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…
Well – we are starting the juice cleanse tomorrow (you can read our other posts about the juice cleanse here and here)!! Just got back from the grocery store and I have to admit I almost had a mental breakdown (I tend to get a little over-dramatic sometimes – just ask Marc haha). Really – it wasn’t that bad. I have never “juiced” before so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of buying all the produce. But we only spent $40, already made a juice today (which, I might add, is DELICIOUS!), and we have TON left over. Needless to say, I am super excited! I realize it will take some “effort” and will have its challenges, but I am ready!! I am hoping to blog each day to share my experience with you all! We’ve also had a few friends express interest in joining us on the juice cleanse – which is awesome!! But, some friends have expressed interest….but also felt that it wasn’t right for them. That’s awesome too!! Knowing yourself and what YOU are ready for, is one of the most important steps towards happiness and reaching your goals! With that in mind, I felt inspired to share a few other ways to “cleanse” without going as extreme as a juice cleanse. (and just as a side note…if a juice cleanse FEELS extreme to you…it’s probably a good sign that it’s not “right” for you at this time – which is perfectly OK!). To me…a “cleanse” is really just a buzz word for giving your body a little extra “love”. I don’t see it as deprivation. Or trying to “get skinny”. Or “punishment” for eating the cookies (haha). I see it as a treat for my body – the same body that sticks with me through thick and thin and keeps on functioning no matter what! WOW!! SO – as a thank you to my body – I feel inspired to do a juice cleanse. BUT – there are SOOOOO many other ways in which you can give your body a little extra love!
1) If you are a soda or alcohol drinker (mmmm…margaritas), you can take a break for a week (or longer!) and add water instead!
2) If you eat fast food a lot, try packing your lunch (hello Big Ass Salad!) for a week or so!
3) Caffeine junky??? Try Yerba mate for a while! Maybe, eventually, you can add some warm lemon water or a green juice! Yum!
4) Inactive? Challenge yourself to MOVE your body in some way shape or form EVERY DAY – for a week!
5) Stressed?? Book that massage or spa appointment. Take a yoga class. Try some deep breathing. MOVE your body!! Get the stresses out – your body will LOVE you for it!
6) Sleep deprived?? Well not much I can say except – get some sleep! (many of the above mentioned suggestions will help for insomnia). Lavender and chamomile tea can help too. Also there are many herbal remedies that are beneficial as well.
7) Last but not least – appreciate your body for all it does! Seriously – think about all the abuse your body takes (physically and emotionally!) and keeps on functioning. It’s pretty amazing!! Appreciating your body doesn’t mean you “like” the condition that your body is in right now (and we ALL have our “likes” and “dislikes” in ourselves and others – it’s totally normal and ok!)…it just means you appreciate it for being there for you – which will make reaching your goals that much easier in the process J Try it!!
There are SO many other ways in which you can give your body that extra love. What are some suggestions YOU can think of???
Until next time…
So yesterday was my first official day without coffee! Woot Woot! For those of you that haven’t been following, we have decided to start a juice cleanse on Monday and part of the “prep work” is weaning ourselves from caffeine. You can check out yesterday’s post about the juice cleanse here. Here’s a little “re-cap” of my first day sans coffee:
5:30am – alarm goes off. Get up (despite wanting to sleep FOREVER) and get ready for gym
6 am – workout with the crew. ALWAYS feel better after a good sweat session with my peeps
7am – finish up workout. Drive PAST starbucks….DON’t get my usual grande extra shot Americano (doh!)
8am – showered. Go to Raley’s. Get some YERBA MATE!
9am – got my first cup of Yerba Mate. Tastes great! Love it and feeling good. Feeling confident. Thinking “what caffeine addiction???? – this is gonna be SO easy!”
11:30am – Feeling tired. Feeling “spacey”. Feeling the vague, “tell-tale” pressure in my head. Start freakin’ a bit “Oh my god. Caffeine withdrawal is setting in. I can’t do this. This is gonna suck. I am gonna die” (Yes – the thought “I am going to DIE” really crossed my mind haha!) Go make a second cup of Yerba mate
12 – Yerba mate #2 kicks in … caffeine withdrawal symptoms subside. I start to relax. Take a deep breath… “OK maybe I CAN do this”.
It’s interesting to me how, as soon as some physical discomfort set in, my thoughts IMMEDIATELY went south and started thinking about how “I CAN’T” do this. So tell me – have you ever stopped to take notice of your thoughts? Note that I said “take notice” and not “judge yourself” for having certain thoughts. So many times in the past (and sometimes STILL), when I have had negative thoughts – I add insult to injury and start beating myself up for even having the negative thoughts in the first place! As if that’s gonna help!!! Why would I think that making myself “wrong” for thinking “wrong” thoughts would make everything “right”?? I guess I need to remember the old saying “2 wrongs don’t make a right”. SO – here is an interesting challenge. Instead of judging yourself for having negative thoughts…why not just take notice? Be curious. Say “wow – this is an interesting thought” And just notice it. You will find, with this awareness, a particular pattern to your thoughts. And this awareness will (eventually – with PATIENCE) allow the negative thoughts to come out and wash them away. Seriously!! (Right now your mind is probably saying “Yeah right!!!” – again just another interesting thought to take note of). I am expecting plenty more “interesting” thoughts to arise on this upcoming juice cleanse….I will keep you all posted!!!!
What are your negative thought patterns???? What do you judge yourself and others for? (reminder: this doesn’t make you a “bad” person…it just makes you HUMAN!)
Until next time….
So if you didn’t read our post yesterday, I mentioned that I was considering doing a juice cleanse! WHY? Well you can read the post – but long story short is – I’m just not feeling great, and I KNOW I can feel better. SO – after discussing my feelings with Marc, we both decided that a cleanse (3-5 days long) is DEFINITELY in order! I’m super excited and also a bit scared – haha! It will be a good challenge, both mentally and physically, and I plan to blog about my experience. Now before I share the “game plan” let me first just say that I am NOT a doctor or licensed healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your health and feel you should NOT partake in a cleanse, then PLEASE don’t! I am not recommending this for anyone – it’s just something that I am choosing to do for ME. OK! Now that we got that out of the way…let’s get into the details:
First things first, we are weaning ourselves from caffeine. Some of you may know from experience that a daily coffee habit can lead to nasty withdrawal symptoms if you don’t get your cup-o-joe in the morning. I’m not knocking coffee at all – in fact I LOVE coffee. I just feel I need to give my body a little break and if I stop cold turkey – I will regret it! So how are we weaning? Marc is decreasing the size of his coffees (for example, today he got a grande, instead of a venti. Maybe tomorrow he will get a tall? Or maybe some tea?) As for me, well yesterday I had a smaller cup of coffee than usual. And today, I am trying Yerba Mate (actually, I am enjoying a cup as I write this!) Yerba mate is a tea that has a really nice flavor, helps with mental clarity, only has 1/3 the amount of caffeine as coffee, and doesn’t cause the jitters. I will let you know how it goes – but I like it so far!! I’ve known about Yerba mate for a while, but really got excited to try it from HealthyCrush.com (check out this girl’s blog – it’s amazing and she talks about juice cleansing too – in fact, she shares a whole bunch of juice recipes on her blog…awesome!)
In addition to weaning from caffeine, I am also “cleaning up” my diet a bit from now until we start. Now, most of you that know us, know that we are already pretty conscious of the way we eat. We stay away from gluten. Limit grains/starches, sugar and dairy. Work out daily. It’s all pretty good! With that in mind, we still allow ourselves to eat certain foods/drinks just for the fun of it (hello Cadbury eggs … coconut macaroons…margaritas!!!!) Suffice it to say – I am going to avoid those prior to our cleanse. The reason behind this is that the less “crap” you have in your body, the loss “detox” symptoms you will likely feel, and vice versa. So if you jump into a juice cleanse straight from the Standard American Diet (SAD) – you might find the cleanse overwhelming (or maybe even horrible!) So I’m trying to ease myself into it. And just as a side note – if you DO begin this cleanse and find that it IS overwhelming and you feel like you’re battling to get through it and like it’s stressing you out, then PLEASE do what you need to do. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t complete the cleanse like you had planned. Maybe you just weren’t ready yet – which is FINE!! LISTEN TO YOUR BODIES and do what is best for YOU! I have attempted to do cleanses in the past and backed out at the last minute because I just wasn’t ready! This has been the only time that I feel really excited to do it and not like I am “forcing” myself to do it. I try not to “force” myself to do anything (because it’s abuse!!)
This brings me to – what the heck are we actually going to do?! After some serious thought (ok this is not THAT serious – haha) we have decided to do a juice/smoothie combo cleanse. The main difference between juicing and blending (from what I know) is the ease of digestion. BOTH are extremely good for the body and BOTH are easier on the body to digest than solid food. HOWEVER, JUICES are even easier to digest than smoothies, because the pulp of the fruits and veggies are extracted. So your body doesn’t have to do a whole lot in terms of assimilating the nutrients from the juice. I plan on doing mostly juices and if I get really hungry add in a smoothie. Or even add in a soup (made from vegetable puree). And, like I always encourage you all to do, I am going to listen to my body and do what feels best.
If you are considering doing the cleanse with us…you will need to do a little prep work. You have to get a juicer or a blender (or both). You have to find some recipes (we will be using these recipes!). You will have to stock up on the fruits and veggies. And you will have to prepare the juices each day. There is some effort involved, but for me – it’s worth it. There are some companies that prepare fresh juices and have them delivered to your home – which would be great if time/convenience is a factor – however it is a bit expensive (HealthyCrush mentioned a few of these companies – like this one …or this one …or this one – if you’re interested). Oh yeah! And in terms of how much juice to drink…..well I am going to play it by ear. At first I was trying to find instructions that spelled out exactly what to do, but (again) I am going to listen to my body. I am going to drink the juices/smoothies whenever I am hungry. Drink lots of water. Take notice of the thoughts and feelings I have. And move my body in ways that feel appropriate. And of course – I will share with you all!!!
Ok! That was a lot for now! If you have any questions – please feel free to ask! We would LOVE to hear from you!!
Until next time…