The Juice Cleanse
Yes, you read that right. I – the woman who can’t live without hummus, quinoa or red wine – drank nothing but juice for three days. Ok wait, let me start from the beginning.
I blame Groupon. 100%.
First there was a Groupon, then there was a brilliant health-oriented plan between friends, then there was juice. Alright, you’re all caught up now.
Let me preface this by saying, I love green juice. LOVE IT. I have a juicer and I’ve been happily chugging fruits and vegetables for over a year now – celery, cucumber, spinach, carrots, kale, strawberries, apples, beets… Beets are my favorite. That alone should tell you how much I love me some fresh green juice. That being said, I love to eat. Whether I’m hungry or not – which, to be honest, I usually am – I love the act of eating. I love cooking and grocery shopping and preparing my food. And eating. Getting my drift?
So we signed ourselves up to receive 18 “tonics” over the course of three days from Food Body Mind Experience – a San Francisco based company which boasts local, sustainable, organic products.
My goal for this “cleanse” is just to reset my body after a few weekends of unnecessary excess. January & February had lots of great weekends and celebrations, but between anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day and CrossFit competitions, there’s been too much wine, too much eating out, too much processed food and way too much Diet Coke. I want to get back to my primarily fresh fruit & vegetable-based diet and I thought that this cleanse would be a good way to jumpstart that change.
My friend Arianna and I both opted to skip the recommended nutritionist consultation (the location is really, really far away and neither of us has a car) so as a result we had virtually no guidance on how to proceed. In addition to gulping tons of water, I decided that I was going to allow myself coconut water, kombucha and the occasional sip of soda if I needed some carbonation to ease a queasy stomach.
Luckily I found this ridiculously funny juice cleanse review from Nicole Is Better which helped amp me up and gave me an idea of what I was in for, no sugar-coating.
The first day was all about familiarizing myself with the juices and getting used to not reaching for snacks. I didn’t realize how much of my daily munching is automatic, I kept unconsciously reaching for nuts, mini Raw Revolution bars and other goodies. This was actually pretty educational as it made me realize that a lot of what I’m putting in my body isn’t necessary, hopefully after the cleanse I can maintain a more conscious approach to snacking.
#1 Green Machine – Tasty green juice, nothing too harsh or flavorful (i.e. no kale) with a little bit of pulp at the bottom.
#2 Food Body M.E. “Bright Eyes” – This one was a carrot ginger juice, HEAVY on the ginger. Pretty yummy when I ate it as a slushy.
#3 Apple Tonic – An apple celery juice that wasn’t terribly sweet, more celery-tasting than fruit juice.
#4 The final juice was the one that I was least looking forward to so I procrastinated until the evening – Avocado Dream. It turned out to be heavy on the lemon so it wasn’t too avocado-y, but I decided to dress it up a little to make it more palatable.
During parts of the day I was a little dizzy and light-headed, but strangely enough not hungry. I should note that I cheated a bit and had some raw almonds in the morning and again at night when I took my back medication (which can’t be taken on an empty stomach).
I slept like a ROCK the first night! I was exhausted, I fell asleep incredibly quickly and slept through the night – both of which are unusual for me. TMI ALERT – Don’t keep reading unless you want to hear/read personal details. So, the biggest difference that I noticed during day two was that my stomach was really settled and all of my IBS symptoms went away. I’ve been dealing with a flare up the last two weeks and as of Day #2 the pain was 100% gone. I’m going to keep this in mind and potentially do juice cleanses whenever I start suffering from painful symptoms.
However, by the evening of day two I was pretty bored with the whole thing. Luckily we had planned for this in advance and Arianna came over for a movie night.
Let’s be honest, what can’t Liam Neelson, Patrick Wilson & Bradley Cooper not fix?
So we had a much-needed catch up session, drank our juice and stayed up late (for me) watching the boys kick the CIA’s booty (which sounds unpatriotic, but is really anything but!)
By the final day I had gotten the hang of drinking the juices and not mindlessly snacking, I wasn’t getting light-headed anymore and I was full for the entire day. I was even looking forward to certain juices and counting the minutes until they were up, and I got some tricks down for slugging back the ones that I enjoyed less. Like freezing them slightly so they were like a slushy.
What did I think of the cleanse?
Pros: I was alert, sleeping really well and not hungry during the day.
Cons: I’m not going to lie, I MISSED EATING!!! Drinking fluids allllll day was oddly tiring, I missed chewing and most of all I missed variety!
I’m glad that I did it because it was a great way to clean out my system and jump-start a healthy mindset, and it was educational. I’d read about them for years so I’m glad that I’ve had the experience. Would I do it again? Absolutely! But it would have to be the right program. I like the idea of fresh juice a couple of times a day, rather than receiving them all in advance. If there was a way to juice my own juice or a program that delivered daily so there was more nutrients in the juice, I’d definitely try it again.
So tell me, have you ever done a juice cleanse?