Monday, September 10, 2018

My First Juice Cleanse

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I woke up Tuesday morning and saw someone talk about how they were doing a juice cleanse and I totally went on a whim and decided to do one too. I had no idea what it entailed, especially that you don't
eat "real" food all day. No idea. I just knew it was a detox and it kind of reset your body. I just finished my pediatric clinical rotation and had a few weeks off before I started my next one, so I just started to get back into my workout regimen (I do BBG). I also wanted to get back into healthy/regular eating. I feel like I eat fairly healthy most of the time, but at this point, I was always eating in a rush on the go and was eating heavier/fried/fatty foods more than the healthy stuff for a good couple of weeks so I just felt sluggish all the time. The biggest thing I wanted to "fix" was that I was bloated all the time, even in the mornings...like I look 3 months pregnant just rolling out of bed-and I'm not, obviously. There are millions of reasons to do a detox, these were just a few of mine. 

So, I went to Clean Juice and picked up a one day juice cleanse (they have more days if you prefer and I'm sure there are millions of juice cleanse options out there). I spoke to the lady there and she went over some of the ingredients in each of the 6 drinks and she talked about different options for each drink. FYI- my regimen wasn't exactly like it is on paper, but they were minor substitutes like instead of the "white" drink I did "cacao milk" which was similar except more chocolate-y. The other one I substituted was I did the "black" drink instead of the "yellow" because it had charcoal in it which is supposed to whiten your teeth and I'm all about some teeth whitening haha!

It wasn't until I got home that I realized no food was involved haha! The day before, I made sure to stick to healthy foods. I didn't have anything fried, greasy, or heavy. I asked for tips on juice cleanse from you all that have done it in the past and someone mentioned they wish they didn't eat as much the day before to prepare. I ate my normal amount and until I wasn't hungry but made sure it was all healthy choices. 

I went ahead and started the one day cleanse the next day. Here's how it went......

12AM: Went to sleep. 

8AM: 2 shots of espresso.
You're allowed to drink "black" coffee...they say it's supposed to be organic but I highly doubt mine is and chose to drink it anyway. I drink coffee on the daily and I had too busy of a day to deal with caffeine withdrawals, so I went ahead a cheated.

8:30AM: Drink #1: SWEET GREEN (organic cucumber, apple, kale spinach and mint)
I wasn't a fan of this one... I think it's the cucumber, but there was an awful bitter aftertaste. Haha! Great start and already questioning why I'm doing this lol!

9:30AM: Finished first drink and washed down with bottle of water (16.9 oz) 

10:10AM: Worked on homework assignments but I was in and out of feeling starving! 

11:15AM: BBG Week 1 Arms & Abs (30 minutes).
Definitely chose something with low intensity. I was surprised I had energy to get through the workout- I was worried I would have to cut it short since I didn't "eat" anything but I managed to get through it without passing out haha!

1145AM: Drink #2: ORANGE (organic carrots, pineapple, orange, turmeric).
I did drink a few sips right before and during the workout instead water which I usually do, so I'm sure it helped get me through the workout. You could taste something weird in this one, maybe the turmeric, but I actually enjoyed it for the most part especially compared to the first one. 

12:00PM: Finished drink, showered, drank another 16.9 oz of water. Feel great! I don't know if it's the post-workout endorphins or what but I'm here thinking that this isn’t so bad. I do usually eat/drink something high in protein after a workout, so this was a little bit different from my normal. Continued my homework until it was time for my haircut appointment. I brought water bottles and drink 3, 4, and 5 with me in a cooler bag filled with ice. 

2:30PM: Drink #3: GREEN (organic cucumber, celery, spinach, kale, ginger, lemon).
If someone were going to torture me, it would be through forcing me to drink this drink again. Ew. Ew. EW. This is disgusting. You can really taste that bitter cucumber after-taste in this one. I'm also starting to feel a slight headache and so ready for burgers, fries and a nap right about now. BTW, I had about a 45 minute drive and drank this drink through a straw to help get it down a little easier. I forced myself to drink it before I got to my destination, otherwise I'm not sure if I would've been able to get it all down casually drinking it at home while getting some work done. 

4:30PM: Finally finished another 16.9 oz water bottle. 
Since I was getting my hair cut, I didn't drink water right after drink #3 and then I was back on the road again and kind of forgot about drinking water right after which is what they recommend. I was also starting to feel hungry again, but not starving. I continued school work which was a good distraction. 

5:30PM: Drink #4: BLACK (activated charcoal, filtered water, organic lemon and maple syrup). 

This one was my favorite! I could've chugged it all in about 2 minutes if I let myself lol! Gross or not, you decide, but I swished around almost every sip before I swallowed because I wanted to make sure I had bright pearly whites by the time I finished this drink from the charcoal. Can't say I noticed a huge difference in my teeth because I always drink my coffee through a straw and use whitening toothpaste and rinse anyways, but it supposedly works to whiten your teeth...

6:30PM: Finished drinking another 16.9oz water bottle.
I also just got to church for a little bit of practice and then lead worship with our choir for tonight's prayer night. I was starting to make myself nervous thinking of myself passing out in front of everyone lol! I had the next drink in my purse so I took a few sips of that before we actually lead worship, more to give me peace of mind that I had some type of "fuel." I got through it just fine, but I can't say I wasn't feeling a little low on energy and by the end of the service, I was so hungry. 

8:30PM: Drink #5 (Organic apple, carrot, beet, lemon). 
A lot of times after Wednesday practice, my husband and I go out to eat somewhere. I was craving some fried sushi SOO bad and almost caved here. If I hadn't promised you all I would do this post after I finished the cleanse, I 100% would have had that sushi. Instead, I downed drink #5 on my way home and stopped by Chick-Fil-A to grab 6-count grilled chicken nuggets. 

9:30PM: Handful of mixed greens with 6-count grilled chicken nuggets, no dressing. 
The regimen says you can eat something organic like a handful of plain nuts or a small piece of organic chicken with greens if you feel like you need to. I had no intention of actually eating, but I was starving and although I'm not sure what "organic" chicken means in terms of Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken nuggets, I chose to eat that and for me, this is a typical "healthy" go-to meal on busy days. I also drank about half a bottle of water. 

10:30PM: Still working on some homework and about to wrap it up and get ready for bed. I'm honestly still so stuffed from the the salad, that I decided to skip out on the last drink and drink it in the morning. I feel like I should've forced myself to drink it before bed, but I couldn't imagine finishing the whole thing and decided it was better to drink it all at once rather than half now and half later or not at all. 

NEXT DAY 9:30AM: 2 shots of espresso and up getting ready for work. Feeling good and well-rested.  

10:30AM: Drink #6 (organic cashews, filtered water, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, cacao, himalayan pink sea salt).
Still feeling great and full. I brought a banana to eat right after, but was too full to eat it.

11:30AM: Woah, I took a whole 360! I feel like my energy just drained from me and feel significantly weak. I didn't feel like I was going to pass out, but definitely had to take a seat because I was getting nervous that I was going to. I also wasn't shaking and there were plenty of natural sugars in the drink, so I wasn't worried about my sugar dropping or anything and my heart rate was fine. I chugged a 700mL water bottle and then about half of another and ate a banana. I felt 100% better after about 15 minutes and realized that I didn't drink any water since about 9:30pm last night and I just remembered that when I woke up that morning my urine was really, really dark which is not at all normal at all for me (TMI, but if it looks more like orange juice than lemonade, your body needs more water!) so maybe I just needed to give myself a boost hydration and definitely drink lots of water even as soon as you get up the next morning.

FIVE DAYS LATER: I feel amazing!
I honestly feel SO good! I really didn't know what to expect and although the lady at the store told me she did it a few times and noticed her skin was so much brighter, she felt so much lighter, and less bloated, but I wasn't sure how I would feel or what to really expect for me. Here's what I got out of it (keep in mind, I worked 12 hour shifts the next three days and had Sunday off):
-I definitely feel like I have more energy/not sluggish throughout the day! 
-I cut back on caffeine. I'm down to 2 shots of espresso a day instead of my normal 4-6 shots in a day that I was drinking prior to the cleanse. FYI, I could be on espresso shot #6 and still be able to take a nap like a champ. It wasn't doing anything for me anymore, so I'm most excited that I was able to cut back on caffeine and forced myself only 2 shots in the morning during the cleanse and continued to limit myself to 2 shots. 
-I honestly didn't notice any changes in my skin. I actually got two pimples the next day (BUT I already put my mascara on in the morning before my workout, so I just wiped my face with a wash cloth and water instead of a full face cleanse after my workout as to not mess up my mascara and then reapplied moisturizer with a drop of tanning oil so that very well could've been the reason I broke out). I also didn't notice any kind of amazing skin glow that the lady raved about.
-I'm wayyyyy less bloated. For what it's worth, I'm down 5lbs. I know this is going to freak some of you out, but when I'm telling you I looked pregnant, I looked pregnant. I had no intention of losing weight nor did it cross my mind that I would, but I noticed my bloat was gone and decided to hop on the scale. I'm 100% sure the 5lbs was bloat and of course I'm still more bloated by the end of the day compared to the morning which is normal, but nothing like it was for weeks prior to the cleanse. 
-I don't crave junk food. Like I mentioned above, I normally try to eat healthy most of the time, but I was eating a lot of junk and fried foods in between some healthy choices for quite some time before deciding to do the cleanse. Also, I worked Saturday night, so my husband usually brings me lunch Sunday afternoon after church. I always get chicken tenders and fries from one of my favorite places on Sundays like these and had zero desire to have it-at all. I opted for a rotisserie chicken salad instead because I was actually craving a salad and even worked out after I watched service online and finished some homework before he came home. 
-I notice I'm drinking a lot more water. While at work or even at home, I'm lucky if I finish a water bottle. Since the cleanse, I'm drinking at least three 700mL water bottles and I don't feel like I have to force myself to drink them, I just do. 
****keep in mind, my schedule was ridiculously crazy prior to the cleanse.... I was working 10 hour clinical shifts every day of the week that I wasn't working 12 hours work shifts with usually half a day off sometime in the week. AKA no sleep, tons of stress, and constantly on the go. I'm still amazed at how my body managed to pull through, but my schedule was a lot more laid back for about a week prior to the cleanse and will be for a good next two weeks before the craziness begins again. I wanted to throw this out there because there is nothing normal about this schedule and I'm sure that has a lot to do with the bloat, exhaustion, and tons of caffeine.****

TIPS

-Make sure you have a fridge and pantry are full of healthy goods for when the cleanse is over. We never keep junk food or soda in our home, so I feel like it's the easiest way to make healthy choices especially after a cleanse. 
-Jump into healthy choices especially after the cleanse. I felt so light after that I couldn't imagine jumping straight into a burger or pizza the next day. I also packed my lunch to keep me from being tempted to order something heavy. I packed salads with grilled chicken or a grilled chicken wrap along with a big bowl of fresh fruit for work. My snacks were pretzels and humus or peanut butter crackers. I also brought three water bottles to work with me to make sure I drank them. Before, I had a habit of going to the cafeteria and ordered mozzarella sticks and chicken tender wrap almost every time I was at work, so this definitely kept me from doing that.
-I would recommend weaning into somewhat of a healthy diet or at least trade soda for water before doing a cleanse. It was rough a few times during the day and feel like this will help get you through it a little easier. 
-This may be TMI, but you have to know this...it's a cleanse, so I wouldn't recommend doing it on a busy morning or somewhere where you can't run to the bathroom if you need to. You're body really cleanses itself out. You're drinking a ton of fluids, so I felt like I was going to the bathroom at least once an hour and, well, I think you can guess the other end too. 
-Find a way to keep yourself accountable. Promising a recap of the cleanse in a post kept me accountable from cheating or giving up. 
-Lastly, think of it as hitting the restart button. I don't think a cleanse is necessary to start making healthy choices or jump into a workout routine, but it certainly helped me. Wean into and make small changes to reach your goal. I'm an ER nurse so I definitely see the there side of eating unhealthy or lack of exercise unfortunately way too often. Long term, if you look at working out or eating healthy as necessities such as brushing your teeth or showering, it becomes easier. And it's all about balance. You better believe I'm going to eat a salad, but then pizza too :)

Hope this was helpful! I had a lot of interest in recapping my juice cleanse so I hope you all found it helpful :) Let me know if you have ever done one before or if you have any questions! XO!

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