Life has this funny way of throwing curveballs when you least expect it. These last few months for me have been challenging, to say the least. I started a new job, moved into a new apartment, learned the art of confrontation, and spent way too much time baking holiday sweets that aren’t suitable for posting on this website. For these reasons (and many others) I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I would have liked to. But a new year brings new beginnings and I am once again vowing to devote more time toward pursuing personal projects. One of the most important things we can do to stay emotionally healthy is to reserve enough time for ourselves and focus on activities that make us happy. Easier said than done, of course.
In an attempt to regain some balance and detox all the sugar I consumed over the month of December, I embarked on a 3-day juice cleanse. I followed the advice given by Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss in their book “The 3-Day Cleanse.” I wrote down some recipes, went to Whole Foods the night before, bought a grocery cart full of fruits and vegetables, and set up my juicer for the next morning. I chose to complete the “foundation” cleanse: A medium-leveled plan for those who eat fairly healthy but who are new to the multiple-day juice cleanse routine. Now, I’m no novice to the juicing world entirely; I’m only new to the world of multi-day-juice plans. I typically drink a couple of juices per week and have survived a few one-day juice cleanses, mostly when I’ve felt under the weather and wanted to kick the virus out of me as fast as possible. And let’s be honest, I snuck a few almonds and cashews in between beverages.
This time however, was different. It was time to stop thinking about doing a juice cleanse and just do it. The testimonials I read were inspiring: People were losing weight, feeling ecstatic and full of energy, gaining confidence, overcoming health issues, and seeing allergies and skin issues disappear! My expectations were high and I was going into this thing full force.
The foundation cleanse called for a daily serving of 2 fruit juices, 3 green juices, and 1 nut milk – with recipes provided in the last pages of the book. It required preparation by eating all raw foods for a couple of days before the cleanse, cutting out caffeine, meat, alcohol, and cigarettes. In the days following the cleanse, solid foods are to be reintroduced slowly, warning that digestive systems may enter into a type of “shock” if solids and cooked foods were consumed too quickly. I reread a few vital sections of the book and felt confident enough to dive in to my weekend a la juice.
The days of juicing went by and I waited for the change. My testimonial. My enlightening experience from consuming nothing but raw fruits and vegetables in liquid form for 3 days. I waited for it to be difficult, to feel those intense cravings, to feel a sense of accomplishment when I resisted – but I felt nothing. Nothing besides a 2-day-long headache that was probably just my body going through a sugar withdrawal (I had managed to develop a sugar addiction by incorporating dark chocolate into my diet almost every day since Christmas).
Honestly, the most difficult part was not the hunger, it was the desire to sit down for a meal, cut a piece of food, and be able to chew it in my mouth. It was even a struggle to drink the last of the juices that I needed to consume because I wasn’t hungry enough to drink it! I didn’t really crack until about 8:00pm on the last day, Sunday. I only had 3 of the required 6 juices per day, I was tired, and in no condition to chop a cutting board full of produce and run it through the juicer even one more time. I sat and debated with myself for a while, trying to decide whether it was worth it to finish the weekend off strong. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that maybe juicing wasn’t for me. Maybe my diet was adequate enough that I didn’t really need a juice cleanse. Yes, there were some pro’s that resulted from my weekend a la juice, but overall it wasn’t the revelation I was expecting. This whole experience just turned out to be another lesson in the philosophy of “what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.” After that, I picked up some spring rolls and veggie pho, ate it happily (and slowly), and went to bed. And you know what? I felt fine. No digestive shock. No crazy nausea. Just the warm feeling of contentment that comes after eating a big bowl of soup on a cold night.
So the question now is – do I still believe in drinking juices? Yes. Do I think that some people benefit greatly from juice cleanses? Sure. Do I think that drinking juice is a great way to obtain a ton of nutrients and a great way to live healthier? Definitely. Do I think that everyone will benefit from dedicating days of their lives to drinking nothing but liquified produce? Not entirely. But this is how we learn, and at least now I can say I tried it. Who knows, maybe next time I’ll try a new kind of cleanse and feel something totally different. The point of this story? Do what’s right for you. No one knows your body better than yourself, so listen to what it’s saying and follow it’s direction!
PS- One “pro’s” of this cleanse was discovering how to make cashew milk, a drink I am now obsessed with. A recipe for this as well as other recipes used during the juice cleanse are soon to follow!