If you read my year end post you’ll know I started this year with the C9 Cleanse. I highly recommend it. Here’s what you need to know:
It’s around 100 quid but the box comes with everything you need; 2 litres of Aloe Vera Gel, a bag of milkshake powder, some sachets of fibre powder, a nine day supply of multi vitamin tables, and a guide book. The box also comes with a motivational message.
Well, fuck you, I thought, I don’t take feel like smiling, I feel like crying, and I’m not taking instructions from a cardboard box!
On days one and two you have 3x120ml shots of Aloe Vera, one shake and a handful of tablets.
You can also have one portion of either; an apple, 3 apricots, 69g of grapes or 192g blueberries, and two portions of either asparagus, sugar snap peas (14 of them to be precise) or one medium pepper. The great news is there are also FREE foods which you can stuff your face with all day if the cravings make you want to rip the throats out of your children /husband / dog (maybe that was just me). I got a bit excited at free food until I saw it consisted of lettuce, kale, leeks, spinach, cauliflower, aubergine, celery and cucumber. Ruddy marvelous, if you’re a tortoise.
You can’t drink normal tea or coffee. So if you can’t stand the blandness of water your only option is fruit tea which in my opinion should be banned or at the very least utilised as a threat or punishment.
For the next 7 days you have one shot of Aloe Vera, two shakes and, in addition to your free veg, a 600 evening calorie meal – hallelujah. 600 calories is a lot and there are no constraints about the makeup of your evening meal. You can have a McDonald’s cheeseburger and small fries for under 600 calories (I know because I checked).
What’s the C9 cleanse like? Well, take it from me, Aloe Vera gel is vile. Absolutely vile.
I took the instructions literally. ‘Take with 200ml of water’ it says. BIG mistake. Just, don’t. The consistency of Aloe Vera is how I’d image the inside of eyeballs to be. Jelly like and viscous, a bit like phlegm. And it’s not water soluble; the gel hangs there in small globules. So if you mix it with water, you get…frog spawn.
Here’s a tip; put it in the fridge, even freeze it for a bit so its ice cold, then take it in 2x60ml shots and pretend you’re doing a bush tucker trial. It’s the only way to get through.
Another tip; on days one and two save up your free veg and roast a big plate of it for dinner. Roasting is not technically allowed. You’re supposed to ‘lightly steam’ them. Fuck that. I can’t see how roasting them increases the calorific content and Jesus this is about SURVIVAL (besides which, have you ever tried to steam an aubergine??).
The milkshakes are ok BUT they are extremely sweet…and if I’m honest it doesn’t feel ‘clean’. It feels a little like your downing a McFlurry, the benefit of which is that it fills you up immediately but with the downside of reducing the worthiness of doing a ‘cleanse’ (if I’m gonna starve I want to at least FEEL like I’m sacrificing for the cause). Buy the vanilla flavour rather than the chocolate because you can use the very limited selection of fruit to make it more palatable (adding a handful of blueberries and raspberries is a joy).
But here’s the biggest tip of all and possibly the easiest healthy eating trick I’ve ever found. Get GOUSTO (www.gousto.co.uk). It’s the best home meal delivery service out there (I’ve tried them all). Two deliveries a week of the best recipes on the planet. You pre-select your meals, receive ALL the fresh ingredients at your door, and then cook the meals from scratch in under 30mintues. No waste, recycle friendly packaging and absolutely DELICIOUS. Meals for two costs from £3.75 each (average is about £4.50) and you can choose the recipes by calories if you need to. During the 7 days I ate; Lancashire Lamb Hotpot, Turmeric Pork with Chilli Lime Radish Salad, Indonesian Chicken Satay, Cod and Chips with tartare Sauce, Chicken Saag Masala and Pilau Rice, Smokey chicken and mushroom linguine, Aubergine Parmigiana with Pesto Bruschetta.
Every one under 600 calories.
By the end of the cleanse I’d lost 7lbs. Easiest thing I’ve done – the C9 kills your appetite and any cravings by about day 4, mine haven’t come back.
In other news;
A very good friend of mine who lives in Sydney is a very good friend of the famous chef Marco Pierre White. Through a series of serendipitous facebook posts we worked out that she was having lunch with him just 40 minutes from my front door and she invited me to join them (this little Deli restaurant in Tetbury is awesome http://www.quayles.co.uk/ )
Fresh off the C9 I was stressing about what I could possibly eat that wouldn’t a) blow the cleanse in one sitting and b) horrify Marco (I had visions of looking into his disdainful face as I ordered kelp salad). I needn’t have worried, he’d already ordered for me. And when Marco Pierre White chooses your food, it’s a good idea to eat it. The Welsh Rarebit was possibly the best thing I’ve eaten in a year.
For the record he’s EXACTLY like you’d imagine him to be. Intense, a bit scary, disarmingly charming and just the right side of sexy as hell in a slightly grizzled, bad boy kinda way.
We spent the rest of the afternoon following him around an antique shop the size of an aircraft hangar. Actually it was an aircraft hangar, on an airfield, in the Cotswolds (http://www.lorfordsantiques.com/)
I racked up 6500 in two hours thus burning off the Welsh rarebit. Thank you Marco.
I found the C9 so easy that I’ve stuck with the concept, replacing one meal with a shake and a Gousto meal every night so the rest of the month has also been easy. AND…I bought my first size 16 trousers in 20 years. Admittedly I turn a purple in the face trying to zip them up, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to bend down but I DON’T FUCKING CARE BECAUSE THEY ARE A SIZE 16!!!
Outcome: I’ve lost 10lbs this month…which means I’ve hit the 4 stone mark and I’m very BACK ON TARGET!!
P.S. If you fancy the C9 you can order it here