Last week I completed a 5 day juice cleanse. After wining and dining at our company's offsite in Healdsburg the previous week, it felt like a good time to detox and reset my palette and cravings. I've done a few juice cleanses in the past, usually for 3 days. The first couple times I made the juice myself, with a juicer, and it was SO much work. Seriously, so laborious. The last time I bought the juice from a local juicer in SF. And this time, I bought the juice from Thrive Cleanse, a new juice bar in the Marina. Their juices are really tasty, and they deliver! Yummy juices delivered right to my door? I don't have to shove kale into a juicer, squirting myself in the process? Heaven. As I said, the longest cleanse I've done is 3 days, so I was a little nervous about extending that to 5. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that Thrive Cleanses' juices kept me satisfied, and I never felt like I was starving.
When I first decided to try a cleanse a few years ago (after one of my students gave a persuasive speech on why you should do a juice cleanse), I found it really helpful to read people's experiences and daily accounts of how they felt. It helped me know what to expect. So, for those interested in doing a cleanse, I jotted down some notes from my 5 days of juicing, so you can see what my experience was like and decide if it's something for you.
Day 1: I woke up and my first thought was, "I'm hungry! What's for breakfast? Oh yea, lemon juice + water. :-/" I ended up skipping the lemon water because the H2O to lemon ratio leaned way too much toward the lemon in the concoction I made. Blegh. I went ahead to a kale juice. I love that Thrive labels your juices for you by number so you don't even have to think about the proper order. Starting your day with a hearty kale juice sounds pretty logical to me, and I drank that around 9:30. I didn't feel hungry until a few hours later, at 12:30pm. I drank the second juice, which was delicious, but around 1pm totally crashed and felt exhausted. Time for some green tea. I kept drinking my juices throughout the day every couple hours and finished with a cashew-based juice (milk?) around 7. It was freakin delicious. Seriously tasted like a healthy horchata dessert drink. Can I just drink this 24/7? Mmm. Overall, I felt pretty satisfied this first day. Onward!
Day 2: Feelin pretty good! Although everyone's lunches smelled really good in the office today. But happy to report, no afternoon energy crash! I made my last juice into a smoothie by throwing it into a blender with ice, and I was legit full. I did doze off while reading my Elle magazine for a power nap around 7pm, which is really unusual for me.
Day 3: Still feelin good! I'm loving this whole no-energy-crash-after-lunch thing. Although I am missing the satisfaction of chewing on/swallowing something yummy. I know that sounds weird but if you've done a juice cleanse you know what I mean. For some reason I decided to torture myself tonight by pinning ridiculous amounts of recipes from one of my fav food blogs, SkinnyTaste.com. But at least I'm craving healthy recipes when I'm done with my juice cleanse, right? I've already decided on the first recipe I'll make when I'm off the cleanse: Baked spaghetti squash and cheese. *Drool*
Day 4: Woohoo, one day left after today! Not thinking about food (or the lack thereof) as much today. And still had good energy throughout the day. So how do I keep this up after I'm off the cleanse and skip that after lunch energy crash?
Day 5: Last day! I wouldn't say it's been "easy," but it's definitely been my easiest cleanse since Thrive Cleanse's juices are so satisfying. Am I looking forward to eating something (healthy) tomorrow though? Hell yes! Day 5 was the easiest since I knew the end was near and I was already feeling a sense of accomplishment. But I am thinking I should treat myself to a certain Marc Jacobs purse I've been lusting after...
So, what was the end result? Was it worth it? The 5 day juice cleanse helped me:
- Reset my palette and cravings. As with my other cleanses in the past, this juice cleanse helped me stop craving salty/fatty foods. And really healthy dishes taste delectable again.
- Lose 5 pounds (although most of it is H2O weight).
- Get rid of eczema. I had a patch of it on my hand that I'd been putting medicated lotion on for a good month and the damn thing was not going away. On the 2nd day of my juice cleanse I noticed the patch was starting to go away, and by the 5th day it was totally gone! Hooray!
- Boost my energy. Not having that mid-afternoon energy slump was so wonderful, and I'm determined to find out what it takes to keep it that way now that my juice cleanse is over (carb-free lunch?)!
- And finally, a lovely side-effect of the juice cleanse—my treat to myself: a new Marc Jacobs purse :)