I think I’ve finally discovered the secrets to properly cleansing with juice.
1. Too much fruit juice will spike your blood sugar level. The come-down sucks. Green vegetables should be the main source of nutrients.
2. Adding nut milk to the cleanse changes EVERYTHING. Especially if you intend to exercise and/or stand on your feet all day at work while cleansing.
3. Have fun! Don’t act like this was the worst idea you’ve ever had. If you feel that way, don’t do it.
Here’s a recap of my three-day juice cleanse:
I woke up early (8am) even though it was my day off. Immediately went to the kitchen and made myself a shot of lemon juice, ginger and cayenne pepper. Yow! Forget about needing coffee..
Around 10am I had my first full juice of the day: Cranberry-Apple. A nice, slightly sour yet refreshing fruit juice to give me a bit of an energy boost for the day. You know, to do laundry… and watch X-Files…
Next up, around noon, I made a surprisingly good green juice. Usually when I make green juices I like to add an apple or pear for some sweetness, but I refrained and stuck to hard greens (including parsley, for a little punch). It was so good though! Definitely not too dense like some green juices can be, probably because I used half a cucumber along with the leafy greens.
I went ahead and pre-made my green juices for the following day at this time. I have a masticating, cold-press juicer so the juices tend to stay fresher longer. Juices made with centrifugal juicers tend to only last 8-12 hours as opposed to my juicer’s 24-48.
In the afternoon I made this really simple, REALLY awesome turmeric tonic. I didn’t know much about turmeric but I had heard it was good during a cleanse, although I was afraid it would taste like cumin. It didn’t, of course. Turmeric is closely related to ginger and is therefore sweet and spicy. The tonic was basically lemon, turmeric, ginger, cayenne and coconut sugar. So so so so SO good. I would drink this every day (and may). Definitely kept me from crashing in the afternoon and craving any snacks.
A few hours later I had another simple, sweeter juice. Carrot juice. You just can’t go wrong with carrot juice. It’s not too sweet, very light and pure tasting and packed with so many nutrients.
My second green juice of the day I drank around 6pm, before going to the gym. It was just a few hard, leafy greens (kale and chard, mainly) mixed with coconut water for sweetness. The coconut water packed some much-needed potassium and electrolytes before working out.
So, I took a spin class that night. I felt like a bit of cardio would be do-able on the first night of a cleanse. I made sure to not over-exert myself. It is important to get some light exercise in while cleansing, but most people recommend yoga or long walks. I liked the push of cycling. I sat in the sauna for about 20 minutes afterwards and let the toxins sweat out of my body. It felt amazing.
Of course, then my blood sugar level started to drop. But LUCKILY I brought along my final “juice” of the day. Almond milk! Delicious. Just what I needed after a workout. In fact, I recommend raw, fresh almond or cashew milk after a workout to anyone, any time. About a cup of almonds, 2 cups of water (or coconut water, YUM), and a little coconut sugar blended in a Vitamix, or something similar. Just make sure you drain the results through a nut bag/cheese cloth/coffee filter otherwise it tastes a little grainy and thick.
DAY TWO & THREE
I woke up feeling AWESOME both days. No allergies, no pains, no hunger, nothing. I felt well-rested and barely needed my alarm to get me out of bed. I biked to work, and felt strong and energetic the whole way. Each morning I drank some hot water with lemon and honey first thing which helped get my body in gear.
I felt great all day. I drank the same juices as the previous day and didn’t feel sick or even terribly hungry once. Cran-apple around 10am, green juice at noon, turmeric/ginger tonic and carrot juice in the afternoon, then the green coconut juice and almond milk at night. I also managed not to over exert myself even though I biked a total of 10 miles throughout the day, each day.
I felt light, happy and so clean by the end of the third day. This was by far the best cleanse I’ve ever done. Upping the veggie to fruit ratio and adding a nut milk really changed everything. There was never an unpleasant moment and I was glad to be able to continue exercising, if only gently.
The day after my cleanse I woke up and made a big bowl of oatmeal. I added a spoonful of hemp powder for protein plus some strawberries. My body was happy to be eating again, especially something so clean. I continued the day with more clean eats: raw veggies and fruits and nothing heavier than eggs and beans. I also went on a 6 mile run in Central Park and, I must say, it felt great.
The cleanse left me feeling stronger in body and mind. Everything inside of me is at peace for the moment. I feel like somebody hit the reset button and I have a clean slate to work with, to build up from. A juice cleanse may not be for everyone but I highly recommend it for anyone just looking for a little push in the right direction. There is no reason you should ever be unhappy with the things you are putting your body; it’s never too late to get back on track and rid yourself of any toxic intake. Whether you find that change through a juice cleanse or not, well, that’s your prerogative.