It’s New Year again; hard to believe that we’re already in 2015! It’s around this time of year that we start to think about a New Year’s resolution, and as always we promise ourselves that we’ll be in shape for the year’s Summer so we can wear that bikini on the beach. Though this year I wanted to break the habit of a lifetime and actually get in shape for the Summer. Recently I’d heard a lot about the concept of a juice cleanse diet, I put a lot of time into researching the various companies and products available.
Soulmatefood is the first company in the UK to launch the ‘hydrostatic juice diet’ (meaning your body fluids will be maintained in a stable condition), which is delivered directly to your door. Soulmatefood pride themselves on quality and constantly exceeding clients’ expectations, by working with the best quality suppliers, using the finest quality ingredients and gathering knowledge from world-renowned experts. For these reasons, Soulmatefood seemed like the perfect company to supply me with a juice cleanse (plus, they have plenty of celebrity and athlete testimonials). Soulmatefood’s philosophy is that “Eating healthily will not only promote longevity, but will have a profound effect on lifestyle too”, and also that “quality of life begins with the food that sustains it”.
So, why Juice Cleanse?
Juice cleanses are in vogue at the moment; probably helped along by the extensive media attention that health and fitness culture receives today. Although obesity levels are at an all-time high, we seem to be more aware now than ever of the effects that a bad diet can have on us; both physically and mentally. I have seen juice cleanses been hyped up all over social media sites, and, as a firm believer in ‘you are what you eat’, was eager to try one. I am also a well-being blogger and was interested to see whether Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet would have an effect on mental aspects such as mood, concentration etc. as well as bringing me closer to achieving my bikini body!
Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet is advertised as a greener way to start a healthy eating plan. It is packed full of vegetables, high in antioxidants and health boosting vitamins and is “a sure way to help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle”. The juices aim to provide an intense alkalising experience, as well as being packed full of flavour without losing nutritional value.
Customer Service, Delivery and Packaging
Soulmatefood’s customer service was absolutely fantastic. Correspondence was via email, and they were friendly, quick to respond and ensured that they answered any questions I had. A few days before the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet was delivered, I received an email recommending that I cut down on coffee and fizzy drinks in order to reduce caffeine intake, and also to try and avoid sugary foods. Delivery was also arranged via email, and I was allowed to choose date and time. Soulmatefood even asked whether there were any special delivery conditions that they needed to be made aware of, and where they could leave the box if no-one was home.
The delivery arrived exactly on time. It was a large, polystyrene cooler box with a cardboard sleeve. The cardboard sleeve proudly displayed the Soulmatefood logo and slogan: “Science. Nutrition. Love.” Inside the box were 30 juices; 6 for each day, to be spread across 5 days. There was also a menu which informed me what the juices were, and some general tips to help me get the most out of the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet.
You sip the 6 juices throughout the day alongside 6 glasses of water.
- Carrot, Orange, Ginger and Super-Foods.
- Pineapple, Banana and Coconut.
- Antioxidant Blend, Cherries and Mixed Berries.
- Raspberry and Pomegranate.
- Orange, Mango, Passionfruit and Goji Berry.
- Strawberry and Banana.
Day Before the Cleanse
Knowing I’m starting the cleanse tomorrow makes me pay more attention to the food I’m eating than I usually do. I love my food and I’m pretty sure that I’m going to struggle. However, I’m also pretty sure that it’ll be worth it; what with my Summer holiday coming up in a few months (hello, bikini!) and with all the rubbish I’ve been eating recently. I love the thought that we can give our bodies a ‘fresh start’ by detoxifying them. Juice cleanses have a bit of a reputation for being a ‘short-term fix’, but Soulmatefood aims to retrain your body so that it no longer craves fatty, sugary foods and therefore the cleanse is just an introduction to a new lifestyle of healthy, honest eating. In summary, I feel apprehensive but excited.
My starting weight is 7.9st or 111lbs, which I think is about right for my 5’2” body. I drank juice No. 1, which satisfied me. This was a pleasant surprise because I’m always very hungry when I wake up and tend to eat a substantial breakfast. An hour later, I filled the empty juice bottle with water and drank that. I continued alternating between juice and water hourly for the remainder of the day. At around 14:30, I walked into town to run some errands and didn’t return until around 16:45. Up until around 15:30 I felt energised, satisfied and happy. However, I had started to feel peckish mid-walk and by the time we got home I felt drained, moody and very hungry. The thought of not being able to eat for another 4 days put me in an even worse mood. I lay down on my bed until it was time to have smoothie No. 4 which perked me up slightly.
One thing to note is that you will need to pee, and I mean a lot, which was slightly problematic when I was wandering around town. However, this is a great sign for the body as it means it is hydrated and flushing toxins out of your body. At 20:15 I became alert and productive. However, at around 22:00 I crashed again and felt emotional for no apparent reason. I imagine this must be because of low blood sugar or something. I very nearly caved at around 23:00 but decided against it. I went to bed feeling sad and hungry.
Weight: 8.2st or 115lbs (perhaps the body entering starvation mode and retaining fluid?). I woke up feeling absolutely horrendous. I had a pounding headache which was agony if I tried to move. My heart was racing and I felt so ill that I didn’t attend a Mental Health First Aid Course I was booked in for. Soulmatefood had told me about a week before I started the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet that I should reduce my caffeine intake by not having coffee and fizzy drinks, so as not to suffer from caffeine-withdrawal headaches. I don’t drink those things anyway but I did carry on drinking tea as I thought the caffeine was so low it wouldn’t matter. However, as I know I’m not dehydrated, the headaches and heart rate must have been down to caffeine withdrawal. Although it was really unpleasant, it really made me realise how my body must have become dependent on caffeine, and perhaps other things such as sugar, without realising and made me more determined to see the cleanse through to the end without any cheating. I took a migraine tablet which made me feel much better. For the rest of the day I felt absolutely fine. I wasn’t hungry, just a little peckish at times. The times when I did want food were admittedly probably more down to emotional hunger rather than physical. As it was Christmas, I was surrounded by people eating fast food, snack foods and alcohol. Food envy was definitely the main problem today (once my headache had gone) but overall, a much easier day than yesterday.
Went for a day out with my family but unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy it at all. My head was pounding and, as dramatic as it sounds, I felt really weak. Everything was a struggle and my knees kept threatening to buckle. We sat down and my step-dad (who is ex-USA military) said that the headaches were hunger headaches and that Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet was probably now eating into my muscle as there isn’t any fat left. I think I even had a cry. Not eating is definitely toying with my emotions and I find myself incapable of talking to people without snapping. I decided that if I felt like this by Day 3, I couldn’t complete the last 2 days without eating a little alongside drinking the juices.
Days 4 and 5
I allowed myself to eat tiny portions of healthy food (e.g. smoked salmon and vegetables) for the last 2 days and felt so much happier. My headaches subsided, I had more energy and my emotions were more stable.
Overview of Pros and Cons
There were both pros and cons to doing Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet.
- The customer service of Soulmatefood is fantastic. They seem like friendly, knowledgeable and responsive people. I would love to review some of their food menus!
- Having the juices delivered to your door is very convenient.
- The juices were absolutely delicious. My favourite by a country mile was No. 2: Pineapple, Banana and Coconut. It was thick, sweet and luxurious and tasted like a Pina Colada in smoothie form. I wish it was sold in shops, because I’d definitely buy it!
- I did lose weight, although I stopped weighing myself when I learned that the scales were inconsistent. Instead, I have included ‘before and after’ pictures on which you can clearly see the results.
- My stomach had shrunk, and following the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet I could only eat very small amounts at a time otherwise my stomach hurt. The trick is of course, to keep your stomach at that size rather than expanding it again. Unfortunately, I have not succeeded at this because my eyes are bigger than my belly.
- The polystyrene cooler box is re-usable. My sister suffers from Coeliac Disease and uses it to keep her food in to avoid cross-contamination.
- It is a month since I completed Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet, and there are still some lasting effects; Crunchy Nut Cereal and Sweet Chilli Sauce (previously two of my favourite things in the world) are now far too sweet for me and I don’t enjoy them anymore; indicating that the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet weaned me off sugar.
- I don’t crave cups of tea as much anymore, suggesting that I have also been weaned off caffeine. For a while afterward I think I abstained completely, but being a Yorkshire lass I couldn’t keep away forever! I now drink around a cup a day (but use caffeine-free teabags) whereas before I drank around five!
- At £250, Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet is very expensive. I think if I had paid for the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet, I would probably have completed it without cheating because I could not have justified messing around after spending that amount of money. I believe that similar results could be achieved by making your own smoothies or by substituting their programme with an existing brand such as Innocent Smoothies. However, as Soulmatefood point out on their website, all ingredients are carefully selected for their nutritional value, so I suppose you are paying for peace of mind along with their expertise.
- The mental effects are pretty brutal. For almost the entire duration of the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet, I felt drained, moody and emotional. Physically I felt weak, and was unable to concentrate on anything. It’s a good thing I don’t drive, because I think driving whilst on the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet could actually be dangerous. Be prepared to have a useless 5 days; because brain power is non-existent and social situations become a nightmare due to uncontrollable mood swings.
- You have to have incredible willpower to complete the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet. I consider myself as having strong willpower as I am slightly obsessed with eating (anything and everything) but constantly restrain so as to maintain my figure. Therefore, for me to cave in after Day 3 was testament to how much the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet tests your willpower.
- I believe that the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet is too extreme an option for someone who only needs to lose a few pounds. I’m sure the cleanse would be beneficial to someone who needed to lose a significant amount of weight, but this would probably be even harder for them considering the amount and type of food the larger person would be used to.
- I spent 5 days not enjoying food! We often view food as the enemy, and I think the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet reinforces that belief somewhat. However, we just need to learn to eat the right foods, and in the right amounts.
Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet is an effective and fast way to lose a significant amount of weight and has some lasting effects, such as reducing appetite and weaning the customer from caffeine and sugar. However, completing the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet is an overall miserable experience and does not teach one to live a healthier lifestyle, meaning that likelihood of returning to previous eating habits following the 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet is high after some time, though it may be a good start to a new lifestyle and diet. I believe a better option would be to consume healthy meals (such as those in Soulmatefood’s food menus) and detox that way, as well as partaking in the recommended amount of exercise. In conclusion, £250 is expensive for a ‘quick-fix’ solution to an unhealthy lifestyle.
You can read more about Soulmatefood’s 5-Day Perfect Juice Diet here, their Paleo diet plan looks especially interesting and is something I would love to try!