What makes someone willingly give up solid food for a number of days? Is it a desire to lose weight? To reset some bad eating habits and start anew? Just to see if you can do it? For me… it was all of the above.
There were rumblings around the office that a group of people were going to embark on this juice-only journey together, so after some research and consideration, I decide to jump on what I assumed was going to be a non-stop party train heading straight to the life validation and success factory.
Turns out, there was a little bit more to it than that.
Things to Think About Before You Start a Juice Cleanse
- Money –Juicing isn’t cheap, no matter how you look at it. Buying a juicer can run you anywhere from $100–$300+. I didn’t buy a juicer because I couldn’t handle another contraption in my kitchen. Instead, I opted to use a local company, Drought, to provide my juice. It was convenient, but it wasn’t much cheaper than buying my own juicer. The moral of the story: Juice is expensive.
- Lifestyle –One of the hardest things for me was trying to figure out when I should start my three-day juice cleanse. I keep my calendar pretty full, so finding a three-day period where I didn’t have some kind of tempting diversion was pretty difficult. I ended up just diving in, realizing that life is full of temptation and if I couldn’t resist it for three days, I may have bigger problems than I thought. If you’re going to juice, check your calendar and make sure you’re fully aware of any obligations that may tempt you to abandon your cleanse.
- Food – You’re about to say bye-bye to food, but that doesn’t mean you should go out and eat everything you see. I opted for an “ease-in” day before my cleanse and I highly recommend that you consider this prior to a juice cleanse. On my “ease-in” day, I drank three bottles of juice and ate raw fruits and vegetables. This got my body ready for the absence of solid food and I feel like it mentally prepared me for what was to come.
What to Expect During Your Juice Cleanse
Everyone experiences cleanses differently. Some people feel like a majestic butterfly floating through the air, happy and finally at peace, wondering why it took them so long to find their one true purpose: to drink juice and not eat food. Others feel like their world is crumbling around them, snapping at little old ladies trying to cross the street and shaking their fists to the sky, to the ground, to their mailman, cursing everyone around them.
I was somewhere in the middle. It wasn’t the worst, but it definitely wasn’t the best. Here’s my good, bad and ugly experiences with juicing.
- I didn’t feel hungry. I drank large glasses of water before and after each juice and tended to nurse my juice throughout the day, which I think helped me not feel very hungry throughout the cleanse.
- The juice tasted good! I did a veggie- and fruit-based cleanse, as opposed to a strictly veggie-based cleanse. All of my juices were delicious, especially the last juice, which consisted of blended coconut, thai coconut water and coconut meat. It was like a delicious coconut milkshake. Some of my friends at work, however, opted for a strictly veggie juice, which I heard was a nightmare and made some people fall off the cleanse completely.
- I lost seven pounds and in the end, I felt pretty great. I ended the cleanse feeling inspired and ready to make better eating choices and have more healthy habits.
- I gained those seven pounds back almost immediately upon returning to regular food. I still try to drink as much water as possible and drink a full glass before meals, and I’ve definitely cut back on coffee, but that’s the extent of the good habits that carried over from my cleanse.
- Drinking the juice got really old after a while. I was really craving some other kind of flavor or at least something to chew by the end of it. And my teeth constantly felt like they had fuzzy sweaters on them by the end due to the sugar. I ended up brushing my teeth three times a day just to shake that feeling.
- I had headaches pretty much the entire time. I’m not sure if that was from the lack of coffee/caffeine or just the lack of food, but the worst part for me was the constant, dull, aching headache for three days.
- This isn’t necessarily bad for me because I thought it was funny, but I got REALLY loopy. I think it was a combination of a lack of food plus an influx of sugar, but I was on an emotional rollercoaster the entire time. I would be laughing hysterically and dancing around one minute, and the next minute I was speaking gibberish to my dog with an angry scowl on my face for no reason whatsoever. It was weird.
- I will spare you the gory details, but let me reiterate that this is a CLEANSE. Meaning you will be cleansed. All of you. That part was funny at first but then turned terrifying. Just be prepared to feel empty.
And that sums up my first experience with a juice cleanse. Would I do it again? Maybe. I’ve told people it would have to be at least a year before I do it again, in hopes that the memories of the “bad” and “ugly” experiences referenced above leave my memory. I think my ability to write this blog post proves that those scars are still fresh, so I don’t think I’m ready to get on the juice train again anytime soon. I did enjoy the challenge of it though. I made it the entire three days without cheating, and that made me feel good about my will power and resolve. But I like food, so I will probably continue to eat food for the foreseeable future.
Got a question about juicing? Have you done a juice cleanse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!