My Life On a Juice Cleanse

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After having lunch with a friend at The Garden Table in Broad Ripple, I was very intrigued about trying a juice cleanse. I loved that it was only a 3 day commitment (I don’t really believe in long term diets, but rather establishing lifelong healthy habits), the juice is prepared fresh for you, & the promises of more energy, clearer skin, and weight loss just seem too good to be true.

I did some research on this specific cleanse: 3 days with 6 juices with some “supplemental” information about adding in food if you start to feel too light-headed or dizzy from the lack of “real” food. I am a firm believer that you have to make a cleanse work for you and go in with the best intentions possible. My rationale for starting a juice cleanse really was to hit the restart button on my body. Kyle & I had gotten in a bad habit of wine at night followed by a mini ice cream bar literally almost every night. Add on to it, weddings, lunches with colleagues, & nights out with friends and healthy eating habits were quickly getting away from me. I know that a 3 day cleanse is not the secret to sustained weight loss, nor is it the secret to a rejuvenated life. But it would force me to spend three days really being mindful of what my triggers are so that by day 4 I can make better choices.

I recently heard someone say that saying “no” to food shouldn’t make you feel like you are depriving yourself but rather saying “yes” to a better you. You are worth it.

So I went into this cleanse with an open mind & great intentions, knowing that it would be rough, but you can do anything for 3 days.

Or can you???

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I had no idea how much liquid you’re supposed to consume during a cleanse. The juice itself comes in 16oz bottles, so with 6 varieties that’s 96oz in just juice. PLUS, you’re supposed to drink water as well! It will definitely rid your body of toxins with how often you go to the bathroom, that’s for sure.

I also didn’t LOVE all 6 of the juices. In fact, I absolutely couldn’t stomach 2 of the 6, and one (Hoosier Heater) was a little too hot to handle. I was really disappointed, because to be successful at a cleanse it should only be as hard as saying no to real food, not made even harder for barely likely the drink.

My day by day recap:

Day One was tough. I got through the work day okay, but man oh man was I starving by the time I got home. And since I couldn’t finish 2 of the 6 juices, I knew I needed to eat SOMETHING for this to be normal. Was it the best choice? No. But we made pasta for Aidan (which is adorable), so I snuck a little bowl in to get me through the day.

Day Two not much better. The juices surprisingly tasted better by day 2 which was a welcome surprise, but the lack of caffeine in my body gave me a throbbing headache. It was a sad realization how badly my body has come to depend on it. I did a lot of self reflecting on day 2. Why am I doing this? Why did I think this was a good idea? Why do I feel like I need a cheeseburger right now? What will my first meal be on Friday? Like Day 1, I ate the same meal again just for consistency to make sure I tried as best I could to live into the idea of limiting the foods your body digests.

Day Three – well, I quit by the end of work in time for dinner. At which point I proceeded to drink a nice, cold beer (Ballast Point Mango Even Keel IPA) and had a chicken gyro with tater tots.

Let’s just say juice cleanses aren’t for the faint of heart. It did force me to face the harsh reality: I have poor eating habits and poor self control. It also showed me that I don’t handle extremes well. I’ve always believed everything in moderation (even moderation…), but this helped to point out my biggest eating downfalls that I’m excited to take on headfirst.
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Extra Tips if Deciding to Cleanse:

  • Choose the days purposefully:  Tues-Thurs gave me the best shot of staying on track. I’m at work all day with no plans for eating out.
  • Supplement when you need to: They recommend supplementing with raw foods like an avocado, salad, or other veggies to get you through a slump. After realizing I could only stomach 4 of the 6 juices, I caved and ate dinner. While it was not all raw food, I was choiceful in eating as healthy as possible. My goal in the cleanse wasn’t to abstain from eating completely for 3 days, but be more mindful in what/when I ate.
  • If you can, try the juices before diving into the cleanse: At The Garden Table, you can order juice flights (not as fun as a wine flight in my opinion…) which would give you a chance to try all the juices that would be in your cleanse at a much cheaper cost. I thought I’d be able to stomach anything, I mean, it is just juice after all. Boy was I wrong. The Cashew Concoction was such a weird consistency, I couldn’t get past the first few sips. And the Emerald Elixir tasted like straight up kale.
  • Have support: I shared part of my journey through Snapchat hoping it would hold me accountable. Kyle was also very supportive & encouraging, especially near the end of the day, to help me stay on track and also give me grace when I needed food. May I add that while on my juice cleanse, his diet consisted of: Chikfila breakfast, frozen pizza lunch, pasta dinner, popsicle dessert, beer, waffles, bacon, McAlisters….and you wonder why I cleansed???

Would I ever do it again? No. While I think this was great for my self-awareness, I don’t think I can sustain off juice for three days again. I am so glad I did it though. I always thought my self-restraint was lacking, but I found within me those 3 days that I could walk away from the kitchen, walk away from the pantry, and walk away from the temptation. I’m excited to return to real food, but I’m also excited to use the tools I’ve learned over the past three days to maintain a healthier life!

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