Re-cap of our Juice Cleanse
So we decided to break the juice cleanse after 3 days! Wow – what an experience! The “perfectionist” part of myself is disappointed that we didn’t go the full 5 days (even though I said it was only going to be 3-5 days haha), but when I put her aside – I was actually pretty pumped! A 3-day extended juice cleanse is no small feat (especially for food lovers such as ourselves!) and it was a great teaching tool! We learned a lot and gained some valuable insights! This post is going to talk primarily about the experience. Then I will write a second post talking more about the insights we received!
As for the recipes, we pretty much stuck with the same 2 primary juices (complements of HealthyCrush.com), give or take a few fruits/veggies (for example, sometimes we would throw in a few slices of pineapple, or an extra apple, etc.). Plus, an almond milk recipe (which was a GODSEND!) I really enjoyed the taste of BOTH of these juices and the almond milk!!! But I am someone who enjoys the way healthy foods taste …. so you may not think they taste as delicious as I do. But I can tell you – if you commit to a healthier lifestyle, you WILL eventually (likely) acquire a taste for freshly made fruit/veggie juices and other “good-for-you” foods too! It’s all about finding what you like!
Here are the recipes we used:
Green Juice: (makes 16-20 oz)
A few leaves of Kale
4 stalks of celery
2 green apples
½ of a lemon
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger
Beet Juice: (makes 16-20 oz)
1 large carrot or 2 medium carrots
½ a green apple
3 celery stalks
1 small piece of ginger
Almond Milk: (makes 2 cups)
1 cup almonds
3 cups water
1 tsp REAL vanilla extract (not imitation or vanilla flavoring)
1 tsp cinnamon
Soak almonds in water for 8 hours (or overnight). Add almonds, water, vanilla, cinnamon and dates to blender and blend until smooth. Strain milk through a nut milk bag/cheese cloth (or a new clean sock). We used a sock for lack of anything else. Took me a few go rounds to figure out how to do this right…but eventually I just took the whole sock…held it over a large measuring cup (you could use a bowl too), poured all the blended ingredients into the sock and wrung out the “juice” into the measuring cup. Then I poured it in the cup! If you can get over the fact that you just used a sock to make milk, this is SO good! And you can Google some ideas for what to do with the leftover pulp if you want to save it! (I’m thinking some gluten-free/sugar-free cookies?!).
Ok – on to the juice cleanse recap:
Day 1: Today was the first official day without ANY caffeine!! Got up, worked out, made/drank my green juice and went off to my day job. I started to feel a bit hungry around mid-morning, but I am used to that since we usually fast on Mondays anyways. I made a cup of Lemon Ginger Yogi tea (since I didn’t bring any extra juice with me – doh!) and felt better. At lunch time, I made another green juice. I felt AMAZING when I went outside in the fresh air and sun, but felt a bit tired once back at my desk. I am sure that the tiredness was more from working in a cubicle than being on a cleanse. To keep me “on-point”, I stayed hydrated with a lot of water and herbal teas. After work, I came home and had a beet juice! At this point, I had a headache. It wasn’t terrible, but didn’t feel great either. I believe this was due to the lack of caffeine (and I really missed my Yerba Mate). After drinking our beet juice, we went off to the infrared sauna for extra “detoxing”. On the drive to the sauna, we noticed a “spacey” feeling. Almost like a drug induced state…very strange and out-of-body. Once at the sauna, we got our alkaline water, and began to sweat. While in the sauna, my headache felt better. However, afterwards it was even MORE intense!! Also, the beet juice ran straight through me (yes, my bowels were “cleansed” and it was a little frightening haha – sorry if that’s TMI but I want to be honest here!) I came home and honestly felt pretty sick at this point. Did a little dry skin brushing to complement the “detoxing”, and took a shower. Went to bed at 8 pm. Felt nauseous…mainly due to the intense headache…and kept reminding myself “Pain is only temporary!!” and “This too shall pass!” I slept HARD.
Day 2: I woke up feeling better, but still had the headache. I didn’t feel particularly hungry at this point, but did feel a bit “woozy”. I decided not to work out today, so I could make the juices and almond milk for us, but I felt like I had the energy to work out. Made myself a nice cup of almond milk first – and pretty much SLAMMED it down. WOW!! This stuff was a game changer!! Headache almost completely went away, and I felt full of energy and in a great mood! Made the other juices and the almond milk for Marc, delivered them and went off to my day job. Felt great at work, but honestly I didn’t have the crazy, focus that a lot of people say they experience. I felt spacey and almost euphoric…again it was almost like I was on drugs! (which would probably be fun if I was at home…but not so much at work!) So I decided to go home early – I needed to make some more juices for us anyways. I really wanted to come home and relax a bit, but came home to ants in the house instead!! Apparently rinsing the juicer between uses is not good enough – you need to scrub and soak it…and mop up any remnants of juice that spills on the floor…especially if there are ants outside. And if you are not saving the pulp from the juice (we saved most, but threw some away), it’s a good idea to take out the trash immediately too! (classic rookie mistakes! Haha). So, due to the uninvited ant guests, I ended up spending the afternoon cleaning and juicing – cleaning and juicing. My mental status at this point was NOT good. I was very cranky and on edge. Something like this wouldn’t usually bother me, but today it WAS! I realized after having a beet juice and calming down that my “inner perfectionist” was really taking a hold of me! I really wanted to complete this cleanse “perfectly” (whatever that means) and in my eyes…that just wasn’t happening!! Plus, I blamed my current job for not being able to do it “right” (hmm….blame is a classic sign that you need to look within and see what’s REALLY going on). So, I acknowledged my inner perfectionist and tried to let her go. Did some yoga, and felt even better. At this point, I didn’t really feel hungry at all. Which was odd to me, but I went with it. Had some almond milk for dinner and relaxed. Went to bed feeling peaceful.
Day 3: We decided this was going to be our last day of juicing. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy the “my life is revolving around juicing” feeling and it was very challenging to keep it up while still trying to work. If you are thinking of doing a cleanse yourself, try to plan it around a time when you aren’t that busy – OR consider doing one of the “mail order” juice cleanses (you can see some suggestions here) because the time commitment to make your own is significant. We made a HUGE batch of juice with our leftover fruits and veggies the night before so we didn’t have to juice all day long. Some people suggest drinking the juices immediately after you make them (the theory being that they lose some of their enzymes otherwise). But I was willing to risk it for my sanity – haha! I had a juice for breakfast and was still hungry. I should have had more, but for some reason I didn’t (maybe I was sick of juices?) and I didn’t bring any with me to work – MISTAKE!! I was really “woozy” come lunchtime. Couldn’t concentrate on my work and felt nauseous. If you decide to do a juice cleanse, make sure you have extra juices with you. The point is not to starve yourself here, but to CLEANSE. If you are hungry…you are supposed to drink more juice! (PLEASE use wisdom and listen to your bodies. No need to put yourself out of commission for the sake of a juice cleanse!) Because I was pretty out of it by lunchtime, I decided to have a nice almond milk smoothie. I drank 3 sips and felt full. Continued sipping on it for the next THREE hours and this kept me satisfied until dinner. We decided to break our fast at dinnertime (and since our last solid food meal was on Sunday evening, that would make our cleanse a complete 3 days). For our meal, we chose rice and sautéed kale. We wanted something that would be relatively easy to digest to reduce the risk of a stomach ache. I ate a very small portion and was still hungry, but honestly I was scared to eat more! I really didn’t want to feel sick. So I took a hot shower and went to bed hungry – tomorrow is a new day.
Day 4: Woke up, felt good. Worked out. Came home and decided to have another juice! Made a beet juice with beets, apples, kale, pineapple, and ginger. Felt satisfied until about mid morning and then I felt nauseous (maybe something about the combination of fruits/veggies I used for this juice? Or maybe I am just sick of juice right now?). Drank some tea and some water and felt a bit better. Came home for lunch and had another bowl of rice and kale – this time a larger bowl. I felt a bit “guilty” after eating this time. Hmm…that’s interesting. Not really sure where the guilt came from, but I tried not to over analyze it…realized it was just a thought…and moved on. Breaking the fast is interesting and it’s a strange feeling to go from only drinking your meals, to now having to chew! I was a little concerned, after what I read, that I would feel sick once I went back to solid food, but overall I felt pretty good! So there you have it!! Our experience of the cleanse in a nutshell….
Here are some “pros” and “cons” from the cleanse:
- Nasal congestion – gone
- Dry skin – gone (weird …??)
- Caffeine addiction – beat!
- Brain fog – gone!
- Consciousness about food habits – increased!
- No body odor (seriously…I didn’t even think I needed to wear deodorant! But I did anyways…)
- Able to “eat” MUCH more fruits and veggies than I normally would WITHOUT the stomach ache that would NORMALLY come from consuming that much roughage
- Adding a new healthy habit to my routine (juices!)
- Interesting revelations about the negative thought patterns I hold on to
- New appreciation for food (it’s pretty amazing that I am blessed enough to be able to A) do a juice cleanse and B) be able to EAT when I am starving…not everyone is that fortunate. New appreciation for that alone and compassion for the hungry)
- Constantly making the juices and cleaning the juicer (that really got old..)
- Rough detox symptoms the first night (especially the headache!)
- Interesting bowel “happenings” (but maybe that’s a pro…detox??)
- 7 pound weight loss (yes I put that in the “cons” because I don’t NEED to lose any weight, but a small part of me wanted to put it in the “pros” – social conditioning…sigh)
- Missed the comfort that food and mealtime brings
- Strange breath
- Still had the joint pain
- Still had some skin issues aka blemishes *GASP* (I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t make some MIRACULOUS change….I wonder why I had such high expectations?? Perfectionist?)
- Edgier than usual
- Difficulty concentrating a my day job
Phew! Looks like the Pros and Cons are pretty even! All-in-all, we are both really glad that we did this. We learned a lot and gained some clarity about certain things in our lives. But since this post is already pretty lengthy, I will save these insights for Part 2…stay tuned!!
So tell us –
Have you ever done a juice cleanse?
If yes…what were your experiences?
If no…would you ever consider doing one?
Until next time…