I JUST completed a 3-day juice cleanse and decided that I should document and share my experience! Before I get into it, I have written all about juice cleanses in general so feel free to go read that first by clicking HERE.
Prior to this particular 3-day cleanse, I have done a 2 day, 3 day and 5 day cleanse, each provided me with different experiences. On the 5 day cleanse, I experienced a headache on day 3, it was totally bearable but a headache nonetheless. It didn’t last very long so I was thankful.
WHY: The reason why I chose to go on a 3-day juice cleanse was first because I will be running an 8km marathon in a few days and I wanted to detox and clear out my system. Even though it’s not a huge race or anything, I want to be able to perform the best that I can. (Don’t worry though, I still have a few days between the end of my cleanse and race day.) Additionally, spring is a fantastic time to do a cleanse because this is the time our bodies naturally detox (e.g. why there are such things as seasonal allergies).
WHAT: I decided to try The Juice Box 3-day cleanse, which they call “The Chief”. It comes with 7 juices per day, so 21 juices in total. I chose this particular cleanse, because I have tried their juices before and I absolutely love them. I also greatly appreciate that they are completely organic, and source as locally as possible. This particular cleanse also does not include any bells or whistles, such as detox waters, nut mylks, chia seeds, or probiotic like other cleanses that I have done or that I am use to. It is strictly straight up juice.
BEFORE – My diet is generally quite clean, I would say I eat around 60% raw, 30% cooked, and 10% indulgence whether that is raw or cooked (e.g. raw chocolate, rice cakes, etc). I try to avoid processed and refined foods as best as I can. For example, I do not eat gluten, refined flours or sugars. However, the night before I started the cleanse, I attended a vegan potluck in which I was not strict about what I was putting into my body. Partly because I didn’t know what all the ingredients were in each dish, and also I did want to try things that I normally wouldn’t, such as chocolate drizzled popcorn, brown rice flour cookies, tempeh, etc.
THE JUICES: They were delicious. My favourites would be the orange cucumber first thing in the morning, as well as the apple lemon ginger because that combination is just the best. I’m not a huge fan of all-green, no fruit juices in general and really have a hard time getting through them, and so I decided to mix half and half with a fruity one. (I know I’m a rebel… but it really does make the green juices much more enjoyable).
THE TIMING: I didn’t time my juices very well, I would try to drink one at least every 2 hours or so, starting at around 9-10 which is probably a little late, but I did have to work at 7am for the entirety of the cleanse. The cleanse also came with 7 juices per day however I was only able to drink 6 per day. Obviously I would have drunk them all if I could but my body was telling me that I didn’t need another one.
EXERCISING: On the first two days, I did take a barre class in the morning. It wasn’t extremely strenuous but I wouldn’t say it was light exercise either. (Definitely felt a good burn.) In addition, I walked to work during the first two days which took about an hour. The walk was definitely slower than normal as I wanted to take it easy and not push myself too much. On the third day, my body was telling me to just take it easy and recover, so I just did some light stretching, foam rolling, and a lot of resting and relaxing.
MY BODY: Funny enough, my time of the month came at the same time that I started my cleanse. Therefore it may have contributed to my need for more rest, relaxation and sleep. I was not hungry, did not crave any foods, and I felt pretty satisfied throughout. On the third day, my stomach was making a lot of noise; not a grumbling hungry noise but digesting type of noise. I’m not sure why; it wasn’t painful but it was just loud.
WATER AND URINATION: Oddly enough, I thought I would need to pee much more than I did. In terms of drinking water in addition to the juices, I did not exactly keep track but it definitely was less than what I normally would drink. I would say I drank only about 4 cups per day? (Keep my mind, I’m very petite and I normally only drink about 6-7 cups per day).
AFTER – Because I still have some juices leftover, I continued to drink the remaining juices in the morning. Easing back into solid foods is very important. You definitely do not want to go back to your normal diet straight away, if at all (depending on what you were eating prior to the cleanse). Your stomach has been given a much needed break for 3 days, so it is important to allow it to essentially ‘wake up’ and get back into the swing of things. So the best foods to start with is raw fruits and vegetables, and then slowly introduce foods that are more difficult to digest such as the complex carbohydrates, heavy fats and proteins. For me personally, I will continue to remain fully raw until I feel that my body wants cooked food. I definitely want to see how my body will do from being entirely fueled by raw foods, especially for my upcoming race. My go to foods will be fruits that are hydrating such as watermelon, oranges and pineapple. In terms of veggies, I will turn to lettuce, cucumber and celery. Even with these hydrating foods, my stomach was making loud digesting noises. Nevertheless I felt really good.
Overall I had a very positive experience on this 3-day cleanse. I definitely listened to my body and it really felt like I had pushed a reset button. My goal moving forward is to remain to be in tune with my body. I want to appreciate every bite and everything that is going into my body as it is what is going to fuel me and give me energy. One thing I want to continue is only eating when I am feeling ‘hungry’ not to the point where my stomach is growling but instead eating when my body is telling me that it needs to refuel. I am thankful that I am not particularly constricted in terms of what time I am able to eat within the day; I don’t have any official breaks or meal times. As a result this will help promote the “I’ll eat when my body is telling me to eat” notion.
I am really thankful that I had such a great experience during this cleanse and I am hoping I will be able to get a BP during my race this upcoming weekend. I am determined. 😉
Have you every done a cleanse? What was your experience with it? If you haven’t, have you ever thought about it? What is holding you back?