In the beginning of the year, I set out to do a 3-day juice cleanse mainly to see if I could complete one. After my 9-day journey (there is a pre-cleanse and post-cleanse ritual one must follow to fully reap the benefits), I honestly felt spectacular. I had so much mental energy, so much clarity, and overall just felt very calm and collected. I also felt great committing to doing something new for 9 days and actually accomplishing it!
Lately, I have wanted to go back on a juice cleanse. My appetite was out of whack (I’d stopped feeling hungry a majority of the time) and I felt my body could really benefit from doing a “reset” with a juice cleanse. I was eager to feel those spectacular benefits again! I vividly remember what it felt like to get off the cleanse. I felt great for a week! But this time around, I didn’t experience any of these benefits. In fact, I felt sick to my stomach.
What was different this time around?
I did the same cleanse with the same company I used last time, but I got a few different drinks. One of the citrus drinks I got was only grapefruit juice and mint, which may have been too strong for my body. Another drink I got was a root juice that was quite substantial but didn’t taste good. Other than that, everything else was the same.
During the pre-cleanse diet, I did (almost) everything right. I did everything the same way I had the first time. I ate vegan for three days and actually had a large dinner for my last meal before cleansing.
With my first day on the cleanse, I was feeling good until midday when I started to feel nauseous. My stomach was just turning from juice and water sloshing around all over the place. I felt like vomiting. My head was pounding.
It was brutal. It actually felt like I had a hangover…or a migraine. I was hoping that I would feel better later in the day. I mean, I had work to finish and appointments to get to! I didn’t want to just cancel everything and crawl into bed. Worse, I knew this is exactly what a cleanse shouldn’t feel like. One shouldn’t feel like death.
I started googling “juice cleanse feel sick” and saw a few results! I had no clue that other people were feeling sick on their cleanses too. This post at Oh My Veggies was very helpful.
I carried on with my day and at about 9pm, I had just had it. I was over it. I was ready to give up my cleanse if I wasn’t going to feel better. I remember the juice company’s advice to eat raw fruit or vegetables if you were feeling hungry. I chucked that advice out the window real quick because the last thing I wanted (and probably needed) at that point was more fruit and vegetables. Plus, I wasn’t feeling hungry, I was sick!
I made a plain baked potato and ate it. It’s probably good thing that I had a vegetable, but bad that it is cooked. Within moments after finishing the potato, my stomach was no longer turning and my head was no longer pounding. I had never seen my body respond so quickly to food.
All of a suddenly, I felt almost completely fine.
At that moment, I made a decision to try again the next day (Day 2) to see if I this was just a weird interaction or if my body was just rejecting the juice cleanse this time around. I did the cleanse again, with some modifications, and felt completely fine. I continued through day three of the cleanse.
What modifications did you make so that you felt fine?
Instead of drinking all of the vanilla almond pressed drink at night, I drank half first thing in the morning, and half at night. That helped settle my stomach.
In my package, I get two citrus drinks. I switched around the order of the drinks so that I drank what I believe to be the potent citrus drink later in the day rather than almost first thing.
I drank a lot less water. I only drank water when I felt parched.
I drank the juices between longer time periods. They recommend drinking a juice every two hours. I would go anyway from 2-3 hours between juices. I did this to make sure I wasn’t mixing liquids that weren’t meshing well together and from just overwhelming by body.
How did you feel after the cleanse?
On my first day of post-cleansing, my body was hungry. I had my usual breakfast and was already starving within an hour and a half.
Other than that, I essentially felt the same as I did before I started the cleanse. I didn’t feel that sense of clarity and I didn’t feel collected. I felt completely normal. It’s probably too soon to tell if my appetite is back on track yet but it doesn’t seem like it.
What might have gone wrong?
1.) The first time I did the cleanse, I was doing it after the holidays. My body had taken in all this junk food, so perhaps it liked that I was doing a juice cleanse.
This time around, I was already eating pretty healthy. I was also eating a low-cal diet that I had been on for 2 months now.
2.) The citrus juice may have been far too strong for my body.
What can I do next time I want to do a juice cleanse?
Well, I must say, I am not going to jump on the opportunity to do a juice cleanse again the way I did this time. I’ll carefully deliberate whether or not I want to potentially go through all of this again.
Next time, I may do a longer pre-cleanse diet to get my body a little more accustomed to the change. I will also probably do the exact same cleanse I did the first time around.
Did you feel sick while on a cleanse? What did you do to feel better?