Every once in a while it feels like your body could use a break, a cut-back on caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods. In other words, an opportunity to eat more vegetables, take your vitamins, drink more water, hit the reset button, and detox. But, you want to make sure you’re detoxing properly. There’s a fine line between a diet and an eating disorder, which is why Victoria Secret Angels Bella Hadid and Adriana Lima turn to the Pure Change Detoxification Program. I had the opportunity to try it, and here’s what I learned. Spoiler alert: I am not a Victoria Secret Angel… yet.

Pure Change is created by holistic nutritionist Charles Passler. When you think “holistic nutrition,” you may conjure images of healing crystals, magic dust, and so on. Really, holistic nutrition just means using resources from nature and not using any chemicals, processed foods, or pharmaceutical products to help lose weight. It’s essentially the opposite of the fat-free Slim Fast diet many of us grew up around.

The Rules of the Diet

The Pure Change Program is available in a seven-day ($200) or 21-day ($300) detox. I did the seven-day and received a package of Pure Change Protein Powder, seven protein bars, 14 Detox Support Vitamin Packs (contains fish oil, kidney, liver, cell support supplements), a bottle of magnesium tablets, a bottle of probiotic tablets, and a little pamphlet that tells you what each day should look like and what you should avoid (there’s no alcohol or caffeine allowed).

Here’s what a day of eating on Pure Change looks like:

Breakfast (7am): One Lean Body Protein Shake

Snack (9:30am): 1/2 Protein Bar

Lunch (12pm):

  • 100 calories of raw or steamed vegetables
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 detox support pack

Snack (2:30pm): One Lean Body Protein Shake

Snack (5pm): 1/2 Protein Bar

Dinner (7pm):

  • 100 calories of raw or steamed vegetables
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 detox support pack

Bedtime (10pm):

  • 3 magnesium tablets
  • 2 probiotics

My Experience

I really loved the Pure Change bars and smoothies. They are delicious and hands down the best protein powder and bars I’ve ever tasted. Eating more vegetables also felt great, and it’s something I found myself maintaining in my diet after the program.

I definitely saw a change in my body. At the end of the week, my stomach was flatter; my skin was clearer; my appetite smaller; and I had more energy. I also noticed it took less caffeine to feel awake, and less wine to feel buzzed.

I saw a change, but to be completely honest, getting there was pure hell. The first day of the detox was super easy. According to Passler, day one is a “non-event,” in terms of how you feel, because you’re not into the cleanse enough to see or feel a difference. You’re just getting into the routine. For days two through four it’s common to feel the detox symptoms like fatigue, headaches, drowsiness, gas, and bloating (if you’re not used to eating about four cups of vegetables a day). As a Goop Annual Detox veteran, I thought I’d have no problem with this. I was completely wrong. This is hands down the most challenging detox I’ve done.

I experienced mild headaches and fatigue during the day, and splitting headaches and insomnia at night. I had a hard time getting up in the morning and starting the detox at 7AM like I was supposed to. I learned later that headaches were from my body withdrawing from caffeine (I’m a two cups of coffee a day gal), and the insomnia could’ve been related to the fact that I got my period on day two of the detox. When I told Passler, he suggested to add some brown rice to my vegetable lunches and dinners. This helped a lot. I also was able to have some caffeine (a cup of half caffeinated coffee). Days five through seven were much more bearable. My headaches went away. I had more energy, was sleeping better, and didn’t find myself as dependent on caffeine.

Part of what makes Pure Change work is you’re eating and not eating on a schedule, also known as intermittent fasting. It gives your body the proper time to digest. On Pure Change, I woke up each morning feeling light and seeing progress. Since the detox, I’ve also maintained this practice and have been feeling great.

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(Photo via Pure Change and Gabi Conti / Brit+Co)