… I’ve decided to do a juice cleanse.”
*maniacal laughter* “YOU? But you love food so much!”
This has been the consistent response since I decided a few weeks ago to embark on what will most certainly be a challenge. I’m pretty sure most people thought I was talking shit. I think *I* thought I was talking shit for awhile. But I decided to tell a bunch of people my plan. Because then I had to back myself. And here’s the thing: I’ve spent a significant part of the last year and a half dealing with some pretty unfun health issues. I’ve been diagnosed with a chronic intestinal condition. I’m on different types of medications now, some for life, some that are steroidal so I’ve also had to deal with lots of fun side effects (weight gain, loss of energy, mood change). I went from racing bikes and three day tramps, to lying in bed not being able to move and it SUCKED. Ask my family. Because I’m pretty sure it sucked for them even more.
The good news? I feel healthy now. I know it won’t always be this way (hence the chronic bit of the condition) so I’ve become a lot more grateful and a lot less blasé about my health. The bad news? I am desperately out of shape and have gained weight while healing my body. I’ve become less active (getting back there) and even though I eat healthy, my portion sizes were becoming out of control. Little health food tip: It doesn’t matter if you eat in season, cook your own meals and use fresh ingredients – if you help yourself to a second serving every time you WILL gain weight! So that’s one of the reasons why I’ve decided to do a juice cleanse. I need to recalibrate this body of mine, and this will be a good benchmark. (I’ve consulted my specialist and he’s given me the thumbs up, if you have health issues of your own I would advise doing the same before giving this a go).
Here’s the deal. I’ve decided to go with PHD (Pure Heath Delivered), mainly because they have good search engine results and I tried the juices at The Food Show and didn’t hate them. (However the rep did say that mixing rum with the pineapple one was really delicious?! Hmm…) And my other options all seemed too damn expensive to me. A three day basic cleanse with PHD costs $189 (plus $10 shipping – so $$ anyway) and includes 18 juices. That’s six a day, maths whiz’s. Six juices a day, plus you’re expected to drink about 2-3 litres of water on top of that. I’m going to stick close to the bathroom I guess. If you break that down, three meals a day would cost about $22 per meal (instead it’s 6 juices, but just for comparison, let’s not split hairs). So yeah, it’s definitely pricey. But to be honest when I go buy myself groceries, I spend a hell of a lot more than $22.
Here we go: THE DIARY OF A SOMEWHAT DUBIOUS JUICE CLEANSER
I told myself if the delivery came before 9am that I would start the cleanse today. It came at 7am. Thanks PHD…
You’re technically supposed to spend a couple of days cutting out sugar, meat, alcohol, caffeine, heavy carbs from your diet. I’ve mostly done this, apart from the carbs (I had my death row meal last night, SPAGHETTI CARBONARA). I asked a friend who does 4-5 juice cleanses a year how strict she was and she said she typically flagged the whole pre-cleanse prep and just focused on after the cleanse. So I should be sweet, or not but half arsed prep sounds perfect to me. You’re supposed to start each morning with a cup of warm water and lemon juice. I bought a zillion lemons from the markets in preparation so I can DO THIS.
My first drink, and I hope I like it because I have two of these each day is PURE GREEN. Pure Green is apple, cucumber, celery, cos lettuce, lemon, spinach, kale, silverbeet and parsley. It tastes sweeter than I’m expecting. Probably because it’s 45% apple. I actually like the taste of this but to be honest would probably prefer something more green tasting. I like those full on, slightly sour green drinks and the apple seems to be trying to cover that up. I also don’t really like the plastic bottles, so I’ll be pouring these into glasses over ice to keep them cold.
It’s taking me a long time to drink one juice. My next one is supposed to be two hours after my first. So these three days are pretty much taken up by drinking. Also I might have to flag the pouring over ice into a glass thing. I’m SO COLD.
I’m feeling good! I can do this! (45 minutes in).
10:30am – time for my second juice. YELLOW HIT, which is pineapple, apple and mint. It’s yummy. But man, it’s sweet (34.5g sugar per bottle) and I’m not used to indulging in so much sugar, especially in the morning. I wonder how my body is going to react to this.
12:45pm – I’ve started to feel hungry but it’s not really that bad. Third juice is RED BEET, carrot, apple, beetroot, lemon and ginger. I’m wearing a white shirt. And drinking beet juice. ugh. This one tastes slightly less sweet (30% apple/40% carrot) and beety. I love beet juice, and this mix less the apple is always my go to when making my own.
I’ve just spoken to my juice expert friend. Apparently PHD has more fruit juice then some of the other cleanses. So it’s good I did my research properly. Nevermind, onwards and upwards.
3pm-ish: If it wasn’t for the fact that my entire Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are made up of 95% food photos, I wouldn’t even remember food existed. Or something. Either way I’m past midway point on day one and into ZESTY LEMONADE. It’s made up of lemon, organic rice malt syrup, monk fruit and cayenne pepper. Even though I don’t know what a monk fruit is, this one is easily my favourite so far and also has the least amount of sugars (13mg per 500ml serving). Also it has cayenne in it and it’s actually quite spicy. Weird but I like it!
4:30pm: I think it’s really odd that I haven’t had a proper meal since yesterday evening but my tummy isn’t grumbling. I don’t feel light headed or sick. Typically I get hangry if I miss my afternoon snack so this is very interesting.
5:40: I just got back from a meeting at one of my favourite Italian restaurants. They have the best calamari in Auckland. And the best burrata. I only drooled a little bit, hope no one noticed. Besides, I got to come home to my second PURE GREEN juice. To be honest, the juices taste nice, and I’m not feeling hunger pains and any thing else yet. But. I’m already missing the literal act of eating. Chewing. it’s weird not to be doing that.
6:00: I’m definitely feeling less bloated than normal which I find odd since I’m drinking SO MUCH LIQUID.
8:15: Cue the angels singing, and the skies opening up, sunshine raining down and someone handing me puppies that proceed to lick my face. I AM IN HEAVEN. Or close to it. My last drink of the night and the only one I haven’t tried yet: CASHEW DREAM HELL YES IT IS A DREAM. I wonder if it’s been designed on purpose so that you drink the juices, then have a sip of the blended cashew milk drink and you think it tastes like the best thing ever, when any other day it would probably taste okay poured on muesli. Whatever, it’s yummy and right now tastes like ice cream. Sugars aren’t as bad as most of the juices and this one makes me feel more full.
9:00pm: I guess I’m going to bed now because I’m scared I’ll just get hungry otherwise.
8:00am: I woke up feeling a bit average. Not really hungry but kind of weak feeling. Made myself a hot water/lemon and am starting to feel more normal. Just a bit foggy right now.
8:30am: If I wasn’t being cruel enough to myself as it is, a big box of food just arrived up on doorstep. Nope, not making this shiz up. I’m doing some food delivery research for the next little bit and somehow timed that delivery wrong. Never mind. Don’t smell the veggie goodness, don’t even look at that soft packet of fresh bread. HAPUKA STEAKS GET IN THE FRIDGE NOW OR I WILL EAT YOU RAW.
9:00am: Okay I’m into my first juice now. And deep breathing. It will all be okay. After juice two I develop a headache, pop a panadol and I’m fine.
4:30pm: I end up face timing my sister for three hours so juices 3 and 4 are delayed slightly. I have some chugging to do.
4:38pm: Kay, here’s a tip friends: Don’t chug the cayenne one. Not pleasant.
5:30pm: I’m going a little bit stir crazy. This would be around the time I would typically start prepping dinner. I love taking my time, putting on some music, having a glorious old bang up in the kitchen. Instead I sit glaring at my empty juice bottle. You are boring, juice bottle. I start deciding now what pizza I’m ordering for the day after tomorrow. I’m thinking a footlong from Toto’s. I bet I could demolish it.
Summary of day two: Feel fine but it’s BORING not cooking. I look forward, relish in fact, the opportunity to cook a meal. And then obviously eat it, but apart from the actually ingesting food bit, it’s interesting to see how much I miss cooking. Tomorrow I’m going to prep some digestion friendly dishes for the next day. And not lick the spoon. sigh.
These are my bored sucky juice faces.
8:00am: Today I woke up feeling a bit unhappy. Most of my family is in Italy enjoying pasta, and I am voluntarily drinking liquids for three days. There is something eff’d about that. However, I’m making myself a lovely vegetable soup today, to wean myself back on to real food for tomorrow. This soup is going to have so much love poured into it. Or tears.
You know the drill by now. Juice, juice, juice, juice.
3:00pm: OMG, I was making the soup, and put a spoonful in my mouth to taste like I always do when I’m cooking. I panicked and spit it out. What have I become?!…
3:15pm: I had all this lovely parsley from the markets that was getting kind of sad looking, so I made a massive container of chimichurri sauce. And I am planning on making these flaxseed crackers tonight, so…. I should be pretty stocked up for the short term. It’s so funny. I felt sad this morning, and then as soon as I was cooking again I was happy. And I’m not even eating it!
5:07pm: Strangely I feel like I need to brush my teeth every few hours, like they have a layer of film on them from the juices.
7:00pm: I’ve hit a wall. There’s no way I could do more than three days. I need food in my belly now. Strangely, all dreams of pizza have disappeared though and I’m actually frothing at the mouth thinking about my glorious veggie soup.
Well, I’m still alive. And I’m pretty sure a few of you thought that wasn’t gonna happen. I set myself this challenge while wondering how hungry I was going to feel, only drinking juice. What I didn’t realise was the hungry feeling was far outweighed by the fact that I missed cooking so damn much. There is so much joy in preparing a meal, and I’ve felt a little joyless these last few days. However, I can’t believe how strong my willpower was! I could have cheated, no one would have known. But then what would have been the point, right? Overall, I feel good. I didn’t weigh myself at the beginning so I can’t tell you exactly how much (if any) I lost, but I’m definitely feeling less bloated and I feel like I look healthier. More importantly, I FEEL good. I’m using this as a very important benchmark, especially over the next couple weeks as I try and eat as healthy as possible in preparation for probably being a bit naughty when I travel next month. I’m CRAVING healthy food, and am already planning the meals I want to make.
Will I do another cleanse? Um… maybe. Not in the near future. And definitely NOT by myself. It was a pretty lonely exercise. For someone who loves food/cooking/dining out, you really do need to be prepared to feel antisocial. Plan something else to fill up the time you would typically spend pottering around in the kitchen. But do I feel like it made a difference? Yes And I’m proud to have completed it.
Have you ever done a juice cleanse? Have you thought about it? Share below!
This post was not endorsed or sponsored by PHD.