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.
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.
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
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.
- Photography: Made U Look Photography