An Uncomplicated Life Blog: I Tried A Juice Cleanse. Here's What Happened

Monday, January 13, 2020

I Tried A Juice Cleanse. Here's What Happened

Juice cleansing: what it does, who should do it and why it's NOT a diet or weight loss mechanism 

Last week, I did my very first juice cleanse. I read up a lot on "cleansing" before I did it. I think the most common misconception is that people do it for weight loss, or it's a "diet technique." I had absolutely no intentions of using a juice cleanse to lose weight. Rather, I had a very indulgent holiday season and was looking for a way to help my liver rid my body of excess toxins. Kind of like helping my body hit the reset button, if you will. So I tried a juice cleanse. Here's what happened, from what I thought, what I felt, how I altered it a little, and the end results.

Like I said, my goal was to help my liver detox my body. Over the holidays, I didn't hold back and consumed far too much wine, cheese and refined carbs. We attended a good number of holiday parties this year, and I went for it. At each party. See, while I was breastfeeding twins, my body could easily handle the additional calories because I was burning so much from just making milk for two tiny humans. But I fully weaned the twins in November, and since then my metabolism has slowed wayyyyy down... Which is fine, that's what it should do! But I continued to eat like a trucker. January first rolled around and I was just grossed out with myself! I felt sluggish, I was tired, and I knew I needed something to kick start a healthier lifestyle. My liver needed some help processing all the alcohol and refined foods I had consumed.

Dandelion root, milk thistle and turmeric are all herbs that help your liver do it's job, so when I was looking into what cleanse to do, I knew I wanted to find one that also had those ingredients in it. I found this cleanse from Amazon, and really liked how I could adapt it to me and my goals - I didn't have to commit to a long time period (some cleanses are five days long! No thanks) and I liked how there was a schedule to follow: every two hours, you were making a different juice. That way, you were well hydrated and changing up what flavor you were drinking to keep it interesting. It seemed like a great fit for me, so I went ahead and got the two day cleanse because I wasn't sure if I could handle three full days of juice.

Day one started, and I learned from the first juice packet to stir as you add it to the water! My first juice was rather clumpy. But it tasted fine, which was a relief. I had barely finished the 16oz when it was already time to mix up my second juice. This one had greens in it, and while I mixed it correctly to not have any clumps, it definitely wasn't my favorite flavor! After my third juice of the day, I noticed I was getting a nasty headache. This could be because I didn't have my morning coffee, but I looked at the sodium in the juice and realized perhaps I was diluting my electrolytes too much (there's hardly any sodium in the cleanse). I decided to have a cup of chicken stock to add some sodium back in. This was a great decision, because it changed up the flavor dynamic and my headache lessened. I had another cup of stock after my fourth juice, too.

The way this cleanse is set up, you have a juice at 7am, and continue every two hours until your last juice at 7pm. I actually never ended up having my 7pm juice because I didn't want to have to pee all night, so I ended my day with the 5pm juice. Then I hit the sheets early so that I wouldn't be tempted to snack! I was surprised that when I did wake up in the night (I'm a light sleeper and wake often) I wasn't hungry. My stomach wasn't growling and I didn't crave any food. That was a total shock!

I knew I could easily do one day of cleansing, but I figured the struggle would come on day two. Except... there wasn't a struggle. I found it entirely easy to keep on the two hour schedule. Just like on the first day, I added in two cups of chicken stock. It was definitely nice to add that in. Having a "savory flavor break" was much needed.

I decided not to work out while cleansing, because I didn't want to do anything that would make me hungry. What I did end up doing was a Hatha yoga class that was purely an hour of deep stretching. That felt amazing, and I'd highly recommend adding that to your cleansing regimen! I felt like the breathing and deep tissue stretch assisted my body in detoxing. And yup, I brought a juice with me to the class and sipped as I stretched.

So how was only consuming juice and chicken stock for two days? I'm surprised to say, but it was so much easier than I thought it'd be! I wasn't hungry as long as I kept on the two hour schedule the cleanse outlines. I still cooked dinner for my kids, but had my husband sit with them while they ate so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat off their plates. I didn't wake up hungry in the night, and my stomach never got upset. The actual physical aspect of only consuming juice for two days was a breeze! I thought for sure I'd want to eat, or crave a glass of wine (I did the cleanse over the weekend, when I typically have wine) but I didn't miss any of it. The only craving I had was for a morning cup of coffee.

What were the outcome(s) of the cleanse? One of the biggest things I noticed immediately was how my sleep was greatly improved. I suffer from chronic insomnia, and I had two nights of some of the best sleep I've gotten in years while doing this cleanse. I'm also currently suffering from hormonal acne from weaning the twins, and my skin started to clear up. When I woke up the morning after the first day, I was surprised how much clearer it looked, and by the second day, my skin looked great! I lost a pound and a half, which I'm sure was just water weight and is already back (I don't own a scale - I only weigh myself occasionally at my gym). I did notice that once I started eating again, it took very little to get me full. It's like this juice cleanse re-set my portion control, which is exactly what I needed to get me back on track now that I'm not burning so many calories breastfeeding.

Who should do a juice cleanse? I think if you're looking for a system reset like I was, it's a great thing to do! Maybe you just had a vacation and need to help your liver detox your body, or perhaps you want to get into eating healthier and/or smaller portions of food. Maybe you recently learned of a dairy or gluten intolerance and want to help your body rid itself of those substances. A juice cleanse is a great starting point for all of those scenarios.

Get the juice cleanse here (and be sure to check the box to apply the coupon, too!)

Who shouldn't do a juice cleanse? If you're only looking for weight loss, this isn't for you. Since it's a one, two or three day affair, if you want true weight loss, you've got to alter your entire diet and add in exercise. Will you lose weight with a cleanse? Probably, but it's not sustainable. Juice cleansing strictly for weight loss is a bad idea, in my opinion. There are far more effective and long lasting ways to lose weight. 

Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY. In fact, I woke up on day three and wish I still had another day of cleansing left (weird, huh?) so I've already bought the three day for my next cleanse! I plan on doing this once a quarter, just to have a system reset. I slept so good and my skin looked great, so I think doing a cleanse four times a year is a great addition to living a healthier life, which was a goal of mine for 2020. If you're looking for a system reset, I'd highly recommend doing this cleanse - and yes, you CAN manage the full three days (but you'll also see benefits from the one or two day, too!)


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