January is definitely the staple month associated with the word ‘detox’. The month fuelled by mince pies, mulled wine and pigs in blankets (heart eye emoji) has finally come to an end and we’re all looking to the year ahead, fixated on it becoming a healthy one.
Although dairy-free me didn’t have the ability to indulge in mince pies and chocolate (oh, I wish I did though), I entered 2016 feeling as though I needed a re-vamp of my diet and lifestyle. Okay, maybe not a whole re-vamp (which is unattainable) but a little tweak. I worked myself silly over Christmas, despite it being a time to relax – and so I took detox to mean my well-being, rather than diet and exercise. I needed a detox from social media (not entirely, but weekly), to take some time out for me and not focus all my energy on dissertation and work. Easier said than done I suppose.
However, luckily Champneys got in touch – with a solution that I simply had to try out for myself. Their new Detox in a Box – a mix of pampering products and their new superfood seaweed sprinkle. A few days later, I began my week of working on my well-being. I thought I’d try something new everyday to help me relax. Here’s what happened:
It’s probably well documented on my blog that I’m quite an anxious person. I get worked up very easily and even the slightest thing (like the way someone has worded an email) can send me spiralling into self doubt. It’s the one trait I wish I could change about myself and in 2016, I’m determined (if not to change it entirely) to make a start on letting this not affect me as much.
I thought this detox could be the perfect way to incorporate mindfulness, clean eating and pampering. Having a little ‘me’ time is definitely needed in a month where everything seems to be getting on top of you. So, after a busy day of admin (including filing my tax returns – which is far more stressful than it needs to be), I told myself to stop all work by 6pm, get into my pj’s and whip out my new Champneys products to try. Housed in a cute little blue box (harnessing their calming ocean theme), I began running a bath, popping on a hair masque and reading what all the various lotions and potions could offer.
Each of the products have ‘miracle’ ingredients derived from the British coast, with seaweed and sea salt – which means that they all have the same fresh, awakening aroma which reminds you of being beside the sea – an instant relaxer if I may say so!
I started by lathering on the Detox Hip & Thigh Firming Mud – which is apparently used by the therapists at the Champneys Country Spas (which I had the pleasure of visiting in the summer – review here) – so I knew it must be good. It’s said to improve the look of cellulite and leave skin feeling smoother, firmer and more toned. I have to say, after just one coat (which I left on for 15-20 minutes before washing off in the bath) my skin did feel a lot softer, so I vowed to continue with it for the rest of the week to see whether it made a difference. I sped up the process by using the Body Massager, which was almost like having a Spa therapist treatment (almost).
After smothering on a generous helping of the Detox Firming Body Butter (which is incredibly soft and sinks in almost automatically – so you can slide into your favourite pj’s afterwards), I got into bed early and picked up a book – something I haven’t done since July. My grandmother bought me Dawn French’s ‘According To Yes’, so I thought I’d give it a go. Two hours later and fully invested in the novel, I felt more relaxed then I had in months. It’s crazy what a bit of ‘me’ time can do!
I decided to make sure that my eating was also top notch in order to ensure that I was feeling my absolute best (you are what you eat, after all). Champneys had included a tube of their Superfood Seaweed, which I was intrigued to try out – because lets face it, aside from a Chinese takeaway’s interpretation, it doesn’t sound like the most appealing addition to a meal.
I whipped up a salad using bits I found in the fridge, including roasted green peppers, crispy kale (baked a tiny bit with coconut oil), beetroot, sesame and chia seeds. Then I sprinkled on a helping of Champneys Seaweed and began tucking in. The first few bites are a bit strange as you come to terms with this new, very strong flavour – but I soon realised, I liked it. It’s actually very similar to the Chinese takeaway version, only without all the grease. It’s fairly salty, but it has a lovely slightly sweet aftertaste and it really gives the salad flavour. It’s a bit like sprinkling crunchy flakes of salt onto your plate – only with less of the bad stuff. I was suitably impressed and vowed to try it out over a number of other dishes as the week continued.
I had a lot more work on day two, so couldn’t afford to finish at 6pm and have a pamper – however I did have a quick shower before bed and used the Firming Shower Scrub – which is apparently ‘Champneys Spa Expertise bottled in an easy and effective skin detoxifying scrub’. A bit of a mouthful but it smelt amazing and left my skin feeling so soft, I skipped moisturising and slid straight into bed. I couldn’t wait to dive into my book – which I read for a good half an hour before falling straight to sleep.
Day three was proving to be the hardest to incorporate my new detox into, because I had to head into London for a meeting – with a 5am wake-up call and a 6am train. A detoxer’s nightmare. However, I decided to stick at it – and lathered myself in the Champneys Detox Firming Body Butter after my shower, meaning that I could subtly sniff the relaxating scents throughout the day (probably looking like a bit of weirdo on a packed train). One thing I did note throughout the week was how much of an impact the body products you use have on your mood. When you give yourself a little time to pamper, the scents envelop you – and it’s such a treat that we often take for granted. You only really notice it when you switch up your products!
I got through the day (which was slightly stressful – including arriving at the wrong tube station and having a 40 minute walk ahead of me – which then meant I was late for a meeting) with minor hiccups but was so glad to be back on the train going home – where I could start planning my upcoming dinner. To calm down, I switched on Headspace, which I hadn’t used for ages. It’s a mindfulness app (completely free) and contains 10 minute sessions to help you relax and prevent panic attacks/anxiety. I’ve found it to be so helpful in the past – and so I thought I’d try it out to de-stress. It worked. I fell asleep for the rest of the journey, which I never do (because I always panic I’m going to miss my stop). Bonus!
When I arrived home, I made myself grilled salmon with white miso paste and maple syrup (mmm) with sweet potato fries. I sprinkled a helping of the Superfood Seaweed over the top and enjoyed how all the textures and flavours came together seamlessly. It was a kind of Japanese/Thai style meal – which I loved so much, I cooked it for the remainder of the week.
I decided to pop a face masque on, get into my dressing gown and finish the rest of my book – all while using the Detox Seaweed and Seasalt Scrub. What I loved about the scrub was how natural it was, meaning my skin could handle it without going red or feeling irritated. It gently buffed away at any dry patches – before I rinsed it off in the bath.
I worked from home for the entire day, which meant I could take things at a slower pace and relax a bit more. I noted how much more at ease I felt having taken time for myself earlier in the week. It’s amazing what it can do for your mental state when you focus on you a little more. Of course, we all have busy weeks and it’s not always viable to spend every night in a state of pure pampering, however it certainly helps if you incorporate a bit into your daily routine. I found that with the right tools, it was definitely possible to do even if you only had an hour to spare.
I managed to finish my book (in just four days) and have to say, as much as the storyline was a little bizarre, it was such a lovely feel-good ending that I forgave it. If you are in the mood for a good feel-good book, I’d give Dawn French’s a try! She’s a brilliant writer – and there were parts I was laughing out loud at!
In the afternoon, I decided to head out on a walk – something my 16-year-old self would scoff at, because I hated going out when it was cold and windy – especially on a dreaded W.A.L.K. It was actually far more relaxing than I thought it would be. When you’re wrapped up warm and don’t have to think about being cold, you can just zone out and focus on your surroundings.
Day five, the final day of my detox – and I actually found it a bit sad that I would no longer have a reason to spend an hour or so testing out products. I started the morning with cinnamon porridge (sticking to my clean eating was a very useful addition to helping with the detox – as I felt good every day, rather than sluggish) and made a small to-do list. Often I write a list of EVERYTHING I need to do within the next couple of weeks and completely overwhelm myself by the sheer amount of work ahead of me – so I took things a bit slower and noted down four things I wanted to achieve that day. One of which included washing all the sheets and towels in the flat. Because you know, you need a easy ‘ticker-offer’ on the list to inspire you to complete the more draining tasks!
I ended the day with a full-on pamper session, complete with teeth whitening gels, face masques, eye cream, hair conditioning masques, bath bombs and candles. I thought that I may as well end the detox in style after all!
As much as the week was about improving my overall wellbeing, the pampering aspect definitely helped pull everything together – and so I have Champneys to thank for helping me unwind and relax. The seaside aspect was an instant calming influence – and you really do feel replenished head to toe as the products feel so luxurious.
If you’re in the market for a week of unwinding – I’d definitely give Champneys Detox In A Box a go. Whether it’s giving yourself a couple of hours in the evening to go social-media-free (trust me, it feels so good), diving into a good book or popping on your headphones and listening to some good music, taking time out for you is so important – especially during January, when everything can get a little ‘too much’.
By the end of my five days detoxing, I really did feel ‘As Good As New’!
Have a great rest of the month – and just remember, we’re only a couple of months away from holiday season!
Do you think you needed a January detox? How do you take time out for yourself? And would you ever try Champneys Detox In A Box?