Some time ago I received an email from Schkinny Maninny, an Australian company specialising in nutritional juice cleansers. The email asked if I would like to participate in a 3-day juice detox program. I’m not used to dieting or going without food or skipping meals or depriving myself so I wasn’t sure if I was a suitable candidate. Quite a bit of time lapsed before I replied to the email.
I decided I probably could do with a detox and that it’s about time I stepped up and tried to help out my abused body.
‘In for a penny, in for a pound’, I went for the most challenging of all the programs offered and that is the Juice Only Cleanse. Other programs allow you an evening meal or you can choose to have soups included but I wanted to see how I’d cope with nothing but juice.
The Juice Only Program delivers six, 600ml bottles of organic juice to your door for either three or five days. The juices are made from fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds and provide around 1700 calories/day. The juices are designed to be enjoyed in a specific order based on your digestive patterns, and each juice has certain cleansing, healing, protective and regenerative properties from the natural ingredients. It takes between 500gms -1000gms of fruits and vegetables to fill each bottle of juice.
Swept up with Mother’s Day, I forgot about the starting date and it wasn’t until I got out of bed on Monday morning and went to put the dogs outside that I saw the little blue esky sitting at my front door. My heart did sink as I realised ‘today’s the day’. I lifted the lid of the esky and saw six large bottles of juice plus one very tiny container of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I wondered how to make so few seeds last the next 24 hours. I didn’t see the point in spreading them out over the course of the day (there wouldn’t have been enough of them), so I put the little container aside to savour its contents when the family sat down to dinner.
As well as the juices, there was a ‘goodie bag’ containing detox teas, bath salts and a loofah. A relaxing bath soak is apparently beneficial on Day 2 of the fast and as well, taking a dry-loofah to your skin to help the toxins escape through your pores is also beneficial.
On each day of the fast your esky also contains a ‘Cleanse Buddy’ guide telling you what to expect and what to do and what not to do. It said not to think about what food you’re missing out on or talk to people about food because it will only make you want it. Hmmm. That is near-impossible for a food blogger who likes to virtually, daily visit her blogging buddies. I did seem more acutely aware of what you were all creating in your kitchens and it was punishing viewing! Lorraine posted beef short ribs on cauliflower mash and Joanne posted berrilicious cheese and fruit bites and Claire posted roast chicken with preserved lemons and Liz posted not one but 12 of her most popular brownie recipes – one brownie recipe is temptation but 12 is enough to send someone juicing, over the edge.
The Cleanse Buddy also tells you that you can expect some side effects which can be unpleasant but it’s normal and part of the process. The most common side effect is a headache usually caused from caffeine withdrawals. Not being a coffee drinker, I was fortunate to avoid headaches during the three days.
All the bottles are numbered and you do need to drink them in the correct order. First up for the day was the Leap Frog juice. It was very green and made of spinach, cucumber, parsley, kiwifruit and apple. It had that khaki green colour I’ve always avoided. It tasted better than it looked and the predominant flavours were spinach and cucumber. I was pleased to find the juice had a bit of texture so rather than being super-smooth, you do actually chew it a bit making it seem a bit more like enjoying a meal.
While the first and last juices of the day were always the same, the rest of the menu varied from day to day which helped to keep the program more interesting. On the last day I certainly had a lot of vegetable juices. My second juice was Green Salad made from carrot, cucumber, parsley, lemon and celery. The third was Alkaliser made from kiwifruit, spinach, parsley, cucumber, lemon and celery. The fourth was my favourite, Pink Sherbet made from watermelon, lemon, apple and cucumber, the fifth was another favourite, Pine Root made from beetroot, pineapple, apples carrot and ginger – I much preferred the fruitier juices.
The last bottle of each day was called, Sleep Well and made with filtered water, ground almonds and brazil nuts, medjool dates and cinnamon. This was the ‘dessert’ juice. On the first night I really looked forward to it but then found it wasn’t the sweet kind of dessert I was hoping for – very light on those dates! But it was a lovely change from all the vegetable juices and I found it to be filling and calming and a great way to head off to bed. One thing I do have to say is that you do sleep well on this program.
The hardest part of the fast for me were the evenings. With no one else to cook the family meal this was something I had to do. I think I must have been suffering from carb-withdrawal as I fed my family carbs all three nights. Eggplant and tomato penne, ricotta and tomato fettuccine, plenty of homemade garlic bread, then bangers and mash with an onion and sage gravy on the last night. It was so hard cooking all these greatly desired meals and not being able to taste them.
Then the family would tell me how delicious the meal was and how the garlic bread was so tasty and, ‘Where did you buy the baguette?’ and, ‘Can I take a container of this to uni with me tomorrow?’ and Carl saying, ‘I’ll just pour myself another glass of red’. Grrrrrr.
On Day 2 the Cleanse Buddy told me to rest and not push myself. Ignoring that, I went and did a swim squad. I did find I didn’t have the usual ability to accelerate during the sprint sessions and I also suffered from cramps in my calf muscles but apart from that, it was no trouble at all to do an hour’s exercise; until I arrived home and found I had no energy for the rest of the day!
They say Day 1 is the hardest but I actually found it was Day 3. By then I’d tried all the juices so I knew exactly how they tasted and I felt like it was just a matter of watching the clock until it was all over. I really had had enough of drinking juice and I was starting to feel anti-social as I couldn’t go to lunch with a friend or go out for dinner and I had been to one meeting in a cafe where all I could order was the sparkling water.
The entire time I was on the fast I was totally melodramatic, carrying on like it was for three years rather than just three days. I was surprised to find that I didn’t suffer any side effects, I was never hungry, and in fact, it wasn’t as difficult as I had blown it up in my mind to be. Although highly tempted, I didn’t cheat and I drank every mouthful of those 18 bottles as well as the recommended 2ltrs of filtered water. I was really pleased to have found the fast manageable and you truly do feel all the better for it.
Today when I woke there were no bottles of juice on my doorstep. It was over! I bounced out of bed feeling light and invigorated and energised. I whipped around the house at what felt like three times my usual pace. All the time I was on the fast I was thinking that as soon as it’s over I’m heading straight down to the French Patisserie to buy a meat pie and a sausage roll. But after three days of juicing, those were the last things I felt like. I grabbed a banana and went out to do another swim squad. I’ve had nothing but fresh fruit and vegetables all day. It’s amazing how good a 3-day detox can make you feel and how it can re-set your eating habits.
The Schkinny Maninny company is based in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and they deliver free within 20kms of the CBD of each city. The total cost for the 3-day juice-only cleanse is $215.00 which works out at less than $12.00/bottle of juice. It’s not inexpensive but when you consider all the juices are fresh, organic, cold-pressed, delivered to your door daily, and that you’re on a nutritionally balanced program that includes daily emails of encouragement, I think it’s a pretty good deal as well as an important investment into your longterm health.
Apart from my little guy, everyone else in the family is keen to do the three-day juice fast. I definitely think the program would be easier to do if you did it with the people you live with. After the fast you feel clean, fresh and invigorated and you just know your body, and particularly your liver, has benefitted tremendously.
Would I do it again? There are 365 days in a year and I’m sure I can find three days, at least twice a year to benefit my body in this way. I’m very pleased Schkinny Maninny contacted me to participate in this opportunity.
Schkinny Maninny: 4 Roslyn Street, Potts Point NSW 2011
Ph: 1300 021 601
Hotly Spiced was invited to participate in the 3-day detox program as a complimentary gift in exchange for a brutally honest review.
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