I was chatting to a friend over brunch last Sunday. She was describing her first ever juice cleanse that she had done a few months prior. Her verdict – she loved it. She found it easy enough, not too challenging and not such an ordeal that you often hear about when reading online.
I’ve always been against juice cleanses, not because I had any information on their positive or negative effects. But the thought of not eating for even 1 day was just off the Richter scary for me. I love food. I love cooking food. Heck, my business is to COOK food for others. How could I possibly do a juice cleanse?
So I started on the Google over the week and realising we were heading towards a long weekend, I decided to face my fear (which isn’t really even a fear) and dive in for a 3 day juice cleanse. I also thought it was a good time to reset my body after having run my first half marathon. I found in the lead up to the marathon I was encouraged to eat bread and other carbs that I normally wouldn’t really indulge in. The night before the race, I ate 2 scoops of Messina – my first taste ever even though I’ve lived around the corner from one for 6 months. I just don’t find that type of food interesting or complex or exciting. It’s just bland, flat, leaves a terrible after taste and a thirst I cannot quench. As bad habits do, they sneak up without you even realising and after the race, I found this excuse popping into my head a lot “but… I’ve just run a half marathon, I can eat that”. And so it went.
I ate Tim Tams, a 1/4 of a donut, more ice cream. All the while this silly excuse was playing in the back of my head and I knew that it wasn’t even satisfying me AND I would feel disgusting after eating it. Yuk.
Initially I thought about home juicing, the only problem is that I don’t own a juicer. I’ve been researching the best cold pressed concoction I can buy for a while now, if you have any suggestions leave them in the comments below.
After researching a few juicing companies: Orchard Street, Urban Remedy and Lucky You. I ended up choosing Orchard Street, because I’d heard so many wonderful things about them and like that they add probiotics and kefirs into the mix. Their juices sounded beautifully crafted, created with thought and love.
Some of you are probably asking:
To cleanse means to give the body a break from digestion and give it a chance to repair and heal. By flooding it with beautiful, fresh, organic nutrient dense juices.
Our digestive system gets a break; our liver and kidneys kick in and get a chance to do their actual job. To cleanse the body of toxins. In today’s environment, the number of toxins the average person is exposed to on a daily basis is very high. Not only food, however I’m a strong believer in local, chemical free or organic produce. We’re exposed to toxins through pollution, hand soaps, body wash, dish washing detergent, make up, those beautiful over priced moisturisers that are sold as being the fountain of youth.. they’re actually just full of chemicals.
Then think of foods. Chocolate, soft drink, highly processed breads, hydrogenated oils, white flour and chips. Being exposed to all of these elements can wreak havoc on the body. It puts the liver into overdrive and fat deposits end up being stored everywhere, even in our brain. To fix this, we need to treat our digestive system with love and give it a chance to catch up every now and again.
While this is a time to avoid and remove any toxins from the body. This also includes toxic thoughts, as positive thinking is the key to a healthy happy life.
Some signs your body may be toxic are; feeling tired, trouble concentrating, anxiety, depression, mood swings, susceptible to colds, trouble sleeping, skin problems, back pain, bloating, sinus congestion and more.
Why cleanse anyway?
There are so many reasons you can cleanse and in the end it’s up to you.
- It’s a great way to start an elimination diet
- You feel your body needs a reset
- You want the challenge or experience… I mean you need to try everything once right?
- You need to kick some bad eating habits
- You want to give your body the best organic love for three whole days in a row
- You have a big event looming and want to look your best and brightest
- You want to lose some weight
NOTE – I don’t support this as the be all and end all to weight loss. I believe in a balance diet, exercise and happy full-filling lifestyle choices. You should consider all these options before undertaking a cleanse for weight loss purposes.
If you read other blogs about cleansing you will notice most of them focus on their weight, day by day. I prefer a holistic approach and don’t believe in weighing myself. I know week to week if I’ve put the right things into my body and done enough physical activity. I will feel it in my energy levels, in my moods, in my clothing. Now that’s the best set of scales anyone can ask for.
The night before
My cleanse pack is delivered and I’m very eager to see these beautiful bottles in the flesh. I ordered 3 days of the signature, on later thought I probably should have ordered one of each type Orchard Street offer. But as it’s my first, I start with the basic. Another thing to think about is how they will all fit in your fridge. 18 x 500mL bottles takes up quite a bit of room.
I eagerly read the instructions and I’m excited to see there’s a beautiful juice scheduled every 2 hours, from 8am – 6pm.
I eat a healthy dinner, sauteed kale, roast pumpkin and quinoa. Lights out by 10pm.
I’m awake at 6am and reflect on my dreams from the night before. I had a few dreams I kept forgetting I was on the cleanse and snacking on everything in sight. I was really angry with myself for ruining the cleanse and having no self-control.
Orchard Street has sent me a loving email about what to expect from the day. Its a great thing to read so early in the morning and puts me in good spirits for the day.
I start with a lemon water, I’ve talked about this a lot you can read it here. I prep some beautiful lunches for my clients then off to deliver. On my deliveries I open my first juice and it’s b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. It’s a smoothie of kale, banana, avocado, pear, milk thistle, chia seeds, lemon and probiotic super greens. I make similar green smoothies for breakfast so this one is no different to how I start the day.
As the day progresses I’m counting down the minutes until I can try the next one. Making sure I have 500mL of water in between each juice. I’m also conscious that I’m taking a juice cleanse in winter so I keep warm with herbal teas.
I also steer clear of social media, knowing Instagram is a haven for food inspiration. The thought of seeing someone’s homemade almond meal banana pancakes is just a tease.
Throughout the day I’m waiting for a headache to come on, but nothing happens. The hardest part for me today is stopping the habit of eating. The fact I know I can’t eat anything is the toughest and that’s a pretty good situation to be in. I instantly realise how silly this is and I’m back on track.
By 6pm I’ve had a warming miso soup and I’ve fallen asleep on the lounge before the last juice, which is a cashew chai milk. I actually feel like a baby, which such a strict feeding schedule, I woke myself up at 7.30pm to drink my milk, before I crash for the evening. I can’t blame the juice cleanse for being this tired, however the milk definitely helps settle you and send you off to sleep.
I’m still on a high from my cashew chai milk. Seriously in love with that drink. I’m already counting down the juices until I can have it again. I read my morning cleanse email from Orchard Street. Today can be the hardest for some, it’s been over 36 hours since a eating a solid meal. Again, I’m shocked at how easy today was. I study, go for a long walk in the sun. Fall asleep in the sun for 3 hours.
Relax… life is good. No headaches. No cravings for food, except around lunch time but I have a miso soup and more water and I’m fine.
I sip my cashew chai slowly and it disappears a little to quickly. But again, I feel milk drunk and I’m out by 8pm. Happy long weekend.
The sun is shining and I feel wonderful, energetic, light and bright.
Life goes on today, house cleaning, studying and a big 2 hour walk in the sunshine with a friend. No cravings for food, no headaches. I’m starting to think I could adapt to this liquid diet forever.
I start planning my first meal for tomorrow. Finishing a cleanse is just as important as starting one.
We’re invited out for dinner. I stayed in, as there’s nothing worse than one person not eating at dinner. I’m absolutely loving this down time this weekend, I knew I needed it but I honestly don’t know myself right now. Tonight I’m out by 8.30pm.
The day after and beyond
Waking to beautiful words of encouragement from Orchard Street. I’ve made it! I’m a bit lost for a second that I have to make my own breakfast instead of walking to the fridge and opening a bottle. I start with half a rockmelon.
Later I’ll move onto a raw green salad and slowly reintroduce the majority of the food groups over the week.
All in all, a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to do it again. Next time will definitely be in spring or summer when it’s warmer. However I’m not totally against doing it in winter. I found that I did get cold right after I had the juice and it took more than a warm drink to warm me up sometimes.
I’d love to know in the comments below if you’re thinking about juice cleansing, what’s holding you back? Or if you’re a seasoned pro, what are your top tips for getting through.
For more information on detoxing – read my 6 post series “7 easy ways to detox without having to detox”. Post number one is here.
Note – for some people a juice cleanse can be quite intense. Before embarking on this journey, I urge you to chat to the company you choose about the best options for you and your health goals. If you are self juicing, please do your research so you receive a balanced diet during the cleanse.