Stephanie is a Clinical Psychologist working in the NHS with children and families, and a Yoga Teacher in East London; she has a passion for holistic health and social action.

Detoxing: Mind over munch

Juicing. 5 juices a day, for 7 days, with the hope of losing inches and pounds; yet juicing is more than just a ‘fad diet’.

The juicing journey is peaks and troughs while you wean yourself off refined sugar, salt and fat.

Days 1-3 are the the hardest. Like an addict going cold turkey, the thing you want the most is everywhere – all of the time! Days 4-5 you reach the juice high. The narcotics of nutrients! Discovering new energy that makes you buzz about superfood, whilst you positively glow. Days 6-7 you’ve almost forgotten what chewing feels like, experience a little disbelief that you even made it this far, and excitedly plan your first meal.

Benefits of juicing detox

Advice for first time juicers

What makes juicing more manageable?

Doing it with someone else – joint commitment equals double the motivation in the shared experience, more likely to encourage one another then stray.

Distraction – a busy work schedule that doesn’t allow for snacking or shop runs!

Exercise – releasing the happy endorphins and feeling physically fit, with the delicious juice as the nourishing post-exercise reward.

Meditation – focusing on the present moment and accepting that time will pass (7 days is not long in the grander scheme of things!).

And finally, knowing that you are juicing out of choice (and not falling into the trap of feeling deprived and therefore craving).

Regardless of the motivation, juicing is your own autonomous decision and knowing that you are making this choice to invest in yourself will lead to better outcomes.

Benefits of juicing detox

So why juice?

What are the greatest learnings from detoxing, and what do I know now about my mind, body and appetite that I didn’t before?

I am more able to listen to my stomach, and differentiate between hunger and greed. I am aware of bodily responses, and curiously question when I need ‘fuel’. I am better able to manage cravings, and acknowledge the impact of work stress, lack of sleep and partying on my drive for ‘emotional eating’. Going forward, I know that indulgence is not a sin; my partner loves cheese (he’s French) and my vice is chocolate (‘sweet tooth’). It’s all about balance not binge, and finding that moderation.

It takes 12 days to form a new habit. The nature of the detox programme is to re-shape habit formations; break old habit patterns and shape new positive ones. Thus, in the words of the famous yogi Guruji, “Practice and all is coming”. Practice, routine, and commitment are essential to the programme; it certainly isn’t easy, yet the deepest rewards are discovered in overcoming the greatest challenges.

The detox is not about denial, nor is it a diet. The real reward is in cleansing your body, re-shaping your habits, increasing awareness of your own appetite and ‘fuel’ needs, gaining control over eating, and re-defining your relationship with food. And trust me, it makes eating all the more pleasurable!

Stephanie followed the Jason Vale JuiceMaster programme.