The Truth Behind a Juice Cleanse
I’ll admit it – I’m one of those people intrigued by the juice fad. So when I saw Peeled’s three day juice cleanse on Groupon for half off, I decided to go for it.
I had already tried a juice cleanse last year: I spent $50 on groceries and juiced everything myself. It was exhausting and frustrating, and I was literally spending my whole day either juicing or drinking. I knew that if I were to try a cleanse again, the juices would have to be prepared for me. Unfortunately, this prerequisite comes with a heftier price. So I ask myself: Was it worth it?
Three days. 6 juices per day. 4 different flavors. I started the day with a green juice, then sipped on spicy lemonade, had a red juice around lunch time, repeated green and red mixes later in the evening and finished the day with cashew milk before bed.
The green juice, a.k.a. “Green Lantern,” was very palatable and easy to drink. If you’ve ever had a cold-pressed green juice before, it probably tasted like this one. The mixture of kale, romaine, spinach, cucumber, parsley and green apple is supposed to rev the metabolism and alkalization process to jumpstart the day. The “Haute Lemonade” was also easy to drink, though it definitely had a kick. The cayenne pepper flavor was potent, but it actually complemented the tartness of lemon for a nice mid-morning drink.
The red, or “Maroon 5,” should be signaled as red for “danger.” Ohhh Maroon 5, I hated you. This evil red juice is supposedly a combination of beets, carrots and ginger, but all I could taste were beets. I generally like beets, but this was just impossible to enjoy in liquid form. I found myself chugging it with my nose plugged (needless to say…I was desperate).
Yet, the “Cashew Milk” was delicious; it was actually my saving grace. Ground cashews, Madagascar vanilla, dates and a touch of agave nectar made this a creamy delight to end the night. The cashew milk honestly made me feel like I could get up the next morning and repeat the cleanse.
I got asked a lot of questions while I was cleansing. No, I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t tired and I wasn’t dying. I was given SO much juice, and since I drank them every two hours as they recommended, I never felt hungry because my belly was always full of juice. The bigger obstacle to overcome was my yearning for chewing. Still, I found myself with more energy, and I allowed myself to go to sleep at a normal hour (without ability to snack, why not get into bed?). Call it magic, but all that alkalizing must’ve done something good.
Overall, I found it very manageable. I made sure I was mentally prepared and had supporters. I kept myself relatively occupied, and because I was busy doing other things, the three days flew right by.
I dropped some pounds initially, but a juice cleanse isn’t about losing weight. I realized how much I was oversizing my portions and didn’t actually need the extra servings to feel satisfied. My advice: If you’re just looking to drop a few pesky pounds, don’t do it – it’s not worth it. Yet if you’re looking to change the way you think about food and body sustainability, go for it. It’s a good kick in the pants for that kind of thing.
Tips: 1. Go Vegan
Go vegan 2-3 days before and after the cleanse. This change in diet helps prevent a shock to your body due to the extreme drop in calories.
2. Time Well
Don’t plan to start a cleanse during finals or at a time you can’t get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly. Ladies, don’t do a cleanse during that time of the month. You must make sure your body won’t be overtaxing itself.
3. Get Busy
While you don’t want to be running around from nine in the morning until midnight, the worst thing to do is to sit around with nothing to do except think about how hungry you are.
4. Partner Up
I’ve done both my cleanses with my roommate. When I felt crappy at the end of Day 1, she pepped me up and kept me going. Likewise, I made sure she didn’t quit during her moment of weakness on Day 2. There are ups and downs in a cleanse, but a support system truly helps.
5. No Food Porn
Obviously, try to avoid being around food. I don’t mean give up social obligations with friends, but don’t wander around aimlessly in the food court or work around people who are snacking. Do yourself a favor, and limit temptation.