my 3-day juice cleanse

Last week, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I did my first juice cleanse. Having an almost 6-month old, I did not find it practical to juice my own veggies for my cleanse, so I opted to purchase my fresh pressed juice from a local company, SOL Juice. I knew this would be the next best thing to juicing myself as their juice would be as fresh as it comes (juiced right before it was delivered to me) and it would be all organic (as bonus, the owner Con is as nice as can be and hooked me up with some plain carrot juice for some homemade formula ... post coming later this week).

the juices

I went with SOL Juice's Color Cleanse which consisted of the following six 16 ounce juices:

I typically drank them in this order:

Rise 2
Dr. Sol

I opted to save Mylk for my "dinner" because it was a tad more filling and one of my favorite. Boost was amazingly delicious, too. Honestly, the other could be hard to drink. Don't get me wrong, I love juice! But, Drinking 16 ounces all at once when that's all your consuming, that was different. So Rise, Rise 2, Rouge, and Dr. Sol could be a little difficult for me at times but I would just chug and get it down the hatch.

the most surprising thing?

I didn't feel that hungry. I survived on liquid for 3 days and didn't even feel hungry most of the time; no more hungry than usual. I did get extra hungry after a run one day and mid-day another day, so at those times I opted to eat a spoonful of organic almond butter or veggies.

did I run/exercise?

Yes, day one I ran, day to I went to the gym. The third I did not, because it also coincided with the worst day of my cold. Was my cold made worse by the detoxing from juicing. Maybe.

so why did I do the cleanse?

According to SOL Juice, cleansing with juice cleansing: an excellent way to give your digestive system a short break while flooding your body with live enzymes and nutrients. Fiber is important in your regular diet, but creates a lot of work for the digestive system. While on a juice cleanse your body does not have to expel any energy digesting processed foods and fiber, so the other organs of your body are able to use that energy to heal. Juice has only trace amounts of fiber so all of the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables are able to be absorbed into the bloodstream faster. This is not a fast; you are not depriving your body while on a SOL cleanse, but nourishing it. To achieve the maximum benefits from a juice cleanse it is important for the juice to be 100% organic and raw. Sol cleanse is detoxifying, alkalizing & rejuvenating.
For me, there were two reasons to cleanse. First, out of curiosity. I had been wanting to do one for a long time. Two, because I have read about the health benefits, and wanted to give it a try for that reason.

The curiosity part ... I already like green juice and had read so much about juice cleanses. Some people are not sold on the benefits of juicing (also read more here) in general, but I am in a sense. We have juiced and incorporated green juice into our diet for the last few years. I know fiber is important, but I think it can't all hurt to get the concentrated nutrients from green juice without all that fiber. So, I don't think it is more beneficial than eating organic, raw veggies; rather I think it is a great way to get the nutrients from veggies in addition to the healthy stuff I am eating.

The health benefits part ... more energy, detox, reset your tastebuds. Those things all sounded attractive to me. I am on the fence on whether I believe it really detoxes, but I thought there was a chance it could invigorate and/or reset some food habits/preferences.

my juice cleanse experience take-aways

  • I was not hungry. In fact the juices were quite filling.
  • I suspect my cold, which was not too bad at first, was worsened. Was it symptoms of detox? I am not sure. I have detoxed badly after massages before, so the possibility that I was feeling crummy in part from detoxing is there.
  • I did not miss food. Mealtimes were still enjoyable social occasions. Not thinking about food, what to eat, and planning meals was also liberating; it eliminated some stress.
  • My palate did reset. By the end of the cleanse, sugar/sweet things sounded unappealing (and I had a sweet tooth leading up to the cleanse). Furthermore, I was craving very different things than I had been prior to the cleanse. For the most part, I was craving healthy things.
  • Exercising while doing a cleanse can be rough. I did exercise but I did scale back my runs and workouts.
  • 3-days was the perfect time length for me. I could do longer, but at this point would not want to.
  • I would do another cleanse, and it will be nice to do one when I DON'T have a cold. I think I may experience more of the energizing effects if a cold bug isn't sapping my energy. Next time, I might try a different juice company (I loved SOL Juice, but we have some great local companies). 

my juice cleanse recommendations (if you plan to do one)

  • Only do RAW, ORGANIC juice ... I know you can get "fresh pressed" "raw" juice at Whole Foods these days from companies like Suja, The Forager Project, and Blueprint Juice, but I recommend going LOCAL and getting juice that has been pressed within a day of the start of your cleanse. That will ensure that your juice is the most nutrient dense. And, definitely organic - no compromise there.
  • 3-day max ... if it is your first cleanse limit it to 3-days. You may want to go longer, but until you know what your reaction and experience will be, start small.
  • Ease in and out of your cleanse. On your way in to the cleanse and then after you are finished, slowly eliminate/reintroduce things like anything processed, refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and fatty meats. That means try to stick to organic fruits and veggies, beans and legumes, limited whole grains, and limited lean protein, especially coming off the cleanse. And now that I think about it, let's all just try to eat that way anyways because that is what is best!
  • Juice cleanses might not be for everyone. If you have any sort of blood sugar issues, my friend and nutritionist Lisa says that would be a reason to avoid them. She also cites this article and this article to balance out the picture.
  • Consult an expert. If you think you may want to do a cleanse, consult a naturopath or nutritionist to help guide you through the process. 

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