72 hours. Just Juice.

It's no secret that I live a pretty active lifestyle- I love to check out new yoga classes, try to make it to the gym on a regular basis, enjoy taking Sammy to walk the beach, or hiking, and can think of no better way to enjoy the great outdoors than on my bicycle. 
As part of my journey through purging lately (both in home, and in person), I had been toying with the idea of doing a juice cleanse.  I made that idea a reality Sunday night when I announced that I would be starting my juice cleanse the next morning.  Normally, when doing a cleanse you should give yourself ample time to mentally and physically prepare for such a daunting feat.  Currently, I'm halfway through Day 3 and I understand why.

Sunday, I decided to have nothing but fresh juice and water for 72 hours. This blog is meant to provide information based on my personal experience.  Here's my journey so far:

Day 1.  I woke up feeling empowered and psyched to use my very dusty juicer. Out of the fridge I took all the vegetables I would need for my morning juice.  I swear I could feel the toxins exiting my body while washing and chopping.  I was on top of the world... until the veggies went through the juicer and I was faced with a glass filled with my deep red colored juice for breakfast.  I took one whiff and knew that drinking this beverage was going to have to be a quick process. It wasn't awful, it was surprisingly light and refreshing. 
My first client of the day had asked me to go to the grocery store, while I stood waiting at the deli I looked over to the bakery and literally thought "Hmm, I should get a muffin or a cookie for a snack."  Clearly this juice cleanse did nothing for my attention span.  Realizing that juicing a cupcake would be too messy I took a few big gulps of water and ran to the check out line.
To boost my motivation and commitment, I went online and read a couple of blogs about people doing the same cleanse.  Feeling good that I hadn't yet compiled a list of foods I would be eating post-cleanse (at least not on paper), and I hadn't yet passed out I was rejuvenated and looked up some more juicing recipes.  
By lunch time I was starving.  Note; drinking juice is NOT like eating meals.  You don't need to just drink at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You'd be much better off planning for snack times by carrying a package of wheat grass to dump into some water.  I downed a very green glass of vegetable juice and was on my way.  
By the time dinner rolled around I was exhausted.  It was probably a combination of traveling the previous weekend, having not actually eaten all day, and having a busy day of work.  I made my juice, showered, and went to bed.  Note; if you are in bed you are that much further away from the fridge and pantry.   You have to really make the decision that you are hungry and make an effort to do something about it... I was so tired I just went to sleep.
Day 1 I only experimented with vegetable juice, and I didn't follow any specific cleanse.  I went through and sorted out recipes and tips that sounded interesting. 

Day 2.  Woke up with a blinding headache on the right side of my head, blaming it on dehydration and lack of nutrients, I made a promise to drink more water. 
Breakfast was more of the same- carrots, celery, a beet (stem included), spinach, parsley, garlic and some ginger.  Drinking these juices were becoming easier, and I liked swapping ingredients to see what kind of different flavors I could invent. 
Mid-morning I had decided that since I was the author of my cleanse I could add in some fruit juices.  Most cleansers advise staying away from citrus, but say nothing about stone fruit or berries.  Stopping at Trader Joe's and stocking up on my favorite fruits and I was ready to go!
Lunch was more veggies- I was running late and didn't have time to wash and prep the fruits, but promised myself that dinner would be a sweet and delicious change. 
My sister (after sending me a picture of the cake she made... yes, she's a real gem that girl), had asked on day 2 if I noticed any changes.  Being hungry felt different, I didn't feel empty, but I didn't feel full.  Physically, my eyes were whiter, and let's talk about flat belly diet... a day without food to bloat you and you really notice that pushing out your stomach is a challenge (woot!).
The afternoon was pretty uneventful.  My afternoon client asked me to make banana bread... I used her bread maker (to eliminate that delicious fresh bread scent), and timed it so that the loaf would be finished after I left; thus making and temptation to cheat absolutely non-existent.
Dinner was made up of a peach, an apple, two oranges, a handful of blue berries, raspberries, and strawberries- stick a straw in it & put me on a beach.  This self created fruit punch was way better any fruit juice I've ever had! 
After dinner I thought I'd be safe watching to some Prime Time TV... no such luck.  Do you know how many food commercials are out there?  And forget about watching anything on Discovery, TLC, or A&E- those shows have a way of revolving stories about food:  My Weird Eating Habits, The Cake Boss, Hoarders (okay, maybe Hoarders isn't about food, but the pizza boxes piled up did nothing for the pink elephant in the room).  Back to sleep it was.
Day 3.  No headache. No weight loss. Woke up feeling refreshed (that's an understatement; I woke up ready to LEAP out of bed and tackle Wednesday)- it's amazing how well one sleeps when their digestive system isn't working overtime and interrupting sleeping patterns.  Normally I dream, I dream real life stuff (for the most part), and always remember my dreams.  The last two nights, I couldn't tell you what sort of visions have been floating through my head, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't sugar plums.  I had scheduled a meeting for coffee for this morning- forgetting about my promise to good health, so I whipped up a quick tomato juice- a.m.a.z.i.n.g (tomato, cucumber, garlic, celery, carrots, half of a lemon, and a handful of spinach).  Surprisingly, this didn't taste anything like V8 (which I happen to love), but was still delicious. 
During our coffee meeting I had to disclose, after a few awkward looks, that I wasn't drinking swamp water- it was just wheat grass and water.  I was doing a juice cleanse.  My friend told me about a cleanse she had tried- it was a month long, she made it almost 4 days... and felt starving the entire time.  I have felt hungry, but not starving... and I LOVE food- the texture, taste and smells. 
Anyway, so after the meeting, I didn't have anything scheduled.  This scared me.  Working from home and having the cabinets calling my name is a frightening thing... there were crackers, yogurt, string cheese, chips, spaghetti, chicken all within reach... but I held out for a lunch made up of that fabulous tomato blend. 
This afternoon, while out in my travels I made a miserable mistake and left my water bottle full of delicious pure water behind.  Upon returning home, I made sure to drink an extra glass to help detour any headaches that might be thinking of visiting me.  Since my energy level was pretty decent I ventured a voyage to the gym.  Taking a few days off, it felt really good to stretch and work some muscles that don't always get attention.  It took all I had in me not to tell the poor girl on the elliptical beside me about my accomplishments... but I knew that she thought I looked exceptionally healthy. 
I've got one juice left to get me through this little experiment.  I'm left staring at a bowl of fruit, and knowing there's a drawer of fresh veggies in the fridge; each begging to be the chosen one for my last meal. 
I've been asked a lot of questions about the cleanse and this is what I've learned.  I do a lot of mindless empty calorie eating (see the cupcake story on Day 1 if you need a reminder).  I sometimes eat when I'm not hungry, or eat until I feel like I need to take a nap.  I thought about the amount of juice I was actually consuming compared to the amount of food I normally intake and the portion sizes were astounding.  You can bet that once I'm off the cleanse I'll start focusing more on portion control and listening to my body.
Some people warned of body or breath odor during the cleanse, I experienced neither of these- or maybe people were just too polite to point it out (in which case, thank you).  Others were concerned of what was happening in my intestines- there's no polite way to put this... but it was business as usual.  I think because I take a multi-vitamin and was not afraid to try different juices and ingredients my body never got bored, and kept itself regular (gross, I know, but people ask.  I swear they do, so if you're going to do a cleanse, be ready to answer the questions). 
I haven't lost any weight, which I'm not completely surprised with.  I don't carry a lot of extra weight, and I like to think I'm fairly athletic.  The point of my cleanse wasn't to lose weight- if that were the case I would have done that crazy cayenne pepper and lemon water.  The point was to detox my body of toxins- clear it of all the processed food that I ate over the weekend, and bring my body back to it's natural state and feel good about what I was taking in. 
While I can't honestly say that after tonight's last juicing I'll continue to be a faithful juicer, I have been turned on by how simple, fast and healthy making your own juices at home can be- not to mention delicious (despite of their putrid color).  It will be kept in a more accessible area for when I do feel like a fresh cup of something.



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  • 6/21/2012 10:18 AM kaneka coenzyme q10 wrote:
    [...]BLOG.ERRANDSETCETERA.BIZ: 72 hours. Just Juice.[...]

  • 6/7/2012 3:44 PM Tamara wrote:
    Way to go! I'm nervous that I would be unpleasant to be around if I cleansed, but I might just try it. But, I don't want to get another appliance....
    Reply to this
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