Fit Opinion: The Good, Bad and Super Ugly of a Juice Detox

I’ve said many times before that I didn’t necessarily agree with substituting entire meals for extended periods of time with a juice diet. However, blended juices from fresh produce are packed with nutrients so I do believe they should be a staple within any diet as a snack or in place of a light meal a couple times a week. I eat every three hours, seriously, every three hours. It definitely gets annoying at times, but I know it’s a sign that my metabolism is working like it should be after so much exercise. However, I have girlfriends who can get away with a meal a day, not because they’re intentionally trying to starve but simply because they don’t get hungry. Prior to in-depth research, I felt like for me to simply consume blended juice every three hours without any type of sustenance was crazy simply because I think I would’ve passed out by hour two.

I’m still nervous to try it, I’m not going to lie. My body is use to eggs and fruit in the morning, salad or sandwhich for lunch, a nice dinner with vegetables and granola bars or yogurt in between each meal. However, just about everyone I know who is able to last with one meal a day almost always eats fast food for that one meal. So in that case, of course a juice substitution would be beneficial to them (along with a couple of plates of fruit) because they aren’t getting the proper amount of nutrients in the first place.  So as I’m doing more research on juice detoxes, I realize that for one, I’m simply scared of being without solid food for extended periods of time. It’s like my stomach doesn’t get full unless it sees it on a fork or spoon and actually chews it.  But I’m now realizing that juice cleanses also help with aches and pains (It’s said to relieve back pain, and for that reason alone I’m considering doing it rather then continue to pay the $200 a week for my chiropractor visits). But of course before you reach the good, as in potentially losing 5-10 pounds in the first two days, you have to experience the ugly which is headaches, fatigue, Blurred Lines- I mean vision, nausea, dizziness….the list goes on. These ugly symptoms is the result of the body releasing the toxins at a rate faster then its accustomed to, additionally it’s trying to do all this while your filling it up with more nutrients then you’ve probably consumed at one time in a while and as a result all this work the body is doing ensues various symptoms that, from what I’ve read are absolute HELL.

Below is a quick article that I found over at College Candy about one’s writer’s experience surviving a juice detox. In it she details her day to day pains and her experience doesn’t exactly sway me to try it for the weekend but it’s a good read for anyone, myself included, considering it.

-J.S. Gates

juice cleanse

“You know when someone says they’re going to do nothing but drink juice for 3 days, and you’re like, “Ok I’m going to keep eating my buffalo chicken calzone, thanks”? Trust me, usually I’m the person stating the latter. But after a 10 day bender with my family, eating and drinking quite literally from noon until 2AM each night, my body was screaming at me for some nutrition. I had gained 7 pounds, and I didn’t see a way out. Ok, I thought, now is the time to juice.

THE JUICE:

The last time I did a juice cleanse I made my own juices. I thought this was more economical, and in some cases it is. But you are still having to make 6 juices per day, and let me tell you, that is a LOT of produce. This time, I decided to buy my own juices.

I decided to go with Suja juices, I had read great reviews and they are a little less expensive than some of their competitors.

Here was my menu for 3 days:

Breakfast: Glow (Apple, Cucumber, Celery, Mint, Kale, Spinach, Collards)

Mid-Morning: Fuel (Carrot, Orange, Apple, Pineapple, Lemon, Turmeric)

Lunch: Purify (Carrot, Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Beet, Lemon)

Mid-Afternoon: Fiji (Fuji Apple, Cucumber, Celery, Kale, Spinach, Collards, Lemon-Ginger)

Dinner: Green Supreme (Kale, Apple, Lemon)

DessertYay dessert!! Vanilla Cloud (Coconut, Almond, Honey, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla)

I also added a couple of Lemon Love (Water, Lemon, Stevia, Cayenne), which in a master cleanse is literally all you eat, add some maple syrup. This horrifies me. But it was a great addition to the cleanse.

THE PHASES:

I chose to cleanse on a weekend, because I didn’t want to deal with office life and no eating. Cupcakes, bagels, constant snacking — it’s not conducive to an easy cleanse. I chose to start on a Saturday morning, not only was I excited to have an excuse to not drink all weekend, but I was excited to have a reason to stay in bed all day Sunday (if so needed).

The first day was easy — I slept until 11 because I figured, less time to be hungry right? I had my first juice and felt so great, like I was already being cleansed and the toxins were flowing from my body. I happily drank all 6 juices on this day, and did not feel hungry once. It helped that I wasn’t surrounded by food, and I pampered myself with a mani-pedi.

The second day was also fairly simple. I tried to work out in the morning but found myself in child’s pose for half of my yoga class. I was thankful to not be at work during the day, as I was extremely tired and lacking in energy. I mean, I was drained. But my body felt good, my body felt lighter. I felt a little bit floaty. I went to bed at about 8PM because of the exhaustion, but I have to say, I slept like a rock.

Day three… Well, on the positive side, I was 7 pounds down. 7 pounds in 2 days. Can’t get much better than that, can it? Another positive note, I woke up feeling extremely energized, and more floaty than ever. Being in the office was a little bit easier than I thought it would be, especially as the bottled juices were so easy to transport to work. I had a juice every few hours and stayed relatively satisfied.

But, by the end of day three I was feeling miserable. I was extremely nauseated and had horrible stomach cramps. I got home from work at 6:30 and went right to bed. I felt so sick and I just needed to sleep it off. I have read that as you detox you get these symptoms, that it is good — the bad toxins are leaving your body, and it’s not easy. But boy-oh-boy was it more painful than I had expected.

THE COME DOWN:

I felt sick like this for the next few days. I tried to do a good job at introducing food back into my system — I ate carrots, guacamole, and a salad. A tablespoon of guacamole gave me the worst stomach cramps I’ve had in my life as my first meal. Guacamole!

Overall, it was a great experience. I highly recommend starting on a weekend so you can go through the exhaustion phases first in your own home. I also highly recommend researching how to come off of a cleanse– if I had done a better job of this I may have been able to avoid the icky symptoms. But maybe not.

I know it is expensive, this 3 day cleanse is 162 dollars online, but it is a great experience. You feel light, refreshed, happy, energized, and the Vanilla Cloud is my new favorite dessert… Period. If that is a little too pricey though, Whole Foods now sells Suja juices– you can buy them individually and do a one day cleanse for cheaper, or make your own juices if that’s possible! You can get a day’s of juices for about 25 dollars in produce.

Despite the cramps, exhaustion, nausea, and head aches– I felt pretty amazing after this 3 day cleanse, and I hope to tackle a 5 day cleanse next.”

 

Another article that served as an interesting read comes from Farmer K’s Kitchen, where she does an excellent job of providing detailed descriptions of the exact pains her and her husband felt during their detox, http://farmerkskitchen.com/2012/03/25/detoxingsymptomsarearealpain/.

For anyone wanting more info on the myths and magic of raw food detox in general, check out this article over at The Raw Food’s Witch. http://rawfoodswitch.com/raw-food-videos/raw-food-detox-myth-madness-magick/.

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