I like food. And I really like to chew my food. So how I wound up here… on day one of a Juice Cleanse… I’m still not sure. But since I have committed to blogging about all I eat, even if it’s through a straw, I will be recording my adventure here.
I am highly skeptical of things like Juice Cleanses. The body works well on its own, so why tinker with it? I am also probably an awful candidate for this because I am prone to blood sugar issues and migraines. Somehow… I talked myself into trying it. Let’s say it’s for research purposes!
So first, why am I giving up chewing for 3 full days? Full transparency: I have been trying to lose weight for quite some time (I guess I REALLY like food). I went on Weight Watchers and was thrilled as 18 pounds came off in a little under 5 months… but a year later, the 18 had come back on… plus a lot more… EEK. I need to kick my own ass to get better about this and lose the weight. Because I need to be healthy, and my joints really like it. It would also be nice to be able to wear half the things in my closet again… but let’s focus on health for now.
Also, I needed a reset. I needed something to help me dedicate myself to eating less. I had been debating a juice cleanse for some time, so when I saw that Gilt City was offering a deal on Cooler Cleanse ($104 for 3 days… it’s usually $58 per day), I figured “What the hell!” 3 weeks later, here I am.
Cooler Cleanse gives you 6 juices per day, which you are supposed to drink, in order, about every 2 hours throughout the day. (For more info about each juice, the order, and the science for the 3-day cleanse I’m doing, check their site here). I have read that Cooler Cleanse was developed by (with?) Salma Hayek. Everyone loves a celebrity endorsement.
(image courtesy of CoolerCleanse.com)
There are a lot of unproven “facts” that come along with cleansing, and while I have no idea what is a real fact and what is a fictional fact, I do think that giving my body some time to eat less calories, filled with good nutrients can potentially help. My concern is if I can stand not to chew for 3 days.
So I figured I’d record this for any else who is considering:
Day 1 (Tuesday):
- 8am- Cooler Cleanse delivery guy shows up right on time. I am rewarded with a (very heavy) bag of 3 separate coolers, each with 6 juices. (It was at this point that I stopped kicking myself for paying the extra $15 to have the juices delivered. While they have a pickup location a few blocks away, I know myself well enough to know that I probably never would have gone to pick them up, and if I did make it, it was far too heavy for me to schlep home.) I unpack 2 of the coolers into the fridge (and while excited to have 3 new lunch bags… I question if the amount of use they will get is worth the storage space) and put the other one by the door to take to the office.
- 9am- Crack open Juice #1 at my desk. It is called “Essential Green” and contains cucumber, celery, parsley, spinach, kale, dandelion greens, watercress, pear, lemon, and ginger. First sip is tough. It’s a bit bitter and I debate whether Truvia is REALLY considered sugar in this case. I opt against the sweetener (I can do this!) and slowly sip (as instructed) #1 over the next 30 minutes or so. By the end of the bottle I’m realizing that it wasn’t so bad afterall.
- 10am- I look up at my clock assuming 2 hours have gone by and it’s time for my next juice. I’m not hungry, per se, but I’m looking forward to 11am.
- 11am- #2 is Grapefruit and Mint. It really is just grapefruit and mint… it’s very citrusy with a small splash of mint. It’s tasty and refreshing… especially during this heat wave
- Noon- Surprisingly not hungry. But definitely feeling the effects of not having coffee (sleepy, but not headaches… knock on wood).
- 1pm- A tad bit hungry when I opened up my second “Essential Green” juice. This one is going down a little easier from the start, but I do sort of wish this one varied it up a bit from the first. I can tell I will be pretty sick of the reen by the time I’m done with 3 days (6 of them).
- 1:30pm- Just finished up the Green. Stomach is starting to growl a bit. Miss coffee.
- 2pm- Officially hungry… at least a little bit. Telling myself (and my stomach) that a little hunger isn’t a bad thing. This would also be around the time I’d be brewing my 2nd cup of coffee. Oh coffee… why do we not realize how good things are until they’re gone?
- 2:55pm- It’s close enough to 3pm. Though reaching into the fridge, all I have for this hour is young coconut water. Now I LOVE coconut water, but it does not a hunger staver make. First impression: WOW! Delicious. Sweeter and more flavorful than regular coconut water. Much more satisfying.
- 5pm- Surprisingly satisfied… going to put off this juice for 30 minutes to push the last juice later (worried about a big gap between #6 and bedtime)
- 6pm- WHOOPS! Got stuck in a meeting and couldn’t get to my “Essential Red” until 6pm. Surprisingly, I wasn’t starving. Red included carrot, beet, apple, and lemon. Pretty damn good, but I can’t stop burping carrots. Perhaps I drank too fast?
- 8pm- Opened my final juice of the day: Almond Nut Milk (raw almonds, vanilla bean, dates, and filtered water). It’s thicker than the rest and has a definite “diet shake” quality to it (but without that weird chemical taste). I kind of like it. Kind of. Something about the taste is similar to licking a band-aid. Total turn-off to an otherwise nice flavor. And I noticed something weird… the nutritional information lists this last one as 240 calories and 19 grams of fat… for 1/2 the serving! The total calories for the day are under 1.100, so nearly HALF of my calories are coming from my last drink. I am not a nutritionist, but this seems kinda weird.
- 11pm- Literally cannot keep my eyes open any longer. Feeling slightly headachey and slightly achey all over, but not sure if it’s at all correlated.
Day 1 summary: Can I do an entire fast on that delicious coconut water? It’s great that the one I found to be so delicious came up as soon as I was at my hungriest. 2pm-3pm were definitely the most hungry. Wondering if that will be (and has been) a pattern. My biggest concern was headaches, which I am prone to, but I haven’t detected any today. I wouldn’t say I’m uncomfortable hungry, but I definitely feel more sluggish and a little foggy in the brain. I decided to do this during the work week so I would be more distracted from hunger. I think this was a good idea, but I feel like I’m doing a bit of a disservice to my job by not being 200% on. (Yes… I always have been an overachiever)
Day 2 (Wednesday):
- 8am- Woke up feeling decent. Not hungry.
- 9am- The Green looks worse when it’s separated and very unappetizing. I shook it up and drank it down without much thought. It’s not my favorite, but it’s not awful.
- 10am- Feelin’ good, but missing coffee
- 11am- Grapefruit and Mint was grapefruity and minty. Refreshing.
- Noon- Feelin’ good, but missing coffee. I’m starting to feel a little hazy, but nothing worse than being on cold medicine. (Though is that feeling healthy? HMMM)
- 1pm- I’m trying to delay my next drink so I’m not so damn hungry at 3pm… but at 1:20pm, I’m definitely feeling hungry
- 1:30pm- Barely made it. Feeling overly hungry and sleepy. Definitely having many “Why am I doing this?” moments… but I’m trying to stay the course. I’m definitely sick of the green one at this point.
- 2pm- Tired
- 3:30pm- Not nearly as hungry as last time for this one as yesterday, but definitely feeling tired.
- 4:45pm- Started feeling REALLY groggy and headachey. Broke down and had a handful of almonds. Felt much better.
- 5:45pm- The nuts helped. But headache is still upon me. Hoping this #5 (Essential Red) will help.
- 6pm- Hello Tylenol
- 7pm- Since #6 is so filling, I decided to have it early. I still taste that weird flavor that I can’t get past. I wish this one were better
- 9pm- Headache is back andnow my stomach is bothering me… I really have one more day of this?
- 11pm- Feel like absolute crap. Going to bed.
Day 2 summary: This was not a good day. I felt totally tired, headachey, stomach achey, and just totally bleh. I don’t know why I’m doing this and I need to make some changes for tomorrow.
Day 3 (Thursday):
- 8am- Woke up feeling surprisingly good. Decided to take my final juice of the day (the Almond Milk) and move it to the afternoon, when I am hungriest. I will probably swap out the Grapefruit and Mint to be last for the day. They advise to stick with the order they set, but they say you can switch it around so long as you start with green. Hopefully this will help. (But I also snuck an apple in for protection).
- 9am- Stomach barely started growling. Drinking down the green… still don’t like it, but it’s not like I’m choking it down.
- Noon- I was in a meeting and unable to get to my juices until now. I was a bit hungry, but feeling decent. I decided to switch it up and drink a bit more than half the Almond Milk one (#6) now. Feeling pretty good. Though my tummy got a little rumbly soon after finishing.
- 1pm- Opening my very last Green. I am so glad that I will never have to drink this again.
- 3pm- Feeling quite good. Much more alert than the last 2 days. I feel good, but I think mostly in comparison to the last 2 days, as opposed to BETTER than usual, which seems to be the whole reason for a cleanse like this. Popping open my very last Young Coconut Water. So yummy!
- 5pm- Still feeling pretty good. Time for burpin’ carrots with Essential Red. (Delicious visual… I know)
- 7pm- Had the Grapefruit and Mint. Mmmm refreshing!
- 7:30pm- Had the last 1/3 of the Almond Milk. Feeling pretty good. No where near as headachey/stomach achey as I did last night. Though soon after finishing the Almond Milk, my stomach did another flip. (I wonder what is in this that bothers me)
- 8:15pm- Started feeling the headache come on and felt more hungry than I have been all day. Decided I would have an apple. Feeling better stomach-wise, but the headache is pretty bad.
- 11pm- Headache still with me. Can’t wait to eat tomorrow. Goodnight.
Day 3 summary: I felt pretty damn good today, until the evening. I’m not sure if the headaches are juice induced, but it seems pretty correlatory that I had them each night I was on the Cleanse. And while I certainly felt MUCH better than Day 2, I can’t say I really get why people put themselves through this. I will say, however, that I have an amazing sense of accomplishment that I (mostly) stuck to it.
Friday: Today is the first day after the 3 day cleanse, and seriously all I have thought about for the past 3 days is what I will eat today. I bought myself an egg, truffle, and prosciutto sandwich and never looked back. I have never looked so forward to eating something. It was an awesome feeling to be able to chew my food and I felt satisfied for the first time in 4 days. I also had coffee and nearly jumped for joy. Already I feel healthier than I did for the last 3 days… (I’m hoping this return to “normal” food doesn’t make me sick. But so far, so good.)
Overall: I try to abide by the rule of “Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.” (Afterall, I would never have found some of my favorite foods like eel, truffles, and pig cheek had I not taken the plunge) So… I tried it. And I can’t help but feel that it was one of the more stupid things I’ve done. I lost a total of about 1.5 pounds (which is hardly statistically significant) and don’t feel the need to eat healthier (which is what I was really hoping for). My body just felt undernourished and wiped. The fact that the 3rd day was easier probably says that my body was getting acclimated to it, but was it really worth feeling like I had the flu to get there? And what did that achieve?
I am looking at this as proof of some of my self control and hope to be better with dieting over the next few weeks. I will just keep reminding myself that it could be worse…
Verdict on Juice Cleansing: NEVER AGAIN