Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the most cleansed of us all

By Jo Phillips

Anyone who’s anyone appears to be on the juicing and alkaline wagons – the current health and lifestyle trend that has taken the UK by storm.  And, as we’re in our Mirror theme, we thought it would be quite fitting to see whether the raw lifestyles help improve our appearance in the mirror, so we trialled some of the top juice detoxes and cleanses available in the UK.

Cent - My Detox Diet If you’re new to this world of juicing, detoxing and cleansing, the basic idea is that you only consume raw vegetables, fruit and water for a short period of time and steer clear of anything that needs chewing, crunching.  There are some typical fruits and vegetables used, often a colourful concoction of things you are likely to already have in your fridge and forget to do something with… (If you’re anything like our team that is)  Such as celery, kale, carrot, cabbage, apple, spinach, beetroot, and leafy greens and basically you create either green or red juices to drink from each day.

Most of the juice detoxes we researched last from 1 – 8 days.  Obviously you should be checking first with your doctor before committing or undergoing ANY kind of fast longer than 3 days, or of course if you have any existing health conditions where a detox may cause you unnecessary, and unwanted problems.

We were each advised to gently prepare ourselves ahead of the actual detox – rather than just shock our bodies into it – by eliminating and reducing our intake of tea, coffee, snacks, junk and fried food (all the good stuff then…) and trying to eat leaner and cleaner before we began.  This helps your body get used to the idea and helps with the way you react to the cleanse.  We spoke to Jennifer Irvine, Founder of Pure Package, who explained the concept of a detox;  “Our bodies are naturally designed to detox of their own accord – removing and neutralising toxins through the lungs, liver, kidneys and colon are all basic functions – for example breathing out carbon dioxide and sweating.  A proactive detox however can be extremely beneficial if we’ve overloaded ourselves with excess toxins, and made ourselves tired, sluggish, and overweight.”

Jennifer also told us; “If it is appropriate for you to do a detox, the most immediate effect of detoxing is the removal of the toxins that are stored in cells. As a result, this can also lead to weight loss and reduction of bloating which are welcome side effects. Due to the fact that most detoxes supply an increased intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that the body may not have been absorbing before, some may see clearer skin, a boost in energy and have a general improved sense of wellbeing. Cravings also disappear – since you’ve abstained from certain foods for a period of time, your body no longer believes you need them anymore.  For some though before the benefits can be noticed; headaches and skin breakouts may occur.


Cent - My detox Diet - raw

Our fabulous intern Mary tried out the 3 day Juice Cleanse from My Detox Diet -a UK based business created by best friends Ilona Wesle and Susanne Kollner.  Coming from foodie  and juice diet backgrounds, and with chefs, nutritionists and yogis for parents, the pair trained and worked separately in the hospitality industry before setting up their online business together in 2006.

Here’s Mary’s thoughts: “As my first ever cleanse, it felt like a big unknown, but I got a good amount of support before, and during the three days, and even motivational tweets from the brand willing me to continue, which really was lovely.  I spoke to My Detox Diet who asked me a number of pre-cleanse questions to ascertain the right kind of juice recipes for me as well as any hated foods and allergies to ensure I got the best from the 3 day diet.”

“I took some measurements, hips, waist, and thighs, before and after doing the 3 days, and the best part is I did actually lose an inch of those areas from 3 days of cleansing my body.  A coolbox of the juices arrived to my house, ready for me to pop into the fridge and start drinking.  I found it extremely well laid out, with the daily supplements pre-packaged, labelled and literally all I had to do was follow my spreadsheet and drink accordingly.  SO EASY!!  For the first 2 days I did not once feel hungry, I was full and sated after each juice – they were extremely tasty and such a good variety of recipes that I would like to try and make myself to continue.  I must say I struggled with the green juice which contained celery as I’d completely forgotten I hate celery but this was a tiny minor compared to how good it is for you and the remainder of the other juices.  Home made lemonade and the virgin mary were favourites of mine.”

“After doing the diet I did feel a difference – certainly my cravings for clean food were hugely increased and my need for sweet treats and junk really reduced where they became almost a last ditch if no other snack was available, and even now, some 6 weeks after doing the diet, I am still nowhere near as keen to eat crisps unless there really is nothing else available.  I’m so impressed.”   My Detox Diet can be found here.


Beauty Editor  Alexis tried out 3 days on the Lemon Detox, which shot to fame a few years ago as the cleanse that helped Beyonce prepare for her role in the film Dreamgirls.  It is certainly known for being one of the more hardcore versions out there, but with equally impressive results and a legion of devotees who swear by the lucidity and mind clarity (amongst the weight loss) benefits from doing it.

cent - madal bal natural tree syrup  The key ingredient with this detox is the Madal Bal Tree Syrup – a number of people make the mistake of trying to do this diet using Maple Syrup as a short cut and it just won’t have the same effects or nutritious benefits.  Award-winning journalist and nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer told me that the Madal Bal Syrup is so important because ” the solution allows you to still obtain useful nutrition, especially minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese and zinc during the fasting.”

In my package I received a book on the Lemon Detox diet with the Madal Bal Syrup and a really lovely verbal consultation with brand rep Kate Goodfellow to get me in the right frame of mind ahead of my detox.  I found the book extremely helpful and informative whilst I had been sent the recipe to make the syrup to last me over the 3 days – it’s really easy to do!  Once I’d planned when I could do the detox (ie away from press days, press nights, launches, events and social occasions) I got to making up enough of the mixture each day to get me through. ”

“You end up with a kind of old fashioned lemonade that you may have been taught to make during senior school – I really liked the taste and was more than happy to drink a lot of it.  I personally LOVE lemon and spices so I was keen to get adding that cayenne pepper to create a nice hot afterkick as well.  I remembered Kate’s advice to take it easy on myself – for example no overly energetic gym workouts and good amounts of sleep so that I was rested and not exhausted whilst putting my body through the detox.  With this one I would suggest it is worth making sure you have time to make up your mixture, and then also to plan it around social events so that you don’t feel overly tempted to binge on canapes or bubbles and end up at square one.  I lost some weight but noticeably half an inch off of my thighs, and an inch from my waist and I do feel like I had better memory and mental capacity after the first day.”

“You can do this for up to 2 weeks; the first 3 days are the hardest because you are adjusting to not eating or crunching, and I realised I like crunching food!  After this though it apparently becomes fairly normal for your body to adjust to not physically eating but rather drinking only the lemon, I will be trying this again for longer to see for myself!”   To get your own Lemon Detox diet, click here.



Cent - Mirror - Imbibery

Our fashion editor Donna tested out the 3 day juice cleanse from The Imbibery – a London based company which was founded and run by two best friends, Meryl and Lily.   All Imbibery juices are cold-pressed which is different to traditional forms of juicing where heat is generated from the squeezing process so nutrients can be (and often are) lost.  Like My Detox Diet, The Imbibery has a variety of different cleanse packages on offer – from 1 to 3 days, as well as the ability to create your own version with a wide selection of juices and mylks on offer.

Donna said: “I really feel that Imbibery is a wonderful company to carry out your cleanse with. They do not have a giant client base, and I felt they take the time to tailor each cleanse to your specific needs, and listen to what you want. They don’t just give you your cleanse, but they help you through both in the lead up and after your cleanse. The day before my cleanse I was told to stick to a vegan diet as much as possible, whilst on the day of my cleanse I was told to avoid any heavy exercise that I would normally do, however light exercise such as walking and stretching was fine.”

“I found the first day quite tough as I had a couple of events that evening which meant I had to swerve the canapés and champagne.   The second day was fine as I had got into the swing of things, and by the third I had started to feel I could go on for 3 more more.  My favourite juice was Pineapple and Ginger, that said I genuinely think I will continue to drink each one as an individual booster on any given day.  I loved the hot shots and they too will be something I continue to drink.”
“Apart form the third day juice high where I felt really alert there were visible benefits too. My skin was noticeably brighter, so much so that at least four people commented on how good my skin was looking. Result!! ” I did measure myself and found my measurements didn’t change but once I had finished the detox I felt really empowered to continue the healthy eating and drinking and a better lifestyle.  After being so militant about only drinking very healthy juices I genuinely didn’t want to go on a greasy food binge, in fact I really only craved very healthy food.”  The Imbibery can be found here.
If you are already a juicing and cleansing fan, then you might want to commit to longer versions, in which case you may well be interested in the brand new 12 day “Mind Body” home programme from international yoga expert Chris James.
Chris_James cleanseMind Body launched just as we went to press, and so although we haven’t tried to the new kit ourselves, we did manage to grab some time with Chris to find out about the contents of the Mind Body Cleanse:
  • * Hello Aloe
  • * Gorgeous Greens
  • * Brilliant Biotic
  • *Magical Multi
  • * Super Absorb
  • * Buddhi Bath salts for additional cleansing
  • * Gluten free and coeliac friendly recipes

Chris told us that he created the 12 day home kit to satisfy the demand for customers who wanted to regain a better balance in their appetite and general being.  “The Mind Body Cleanse kit contains specially selected supplements and a recipe guide, which when followed properly, all combine to help the body to re-regulate itself, rejuvenate the joints thanks to the removal of metallic deposits as well as re-setting and cleansing the digestive tract and improve skin elasticity.”

Following the cleanses, as purported during our research,  all of our testers reported wanting to continue eating healthily and were far less attracted to the fried and sweet stuff whilst noticing an improvement in their eye brightness and skin.  Thanks to the kindness of the brand reps we were all reminded to gently return to reintroducing food so that we didn’t give our digestive systems a huge shock after cleansing it out – THANK YOU!!  If you’re doing a detox and not quite sure how to reintroduce food, the best way is to add freshly squeezed fruit juices and pureed vegetable soups for the first two or three days; then by the fourth day you can start to eat normally again.  Otherwise you are likely to suffer from some unpleasant side effects from upsetting your system.

The team at My Detox Diet also gave us some handy tips for home detoxing, such as; “1.  Have a warm shower every morning, beginning with hot water and turning cold at the end to close pores and rejuvenate skin and hair, body and mind.  2.  Body brush daily to exfoliate dead skin cells and help boost circulation and 3, have a salt bath in the evening.”  Not too difficult at all to do are they.

Do remember though if you’re about to join this health wagon, then its vitally important to take the habits learned during your detox diet into your everyday life.  Don’t fall foul of the yo-yo effect by returning to your old habits pre-detox.  Instead, see how you can incorporate new habits with the old – swap your morning and afternoon caffeine kick with herbal tea or hot water and lemon for example.

Everyone’s a fruit ‘n’ nut case as my dad would say.

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