Last week, I embarked on a 3 day juice cleanse. The idea has been in my head for a while, and I’ve been fascinated with the juicing cleanse craze that has taken over the country. BluePrint Cleanse. Organic Avenue. Cooler Cleanse. Juice Press. And on and on and on. And then I watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and that was the kicker. Body, get ready for a few days of fruit and vegetable liquids, and NO COOKIES.
I don’t like spending a lot of money (I grew up with my mother constantly making a point to tell me that making your own meals at home is much healthier and cheaper than eating out or buying it pre-made). So, I justified purchasing a used Hurom slow juicer on ebay as a long term investment. Yes, it was still an expensive purchase, but I would have spent around that much had I decided to do one of the bottled 3 day juice cleanses mentioned above. At least by purchasing my own juicer, the experience wouldn’t be over in just a few days, with nothing left to show but empty bottles.
I work in the office of a restaurant and Monday through Friday, the kitchen makes a staff meal for lunch. It varies, but it’s always tasty and I enjoy eating and chatting with the other staff during this break time. Having only juice to consume for 3 days was, without a doubt, going to be tough while working in a food-centric environment!
Day 1: Right on! I am going to do this for a week! 10 days! Well….OK, I’ll see how I feel after 3 days.
- Breakfast: a concoction of apples, carrots, lime, ginger, orange. Delicious! I am also forgoing coffee, which is usually the first thing I brew and drink in the morning.
- Lunch: swiss chard, celery, apple, lemon. Oh….this was not a great combination. I didn’t get the right balance of flavors and I have trouble choking it down. I also don’t go down to the restaurant during the break because I know that everyone’s going to be eating, and I don’t want to be *that* person sipping on funky-looking green juice while everyone else at the table chows down.
- Dinner: another green juice with spinach, celery, apples, lemon. This is a little better, and I’m able to finish it.
- After dinner: usually I’d be having some kind of snack or dessert, but since that’s not an option, I decide to go to bed early. Better that than sitting in front of the TV thinking about how I’d like to be chewing on something.
Day 2: I wake up ridiculously early, though I stay in bed until my alarm goes off.
- Breakfast: apples, carrots, strawberries, orange, mango, kiwi, lime. Fruit explosion in my mouth. This makes me feel energized and although I’m the type of person who wakes up starving, I’m surprisingly OK with having a big glass of fresh juice.
- Lunch: kale, cucumber, celery, apples, tomato, lemon, chives, radish. This is better than yesterday’s lunch mix, and I manage to finish it. I think it’s the chives and radish, which give it a savory and slightly spicy kick that make it seem more like a “meal”. I also pass a woman on the stairs who leaves behind a fragrance that smells like…strawberry fruit roll ups? I think I’m a little bit hungry.
- Dinner: spinach, apples, cucumber, orange bell pepper, carrots, orange, pineapple. I’ve upped the fruits in the dinner juice because I don’ t know that I can do 2 green juices a day.
Day 3: This is getting pretty easy! I could totally stay on a juice diet! My body seems to be appreciating the break from solid foods and all of the grazing I tend to do.
- Breakfast: apple, carrot, orange, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, prickly pear, lime, grapefruit. Again, party in my mouth. I’m loving these crazy fruit juice mixes. I also love my juicer.
- Lunch: carrots, tomato, pineapple, apple, lime. I am tired of green juice. I know that using too many fruits while juicing is a common mistake, but I do it anyway. I figure the carrots and tomato count as a partial salad.
- Dinner: I cannot for the life of me remember what I made. This is also when I decide that I am going end my juice cleanse and start incorporating solid foods the next day. Partially because I underestimated just how much produce I would be consuming and spending money on and partially because I start to miss the act of chewing. And my teeth have a weird fuzzy feeling that I can’t get rid of (which is apparently normal when juicing).
- Dessert: cashew milk. It’s less creamy than I thought it would be, but with the addition of vanilla, agave and cinnamon, if you close your eyes and imagine really hard, it tastes like a (watered down) vanilla milkshake.
The verdict? Having only fresh juice for 3 days was surprisingly easy, and although I had bouts of hunger, they weren’t anything I couldn’t overcome with a bit of distraction. I also lost a couple of pounds, but we all know that it’s water weight
I’ll probably try to do a 3 day cleanse every once in a while because it makes me feel clean and like life has been simplified. It’s reassuring to know exactly what is going into your body. On a daily basis, I try to be conscious of what I’m putting into my body (such as trying to avoid any packaged foods that have unpronounceable or unfamiliar ingredients in the ingredients list). But it’s not always easy to do, and so the juice cleanse gave me an opportunity to reset my body. I’ve continued to juice at least once a day since.
That being said, a few days after the end of my cleanse, my husband and I ordered a pizza, and damn, was it tasty.