This is WAY overdue (that seems to be a common theme around here lately huh?), but I wanted to post about my first juice cleanse experience…also because I will be embarking on cleanse #2 starting Monday morning. Yep, I liked it that much that I’m doing it again! But now that I’ve spoiled the ending for you, let me rewind back to the beginning…
I love to eat. I also love to run. Usually the latter keeps the former in check, but I just don’t feel like the equation works the same post-baby. So, I’ve kind of been on this never-ending quest for skinniness that I’ve never had to go through before. Squeezing in runs when I can and bringing salads for lunch helps, but I had such a crazy summer with whacky schedules and work projects that I ate like crappola and was feeling like I needed something to kickstart me into a healthier eating regime. I was also turning 30 and felt fat and frumpy. Ok, so the 2nd reason was probably my real motivation. But still.
Juice cleanses seem to be all the range with cool people these days so I was really curious to try one, but couldn’t do it for a while since I was still nursing (more on that 10 month labor of love here and here). But in August, just after I stopped pumping and right before my birthday (and much needed vacation), I decided I’d give juicing a try. Luckily I had 3 other co-workers equally excited about the prospect of instant skinniness, so we did it together.
We decided to go with Pangaea Earth Foods‘ 3-day beginner cleanse – 5 juices a day delivered right to our office! You can see our juice cleanse takeover of our floor’s fridge in the shot below. Those dark green bags in the middle are all us. The ordering process could not have been easier, and Erika, the owner, was great. She totally prepped us for what we were about to go through, and texted us every day to see how we were doing and keep us motivated. I highly recommend Pangaea to anyone in the Philly area. It’s small and local and I found most of the juices to actually taste really good – something I have heard is not the case with some local competitors.
So here’s the drill. You get 5 juices a day, for 3 days. (See pic below – look how nice and neatly packaged they are!) The cleanse is really a “raw food diet” in liquid form designed to flush out your system, get rid of toxins, and rejuvenate your whole digestive track. The theory is we spend a lot of energy breaking down our foods and that makes us sluggish. Feeling sluggish leads to less exercise and healthy eating, which makes you more sluggish. And the cycle continues. So the cleanse kick-starts you out of that. There are approved raw foods in solid form that you can eat, but we were trying to be hardcore and do juice only. The approved foods list included things like green veggies, raw seeds and nuts, sashimi, vegetable/miso soup broth, etc. You can also have as much water as you’d like, and herbal teas too.
The night before we started I was terrified – I was not confident that I’d be able to make it three days without solid foods (my goal was juice only), ESPECIALLY considering we were going to a Phillies game Monday night (and by the way, if you don’t believe that I didn’t cheat – see below – on your left is the delicious “Almond Love’ night cap aka Juice #5, and on your right is B’s Phillies helmet cup of vanilla and chocolate soft serve…). But in reality it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought, and I felt great 90% of the time I was on the cleanse. The other 10% is attributable to some bloating I had on the first day from drinking so darn much, and the hunger crankiness I got at a few points during the day.
I found Monday to be tough because my body was in a bit of shock, but I also had adrenaline going and that “it’s the first day – I can’t screw it up now!” thing going. I weighed myself Tuesday morning and had already lost 5 lbs! I knew it was just water weight, but seeing numbers come down on the scale was really motivating, and helped me get through Tuesday with a positive attitude. Which was much needed since I found it to be the hardest day. Monday’s adrenaline had worn wore off and I was feeling a tad hungry, but wasn’t yet at the halfway point. By Wednesday I think my body had adapted because I felt great and even contemplating going another few days with just juice. But I stuck to just 3 days knowing I’d give it a try again sometime later in the fall (which is now tomorrow!).
For me, the mornings and late afternoon’s were the hardest parts of the day. Ironically dinnertime was the easiest. I felt very full by the end of the day (you aren’t eating, but you’re drinking a TON) and just sort of ready to be finished with my juices for the day so I could go to bed. But during the occasional lull of the workday I was hungry and wanted a snack. It’s amazing how routine eating can be – I’m still not sure if I was actually hungry, or if the time of day was dictating me to feel that way.
So fast forward to the end. My total weight loss was 6.5 lbs, and 2 months later I’ve been able to keep half of it off. The few days following the cleanse I craved healthy foods and just felt great – bye bye sluggishness for sure. Over time that has gone away a bit, but I learned a lot while cleansing, in particular what the body really needs vs. what it thinks it needs. As someone with a great tendency (and propensity) to over consume, that was a total wake up call. I also felt super proud of having accomplished what I set out to do, and had this great sense of being in control about things. It really was a great experience for me and I knew I’d want to do it again.
So here I am, about to start cleanse #2 tomorrow morning to kick start some healthy eating for the next month or so. Hoping to look and feel good on the beach for JB’s wedding in Puerto Rico! And even though I’ve just written a mini-novel on how much I enjoyed cleansing the first time, if you can believe it I’m terrified again. But we do thrive off challenges here at Keep It Neat so we’re going to rise to the occasion and get our juice on. Wish me luck!