detox diary

This post is going to be quite long, bare with me. I've finally decided to brave the trend. Juice cleanses have been becoming more an...

This post is going to be quite long, bare with me. I've finally decided to brave the trend. Juice cleanses have been becoming more and more popular yet there's still few well known companies in the Chicago area. I have been wanting to try one of these cleanses for quite awhile, I guess you could say I've been building up the courage to go through with it. For those of you who don't know exactly what a juice cleanse or detox is, I'll give you a brief explanation. On average cleanses are offered for one, three, or five days. I personally chose the three-day. During your detox/cleanse you drink six juices a day; the order usually labeled and given directions by the company. While on the cleanse the juices are the only things you can consume other than water aka no solid foods (unless stated otherwise, some cleanses allow specific things in moderate amounts). Now you understand why I've been putting it off. I've read before it's good to do a three or five-day cleanse every six months to give your body a boost. I'm a huge fan of health and fitness, it is afterall a huge part of my future career path, I spend a lot of time scouring the web for new workout ideas and healthy recipes. I try my best to eat clean with the occasional 'cheat day' to give into those cravings like chocolate chip cookies--my favorite! I read a ton of stories and advice for doing juice cleanses; I wanted to know exactly what I was getting my self into. A key thing that stuck with me and I'd like to pass a long to anyone who wants to try a cleanse: EAT CLEAN THE WEEK BEFORE THE CLEANSE. I've read so many stories about people pigging out and scarfing down their favorites as if they'll never be able to eat them again, turns out those people were miserable during the cleanse. On the opposite end of the spectrum those who maintained a pretty clean, not perfect, diet for about five days before hand said they were fine. Reading other people's stories is what gave me the final push to 'man up' and do one myself so I decided I'd share my story for those who are in the same predicament I once was.
The Juices
Morning Glory: romaine, celery, spinach, apple, kale, banana, strawberry and H2O.
Spicy Lemonade: lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and H2O.
Sweet Spin: spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, mango, and H2O.
Acai Berry: acai berries, strawberries, banana, and H2O.
Not So Chunky: peanut butter, banana, and H2O.
Spicy Pome-nade: pomegranate, lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and H2O.
Chia Berry: strawberries, chia seeds, lemon, pomegranate, and H2O.
Island Coconut: coconut meat & water, date, cinnamon.
Day One
Morning Glory, Spicy Lemonade, Sweet Spin, Acai Berry, Not So Chunky, Sweet Spin.

Before the cleanse: The morning of starting my cleanse I had a cup of coffee and two eggs; one just whites and one whole. Just enough to get me through my morning exam before my cleanse arrived in the mail around 10A.M. In this particular cleanses guidelines it stated if needed, in moderate amounts, one can consume 1-2 cups of coffee with natural sweetener, raw or slightly steamed green vegetables, or egg whites. That is primarily how I chose what I'd eat to "hold me off" that morning. 
In order to write this post I journaled in detail through my entire cleanse. The first juice on my nonexistent plate was Morning Glory my first impression of it was straight nerves. The juice was green, very green. Not to mention the ingredients did not sound to appetizing. It smelt like lettuce, like a salad and had a slightly chunky texture. Starting the cleanse my biggest fear had been hunger. I have a fast metabolism and by no means did I want to feel like I was starving myself for three days. It seemed as that fear was going to be reality when I started getting a hunger urge after my first juice. Next up was Spicy Lemonade. Smelt like lemonade with a twist and has a taste to match. It was surprisingly delicious! The more you drink it the more you feel the spice, but I didn't find it to be actually spicy. My first challenge arose come lunch at work, the smell of everyone's food was driving me insane. I resisted the temptation and grabbed juice number three Sweet Spin. I was weary about this one considering it was also VERY green, but the ingredients looked more appealing. It was smoother, thinner, and more fruitier in taste than the first. I noticed the drinks meant to be for the "meal" portion then to be thicker that those in-between. The third drink was enjoyable which is a good thing considering you drink two each day. Around this point is when I started to notice my more frequent trips to the restroom due to the intake of so much liquid. Three down, three to go! The fourth juice was one I was looking forward to trying, Acai Berry. It looked like a liquid or smoothie form of a typical Acai bowl--tastes like one too.  Even though I had no real hunger I felt weird not eating, it's a mind game of some sort. My second to last juice was Not So Chunky a peanut butter banana mix. If I was a banana fan this one would have been delicious, but considering I'm not it took a bit of effort to get past the overwhelming banana scent and drink it down. My final drink of the day was yet again, Sweet Spin. Overall the day went pretty well. 
Day Two
Morning Glory, Spicy Pome-nade, Sweet Spin, Chia Berry, Island Coconut, Sweet Spin.

You'll notice some juices repeat. I'll spare the same details and skip to the part about how I felt and how the day went. I made it without hunger and had a completely normal night and morning. Day two was harder than day one, but not unbearable. I had told myself that drinking Morning Glory got better as you got used to it, but that was a total lie. It was and still is by far the hardest one to get through. If I had to drink more than one of those a day I more than likely would've called it quits right away. Frankly, it's not that cleansing is difficult I just kind of feel bored with the palate. My taste buds are far from satisfied. I started counting down the hours until I could have a real meal again only to be annoyed once I started looking into post cleanse tips. Apparently you should eat minimally and build your way up to a normal meal where as I just ready to eat everything solid in site. After the first juice I started feeling hungry but full at the same time--I didn't even know that was possible! The second juice was Spicy Pome-nade which was very similar to the Spicy Lemonade from day one. It was equally delicious, but I did feel the spice a bit more with this one. Keep in mind I say feel not taste; there is a difference. My day was busy between classes so I had to manage my juicing schedule so I could drink or have them on me with a cold pack for  short amount of so they don't go bad. The next juice on the list was Sweet Spin which came just in time for "lunch" aka my mid-day hunger. My optimism took a dip as time approached for juice number four, Chia Berry. Before drinking the juice I started getting a, pardon my language, 'f*ck this' kind of attitude, but I knew I could had a day and a half left to make it through. The fourth juice was another delicious one. The chia seeds in it were slightly weird as I've never had anything like that before, but over all I savored that one as I remembered the next morning I'd yet again be faced with the gross one. I started getting a headache and my food cravings were getting to me so I made myself two egg whites (from the allowed in moderation list) until it was time to drink my second to last juice. Even though it is technically allowed I still felt a tinge of guilt eating my egg whites. Like I was doing something I shouldn't. The fifth juice was Island Coconut, another I was intrigued to try. When I was looking up this particular brand many said this was their favorite. I can see why. It's basically a healthy dessert. It took me a little while to figure out the familiar taste but I finally pinpointed it to a Rumchata minus the liquor, if you've never had it--it tastes like cinnamon toast crunch but milky; basically the milk after the cereal had been sitting in it. My final juice of the night was yet again, the usual, Sweet Spin. Although day two was harder than day one I made it through perfectly fine and ready to power through my final day.
Day Three
Morning Glory, Spicy Lemonade, Sweet Spin, Acai Berry. Not So Chunky, Sweet Spin.

Considering my final days juices are an exact repeat of those from day one I'll once again skip to the point. The last day of my cleanse and even if I shouldn't say it I will, I was ready to get it over with. I didn't know whether I'd make it through the day. Not because I was hungry, I was bored and over it. I couldn't even finish Morning Glory, I got more than halfway through and ended up tossing the rest. I knew I'd be okay through juice number four, but later that evening I was heading back to my hometown which is surrounded by a ton of my favorite resturants. On another note the juices were starting to separate because they were at the end of their lives (perishable after three days) which made them look even less appetzing. I finished juices two through four as expected just with a bit of dread. As much as I hate to admit it that's where it came to an end. It's not that I gave up because I couldn't handle it, I know I could've made it through. I just didn't care anymore. I was ready for a real meal! I let my younger brother drink the last two juices for fun. No reason to let them go to waste.
Post Cleanse
If you haven't assumed by now there was no way I was going to follow those "post cleanse tips/rules" I read about. I missed and craved a REAL meal way too much to 'reintroduce food slowly' nor do I think anyone would feel that way unless you're an experienced cleanser. Once my cleanse was over aka when I decided to end it I took a trip to Trader Joe's to get some groceries for the following week and then, finally, this girl went out to get a REAL meal. Sadly, it wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be. After all, we always want what we can't have. I'm just thankful my stomach held up; I was expecting an unpleasant stomach ache from the dramatic change. Another note that could be taken either way depending on your personal preference I felt less hungry. Like I was full for longer. I did however feel immensely bloated through the night and into the next morning--you win some you lose some.

My Reflection
Now that my juice cleanse has come to an end I have some time to reflect on it and discuss my experience. A common question regarding juicing is "how much weight will I lose?" chances are if you read up on your juice cleanse facts you know juicing isn't designed for weight loss, it's to detox. As well as help one get on their feet to a healthy lifestyle mainly through their eating habits. I'm not saying it won't happen; in some cases people do lose weight. As for me, I maintained my solid 104.4 lb. I'm not going to say it was horrible and I was miserable, but I will admit I didn't think a juice cleanse would be as difficult as it was. It's possible it could just be a mind/personality thing. For being a petite woman with a pretty healthy lifestyle and eating habits I love food. No kind in specific, I just love it all. I'm that person tempted to eat because I'm bored which I know is a horrid habit. I'm grateful I got to experience doing a juice cleanse, but I'm not sure that it's something I'm going to make a yearly routine out of. There are some juices I really loved that I plan on ordering again just to drink whenever. The biggest thing that benefitted me personally from this cleanse was sugar. I'm not a candy or sweets person, minus those chocolate chip cookies. I do add raw sugar to my coffee and eat a lot of things with sugar in them. It was hard for me to cut back before the cleanse and I was getting to the point I'd crave sugary things I didn't normally enjoy. Sort of like a sugar addiction. Even through my traditional good eating habits I still had a very sensitive digestive system. One wrong thing and I'd feel extremely sick, I changed my diet but still couldn't figure out the cause. While doing the cleanse and obviously cutting out all those added sugars I didn't have that problem. Once the cleanse is over some say they feel energized or like a new person. I'd say I feel normal. I don't feel or see a huge change in my appearance, but my mom did mention when she saw me on day three that she thought I looked slightly ill. I wasn't super unhealthy before so theres a chance that those who have worse eating habits than I would see a bigger change in themselves. I see this cleanse as a way for a fresh start for me to stay on track with my clean eating and cut the sugary cravings.
I hope my cleanse experience helped inform you a bit more on what it's all about. Everyone is different. If a cleanse is something you've been debating and think you could do, I'd say go for it. You never know until you try!
NOTE: Use coupon code JUS4FRIENDS to get 15% off or Groupon offer available until August 13, 2014 for this brand juice cleanse here.
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Jùs By Julie

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