A few years ago, when this blog started, my girlfriend suggested I try out a juice cleanse and write about it. I told her that I loved food too much and thought that I would be too hangry of a person to complete one… three days without solid food sounded (sounds) like completely torture to me. Besides, I always thought that the best way to cleanse my body was simply returning to clean eating (lots of veggies + fruits, lean + organic proteins, and whole grains). Trust me, I’ve experienced the post vacation… or post heavy weekend… bloat and fatigue… but simply taking a break from the booze, sweets, and heavy foods was usually enough for me to get back on track and feeling great.
When these Suja juices came across my path though, I started to do a little more research. I discovered that they had a juice cleanse program called “1 Day Renewal.” It’s a one day cleanse that incorporates three different juices: one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. It also includes a meal plan with three 200-250 calorie meals. Again, one meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was intrigued. It was one of the first cleanses I had seen that actually allowed for solid food consumption (gasp!). I decided that after our last weekend trip to Palm Springs that I would give it a whirl. See what all the hype was behind juice cleanses…. and, let’s be honest here, I thought it would make for an intriguing blog post. I figured I would sacrifice myself (because, really, a whole day without full meals would be that) for the blog.
So…. the morning of, I followed the instructions closely. I had my first juice right after my workout (as I would typically have my first meal). The first juice is the “daybreak probiotic.” Tasty for sure. About an hour or so after, I was hungry again, so I opted for the raw oatmeal… which was also tasty. I felt better after and thought “Hey, I can totally do this.” Well… around 10:45 hunger began to strike. I decided it was time to get out of the house… attempt to distract myself. It worked. At noon I had the second juice, the ” noon greens.” It was tasty as well… and I felt myself settle a little. Yet, 40 minutes later hunger struck. I made my veggie burger with avocado, greens, and some mustard. Surprisingly I felt okay. Then came 3:00… and like clockwork hunger struck. I couldn’t ignore it this time, so I had some carrots and green beans (if you really count that as cheating….), which held me over juuuuuust until 5:30pm at which point I took inventory. I had one juice left, a small meal, and then a long stretch before bed…. and then 8 hours of sleep…. and decided that I would split the juice. Half before dinner, half after dinner when (because it wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when) hunger struck again. I had the salmon option, but I gave myself an extra side of asparagus (shame on me, right?….). I felt okay at this point, and I really don’t like feeling just ok, so I immediately drank the rest of the juice. Hmmmm….. still hungry (go figure….). I decided to wait an hour to see if it would subside.
An hour later I felt foggier than I had throughout the day and hungry, so I decided to chop up some bell peppers (2 medium sized ones) and dip them in hummus (I also had a piece of a perfect bar…. oops). I felt better and decided I’d likely be able to make it through the evening. Right before bed, I had some hot lemon water.
When I woke up in the morning, I felt like I was going to faint. I was wobbly and my head was foggy. I immediately went to the refrigerator and had a tablespoon of peanut butter and a glass of water before I headed out for my morning walk. When I got back, I opted for my favorite morning breakfast (oatmeal) and happily enjoyed every last bite… knowing that I could eat normally the entire day.
So, here’s my breakdown:
1. If you’re looking to try a cleanse, I think this option is the best I have seen. I really don’t like the idea of significantly reducing calorie intake, so I like that it at least allows for nutritious solid food.
2. I felt pretty good in the morning, yet as the day went on, I began to feel constantly foggy and fatigued. I mean, I guess that’s to be expected though. What I wasn’t expecting was the morning after experience…. yet, again, in retrospect, to be expected.
3. I listened to myself and didn’t allow my body to get too hungry… which is why I ended up having an afternoon snack, added a little more to my dinner, and ultimately had a post-dinner snack.
4. In chatting about my experience with my sister, we concluded that it was probably difficult for me because I tend to have the three main meals, and then two snacks throughout the day… so the large gaps between meals was difficult for my body to adjust to. Perhaps it would have been easier if I only ate three large meals a day? I don’t know…. (some may argue I didn’t have willpower???).
5. I likely won’t do one again. In the end, I didn’t feel any more cleansed than when I simply return back to clean and nutritious eating…. wait, I strike that. I feel better when I simply return to clean eating, without eliminating food all together.
6. I simply can’t imagine doing a cleanse for 3 days. I now know exactly what this article was talking about (I actually read this article several years ago when cleansing was all the rage).
While I likely won’t do a juice cleanse again, some others may argue that they were wonderful for them. That’s great! We all have our own experiences, and my story is offering you one unbiased perspective. Yet, while I’m not a huge juice cleanse fan, I am a huge fan of juices in general. I particularly love incorporating them with my morning meal or afternoon snack. My favorites from Suja include the Lemon Love (have it almost every morning with breakfast), Sweet Beets (so tasty!), and Twilight Protein (part of the cleanse, but I think it would be a great morning snack, or post workout drink). The Noon Greens is a delicious green option as well.
** Please note, I received clearance from my doctor to do the cleanse for one day
I’ve also found so many cute athletic pieces that are perfect for fitness and everyday use. I’m loving this hooded tank, this cute striped sports bra, yellow strappy back sports bra, nike vintage gym shorts (the shorts version of my favorite pants!), and this graphic muscle tank.