After a particularly indulgent summer, as well as a weekend of eating Momofuku pork buns and downing a pint of Oktoberfest beer, I thought it was the perfect time to give my body a break and go on a juice cleanse. My last cleanse was Liquiteria’s Juice, Eat and Repeat, but this time I decided to go with BluePrint, my favorite cleanse program. I’m a big fan for the following reasons: it’s extremely easy to follow (the bottles are numbered by the order you should drink them), the green juice is very accessible (less liquid grass, more delicious apple-celery drink), and the cashew milk is a dream (sometimes I buy a bottle at Whole Foods for non-cleanse reasons, it’s that good). I had a Gilt City voucher on retainer for moments like this, and I purposely timed the delivery to happen right after the Oktoberfest festivities ended so that I was all set to go on Monday.
People’s reactions to my going on a juice cleanse range are pretty interesting, because it’s always a very strong and negative reaction. Usually they will go off on how they would never do a juice cleanse, because juicing strips fruits and vegetables of their fiber, and it’s so full of sugar, and why are the juices so expensive (that is true, ~$11 a bottle), so what’s the point of doing it, eat solid healthy foods in moderation, dum dum. Rarely does anyone say how they love juice cleanses and do it all the time, with the exception of the 1 or 2 friends that introduced me to it. Everyone does seem to agree that supplementing your diet with 1-2 green juices is a great way to integrate more vegetables.
I personally do it because it is an effective way for me to jump start healthier eating habits. Seeing the water weight loss, however temporary, is a huge motivator, and since I worked so hard to cleanse my system, I’m a lot more conscious of what I eat in the subsequent weeks, and that helps to keep things in maintenance mode. I also think my stomach shrinks, and I end up eating less than usual, so even if I wanted to binge on a large pizza, I physically can’t. Plus, the juices taste good, so the three days of juicing, while tedious, is not unpleasant. I also avoid the cleanses that have too much fruit juices in the mix, since those are the ones with the most sugar–stick to the mostly green ones. If you want to jump on the BluePrint juice band wagon and are curious to know what 3 days of drinking stuff feels like, please proceed!
Day 1 – This was the first day of my Excavation Cleanse, which consists of 4 green juices, 1 spicy lemonade, and, the best for last, the cashew milk. Day 1 of a cleanse, for some reason, is always the easiest. I think it’s because the body is still running on solid food reserves from the day prior. I did have a slight headache by Juice #3, which I think was due to caffeine withdrawal and an early Monday morning start. I luckily didn’t have too many mental juice fog brain fart moments, and I was pretty alert during all of the work calls I was on. I do have to say that at around 5 pm, my productivity came to a halt, and I kept staring blankly at my spreadsheet of numbers.
I was also able to workout–I had a Physique 57 Mixed class at 8, and I was really worried that my workout would be pathetic, but I was able to do full-form push ups and all the modifications for the whole class. At 9:30, I was so grateful for that creamy, heavenly cashew milk, which went down quite easy and too quickly. I didn’t feel hungry today, although my stomach was feeling a little lonely at around 10:30 and kept making a lot of growling noises. But it held its ground and didn’t seek the company of solid foods. I fell asleep pretty instantaneously at 11:30 pm. The deep sleep is one of my favorite parts of a juice cleanse. Not sure if it’s because you’re calorie deprived, and it’s your body’s way of telling you that it can’t do this anymore, but the kind of sleep you get is awesome.
Day 2 – After emerging from my deep sleep, I felt super tired. I lost about a pound the next morning. I was really looking forward to my first green juice. It struck me how fatigued I was, and I felt pretty winded walking up 4 flight of steps. I didn’t have a headache today, but surprisingly I had a stomachache in the afternoon. I’m not quite sure what caused it, but it didn’t last for long. I was also extremely cold. Each time I had a juice, I had to chase it with hot water so that I didn’t feel so miserable. I have bad circulation to begin with, so that probably didn’t help with the temperature issues. I definitely wasn’t as mentally sharp as I was yesterday, I kept thinking the next day was Thursday when it wasn’t, and I would say something but type something else on the computer. I guess these are the signs of your body detoxing and going into withdrawal from not having all those empty calories and caffeine? I skipped my workout in the evening and just sat in front of the TV and watched The Voice. After the cashew milk, I again went to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Day 3 – Woke up, lost another pound. This day was a painful one, mostly because I scheduled an Advanced Physique class at 7 am. I was curious to see what my limits were workout wise. I almost didn’t make it through the push-ups, and I just didn’t even bother trying to lift my hips AND legs during the side planks. The 3 pound weights also felt very heavy, very fast, but I managed to work through it. I was also super hungry today. Usually I time my juices about 2 hours apart, but today I drank based on when my stomach grumbled. Which was earlier than the 2 hour window. I was in less of a mental fog than yesterday, which was good, but not anywhere near pre-cleanse levels. I was also really, really cold again. I was so looking forward to the protein goodness of the cashew milk, that I debated whether I should skip Juice #5 and dive immediately into the nut milk. I decided to stick to the schedule and was pretty relieved that this was the last day.
Post Cleanse Day – I lost another pound, bringing the total to 3 pounds. What these tricky juice cleanse programs don’t tell you is that the cleanse is longer than 3 days. Really, you’re supposed to prep 3 days beforehand, and gently break it 3 days afterwards. So really it’s like a 9 day affair, which is way too long for me. I like a quick and fast burn. My workout in the morning was still horrible because I didn’t eat any post-cleanse foods yet. I tried my best to break the fast via BluePrint’s instructions, which entailed eating only fruits and leafy vegetables the first day. I was pretty good up until lunch, but then Ruoxi wanted to eat pork shoulder and sausage and red wine for dinner, so clearly this derailed my plans. There’s a reason why you have to ease into solid foods, because my stomach started hurting when I ate the pork, and I couldn’t eat that much. But I really, really wanted to. This is how much I like food. Even when I’m in pain or have food poisoning, I want to try everything, and I get disappointed when I can’t. Now that I’ve totally broken the cleanse, I’m looking forward to better workouts (my workout on Friday was so much more effective) and mental clarity and real meals in moderation!