Juice Cleansing: Is it really worth it?
After a few rather stressful months of travel and longgg days in the office, one’s body was in desperate need of a cleanse….and being a juice cleanse virgin, I thought why the heck not give it a try! But the experience I had was not at all what I was expecting...
I had spent the past month living off a highly processed, sugary diet, drinking copious amounts of coffee and not looking after my body (read: avoiding the gym like the plague). Not surprisingly, my energy levels were low, I felt constantly bloated and my skin kept breaking out. Yup…a picture of health!
Enter the heroic juice cleanse to save me…
Despite being a slightly obsessive lover of food, I jumped at the chance to refresh my body and decided to sign up for a 3-day cleanse with Pressed Juices. They came highly recommended andddd the store is 3 minutes from my house. Convenience + the promise of health = winner.
The cleanse consists of eight juices per day and is designed to gently purify the body and eliminate unhealthy toxins, giving your body a new lease of life (HALLELUJAH). The juices act as meal replacements (1 juice every 2 hours) and you are strongly encouraged to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks and anything processed during the cleanse…
And so it begins…
Diary of my cleanse (Warning: it’s not a happy story)
Day 1: Morning – 7am
Day 1 started off well – I wasn’t hugely hungry when I woke up but after an hour of hot yoga was RAVENOUS. I ran along to Pressed Juices to pick up my first day's supply, super excited to start pumping some good shizzle into my body. I started with an alkalizing juice made of lemon water, activated coconut charcoal (WTF) and cayenne pepper…
The juices were surprisingly delicious and I didn’t feel hugely hungry for most of the morning. For someone who normally eats everything in sight, this was a miracle.
However, by 3pm it all started to go wrong. My energy levels were super low, I was finding it really hard to concentrate and I alllll I wanted to do was eat.
You see the thing is, I. LOVE. FOOD. It’s my knight in shining armor when I’m stressed/sad/happy/tired/excited/worried < insert any emotion here.
By the time I finished work, I was starting to resent the juices and questioning why I ever thought this would be a good idea. And by 7pm…
Energy: Waning by the second
Hunger: All I can see and smell EVERYWHERE is food.
Let’s just say that it was best to not step within 10 meters of me by this point. I thought I had cracked the 3pm craving but an almighty headache started late afternoon and Just. Didn’t. Stop.
I was in bed by 8.30pm due to lack of energy but, to my dismay, could not sleep. I lay in bed with my eyes wide opening, counting big fluffy sheep, but my body was clearly in panic mode and didn’t quite know what to do with itself.
Day 2: Morning – 7am
Hunger: Starvation mode
After a terrible night’s sleep I awoke feeling lethargic, anxious and sad. Sooo many questions running through my head. How long did I have to continue this torture for? Where was the energy I had been promised? Why oh why could I not just eat some vegemite on toast?
It took me 2 hours to get out of bed and I arrived at work hugely late, in a terrible mood. I just wanted some porridge or toast or something solid and warm to comfort me but, alas, I had another 48 hours of juices to go.
Work was a struggle from the outset…I tried to take my mind off food by checking my favourite sites…every single advertisement was food related. Was this some sort of sick joke?!
It was officially the Slowest. Day. Ever. And my head was still pounding.
Evening – 7pm
Energy: All time low
Hunger: I have almost forgotten what food is
Mood: I never want to see a pressed juice again
By 6pm, I decided it was time to call Pressed Juices and get some friendly (urgent) advice. The past two days had been MISERABLE and I needed someone to tell me it was ok to stop. I was directed to one of their nutritionists and she was just wonderful…not only did she reassure me that it’s normal for some people to react this way (phew), she also told me that, if I really needed to, I could eat some steamed veggies for dinner. Pure JOY. I can honestly say I’ve never been so happy to eat steamed veggies in my life.
That evening I made the difficult decision to stop the cleanse altogether. I had been determined to complete the 3 days and really didn't want to fail, but my mental state was at an all time low and I just wanted to feel happy again! The nutritionist reassured me that the 48 hours I had endured would already have had a positive impact on my organs, so I feel content that my efforts hadn't been completed wasted.
I was pretty bummed to walk away from it but just so grateful to eat some solid food that evening...even if it was just steamed veggies!
So should you try a juice cleanse?
It is pretty clear that the 3 day juice cleanse didn’t work for me. But saying that, everybody is different and a detox will affect us all in different ways. Some friends of mine have tried the cleanse and walked away feeling full of energy and refreshed. Damn those bitches. (Kidding!)
Cleanse or no cleanse, we all know how to improve our health – personally I would focus on cutting out heavily processed foods and sugar and get more whole foods and lean proteins into your diet. And if you do want to try a cleanse, I highly recommend starting with one day and seeing how you feel!
Here’s a few tips if you fancy a more natural detox:
- Mindful eating – slow down, focus on eating and chew your food!
- Drink lots of healthy fluids (water and green tea).
- Cut out processed foods and sugar – focus on natural plant based foods and eat organic where possible
- Check your portion sizes
- Get outside in the sun and get some fresh air and vitamin D
- Eliminate foods that are affecting your gut (I'll soon be posting about the FODMAP elimination plan)
Have a wonderful day/evening everyone!
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