I decided at the beginning of the summer that I would do a 3-day juice cleanse. And by juice cleanse, I mean that for three days all I would drink is juice. Six juices per day, every two hours to be exact. For those of you who don't already know, I am a vegan. I am a vegan who eats a fairly clean diet. While I don't eat 100% raw, my diet is still very healthy. In addition to what I eat, I also exercise six-to-seven times per week. So, since I'm already a healthy person, why exactly did I want to do a juice cleanse? For a few reasons actually:
1) I was genuinely curious to see what the cleanse would do for me.
2) I love juice and I love fruit, so I thought that maybe drinking my two favorite things could help me be healthier.
3) It was a challenge. I love food, so not eating any would be a challenge for me.
I started my cleanse on Monday, July 11th. And what started off as a 100% juice, juice cleanse turned into a juice + raw food cleanse throughout the course of the day.
I woke up around 8:30a.m. Monday morning. The pick-up time for my juice cleanse was at 9a.m. at Standard Market which was around 15 minutes away from my house. I woke up feeling fine. I wasn't too hungry, but I did end up drinking about 16oz of water just to get my day started right.
I had decided the night before that after I picked up my juices, came home, drank my first one, that I would head over to the gym to do some light cardio and weights. I always need to go to the gym, it's a relaxation time of my day.
I took my first juice around 9:15a.m. and felt pretty good. My energy was up and I didn't feel hungry. I took me around 30-minutes to finish my juice, just because I wanted to savor it and not chug it down. After, I went to the gym and did 30-minutes of light cycling and 20-minutes of light leg weights. It wasn't until I was doing the hamstring press-down that I started feeling a bit light headed. So I stopped, drank 8oz of water, and went home. I wasn't going to push it on my first day, I also didn't want negative side effects to occur because of it. After showering, I drank my second juice and felt pretty fine.
But when lunchtime came around, at roughly 1p.m., I started feeling a bit sick. I was very cold, my head hurt and so did my stomach. I decided to drink my third juice a little early just to subside my stomachache and headache. It worked for a bit and calmed my stomach down. I was fine until it was time to take my fourth juice, which after drinking, I felt much better. For the hours following juices three and four I felt great. I had energy and I wasn't even thinking about my lack of solid food for the day. That was until 5:30p.m. came along.
Around this time was when I was supposed to take my fifth juice. This juice consisted of apples, beets and other vegetables. By this time, my stomach was already in pain because I was so hungry, and dinner is usually when I have my largest meal since it's typically after my workout. But, as soon as I started sipping on the juice, I immediately felt nauseous. After talking with my mom, she told me that beet juice can be hard on your stomach and your bowels. No matter how little I sipped, even if it was in small increments spaced apart, my stomach really hurt -- to the point where I almost vomited. I then decided to do a bit of research to see if eating would cancel out the positive effects that the juice cleanse would have on my body. And as I read on, I found out that eating raw would still allow the cleanse to do its job.
This is how my juice cleanse turned to a juice + raw food cleanse.
I decided that my health was more important than sticking to a cleanse, especially since I eat very healthy on a daily basis. But even though I do eat healthy, I still like to incorporate pita chips or a cookie every now-and-then into my daily food intake. Since I was on this cleanse though, I decided that for the next two days I would eat raw in addition to drinking my juices. I would have two, very small raw meals throughout the day: one when I would take my third juice around lunchtime and another when I would take my fifth juice around dinnertime. I decided that eating raw while juice cleansing would be the best option for me in order to sustain my health throughout the days.
My first raw meal of Day 1 was an ounce of raw nuts and three mini peppers. While this doesn't sound like a lot of food at all, it was just enough to get me through the rest of my day. At around 7:30p.m., I had my very last, "dessert" juice which was delicious! Probably my favorite juice all day; it was something to look forward to. I finished off my day with a walk and went to bed feeling great. After I decided to incorporate a bit of raw food into the cleanse, I immediately felt better. It was well worth it.
I woke up Tuesday morning feeling a bit hungry. I got ready as normal and headed downstairs around 9:00a.m. to drink my first juice. The morning juices are also my favorites, so after my first one I was really satisfied. I decided to start working on my blog at this point, so I was distracted from the lack of food I was eating. For some reason this morning I wasn't very hungry. This also helped me focus on the work that I needed to get done. I had my second juice around 10:00a.m. and started reading Sweetbitter (I definitely recommend this book). I decided that instead of waiting for exactly two hours to pass until I could drink my next juice, I would drink it when I started feeling hungry. I found that by doing this, I was able to stay full throughout the day and not have to worry about stomach or head pains.
As the day had gone on, I started feeling a little tired. So when it was time to take my fifth juice, I also had a little lettuce wrap with a raw carrot filling in the inside that my mom had made. That one small lettuce wrap was the perfect amount of solid food for me to be able to drink my fifth juice without any stomach complaints. I went to bed that night fully satisfied and feeling great!
I decided not to do the third day of my juice cleanse for a few reasons.
1) I woke up that morning not feeling so great. I was very tired and I had to go into work. Knowing my body, and knowing that I need a decent amount of calories and solid food in order to get me through a work day without feeling sick, I decided that it was necessary for me to eat.
2) I decided that while the nutrients in the juices were very beneficial to my body, eating raw was just as healthy for me.
Day three was an all-raw day for me. Instead of eating cooked food, I chose to eat raw all day to keep being healthy on the day that I would normally be cleansing. For me, personally, this worked good. I still felt good, I still felt healthy, but I had increased energy and was able to go about my day without feeling sick.
MY OVERALL THOUGHTS
For all of you who are wondering, I did lose 2lbs. from the 3 day juice + raw food cleanse. Almost 3 days later, I still haven't gained that weight back. But again, I do eat very healthy and exercise, so I wasn't expecting to gain that back. I do think that the juices themselves are very beneficial to drink, but at the same time, I don't think you need to exclusively drink them in order to receive all of their benefits. Overall, I would recommend doing a juice cleanse. If you think exclusively juicing isn't for you, try eating raw at the same time! If you do want to strictly drink juice, go for it!
I ended up purchasing my juice cleanse from Standard Market. Their 3-day cleanse includes six great flavors, so I would definitely recommend trying out their program if you're wanting to try a juice cleanse! If you already eat very clean and healthy though, a juice cleanse might not work as well as it does or show as good as results as if you were someone who normally eats unhealthy or eats a non-vegan/vegetarian diet.
Get the Groupon I used for this juice cleanse here!