Juice cleanses have never been appealing to me. I always had a very difficult time believing I could survive a day (or more) without actually chewing any kind of food. If you follow my Instagram or blog or just know me personally you would know I am slightly obsessed with food. Chances are when I am having a conversation with anyone the topic of food will come up (or I am thinking about it the entire time.. oops.) Anyways, you get the idea. I have also had an issue with the idea of juice cleanses because I could not get over the amount of sugar in one green juice and the lack of protein and fiber. How would anyone be satisfied if they are constantly hungry?! But here I am 3 days after my cleanse to say that I have been pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Here’s why…
I have always suffered with an extremely sensitive stomach. Many times after a meal I complain of an upset and bloated stomach. After researching and learning a lot about digestion and stomach issues (probably more than any normal person should) I decided a juice cleanse could be just what I needed to at least reset my system. After traveling and visiting home a lot during the Summer I noticed my clothes getting tighter and my stomach ALWAYS upset. I knew that I needed to take a step back and reevaluate my diet. I am a healthy eater (obviously) but I am by no means perfect and am a huge believer in “balance” but it was clear I was letting too much slide the past few months and I needed to get back on track. So I took the plunge and committed to a three day cleanse.
My cleanse came from a local juice bar in my hometown called Rockn’ Juice. Each day I had six juices.
- Jive- Ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar, and purified water
- Green Band- Pineapple, kale, celery, lemon, and ginger
- Boom- Cucumber, apple, pear, lemon, and mint
- Beet it- Beets, spinach, parsley, apple, pear, carrots, lemon, and ginger
- Harmony- Apple, cucumber, celery, spinach, kale, ginger
- Glee- Almonds, dates, cinnamon, and nutmeg
Day 1: My morning started with a refreshing ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar juice and I felt great. It was refreshing and gave me enough energy to not even miss my morning cup of coffee. I did a light workout outside to get some fresh air but did not want to work too hard to avoid being too tired or feeling extra hungry. Because there are six juices each day I noticed that every time I felt hungry it was time for another juice which kept me pretty satisfied all day long. It wasn’t until later at night that I started to really feel hunger but the last juice was just what I needed to calm down my stomach. The protein from almonds and natural sweetness of the dates and added spices made it more filling and it tasted like a milkshake. I savored every last drop. My stomach still felt extremely bloated all day but I was aware that that would be the case for the first day. I didn’t get any headaches or feel lightheaded and by the time I went to bed I felt a lot fuller than I thought I would. There were definitely moments in my day where I had to keep myself busy to fight off cravings but all in all, day one was a success.
Day 2: I woke up feeling a lot lighter and actually had a surprising amount of energy. I was excited to grab my Jive juice and start the day. I chose to do about 15-20 minutes of pilates that morning but, again did not want to workout too hard to waste any energy. I knew what to expect on day two and was much better at spacing out my drinks. One juice every 2 hours was the daily routine. Around 2pm my energy started to fall and I could feel the food cravings coming in strong. I walked around a shopping center with some amazing restaurants around lunch time and the smell was brutal. I could not stop thinking of how jealous I was of all these people eating.. but I made it through. With that being said, I would not recommend torturing yourself this way. Even looking through instagram food accounts made my stomach growl but I had to remember it was mind over matter and I could stay strong. I was more than half way through and there was no reason to stop now. Now lets talk about digestion… Due to the high amounts of sugar in the body from two whole days of juicing the intestines draw in a lot of water resulting in frequent trips to the bathroom. BUT I am happy to say this was the first time in a long time my stomach felt great and I had zero bloat and discomfort. This gave me more hope and the motivation to keep going one more day. And again, thank God for that last amazing “dessert” juice. For food lovers its a life saver. Each juice got me through my intense cravings and I even made sure to go to bed early that night so I could be even closer to the finish line but I did it, and I was proud.
Day 3: On day three I woke up, again, refreshed and full of energy. The hunger I felt the night before was gone and I was ready to get my fist drink. I felt even lighter than ever, had no stomach issues at all, and was in a great mood. My mind was clear and my skin had a glow to it. Even though I struggled through it I was so happy with the results and it wasn’t even over yet. I had similar symptoms of craving foods by 2pm and having to keep busy to stop thinking of eating but the knowledge that this was my last day really kept me going. I felt amazing and it was worth a little hunger pains.
Results: Overall, this juice cleanse was a very positive experience for me. I think three days is just enough time to reset and cleanse the body. I felt amazing and it made me more aware of my choices and stomach issues post cleanse once I started eating real foods again. My opinion of these cleanses has definitely changed and I think this is something I want to do every few months or if I am ever experiencing worsening stomach issues again. There were ups and downs along the way but I learned a lot by the end and I am so glad I finally gave it a shot.
Pros and Cons:
- Juice cleanses give your digestive system a break. Like a car needs a tune up or a computer needs a reset every now and then so do our bodies. We put our bodies through a lot with what we choose to eat each day. Toxins enter our system even if we try out hardest to avoid them. Sometimes we need to cleanse and a three day rest from digesting meals all day long is a great way to do just that. If you have food sensitivities like me this is a great way to take a step back and let your body heal and detox on its own while still gaining a ton of nutrients from the juices.
- Three days of just juice really made me aware of how much I reach for food all day. After the cleanse was over I was more aware of the foods I was choosing and how they made me feel. It gave me the motivation to stay on a light and healthy path.
- My appetite was naturally decreased and I ate more slowly and savored what I was eating a lot more. sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have healthy meals that not only keep us full but nourish our bodies as well. I was much more aware and more thankful of what I was putting into my body.
- Sugar. If you have ever bought a juice labeled with nutrition facts you’ve seen the amount of sugar that they contain. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how much I was consuming because it is no secret that sugar turns to fat. People will argue that it is natural sugar and not processed but your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar no matter what and it is not too great for insulin levels.
- Price. Juice cleanses are not usually cheap. Instead of spending over $100 it might be a better idea to juice fruits and veggies yourself if it is something you want to do more frequently.
- Juice cleanses are not a quick solution for weight loss. Your body loses water weight but you won’t see long term results from a three day cleanse. There is a calorie deficiency but once you start to eat foods again the 1-2 lbs you may have lost are expected to come back. That’s normal. Juicing is more beneficial for your insides but it could give you a good jumpstart to a more long term weigh loss program. I would also not recommend doing a cleanse for more than 3 days because your body goes into starvation mode after 4 days if your digestive system is not doing any work.
- Don’t forget to drink water! Drinking juices all day may make you feel hydrated but its important to incorporate water as well. It will also help to make you feel fuller.
- Juice with a buddy. My mom was my juicing buddy for those three days and we really kept each other in line. It was nice to have someone to turn to during a moment of weakness.
- Remember, it’s only three days. Your body is capable of a lot more than you think. Our thoughts are what get in the way of us succeeding. Keep a journal or some kind of reminder that you can and you will make it through. You can do anything for three days and just think of how proud you will feel when it’s over.
- Give it a try! This might not be for everyone, and thats okay. One persons food may be another persons poison but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. If by the end of three days you don’t feel good about it then at least you can say you did it. I never thought juice cleanses were for me but it ended up being a great experience and very helpful for my stomach issues. I felt AMAZING after! You could too. Challenge yourself. The physical and mental results may surprise you 🙂