To Juice Or Not To Juice?

Happy New Year, everyone! And congratulations on surviving that dreaded first week back to reality post vacation. Mine was filled with gym sessions (kickboxing and cardio dance classes FTW!), healthy meal prepping, and of course, goal setting for 2016. Here’s hoping the discipline and dedication lasts for the rest of the year!

Whether you love or hate resolutions, January is always a good time to set new intentions and reflect on what you’d like to prioritize for the year ahead. Health & wellness is always a big focus for everyone (especially after a gluttonous holiday season), and I’ve noticed a lot of people going on juice cleanses this time of the year. I’ve always been anti-juice cleanses–I don’t believe in starving myself or fad diets–but there was a point in time last month when I just felt really sluggish/bloated/heavy and needed something to reset my system and kick healthy habits into full gear. Sooo, I convinced my coworker to sign up for a Groupon and purchases the three-day Classic Cleanse from Peeled Chicago. We got the cleanse on a major discount ($75) so it seemed like a good time to give it a try.

A couple of disclaimers. 1) I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, so make sure to consult a professional before trying a cleanse if you have any health issues. 2) I cheated a bit during my cleanse, so my experiences might not be entirely accurate. I started to cleanse on Sunday evening before dinner (you’re supposed to start the cleanse in the morning so you get the full day’s experience) and ended it before Wednesday dinner. I also let myself snack on carrot sticks when I was hungry, had some sashimi on the first night, and eggs on the second night. You’re not supposed to eat at all, but like I said, I don’t believe in starving myself completely, and I still felt like I experienced the positive side affects of juicing – increased energy, feeling lighter, etc. 3) This is not an ad, I purchased this juice cleanse on my own. 

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Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, here’s a quick recap of what the three days of cleansing looked like for me.

Sunday: I started the juice cleanse Sunday evening (again, you’re not supposed to do this, but I was just really eager to get started when I picked the juices up from Peeled) with the Maroon 5 (beet, carrot, apple, ginger, lemon), followed by the Cashew Dream (cashew, maple syrup, agave, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg). These two ended up being my favorite juices of the lot, so this was a very smooth start. I was like, wow, these juices are freakin’ amazing–the next three days are going to be a breeze! The Maroon 5 can be very polarizing (my coworker absolutely hated it), but I looove beets and sweet juices so I was a big, big fan. And the Cashew Dream was sweet and delicious. I went to bed a very happy girl.

Monday: Started the day with the Green Lantern (apple, spinach, kale, celery, ginger, cucumber, parsley, lemon, lime), which I didn’t mind, followed by the Haute Lemonade (lemon, maple syrup, ginger, cayenne, salt) which was incredibly difficult for me to finish. My coworker on the other hand, absolutely loved it. I don’t know why, but I just hated how sour this juice was. I started feeling woozy around noon, felt better after downing the Maroon 5 and Green Lantern but had some chills all day and felt incredibly sleepy by 4 pm. I was major struggling (and shivering) when I got home and allowed myself to eat some salmon sashimi for dinner. Skipped the Maroon 5 and Cashew Dream since I had a light dinner and went to bed by 9:30 pm. Overall, it was a rough day and I was hating myself for ever thinking this was a good idea.

Tuesday: This day was much, much better and I woke up with so much energy! I did the same routine of juices during the day, and didn’t start getting hungry till 2 pm. My coworker and I actually swapped our Haute Lemonade and Maroon 5 juices, so I was much happier being able to skip my least favorite juice. Snacked on some carrot sticks and felt a little woozy, but nothing as bad as the day before. I started getting more fever chills at night, so I decided to let myself eat some eggs and skipped out on the Maroon 5 and Cashew Dream before bedtime.

Wednesday: I’ve read that the third day is the easiest, and that was definitely the case for me as well. I woke up with a ton of energy and felt great all day (my coworker and I swapped our Haute Lemonade and Maroon 5 juices once again). I didn’t start feeling hungry till 3 pm, but that was probably in anticipation of my dinner plans, since I was scheduled to end the juice right before dinner. I didn’t have any fever chills on the last day and was really enjoying how refreshed the juices made me feel. By 6 pm, I was done, and ready to enjoy a REAL meal! I eased back into a regular diet with some fish for dinner.

Overall, I had a good experience with the three day cleanse from Peeled. I know I cheated (a LOT), but it’s important to listen to your body and not do anything too drastic or harmful. I’ve never even skipped a meal prior to this juice cleanse, so I knew I needed to give my body some raw food to survive the cleanse. I don’t think I would do a full cleanse again, but I’m a big fan of incorporating at least one juice a day now. I’ve been picking up beet and kale juices from Trader Joe’s (only five bucks!) and they’re such a great way to start the morning. A lot of people cleanse for the quick drop in pounds, and I think this is the wrong mentality to have. I did the juice cleanse because I wanted to reset my system and incorporate healthier habits into my diet. Can this be done without a cleanse? Probably. But I needed the kick in the butt, and am grateful to the cleanse for showing me how much more energy I can have when I cut out shitty foods. I definitely don’t have a perfect diet today (I love food too much!), but I’m trying to make healthier decisions every day, and I do think this cleanse put me on the right path.

Let me know if you’ve ever done a cleanse, I’d love to hear from you! Please remember that I’m not an expert or a nutritionist, this was just a very honest take on my experiences and I’d love to hear yours too. xoxo.

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