About 4 weeks ago, I decided to give the Clean 9 cleanse / detox programme a go. Before starting, I spoke to my cousin (or second cousin if we are being exact) who owns her own business selling these products and helping others start their own businesses. She is massively knowledgeable about it all and was really helpful and checked the Clean 9 programme was suitable for coeliacs. She also suggested I start taking the Aloe gel in small amounts a few days before starting to help my body get used to it all. (You can find out more information about Emma’s business here and product details can be found here)
Designed to kick-start the programme and cleanse your body, this provides the perfect starting point for transforming your diet and fitness habits. Based around Forever’s bestselling Aloe Vera Gel drink, this nutritionally-balanced programme will allow you to see real results in just nine days.
I really only wanted to give the Clean 9 a go, the F.I.T programmes are more exercised based and unfortunately I’m not really able to exercise (partly due to my disabilities, but also because I am lazy). I read a huge amount of reviews online before I started even seriously thinking about doing it. I really struggle with weight and my body image issues so it was massively important to me to go into this with a sensible head on.
Clean 9 claims to help “jumpstart your journey to a slimmer, healthier you”. It is a very easy to follow 9 day programme with everything you need.
I’ve broken my 9 days down to give you an idea of my experiences.
What do you get?
Forever Lite Ultra Shake Mix x 1 pouch (I chose Vanilla but there is a chocolate flavour too)
Forever Therm x 18 tablets
Forever Fiber x 9 sticks (I’d have called them sachets.. but whatever)
Forever Garcinia Plus x 54 softgels (these reminded me of cod liver oil capsules)
Shaker (my actual favourite item in the pack)
You also get a booklet with some FAQs, top-tips and a place to record your progress. There are also some 600 calorie meal ideas and some shake recipes.
Days 1 and 2 are “designed to reset your mind and body”. Breakfast consists of 2 x softgels, 120ml of Aloe Vera Gel with 250ml water, 1 x therm tablet and 30 minutes of low intensity exercise. For lunch 2 x softgels, 120ml of Aloe Vera Gel with 250ml water, 1 x therm tablet and 1 scoop of the Shake with 300ml of skimmed milk, dinner is just as exciting – 120ml Aloe Vera Gel with 250ml of water and 2 x softgels, just before bed you get one final treat – another 120ml Aloe Vera Gel with 250ml of water. You are also advised to drink around 8 glasses of water a day. Throughout the whole 9 days you can curb hunger with snacks from the “free foods” list which includes, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, apples, red or purple grapes and raspberries, amongst others. You can also have one if the Fiber sticks each day too as a snack. (I really didn’t like these, so only ever had some of the first one)
Days 3 – 9 you have 2 x softgels, 120ml of Aloe Vera Gel with 250ml water, 1 x therm tablet and 30 minutes of low intensity exercise and 1 scoop of shake with 300ml of skimmed milk. Lunch is 2 x softballs, 1, 1 x therm tablet and 1 scoop of the Shake with 300ml of skimmed milk, for dinner you have x 2 softgels and a 600 calorie meal and 250ml of water before bed. The booklet that comes with the pack lays it all out very simply and it really is very easy to follow. As well as all this, I had support in the form of a Facebook group that Emma added me to, all with people who are undertaking the clean 9 programme or who have already done it on hand to offer support and advice which I found really helpful.
Before starting you have to weigh yourself and using the tape measure that came with the pack, note down your starting measurements. Here are mine (I know, ugh):
Chest – 94cm
Biceps – 29cm
Waist – 28cm
Hips – 95cm
Thighs – 62cm
Days 1 and 2
For me, days 1 and 2 were surprisingly easy, I eat very little during the day anyway so for me it was only a case of skipping one meal and in fact, I took some fruit from the free foods list for lunch so I was actually eating more than I usually do anyway. I noticed I was heading to the toilet quite a lot. I scanned the Facebook page that first day too and noticed that some people were struggling with the lack of food so I was glad my hunger was keeping itself at bay!
I had been advised to start having the gel a few days before I started to get used to it. Boy, am I glad I did, let’s just say its a real taste experience and has an incredibly unpleasant texture which I really struggled with, but I was really determined to see it through so dutifully knocked the gel back whenever I had too.
I decided to make my low intensity exercise a walk at a lunchtime, I work on a pretty big hospital site so it was really easy to get a good 30 minute walk in with some hills. It was sunny too so I headed out with my milkshake to enjoy the sunshine.
The milkshake was really nice, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get it down – I’m really fussy. But actually, I really enjoyed it and I am going to order some more of the shake as I don’t eat very well and it will be good to add the nutrients to my diet in the future.
By the end of Day 2 I was feeling pretty good, I’d had some encouragement through the Facebook group, Emma had messaged me to see how I was getting on and I was proud that I was actually sticking to something for once. You have to fill in the booklet each day, which I really liked – it was helpful to see my progress on paper.
Days 3 – 9
I woke up on the morning of day 3 and felt, well, awake. Really awake which is something I rarely am, I struggle to sleep properly and I actually had slept pretty well the night before. I was also thankful that today I only had to have 120ml of the gel!
My lunch routine was the same as it had been on days 1 and 2. Apple, grapes, the Shake, the softgels and the garcenia and a walk around work.
You are advised to weigh yourself and note your measurements again on days 3, 6 and 9.
By the weekend (around day 6) I was really, really bored of water. 8 glasses of water a day seems like so much when you are making a conscious effort to drink that much. I added some lemon and lime slices to perk my water up a little and this really helped.
I was really missing my 60 cups of tea a day by this point too (Oh yes, no tea or coffee during Clean 9!!) and water just doesn’t cut it. But I persevered. I wanted more than anything to do it all right to see if I could and if it would make a difference.
But, was it worth it?
As I said at the start, it was important to me not to get hung on up “weight loss”. Clean 9 is not a weight loss programme, it is a detox, most people can lose weight from water. I had to keep reminding myself of this when I wasn’t a stone lighter at each weigh in.
The “feel good” benefits were worth it. I felt so much better by day 4, I wasn’t as lethargic and I was able to focus far better.
I really feel that if I had been able to do a little more exercise (even low intensity exercise is difficult for me) coupled with this detox I would have seen even better results. But, here are my day 9 results:
Chest – 93cm (total loss 1cm)
Biceps – 27cm (total loss 2cm)
Waist – 86cm (total loss 2cm)
Hips – 94cm (total loss 5cm)
Thighs – 60cm (total loss 2cm)
I found the programme really easy to follow, everything you need comes in the pack with simple, easy to follow instructions. The support I had from the Facebook Group and Emma were great.
It can be costly, especially if you move onto the next programmes (F.I.T 1 and 2), but if you stick at it and follow the plan, you will look and feel better.