In addition to experimenting with foods / diets that work best for me, I like investigating different health related fads. I haven’t experimented with ALL of them since most are quick tricks people use to lose weight fast without putting in real work then end up gaining it all back or more. One fad I’ve been really curious about, is some kind of juice cleanse/fast/detox.
$$$Cost $$$: Pricing depends on a few factors including how many days you want to fast, where you buy your ingredients from – online made for you or make it yourself, and whether you have a really good juicer or need to buy that too. Generally you are looking at spending a couple hundred dollars. I was only able to do this because I found a Groupon deal online.
Research: read up on some of the benefits; potential harm if done incorrectly; different companies to get juices from etc.. I also looked at what people have done to do to prepare, how people have completed cleanses safely, cautions to be mindful of; post cleanse care
Pre-cleanse: decrease solid food intake about a week before the cleanse; doing a 24-48 hour solid food fast before the juice cleanse; doing some sort of colon therapy before a juice fast (this can help not to overload your gut with toxins as you’re trying to rid of them)
During the cleanse: hydration is very important – water consumption is very important, hot tea is okay too, maybe soup for 1 meal; if doing a 3-day cleanses do so over 5 days with a day of recovery in between juice days if can or doing so over a weekend where there’s less energy expenditure
Post cleanse: do a gradual re-introduction of solid foods; avoid processed foods & high sugar content foods particularly right after the cleanse (this will undo any benefits gained from the cleanse)
Current Eating Habits:
I’ve been eating a vegetarian based diet for about 5 years now and very recently have added fish/seafood (namely sushi, salmon, tuna, & occasionally scallops). I still primarily eat vegetarian based meals but occasionally 1 meal has fish.
- My breakfast is usually a yogurt & fresh fruit or a smoothie when I plan ahead, maybe a small cup of coffee; a chai or matcha latte and some sort of pastry (scone, croissant) when I can’t plan ahead
- I have a morning snack of granola or nuts or protein balls when I plan ahead; chips, popcorn or a pop tart if I can’t
- My lunch is tricky during my work week since I have to bring it to work or put together a lunch from the family dollar store (no bueno). When I plan, I have a variety of veggies/fruits with rice & some sort of protein… often left overs from the previous night’s dinner end up being my lunch… if I’m unable to plan I usually have top ramen or soup
- My “afternoon snack,” usually post workout during the work week is protein balls or protein shake and sometimes fruit; my off days I usually have tea or a smoothie or no snack at all
- Dinner is usually some rice and veggie combo with a protein like beans/legumes/fish when planned ahead; mac n cheese or pasta of sorts if not.
- Before bed I try to have a cup of hot tea (this is a new habit I’m working on)
Dietary/lifestyle changes I’ve been working on or want to improve:
- Portion control – being mindful of what I eat and how much based on fitness goals
- Decrease caffeine intake, particularly with coffee
- Decrease sugar intake = VERY HARD TO DO because this stuff is in EVERYTHING but gotta do it!
- Decrease process food intake – again VERY HARD TO DO for many reasons that are worth a whole separate post
- Decrease dairy intake because mild-moderately lactose intolerant depending on the dairy (mostly it’s the milk that gets me). I’ve been doing this for years now but still something I’m always trying to be mindful of.
- Decrease simple carbohydrates (fits into decreasing dairy, sugar etc.)
- Decrease wheat, grain, and gluten intake because I have realized that I’m really gluten intolerant and my digestive tract hates it when I eat things with gluten
I did a 3-day cleanse/fast/detox (whatever you wanna call it). My order came with 6 juices for each day – to be consumed every 2-3 hours. Instructions suggested a schedule of 7am, 10am, 12pm, 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm intakes or what works best with my schedule.
Meet the Juices:
- Sunrise = blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, greens, apple, oats, flax, banana, chia
- Power green juice = apple, celery, cucumber, kale, spinach, chard, lemon, parsley, habenero
- Recharge = spinach, mango, avocado, celery, orange, apple
- Roots = carrots, celery, orange, apple, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, lemon
- Passion juice = watermelon, cucumber, strawberry, apple, triphala tea (with added cranberry & hibiscus)
- Puri Tea (best heated in a mug, sipped) = fennel, coriander, cumin, senna, cayenne, lemon, turmeric, ginger, apple
Here’s how it went…
For breakfast I had the “Sunrise” juice along with a cup of hot tea & water. I usually walk to work each and this morning was nice since it helped work through the energy of the juice. For my morning snack I had the “Power Green” juice. I felt really hungry (stomach growling) around this time and afterward I felt a little light headed like I drank too much too fast, which is why I then added extra snacks of popcorn and a granola bar. My lunch was a little later than usual today, normally I eat around 2pm but today was around 3pm. I had the “Recharge” and some dumpling soup for this meal. I started feeling good again after lunch. No gym workout today so my afternoon snack was had later at home and it included the “Roots” juice and a little granola, nut and berry mix. For dinner I had the “Passion” juice with some top ramen noodles minus the seasoning packet though (I probably shouldn’t have but I needed something soup like with the juice). Unfortunately I was unable to consume all 6 of the juices for this day as it got to be too late for me to have the last juice; “Puri Tea.”
Notes from D1: I had a bowel movement after I woke up, a little soft but good color, girth etc. … no other BM’s for the rest of the day though. I felt a little light headedness and sleep deprived but I also did not get a full night’s rest so the tiredness and fatigue were more likely to due actual lack of sleep rather than the cleanse. A bit of a rocky start but overall not as terrible as thought.
My Day off! this means I got to sleep in; I definitely felt better after getting a full night’s sleep. My period also started (a couple days early). I hadn’t really accounted or thought of the affects this might have and most sites suggest holding off on a juice fast until after the menstrual cycle is complete as this is already a natural detox for my body (my uterus in particular). However, since I had already started the fast I decided to continue and add a little more foods/ snacks such as soup and an assortment of nuts.
For brunch I had a small latte (with almond milk) and a zucchini chocolate chip muffin from Black Forest Cafe along with the “Puri Tea” that was meant for last night oops! I also drank it cold instead of heated as suggested. My juice schedule will be off a little bit today so I did my best to have a juice about every 2 hours. I felt really hungry by afternoon lunch time; had the “Sunrise” juice and a chipotle burrito bowl (white rice, pinto beans, sprinkling of cheese & lettuce plus the new queso because I had to try it lol). My afternoon snack was the “Power Green” and today I had an early evening snack; the “Recharge” and some nut/berry mix. For dinner I had the “Roots” juice and a small glass of cashew chocolate milk. I also had an post dinner snack; the “Passion” juice and a cup of strawberry yogurt. I also added a bowl of oatmeal to add some extra fiber.
Notes from D2: I had a good BM in the late evening. I did complete all of the juices but the order was a little wonky – had the Puri Tea meant for last night this morning and did not have the Puri Tea juice meant for this day.
Another say off! slept in again till about the same time. Had a morning BM and it was looking good. Feeling good today. **My computer went wonky and deleted my nutrition log so this day won’t be as detailed as the other two. **Brunch was the “Sunrise” juice and some water. Ate soup and had the “Power Green” juice for lunch. I had the “Recharge” juice for my afternoon snack and the “Roots” juice a couple hours later. I had the “Passion” juice for dinner along with some white rice and a cup of cashew chocolate milk a little after.
Notes from D3: I had 2 BMs this day. The first was had earlier in the day (was a little more runny but expected due to consuming mostly liquids for the past couple days). The second was sometime in the evening (more like my normal BMs).
Overall I think it went alright, some hiccups along the way (period started during the fast; juice schedule got mixed up; ate more solid foods than anticipated; the fast fell on Halloween weekend and finished the day before Halloween, which made keeping good habits really difficult). I feel more sensitive to things like caffeine and alcohol. Going into this my main thought process was that I wanted to change my diet / habits and use this as a way to transition from old habits to new.
Some immediate changes:
- Cut caffeine intake down to coffee only 2x a week with a matcha/chai tea once a week. Drinking more tea – green & herbal.
- The sugar/ process food/simple carbohydrates intake is still a struggle but I’m paying more attention to what and how much I eat in order to limit this.
- I’ve decrease my wheat/grain/gluten intake some but will really need to work on this one.
I’d considered doing another (3-day) fast with better planning haha and/or doing a 1-day or 3-day fast like once a month or something.