Monday, March 28, 2016

My Juice Cleanse Experience

Last week I mentioned that I was in the process of completing a three-day juice cleanse, and a few of you reached out to see if I would post on my thoughts and experiences. I purchased the Level One Cleanse from our local juicer—The Garden Table—and since I had tried nearly all of their juices before {they are delicious} I was extremely excited. I had been eating very clean for the past few months, but after a few weekends away, visitors, and dinners out, compounded with stress, I was left feeling unmotivated and overall pretty 'blah'. I decided a cleanse was just what I needed to jump start my healthy lifestyle and inspire me to back on track.

Per the manufacturers instructions, I ate very clean in the few days leading up to the cleanse - green smoothies for breakfast and lunch and salads for dinner. On day one of my cleanse I headed up to Broad Ripple to pick up my juices—a total of 18—which I was to drink over three days. I felt surprisingly excited, but also a bit nervous...could I really manage to only drink liquid for three days straight?

The first day I felt a range of emotions from anxiety {would I cheat?!} to to elation {the juices all tasted SO good, yay!} My energy levels were much lower than usual, and by the time I got home from work all I really wanted to do was curl up on the couch with Yoda and a book. But to my biggest surprise, I didn't feel tempted to cheat and was surprisingly satisfied by the juices.

My second day I woke up feeling pretty tired and low energy. While most of the juices still tasted great, I was shocked to find that some of the juices which I had loved the previous day were nearly undrinkable for me. I managed to get most of them down through the day and, while I never felt hungry, I did have some short but intense hunger pangs. The strangest symptom was that for the first time since becoming a vegetarian about 15 months ago I found myself craving meat!

On the third day the hunger pangs were gone and I found it easy to resist even the most tempting Easter treats laying around my office {Reese's Eggs anyone?} My energy levels had stabled however I found that as the day went on I continued to get more and more jittery. By evening I just couldn't stomach any more juice and decided to "cheat" and eat a little tuna for a quick burst of protein. It helped immensely and afterwards I was able to drink one more juice.

The day after my cleanse I was careful to eat pretty clean - having a smoothie for breakfast and salmon with greens and rice for dinner. I opted to steer clear of any form of alcohol and sugar, as I wanted to be careful not to shock my system. Yesterday I wasn't quite as good as I caved and ate a little Easter chocolate, but today I'm back to it with two more green smoothies.

My overall take on the juice cleanse? While I never experienced the feelings of euphoria that some juicing fanatics promise, I was surprised to see how easy it was for me to say no to junk food and stick to my eating plan. I do feel healthier and Ryan swears my skin seems brighter {not sure if I see it or not, but I love that guy for saying so!} The biggest takeaway I got from the cleanse was that I feel revived and ready to get back on track with my healthy lifestyle. Would I recommend doing a juice cleanse to someone else? Absolutely. But I would just urge you to listen to your body, and modify if needed.

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