I did my first juice cleanse December 31-January 2. I had researched different kinds of cleanses and their benefits for about a month, and I decided that the BluePrint Renovation Cleanse would be best for me. I like that BluePrint offered different levels of cleanses, so I was able to go with a beginner option. I used to be health conscious and in shape back in college, but I’m not anymore. I tried a juice cleanse because I needed motivation to change my eating habits. What I was doing just wasn’t working. I thought a break from solid food for a few days would be just the thing. BluePrint juices are cold pressed, raw, USDA certified organic. Despite my family’s concern (I am aware there is a lot of controversy surrounding juice cleanses), I decided to go for it. Just for three days.
And it was a total success!
I started my pre-cleanse on Sunday. I went out and bought lots of fruits, veggies, and green juice to munch on for two days before I started juicing. Honestly, the pre-cleanse was harder for me than the juicing. My body wasn’t used to eating raw vegan at all, so I was very hungry and fatigued. I was nervous about the cleanse because I can be very picky about trying new things, and how was I going to drink nothing but juice for three days? It was too late to turn back now.
Day 1: My juices arrived around 11 am on Tuesday. I lined up all my juices in numerical order so I could see my progress each day. There were eighteen 16 oz. bottles in total, and I drank six juices a day. I drank about one juice every 2-2.5 hours. It always took me around 30-40 minutes to finish an entire bottle. I liked to savor them so I wouldn’t go through one bottle in 15 minutes, and then have to wait another couple hours before I could drink another one. The juices were filling (especially the green, beet, and cashew milk juices) so I felt full for about an hour and 45 minutes before I drank my next juice. I felt good all day until around 12:30 am. I finished my last juice about 30 minutes after the ball dropped, and then I stayed out until 3:00 am. As I drifted off to sleep, I regretted starting my cleanse on a holiday where I knew I would be out very late and surrounded by good food and drinks. Let me tell you, it look a lot of willpower to not fill up a mug with Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese (my favorite kind nonetheless!) like everyone else after midnight. But I really wanted to do this on the New Years Eve because it meant I was beginning my lifestyle change not as a New Year’s resolution, but simply because I wanted to do this on my own time.
Day 2: When I woke up on New Years Day, any feelings of regret I had the night before were completely gone. I felt refreshed, awake, and ready to start the second day of my cleanse. I read several reviews saying that the second day of any juice cleanse would be the hardest, but by the end of day 2, I felt fine. I went out to lunch and dinner with friends and brought my juices along with me. Yes, once again it was tough being around all those foods I indulged on before my cleanse (chicken fingers, burgers, and ice cream), but I stayed focused on my juices and reminded myself that I was in the middle of making a positive change in my life.
Day 3: I felt GREAT and so accomplished by day 3. I had a snow day from work, so I was able to drink all my juices at home instead of around a group of curious elementary school kids. :) I was barely hungry between my juices on this day. After I finished some of my favorite juices, I got a little sad that I wouldn’t be drinking them anymore. (Fortunately Whole Foods carries BluePrint juices, but they are about $10 a bottle.) I actually told my boyfriend that I felt like I could extend my cleanse to 5 days. If you asked me that on day 1 or day 2 of my cleanse, I would have said absolutely not. But by day 3, I felt lighter and happier.
So here’s a breakdown of the juices from my favorite to least favorite:
1) Juice 2 of the day-P.A.M. (Pineapple, Apple, Mint–and I always think of Pam Beasley from The Office when I drink this): This one is amazing. I’m not a huge mint fan, but I absolutely LOVE it in this juice. This juice is refreshing, crisp, and just the right amount of sweet. I could drink this one every day of my life if I wasn’t prone to canker sores when I eat too many acidic fruits.
2) Juice 4 of the day-Spicy Lemonade (-Lemon, Agave, Cayene Pepper): Now I was super apprehensive about this one because I used to drink cayenne pepper water in college for sore throat remedies and I always hated it, BUT, this juice is amazing. You experience all the flavors in the order that is on the label: a little burst of lemon zest, the smooth taste of agave, and then the spicy cayenne. This one isn’t as filling as some of the other juices (it’s only 14% juice, and the rest is purified water) but it is so delicious.
3) Juice 6 of the day-Cashew Milk (Cashews, Agave, Vanilla, Cinnamon): This is the perfect one to end the day. It is not very sweet like I had expected, but it is comforting. It’s thick like a milkshake, and also really filling. They recommend drinking this one two hours before bed, but I was ready for a nap right after I tried this one (but I didn’t take one.) It was a little jarring to my taste buds when I got to the end because there were soggy cashews at the bottom, but I just opted not to drink them. When I had this one on my second night I was at Friendly’s and it was LIKE I was joining in on eating ice cream with my friends. Kind of.
4) Juice 1 and 3 of the day-Green Juice (Kale, Apple, Ginger, Romaine, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Lemon): So this is the drink I was most nervous about. I had another green juice from a different brand that contained the same ingredients plus two other green foods, and I could not finish it. So I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to tolerate this one, plus you have to drink the green juice for your first and third drink of the day. But this one grew on me a lot! It is the color of dark swamp water and has an earthy, grassy taste, but the apple and lemon really add to the overall flavor. And this juice is really filling and gives me lots of energy.
5) Juice 5 of the day-C.A.B. (Carrot, Apple, Beet, Lemon, Ginger): This one is my least favorite of them all. Perhaps I was swayed by a review that said this juice tastes like a popsicle. Spoiler alert: It does not! The most prominent flavor is the beet. Now, I like beets from time to time, but I don’t like drinking beets. And as much as I pretend I’m Dwight Schrute or my boyfriend uses the Quailman, “beets are nature’s candy” quote while I drink this, I just can’t love this one. But I can get through it. :)
I am really proud of myself for completing this cleanse. I felt sluggish the way I was eating before. Now I am inspired and motivated to continue eating healthfully and get back to working out. BluePrint gave me a Cheat Sheet in case I had an overwhelming urge to eat something, but I never even thought about using it. The juice was enough for me. If I had been awake for too long after my last juice, I started to feel sick, but other than that I didn’t have any negative side effects.
I did think a lot about eating unhealthy things again the first two days of the cleanse and how easy it would be to fall back into my old eating habits. That worried me. But something clicked in my brain on day 3 that made me want to swap out fried food and snacks for healthier options like veggies, brown rice, and leaner meats. Maybe it was because I felt so light and happy on the last day, or maybe it was because I was able to zip up that red dress I couldn’t fully zip before I started this cleanse. Or maybe it’s just that I finally found something that worked for me, after years of trying to kick start eating healthfully again and always failing.
I wrote this before I started my pre-cleanse on Sunday, 12/29: “I’m looking forward to this experience. I think I’m more nervous about the post-cleanse. I hope I have enough will power to not go back to eating poorly. Otherwise all of this will have been for nothing.”
It seems like someone else wrote that now. I’ve begun my post-cleanse and I’m sticking with it and still feeling good. Who knew I could change so much in just three days?
I drank hot water with lemon throughout the day to stay hydrated.
I also could drink as much herbal tea as I wanted. :)
Me in my red dress, feeling good. And cleansed. :)