After a little over 2 months straight of internet dating, I need a break! People are either completely misrepresenting themselves online or they are only looking for hookups. An average of 3 dates a week for 2 months takes its toll on you. So, on my break I decided to do some things for myself. I got a massage, worked out pretty hard, and went on a 3-ish day juice cleanse. This is my experience from the first part of my break.
On a whim I decided to take on the 3-day Juiceland juice cleanse. Maybe it wasn’t completely thought through, but I’ve wanted to do it for a while and every time I would always end up coming up with excuses why I couldn’t. Because of this, the day I felt ready I jumped on the opportunity. The purpose of the juice cleanse is to rid your body of the toxins that you’ve been consuming and regulate your digestive system. It is also supposed to help you lose water weight and help your body naturally crave fresh fruits, vegetables and healthier foods rather than the fried, sugar-filled process foods that we eat.
I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a cleanse for a couple years now, but have consistently chickened out and made excuses like “it’s too expensive”, “I’m working out too much to do it”, or “I like food way too much.” So, I sucked it up and made the commitment.
The recommended “dose” from Juiceland is 6 bottles of juice a day, so I went and purchased my six-pack, optimistic about starting the cleanse. I picked out 3 green juices and 3 fruitier juices for my starter pack. The green juices contained combination of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, or coconut water and the fruity ones had beet juice, carrot juice, apple juice, orange juice, or pomegranate juice and either ginger or turmeric. I’m not going to lie to you, the green ones took some getting used to.
Day one began, and I was feeling good! I drank my first two juices and made it to lunch. The juices seemed to be curbing my appetite, and I wasn’t as hungry as I thought I would be. Then happy hour rolled around… I met some friends for a drink at Tortuga Flats in Round Rock and, after a couple margaritas, the queso was just too tempting to resist. Cheat #1. Just a quick tip: don’t drink on a basically empty stomach. I’m a light weight to begin with, and these margaritas hit me pretty hard.
I woke up, drank my first juice of the day, and got ready for my usually Saturday morning routine: spin class. I was a little groggy, but I looked in the mirror and felt thinner and more lean. I even could tell my digestive system was beginning to regulate itself. I’ve been going to my spin class, Cyc Fitness, for about a year consistently and 2 years total. It’s an intense cardio workout where they have black lights, play house EDM music, and you ride to the beat of the songs. Usually you can count on burning at least 600 calories in one 45-minute class. In the year I have been taking these classes, I have become fit enough to stay on beat with the music and the instructor and not have to take rests. This Saturday was a different story. I was tired, worn-out, and could not get energized in the class. I was falling behind and couldn’t keep up. What the hell? Well, I guess I did pretty much starve myself the day before, so I had no nutritional energy and not enough calories to keep me going.
After the spin class, I felt like it was my first class all over again. I was exhausted, starving, and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I had a massage scheduled for right after, so I went home, showered, drank my second juice of the day, and went to my massage.
Thank goodness I had plans and errands to keep my busy and keep my mind off food for most the day. During my massage, I could feel my stomach growling. I was just hoping that the poor masseuse couldn’t hear it. I started to relax and forget that I was hungry. The deep tissue massage was extremely intense, breaking up the insane number of knots I had in my back. It was basically like I was being tortured for 90 minutes, but I knew it had to be done to relieve my stress and tension. I left feeling sore yet extremely relaxed, drank juice #3, and took a nap when I got home.
Later that afternoon, after juice #4, I met one of my old girlfriends that I hadn’t seen in a while for a pedicure. To my surprise, I didn’t think about food for most the afternoon! Then it happened… I started getting super hungry again and my friend suggested we get dinner.
Cheat #2. Who can resist Chuy’s queso and fajitas? I tried to stay healthy though and ordered corn tortillas (only eating 2), and I cut the sour cream and cheese and ordered extra guacamole. Healthy-ish, right? Then dinner was over and we started to walk out of the restaurant until… attack of the Girl Scouts! Damn all the tempting Girl Scout cookies! I can’t pass up the cute Girl Scouts, so I bought a box… or two. I went home and had a couple cookies. Cheat #3. At least I finished out the night with one more juice to wash everything down.
I woke up on Sunday, drank my first juice, and got ready for another spin class. I wasn’t feeling as trim and lean as I was the previous day, but I still felt healthier and I seemed to have more energy, although I couldn’t tell if that was because I was getting used to starving myself or if the meal I had for dinner the night before gave me some energy. In this spin class I felt more alive and although I still wasn’t able to keep up with the tempo like I usually do, I was doing better than the previous morning. I came out of my spin class and drank juice #2. I wasn’t as exhausted as I was the day before, and still felt pretty energized after the high-intensity class. I went home and immediately became tired. I drank juice #3 and took a nap.
It was Super Bowl Sunday, so after my nap I got ready to go to my sister’s to watch the game. On the drive there I drank juice #4. When I arrived at her house, I saw an amazing spread of appetizers and my brother-in-law had a brisket on his new smoker. Cheat #4. This cheat meal was a bit larger than before. Once I began to eat, I realized just how hungry I was and started eating everything in sight, including two rice-crispy treats. That was one hell of a cheat meal.
Monday. I woke up a few minutes earlier than my alarm, and amazingly I didn’t feel that tired. However, this morning I did feel very bloated and swollen. I don’t know if it was the binge-eating I did during the Super Bowl (I don’t feel like I ate that much though), the intense deep-tissue massage I had on Saturday, or that my body was beginning to retain water from the lack of food the previous 3 days. I got to work and drank juice #1. I didn’t have my usual coffee and the morning was dragging on. After a couple conference calls I started to get hungry again, so I drank juice #2.
Before I knew it, it was lunch time. I went to pick up lunch for a co-worker, and the minute I smelled those hot subs at Firehouse Subs, I knew the cleanse was over. I was supposed to stay strong through the end of Tuesday, but I realized that I love food way too much! Plus, I was feeling such a decrease in energy both at work and in my workouts, that I decided it just really wasn’t worth it. So, I got Chick-fil-a and chowed down on some chicken nuggets and waffle fries. Cheat #5.
In my opinion, because of my cheating for lunch that day I actually felt more energized in my spin class that evening. I could definitely feel the soreness in my muscles though from the lack of nutrition and calories over the weekend. I had been drinking significantly more water during the cleanse, but still my muscles felt sore as if I was dehydrated. I had tacos that night to celebrate being done with the cleanse, and they were delicious!
Maybe I didn’t time this properly and think this whole cleanse thing through. I may try to do it again, making sure I don’t cheat and stay strong. If you decide to do a cleanse, here’s a couple tips:
- Set aside 3-5 days that you’ll commit to the cleanse
- Plan it for a weekend or a time that you have off work since you’ll have low energy
- The cleanse costs about $50 a day, so prepare for the added expense
- Take a break from working out as your muscles will be more sore than usual
- Drink an insane amount of water
Overall, I felt the cleanse was good for my digestive system, and I felt slimmer for a couple days. The only downside to consuming only juice is that you are basically starving yourself of calories for a set amount of time. Sure, you are getting great nutrients and vitamins from the juices, but your caloric intake is cut at least in half. If I decide to do it again, which I may, I will definitely think things through and find an accountability partner to do the cleanse with me to make sure I don’t cheat.
“Dear Diet, things just aren’t going to work out between us. It’s not me, it’s you. You’re tasteless, boring, and I can’t stop cheating on you.”