Just after the new year began, I impulsively decided to take a shot at doing a full juice cleanse. I’d had been interested in doing a juice cleanse for a while and kept that thought at the back of my mind but alas it just felt like the right time to step up to the challenge. Of course, the number of articles and blog posts about juicing, juice cleanses, and making juice at home also somewhat influenced me, but in a positive way! I figured I was ready personally challenge myself to be on a disciplined regimen for 3 days.
So first you may be asking why I chose to do a juice cleanse. Let me tell you, it’s really important to have solid reasons to doing a juice cleanse because it’s not for the faint of heart.
Reason 1. To challenge myself. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a picky eater. Not only that but I eat depending on my mood (NOT like an emotional eater, but “I may feel like having spaghetti over a salad” or vice versa depending on how I’m feeling at that very moment). I thought this would give me the opportunity to buckle down and eat healthy. I want to know that I can eat healthy for nine days in a row.
Reason 2. To feel healthier. My brain doesn’t feel like I indulged too much during the holidays, but my body is certainly telling me so. I definitely found some extra padding on my body and the scale proved I’m not just imagining the extra poundage. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I was eating out more than usual and eating sweets more than usual. I thought that a juice cleanse would help me flush out toxins in my body and give my digestive tract a break from breaking down solids.
Reason 3. To feel refreshed and energized. Seriously, that’s what everyone says a juice cleanse does for them. I wanna feel refreshed and energized too, guys! Lately I’ve been feeling worn out and less motivated than usual so I’m hoping that a personal triumph as well as good nutrition will put me in a good place.
When beginning a juice cleanse, it’s highly recommended that you go on a vegan diet at least 3 days before your cleanse (the pre-cleanse) and 3 days after your cleanse (the post-cleanse). So, that’s exactly what I did!
Day 1. On day one of my cleanse, I was already feeling hungry throughout the day. I didn’t feel like I was starving and I didn’t feel painfully hungry, but there was a lingering feeling of hunger no matter what I ate. I don’t eat meat very often (by choice), but I didn’t realize just how much dairy is a part of my diet. I drink guzzle down 2 lattes a day, pour milk over my oatmeal, and dump cheese on everything that doesn’t already have milk. Some of my favorite foods which don’t appear to have milk, apparently have milk *cough* Somersaults *cough*. I also drank black coffee first thing in the morning and it was terrible. I don’t recommend this! Reach for the tea instead. I ended up feeling groggy throughout the day.
Day 2. It was very similar to Day 1, but I was honestly daydreaming about cheese. No matter where I looked on the internet for clean eating recipes, I kept stumbling across cheese. It was a little painful to see (to an extent, I’m just being dramatic here) but I really just tried to focus on eating my favorite foods without the cheese, which really helped. Example, baked potato with no cheese. Example, pasta with red sauce.
Day 3. I was started to feel better already but still felt hungrier than usual. I felt slightly hungry throughout the day but I made an effort to really stuff myself at lunch since it would be my last day of solid food before actually starting the cleanse. I also made a run to Pressed Juicery (I went to the one in Palo Alto) after work to get all my juices for the next three days. At Pressed Juicery, I went with the 2nd juice cleanse (a little hardcore for a first-timer).
Lessons learned during the pre-cleanse:
- Plan out your vegan meals, and plan to increase your portions, before starting your cleanse. You won’t really be in the mood to think about food (well at least I wasn’t) once I started my pre-cleanse. Good vegan options that I liked included salads, Creamy Avocado Pasta, sandwiches, and baked potatoes. Have snacks with you throughout the day.
- Drink tea, not coffee. You will feel like a hole is burning through your stomach at 6AM. Drink black tea or green tea. I don’t really care for the taste of green tea, but this tea totally got me through my afternoon slumps at work.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day. Your body isn’t used to “less” yet so it will try to keep all your food there as long as possible. Do yourself a favor and drink water.
Day 1. I actually woke up feeling quite alert in the morning. Drank my green juice first thing, then continued to drink juice throughout the day every two hours. I would alternate between drinking juice every hour with hot water. It’s very important to stay hydrated during the cleanse! As you may imagine, I used the restroom a few more times than usual throughout the day with all that liquid. Anyway, I didn’t really feel hungry at all throughout the day. It was a this feeling where my brain was saying “you’re almost full.” I didn’t miss solid foods at all.
Day 2. I woke up later than usual so that I could space out my juices better throughout the day. I was starting to miss solid food, especially while I was able to smell the food everyone else was eating, but I kept my goal in mind. I felt like I had less energy on Day 2 than Day 1, but that was probably due to it being the weekend and I was feeling a little lazy ;) I was pretty much in energy conservation mode all day.
Day 3. Day 3 looked a lot like day 2. There was a lot of energy conservation occurring and I was definitely missing solid food when I could smell solid food, but I knew I was in the final stretch. However, my skin was totally glowing and it looked way less oily than usual (I got oily skin, guys).
Lessons learned from the cleanse:
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day even if you don’t feel like it. Your body needs it to expel the juice.
- Don’t expect to get a full night’s rest each night unless you’ve done something exhausting during the day. I woke up during the night to use the restroom each night and couldn’t fall back asleep afterwards.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Seriously, there is nothing more off-putting that someone saying “…why are you starving yourself?” You won’t be in the mood to deal with these comments and you won’t have the energy to punch someone in the face either.
- Get some exercise! I used my fitbit tracker to hit my daily step goal each day.
- Stand by a heater or wrap yourself up before drinking your cold juices. I was freezing every time I drank my juices! Drinking hot water also helps warm you up.
There isn’t really a need for a day-by-day breakdown of the post-cleanse, so here’s a summary. I stuck to my original vegan diet from before, but definitely didn’t feel as hungry as I did on Day 3 of pre-cleanse. Also, I woke up with a lot of energy each day of post-cleanse, and I felt happier than usual. As cheesy as it sounds, I felt like my soul was cleansed and I was completely mellowed out. I think the biggest benefit I have reaped of the post-cleanse is better focus and higher energy levels. Now, I can go to work, go to the gym, and do everything I used to do after work and still lay wide awake at 10pm. Before then, I could barely keep my eyes open throughout the evening. And hitting the gym? Fuggedaboutit.
So, am I happy I did the juice cleanse? Absolutely. I feel much more focused and mellowed out which is huge difference for me. I also have a lot more energy and am motivated. It was nice to hit this personal milestone, especially so early in 2014. It was surely challenging, but we’ve barely gone through the month and I already have a win this year.
Questions you may have for me:
What juice cleanse did you do? I did Cleanse 2 from Pressed Juicery. It’s their most popular cleanse but it’s meant for people who are active. Cleanse 1 is for first-timers and Cleanse 3 is for hardcore peeps.
Why did you pick Pressed Juicery? I’ve heard many great things about Pressed Juicery from friends and knew there was a local outlet that I could hit up to get the juices. You can easily order their juices online (they can ship to you overnight nationwide). They also had a pre-determined cleanse which really appealed to me. I didn’t want to sit down and plan out what juices to have when. I liked that they had a planned regimen and I really liked their regimen in general. Another brand I like is Suja, which is available at Whole Foods.
Can’t I just make juices at home? Why did you buy your juices? You can most definitely make juices at home. However, I am a newbie to juice cleanses. I highly recommend buying juices because it saves time and you know that a predetermined regimen will work. However, it is definitely pricy. Also, homemade juices tend to go bad much faster.
How much did you pay for your juices? Was it worth the price? I jumped at a promotion Pressed Juicery was having where my 3-day cleanse cost me $120. I do think it was worth the price. It saved me time from juicing everything myself and saved me from spending money on a bunch of produce.
How much did you exercise during the cleanse? I’m not by any means an active person (my mother called me sedentary the other day, really) but I made an effort to at least move around during the cleanse. I would try to hit 10,000 steps each day, which is how many steps we should all be taking every day (4 miles).
Did you lose weight? Sort of. I definitely lost a couple of pounds here and there and was able to squeeze into a pair of pants I never could before. But I wouldn’t recommend this for weight loss. This isn’t some kind of shortcut, but it’s a great way to jump start your body into leading a more active lifestyle (you’ll have the energy and motivation to do so if you don’t already!).
How many times did you use the restroom? I honestly didn’t use the restroom many more times than usual. If you have any “restroom” related questions, please send me an email since I won’t be answering any here! That’s gross. And I’ll only respond to your email if your question isn’t too gross.
If you can think of any other questions for me, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email! I’d love to answer any questions you have (to the best of my abilities and qualifications of course–I’m no doctor!).
Here are some articles and blog posts that I found useful throughout my journey!
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