Have you heard the word on the street? If not, it’s Juice Cleansing (OK, that’s two words). I keep reading about people who are doing the juice fast and feel terrific with promises of higher energy levels, clearer skin, a sharper mind, fast weight loss (and when it’s all over, you’ll look like Jennifer Aniston). I thought, “Really? How hard can it be?”
Well, by day 3, I was ready to eat anything in sight! Even Max, my sweet two year old Brittany who accompanies me everywhere in life. Below, I give 3 tips to get through a juicing cleanse (and keep your dog alive), but let me tell you my experience first…
In the spirit of giving juicing a go, I checked out lots of local programs. Many people choose to take the do-it-yourself approach, but I decided to seek the advice of juicing experts (the truth is, I have ZERO skills in the kitchen and need all the help I can get). I found two programs…
First, was a five day juice cleanse with promises of “resetting, rejuvenating and rebuilding” for about $300. I wasn’t sure what any of this meant, but there were some strong customer testimonials. I received 5 days of juices that included such fun things as Crantastic Smoothie, Happy Greens and Super Immunity. Six different 16 oz. juice drinks made of local organic fruits, vegetables and spices accompanied by probiotic and immunity booster shots. Several of the juices were very tasty (surprisingly, the ones with more vegetables) - others were so full of spices they were hard to get down. On the first day, the juices were filling, the second day I was a little hungry, but by the third day…you have already heard the third day starvation drama. I went on to complete the last two days and felt great – I was energized, had clearer skin, slept really well and lost 5 pounds.
The second program was a seven day cleanse, but it also included salads, fruits and nuts – all of which were prepared for me for about $500. All the juices were similar to my first experience, but there were several things that made this program easier. I had already kicked my caffeine habit, this program included solid food, I increased my water intake and scaled back my workout routine. I experienced the same great results – energized, clear skin, slept well and lost 4 more lbs.
What did I learn? There are many different ways to juice, but there are 3 things I found to make your juicing cleanse more successful and help you feel better along the way!
1) Less Caffeine
I am a HUGE caffeine junkie. I needed more than one cup of coffee in the morning and was rarely seen without a Diet Coke in my hand. However, to squeeze (pun intended) the most from my juicing experience, I was advised to cut all caffeine. So, I quit cold turkey on the first day. Not a good idea! Not only was my body getting used to a new food regimen (or should I say, “lack of food regimen”), but I was also going through major caffeine withdrawal. I would advise cutting caffeine one to two weeks prior to any major change in diet.
2) More Water
There are SO many theories about how much water someone should drink. I have been told six 8 oz. glasses a day but when training or working out it should be as high as 10. Why so much water? It flushes out the toxins and helps cleanse your body making everything from your joints to your skin feel better. During my cleanse, drinking lots of water helped me to feel less hungry and it eliminated my caffeine headache.
3) Modify Workout
Last fall, I started a new 600-700 calorie-burning workout 4 days a week with a trainer. I also participate in a 6 mile run club 2 days a week (side note: wow, I should be skinnier!). During my first juice cleanse I kept up the same workout routine and that was a mistake. To keep up a heavy workout routine without fatigue or muscle damage, it’s important to stay fueled. However, my juice cleanses provided just 450 to 900 calories a day. By no means do I advocate getting out of the workout habit, but a 3 mile brisk walk in place of the 5 mile run worked well. You might also think about taking a yoga or pilates class vs. your normal spin class. You’ll feel a lot better and be more likely to stick with your cleanse.
Now, it’s your turn! Have you tried a juicing cleanse? What tips do you have for a more successful outcome? Did you want to eat your dog?