This is a bit of a switch from my regular Friday recipe post, isn’t it? However, I did a juice cleanse last week and I thought you might be curious to know how it went. I’ve never done one before. I actually can’t remember a single day of my life where I didn’t chew on some food. The idea of juicing was pretty much a non-starter for me. Why would anyone want to “starve” themselves for several days? Is it a hoax? Does it work? What are the benefits? Would I just simply shrivel up and die from the inability to pop whatever I wanted into my mouth for three days? I just didn’t get it and trust me, I didn’t really think I’d ever do it. Clearly, I’m a food person, right?
On somewhat of a whim and with a little New Year’s resolution-style thinking, the idea of doing a cleanse got into my head and I decided to act on it right away. You see, I knew if I thought about it too much, it probably wouldn’t happen. I also knew if I tweeted, messaged and basically shouted it out on the rooftops, I would have to stick to the plan. So, with little forethought and planning, some excitement and a good amount of angst, I ordered my first ever 3-day juice cleanse from my friend, Ety Salamone at Life Juice.
If I was going to do a cleanse, there was no question it would be a Life Juice cleanse. You see, I’m not a big beverage person (I only usually drink water with a splash of lemon or lemonade and yes, I do like a glass wine here and there). I’ve actually tried a raw juice only once and absolutely hated it. The thing that drew me to Life Juice was the continuous press I’ve been reading about how good it tastes. Huff post rated it #1 in their taste test and they are not the only ones talking about it. Just read here, here and here. There was also the trust-factor. I believe the ingredients are pure and I was also able to confirm with Ety that it was entirely gluten-free which is a necessity for me. I know juice is naturally gluten-free but you’d be surprised with manufacturing, how things can get contaminated. So, once I had all of my info, I ordered the cleanse. How did it go? Here is a breakdown:
The Life Juice Cleanse comes with 6 drinks per day. You can find out all of the info here on their website.
Pre cleanse – You are supposed to lay off of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, starches, animal fats, etc. for 3 days pre-cleanse and eat lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. I pretty much skipped this step which is a big no-no. I had Aran Goyoaga’s dinner the night before I started. How was I going to give up eating all of her yummy food? However, if I were to do it all over again, I definitely would do the full pre cleanse. I think it really would have better prepared me for the transition to raw juices.
Day 1 – I had a headache all day. I think it was mostly due to withdrawal from caffeine and sugar (pre cleansing would have helped here). The juices were actually very tasty and satisfying. They add up to about 1000 calories/day. I didn’t feel very hungry. However, I did struggle with the impulse to just stick food into my mouth while I was preparing it for the family. It was an interesting revelation as to the difference between eating out of hunger and just out of habit. By the end of the day, I just wanted to go to bed and get day 1 over and done with.
Day 2 – This was a Saturday. In retrospect, it probably was not the best idea to do it on a weekend since everyone was home. I was preparing meals and watching them eat all day and night! Although, I will say, I didn’t feel terribly hungry and I looked forward to each juice as it came time to drink them. I also felt pretty good as the day went on. I had a few periods of high energy. There were also some periods of being a bit hungry and tired although once I drank my next juice, they subsided. I also knew by mid-day, I was halfway there and was probably going to make it through. That was pretty energizing.
Day 3 – This was a good day. I knew from the start I was going to make it the full three days and I felt good about sticking to my goal. I also started to feel less hungry for food. The juices were satisfying me and I was actually full before finishing some of them. I went to culinary school that night and we made lobster bisque and french onion soup. As delicious as they looked, I had very little interest in eating more than my obligatory tasting for flavor that night (don’t worry, I’m not crazy, I brought them home and froze them for when I am off of the post cleanse).
Post cleanse – Same food as the pre cleanse – The most interesting part about the post cleanse period for me was the foods my body did and didn’t want. I initially thought I would just go hog-wild and eat everything in the fridge when I was done with the cleanse. However, I really wasn’t that hungry. I was craving vegetables and fruits, not meats or cheeses or anything heavy. I really only felt like eating the foods prescribed on the post cleanse card so it wasn’t tough to stick to it at all. By the end of the 3 days, I felt great and like I started the year off with a nice and healthy internal clean slate .
I’ve weaned back on to most of my regular foods with a new sense of awareness regarding my hunger triggers and the cravings my body is having for more fruits and vegetables. I’ve also started to do Pilates and Yoga again and am hoping to stick to all of these good habits throughout the year. For me, the cleanse was a nice healthy jump-start into 2013.
Have you ever cleansed or thought about cleansing? If so was your experience similar or much different? For those of you who are interested in trying one, Life Juice actually is offering a 20% discount to my readers if they order the 3-day cleanse in the next 30 days with the code CAFE20 (Isn’t that so generous? Thank you Ety!).
They also offered to do a giveaway for a 1-day cleanse (a 6-pack of all of their delicious juices). You just need to comment on this post by Wednesday, January 23rd at 12am EST and I will choose a winner at random. Best of luck to you and hope you enjoyed my perspective!
Disclaimer: I am writing an honest review of my experiences. This is not a paid advertisement. I do not receive payment for any advertisements on my website. Additionally, according to the Life Juice website, a juice cleanse is not right for everyone. In general, if you suffer from any of the following, you should consult a health care professional before beginning any juice cleanse:
- Chronic degenerative disease
- Low blood sugar
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia
- Low blood pressure
- Compromised immunity
- Or if you are pregnant, nursing or recently underwent surgery
Other conditions may also be incompatible with juice cleansing which is why you should consult your medical provider before beginning any juice cleanse program. They also do not recommend doing a juice cleanse before the age of 18.
UPDATE: This giveaway is closed and the winner was announced on January 24, 2013. Congratulations Michelle G.!