Our 3 Day Juice Cleanse

Juice Cleanse

Today we start a juice cleanse. Let me take it back a week or so.

I walked into the living room to find Wouter watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” We watched the whole thing and were very impressed with the results. Wouter turned to me when it finished and said “It’d be really cool to do a 3 day cleanse…you know, just to see.”

You don’t have to ask me twice! I’m always willing to experiment. I love trying different diets or routines to see how it affects my body!

We pulled his juicer out of hiding (Yes. HE had a juicer from a few years back!) and went to the store, leaving with a cart full of greens. We did 70-80% vegetable juice in every glass.

There are mixed reviews about the benefits of juicing. Some sources say that juicing fruit and veg removes all the pulp, skin, etc., and makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients without wasted energy on fiber. Other sources point out that because of this, your blood sugar is more likely to quickly spike up and down. You also might not feel full which can make the time in between juices difficult.

Other noted benefits:

  • You’re able to consume a wide variety of vegetables in one sitting, therefore getting more vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
  • Gut healing. Your gut has time to heal because there is not much to digest! Fruits and veg have a ton of prebiotics, feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Detoxification of skin…Vegetables are skin food!
  • Tastebud reset. Cravings for junkfood disappear (the longer you juice detox the lesser they get) as your body switches to crave wholesome solid food that it isn’t getting from juice. It is much easier to transition into a healthy diet when even a salad sounds amazing!

We wanted to see what benefits–if any–we would notice.

Here is a play by play of our juice cleanse with some check-ins and side commentary.

Day 1

Juice Cleanse

 **We started in the evening with dinner time as our first juice. Last meal: 11:30am

Evening:

6pm Juice: Kale, Celery, Cucumber, Apple, Lemon, Ginger

Wouter: YUCK. IT BURNS MY THROAT.

-He shuddered every time he took a gulp.

Me: I like it! I am not new to green juices like this though, and I like the lightness of it. I think I will omit the ginger next time though because neither of us like it.

Neither of us were hungry or anything before bed.

Morning:

Hot water with lemon

Juice: Carrot, Kale, Beet, Green Apple

Wouter: I like this juice. I can drink that. It’s tasty, I think it’s the beets. For me, its the grass clippings smell that puts me off, but if this (gesturing to the juice) is what we’re going to have, I’ll drink it every day.

Me: Loved the juice. Easy to drink, super flavorful and very colorful!

Feeling a little tired but I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been studying all morning and haven’t had coffee

11:00am check in:

Wouter: Feeling a little lightheaded. But not hungry.

Me: Feeling groggy, but that might be from lack of coffee and I’ve been studying all morning. I am feeling a little hungry. Will drink water.

Afternoon:

1pm Juice: Spinach, Kale, Cucumber, Green Apple, Pineapple

Wouter: This juice is fine, I like this. I can drink this. But the smell! Have you ever smelled freshly cut grass clippings? It smells like that.

Me: Loved this juice. Makes sense with the addition of pineapple! I added this in hopes of Wouter feeling better about drinking a glass, and it worked. I will probably cut down the fruit content next time I try this recipe.

2:00 Check In:

Wouter: I feel fine. I don’t feel tired at all, I feel good!

Me: I feel a little bleh. I have trained myself to eat more often (which is a habit I’m trying to break) and I have a dull headache. Wondering if thats my little coffee addiction. Will go to the gym in an hour and see if that perks me up.

4:30 Afternoon Snack Juice

Wouter was not hungry and opted for no juice here. I was starving so I made myself a cucumber, lemon, mint, and romaine juice. Then I noticed we had an avocado that would go bad during this cleanse….So I threw half in. I don’t know if this is allowed, but I did it. It didn’t make it as creamy as I’d hoped. Wouter did not like this juice, but again, he doesn’t love the ones that taste “green.”

Me: Felt really great after the gym! Had a good HIIT workout and neither of us noticed any weakness or lightheadedness. No headaches now.

Day 2

 

Evening:

Juice Cleanse

7:30 Juice: Spinach, Celery, Carrot, Beet, Pineapple

This juice had AN ENTIRE BAG of dark, coarse spinach in it! So each of us got 1/2 a bags worth of spinach juice. Woah. Nevertheless, I added the pineapple and Wouter liked it.

Both of us just miss food. That is the hard part. The juices taste fine, we’re feeling good, but food is SO good, it is hard to accept a big glass of juice as “dinner.”

We also love munching on popcorn if we watch a movie, which we did tonight, so we missed that ritual. But again, I think that’s why a cleanse like this is cool. We are re-teaching our brains not to habitually get hungry or crave certain foods simply because it’s part of the routine.

Morning:

7:00 Wake up

We gymmed first today! Both of us feel good, neither of us have headaches and so we went to the gym. I had a heavy lifting day and I have to say, I was impressed! I have been listening to the podcast MINDPUMP and they are currently discussing fasting. They talk about how humans are not necessarily designed to eat every 4 hours, but that is how we’ve trained ourselves. Our bodies know to expect food a certain times and therefore we get hungry.

But watching myself in my workout today, I haven’t had solid food in a while and I lifted just as heavy as usual with no problems. In the past there have been days where I didn’t eat for a few hours before the gym and I think “oh I’m weak because I haven’t eaten.” Obviously, my mind is far weaker than my body because I’m watching my body lift and workout with no issues after being on a juice cleanse with only fruit/veg juice for the 36 hours before that. Taught me a big lesson: No more excuses!

9:30 Juice: Spinach, Carrot, Beet, Orange, Apple.

Wouter: It was good. Really good. Best one.

— I think his tastebuds are acclimating because there was not a lot of fruit in this one and NO pineapple.

Me: It was good but not my favorite. I like the ones with more cucumber. This one felt heavy to me.

Afternoon:

12:30 Juice. Apple, Cucumber, spinach, Kale, Mint by SIR Juice.

We worked at Starbucks today and didn’t bring any homemade juice with us. We each bought a Sir Juice made with pure and simple cold-pressed juice. That will have to do!

Wouter: I have a headache right now.

—We had him drink water and he’s feeling fine.

Me: feeling good! Doing some walking around in-between bouts of studying or writing.

3:45 Afternoon Snack Juice: Spinach, Celery, Cucumber, Avocado, Pineapple

This juice was really nice! We both liked this one (Wouter didn’t even cringe at all the celery!). It was light and refreshing, and we used the other half of the avocado. It was so sad to put that beautiful creamy fruit into the juicer… Not getting to actually chew food is the hardest part.

Today both of us have had some headaches. I have been reading a lot about fasting and side effects of a juice cleanse. I know headaches can happen as your body “detoxes” so I am wondering if that is happening with us. Drinking lots of water and then we’re going for a walk.

Day 3

Juice Cleanse

Evening:

7:00pm Juice: Carrots, Beets, Spinach, Celery, Green Apple

Neither of us liked this juice, but in all honesty, I think we’re both so tired of juice. It tasted fine, but after our walk we were both feeling a little weak and Wouter has a persistent headache that isn’t going away with water. I cannot wait to eat again.

Morning:

8:00 am: Off to the gym

Neither of us felt particularly perky this morning, but also, neither of us felt hungry!

9:30 Juice: Carrot, Beet, Celery, Apple, Orange.

12:30 Check In.

Both of us are feeling fine

Afternoon:

2pm Juice: Spinach, Kale, Celery, Pineapple

Great juice! Nice and light. Both of us are so tired of juice and cannot wait for dinner. SOLID FOOD.

Evening

6pm: END OF 72HR JUICE CLEANSE!

Juice Cleanse

Afterthoughts about our Juice Detox:

I can see why this is beneficial. I feel lighter, my stomach feels really good, I got over my morning coffee addiction, we both slept really well, and I was quite productive without the constant distraction of food! I loved seeing how strong my body is and became very aware of my eating habits. I am definitely a boredom eater, and sometimes eat because “it’s time” and not because I’m actually hungry. This cleanse really shed some light on those aspects of my eating style and I’m happy to have shaken it up a little bit. A cleanse like this is more mentally hard than anything else, and I think that is one of the reasons it feels so empowering to do a juice cleanse at least once.

Personally, I would do a juice detox like this again if I was trying to jump start a diet, or perhaps after an indulgent vacation, but that is about it. I think juicing is an extreme way to get yourself out of a rut and for those of us who are wanting to do a more sustainable health cleanse, I believe something like a morning green juice in addition to a week-long all veggie/fruit diet (having meals consisting of cooked and/or raw veg and fruit) would be just as beneficial.The added fiber would be keep you feeling satiated, and it would eliminate the blood sugar crashes that I felt for the first 2 days of the cleanse. I suppose if we went longer, my body might have regulated. In the grand scheme, EVERYONE could use a few more veggies in their diet!

I do see the benefit in having a daily green juice (really GREEN…not a fruit juice with a little spinach) to get an extra vitamin/mineral boost.  We might continue that practice now that we’ve gotten the juicer out of the attic.

Has anyone else done a juice cleanse? Tell me your thoughts!

How We’re Finding a Healthy Balance Together

Common Ground Health

 

One of the things my fiancé and I are navigating is our difference of opinion when it comes to health and the importance of healthy eating while trying to meet our goals.  I am an experienced clean eater, studying nutrition and trying all the different dietary styles, gym routines, recipes, fitness classes, you name it. My fiancé is incredibly motivated in many ways, but when it comes to food, as long as it tastes good, he’ll eat it. He doesn’t mind if his meal is from McDonalds or homemade, and is visiting the gym regularly for the first time in his life…. And doing very well at it, might I add!

We are not on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. He enjoys a healthy salad and I always want the large popcorn at the movies, but finding a compromise about our daily nutrition and exercise continues to be a point of….growth, shall we say?

I will get upset when he’s making excuses or throwing nutritional caution to the wind, and he will shut down when I push too much with my attempts to revamp our health habits.

What to do?

This is an ongoing journey for us and I think there are a lot of other people who experience this with their partners (or friends, family, etc). I’m sharing what we’re working on to better find some common ground.

Make Your Intentions Very Clear

Making my intentions clear as well as expressing my passion has helped my fiancé to understand where I am coming from. He loves me and wants to support me and my goals, and the only way he can do that is if I clearly communicate what I am trying to do.  I want to be healthier. I want him to be healthy. I want to be more mindful of how much we’re drinking, how often we eat out, and if we are making excuses at the gym. I want to cook healthy, versatile, new food and for him openly try it.

When he sees how these small changes make a big difference in my general happiness (as well as his body!), he is more willing to support my effort to keep health alive in the relationship.

Allow for a Two-Way Conversation

Asking someone to change their entire way of life in one day is not an option. He has been very understanding and cooperative, but also not afraid to tell me when he needs a break. There are some days where just says, “No, I want to have _____ today.”

Sometimes I have a hard time not taking his choices personally, but I think that is the key. We both have to learn that one of us preferring a certain way of eating or living is not a dig at the preference of the other.

I am not perfect at this AT ALL, but it is something I’m working on.

Stick to Your Own Page

You cannot force a grown adult to do something he doesn’t want to do. It’s that simple. The only thing I can do as a partner is to lead by example in hopes that some of my healthy habits will rub off on him.

Take for example our daily gym routine: At first, it was slow-going. But after a couple months of my continually leaving to go work out, his thrice-weekly trip has become an almost every day thing. We walk there and back and we use the time to chat about what we’re listening to on our podcasts, what we did that day, what we learned, or how we’re getting stronger.

Even though he might not be hopping on the health train as hard as me, he is doing 200% more than he was doing a year ago. And that is something to be impressed with.

Don’t Critique or Offer Unsolicited Advice

This one is really hard for me, I will admit. I tend to be a treasure trove of unsolicited advice. I have so many fun facts about food and health stored up in my brain, coming from different books, podcasts or articles I’m reading, and I love to talk about it. In this particular situation though, I know it can feel critical and/or accusatory.

I am practicing positive reinforcement and encouragement when it comes to his choices. He has his own personal health goals and I celebrate every little step. As for my choices, I simply do my own thing. If he makes the decision to order the burger and fries, I will (usually) stick to my guns and order what makes me feel healthiest.

It is difficult not to gush about all the health info I’m learning, but the truth is he already knows what is and isn’t helping him meet his health goals. It isn’t my job to badger him.

Again, this one is difficult for me, but it’s something I am trying to stay mindful of as we figure out our combined method of healthier living.

Allow for Indulgences

This is a big one! Someone who is not accustomed to eating tons of fresh veggies cannot switch to a veg-heavy diet overnight! I have to remember this because although I am quite happy adding a couple servings of fresh veggies to my breakfast, this is a foreign concept to him and at first he did not enjoy it.

What we do is add the veggies (my favorite part) but he can have it with cheese and toast, and/or sugar in his coffee. We’ll slowly reduce some of the added indulgences as we both get used to eating more cleanly. I don’t think plunging into the deep end is the way to go here.

Getting healthier can be such an amazing experience, but if I force my partner into a lifestyle he hates, he’s more likely to quit. Baby steps.

Practice Gratitude

There are so many things my amazing man is good at. He is incredibly motivated, endlessly understanding, impeccably kind, and is a better self-starter than I could ever hope to be. So how is it that I can still get upset when he decides to order chicken wings instead of a chicken salad?

This is something a lot of couples struggle with I think…Focusing on the small things instead of the big. He goes to the gym with me almost every day. He happily eats any healthy meal or new recipe I try out in the kitchen.

Is he going to come do sprints with me or prefer a Buddha Bowl over a Big Mac? Probably not, but the fact that he is coming to the gym at all and happily trying all these new foods, THAT is something to be grateful for.

 

(This post was read and approved by my loving guy.)

5 Steps to Crush Your New Years Goals

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

At Christmas this past weekend my future father-in-law asked me what my wishes are for the New Year.

I responded, “Are you asking me what my goals are? Or what my wishes are?”
He said, “Aren’t they the same thing?”

Personally, I feel that wishes are things that are gifted to you. Exciting things that you may or may not have much control over.

Goals are things you set for yourself. A goal is something you can work towards and invest time in. You have a say when it comes to reaching your goals.

Wouter (my fiancé) and I have been discussing our goals and our tactics for reaching those goals. Yes, we did get started a little before the new year (I was too excited!) but so far I think it’s going well.

I’m sharing what we’re trying in hopes that you too can get this year off on the right foot.

1. Write it Down

Don’t be afraid to dream big! Reach for the stars. Give yourself a challenging goal, one that you might not know how to approach yet. It can be financial, fitness inspired, or perhaps a big promotion or career change.

But Liz, what happens if I don’t reach that goal?

I know. It is so satisfying to set a goal and then achieve it. But if you already know a goal is within your reach, you’re not pushing yourself to your fullest potential. If you can easily achieve it, just put it on the to-do list and finish it tomorrow! If you don’t save all the money, or you don’t get the new job, or you don’t lose every last pound you wanted to, so what? Almost reaching a big goal gets you much further (and gives you more bragging rights) than easily achieving a tiny one.    One more thing: make it an affirmation, not a future tense. Instead of “I will…” make it “I am…”

What did I do? I wrote down some specific goals I wanted to achieve. We’re talking nitty-gritty specific. I have 20 regular fitness/nutrition clients. I am visiting 5 new countries this year. I can complete a half marathon in 1:50:00. Make sense?

I wrote down some of these goals and Then I made it scary. I doubled or tripled it, or added something extra.

Say I wanted to save $10,000. Now it’s “I have $20,000 in my savings.

Or I want to create a lifestyle blog. Now it’s “I’ve made a lifestyle blog and make $12k from it.

You see what I’m saying? Make it big and make it specific!

2. Find the “WHY”

This tip is from my brilliant fiancé. Both of us are avid podcast listeners and we’d heard that finding the “why” makes everything more vibrant and compelling.
Take the goal you’ve set and start jotting down every teeny tiny “why” you can think of. For example:

To fit into my jeans from high school, to make climbing the stairs at work easier, to impress Cindy from the gym, to be financially independent, to have the extra time to devote to my spelunking hobby….

You get it?

Anything. There is nothing too big or small. Aim for 50+ “why”s. You don’t need to do this all in one sitting, you can add to it as you think of things. Having all these reasons why you want to achieve the goal will make every step you take towards it that much more passionate.

3. Set a Date

In the interest of more specificity, we also gave ourselves time frames. Specific dates to reach these goals.

“I can run the November 12, 2018 Rock and Roll half marathon in a time of 1:50:00.”

It might seem a little preemptive, but I promise, this makes the next step easier and again, more specific.

4. Work Backwards

Now that you have your nice big fat goal, lots of “why”s to give you motivation, and a specific time to light a fire under your bum, its time to work backwards.

What Wouter and I are trying is to take that big goal, and then split it up into months, weeks, and even days. Take a financial goal. I have $30,000 in my savings on December 31, 2018. Breaking it down, that means:

I have $30,000 in my savings

—>I save $2,500 every month

———> I save $625 a week.

Once you have those smaller broken down goals, you can more easily make little to do lists in order to reach those small ones every day. You want to save $625 a week? Cut that daily starbucks, buy your groceries in bulk, cancel that Spotify membership you never use…you get it.

That big, scary, unattainable goal you’ve set for yourself is now more chewable and you can take steps towards reaching it every day.

5. Read Your Goals Daily

So now that we’ve documented our goals and ways we want to achieve them, we wake up and read them every day.

Every. Day.

I have mine in a notebook by the couch that I sit on to drink my coffee every morning. So while I’m sipping I can also skim over my goals, read my “why”s, look at the smaller goals and check off my daily to-do.

This is what I’m implementing in 2018. I will keep track along the way, maybe make some changes, try some different tactics. The lovely thing about these goals is they can change! That daily check-in means you can measure whether that goal is still something that speaks to you and you can change it accordingly.

Either way, achieving a portion of a big goal is a much more impressive and boast-worthy feat than an easy peasy chore disguised as a goal.

I love a good list and I can proudly say that the first day of this new year has been a smashing success. Try it for yourself and very best of luck on your 2018 goal crushing!