sometimes you just need something to rejuvenate you. sometimes you just need a fresh start. for the past six or so months i've been eating whatever i want and drinking here and there. it started to make me feel pretty horrible. then i did a real smart thing and went on vacation to New Orleans and ate a ton of food. then i upped the ante and went to Cabo and drank until my liver wanted to shrivel up and call it quits for the rest of my life. needless to say, i felt pretty shitty by the end of it all. i'd always wanted to do a juice cleanse, so i felt that after all of that, it was the perfect time to detox.
i looked up a few companies that offered juice cleanses within SF and finally settled on Living Greens. my main reason for choosing Living Greens is that while they offer a 3-day juice cleanse, they also offer their juices for purchase a la carte. i emailed the people at Living Greens and they sent me information on their 3-day cleanse.
3-day cleanse= $285
3 16oz. bottles of juice
2 8oz bottles of juice
1 16oz potassium broth
1 4oz aloe juice
2 teas, one calming and one detox
1 8oz coconut water
rather than pay $285 i decided to purchase the juices a la carte from them. then i bought aloe juice from GNC, bought similar teabags from a grocery store, made the potassium broth at home, and i already had lemons. i decided to skip the coconut water because that stuff is gross and completely forgot about the probiotics. calculating all of the purchases, the juice cleanse cost me approximately $130. much much better than $285.
-3 16oz bottles of The Skinny- grapefruit, fennel and apple
i actually really enjoyed this one. it was heavy on the grapefruit and made my mouth pucker. there was quite a bit of a bitterness at the end, but i didn't mind because i like grapefruit in general.
-3 16oz bottles of Complexion Cure- cucumber, strawberry, apple
the most normal of the juices i got. this one was sort of refreshing.
-3 16oz bottles of Bare Essentials- carrot, celery, beet, apple
not bad. it tasted mostly like sweet beets and definitely stained your fingers.
-3 8oz bottles of The Refresher- celery, cucumber, kale, apple, lemon
this one tastes like straight celery, which isn't horrible, but it wasn't good either.
-3 8oz bottles of Living Lemonade- carrot, cabbage, lemon, apple, ginger
the cabbage in this one gave it a slightly savory taste. i contemplated heating it up at some point and trying to trick myself into thinking it was soup.
potassium broth is pretty much vegetable broth except sans any salt. i found a website that gave me an easy recipe for potassium broth. 4 carrots, 4 celery stalks, the peels from 2 potatoes and a bunch of parsley. chop veggies and place in a pot with 4 quarts of water. bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes. add parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes. strain.
aloe juice from GNC and homemade potassium broth
so if you know me, you know that food pretty much takes up most of my mind space. during each meal i am almost always thinking of the next meal. it's pretty rare to see me without food in my hand. so for me to go on a strict 3-day juice cleanse seems like a ridiculous joke but i was determined to complete it without faltering. typically when i'm hungry, i get a bit cranky. so during the cleanse i felt the need to check myself and make sure i didn't get bitchy because the last thing i would want to do is to take out my literal hunger pains on someone else...especially due to something i chose to do to myself. so for a solid three days i was golden. no real crankiness came from me. but also, think about it, if i'm at a restaurant and i'm hungry and waiting to order my food, i know that sooner or later my tummy will be fulfilled. in the meantime my patience goes out the window and i get cranky. but on a juice cleanse, i know that whether i get cranky or not, no food is coming my way...so why even bother being upset.
the first couple of days were actually not that bad. it was sort of fun trying out each of the juices and trying to trick my mind into thinking it didn't want food. but along with all of those listed liquids, i also drank lots of water. all of that liquid seemed sort of crazy. even though voiding was frequent, i couldn't help but feel like a hyperhydrated cell that was about to burst. i could feel the hydration in my body. i actually didn't even really feel very hungry at all because i would always fill up my stomach with liquid. in fact, throughout the whole process my stomach only growled once (though it was an insanely loud growl).
on the third day i was good up until about 3pm. that's when i felt like i just wanted to chew something. i went to Trader Joe's in anticipation of the following days eats and found myself picking up walnuts, almonds and marcona almonds. i'm preeeetty sure my body was telling me i was missing protein. at night i wanted to eat just about anything, but i didn't. i contemplated about whether eating something at the stroke of midnight would be fair to the cleanse but decided that i'd just wait until the morning.
overall, i'm really happy that i did the cleanse. if anything, it taught me that most things truly are mind over matter. i was pretty fine without food for three days, and in the process i lost a good four lbs., though i'm sure i'll gain that right back. and it really did rejuvenate me. would i do it again? probably.