So, I decided that I’m not crazy enough yet and wanted to try a juice cleanse – mostly because I’ve been feeling really drained lately and had read that juicing can increase your energy levels a bit – that all those micronutrients give you a boost. This past weekend, after doing what I normally do when trying something new: endlessly researching it, I bit the bullet and got started.
I went to Whole Foods where I knew I could get loads or organics, and stocked up on the ingredients for the equivalent of the BluePrint Evacuation Cleanse. I decided this was the right one for me because I already eat a plant-strong diet and don’t eat junk food with the exception of the occasional baked french fry binge. Mmmmm. French fries! (My husband and son had deep-fried french fries the evening before my cleanse, and I was a good little soldier and refrained. Oh, the restraint!) I do love my starches and carbs, and I thought that going a few days without those would reveal to me the damage that it was doing to my energy.
For reference, the cost of doing the 6 organic juices a day as prescribed by most sources I came across is about $28/day. The cost of buying organic juices premade for this purpose are $60-$85/day. So, my 3-day cleanse because I made the juices myself at home cost me in total about the cost of 1 day of pre-made. If you don’t buy organic, the price drops by about half, but you’ll have those pesticides to contend with.
I won’t do the day-by-day blow-by-blow for you, but I will tell you this: I did not feel and energy boost. I didn’t really notice anything happening to me other than experiencing hunger in a prolonged way like I never have. The hump I had to get over started around 5:30 PM each day and lasted about 2 hours. I also noticed that I wasn’t taking in as much water as I normally do because I felt that I had already had enough to drink. The thought of drinking more didn’t appeal to me.
In those 3 days, I did not spend any more time in the bathroom than I normally do. I didn’t experience any real weight loss (a half pound – and I exercised 2 of the 3 days). I didn’t experience an alkalinizing effect (I really was already at the right pH). Giving up coffee, I only had a mild headache on day 1. The most noticeable change was something my husband noted: softer skin. Because of that, I can’t say it didn’t do me any good, but it certainly was less than transformative. I realize that 3 days isn’t a lot for a cleanse, but I wasn’t inspired by any of my results to continue for longer.
And last night all my dreams were about food and bordered on erotic I missed it so much.
My advice for doing a juice cleanse would be this:
- Don’t do one that involves the same juice throughout the day. Change it up. I was bored bored bored of the green juice on day 2. I liked the juice but hated that there wasn’t more diversity in the flavors of the day.
- Do have a cashew milk. It was sooo good.
- If you already eat healthfully, tend not to overindulge in the stuff you know isn’t good for you, and exercise, you shouldn’t expect too much from a cleanse. If you do the opposite, your experience will likely differ.
- Do make your own if you have your own juicer. I didn’t feel like it was too much of a fuss to make it myself. (You might also borrow one instead of buy one to start out. It can be an expensive commitment.)
- Make certain the people around you (your family, your co-workers, friends) are on board with your juice cleanse. Don’t let them make fun of you or taunt you with solid foods. People can be jerks, so let them know in advance your reasons and that their bad behavior towards you will not be tolerated (put it nicely, of course). This advice applies to most any change you want to make in your life.
- Don’t expect your results to be like anyone else’s. (Also applies to any change you want to make in your life.)
All in all, I think I’ll add more fresh juice to my life as an occasional meal replacer or post-workout recovery drink. I will definitely be trying out new recipes, though. One thing I learned from becoming vegan is that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. It can – and should – be flavorful, enjoyable, and fulfilling.