Okay I know what you're all thinking.. why would anyone ever want to go a whole day (or more) without eating? That sounds awful, I totally agree!
Juice cleanses seem to be all the rage lately, everyone from celebrities to health influencers to your best friends mom have been trying them and the results and reviews have been pretty amazing. I personally have been thinking about doing a juice cleanse for a while - no not to lose weight, more to give my body a full reset.
I've changed my diet dramatically multiple times over the past few months and I think it's safe to say that I royally confused my body and my digestive system and caused my iBS to flare up. To make a long story short I went into prep and my animal protein consumption went way up and then I decided not to compete and came out of prep and went back into more of a plant based pescatarian diet - meaning I eat fish maybe once a week and eggs occasionally and other then that everything I eat is plant based. Which I figured would do good things for my body and my digestion but it hasn't been as fab as I expected and unfortunately my digestion and hormones have paid the price over the last few weeks.
Enter the juice cleanse.
I got the idea well over a month ago and did a lot of research and found a local company that I liked but I had some serious commitment issues surrounding the idea and just kind of let it sit on the back burner for a few weeks. After all, I couldn't not eat food for a whole day thats insane right?
Last week my digestion took a turn for the worst, to spare you the details lets just say that movement was nonexistent and I was actually getting concerned about it and by concerned I mean I was freaking out. From someone who has always suffered with gut issues and more recently IBS, the second that something goes south (or doesn't I guess? haha bad joke) you deal with it. So I committed to the juice cleanse, I placed my order and then I instantly regretted it.
I just spent $65.00 on juice.. WHO DO I THINK I AM?
The juices were delivered on Monday night so that I could cleanse on Tuesday and when I opened the box to put them all in the fridge I was actually surprisingly excited to do this.
Okay so the morning started as usual, my boyfriend made me my coffee with almond milk and handed it to me when I walked into the kitchen oh and then I remembered I wasn't allowed to have caffeine - why did I do this to myself again? The first juice was called "The Kickstarter" which seemed fitting, it had apple. cucumber, lemon, ginger & cayenne in it and it was actually really delicious! Juice #1 was a success, I did miss my usual oats and almond butter and coffee (duh) but other than that I was feeling good - I might actually survive this thing!
I headed to the gym as usual, I actually do a fasted workout a couple times a week so working out without food in my system was not a struggle for me whatsoever, workout was good, no lightheadedness or anything out of the ordinary, I was feeling a little hungry but nothing crazy. I replaced my usual post workout protein smoothie with my second juice, a green juice with apple which is my usual go to when it comes to juice so I was excited to drink this one - it didn't disappoint. I actually had a surprising amount of energy at this point so I jumped right into some work.
At around 2pm my energy levels started to crash, I was 3 juices deep and at this point I started to feel pretty light headed and my vision started to blur a little bit. I went for my fourth juice - an all green juice with zero fruit.. yum.. okay it wasn't exactly delicious and for that reason it took me about 30 minutes to finish which actually helped stabilize my blood sugar.
I was okay for about an hour and then I hit a pretty intense wall of exhaustion so I decided to just relax and rest a bit because I still had a client to train at 4:30pm that I needed to be somewhat enthusiastic for.
And then the caffeine migraine hit.. I wouldn't say I'm addicted to caffeine by any means but I do have a cup every morning and have done so for years so going a day without it sends your body, nervous system and hormones into a state of total confusion and panic.
Just before my client I slammed back juice #5 it was delicious and full of fruit so it gave me pretty solid boost of energy.. for about 20 minutes and then it was back to the splitting headache and delirium. Just get through the next 30 minutes, you can do it.
My next juice wasn't a juice at all it was actually a nut and seed milk with dates, sea salt and vanilla and it had a whopping 42g of fat and 25g of protein in it - think dinner without the chewing. I had been excited for this one all day because I figured I'd actually be satisfied and full after it and I was right. But I think after a day of nothing but liquid carbohydrates my body went a little bit into shock from this plant based milkshake - I felt so nauseas I actually had to lay down and close my eyes to refrain from throwing up $65.00 worth of organic cold pressed juice.
The nausea passed really quickly (thank god) and I felt AMAZING - woohoo can I do this forever?
I drank my final digestive green juice right before bed and looked forward to chewing something in the morning. I broke my cleanse the next morning with some organic gluten free steel cut oats and banana, something simple and easy to digest.
I honestly felt and still feel amazing, my bloating went down completely and my digestion is great. I have eaten fully plant based and continued to drink a green juice every day this week just to ease my body back into food and maintain how I'm feeling and so far so good.
- My digestion is back to normal - everything is moving along great.
- My bloating went down completely and stayed down.
- Any of my usual sweet cravings have subsided - I think this is due to the fact that most of the juices had a good balance of both fruit and vegetables in them.
- I have no desire to eat any animal products at all for a while because I don't want to waste my day of hard work (if I can really call it that).
- Caffeine cravings are gone - I didn't even want caffeine the next day either.
- Juice cleanses can be pretty pricey.
- Bottled juices have a ton of sugar in them even if they are organic and cold pressed - an insulin spike and weird energy levels are inevitable.
- Your first one is going to be a little bit of a rollercoaster of a day because your body is so used to solid foods.
- Working out may be difficult for some people while on a cleanse.
- It is NOT a solution for weight loss, while I did lose about 3lbs it was all water weight and more so due to my bloating going down and my body ridding itself of any build up not any body fat. A juice cleanse is not a sustainable or healthy way to actually lose body fat.
Overall I would day that my cleansing experience was a positive one aside from some energy level spikes and crashes and my body getting used to things. I'm certain that if I did another one it would be a lot easier as I would know what to expect. I will definitely be cleansing again, I think it's a great way to focus on yourself and your body for a day and give your body a full reset.
xo - LU