You may have seen via one of our social media feeds on Sunday that I started a 3-day juice cleanse. I had actually been interested in trying out a cleanse for a while; perhaps, somewhat serendipitously, a girl in my office embarked on one two weeks’ ago with fantastic results. Obviously, I had to give the cleanse a go myself and so, booked a 3-day cleanse with Bliss Juicery.
Photo sourced from the Bliss Juicery website
Since returning from our trip from Paris and Madrid, I have been feeling awful; the cleanse was intended to give my body a break from rich food (of which, I seem to have an unlimited tolerance for lately), alcohol (a glass of wine is my evening ritual) and caffeine. Having, unsuccessfully, tried to return to a cleaner way of eating since the end of holiday, and a trip to Greece and Turkey looming in 12 weeks, I REALLY needed to get my act together in terms of healthy eating and the 3-day juice programme seemed like the ideal way to kick start my way to some sort of bikini-ready body.
So off I trotted on Saturday morning to the Colony Shopping Centre to collect my juices for the first 2 days – I had a chat with the delightful owner, Samantha, and felt ready to conquer the world of juicing as I fell asleep on Saturday evening.
Day 1: Sunday
Besides feeling a bit low energy-wise, I actually couldn’t believe how fine I felt. I was not hungry once during the day; all the juices were quite nice – including the green one I was initially scared to try out. I managed to make my husband breakfast, lunch and dinner without picking at the food, or wanting to pick at it! I had made sure to keep my diary clear for Sunday in case I felt awful, limiting myself to a mani and pedi (with none of my favourite milk tart!) and a tea catch-up (herbal for me).
By 9pm on Sunday, I was asleep on the couch after struggling to drink both of the evening juices (Greens 2: Spinach, apples, cucumber, celery and lemon, and the Cacao Almond Milk). That said, I had one of the best sleeps I have had in ages: eight-and-half hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep.
Day 2: Monday
Based on my sleep the night before, I was expecting smooth sailing day on day 2. How wrong I was! Despite how easy-drinking the ‘breakfast’ juice is (vanilla almond milk, with dates and Himalayan salt) by 9am a fog settled over my brain, as the caffeine withdrawal started to kick in. My peppermint tea soothed the headache for about ten minutes, and after each juice was better for about 30 minutes, but unfortunately a dull headache persisted the entire day.
Each time I looked at an Excel document it took me at least five minutes to figure what I was trying to do, so eventually at 4pm I accepted my value-add was heading into negative territory and headed home. I napped, hoping to rid myself of the headache, but as I lay shivering under the blanket I started to understand just how many toxins were in my body.
By the time it came to cooking dinner for my husband; I could not stomach the evening green juice. And so I relented – I caved into a piece of chicken and green beans for dinner. As disappointed as I was with myself for cheating, the fact that my headache disappeared immediately after eating made me feel that much better.
Day 3: Tuesday
Having slipped up the previous night I woke up on Tuesday with a renewed sense of vigour to complete day 3 of the cleanse. My energy levels returned to a normal (non-caffeinated) state and I managed to get through the day of work quite easily. Of the 6 juices I tried, the Tropical 2 afternoon pick-me up was always my favourite of the day (cucumber, pineapple coconut and lemon) and helped me through my usual late-afternoon slump.
Apparently there are some people who feel like they have so much energy during the cleanse – I was not one of these people. While the headaches from day 2 had disappeared on the final day, I did not feel myself the whole time. I missed my energy, I missed my morning gym sessions and I missed eating.
I can understand why people go on these type of juice cleanses – I feel much lighter, less bloated and far more in control of what food I will put it my body from today. FYI: it’s not sugar or chocolates, but rather vegetables, lean meats and eggs. The cleanse helped me achieve what I wanted out of it, and has also given me an amazing perspective of what eating means to me.
I can confirm I am full-blown coffee addict (is there coffee-drinkers anonymous?) and how the ritual of sitting down to eat (particularly, over dinner with my husband) is more precious to me than the actual food I eat!
Everyone has asked: would I do the juice cleanse again? The answer for now is no. As wonderful and light as I am feeling right now, I found the last two days particularly difficult on my body. I like to think of myself as a moderate person; I would rather achieve a healthy body through regulated eating and exercise. Given what I know now, I would also do the cleanse starting on a Friday, ending on a Sunday so that I could have the more difficult days at home, on my bed with a book – instead of in an office chair with my Excel documents… 🙂