So I decided to try a juice cleanse. Here's how it went...
Basically, it didn't.
Every year around September the design team where I work, myself included, heads into the busiest three month stretch of the year as we prepare for the production of our annual magazine.
Sure, you think it's no big deal and you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle while writing about the latest wedding trends until 2am on a Friday. You tell yourself, "I'll just make sure I prepare all my meals ahead of time". Oh, no. Hell no.
After three years of producing said magazine, one where we pulled a 35-hour stretch and submitted the final page just in the nick of time, I should know better.
There is no way I am able to come home after back-to-back 12 hour days, weekends included, and cook. Let alone function on any basic human level (at this point I'd like to say thank you to my husband for putting up with my zombie-like hotness and apologize to my friends who don't hate me after all my blunt and bitchy replies to their "wanna get together?" text messages).
But that aside, for some reason I thought it would be a great time to try a juice cleanse. So, if you're considering trying one too, here are my top 5 suggestions:
1. Make Time For It
After my rant above this should be a no-brainer. These things take time. And I mean longer-than-it-takes-to-heat-up-some-KD type time, or whatever delicious meals you typically cook for yourself.
I thought that since I have to feed myself anyways, I could just prep these juices/meals instead and it would pretty much balance out. Well, I was forgetting one thing - that I was currently surviving on a fast food diet where other people are making the food because I didn't have time to do so. So that should have been an obvious "hey maybe you should do this another time" red flag. But seriously, make sure you have no other commitments and that you clear your schedule. There can be no fun had, you must make juice.
2. Don't Buy Everything You Need At Once
I thought I'd save myself some time and buy everything on the shopping list for the cleanse I was trying (it's called Reboot with Joe for those who are interested). I loved that they included a complete shopping list, so, without reading the recipes first, I went and bought everything I supposedly needed for the first five days. I will always remember the look on my husband's face as I continually filled our cart with ingredients such as 5 bunches of chard, 35 apples, 8 cucumbers and about 18 bunches of kale just to name a few.
What I later found out, was that the portions were MASSIVE. I couldn't possibly consume everything I was supposed to in one day - which is great compared to some cleanses I've tried where you're practically starving. But the result was that a lot of my ingredients went bad before I could eat them. So my advice here is to purchase only what you need for a few days at a time, not five.
3. If You Don't Like Something On The List, Don't Buy It
Just because everything is laid out for you of exactly what you have to eat on which days, it doesn't mean you actually have to eat it. I ended up buying ingredients I've never, ever enjoyed just because I thought I had to stick to it verbatim. I'm not suggesting to supplement your meals with a Big Mac, but if you don't like something, then choose another meal from the plan and eat/drink that instead. Otherwise, those ingredients will just go to waste no matter how much your fear factor brain thinks you can handle it... Says the mushrooms still sitting in my fridge.
4. Buddy Up
So you want to do a cleanse? Convince a friend to do it with you. They always say the buddy system works great and it does. Especially when it's something challenging or involves eating something you don't particularly enjoy, at least you are doing it together. Plus, as long as they are as (or more) motivated than you, they will help keep you accountable.
5. Make Sure You Really, Really Want To Do This
Commitment, people. This shit takes 100% full-time commitment. Of which I lost after about 3 out of the 15 days. For multiple reasons - one being that I was still insanely busy when I thought I might have some downtime. But mostly for the fact that I didn't want it bad enough. Did I want to feel healthy again? Sure. But I couldn't commit to it at the time. Plus, day 3, a Saturday, was extra difficult since it was my first weekend off in a while. So yes, you could say I'd rather be sipping wine with friends than some celery-rutabaga-carrot-cabbage combination. And if you thought that sounded delicious then leave me a comment below because you're now my buddy for the next time I decide to try this.
So there you have it, my experience with a juice cleanse was utterly non-existent. But what I did learn from only a few days will come in valuable the next time I decide to take on the juicing challenge. And I hope it will for you, too.
Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? If so, which one? What was your experience like? Leave me your comments below!