A few days ago my roommate asked me to do a juice-cleanse. Now, I’m not a total stranger to juicing. I enjoy a good ol’ carrot & apple juice every now and then and I even own my very own fancy Breville juicer (thanks mom!). Hell, I’ve even done two juice cleanses before.
Well… kind of.
The first time I attempted a cleanse was in college, and it actually wasn’t even a juice-cleanse. It was the master-cleanse – that one where you are only permitted to imbibe the masochistic concoction of cayenne pepper/maple syrup/water for, like, days and days. Needless to say, my roommates and I were nomming on cheese and crackers before happy hour hit. We had an enormous jug of maple syrup in our apartment for the rest of the year. No one dared to touch it again.
The second cleanse attempt came after a group of friends and I went to Prague and binge drank the entire time. I arrived back to U.S. soil and vowed to take the following day to do a real juice cleanse. And it was a success. I went 24 hours drinking only juice. And wine. But it was red wine and only a few glasses and it was after midnight so save your judgments. Plus, let us not forget that wine is most definitely juice.
I mean, who can even argue that?
Turns out, my roommate Samantha can. And I don’t like to argue with Samantha because she scares me. So if I drink some wine, I’ll tell you guys on this blog, but don’t tell her, k?
So the night before day 1, the three of us (our third roommate decided to join in) headed to Fairway to collect our juicing needs. A filled-to-the-brim-and-overflowing grocery cart totaled $130 amongst the 3 of us. It was also inclusive of delivery because, #letsbereal, carrying all of that 8 blocks would have been a disaster. Then, as we sat and waited for our groceries, we all shared one last meal in the kitchen together.
The last supper.
Once everything arrived, we went at it team-work style and made 12 juices (4 per person) for work on day one. It took over an hour-and-a-half before we were finished and cleaned up and could head off to bed to dream of juicing.
I woke up excited. I gulped down a glass of spicy lemonade picked up my 4 juices (2 green, 1 red, 1 orange) and headed out for work.
Text from Samantha en-route from work: “Ah getting nervous/excited… Our stupid hallway smelled like food.”
…she’s so scary.
Text from Sydney: snapshot of someone’s Instagram reading “assertive women who drink juice are fucking sexy.”
I’ll take it.
*Spicy lemonade = filtered water + cayenne pepper + agave nectar
9AM – drank my green juice….YUM. No joke, it was delicious. I felt a jolt of energy, whether from adrenaline or the juice, I’m not sure. But literally, my eyes were, like, immediately wider. Not sure if this juice-cleanse is waking me up or turning me Caucasian.
Time will tell.
*Green Juice = A combination of kale, celery, spinach, romaine, parsley, green apple, ginger and lemon
11:45AM – drinking my second juice while there’s a pizza party going on in the conference room next to me. Luckily, the woman closed the door before I had to unceremoniously do it myself.
Positive thoughts. Delicious Bright-Orange juice. Craving subsided.
*Bright-Orange Juice = carrots + oranges + pink lady apples + spinach + celery + ginger
P.S. also have drank two cups of green tea so far & a large glass of water
4:00PM – The day has gone by relatively quickly. Around 1:45, I took a 15 minute vitamin-D break, drank more water, and stepped out into the sun before having my third Juice (the same green one from above). I started getting a little light-headed and it’s been on and off since then. I have heard the head-ache normally comes on day 2, but if your body detoxes quicker than normal, it might come on sooner. So, I guess that’s good? Had my red juice around 3:45 and was too full/tired to really want to finish it. Plus, it wasn’t the best tasting of the juices so it didn’t agree with me all that well.
Anyway, I’ve been doing and saying some really dumb shit. I set up a meeting today that was supposed to be for tomorrow. I then proceeded in sending out a correction e-mail stating the following:
“Sorry – rescheduled for 4:30 tomorrow when we are all available. The team had asked me to schedule it for tomorrow and I was looked at the wrong date.”
On top of it, I have to lead a call at 5:45. Wonder how that’ll go
*Red Juice = Beets + apples + carrots + ginger
7:00PM - Call didn’t go too bad! It actually reset me to a state of alertness. Between the hours of 3-5:30 I was really struggling, but I seem to be alright at the moment, just tired. Honestly, I’m not even hungry. And coming from the cheese-monger herself, that’s saying a lot.
Since getting home, I have had two glasses of spicy lemonade (Tip: we don’t really use much agave and, truly, not much is needed. So, you can drink a little more). I’ve been banging out to-do’s and feeling alright. Turns out, keeping busy is important.
After talking with the roommates, we all had slightly different experiences but all shared one thing: we were FREEZING all day. Chills are generally a sign of the body detoxing.
Anyway, we just finished making our juices for tomorrow. Took about an hour this time around since we have a process in place by now and all have our specific “jobs,” but it might take longer if you have to do all the washing/cutting/juicing/cleaning yourself. We commiserated over the lack of food and almost resorted to licking apples for satisfaction. But, alas we refrained. We all were a little out of it as well, spacing out here and there, accidentally neglecting the oranges for the…Orange drink.
Nonetheless, still good team work.
I am going to have my almond milk and maybe watch the documentary “Fat, Sick and nearly Dead” (follows a guy on a 60-day juice cleanse and the life-changing benefits) to give me some more motivation for tomorrow since I hear day 2 is the worst! Or, maybe I’ll just watch Madmen until I pass out.
If I don’t faint, die, or turn to cannibalism within the next 24 hours, I’ll post you guys tomorrow…
Yup, I watched madmen. I fell back into being exhausted after we finished making our juices last night and I just wanted to zone out. Drinking almond milk (added some agave to it) and taking a hot shower probably made me sleepy, too. I finished off the day with a mug of green tea and was asleep by 10:15 I think – and I usually don’t turn in until around 11:30 -12:00.
6 AM: Woke up naturally. Didn’t have to be awake until 7:30. Annoying.
Had passive-aggressive dreams. What is this juicing doing to me?
7:30AM: Really woke up. Felt normal energy levels and hunger pangs from the night before were gone.
9:00AM: Had my first juice. After my walk to work, which ends up being just over a mile, I was a little hungry. Could have gone for some eggs and potatoes, but the Green juice and a glass of water was a surprisingly filling substitute. I did, however, get immediately cold afterwards which lasted until around 11:45. I drank a hot cup of green tea to compensate.
11:45AM I went ahead and had my second juice – this time drinking the red beet-based juice. My roommates and I agreed it kind of warmed you up, even if uncomfortably, so I wanted to see how it would affect me drinking it earlier. I felt great afterwards, much better than after drinking it yesterday around 3:45. We also used less beets this time.
Note on beets: it’s recommended on some sites to only drink 2-4 ounces of beet juice in a single serving/drink. Some people are prone to breaking out in hives when consuming large amounts of beet juice, and it could have an adverse effect on flushing out your liver. Look into it when doing a cleanse to see what works for you. Personally, I feel good having around 3-4 ounces of my red drink constitute as beet juice.
1:45PM Just got in from the outdoors. I decided to step out into the sun every day of the cleanse to give myself a breather, soak in some vitamin D, and allow some time to pass pleasantly. This is probably something that I, and all of you, should really be doing every day regardless of if we’re on a juice-cleanse or not. We often forget how rejuvenating a simple 20-minute dose of daylight can be. It helps break up the day and gets you moving, if only for a brief period of time. This has been a nice change of pace to the lunch-at-my-desk routine.
Outside on Broadway and 51st, however, I did smell some delicious delicacies coming from different street carts. I starting dreaming about sushi and cheesy omelets, but soon enough it passed and I drank a juice to quell my appetite (green one this time).
I think it’s important to talk about the whole not-able-to-eat-or-chew-anything part of cleansing. I read a tip to “not fear the threat of hunger pangs.” As I thought more about such plain and forward advice, it actually helped. Obviously, cleansing is a bit of a mind game, so I think it’s important to note we shouldn’t ignore the mental aspect or fear it, but just accept it and realize that it’s part of the process.
Personally, if a craving pops up, I like to acknowledge it, even enjoy it, and then let it pass. Sounds weird, but I have cravings all the time even when Iam eating all throughout the day without any serious restraints. And I’d LIKE to think I’m not totally alone on this one.
Think about it: how often, in our consumer-drive society, do you spot an advertisement, hear a specific word, or come across a certain scent that triggers a conscious internal response to want to buy, eat or do something? ALL THE TIME. Back in 2007, the NY Times quoted a report stating “people living in cities see an average of 5,000 advertisements a day.” Now, this isn’t a business class so I won’t make it one, but the point is if you have had the willpower to fend off the majority of thousands of physiological and psychological triggers throughout your entire life, then the odds are in your favor that you can channel that same decision-making and control toward food.
Of course, there’s a caveat. The biggest obstacle we face when we attempt to channel our self-control toward eating is the fact that many of us have such an inherent unhealthy view on food to begin with. Growing up in America, we are born into the land of fast-food and endless culinary options. And that’s okay – good even. But when women are constantly being subjected to the latest body trend and men are shown that “eating meat is manly,” well, that’s when we become programmed to give it more of a control than it really has on us.
Anyway, now I’m just ranting. All I am trying to say is this: you will feel great, tired, hungry, and invigorated and everything in between. Just remember you feel all these things while eating normally, too – so don’t give the stigma or fear that surrounds a juice-cleanse any more power than it deserves!
4:30PM: Finished my orange drink around 4:00. I feel alert and in a balanced mood. The only thing bothering me is my stomach – I have had some constant cramps for about two hours, but nothing immobilizing.
I’ve actually had a great day. Beyond the cramps, the only other unpleasant feeling is, well, boredom. Tonight, I will spend an hour juicing for the third night in a row instead of taking part in the cooking that I so enjoy or catching an episode of How I Met Your Mother. I will not be able to work out – at least, I won’t be able to run or break a good sweat, and our apartment will be filled with conversations that pretty much all revolve around juice-cleansing.
I also won’t be able to go out or have my beloved glass of wine – though, maybe that’s not the worst thing.
7:00PM: After almost being finished with day 2, I can safely say this is not half as bad as I thought it would be, at least not in a physical or mental way. But, I AM SO BORED. We all are. As such a social person, being limited in my activities is actually the toughest part. On the flip side, it’s also provided me a nice, forced respite from my typically overwhelmed schedule.
I already think I’d like to adopt a 1-day juice cleanse once a month. 3 days is too much.
8:30 PM: Realized I didn’t bring back my mason jars! Wonder if that’s my subconscious telling me to stop juicing. Hmm..
We still haven’t made our juice for tomorrow & everyone is getting a little sick of it. Both roommates ate some raw vegetables and I plan to incorporate some food tomorrow, but am trying to hold off until then. We’re going to do half raw/vegan foods and half juices (lucky for me, so I can use some of their jars :-)).
Anyway, I feel great and cleansed and happy to have done this…but I’m ready to get back to normal life! I saw an open bar invite online before and a little piece of me died inside.
Red wine, we meet again so soon… <3
I woke up Thursday morning at 6AM again. Instead of just laying around this time, I figured I’d put my sneaks on and get a little work out in. I haven’t really worked out since Monday because I’m a big sweaty mess when I work out and I know it would have awoken the sleeping hungry giant inside me in a heartbeat. Considering I knew I’d eat today, though, I went ahead and broke a little sweat - modestly. I did 20 mins on the stair climber and some body strengthening like push-ups and body-weight squats.
It felt good to break a sweat and I actually wasn’t too hungry afterwards. I ate a hard-boiled-egg and went off to work, carrying one juice with me for the day and depending solely on my ability to stake out raw foods for the rest of my hunger pangs.
Oh, and then I passed a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Apparently, coffee is a no-no on some juice-cleanses, but okay on others. So, obviously I took cues from the “others” and went ahead and grabbed a coffee. I usually get cream & sugar in my coffee (I know - cream? Like, am I an infant? who drinks cream?) but decided on half & half and sugar, which still is probably supes bad for you. Whatever. It’s coffee, not a milkshake. Chill-out calorie-police.
When I got to work, I gulped down about half the coffee and started feeling a little odd. It was then that I realized I was indeed cracked out. I was feeling slightly dizzy and speedy. So, I drank more coffee.
Went ahead around 10:30 AM and had my green juice to try to counter the cracked-out-ness. PHENOMENAL. Kirsten the incredible hulk sprang back into good health and cheer and my energy and mood were balanced again. In case you skipped all the juice synopses in the “Day 1” post, the green juice is cucumbers, spinach, celery, kale, parsley, apple, ginger & lemon. It’s like having a small child’s energy bottled up and drinking it.
After it coursed through my veins for the next 2-3 hours, I drank some green tea and water and was feeling good. I then took myself out to an unnecessarily long lunch where I got a large Ceasar salad with chickpeas, broccoli, mushrooms, croutons & a side of berries. It felt great to actually eat.
One thing I will share about eating the first time: I got very sleepy after. Not like in an exhausted or sick way. I just felt like taking a little siesta under the sun and throwin’ deuces up at work. So, what did I think would wake me up? That’s right, a JUICE! I hadn’t ever noticed any by my work, but once I started looking I found fresh juice at a few places nearby. 3 blocks up from my office I grabbed a carrot + beet + kale + apple juice. About 15 minutes after drinking it I had a huge improvement in energy again.
That energy lasted me the rest of the day. At around 6 I met my boyfriend on the Upper West and, given some recent news, we had some celebrating to do (no, no one is pregnant or getting married - relax). So, we went to a vins and tapas place across from his apartment and shared a Carafe of red wine, some blistered roasted peppers (amazing) and shrimp & olive skewers. And maybe I had some bread and olive oil, too.
What? Those peppers were hot!
Later on, I had a spicy salmon roll & a ton of water. Waking up this morning felt great. I can’t believe how much more in tune I am with my energy levels and hunger levels just from a few days of juicing. I was actually even craving the green juice this morning, so I went up the street and grabbed one from an organic shop near me.
This was a surprisingly positive experience. In the future, I personally wouldn’t attempt three days. But, I definitely am considering working this juice-fast into my schedule once a month or at least a handful of times a year. I feel really energetic and healthy, like I powered down completely, charged my battery, and booted back up. Looking forward to incorporating juices into my daily/weekly menus and having a lot more raw foods.
As for banishing red wine from my diet? Well, I’ve conceded that drinking it every night might not be the best thing for me, but it’s certainly not the worst! So maybe we can meet somewhere in the middle on that one…