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.
**We started in the evening with dinner time as our first juice. Last meal: 11:30am
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
6pm: END OF 72HR 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!