It was tough, I am not going to lie. However, the thought of staying stuck in a rut with the full knowledge that my eating habits were far from healthy, was far more painful. In fact, ever since I had my first child almost eight years ago (I now have three children), I have been unhappy with my out-of-shape body. I wasn’t finding the time to exercise, and I lacked the willpower to choose the right foods rather than the wrong ones.
Cold fish fingers constantly tempted me, and I required a few too many cups of coffee in the morning just to get going. Luckily, a fabulous couple, Andrea and Carl Pearson, came to my rescue. They offered me the Clean 9 programme to try from Forever Living. Andrea and Carl warned me the programme would be tough, both mentally and physically, but they assured me that if I stayed focussed, the result at the end of the nine days would be worth it. They were right!
To the left is my grand finale video on the beach in Bermuda and below is my diary over the nine days. I hope it will inspire you to give the Clean 9 programme a go to help get your body and mind back in sync, which will give you more energy and increase your vitality and well-being.
The programme costs £114.70. Given the way I felt by the end of it, I say it is worth every penny. There really is no price tag for feeling great about yourself
2 x 1 litre bottle Forever Aloe Vera Gel
1 x Forever Lite Ultra with Aminotein Vanilla (15 servings)
1 x Forever Therm (18 tablets)
1 x Forever Garcinia Plus (54 softgels)
1 x Forever Fibre (9 packets)
1 x Shaker
1 x Tape Measure
Day 1 – Tuesday 4th November
The window of opportunity closing—I needed to get detoxed and bikini-ready for my holiday in two weeks’ time. I decided to take the plunge and start the Clean 9 programme. I was hesitant at first since I had just gotten over a hideous five-day cold, but it also seemed like the perfect opportunity to cleanse and boost my immune system and finally get back on track with my weight and energy. I had no appetite due to the cold, which was a good thing because I wasn’t allowed to eat for the first two days on the plan.
Taking care of three children under the age of ten is a seriously demanding business. My energy level was completely depleted, plus with half term firmly behind me, I was eager to get started and get a spring back in my step. I run my own business and it was almost Christmastime, so any extra reserves in terms of energy were welcomed.
Day 1 started at 6.30am. I took the following:
2 Garcinia Plus Soft Gel tablets
120ml of Aloe Vera Gel with 300ml cold water
1 Forever Therm
My snack was the Forever Fibre sachet. After eating this, I took a brisk 30-minute walk. It was a nice crisp, sunny morning. My blood was pumping and I felt great.
By lunchtime, I was ready to cry. My body rebelled with vigour—my head ached and I was freezing. I took a hot bath and then pressed on and took the next round of supplements.
I took Aloe Vera Gel again along with a vanilla protein shake. I was a happy mummy to be adding skimmed milk in with the powder. I almost burst out into song! It tasted great and my belly felt full.
Dinner was the worst. My husband cooked roast chicken with all the trimmings, I had to go upstairs and have another bath just to get away from all of the delicious smells. Afterwards, I put the kids to bed and then sat down to have my Aloe Vera Gel supplements. My husband started watching MasterChef on TV—he’s lucky I didn’t chase him around the house with a frying pan. Gemma + detox + no food + surrounded by food = 1 seriously grumpy mamma!
To sum it all up, day one was very challenging. I was able to snack on foods from the “free foods list,” which helped. The snacks never filled me up, but they did curb my hunger.
The hardest feeling to get over was the light-headedness. I expected to feel pretty busted since the energy levels needed to sustain my busy day weren’t there, but I didn’t fully realize how sluggish I would feel as my body purged its mountain of toxins.
I went to Parents Evening at my kids’ school. I felt rotten and had trouble focussing on what the teachers were saying!
Today started with an unbelievable headache! I felt like I’d been out all night and then slept on a bunch of rocks. Unfortunately for me I had to make a business trip to London for a press event. I packed my little rucksack with two oranges and two apples plus a travel portion of Aloe Vera Gel and supplements. I desperately needed a coffee.
At the event, there was food galore being passed around—Christmas dinner in a bowl, beef bourguignon, puddings, etc. . My co-worker, as lovely as they are, decided to fill their faces with brownies whilst I nipped to the loo so as not to be tortured by temptation. I had one tiny slip-up as we stopped off on the way home at a coffee shop. I had a sip of a latte and immediately felt sick.
Day two was definitely tougher than day one. The toxins were in full flow and being excreted from my body and I certainly felt it. I got a massive spot on my chin, deadly headaches and felt dizzy and achy all over. I managed to squeeze in two hot baths with muscle soak to ease the aches and pains.
My kids ate spaghetti bolognaise for dinner that night and I found it really, really hard to stay focussed with all of the smells wafting up as I cooked. Thankfully, I was super determined to complete my cleanse since I couldn’t stand the thought of failing only three-fourths of the way through day two. Andrea was a fantastic help and was always there with supportive messages to help keep me on track, but I still feel extremely grumpy.
(Day two ended with terrible vivid dreams interwoven with lots of coughing. I read up that coughing is a way your body gets rid of toxins. Knowing this didn’t make the hacking and wheezing any easier.)
Wahoo! Day three means one meal per day in the evening. I couldn’t believe how excited I was to be able to eat. I told anyone who would listen at the school gates about my excitement at planning my first meal in two days. They looked at me like I was totally nuts.
Day thee onwards also means two protein shakes instead of one at lunchtime, which again, helps massively with staying on track.
I got on the scale and couldn’t believe I had lost 5 lbs. My waist is down by two inches and my hips are down by one inch. Also, my chest, which I have to admit is rather large, is down one inch, too. My biceps, thighs and calves stayed the same.
Yum, yum, yummity, yum…that night I had a meal of lasagne and a salad with no dressing. As satisfying as the meal was, I almost felt dirty after eating. It was really tasty, but the combination of cheese sauce, meat and pasta after two days of no food was quite overwhelming. That feeling really taught me a lot about how different foods affect the body and how they can make you feel. I wanted to rewind the dinner and make better a better meal choice.
(I had a better sleep that night, but I still coughed a lot and had more nightmares.)
I woke up with so much energy. There was more of a spring in my step and I feel more level-headed. I didn’t even need caffeine to start the day.
I started to use coconut water in my shakes and I added strawberries and raspberries. It tasted delicious and oddly enough it was so filling that eating a meal in the evening was a push. Almost halfway through the day I realized how proud I felt for sticking to the plan. I was already noticing so many benefits.I took my 5 year old to a birthday party and didn’t touch one piece of party food (so unlike me!).
Dinner was homemade chicken and leek and mushroom pie with carrots, peas and new potatoes. I didn’t add any butter or salt to my meal which is pretty amazing given my history for salt addiction. After the meal I felt totally stuffed—again, not in a good way. The food tasted great, but gave me a polluted feeling. I actually would have been happier having another shake for dinner instead of my large meal. I didn’t even really feel the need to eat solid foods. I am going to make sure tomorrow’s meal has fresh produce and less dairy and fewer processed items, such as flour.
I had a bit of a setback with my allergies and spent most of the day taking it easy. I followed the programme and took copious amounts of herbal tea and water. I had lots of hot baths and cuddled with the kids. My husband was a great help and cooked me a healthy dinner and made sure I went to bed early.