Detoxing, Getting Healthy & The Clean Program

pdx shoot (265)

As some of you will know, I spent time in Los Angeles in March, probably the most health-concious and cleanse-obsessed place on the planet. Its no secret that I’m a ‘grab what’s available’ kinda eater, that I have a penchant for wine (and gin!) and that I’m totally allergic to exercise. However while I was in the land of buffed bodies, I did surprise myself by becoming quite the green juice junkie (something I have kept up since returning home!) and I even started to think a little more about how I treat, and what I put into, my body.

I’m no model. I’m a comfortable(ish) UK size 12 with enormous boobs and wobbly bits but, overall,  I’m pretty happy with how I look. Now it might be something to do with getting scarily close to 30 or spending more time with my much more health-conscious American BFFs, but over the past few months I have started to think more about what I eat and the effect it all has on the way I look and my mood. I’ve always figured that I ate pretty well. I don’t have a sweet tooth at all and I rarely snack, but my Achilles heel is without a doubt the regular love affair that I have with wine. Just thinking about how many calories and toxins are in the glasses I sink on a nightly basis is actually pretty terrifying.

Gala has been a committed convert to The Clean Program for a while, and although for a long time, I balked at her healthy lifestyle (“yeah, yeah, you look great but I could never do that…”) over the past few months I started to think about it a bit more seriously. I have been feeling a little more self-conscious about my appearance as well as feeling sluggish, tired and totally overworked of late, so I decided to hell with it and to finally give it a go.

clean refresh

Being a detox virgin I was really pleased to find out about their new Clean Refresh program, a seven day detox designed to boost energy and give those that might have fallen off the heath wagon a much needed jolt in the right direction. They advise that this isn’t a full-on cleanse (they have a 21-day program if that’s more of what you’re after) but for someone who’s never so much as tried to cut out chips, I decided that a gentle week long introduction would be the best way to start. Baby steps and all that.

So how does it work? Well, you have a nutritional shake for breakfast, supplements that you take throughout the day and a refresh ‘boost’ drink which you take after lunch. In terms of food, you have to eliminate wheat, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and processed sugar – which sounds very daunting. However once you get into it it’s really a lot easier than you think it’s going to be. Luckily, the Refresh program comes with handy manual full of tips, tricks, bucket-loads of information and recipes to try. There’s even an online forum with over 45,000 members and ‘wellness coaches’ on hand if you need any help or encouragement along the way. Their website is also chock-full of recipe ideas if you’re lacking inspiration.

Surprisingly, I found the food part quite easy. I bought myself a smoothie maker and instead of my usual coffee, eggs and toast I was starting my morning with a shake made with rice milk and frozen raspberries and blueberries. For lunch I was having a giant mixed salad with some protein (prawns, chicken or eggs) and for dinner, meat with veg and either brown rice, couscous or quinoa on the side. The manual also has some great dressing ideas which were, pleasingly, mostly made from things I already had in my cupboards and added some much needed variety to the dishes. If I was doing it for longer than seven days I might have got a little bored and would definitely have had to expand my repertoire, but for such a short period of time it was perfectly doable. Pretty easy in fact.

refresh manual

For me, the hardest habit to crack was my coffee in the morning and lashings of wine in the evening. On day one I was incredibly grumpy and during days two and three I had massive headaches, but by day four I literally felt on top of the world. My energy levels were up, my aches and pains were gone, and although I still craved that mid-afternoon boost that only a lovely cup of tea can provide, I quickly got used to having water, green juice or coconut water instead. You’re allowed (good) fat and I also discovered that an avocado with a few olives or an apple with almond butter made for great 4pm pick me ups.

However, perhaps the most surprising thing of all, was what happened once I finished the seven days. I thought, for sure, that I’d be desperate for caffeine that first morning and for gallons of wine as 6 o’clock (wine o’clock) drew near. But, weirdly, I really didn’t… and believe me, no-one was more surprised about that than I was! I can only put it down to the fact that I’d put all that hard work in and I didn’t want to completely waste it by having a massive blow out.

Of course I’m not going tee-total or swearing off diary and wheat for life, but coming out of this process I am much more aware of everything I eat and drink and I do honestly feel like I’m going to continue with a lot of the changes that I’ve made. I plan to stick with the rice milk, eat much less cheese (which has always my fave – does anyone have suggestions for dairy free alternatives?) and to cut out bread as much as possible. I’ve also been drinking much less coffee and tea and (shock horror!) even slurping less wine.

If you’ve never done any kind of cleanse or detox before but you’d like to make a few positive diet changes, I think the Clean Refresh program is the perfect place to start. You’re not going to come out after seven days two stone lighter or giving Gwyneth a run for her money, but its a brilliant way to give yourself a fighting chance and a great jumping off point to being healthier.

I can’t recommend it enough, and come on, seven days isn’t really that long to give it a good old go is it?!

Reader Giveaway: Win a Clean Refresh Program

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When I spoke to the Clean Program guys afterwards to tell them how I’d got on, I was thrilled when they asked if I’d like to run a giveaway on my blog and offer a free Refresh Program to one of my readers. So now you have no excuses!

For your chance to win the complete Refresh Program, worth $199, simply comment below and let me know your vice and why you’d like to give it a whirl. This contest is open to all readers of Rock n Roll Bride and you have one week to enter.

Good luck and here’s to getting healthy!

This contest is now closed

Ts & Cs

♥ The winner will receive one Clean Refresh pack worth $199.
♥ Closing date for entries is 29/05/2013. Winner will be selected by Kat Williams and notified via email after that date.
♥ Only 1 entry per email/IP address
♥ Contest is open to all readers of Rock n Roll Bride who are aged 18 or over only and are not employees of The Clean Program. Depending on your home country, you may be liable to pay customs charges to receive your prize.
♥ By entering the draw, you hereby warrant that all information submitted by you is true, current and complete.
♥ The winners will be contacted via their email address within a week of the the competition draw date. Rock n Roll Bride/The Clean Program will not amend contact information provided.
♥ None of the prizes may be exchanged or transferred and no cash alternative will be offered.
♥ Liability cannot be accepted for entries which are lost in transit or not received due to technical difficulties.
♥ Kat Williams’ decision and any decision taken by the promoter is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
♥ The Refresh program is not suitable for anybody who is pregnant or nursing, is under 18, has cancer, liver disease or hepatitis, is on any medication, or has bipolar disorder or type-1 diabetes.
♥ No purchase necessary.
♥ This is not a paid editorial, although I was gifted a Clean Refresh Program.

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126 comments

  1. Hi Kat!

    Vices, eh? Hrmmm… cheese, sweets, chocolate, wine, ice cream, cupcakes.. hahaha. I could go on.

    I’ve actually done a cleanse a longass time ago cutting out dairy, gluten and sweets. It was SO hard, but I felt amazing after I got through the headaches and such. I’ve tried in the recent past to do it again but have failed. I’ve seen Gala mention The Clean Program before, and I’ve been intrigued. I think a guided program like this would help me to stick to it.

    And by the way, I haven’t found any good cheese alternatives. Stay away from Daiya vegan cheese.. tis gross! I find just eating less dairy is the way to go for me, but I allow myself ice cream or cheese once in a while. I use almond milk for everything else.. love it! I think really we should all strive for balance.

  2. oooo this sounds good! I’m currently in the final stages of writing up my PhD (hand in date 30th May – eek!) and can categorically state that I am in caffeine overload. I know that on June 1st I’m going to have to radically cut back on caffeine and get back into a healthy lifestyle (I’ve basically not moved from the desk in about 3 weeks) so this would be a great help! I’ve got June to sort myself out and get back into top-top condition before the big day on July 6th!

  3. Jay-Jay

    I’ve been in L.A. too – little Geordie me found myself an L.A. beau, and we’re currently applying to get my fiancé visa…a way off yet, but of course your blog is helping with our wedding plans!

    My vice isn’t a specific food…although like everyone I enjoy too many pizza’s and chocolate…my vice is my boredom! I graze rather than eat set meals, which would be fine if I wasn’t so prone to boredom during late night/early morning internet browsing. I always snack way too much at night, and it’s never a salad I reach for.

    Now a size 12-14 I’m finding it super tricky to find clothes that fit in L.A. fashion stores and I don’t feel comfortable any more…of course, I’m also wanting to look my best for my wedding day early next year! I’m aiming for long-term low-carb but with so much yummy Mexican food across the pond every time I visit my beau in L.A. my low-carb plans go out the window. Until I learn a balance when in a new land of temptation I need a boost to lose the weight…or a cleanse to get me back on track after post-carb bloat…The Clean Program would be a great USA style boost!

  4. Bethany

    Hi Kat,

    My vice is cheese, any kind, from babybels to stilton and every kind in between! I also have a weakness for a milky cup of tea!

    Being diabetic the usual low carb plan wouldn’t work for me so I’d love to give this a try!

    xx

  5. Ashley

    Donuts, cookies, chocolate, crisps, cake, cheese, bread, nuts, ice cream, pancakes, pretzels, whipped cream, pizza, chips, burgers, popcorn, prosecco, nachos, waffles, pie, hotdogs, bagels, bacon, fried chicken, biscuits, scones, meringue, custard, muffins, flan, crumpets, tarts, pastries, battered anything, flat whites, salted caramel, potatoes: mashed, roast, baked, boiled, sautéed, creme brûlée, wine, fondant fancies, coleslaw, pasta, rice, barbecue pulled pork, onion bhaji, scotch eggs, hotpot, sorbet, spiced rum and Absolut mandrin vodka…

    Got engaged a few weeks ago…please send help!

  6. Jenna

    I’d love to try this! I try to eat healthy but find myself falling off track, mostly because I always run out of time to prepare healthy meals (working from home with a very energetic 1 1/2 year old seems to suck up all my time & energy.)I’m afraid I’d have a terrible time giving up coffee, and my ultimate vice– a delicious loaf of white crusty bread slathered with butter!

  7. Abby

    Hi Kat!

    Ooh i’m excited you shared this post! I’ve seen Gala mention it before too and wondered whether it was a good plan.

    I have tooooo many vices eek. I will say cheese is a biggie (and sweets and wine and…), i’m also finding myself in the fridge FAR too much at the moment after leaving my job (boo). I get married in August and am considering it a new start to a fantastic future me ;D I think this detox would get my body on the same page as my mind… and stop walking me towards the fridge so often hehe.

    Love xx

  8. Pauline

    Hello!
    Vices?
    I was born and bred in France so pretty much grew up on pastries, cheese, awesome breads, delicious home-cooked food with little regard for detox. It worked well until my mid-20s and then the food started to catch up with me! Stayed on my hips!! It’s taken me a long time to let go of my French eating habits and move on to something a little lighter, a little healthier…the clean program would be a great boost to keep me on the healthy road!

  9. Patricia Giles

    My vice is chips at night and my 2:00pm craving for a Snickers bar!

  10. Jayme

    Hi Kat – congrats on taking steps to get healthy! Good for you. You mentioned alternatives to cheese – I can recommend a company called Vegusto – they sell lots of Vegan food products, including Vegan Cheese Alternatives. They taste amazing and claim to be 50% less fat and half the calories of dairy cheese. Here’s a link: http://www.vegusto.co.uk/shop/2-no-moo-cheese
    As for me – I’m allergic to gluten and dairy and I can’t tolerate most sugars. So my diet is super healthy because it has to be! 🙂

  11. Janelle

    My vice is absolutely anything with a lot of carbs: pasta, potatoes, rice, sugary treats. I’ve increased my veggie and protein intake but I still can’t kick my carb program! It would be nice to take a week off and try to re-align how I think about food.

  12. Lactofree cheddar cheese is positively revolting on its own, but definitely adds a cheese kick when melted over pasta or in a sauce etc….the lactofree cream cheese however is bloody lush, you wouldn’t be able to tell e difference!

  13. Rachel

    This post is just in time! I have been falling off the wagon in a major way. My vices are wheat, caffeine, and wine! And let’s be honest, over eating on occasion 🙂

    I have so many great events to look forward to (tons of friends weddings, summer, a boudoir shoot) that I would like to look and feel by best for!

    As for non-dairy cheese, I like Daiya. However, I’ve been cheese free for awhile and don’t miss it very often at all, so maybe just stick with it? You can make your own creamy sauce with cashews too – try the Punk Rock Kitchen blog!

  14. Alexandra Barton

    My vices? Just having food in the house is my vice. That and gin!
    If the food is there, I’ll eat it. Similarly if the food is on my plate, I’ll clear it.
    Unfortunately (or not) I’m going to Majorca in 3 weeks for one of my best friends hen weekends which I’m slightly dreading as a number of the girls in the party are gorgeously toned and look stunning – the bride is just a beaut! For some reason I’m the one that found the holiday and booked it!!! Skegness may have suited me better.
    I’ve been thinking about doing a detox since I had my baby last autumn and I’ve never gotten round to it – now that this weekend is on the horizon and fast approaching, I may have to give something drastic a crack. I need a plan to stick to and a little voice in my head to say “step away from the coffee and cake!”

  15. I’d like to get in. I have gained a few extra pounds over the years, never exercise and eat too much sugar. I have tried cleaning myself with drinking just water, but could only do it for 1 day, so I would love to give a real program a chance to clean that shit inside out! haha!
    Also, the fact that I’m becoming a father in a few months is also a wake up-call to start living healthier

  16. Tanya

    When asked do you have a sweet or savoury tooth?

    Why is this a either or answer?

    I love all food.

    Especially at weekends I find myself snacking on cheese & crackers, nuts, chocolate and washing it down with wine & Gin. I am 30 this year and noticing these bad habits are staying on my hips and tummy.
    I’d love to try this. x

  17. Oh dear Lord, wedding is coming up in t-minus 81 days (how did that happen?!) and as such I’m on a super panicked exercise routine. I find exercising pretty easy, I do 30 minute bursts everyday and I’m trying really hard to get into shape, more for myself than anything else, and to try and feel more awake. I feel sluggish on a pretty much daily basis, I am a guilty Tea obsessive, oh and hob nobs, oh and sweeteners, with a little milk, of course. The part I’m finding really difficult about kick starting my healthy life to be is detox and cleansing. I try to drink lots of water and eat well, but I find I forget to drink water a lot and am often left dehydrated and craving sugary replacements. Being someone who has to have an aim in mind to get things done, I’m surprised I’m struggling to get my body internally kick-started when my muscles and limbs are getting a pummelling. I would love to wake up, feel awake and really reign everything in so I can see a bit more clearly. A few years ago I gave up alcohol for Lent (still don’t know how I resisted the red wine for so long) and ended up giving up drinking for months afterwards. I would love to have a deep cleanse helping me on my way to a refreshed body, it’s well overdue!

  18. Ash

    Vices food wise too many to mention but my biggest vice this past year is my stunning daughter! She is the absolutely best thing to ever happen to me and this last year has been ( besides covered in vomit, poop and more vomit and injecting needles into my tummy for my days than I care to remember) my little test tube bubba has given me the best days of my life!
    Now back at work and missing her like crazy I’m scoffing everything that comes my way; pork pies muffins,sweet pototes ( I tell myself there good carbs!) getting home late and too exhausted to play cos the 4 pack of donuts that seemed like a good idea is now bringing me down with a crash 🙁 a detox is just what I need to give me a kick up the a*s and get me back on track. ( plus if I hang my knickers out on the line the neighbours think the sun has gone in….if not for me, help Des and Pams sunflowers grow this year!)

  19. There are many witty comments above mine that are surely more deserving based solely on their humour, however, I shall throw my hat in the ring anyway. I concur with you, cheese is my absolute weakness, I can forgo most other dietary sins (seldom crave sweet things, could forgo bread and pasta if I had to), but cheese, creamy, salty, hard, soft, gooey, nutty, whichever shape it comes in, cheese is my weakness.

    The irony being, that it exacerbates a skin condition I have like nobody’s business, and accounts for way too many calories each week than is right, yet still this is not enough to make me stop. The only thing that can make cheese better, is an accompanying glass of vino….

  20. Hi Kat! Wine’s definitely my biggest vice too. Ì used to do a lot of long distance running, and after a 3 hour run Ild get home dehydrated and shattered but craving red wine. ILm drinking a bottle of Aussie Shiraz right now! Have been trying to improve my health this month though (and blogging about the challenge) so would LOVE to give this a go! Lucy x

  21. I have many vices. Two biggest are strong coffee and often. And the other one is chocolate. I have a serious problem and I’m always tired. I just started a full time job that forcing me to get up very early as work long days. I could really use the pick me up because I love my new job it would be great if my energy level would reflect that.

    I wish I was tough and quit years ago but I find it really hard to quit things without any structure. This sounds great with all the online support. Thanks for running a great giveaway x

  22. My vice…. Vanilla flavored coffee creamer and artificial sweetener. I am a major black tea addict, but I like to put coffee creamer and sweetener in every cup. I definitely have a sweet tooth so I like my tea sweet. I drink at least two cups of tea a day, which amounts to a lot of coffee creamer crap and artificial who-knows-what, but no matter how hard I try… Its how I take my tea.

  23. Laura

    Well. I struggle to think of anything that *isn’t* my vice at the moment… I guess carbs in their many forms (and coffeeeeee) are my greatest weakness. I’m not overly keen on dairy in general but do love cheese, and if there’s chocolate in the cupboard I’ll be snacking on it eventually. I just got married earlier this month, and while I failed to get myself as healthy as I’d like to have been for the wedding (I think I benefit from regular support, I find it tough to go it alone), I’d really love an opportunity to start married life in the right way, and with a hopeful house move imminent and my husband’s keenness to start a family, I’d appreciate any help I can get! I admire your resolve Kat; green juice is on my to-do list, I just need to figure out where to start! 🙂

  24. Gemma

    My vice is definitely snacking. I work long hours for a charity so I almost never do ‘proper meals’ – instead I have a bad habit of grazing on whatever is around…

    I feel like this might be the opportunity I need to be a better version of myself and start setting a more aspirational example to the people I work with!

  25. My vices are chocolate, biscuits + cakes. I have being drinking green juice for 2 weeks and all my meals are very healthy. BUT then I spoil it all by being sucked into junk food deals when I pop into a nearby shop for some almond milk + come out with chocolate!

    I need more self control + I would love to give The Clean Program a try!

    Amy xo

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