Scheduling my raw food juice cleanse was easier said than done. I knew I wanted to start it on a Monday because I needed some declaration of a fresh start. One problem --the only availability they had for a Monday was in three weeks…apparently juice cleanses are all the rage in California. I was in no serious rush, so I took it and then decided that for the next three weeks leading up to “D-Day”, I’d eat whatever I want. Five pounds and a round face later, my juice cleanse officially begins.
Here I go! It just so happens that this particular Monday morning fell on the day after SuperBowl Sunday, so my body was full of toxins. I left my house a little earlier than usual and stopped by the juice bar to pick up my days cleanses.
I was greeted by a friendly girl who quickly ran through the dos and don’ts, then told me not to starve myself…great. I was given a colorful ziplock bag of five different juices and a snack and was instructed to “listen to my body” but follow a two-hour interval in between juices.
I arrived at the office and popped my first top at exactly 8:30 am. My first juice was a cloudy orange substance. I, of course, smelled it first, did a little glass swirl and a shoulder shrug then took my first sip. My first instinct was “this is not carrot juice and did I just drink salsa?” Indeed. It was the juice from two different types of peppers, pears, and mangos. t was spicy and the type of density that made me question whether or not I should chew it before swallowing. Needless to say, I took the entire two hour time span between my first juice and second juice to finish it.
Good morning, sunshine. After the first drink, I was pleased to see that my second drink looked refreshing – semi-clear with a green tint and delicious looking cranberries floating on top. This drink was festive! At 10:45 am, I shook the contents and dug in. It tasted like cucumber mixed with the smell of freshly cut grass…I mean, I’ve never eaten freshly cut grass before, but from the way it smelled, I’d assume it would taste somewhat similar. This one also took a while for me to finish and I was beginning to get a horrible headache (a side-effect from the toxins being released from your body). I purposely left the beautiful little cranberries for last thinking “yum!”. I’m unsure if I have ever actually eaten a raw cranberry, but my face wrinkled up like a prune at first chew…they were very, very bitter.
My third drink, aka my lunch at 1 pm, was surprisingly good considering its green thickness and an overabundance of floating particles. I love green veggies and this one was full of broccoli and spinach. It also had the perfect amount of sweetness that came from the juice of an apple. I will say that I was personally weirded out by the pungent taste of ginger root, simply for the fact that it’s an essential garnish for my sushi. After I got past the idea that I was not drinking liquefied raw fish and rice, the drink became refreshing and left my stomach feeling satisfied.
At around 3pm, I was ready for my snack in between my third and fourth juice—let me clarify—by snack, I mean a small ziplock bag of unsalted and unseasoned oats that contained a few peanuts, raisins, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Besides the fact that I felt like a park pigeon nibbling through the seeds thrown down onto the cement by the bird lady in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, I welcomed the substance though picked through much of the oats because they were dry and fairly difficult to swallow.
After work, I was absolutely exhausted and really had no energy to exercise, even though it’s highly recommended during a juice cleanse. Instead, I opened juice four, the antioxidant tea, at 5:30 pm and sipped it slowly during my daily re-run ritual of Seinfeld. The tea was minty and really refreshing; having said that, I totally blame it for my strange forty-five minute evening nap and for waking up a little disoriented. (Wait? What time is it? What day is it? Is it morning? Am I late for work?) Ugh, we’ve all been there, right? Thankfully, it was my mental alarm clock that woke me up just in time for my final juice of the day. It was green, tangy and a little bit sweet. Because it was a simple juice of cucumber, lemon, green apple, celery and parsley, I was able to finish it fairly quickly without any difficulty. I was finally done with day one and called it an early night.
My next two days went a lot more smoothly and I was actually beginning to like it. By day two, it became somewhat convenient and, dare I say, easy. My headaches went away and my body was really starting to feel energized. I made it a point to drink extra water (at least a bottle and a half in between juices) to help flush out all of the toxins in my body.
I was able to end my final two days with a stress relieving exercise of yoga and Pilates (see RejuvaHealth’s Exercise column) and made a point to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Although I didn’t weigh myself, I could absolutely tell that I had lost a few pounds. I was left feeling clean and healthy and most importantly disciplined.
This was a huge challenge for me and I was proud of my accomplishment. By the review from my first day, you’re probably thinking “no way”--but don’t knock it until you try it. I will definitely be doing this again and I highly recommend it to others.