This past week was a first for me – I made the decision and went through with a 3-day juice cleanse!
In a previous post, I talked why I chose to do a cleanse; suffice it to say that I am always looking to improve my health and wellness and I thought that doing a cleanse would be a great way to accomplish that. I wound up choosing the Long Weekend Cleanse from the Reboot Your Life website. They laid out all of the ingredients and recipes that I would be using so that planning was a cinch. I made a giant Whole Foods run the night before and had to pick up a few extra items on Day 2.
The night before, I separated out all of the ingredients that I would need for the first 3 juices of Day 1. I did this so that I was scrambling in the morning before work – I’m a bit of a planning freak! I also made sure that my kitchen was nice and clean (clean kitchen for a clean body!) and that I labeled jars for each “meal” since I would be taking them to work.
The morning of Day 1, I got up bright and early and started my morning off with the recommended glass of hot water with lemon. I grabbed all of my stuff out of the refrigerator and juiced up a storm, making 3 batches for the beginning of my day. I was super excited to get started and loved the variation of colors in all of the juices. I appreciated that I wouldn’t have to drink the same thing for 3 days straight.
I dove into my first juice (carrot, apple, and ginger) and was able to enjoy that with some light reading before work. I was hungry when I woke up, and this definitely took the edge off. It was a small batch (picture above), so it went down pretty quickly and I started to feel hunger again in about an hour and a half. The morning snack of cucumber, celery, apple, kale, lemon and ginger juice was also pretty palatable and I was able to drink it while I was working. Lunch was called a gazpacho juice and it was pretty true to it’s name!
I noticed right away that all of these “meals” added up to quite a liquid intake – something I am definitely NOT used to! My boyfriend, who would carry a gallon of water with him everywhere if he could, constantly nags me to drink more water but I have never been one to chug anything. I was sipping on these juices at a fairly slow pace and had not finished my lunch juice by the time I got home after 3 that day. By the time I finished lunch, did some cleaning, exercised, and prepped for Day 2, I had only finished 4 out of the 5 prescribed juices for the day. Instead of forcing myself to make and drink a 5th jar, I decided that as long as I was sticking to a juice-only regiment, I should be ok with being a little short. I was thankful to end the night with some green tea with Stevia as my reward.
My energy throughout the day was pretty great – I normally sneak in a midday nap if I am dragging, but I didn’t feel like I needed it at all. I was able to run in the morning, do laundry, go to work, run errands, attend a yoga class, and do some household stuff without even feeling it! Woohoo! You never really realize how much time you spend cooking and eating food – I had so much extra time on my hands!
I woke up hungry on Day 1, but I was surprised to notice that I really was not hungry on Day 2. I had done the same prepping, so I was ready to get started as soon as I got up! I made 3 batches again and was super excited to try my breakfast juice – blackberry, grape, and apple juice with ginger. Best juice of all 3 days!
I woke up not really wanting anything, but the breakfast juice got me back into the groove again. I had about the same timing with Day 2 as I did with Day 1 – it took me a while to get the Lunch juice down because it was my least favorite of the bunch. Something about juicing beets just doesn’t sit well with me! As the recipes went on, I found that they had less and less fruit in them, which made them harder and harder to drink for me. By the time the Afternoon Snack juice came around, I knew I had to start adding some citrus or other fruits to make it through the end of the day and the next. The snack juice was supposed to contain fennel, cucumber, spinach, and celery, but I went ahead and added some lemon and jalapeno – MUCH better!
I was up pretty late that night doing various things -my energy was CRAZY high and I had so much time on my hands that I just couldn’t sit still! I wound up having a late dinner that night – cabbage, broccoli, lemon, green apple and ginger. It was actually pretty darn good except for one small oversight – I didn’t clean out the juicer well enough from the earlier juice and wound up with jalapeno in my dinner! I definitely wasn’t expecting that kick!
I wound up skipping the tea on Day 2 – I was full when I went to sleep and slept really great throughout the night!
Surprisingly, I woke up hungry on Day 3! I started out with water with lemon while I juiced 2 batches – I was only going to be out of the house for a short while, so I didn’t want to make too much in advance. I drank some of my morning juice while I got ready for work. When I got in, I had a 2 hour rehearsal/performance and I got distracted from my drinking. I also had an audience of 40+ people, so I did not want to whip out a massive mason jar and start swigging green elixir in front of them! I stuck with water until I was done, which meant I hadn’t finished my first jar by the time 2:15 rolled around. Needless to say, I was hungry! I wasn’t really enjoying the breakfast juice anymore, so I switched over to the morning snack without finishing it.
I made it home around 3:30 and continued to finish my morning snack. I left the house again around 4:45 to go to yoga (5:30-6:45) and did not take a juice with me – I only carried a large water bottle. After class I took a small detour to do some shopping (couldn’t resist!) and was home around 8:00. That’s a LONG time to go without anything! I made a small batch of the dinner juice – it was named “tabbouleh juice” and had tomato, red onion, parsley, lemon, and cucumber – and finished that while I relaxed. By the time I went to bed that night, I wasn’t particularly hungry, but I thought it would be best to end my night with some more tea and water.
Breaking the Cleanse
Because of all the exercising I had been doing throughout the week, my body decided that it would be a great idea to sleep for 10 hours that night – great idea, right? Wrong! Because of how little I actually drank the day before and how long I had slept without taking in anything, I woke up feeling shaky and a bit strange. Of course, I do not fault the cleanse at all for that; my juice intake the day before was my own doing and this was the consequence! I had read that you need to ease back into eating solid foods, even with a cleanse as short as mine, so I cut up an apple and slowly ate a quarter of it at a time until the shakes stopped. Apple had never tasted so good! I waited an hour or so before having a morning snack of orange slices – they were so pretty that I had to snap a picture!
For the rest of the day, I kept my portions small and my food on the raw side (I did have some wheat toast with my peanut butter and banana sandwich later in the day). I tried to eat slowly because I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat as much as I had a week before. I had a spinach salad for dinner and when I got hungry a couple of hours later, I had half of an avocado. My body reacted really well to all of the food that I put in it, and I was feeling good again!
Would I do a juice cleanse again? Yes, I think so. Would I do it the same way? Definitely not. Here’s what I would do differently:
- I wouldn’t stick solely to the recipes. I know they are there to guide you, but certain things make me feel just a bit ill (like beets). Definitely stick with more veggies than fruit, but don’t be afraid to add something sweet or sour to make it more palatable.
- I would make smaller batches that were less formidable for my small little self to drink. I would also try to set my drinking and batches to a schedule – if I know when I should be finished, I will avoid the chance of getting hungry or dizzy.
- I would try to schedule it so that I wouldn’t have to juice so much ahead of time – to me, everything tastes so much better when it is fresh. Leaving those veggie juices to sit in the fridge for a few hours before getting them definitely changed the flavor. I’ve also read that it reduces the nutrients, and we don’t want that!
There were so many benefits to the cleanse – ridiculous energy (two work outs a day and then some), feeling cleaner and lighter, knowing I’m doing something good for my body – that I would definitely recommend trying it. As always, do your research and consult a physician if you have any medical problems or concerns.
Have you ever done a juice cleanse? What was your experience? Please share in the comments section!