So why do it?
I wrote about my reasons for embarking on a Juice Cleanse in THIS POST. I also explain why I dislike the term "cleanse," but that I use it for lack of a better term.
Turns out it wasn't awful at all, and I would definitely embark on one again in the future. However, starting a juice cleanse can be scary, and many people mentioned to me that they always wanted to try one but were afraid they wouldn't be able to do it. I began noticing a theme to those conversation, and it was Juice Cleanse as Challenge. It was as though it was some crazy fasting diet that involved munching on a single celery stick a day for five days straight.
I chose to order my juices through a company that presses their own juices and has a delivery service, and the cleanse I chose had a calorie count of 1300 calories per day. And since everyone asks, no I didn't lose any weight. But I did feel great, and have noticed that since coming off the juices I have not craved junk food at all. Also, my appetite is lower and I'm satisfied with less food. Plus, I feel great. all wins in my book.
I chose to order my juices this time around because I didn't think I would actually create my own every day, plus we're moving in two weeks and I've got other things to do. I'm happy with my decision, although I would probably try to do at least some juicing myself next time.
So, since I really enjoyed my cleanse, I thought I would put together a few tips to help others who are thinking of starting their own juice cleanse. It really is possible to not only survive a juice cleanse, but to thrive on one.
5 Tips for Surviving a Juice Cleanse
1- Don't think of it as a challenge that you will pass or fail: I heard so many people mention how they didn't know if they could "be successful" with a cleanse. The truth is, it's not a competition. Yes, it's ideal if you can make it through without eating anything that's not part of the program, but so what if you do? What if you cave and eat a cookie? Does it mean that the whole week is a write off? Of course not. It means you had five days of fresh, natural, and healthy juices, and one cookie. Approach it with the attitude that the goal is simply to use this as a chance to give your system a bit of a healthy boost, and wash down that cookie in peace.
2- Drink a juice every two hours: Most programs I researched had their juices spread out to be consumed every two hours. It was six juices, from 8-6, or 9-7, or something similar. I found that following this schedule was really important in order to keep me feeling full and to keep my energy levels up. On the last day of the program I had a funeral to attend and missed 2 drinks as a result, and I found myself really tired in the afternoon and then not able to finish the last drink. The rest of the time I felt great and never got tired during the day.
3- Vary your juices: I ordered a cleanse from a program that offered a variety of cleanse choices, but the program was the same each day. For example, my program went as follows: a green juice, a lemon juice, a green juice, a lemon juice, a beet juice, and then a cashew milk. I liked all the juices, and the variety was great. However, by day five, I was craving different flavours. This wouldn't be a problem on a home cleanse where you prepared your own juices.
4- Treat your juices like meals: Don't just drink them down as fast as you can. Sit down and enjoy them, even if you only have a 10 minute break at work. They're not just a quick drink, they're your nourishment for the day. Enjoy them! If you don't like ANY of the juices, you're on the wrong plan. I'm not saying they all taste as great as a cheeseburger, but they shouldn't be gross.
5- Find Support: Letting people know you're on a juice cleanse might earn you some weird looks, but most people are quite supportive. It's important to be able to talk to someone if you find yourself wanting to give up. It's even better if you can find someone to juice with you. A friend of mine told me she juices with some women at work, and they split the cost of the groceries and prep. Talk to a friend, or drop me a line. I would be happy to be your cheerleader!
A final word: There is no perfect time to start a juice cleanse. I've been wanting to try one for years, and always had an excuse. I finally did it, and the day after I started my uncle (who is also my godfather) passed away. Plus, we're moving overseas in two weeks. And I got my period. Seriously, it was rough. The truth is, I found the consistence of the program to be a bit of a comfort, and I didn't turn to food for comfort.
Have you tried a juice cleanse? Are you a juicing pro? What are your tips for a successful juice cleanse?