I’ve often scoffed at the phrase, “I’m going on a juice cleanse.” Mostly because those who were giving it a go were doing so as penance for an indulgent weekend or a fast solution to a larger problem. While there is something to be said for the need to reset the mind — or despite my disdain for the phrase, get back on track — after losing over 130lbs from exercise and mindful eating, I know first-hand that quick fixes are unnecessary.
As such, I typically steer clear of anything that sounds too good to be true. But I also feel that in order to have a stake in the conversation, I have to try it. So I did. I joined the juicing revolution and tried three full days of no eating, no chewing and solely drinking 6 organic cold-pressed juices each day with the occasional cold brew. Because, coffee.If you’ve ever thought about trying a juice cleanse, or dismissed the idea like me, here’s my honest recap of thoughts over the course of the cleanse.
- 6:00 am: First glass of cold brew coffee, an everyday ritual.
- 7:00 am: Intense spin class.
- 9:00 am: Read fine print of juice cleanse instructions: refrain from caffeine and only moderate activity. Oops.
- 9:05am: Juice #1. First green juice. It’s delicious. I got this.
- 11:17am: Juice #2. Smells of breakfast tacos fill the office. No biggie.
- 1:20pm: Juice #3. LUNCH! I have never drank something so slowly.
- 3:00pm: Snack time. Stomach is making audible growling noises. This is the defining moment I am reminded how much I love to chew actual food. I instead go in for Juice #4. Carrot juice is way sweeter than I imagined.
- 6:00pm: Juice #5 on my commute home from work. A pizza ad came on the radio, naturally.
- 7:00pm: Juice #6. The one everyone said I’d love. It’s sweet and has the consistency of a protein shake. I feel tired, foggy and still hungry.
- 8:15pm: Get ready for bed. In my pj’s, I head to the kitchen and take a peek inside the almond butter jar. Decide I want to really do this in full, so go to bed.
- Woke up feeling energized and very light. Slept so well the night before. Just for research, I step on the scale: down 2lbs. I figured, that’s what drinking a lot of liquids will do.
- 7:00am: First drink of the day: cold brew. This is the one thing in life that I really don’t want to ever give up, despite what the instructions say.
- 8:10am: Randomly craving a very specific piece of apple pie that I had on Thanksgiving. The last thing I want to do is drink my meal.
- 8:24am: Juice #1 again. How do people do this for more than a day?
- 10:30am: Juice #2 couldn’t come quick enough. Sat through an entire meeting watching coworkers eat breakfast tacos and cinnamon rolls. So far, this is my biggest achievement for the day.
- 12:00pm: I’m freezing cold. I had to bring an extra sweater to the office. My doctor friend tells me it’s because I don’t have enough glucose (sugar) in my system. Contemplated a cinnamon roll to warm up. Doctors orders, right?
- 12:03pm: All I can think about is going to spin class and making eggs.
- 12:45pm: Juice #3, it’s lunch time in the office. Or as my nose tells me: BBQ day.
- 2:30pm: Of course Camille posts a picture of a decadent dessert and not a kale salad. Of course. Note to self: stay off Instagram the next few days.
- 3:00pm: Mixed a Topo Chico with Juice #4 to pretend I was really treating myself.
- 4:45pm: Someone was taking a photo in the office and yelled, “say cheese.” I immediately started to crave a nutty slice of L’Etivaz. Went for Juice #5 instead.
- 6:00pm: Pre-scheduled dinner with friends. Snuck Juice #6 in my purse and drank at the table. Slow to form a sentence and felt foggy. Almost give in to the reuben on the menu.
- 9:00pm: Still freezing. Turn the heater up to 80 degrees. Upside: I’m warmer. Downside: not warm enough.
- Final day. So excited to eat tomorrow. I feel even lighter than yesterday. Scale says I’m down 4lbs. Note: I do retain water rather easily.
- 6:00am: Typically I would’ve gone to spin class, but there was no way I’d have the energy to last 5 minutes. So I settled for a glass of cold brew. I then sat in silence thinking about gifting Day 3 to someone. (Ok, I did offer it to my sister who politely declined).
- 7:40am: Of course my friend asks to go for a bike ride today. The most beautiful day in a while and I can’t. Alright Juice #1, let’s finish this cleanse.
- 8:30am: I can’t even wait an hour. Moving onto Juice #2.
- 10:30am: Yesterday’s fog is starting to disappear, so I have to think this is the clarity that so many people have raved about with a cleanse.
- 12:00pm: Juice #3. Today I’m craving a Runza from Nebraska.
- 2:04pm: “Final day of juicing” confidence is starting to kick in. But definitely not enough confidence to go past day 3.
- 3:11pm: Juice #4 is the hardest for me to get down. I’m tired, hungry and not a big fan of carrots in juice form.
- 5:00pm: Juice #5. I love how I feel but I’m ready to chew. Also, who decided that sending freshly baked cookies to the office was a good idea? This takes some serious restraint.
- 7:00pm: I chug my final and favorite Juice #6 so fast, but set it down slowly, pretending I was in a final scene of a movie.
In my mind, the audience hears a voice saying, “She made it to Day 3, finishing the last juice like a real warrior. She may be 4lbs lighter — but tomorrow, she reverses all juicing success with a bike ride and the most epic pancakes ever. Because that’s what warriors do.”
I immediately brushed my teeth, put on my pj’s made only for arctic tundras and 3-day juice cleanse-go’ers, turned up the heater again and went to bed freezing. All for research.
Will I ever do a juice cleanse again? Probably not. At least not that long. My lifestyle is far too active to survive off a cleanse and I’d rather ride 40 miles on my bike after an indulgent weekend to reset.
Will I scoff at the thought again? No, there’s certainly something to be said for feeling lighter and less-bloated. But I can’t help it — I’m a gal who likes to chew.
However you choose to get to the point of feeling better, I simply advise to be good to yourself and live kindly.
image from williams sonoma tumblr
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