Back in July, my husband and I took on the challenge of a three-day juice cleanse. Many of you may have heard bits and pieces about it either from us in person or on facebook, but I promised more in depth information…so here we go!
Since Spring we have been committed to slowly but surely change our eating and exercising habits to develop a healthier overall lifestyle. It started with smaller portions and less snacking. It morphed into less processed foods and label reading. As we began feeling the change from the inside out, we continued to inform ourselves through friends, bloggers, and the good ‘ole Netflix documentaries (our personal favorites being Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and Forks over Knives).
But even after all the positive changes we were making, we still suffered from the effects of years of bad habits. After hearing glowing recommendations about juicing (generally speaking) from friends and family, we decided to give it a try. But it was the way we felt that pushed us to go ahead and do a cleanse.
We put a lot of research into what length of a cleanse we should do. With the main goal of rebooting our tastebuds and cleansing our body so that we would be starting fresh, we decided a three day cleanse was right for us. I documented the ups and downs so that I could share with you the cleansing process…
I knew this cleanse would most likely be a shock to my system, so I wanted to ease into it as much as possible. We made a conscious effort to eat an increased amount of fruit and veggies, and after a little homework, also decided to eat a mostly-vegan diet both three days before and after the cleanse. I also chose to cut out caffeine and alcohol. I carefully chose what week to do this so that we could minimize temptation as much as possible (meaning BBQ’s, camping trips, etc). The timing of it being summer made it really affordable as we could buy all of our produce from the local market.
My day started off great with a hot cup of lime water (yeah….first day and I’m already out of lemons? Lame). As I was sipping that I helped my hubby prepare his first three drinks for the day, so he could take them with him to work. After he left I made my own. I followed the advice to slip slowly so that I was always drinking something. It really did help curb the hunger…until I fell behind on my scheduled juices. About 2:00 I felt the hunger pangs. And it was intense. Like ohmygoshI’mgonnadie intense. And yes, I’m a just a little dramatic. I knew it was due time for my next juice, but I wanted to get in yoga first. Thankfully the stretching movement helped calm me down and the rest of the day was uphill from there. I stayed on schedule with my drinks and my hunger stayed under control! Now I’m not going to say I had this amazing burst of energy or anything. I know a lot of others will say they felt AMAZING but that simply wasn’t the case for me. I constantly fought the urge to chew something, but I wasn’t hungry so I was able to reign myself in. That was the worst of it. Well…that and frequent trips to the bathroom! Around 5:00pm, I hit a wall – I was EXHAUSTED. As far as my hubby, he had a crazy day at work and wasn’t able to swing home for his next juices so he only had that first three until 8:00pm. He really WAS dying when he got home, and admittedly ate a banana before bed. I don’t blame him. In fact, I encouraged it. And was perhaps a little jealous.
I didn’t wake up hungry at all, thankfully. But I did wake up with a throbbing blemish on my cheek. I’m just assuming that’s the toxins leaving my body and hoping the final result will be clearer skin. I started off the day again with my hot water and lemon (yay – bought some more). I helped my hubby get his drinks ready and sent him off to work. I stayed on schedule for the most part and really felt fine most of the day. My mom was visiting for the day, so watching her eat my favorite salad in front of me was kiiiiilling me, but thankfully my lunch juice was the best yet – with pineapple and peach and lots of greens it was GREAT! We went shopping that afternoon and I took my juice with me. I almost slipped up when I was treating the kids to a granola bar for good behavior….but thankfully I remembered my cleanse before I ruined it =) By dinner time, I could hear my stomach growling at me as I prepared dinner for the kids. It smelled so good, and when they didn’t finish it I had to fight the urge to nibble on the leftovers. Grandma also treated the kids to cookies for dessert. They haunted my dreams. As we put the kids to bed and had some time alone, my hubby and I commiserated together about how badly we wanted to eat. But we can do anything for three days….can’t we? Honestly the worst part of the whole day was my headache. I should be SO hydrated with how much fluid I am drinking but this no coffee thing is hard on me.
I did wake up a little hungry…probably b/c I went to bed a little hungry. And honestly, that feeling didn’t go away for the extent of the day. I just miss food. But completely determined to ride this thing through, I kept myself busy to keep my mind off of it. I did notice that I was feeling better in other ways. My energy had leveled out (instead of the highs and lows I had experienced the previous days), my skin was starting to clear up, and I just felt light and lean. I was craving food…but I wasn’t craving sweet and salty (like I usually would). I was craving salads. But I wasn’t physically hungry. I felt satisfied by my evening juices, with the exception of just wanting to chew something.
I’ll admit the process wasn’t as wonderful as I was hoping. I definitely wasn’t lying when I tell people I LOVE FOOD. But I made it – I completed a three day cleanse and I felt great! I continued to juice once or twice a day, making healthy vegan choices for lunch and dinner for the next three days. After that I transitioned back into our normal diet.
Thinking about doing a cleanse yourself? Have any questions about juicing? I don’t claim to be the the epicenter of knowledge for all things juicing, but I am happy to share my experience and tips so feel free to comment below with any questions you may have and I’ll do my best to answer them.