Hi! If you’ve found yourself on this page, it’s because you’re interested in hearing about my first time experience with a juice cleanse. We’re coming up on 3 months of social distancing, self quarantining and WAY too much baking, so I figured this would be a really good time to try one of these cleanses. I’ve always been curious but could never find a few days where I didn’t have plans. But in all honesty, here are some of the real reasons I wanted to do this:
- My sugar cravings are out of control. It’s the only thing I want to eat which also means, I’m not getting enough of the good stuff (ie fruits and vegetables).
- My appetite has been off. A couple of weeks into self isolating my appetite was just not the same. If you know me, you know how much I love food. I started to feel like I wasn’t really hungry and to the above point, only craving sugar and the bad stuff.
- I have food sensitivities. I’ve been realizing that dairy and gluten may not be my friends any more so I’ve limited but not eliminated my interaction with them. This might be a good way to start fresh and maybe not re-introduce them back into my diet.
- I’m not trying to lose weight. Period.
- My digestion feels slow and sluggish. I figured that by infusing my system with a ton of nutrients and vitamins might give it a kick start.
Some of you reading this may say that these could be symptoms of other issues but for now, I figured starting with my diet was a good place. So if you’re still reading, I’ll be updating this page over the next two days (May 24 and 25) with what I’m drinking, how I’m feeling and of course any interesting side effects. For those curious, I am doing the Gentle Cleanse from Greenhouse Juicery, not sponsored FYI. They have a few other cleanses but this one was recommended for first timers. I also appreciate the guides they provided when you ordered and the flavour variety (a good mix of fruit and vegetables). Thanks for joining me on this journey, happy to take any questions via comments or on Instagram. Keep reading below for all the updates!
Pre-Cleanse (3-5 days before)
Going into a cleanse cold turkey is a terrible idea. If you’ve ever stopped drinking coffee and know the feeling you get on Day 2 or 3, imagine that but with no food either. Greenhouse Juicery was very good about providing me with a Cleanse Guide that had really good information about what to expect and also how to prepare. Each day I will be having 11 juices and no food, no caffeine and no alcohol. In advance of the cleanse here’s what I did to prepare:
- cut out coffee and replaced it with lemon water in the morning and herbal tea in the evening
- cut out alcohol
- was supposed to cut out sugar but please see point 1 above. I did bring it down quite a bit
- low gluten intake
- low dairy intake
- eating mostly whole foods, vegetables, fruits, eggs, fish and poultry
Here’s how the cleanse progressed before and after each of the 11 juices I had to take on each day.
9:30AM: was supposed to start at 8 but hey. Had my first juice which was strawberry lemonade with probiotics. I’ve been drinking lemon water first thing all week so this was pretty familiar. Waiting about 20-ish minutes or so before I drink water and then it’s on to juice 2.
11:15AM: juice 2 was a lemon, ginger cayenne and ACV booster shot. Holy spicy. Juice 3 was a blend of spinach, kale, apple, ginger and lemon. Feeling good so far but I also intermittent fast usually so I’m used to not eating until 12. Interested to see how I’ll feel around 2 or 3.
12:15PM: finished juice 4 which is probably the most hearty of the bunch and so far my favourite. The Vanilla Almond Brekky with an oat base, almond butter, maple syrup, pea protein, vanilla extract and chia seeds. Feeling good so far!
4PM: 7 juices in and I took a 2 hour stroll since I can’t do any strenuous exercise. I’ve only had 1.5 litres of water so need to stay hydrated. Feeling good but a slight ache in one of my temples. Also the Fiery Ginger booster shot was literally like swallowing fire.
6:30PM: Only two more juices to go. Still feeling pretty good. Definitely feel a little lower on energy. And I think I’m missing eating solids. The next juice is another hearty one like from this morning so we’ll see how I feel after that.
7:30PM: The second to last juice was non dairy chocolate almond milk. Definitely more of a shake than a juice. The pain in my head is still there, a bit stronger than earlier. Still not hungry though.
9:30PM: Day 1 complete. Not feeling hungry it not feeling great either. The headache is pretty bad now and running through most of the left side of my head. I’ve had 2L of water so it could be lack of water or just my body detoxing from sugar, etc. Let’s see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow.
10:45AM: Woke up feeling much better. No headache but I do find myself moving a little bit slower. Trying to increase my water today to see if that will help. I really miss chewing.
1:30PM: Still feeling good. Been doing some deep breathing as I read it helps with detox headaches and I’m almost up to 2L of water. And for those curious, there have been no excessive bathroom issues lol. We’ll see what happens when I have my first solid meals tomorrow.
6:30PM: Happy to report that I have no headache but I’m definitely feeling the juice fatigue. It’s not that I’m hungry but I do want to eat something solid. I also skipped the second booster shot and the last green juice which the guide said was okay to do if you felt like there were too many juices. Going to have the lavender lemonade before bed and call it a night!
10PM: didn’t end up having the lavender lemonade but will save it for the morning, good way to ease back into eating again. Energy levels are definitely not as high, any intense activity felt like a lot. But no headache tonight which is awesome. Let’s see how tomorrow goes as I slowly introduce solids back into my diet.
It’s now 3 days post cleanse and I have to say, I’m feeling great. Most people would think that the first thing I would want to eat would be a pizza or burger, but after infiltrating my body with so many nutrients and good things, I didn’t want to undo all that good! I started with a banana, moved on to a salad, fruits as a snack and sushi for dinner. More than anything, I was so pleased that I didn’t have any uncomfortable or excessive bathroom situations, it was actually one of my biggest fears! So what else did I experience and learn?
- I was getting juice fatigue. I missed the sensation of chewing and having solid foods with different flavours and textures. The 2 day cleanse was good, but I don’t think I could have done a 3rd.
- So much of eating is out of habit. We reach for coffee in the morning because we “need” it, we have breakfast in the morning because it’s “the most important meal of the day”, or reach for the “must have” snack at 3PM to get over that hump. I haven’t had my morning cup of coffee for almost 2 weeks now and I have more energy during the day. So much of our eating comes out of habits we’ve created for ourselves vs listening to our bodies. Why do you eat breakfast if you’re not hungry? Or any meal for that matter? The juice cleanse allowed me to really reset a lot of habits and thoughts which I hope to keep carrying forward.
- Practising mindful eating. Hands up if this rings a bell. You grab a tub of ice cream or a bag of chips and sit in front of the couch and just go at it. There is nothing wrong with the ice cream or the chips, it’s the behaviour. Take a scoop or two of the ice cream or chips and put it in a bowl. Enjoy it, every bite. The flavours, the smell, the sweet, the salt. Treat yourself! Food should be relished and not just passively enjoyed. This is also where the guilt comes in because hands up if that bag or tub also ends up disappearing!
- The 80/20 rule. The truth is I’m feeling good and sleeping well because I’ve been eating well. Lots of fruits and vegetables, low sugar, alcohol and caffeine, Low dairy and gluten and not eating to late. But let’s be real. This girl loves her wine, pizza and burgers. What I hope to do moving forward is eat really well 80% of the time and let myself indulge the other 20%. And if I don’t indulge than it’s just bonus!
We all have such a unique and personal relationship with food, but as a woman and someone who’s grown up with body issues, I don’t ever want restrict myself or carry feelings of guilt when it comes to eating. These behaviours live with us and get moved on from generation to generation. Food fuels us, it literally is the gas that keeps our car running and if you stop putting gas in the car, the car breaks down. The key is education, experimentation with recipes and ingredients, and investing in your relationship with food so you can find a place of happiness and health.
Would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions about the cleanse or anything else feel free to drop a comment below!
Till next time!