Anita from Youjuice has just dropped off a whole load of amazing looking food, snacks and juices for the first two days of a 10 day relaxed cleanse.
I have MS. I’ve had it for 16 years and over the last three years it progressed so that I could walk shorter and shorter distances and needed a wheelchair more and more. I work full time as an assistant head of pupil referral units. Over the summer things got worse; I was signed off work, was exhausted and suffering from depression which I have never had before. By the end of October I was admitted to hospital as I was no longer able to cope at home, even with the help of my PAs (personal assistants/carers). I was given a three day dose of IV steroids and physio and occupational therapy assessments. The OT assessment concluded I was unable to return to my flat as it is not suitable for my needs. I spent two months in hospital until a bed was found for me in a nursing home where I am now living temporarily, potentially permanently. I can no longer walk at all and have to be transferred from bed to a chair or the wheelchair with the aid of mechanical equipment. My already crazy life has got even crazier and all of my worst case scenarios when I was first diagnosed with MS are happening.
I have put on at least a stone in weight. When I first got to hospital I was comfort eating, thinking it would only be a short stay. I have not been in control of my diet for three months now and can no longer exercise as I used to (I used to swim once a week). I feel full of medication and unhealthy food.
I have been vegetarian since the age of 18 (I am now 46) and over the past five years have tried as much as possible to be gluten-free, caffeine free and dairy free, although I have not stuck to this rigidly. I have bought salads and juices from Youjuice and was really interested to attend an evening run by Anita in conjunction with Red Roaster. I was considering a seven day juice cleanse as I really feel I want to get all of the toxins out of my system and restart. I am due to have a colostomy operation to improve my quality of life at the beginning of March. I spoke to Anita after the evening and we met and chatted about my history and lifestyle. She recommended the relaxed cleanse and so today it begins! I can’t wait. She has just delivered more food and juices then I feel I can eat over two days but I will give it my best shot! I have just eaten a granola smoothie and drunk a small green juice which was amazing. Over the next two weeks I hope to feel my body is less toxic, lose weight, have more energy, hopefully start the process of coming off antidepressants and rebooting my body and soul!
I woke up feeling apprehensive about a warm, savoury breakfast. I’m definitely a cereal person in the mornings. The care staff in the nursing home where I’m living are certainly finding my new diet interesting! It’s causing a stir amongst the routine porridge, pie, veg and gravy, tea and biscuits. I started with juice (L2) which was of course absolutely delicious and then went for it with my Buddha bowl. Still finding a meal I would normally have for dinner usual for breakfast but it was really tasty – fresh, green and goodness on a plate!
So, when I met with Anita, I told her I didn’t like beetroot (it’s one of very few things I don’t like – that and wasabi) and her response was ‘I don’t care!’ I know it’s doing me good but beetroot and garlic shots twice a day are going to be a struggle. I’ve done one. I struggled!
Otherwise, spiced pumpkin soup, beetroot crackers (that don’t taste of beetroot!) and paprika houmus for lunch were delicious. I’m so full!
I had to admit defeat this evening and not eat everything Anita had brought me. There is a box of vegetables still untouched but I managed half a box of shredded cabbage with dill salad to which I added fermented cabbage. I downed my beetroot and garlic shot in one! The food is amazing – I’m just not used to eating so much. I love the fact that everything I have consumed today is fresh, clean and not processed. But I’m still so full!
Confession – despite being too full to eat the vegetables I was supposed to I managed to eat a whole bag of rose flavoured raw chocolate that Anita gave me (shared with a friend whilst watching a movie)! It didn’t even last long enough for a photo….
I woke up looking forward to my Buddha bowl and green juice breakfast this morning. I had slept well and I was hungry. Feeling calm, happy and energised.
Throughout the day I ate the rest of the shredded cabbage salad with some fermented cabbage, spiced pumpkin soup and more Buddha bowl and rice. Really enjoying the food and after taking a deep breath and downing two more beetroot and garlic shots I’m feeling good! I’ve also been drinking L2 and R3 juices which I love. Still super full up, so won’t be eating as much tomorrow!
I’ve been quite inactive for the past couple of days and tomorrow is a bit busier, so looking forward to getting out and about and seeing how my energy levels are.
Should I politely mention ‘output’? Healthy and plentiful!
So, today was a busy day out and about. I didn’t have breakfast until later than usual today so had managed almost a 16 hour fast between meals. I’m not trying to fast particularly but it just so happens that that’s the way the timings went between last night and this morning.
I ate more of the snacking food than fresh juices and meals during the day. I had some tropical granola pieces for breakfast, my beetroot and garlic shot and beetroot crackers and hummus for lunch.
It was a novelty to feel a bit hungry later in the day so it was lovely to get back to find Anita had delivered the next couple of day’s food and there was amazing flapjack waiting for me!
I followed this with beautifully flavoured seed and grain roast, roasted heritage carrots and some vegan Waldorf salad on the side. I also drank an R3 juice. Needless to say I am once again full up!
I am really enjoying the feeling of clean eating. I went out at 10:30 and by 16:30 I was pretty shattered but that’s very normal for me. I headed home feeling great for not having resorted to sugary snacks or my favourite decaf almond mocha for energy!
Another great night’s sleep followed by what I can only describe as a breakfast of joy! I wasn’t expecting indulgence during the cleanse but first up was a ginger shot which burns the mouth and throat; a sensation this chilli addict loves. L1 green juice and then the main event…banana, peanut butter and cacao nibs granola pot with strawberries and chia seeds. Wow! What an amazing start to the day. I was smiling inside and out.
I snacked on more granola and drank another juice at lunch then had a major feast for dinner of the rest of the roast and Waldorf salad but with the addition of amazing kimchi! I don’t think I’ve mentioned the fermented cabbage yet but I have been adding that to the hot meals all week. I love kimchi and can quite happily (and did today) eat it out of the jar as well as add it to food. Another great addition from Anita.
I’m feeling good, plenty of energy and generally well. The one thing I have noticed is that I am now looking at food differently. Is it plant-based, is there added sugar, how much has it been processed? It’s beginning to feel crazy that food has to be so complicated and full of unnatural stuff.
I am officially really into eating and drinking like this now! Breakfast was another gorgeous granola pot; coconut and pomegranate seeds this time, along with a ginger shot and a C2 juice. I had slept well again and woken up feeling good. My energy levels are certainly high at the moment which feels great.
I had lunch on the go but had taken a broccoli and rice salad from Anita with me, into which I had spooned a load of the kimchi I can’t resist!
My busy day continued so I had more of a snacking meal in the evening; beetroot crackers and paprika hummus.
Anita dropped off another delivery for the weekend – more juices as I’m going to try eating a little less this weekend. However, I don’t think that’s actually going to happen as I have soup, buddha bowls, kale crisps, tropical granola and an amazing looking chocolate dessert!
I also have pomegranate shots to drink. I tried one straightaway and it is completely delicious. I feel so good knowing I have put nothing but pure, healthy, plant-based nutrition in my body this week. This is definitely the start of a new way of eating and drinking for me and I’m so looking forward to more.
A simple but feel good breakfast of an R3 juice this morning. Really not feeling hungry so the perfect start to the weekend.
I didn’t eat until 3 o’clock this afternoon but really went for it with the beetroot Buddha bowl, quinoa, kimchi, fermented cabbage, pomegranate shops and L2 juice! I still have the conversation I had with Anita about beetroot going around my head but the Buddha bowl was honestly absolutely delicious! Am I converted on beetroot? Not yet, but if it’s served like this I absolutely am!
I snacked on kale chips this afternoon as well. They are completely moreish.
So, I feel I should confess to the occasions where I have gone off menu although I am hoping the transgressions have not been too serious! My friend recently introduced me to pomelo and I am addicted! If you’ve not tried one I highly recommend them. They are like a huge grapefruit but sweeter and a bit more orange-like. You have to peel the skin, all of the pith and membrane and you are then left with the juicy segments in the middle. Loads of them!
Today I had a glass of clementine juice at my favourite café in Kemptown – Zona Rosa. They make a decaf chilli almond mocha that is nectar from heaven. However, even owner Carlo’s promise of ‘what happens in Zona Rosa stays in Zona Rosa’ didn’t lead me astray. He’s actually also a big advocate of healthy nutrition.
And tonight I ate a small salad my friend made me of lentils, turmeric curried cauliflower, pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses with spinach. Not that Anita hadn’t already given me enough food – I just can’t let food go to waste!
I think I understand Anita’s beetroot plan now. By starting me off with the beetroot and garlic shots, I now like everything else with beetroot in it! I found the R2 juice that I have drunk before and not been mad on really good.
So, my weekend of drinking more juices than eating food didn’t work out that way!
Breakfast was a pomegranate shot, R3 juice and granola pot. Lunch was another shot, another R3 and soup with some kale chips mixed in. I shared a bag of kale chips with a friend whilst watching a movie and we then shared the rest of the beetroot Buddha bowl and quinoa, a C2 juice and an amazing citrus and cacao raw tart. I remembered to take a photograph after we’d eaten it – sorry!
One of the joys (!) of my MS is that I have a catheter. This means I am able to see and measure every drop of output. There’s a good 6-8 litres or so in 24 hours, it’s pale and crystal clear. I’ll stop there!
I had a quiet day today both physically and food wise. I was tired today, really tired. It had been a busy week and today was the first day for a while that I was neither going out nor having visitors.
I had a sunshine breakfast of a pomegranate shot, an L3 juice and some tropical granola.
Sonia arrived around midday to deliver my last two days’ food and juices, which I must confess made me feel quite sad. But I know this is just the start of a better way of eating, not the end.
At lunch I had a clementine shot, another L3 juice and the rest of the tropical granola.
I then slept!
This evening I had a spiced soup and an R2 juice. Feeling a bit low today for various reasons but I know I mostly just needed a rest.
I’m already looking forward to the granola pot I have for breakfast tomorrow!
I loved my breakfast of ginger shot, C2 juice and a granola pot. Now that my cleanse is nearing its end I am really appreciating the wonderful freshness and flavours.
I had slept until 10 am which is very unusual for me, but it did mean that I had managed around a 16 hour fast again.
I was still feeling very tired today – there have been bits and bobs going on in the background the past couple of days and last week’s busyness definitely caught up with me so I just rested and feel a lot better for it.
I just had an L2 juice at lunchtime and then this evening I ate the rest of the soup and half a box of amazing kale salad with pomegranate seeds and sweet potato, celery and apple salad. More left for tomorrow!
So, tomorrow is the last day of the cleanse and I shall be very sad not to be receiving an amazing delivery of more gorgeous, healthy food. But it’s not over just yet!
I savoured every drop of my ginger shot and mouthful of granola pot wondering what on earth I’m going to have for breakfast tomorrow! It is going to be very difficult to continue the freshness and variety I have so enjoyed.
The problem is, being disabled and on top of that living in a nursing home means it is hard to be in charge of what I eat. I can’t shop, store, prepare, juice and so on, so where do I go from here?
I will come back to that one…
Lunch was the rest of the sweet potato and kale salads along with another ginger shot.
I have to confess to another pomelo session this afternoon!
I then had chickpea stew with an R2 juice. I continue to spoon large amounts of kimchi and fermented cabbage into my meals! Sadly, all I now have left is enough stew, kimchi and cabbage for my dinner tomorrow.
Going back to what I was hoping for right from the start, after 10 days I don’t think I’ve lost much weight (not that I have weighed myself at all – my clothes fit just the same!), but it was a fantastic kick start and I am now ready to go for it. My MS isn’t cured, but Anita isn’t selling a cure and if she was I wouldn’t have trusted her with my health. She is promoting improving my health as much as possible and I’m definitely up for that! I have still had some tiredness and feeling low but that is very much due to the last few months of my crazy life!
I have spent the last 10 days really enjoying every bite of food and drop of juice, knowing it is nutritious, natural and my body needs it. I feel vitality, a real sense of well-being and much more balance in my moods and energy.
It has been an amazing experience with the most delicious shots, juices, snacks and food. It really has changed my relationship with food and my body. It was such a relief to know that everything is going in not only did no harm but could only do good! That’s a very positive and empowering feeling that I don’t want to lose.
So, moving forward I am going to stick to a plant-based diet, incorporate juicing as part of this diet wherever possible and continue to feel the benefits of treating my body with respect.
The challenge is going to be managing this diet from the nursing home. I have a Nutribullet and I’m going to have to negotiate the challenges of storage for fresh fruit and vegetables and preparation but I am determined to make it work somehow!
I’ll definitely be sourcing some of my diet from Youjuice – I’m hooked. My favourites were the Buddha bowls, kimchi and fermented cabbage, kale chips, every juice and shot (apart from the dreaded b&g shot!), the salads and the raw chocolate treats. Basically all of it!
Thank you Anita and Youjuice for introducing me to a better way of eating, looking after me so well over the 10 days with amazing food delivered to me and supporting me in my cleanse. I really do feel that the toxicity of medication and unhealthy food is out of my system and I am ready to start again.