I decided to do a juice cleanse. Now, I will preface this all by saying that I have long thought that the science behind juice cleanses is shoddy at best. Your body detoxes all on its own (‘sup liver!) and I do think that claims that purport cleanses will rest the digestive system or rid the body of toxins are largely anecdotal and scientifically unfounded. So why did I do a cleanse? Trying it before knocking it, for one and to prove to myself that I could do the thing, for another. I do think cleanses are good at that, proving that you can do a hard thing. I’ve been trying to kick start a healthy lifestyle for a few months now, but I keep falling off that wagon. It has started to feel kind of impossible and the decision to do a juice cleanse was more of a kick start for my motivation than anything “tangible” like metabolisms or liver functions.
I did a three day juice cleanse that involved steamed vegetables and fruit for dinner. Note, if I ever did this again I would include some sort of protein at dinner. I had five juices a day. I started with this as a rough guide for recipes, but ultimately couldn’t stomach the vegetable juices or bring myself to juice a sweet potato, so I just baked the damn thing and ate it for dinner. I did end up doing some mixing and matching of my own, and the juices I probably enjoyed the most were beet based with carrots or apples and some ginger. I liked those so much I honestly think I’ll incorporate them into my normal daily life.
There were some pretty unpleasant side effects. Toward the end of the first day and through most of the second day I was making frequent trips to the bathroom, everything coming out of me was bright purple (sup beets!) and I was craving pizza like mad. The cravings were the most difficult to handle. I don’t call it straight up hunger, because by the time I had my final juice and a big ass serving of steamed vegetables I felt pretty full. I think the desire to eat had more to do with the fact that my family chose to have pizza two days in a row for dinner. In general, though, this is where a lot of my healthy lifestyle stuff goes out the window. I have the tendency to eat exactly like the person sitting across from me. It’s something I need to curb. Trying to match stomachs with five teenage boys is not doing me any favors.
In short, I do feel like doing this gave me a bit of a psychological boost. With that said, because it’s such a short term goal, this is a lot easier than say changing your entire lifestyle for the rest of your flippin’ life! But an accomplishment is an accomplishment, and I did feel accomplished. I’m on the fence about whether or not I would do this again. Because there are no real health benefits in my opinion, the only real reason to do this is because it’s a really quick way to lose about 6lbs (however temporary) and to kind of spur your resolve, I guess. I kind of want to try one of those prepackaged cold-press juice cleanses celebrities tout, just as a comparison to doing this on your own, but we’ll see.