloe vera, this juice is designed to refuel the body – it’s low in fructose, but high in vitamins.
Power+: With orange, grapefruit, lemon, turmeric, lemon this juice is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, which help to boost immunity.
Grounding: An earthy blend of apple, beetroot, carrot, lemon, ginger designed to regulate blood pressure, boost energy and stamina, and aid digestion.
Green B+: Apple, pineapple, celery, ginger, fennel – designed to regulate the body’s pH levels.
Seed: Delicious and filling, this ‘almond milkshake’ includes activated almonds, flax seeds, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt and bee pollen, and is designed to increase metabolism, increase energy and reduce the symptoms of PMS and menopause. For men, it’s also great for prostate health.
Overall, the juices are delicious.
WHAT I EXPEREINCED
I’m not sure I’ve lived through a longer day. Ever! I wasn’t in the slightest bit hungry (seriously, there’s so much juice to get through daily), but all I could think about was food. Thankfully, the juices are great. A pre-arranged dinner date at my parents’ place that night was a Godsend too – as hard as it was watching everyone tuck into my mum’s roast, it was nowhere near as torturous as cooking dinner for the children (which I was to discover on day two).
Most incredibly, I had the best sleep on night one. Ordinarily I wake constantly through the night and often struggle to fall back to sleep. Not this night! Obviously all the additional nutrients I’d absorbed were working their magic.
I headed to the gym at 5.15am, wondering if I’d feel more lethargic than usual. Nope! In fact, I felt great – energetic and well rested. With just one day down, day two was still a long way from the finish line however, it wasn’t as challenging as the first. I knew what to expect, time didn’t pass quite as slowly and I found myself looking forward to my favourite juices (those with a citrus base).
Then came dinner time. I’m pretty sure I’ve never cooked a more perfect, creamy, cheesy tuna mornay for my kids. And I admit, I did lick the back of the mixing spoon when no one was watching. Knowing I had three more dinners to cook ahead of me during the week, I cooked enough to feed the family for two nights. The kids whinged, but the move proved to be a wise one.
I was back at the gym early and again my energy levels were higher than usual. My sleep – while not as restful as the previous night – was definitely better than normal.
Day three was jam-packed with meeting and errands, which meant lugging my juices around with me in a freezer bag. The struggle today was remembering to drink my juices between appointments – I didn’t feel hungry, so accidentally skipped one or two. I forced myself to catch up by downing a couple in quick succession. This isn’t recommended, but I wanted to ensure I had all the necessary vitamins and minerals in my system.
I noticed that my skin experienced a mild break-out on day three. Perhaps that was the toxins escaping?
By day four, I was well and truly in the swing of things. I found I was looking forward to each juice and although I had another busy day of commitments, I was better at stopping to drink throughout the day. Energy levels were high, hunger levels were low and I felt that my jeans fit looser than they did four days earlier.
THE HOME STRETCH! Day five was undoubtedly the easiest of the lot, probably because the end was in sight. Overall, I found the cleanse challenging, but worth it. As I polished off the eighth and final juice for the day I had to admit I felt lighter both inside and out. Even my minor skin breakout had settled down and my complexion looked more youthful and clear.
Would I juice for five days again? Absolutely, but realistically, I think juicing more regularly for just a day or two at a time is a more approachable goal.
- The juices taste great
- The juices are all made from raw, cold-pressed, locally sourced ingredients
- The juices are delivered FREE to many parts of the metro area
- I lost weight (around 2.5kg)
- My energy levels, mental clarity and skin quality were improved
- I felt great overall
- The routine gets tedious – as do the juices after a few days
- The juices should be kept cold, so if you’re out and about, you’ll need to find a way to keep them chilled as they come along for the ride.
- I experienced pretty severe constipation for the majority of the cleanse (this is apparently normal and did resolve by day four).
THE BENEFIT OF DRINKING COLD PRESSED JUICES
Cold pressing is as it sounds – fruits and vegetables are juiced without any form of heat or friction. The juice is extracted using a special juicer that uses a hydraulic press to very slowly pulverise the ingredients. This preserves and protects the natural vitamins, minerals and enzymes and means 100 percent of the nutrients end up in the juice. Better still, cold pressed juices are a fast and convenient way to get bulk fruit and veggies into your diet.
The Black Truffle stocks a range of 100 percent cold pressed juices from Refresh including Grounded, Green A+, Green B+, Shine, Spark, OJ and others.
ABOUT ME (for comparison)
I’m a 43-year old mother of two. I’m 171cm tall and weigh around 68kg with an athletic build – I gain weight easily but likewise, don’t struggle to lose a kg or two either. I’m active, exercising for an average of 45 minutes, five days a week.