A month (and counting) into my new training regime – all in aid of the Ibiza bikini body – and I feel good. I feel stronger (although I often still feel achey) each and every day… and yes, I also feel smug! This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with any kind of exercise and I have no desire to drop out. Seems it’s true – endorphins ARE addictive!
Main image by Ana Lui. Remaining imagery by Miss W (with a little help from Instagram).
But rather than let me coast along at the same pace, my health and fitness gurus at Ibiza’s Revival Wellness Centre decided it was time to look into my dietary habits… which I must admit were kind of embarrassing, especially after I kept a food diary for a week. Coca-Cola, chocolate, cheese, pasta and processed foods plus sugar, sugar and more sugar form the basis of my diet and now I’ve been told if I really, genuinely want to really lose the extra layer of podge around my tummy before summer, it’s time to give them up! Waaah!
Sure, eating healthily sounds appealing. But putting it into practice – when you’re accustomed to grabbing food on the go, eating at your desk and snacking late at night like I do – is another thing entirely. And so, I agreed to embark on a six-day juice detox program, to help retrain my body (and mind!) into craving healthier food and drink options, break my extreme addiction to sugar and of course, also give the weight loss a little extra boost too!
After a one-to-one consultation with Revival Wellness Club’s new in-house nutritionist, Zoe Palmer-Wright (an optional extra, highly recommended for newcomers like me trying the detox for the very first time – but more on that experience in my next blog!), I was to report to the Aguas de Ibiza health club at 9am sharp the following Monday morning, where I would be able to collect a full day’s worth of detox juices – five in total.
JUST FIVE JUICES?? My mind was screaming at me. YOU’RE GOING TO STARVE. You’re going to go insane. You’re never going to make it through without cheating. You’re definitely not cut out for this kind of thing. Is that even good for you? Surely your body needs solid fuel to survive a week!
Let me let you in on a little secret. I did not, I repeat, DID NOT ever ask what was in the little bag of juicy, fruity goodness presented to me. Why? Because I’m a pretty fussy eater, and I thought if I was told that a certain juice had anything in it that I didn’t like (erm, lemon, celery, garlic, kale and beetroot for starters), I would be tempted to switch it for a snack. And given that the juices were made fresh – with organic produce sourced daily from local Ibiza farms, no less – onsite, by an experienced wellness professional, I felt certain I’d be getting all the goodness I needed.
I figured it was a bit like a multi-coloured lucky dip. Thankfully, as the day unfolded, each juice was tasty and (surprisingly to me!) very filling. Juice master James Davis advised me to drink each one slowly (every three hours), pour it into a glass, treat it as you would a meal – and advised to chew on any pulp! Drinking plenty of water as possible in between was essential, and if I really really needed it, I could have a green tea. I didn’t.
On this first day, I was so completely full-to-the-brim by 9pm I couldn’t even finish the final juice. True story. I was waiting for my body to flip and react adversely, but it didn’t. So far, so good… Oh yeah, and I slept like a baby!
I awoke to a rare, gloomy grey day in Ibiza and my first thought was just how nice a warm cup of sweet, milky tea would be. But my resolve was strong, and I threw on my gym gear – while my stomach was definitely rumbling – and made haste for Santa Eulalia, where I actually consumed the breakfast juice while on a treadmill. Sure, it wasn’t exactly as advised, but it felt just like my normal eat-on-the-run style of fueling up, so I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything.
Post workout I was pretty starving to be honest, but with a busy day ahead, I packed the next juice into my bag and kept on moving. I could feel the inklings of a headache lurking around my forehead but I ignored it. Felt a little light-headed during a meeting… but quickly realised I was half an hour past juice-o’clock. There is a definite method to this madness, I realised and stuck to the time schedule for the rest of the day, even when it meant taking the juices on tour, to my desk and event to bed.
Again, I was surprisingly not hungry (not counting the half an hour or so leading up to juice time – but this is the same as with food on any given day) By the way, the headache reached epic proportions at about 9pm – I am assured this is totally normal and I had expected it – at which stage I just took myself off to bed. After all, even Ibuprofen was off the menu!
This was the hardest day for me. Aside from heading to the gym to collect my juices, I had a very long day at the computer ahead of me – deadline day! Normally for me this means Coca-Cola, sometimes Red Bull, chocolate, biscuits, crisps and endless cups of tea late into the night. But not today.
Kelly advised me to drink green tea to help with my still-lurking headache, which I must admit was very soothing and did indeed help with the throbbing. No pain, no gain, I thought to myself for the millionth time this month!
My stomach had a few knotty kind of pains – to be honest, it wasn’t anything too icky, my digestive system seemed to be dealing with the shock just fine thanks to the addition of Psylium Husk to a couple of juices and I developed two EXTREMELY unattractive yellow-ish pimples on my nose and cheek… the toxins coming out of your system, I’m told. Ick. I start to feel pretty hungry after my last juice of the day… I’m wondering how I will deal with tomorrow… I have the option of giving up, calling it a three-day detox but no! I do love a challenge…
I’m hungry when I wake up. Stomach rumbling, staving hungry. How am I going to survive without food hungry… and I had a workout scheduled! When I arrived at the gym, James informed me that a couple of today’s juices included almond milk for extra protein and to keep me full! Hallelujah – and he was right! Tasting a bit like a banana smoothies, it was a nice change!
I took it pretty easy during the workout, but was very happy when I’d finished. I still wasn’t feeling any thinner yet (I would like to point out here to anyone who is wondering that I am not hugely overweight or anything anyway, so it’s not like I have a lot to lose!) and I hoped getting the heart rate pumping would see the weight just melt away. A girl can dream.
It was the eve of a holiday, and so I took my 6pm juice down to Plaza del Parque to meet some friends who were hitting the town later that night. Big mistake. While I felt the urge to sneak a sip of a glass of wine, I realised that it’s much easier to resist temptation in the comfort of your own home (where I had cleverly cleared out – yes, by binging – all the ‘bad’ foods pre-detox). Rather than join the gang in a second round of drinks after my juice was finished, I scurried home and snuggled up on the couch with my cats and my last juice of the night! Lesson learned!
The hunger awoke me yet again, bright and early at about 7am, and I realised yet again that I had been sleeping like a baby. I also realised that every day so far, I had resisted the very Spanish urge to take a siesta… actually, I hadn’t NEEDED to take a siesta. My energy levels were extremely high, I was concentrating on my work rather than faffing around on Facebook and… I felt great! Apart from the hunger. But I knew a juice would stop that asap.
I had a green tea before driving to collect my juices, which filled the gap in the meantime, and then I quickly scoffed the first one in the car on the way back to town… I couldn’t wait to get home! For the rest of the day, I took my juices on tour once again… and even though the day before I’d sworn I wouldn’t go out again, I found myself sitting in the Mercado Viejo watching the Easter parade, juice in hand, while everyone around me was tucking into copious amounts of wine. They moved on to a bar, I went back home to a movie!
Let me add here, that all of my friends were chock-full of compliments and very supportive. ‘You look amazing!’ Hmmm. ‘You’re so skinny!’ Well actually, now that you mention it, my stomach does look and feel a lot leaner. ‘Your skin is glowing.’ Oh yeah – those pesky pimples had disappeared. ‘Just one more day!’ Don’t I know it. Even if they were pandering to my ego, it was very nice to hear and probably the thing that stopped me from cheating. Day five it seems, was my breakthrough day!
HURRAH! I did it! Day six and I truly felt amazing. Clear eyes, clear skin and a noticeably leaner physique (I lost one kilo in total). And absolutely no desire to reach for any chocolate… even though it was Easter!
This final day felt like a walk in the park. In fact, I did walk in the park! I felt like the sun was shining just for me, the birds were singing my favourite songs and Ibiza in all its spring glory just looked truly spectacular. So the juice detox had obviously also improved my state of mind as well as my physical appearance!
I was pretty hungry by about 6pm. I started to become conscious of the fact I hadn’t eaten a thing in almost a week,. In fact, I drank my final juice an hour and a half before I should have, I just couldn’t wait. I started fantasizing about my breakfast the following morning. Though Zoe had given me her expert advice on how to slowly reintroduce food groups into my diet, I could practically smell bacon and eggs as I drifted off to sleep.
But lo and behold, what did I crave (and subsequently make) when I woke up on Sunday morning? Yes, a juice. Who’d have thought!
Now… let’s hope I have retrained my brain to stay this way!