Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cleansed or Crazy?

My freshman year of college I had this gorgeous hippie professor. I don't remember what the course was or even if she was a good teacher, but I remember that for a good portion of the semester she was on a juice cleanse. I also remember thinking that she was hard-core-hippe-cool. And I wanted to be her.

That was the first time I thought about doing a juice detox. Over the years the thought has crossed my mind many many times.  The most recent occasion was upon the return from our cheese & processed carb laden honeymoon. I was pretty stoked (and pretty bloated) so I went so far as to starting an order form for the  Blue Print Cleanse but was ultimately deterred by the absurd daily cost.

On a lazy night last week, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, when I noticed that a friend of mine from high school was preparing to start her first cleanse. When I asked what her plan was, she directed me to the documentary that inspired her, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead.  I didn't have any plans that night, so I pulled the film up on Hulu and watched while I ate my dinner. The movie is fantastic, light-hearted and humorous but filled with truly inspiring stories and completely sobering statistics. ( I highly recommend watching the movie, but I do not so much recommend an accompanying meal.... )

I decided, once and for all, I was going to give a juice cleanse a go. As to not lose my momentum, I used the film's companion website, , as a guide and I ordered 3 days worth of juice worthy organic fruits and veggies from a grocery delivery service in NYC.

That was on Wednesday. On Thursday night my groceries arrived at the exact same time my confused husband returned from Pittsburgh. (I hadn't explained my plan to him yet, but once I did he was 100% excited and 100% supportive.)

This is what my fridge looked like stocked for a 3 day juice detox:

I kicked off my juice cleanse on Saturday morning (yesterday). I started my day with a water bottle with just water and lemon slices, and we headed to the gym for our weekly workout date.  I normally have a banana and some nuts before I work out, so you can image how hungry I was by the time I got home.

I started the day with an Orange Carrot & Ginger Juice:

  • 5 Small Carrots
  • 3 Apples
  • 1 ince of fresh ginger
This was DELICIOUS. It was filling and energizing, and I felt great! (I was just as surprised as you are.)

A few hours later I started to get hungry for lunch, so I moved on to a glass of Mean Green Juice:

  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 6 Kale Leaves
  • 2 Apples
  • 1/2 Peeled Lemon
  • 1/2 Inch  Fresh Ginger
Mean Green was FAR better than expected, but it would be a stretch to call it good. However, it was relatively satisfying and I did drink the entire glass.

Late afternoon I was preparing a sweet potato hummus to bring with us to a St. Patty's day party later on, and I started to get a bit peckish. I decided to give the Gazpacho Juice a try:

  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 Small Red Onion
  • 2 Cups of Parsley
I did not like this juice. The onion was a nice flavor change, but it mostly just tasted like mushy veggies.  I only drank about 3/4 of the glass..which left me pretty hungry.

As I mentioned, it was St. Patty's Day, and we were heading to a party. Fortunately, the lovely hostess ( a very good friend) has a juicer and told me to just bring my veggies with me. But when everyone else was drinking frothy green beer and the entire apartment was redolent of corned beef and cabbage (a meal I used to ADORE) my Citrus Inspired Green Juice was NOT exciting:

Green Juice vs Green Beer
  • 4 Kale Leaves
  • 4 Swiss Chard Leaves
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Orange
Not. Good. I drank about half. By 10 o'clock (right around the time they brought out the Green Velvet Cake) I had the worst headache I've ever had in my entire life. I was still having a great time with my friends, but I was hungry and nauseated and questioning the whole cleanse.

My friends were split 50/50. One half thought my cleanse was awesome (but didn't totally understand why I'd chosen such a great food day to start it) and the other half just thought I was plain batty. Overall they were supportive, but when I started to look visibly ill they lost their patience and started passing food in my direction (I have the world's most wonderful friends). I ended up eating a few raw carrots and a couple pieces of broccoli. 

So, today is day 2.  My headache was gone when I woke up, but my eyes are burning and they are bright red. I'm feeling lethargic, even a bit feverish and I didn't have the energy to go to the gym. (I love weekend workouts, so this is a major bummer.)

I'm going to try to stick with the cleanse for the rest of the day, but I don't really have any desire to drink anymore juice. In fact, I'm writing this blog post to avoid my first juice of the day. The process is messy, the clean up is insanely time consuming, and all I really want is a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. If I can't make myself drink the full 5 glasses of juice, I'm going to have to jump ship. This was supposed to be an effort to step up my healthy eating, but pure fasting is NOT part of that plan.

Have you ever juiced? Do you have favorite recipes to share? Thoughts on getting me through the detox?


  1. Love this post! I officially start tomorrow (I'm the friend from high school) and I've been having a few juices throughout the day. They say the first few days are the hardest and I'm thankful how honest you are. I expect tomorrow night, Tuesday and some of Wednesday to feel the detox, but I just need to remember to get through it and it's day by day and I will literally be detoxing. I will post as well and knowing that you're a couple days ahead of me is very inspirational for me! I hope you can keep it up and get through today and tomorrow!

    1. Good luck Katie!!! Sadly, I couldn't make myself drink my midmorning or lunch juice so I had to eat somthing and end the cleanse. I'll write about it today, and the new form of my "cleanse" (I still have all those veggies to use!!) Stay strong!!

  2. I suggest trying Green Smoothies - blended leafy greens and fruits. Tastes great, and keeps you full because it keeps the fiber. I drink 16-32 oz every day.

    I've blogged about it a couple times, originally here:

    1. Hi Kasey! I tried one of those before and it really wasn't bad. I've actually been collecting recipes for green/fruit smoothies in the last few weeks. I'll have to check out your suggestions on your adorable blog. Thanks for the idea!!!