You are what you eat. Unfortunately for the past few months of my life the majority of what I have been eating is carbs, sugar and fat. Not cute. Or smart. Blame the holidays, blame my schedule, blame my lack of self-control; my body needed a re-boot. The problem? I like food. I’ve watched brave friends take the plunge and do a ten-day-no-solid-foods-no-sanity cleanse and thought there’s no way in HELL I could ever pull that off. Not to mention that when my blood sugar level gets too low I somehow morph into a twisted shadow of my former self that has no control over her temper, her mouth and develops a mild case of turrets. Not something anybody wants to see. However, the benefits of a juice cleanse seemed worth it for me to take the plunge. Juicing allows your body to rid itself of the toxins you put in it by eating processed foods while simultaneously flooding your system with nutrients- feeding your body with nourishing vitamins, minerals and enzymes and flushing out the crap you have put in on your “cheat” days.
I figured I could handle a 3 day stint without food and most likely survive.
3 days. Nothing except juice. No celery even. Sounds cruel, I know. Anyone can do anything for 3 days, right? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more than a little apprehensive about being able to pull this off. The good news is that I lived. And not the barely functioning type of living either. I had a huge amount of energy and even found it easy to fit a light workout into my schedule on Day 2. While cleansing, I found the first half of the day was always the easiest with the evenings being the most challenging. By the time I got to my allowed glass of unsweetened almond milk at the end of the day, it felt as filling and rewarding as a cheeseburger. By the end of Day 3, I was more than ready to have solid food back in my life. I missed it, badly. Hunger aside, I was feeling great. My body felt light, was running like a well-oiled machine, and the nutrients from the juice made my hair look shampoo-model rich and shiny! The improvement in my hair alone will serve as enough motivation for me to keep juicing as an integral part of my diet. Not shallow at all.
I have outlined the cleanse I followed below. Remember the rules! Only juice. No coffee. No alcohol. Duh. And as much water and green tea as your little heart can handle. For three days. You drink a juice every few hours in this order: Green juice, P.A.M., green juice, spicy lemonade, C.A.R., and unsweetened almond milk. Another crucial detail is that you are going to need a juicer. I used a Breville juicer that I got for Christmas, and it’s bad ass. Thanks family! The ingredients for the cleanse cost about $50 altogether, and the juicing process really wasn’t as off-putting as some people say it can be. I found storing and transporting the juice with me after I had made it a much bigger difficulty than making the juice itself.
Green Juice: Okay, I was more than a little intimidated by the idea of this juice. I thought it would taste totally gross. And if I’m being truly honest here, I HATE celery. With a passion. But in actuality, this juice was delicious! The ingredients were all way more tasty when combined together in a juice than they would have been on their own. It was filling and gave me a ton of energy.
Ingredients: 6 stalks of celery. 1 cucumber. 3 green apples. 3-4 leaves of kale. 3-4 leaves of romaine lettuce. Handful of spinach. 1 lemon.
P.A.M: This stands for pineapple, apple, and mint. What it really means is YUM! This juice was my favorite part of the day, hands down. I couldn’t get enough of this stuff!
Ingredients: 1/3 of a pineapple. 3 green apples. A few pinches of mint- adding too much will overpower the other flavors in the drink.
Spicy Lemonade: This “lemonade” doesn’t really require any juicing. Rather than getting the juicer all dirty again, I had squeezed the lemons to extract the juice. This recipe yields a unique flavor, but the mixture of spice and honey helps to curb your appetite. Which was REALLY kicking in for me by the time in the day it was time for me to drink it. If you hate it, you can just drink water or green tea instead.
Ingredients: 16 oz of water. The juice of 3-4 lemons. A few dashes of cayenne pepper. 1 tablespoon of agave or honey.
C.A.R.: This juice should have come with a warning label. C.A.R. somehow stands for apple, beet, carrot, ginger, and lemon. The resulting juice tasted like dirt, literally. I hated it. By day three, I had to skip this one. It was the prettiest juice to look at, but definitely the ugliest to swallow.
Ingredients: 2 green apples. 2 beets (green stalks and all). 3 large carrots. 1.5 tablespoons of ginger (I just cut a piece from a fresh ginger root and threw it in the juicer). 1 lemon.
I would love to hear about your juicing experiences or about any great recipes you may have!