Our Head of Brand Did the 5-Day Cleanse - Here's What She Actually Thought

Our Head of Brand Did the 5-Day Cleanse - Here's What She Actually Thought

It goes without saying that the team at Artah HQ are passionate about health, well-being, and the efficacy of our products.

So, when it comes to feeling our best, we always turn to our own collection of supplements and programmes. Last year, our Head of Brand, Olive, felt she needed a bit of a reboot, so decided to try the 5-Day Cleanse - here's her honest review of the experience.

What other cleanses have you tried in the past? 

I’ve done too many juice cleanses to count and have enjoyed absolutely none of them. I’ve also done one or two cleanse meal delivery services which I found disappointing and incredibly expensive. 

What was your motivation for doing a fasting mimicking diet?

After hearing all the amazing results that our community had experienced, I decided to buckle down and give it a go myself. Over the last few years, I had to take multiple rounds of antibiotics and had also been under a lot of emotional stress for a variety of reasons – my body and mind were exhausted, and I needed a break.  

The 5-Day Cleanse is a programme we created to completely reset the body and mind, no matter what your health journey looks like. I loved that it had two levels – Level 1 was more of an intro cleanse, great if you were new to fasting and time-restricted eating, whereas Level 2 was an FMD (Fasting Mimicking Diet) - and that it was a food based programme rather than a liquid fast.

What interested me most about taking on the FMD was not the cleanse itself or the immediate results, but the research behind it, and the positive benefits when it comes to metabolic health and longevity. I like to think of the fast the same way I do a spring clean – I’m a pretty tidy person and I keep my apartment clean but I've never taken this approach to health, even thought there are times my body is really craving a good clear out. The FMD in this programme did the same for the body - the programme was created to restrict its nutrient-sensing pathways over the course of the 5-days, which mimics the adaptations you get within a fasted state, without having to actually fast. In an extended ‘fasted’ state, the body is then given the opportunity to ‘clean up shop’ and stimulate cellular rejuvenation. I had been drinking less and moving more, so it felt like a great baseline from which to try the cleanse.  

How did this differ from the way you’ve approached previous cleanses or fasting programmes? 

Historically, I have only taken cleanses as a drastic measure to prep for an event of holiday, and have been miserable for the duration – I realise now that this was because it was from a place of punishment as opposed to health, which is why it felt so horrendous every time I did it. It’s also worth mentioning that every time I’ve done a cleanse before, I had tried to maintain an intense exercise regime which is strictly discouraged during the 5-Day Cleanse. When I tried this programme, however, my ‘why’ was totally different. Of course, I wanted to look and feel great, but I was approaching the cleanse with longevity in mind and with a positive state of mind. I was also just very curious; I’d done a ton of research on the positive long-term effects and wanted to see if I could do it.  

How did you prepare for the cleanse? 

I made sure to reduce my alcohol and caffeine intake in the week prior and removed 90% of meat from my diet because the cleanse is a plant-based regime. I planned ‘treats’ throughout the week, whether it was going for a walk in the park with a friend after work, going to the movies or having a massage – I made sure that my evening schedule was restorative but busy to ensure I was tired enough to sleep through the night but not just stuck at home, tempted to eat out of boredom or habit.  

What was the most difficult part of the programme? 

I missed coffee. The programme allows a coffee in the morning but in the first day or two I craved it throughout. All I can say is that I'm thankful for Cellular Hydration. Having Energy Fix and Cellular Hydration saved me – I didn't realise how much I relied on caffeine before this! 

Another difficult part of the programme was forcing myself to slow down and do less from an exercise perspective, which is something I wasn’t used to but absolutely LOVED once I was in it.  As a result of a less chaotic schedule, I found I had more time and more energy, which was great in a lot of ways but meant that after I had made dinner each night, I wasn’t tired and had a lot more time and energy. I found the video content great for this; I did the restorative yoga session and breathwork, which made it feel more immersive. Lastly - let’s call a spade a spade - not having a glass of red wine on Friday night was an adjustment!

What benefits have you noticed? Was there anything surprising? 

My energy was fantastic – I didn’t feel tired at all which I was super surprised by. I was in an exceptional mood throughout, even though I was convinced that I would be hangry the whole week, and it flew by.  I was honestly happy and positive the whole time (apart from my initial coffee cravings!). I would say to anyone who is cyclical and thinking of doing an FMD – try and schedule it around week one or two of your cycle and definitely avoid it in week four. I think the Artah team would have found me a lot less upbeat had it coincided with my PMS. I also realised how important it is to give my body time to rest and recover. 

The question that everyone wants to know is did I lose weight? The answer is yes – I don’t have a scale so have no idea how much numerically, but my clothes gave me an indication. Interestingly, with an FMD you preferentially burn body fat, and can experience a rebound in lean muscle mass, so my body still looks leaner. I should also mention my skin is clearer and my digestion has been amazing ever since.   

Has it made you more aware of any habits or attachments around food, drink, or movement?  

It’s made me realise how fantastic I feel when I cook more wholesome food, and also made me much more aware of how quickly I normally eat. Because I was eating less food than normal, it forced me to eat more slowly to savour the experience. By day 5, I felt satisfied and borderline full after every meal, which is saying something when the cumulative calories are around 700 for the day, less than half of what I usually eat. 

The programme also completely changed the way I approach movement. Breaking news – it turns out you do not need to work out like a madwoman every day to see results. I went from an intense weekly schedule of HIIT, spin and transformer pilates classes to long walks and yoga at home, and my body has never felt or looked better.  

Would you do it again? 

100%. It’s important to note that reducing calories to this level is not something you are meant to do long-term or even repeat every single month throughout the year. It's something you do maybe two or three times a year to improve your health on a cellular level and stay on track. There are so many weeks where we over indulge and go a bit crazy with food an alcohol, so planning in periods of rest and repair is incredibly important. Honestly, I couldn’t recommend it enough, and my advice would be to schedule your cleanse in a proactive way, not in a panic after a heavy weekend. It should feel like you are doing it because you want to do something positive for your health, not because you are panicking that you may have gained a few points on holiday. I felt incredible from the inside out, and it was exactly what I needed - I felt energised, invigorated, lighter and just completely reset.  



This article is for educational purposes only and the implementation of the theories and practices discussed is at the sole discretion of the individual. All advice given is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should speak with your physician. 

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