To Juice Cleanse or To Not Juice Cleanse
Typically in the past I have been hesitant to encourage people when they ask me whether they should do a juice cleanse. Partially because I don’t support them for a means of healthy weight loss, and also because I don’t think short cleanses are very beneficial to those who eat a diet of mostly processed food. I am a “try it before you buy it,” type of person, so before I felt like I could really provide feedback or advice, I wanted to do my own juice cleanse. A juice cleanse has been on my list to do for a while, but since I have been training for last 9 months for various races, the Racine half Ironman then the Columbus Marathon, I have held off on doing one so I wouldn’t increase my risk of getting injured while training. This past week I did a 3 day juice cleanse.
Of all the fabulous juice shops in Columbus, I chose a Native Cold Pressed cleanse, because they are the only shop in the area (to my knowledge) that uses only Organic fruits and veggies and only glass bottles…better for me, better for the environment! 🙂 Plus, their juice bottles are totally adorable! They also accept rinsed and returned bottles for a reimbursement, which I love! Native has preset cleanses, but I chose to make up my own and their team was super accommodating in helping me do that. I mixed and matched the juices and milks that seemed would be most tasty to me, while still providing me with balanced nutritional content, including my classic Native favorites and some of their delicious seasonal juices and nut milks (HELLO sweet potatoes and butternut squash!).
I didn’t ease into my cleanse by changing my diet, which I know is recommended, but I decided to do the cleanse last-minute and figured I wasn’t worst case scenario given my diet is already mostly clean and plant-based. If you are accustomed to eating animal products and/or processed food regularly, I would highly suggest easing into an all liquid cleanse if you choose to do one so as not to shock your system. Coming out of the cleanse, my tummy felt disrupted the first few meals, which wasn’t a surprise because it is always really sensitive, but readjusted within a day.
I felt a little drowsy the first day, but my energy levels were okay during the day the second and third days. I was definitely more fatigued in the evenings and went to bed even earlier than I normally do (which, for those who know me, know my bedtime is already quite early). I also felt almost feverish at night, getting the chills, but red and flushed in the face. I actually interpreted the fever-like symptoms to be good signs of my body detoxing and cleaning all the nasties inside itself. With the six 16 oz juices and six 16oz bottles of water, I was also going to the bathroom a LOT more than normal (which again, for those who know me, is already a lot). I did find I still got hungry occasionally throughout the day, but the juices were able to quench my hunger for the most part. Overall I had a positive experience. I didn’t have sh*tcidents or any serious mental or physical side effects, which I thought was a great accomplishment for my first juice cleanse! 🙂
Although I had a good experience and all the juices and milks were phenomenal, I will likely not do another juice cleanse for a while, if ever. Drinking fresh cold pressed juice feels and tastes great, but for me and my body, I don’t think consuming only liquid is the best. I think mentally or emotionally it was particularly difficult for me because of the idea of restriction. Mentally it took me back to the earlier periods in my life when I was constantly on and off different diets and had tons of “off-limits” foods and drinks, and I was not in a good place emotionally during those times. The only other all liquid cleanse I have done was the “Master Cleanse” several years ago, which I am ashamed to even admit I did now as a means of losing weight. I do NOT recommend the Master Cleanse because of the lack of variety and other reasons I could write an entire other post about.
I also know I need a high fiber diet to be at my best, hence the excessive smoothies I consume. Cold pressed juice has very little to no fiber, because fiber is the bulk of what is left after the juice liquid has been squeezed out. I believe that is basically the idea of a juice cleanse though, so that fiber doesn’t get in the way of the absorption of the wide variety of enzymes and nutrients that are abundant fresh cold pressed juice. For some, the all liquid cleanse might be great, so I do not want to discourage trying one!
I will absolutely be back to Native soon to get more of their fabulous juices to sip on, especially their seasonal Butternut/Carrot/Clove juice (my favorite!) before it goes away. I have purposely been carrying around my bottles to return so I can treat myself one morning this week and get a delicious Buckeye ball (or several..) to enjoy before heading to work this week. 🙂
I’d love to hear about any experience you have had with juice or other types of cleanses!
***Photos compliments of Native Cold Pressed. I somehow didn’t take ANY photos during my cleanse (bad blogger)!