Category Archives: Juice Cleanse

Dairy-Free / Gluten-Free / Juice Cleanse / Stay Healthy / Vegetarian

When I Quit the Cleanse, and Why I Don’t Feel Bad About It

January 13, 2012

After yesterday’s post, I think you guys all have a pretty good idea of where I was at with the whole juice cleanse business.  However, after posting yesterday, I had a long, internal fight with myself on whether to quit the cleanse early, or just suffer through it for another 12 hours.

the Pineapple Apple Mint Juice and Parsnip Pears and Celery Juice

Long story short, I quit.  I quit at 2pm yesterday, after barely being able to choke down 2/3 of the Green Apple Juice that morning, and literally driving myself to starvation out of not wanting to drink any more juice after that.  I thought I might feel bad about it — like I’d failed myself, and the 6-ish people who actually read and take interest in this blog.  But y’know what?  After I quit, I realized I didn’t feel bad at all.  I felt good.  So here’s why I quit, and why I don’t feel bad about it:

I know I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I had tried to drink more of the Beet Juice after posting on Wednesday, and felt incredibly nauseous as a result.  Well, yesterday morning I could hardly stomach the Green Apple Juice.  I felt as though I was drinking medicine (the kind where you hold your nose and just down it because you know you’ll die of scurvy or whatever if you don’t take it).  Just the thought of having to drink the Pineapple Apple Mint, Parsnip Pears and Celery, and the Cashew Milk made my stomach turn.  In short, yesterday I drank (I use that term loosely because really I was quickly gulping it down whilst simultaneously trying not to puke) about 10-12 oz of the Green Apple Juice at 7:45am, and then ate nothing until 2pm.  Don’t get me wrong, I was starving by that point; but my brain decided that I would rather starve than drink more juice.   At 2pm, I came to the realization that my body was trying to communicate something with me: I wanted food.  Real food, not juice.  Sure, there’s lots of fruits and veggies in those juices, but you know that saying, “Man cannot live on bread alone?”  Well, man (and woman) were not made to live on juice alone.  No matter how healthy and complete this cleanse seemed when I started it, I quickly realized that there were some glaring deficiencies — both nutritional, as well as physical and mental — in this cleanse.

First, the nutritional deficiency: part of what makes fruits and veggies so darn good for you (in addition to their low-calorie, vitamin-packed nature) is the amount of fiber they contain.  However, there are two very important types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber dissolves in water (like Metamucil), so you get to keep this fiber when you juice a fruit or vegetable.  Soluble fiber slows digestion and keeps you feeling full longer (one of the ways this whole juice cleanse works — feeling full longer generally = consuming fewer calories in the long-run).  Insoluble fiber exists in things like edible fruit peels, root vegetable skins, and whole grains, and doesn’t dissolve in water; thus, when you juice something, like an apple, you don’t get to keep the insoluble fiber.  Insoluble fiber is what keeps things moving in your GI tract; which, as you can imagine, is very important to your overall health.

Second, the physical and mental deficiency: when you consume juice for 3 days straight, as you can imagine, there’s no chewing involved.  While this isn’t anything that will likely affect your health negatively in the long-run (plenty of people live on a liquid diet for longer than 3 days after having surgery, etc.), it can affect your physical stress level in the short-term.  What I found on day 2 of the cleanse, was that I was incredibly cranky at the end of the day.  KC came home late from work and asked, “What’s wrong with you?  Are you starving?”  I thought about it for a minute (having already consumed a lovely dinner alone of Cashew Nut Milk), and then replied, “I’m not actually.  I’m not even hungry; I just want food.  I want to chew something.”  There’s a certain satisfaction you get from chewing during a meal, which you don’t really realize until you can’t do it, or choose not to do it, for a period of time.  Chugging down juices as fast as I could manage (because I was sick of the constant sweetness) was satisfying my physical hunger, but didn’t actually satisfy the part of my brain which was hungry.  And as a result, the act of eating was no longer something which was pleasurable, calming, or even satisfying; it was work.  It was stressful.

By the time 2pm rolled around on Thursday, I was hungry, cranky, and feeling more stressed than ever.  It was at this point it dawned on me that a huge part of being healthy is listening to what your body is telling you: what it needs.  It’s difficult to identify the difference between what your body wants (pizza, chocolate, french fries) sometimes, from what it actually needs (water, nutritionally-dense foods, etc.).  At 2pm, I realized that my body both wanted and needed real food.  If I simply wanted the food, the smell and taste of what I was consuming wouldn’t be making me feel physically ill.  Therefore, at 2pm yesterday, I said to hell with it, made myself healthy lunch, and tossed the juice.  And you know what?  It felt, and tasted, amazing.  I felt healthier eating a whole-wheat English muffin than I had in the past 2.5 days of consuming nothing but fruits, veggies, and nuts.  I felt full, satisfied, healthy and energized.

So, here are my concluding thoughts on the cleanse:

  1. The people who claim to feel “amazing” in their reviews of the cleanse: I’m fairly certain these are written after  the cleanse, once they return to real food.  Eating consciously and healthfully makes you feel amazing, drinking juice for 3 days straight makes you feel tired and annoyed.
  2. Those who claim it helped their skin and complexion: maybe they don’t eat fruits and veggies on a daily basis, because my skin looked pasty, dry, and sad (and yes, there’s a difference between being pale and being pasty — I should know.)
  3. I returned to real food yesterday and had a better night’s sleep than I had the past 2 nights while on the cleanse.  Coincidence?  I’m thinking not.
  4. Though it’s called a “cleanse,” it doesn’t actually cleanse anything.  Your body has a built-in detoxing process, which is best served by eating a healthy and balanced diet regularly.  3 days of fruit and veggie juice doesn’t “kick it into overdrive and flush out the toxins.”  These “juice cleanses” used to be called “juice fasts” (for good reason), then they were re-branded just like Global Warming.  Guess what?  Just because it’s called Climate Change now doesn’t change the fact that the ice caps are melting at an alarming rate.  Global Warming is a more accurate description, and so is “juice fast.”
  5. If, despite all this, you’ve decided to do a juice cleanse (for whatever reason), I would recommend doing a DIY cleanse like the one I did so that you know what you’re actually putting in your body.  (Knowing what you’re putting in your body generally is important, but is especially when doing something semi-drastic like a cleanse.)

And finally, while eating dinner last night, I realized that for the past 2 days I’d been eating 2 handfuls of cashews for dinner.  Sure, there was some cinnamon and vanilla in there; but the only thing that was really nutritionally relevant in there was the cashews.  Looking down at the salad I’d made (complete with greens, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, lean turkey, white beans, and croutons I’d made from bread I made myself from scratch), I felt the full weight of why my body had been telling me what had earlier that day.  Being, and getting, healthy is not something that happens overnight.  It’s not something that happens in 3 days.  It’s a conscious choice you make everyday.  And while you may have some slip-ups here and there, if you make a conscious effort to know what you’re putting in your body, and make good choices based on that knowledge, you’ll be fine.

January challenge: complete (well, mostly).

Currently: happy, healthy, energized, and ready for a long weekend!

Dairy-Free / Gluten-Free / Juice Cleanse / Stay Healthy / Vegetarian

Juice Cleanse Day 3 – Kill Me Now

January 12, 2012

When I was researching cleanses, I read a lot of the reviews people posted after having done them.  So many people raved about how “good” they felt, and how “energized” and “renewed.”  Uhh, I’d like to go ahead and call “bullsh**.”  Yeah, you heard me, I’m throwing down the gauntlet and saying (in my opinion, currently) it’s a bunch of BS.


I’m on day 3 of this 3 day cleanse, and I don’t feel energized, renewed, or even “good.”  I feel hungry.  I feel hungry, and yet, I don’t want to eat anything.  Y’know why?  Because all I have to “eat” is juice.  All I’ve had for the last two days is juice.  I’m so sick of it, that even though I’m mildly starving, I don’t want to drink it.  Maybe this is the way cleanses work?  They “cleanse” your body by forcing starvation on you because you get so sick of whatever it is that you’re “cleansing” with?

Ok, ok, ok, let’s pipe down on the negativity for a minute (really, it’s my stomach talking.  Or yelling, rather.)  Here’s what I think the cleanse is good for, and what it’s not good for:


  1. Short-term weight loss.  If you’ve got some big event that you’re reeeeaally trying to lose those last 5 pounds for, try a juice cleanse (remember how they used to be called “juice fasts?”  I’m beginning to see why).  Drinking nothing but juice for 3 days will help knock off any stubborn water weight you’re carrying around and help you get into whatever dress/suit/jeans you’re so hell-bent on wearing.
  2. The DIY juice cleanse is wayyy cheaper than doing one of the juice cleanses you order online.  (Like, 2/3 cheaper.)  Also, it’s nice because you actually know what you’re putting into your body for 3 days — always a good idea.
  3. I’m fairly certain that it shrinks your stomach, so you’ll get full much faster and eat less after the cleanse.  (Maybe.  We’ll see about this.  Right now I want to eat an entire pizza.)  One of the main reasons I wanted to do the cleanse was because KC and I basically spent our entire honeymoon being uncomfortably full, after eating way too much way too often.  A result of this, I didn’t stop eating when I felt full after we got home.  My brain also still felt hungry long after my stomach was full, and I pretty much craved nothing but junk food all. the. time.  I hoped that the cleanse would hit the reset button on this, enabling me to get back to a life of eating heathfully and in moderation.  (I think this actually has worked, but currently I’d like to eat the chair I’m sitting on.)
  4. Somehow I’ve been able to lead a normal life whilst on this cleanse, including working out (hard) without feeling like I was going to die.  I guess I must be getting at least some semblance of enough calories if this is the case.


  1. You have to have only juice, for 3 days.  In the beginning, I was like, “No problem!  I can do anything for 3 days!”  Right now I want to punch myself in the face for committing to this cleanse.
  2. I attempted to drink more of the Beet Juice yesterday, and felt incredibly nauseous afterward as a result.  Today, just the smell of the juices is making me nauseous (and don’t start in on the “maybe you’re pregnant!” thing since I’m married now.  I’m not, and I’ll cut you).  I’m not sure how the next 12 hours is going to pan out.
  3. Part of the weight loss I think comes as a result of not wanting to actually drink the juice by the end, so you’re basically just starving yourself.  Neither awesome nor healthy.
  4. Having juiced everything ahead of time (not to mention committing to this stupid cleanse both in my head and on this blog) makes me feel like I have to finish this no matter what.  (Curses!  Shakes fists at the sky.)

So, would I recommend doing this (or any sort of) juice cleanse?  Right now, no.  But let’s revisit that when I’m not starving/dreading having to somehow down the next juice meal, shall we?

Currently: Hungry, irritable, and slimmer than ever (apparently).

Dairy-Free / Gluten-Free / Juice Cleanse / Stay Healthy / Vegetarian

3 Day Juice Cleanse – Day 2

January 11, 2012

Here we are, on day 2 of the 3-day juice cleanse.  And by “we,” I mean me, my taste buds, and my stomach (obviously).  We’re all at odds currently; although, my taste buds and stomach are talking about teaming up soon.

Anyhoo, let’s start where we left off yesterday, shall we?  Yes, let’s.  So yesterday I was like, “Blah blah blah, I would totally cut out the Parsnip Pears and Celery Juice,” having not even drunk it yet.  (Drank it yet?  Pick whichever is correct and go with that.  Mmk?)  Well, after massively over-gingering the Carrot Apple Beet Ginger Lemon Juice (seriously, we can’t find a shorter name for that?), I couldn’t really handle drinking 16 oz of the spicy gingery stuff after basically attacking my body with cayenne pepper right beforehand.  So in short, I didn’t finish either the Spicy Lemonade (or as I have renamed it, the Burn Your Skin Off, Kill Your Tastebuds and Take Away Your Will to Live Lemonade) or the Carrot Apple Beet Ginger Lemon (this one I have renamed the Carrot Apple Beet HOLY JESUS THAT’S GINGER Lemon ← not so much with the name shortening, though).  I did, however, finish the Parsnip Pears and Celery Juice.  It was like a lovely little vacation for my poor, abused taste buds.

Here’s a picture of the Beet Juice, by the way.  I wasn’t kidding when I said it looks like you’re drinking a glass of blood (cue evil Dracula laugh):

Alright, back to the Parsnip Pears and Celery concoction.  Yeah, so, it’s good.  It’s basically as good as the Green Apple Juice, without having the funky smell.  Then again, if you’re anti-pear, like KC is, this juice would not be for you because that’s basically all it tastes like.  Ok, so furthering my juice reviews of yesterday, here are my thoughts:

  1. Spicy Lemonade: I didn’t finish this yesterday, cut it out today and will likely cut it out again tomorrow.  I don’t see much of a point in it, and don’t relish the feeling of having cayenne pepper rubbed all over my tongue.
  2. Carrot Apple Beet Ginger Lemon: I didn’t finish this yesterday either, but may make more of an effort to drink it today.  But, between the beet smell and ginger overload, I don’t know how far I’ll get.  I guess I’ll have to see just how hungry I am.
  3. Parsnip Pears and Celery: Definitely seems satisfying around 2pm when I’m ready to eat my desk out of hunger.  Probably the best smell + taste combo of all the juices.
  4. Cashew Nut Milk: Not “amaaaaazing” as some cleansers would have you believe; but it’s definitely drinkable and surprisingly satisfying as the last “meal” of the day.  I thought for sure I’d go to bed with hunger pains last night, but the cashew milk actually did its job and made me feel full enough that I didn’t go raiding the fridge out of starvation last night.

Fun facts about the last 24 hours of cleansing:

  • I actually worked out last night at Bar Method, and co-taught a class as well.  I was curious to see how I’d fare working out after having only had juice all day.  Somehow, I made it through without feeling faint or dizzy (though, I felt like didn’t have quite as much energy as usual and was maybe slightly crankier).
  • Feeling hungrier today than yesterday.  I’ve heard that the second day is the worst as far as this goes.  Feeling ok at the moment, but we’ll see as the night progresses.  I’ve still got a Bar Method class to take and one to teach tonight, sooo…
  • Didn’t sleep very well last night (despite working a full day and fitting in a workout and teaching a class last night).  Not sure if it’s a fluke, or if the cleanse is to blame.
  • Definitely looking a little slimmer today, despite it having only been a day and a half.  I’m blaming it on the loss of water weight.

Currently: Having a face-off with the Beet Juice (I should just call it Ginger Juice, since that seems to be the main ingredient in mine, but that sort of sounds like an insult directed at myself).  Glad there’s less than a day and a half to go!

Gluten-Free / Juice Cleanse / Stay Fit / Stay Healthy / Vegetarian

January: A 3-Day Juice Cleanse

January 10, 2012


Normally, a juice cleanse is something I would never, ever do.  First of all, I hate being hungry.  Second, I love me anything gluten-based.  And third, I don’t really believe in “detoxing.”  So why, why in the world would I choose to go on a juice cleanse?  Well, I don’t know.  Ok, I do know.  Despite my general feelings toward cleanses, I’ve always been somewhat curious about them.  A morbid curiosity I suppose you’d call it.  And, well, we got a juicer as a wedding gift (which I quickly became obsessed with after we first experimented with juicing apples and carrots in it).  Also, after 2 weeks of non-stop eating following our wedding, I felt as though my system needed a little jolt to get back to reality.

I’d looked into some cleanses previously, and had found the Blue Print Cleanse which I thought looked fairly doable and not crazy like The Master Cleanse (I’m sorry, but you’re drinking nothing but water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for days?  The have a name for that, it’s called starvation).  A friend of mine sent me the link to a mock Blue Print-style Cleanse (here) you could do at home with a juicer, and I decided to try it out.

Today is day 1 of the cleanse, and here are my thoughts so far (just for the preparation.  I’ll talk about being on the actual cleanse later):

  1. I did all the juicing for the 3 day cleanse last night.  I wasn’t sure whether I’d go a day at a time when I started juicing, but it makes more sense to get it all done at once.  All in all, it took about 2 hours to juice everything.  Had I really taken notice of the amount of effort it would take to juice everything, I would not have started juicing at 10pm like I did last night.
  2. It’s messy, and the recipes on the website are not exact (the green apple juice and parsnip pear juices made wayyyy more than they said they would).
  3. If I were doing this again (which I sort of doubt I will), I would cut out the parsnip juice and make more of the green juice I think, because I still have plenty of green veggies left unjuiced to probably cover 3 days (this would help cut down on cost).  I’d also do the juicing outside somewhere if I could.  It would be way easier to clean up, especially if you could just dump everything into a nearby compost pile (seriously).
  4. The total cost was probably around $70-$80.  It seems expensive, but broken up over 3 days it’s not so bad, and it’s wayyy cheaper than ordering the juice online ($75/day — yes, per DAY).

Anyhoo, for those interested, here’s the breakdown of the cleanse.  It’s 3 days, and you drink 6 16oz juices each day in the order listed.  The juices are listed below with their recipes linked.  Unless specified otherwise, all information is from this site.

  1. Green Apple Juice: surprisingly tasty, despite it’s smell.  The recipe (as I made it) produced way more juice than it claimed it would, so I would sub this juice for the parsnip juice in a later cleanse (ha ha, as though I’ll be cleansing again.  Let’s not hold our breath, people.)  Also note, the parsnip juice isn’t used in the traditional Blue Print Cleanse, the BPC uses a second helping of the green juice in its place so this would make the cleanse more authentic as well.
  2. Pineapple Apple Mint: definitely drinkable, but a little sweet for my taste.  I should have considered the fact that I actually don’t like juice that much before starting this cleanse…
  3. Spicy Lemonade: Basically this is what you drink on The Master Cleanse.  I don’t think it has much nutritional value, given the ingredients.  Also, I bought new cayenne before I made this and the lemonade basically burned my face off.  Awesome.  Don’t know that I’ll be drinking/finishing these all 3 days.
  4. Carrot Apple Beet Ginger Lemon: You can definitely smell and taste the beets in this.  I may have also overdone it on the ginger in this one (I didn’t really measure it out, I kind of just cut off a chunk and juiced it.  Result: super gingery and spicy.  Not so fun after having cayenne pepper basically poured all over my face.)  Oh yeah, also it’s so red it makes you look like you’re drinking blood.  So if you’re a Twilight fan or something, great.  If not, shut your office door and hope that no one sees you (me).
  5. Parsnip Pears and Celery: Haven’t tried this one yet; but again, it made way more juice than the recipe said it would.  As a result, I’ve got 2 large parsnips and about 6 pears just chillin’ at home.  This would be great except KC hates pears (I kind of doubt he even knows what a parsnip is), and I think I’m going to be in no mood to down 6 pears come Friday when I’m off this juicy fruit-fest.
  6. Cashew Nut Milk: This is pretty much the only reason I actually agreed (with myself…  Just go with it, ok?) to go on this cleanse.  The cashew nut milk adds protein and fat, so you’re not just battering your body with nothing but fruits and veggies (which, don’t get me wrong, is healthy — but you need some balance).  Haven’t tried this yet, so I’ll have to let you know how it is later.

Fun facts:

  • I didn’t do the ease in suggested online.  I doubt I’ll do the ease out.  We’ll see if I die as a result.  Also, I didn’t give up coffee, because, y’know, let’s not get too crazy.
  • You’re apparently supposed to drink 16 oz of water with each juice, meaning you’d be drinking 32 oz of fluids every two hours.  Um, maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t seem physically possible for my bladder right now.
  • Did you know that if you drink straight beet juice it can paralyze your vocal chords?  Yeah, “what the F…” was my reaction too.
  • KC has started referring to my cleanse as the “V8 Mega Splash.”  Makes it more fun-sounding, I think.

Currently: kind of hungry, and my tongue feels like I’ve been licking a lemon.  2.5 days to go.