I know this is a very long, first-post-ever. But bear with me – I just tried something I never thought I’d ever seriously do. I did a three-day cleanse. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – don’t judge - I used to be in your shoes.
I had been talking about it forever, but came to believe I was just all talk when it came to my curiosity about cleanses – and I was ok with that. I’ve heard of the fruit-only kind, the “Beyonce diet” (also known as the Master Cleanse) and the juice only detoxes. I’ve always been both parts skeptical and curious. A few months ago, my coworker, who admittedly is no health-nut herself, decided to try the blue print cleanse.
Hence the reason I’m writing this post. Yes, my curiosity (or test of self-discipline I came to fine out…) got the best of me. The blueprint cleanse has three levels: Renovation, Foundation and Excavation. Sounds pretty serious with all of those “tions”! I chose the first level, since this was my first-ever try at a real cleanse - to ease into my 3-day relationship with juice, just juice and only juice - Day 1 consisted of the “juice til dinner’ option. Which they don’t actually consider part of the “cleanse”, but I mean – any attempt at drinking only healthy juices until 6pm and eating a simple raw food dinner is a cleanse to me!! I digress. Days 2 & 3, the juice, just juice and only juice marathons were quite different than Day 1.
Day 1 began with the first of 4 juices I would have that day. Beginning with the grassy, earthy, outrageously healthy-tasting green juice for breakfast. I’m normally used to having oatmeal or yogurt with a load of honey for breakfast – so this green drink instead of my typical hearty and sweet start to the day was a tough pill to swallow. After around 10:30am, I made it through. To keep myself feeling full, they recommend drinking green or herbal teas and water. I have to say – my coworker who had done this (actually twice) before, would always brag about how she was never hungry, not once – couldn’t even FINISH some of the juices because she was just so sloshy inside and so never suffered the feeling of a rumbling tummy. I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT!! Two more juices in, I was craving solid food like it was air and was wondering what the hell I got myself into. Don’t get me wrong – most days, I’m a naturally healthy eater. I love my salads, fish and chicken – and would rather eat a kashi cookie then a homemade brownie – wait, that part isn’t true at all ; ) Anyway – my body was craving food, and so I could not WAIT for my raw-foods dinner that night. The second, third and fourth juices can be described as the following: 2. PAM (pineapple, apple, mint): Refreshing, super sweet after the first green drink, but overall enjoyable. 3. Another one of those grass – I mean – green juices (supposed to be the best one for you – of COURSE it is). 4. Spicy Lemonade: similar to the Master Cleanse potion of lemon juice, agave nectar, cayenne pepper – very refreshing actually. So then finally – home from work that night, for all of my whining earlier in the day, I actually felt light on my feet and a bit energized since I was allowed to have my “snack” on my way home after the juices – a raw foods cashew bar (it was pretty yummy). Knowing I just had and could look forward to actual solid food, I was feeling ambitious and hit the gym for a light workout since I read somewhere that it’s good to “sweat out” the toxins when you’re cleansing. Sure, why not – go big, or go home, right? Home from the gym, I opened my spicy kale salad and Mediterranean quinoa (they have a rotating JTD menu) and found that I couldn’t even finish them both! Feeling almost a little too full – I tried the little dessert that comes with the meal: raw chocolate mousse. It tasted like chocolate chalk. I was done eating for the night.
Day 2 – Torture. I was convinced the green juices in particular had some secret ingredient in them that actually altered my mood into a jeckle-like crankiness. I kept to myself at work that day – and my close team of coworkers noticed how unusually quiet my cubical was as I downed juice after juice, in between green tea and water – desperately trying to feel full watching the minutes tick by before it was time for the next juice that would make me feel full for twenty more minutes. I thought – I’m never doing this again, humans are meant to eat, I can afford food, why would I choose not to eat when there are starving people in Ethiopia and yet I’m seemingly starving myself by choice. What was I doing to myself??? Finally home, I was utterly exhausted, after my 5th juice, CAB (Apple, Carrot, Beet, Lemon Ginger), Strong ginger taste, very beet-y. Ready for “dinner”, I was really curious about the 6th and last juice – er, milk – the “beloved” Cashew Milk. I had heard so much hype over this stuff. People’s Revolution’s, Kelly Cutrone, described it as, “like you’re having the best rice pudding you’ve ever had in your life”. Really?? It tastes like CHALK, people! The only thing I remotely enjoyed about it on Day 2 was that, as the thickest juice (milk) of them all, it made me feel the fullest after a long day of juicing – and that I was thankful for. After my last sip of the cashew/agave nectar/cinnamon/chalk-flavored elixir, I still had to wait two hours until bedtime – as recommended by BPC. Once it was time to curl up into bed, I slept like a baby. How could all of this liquid take so much out of you by hardly putting anything in you?
Day 3. I FELT GREAT! Almost, almost looking forward to my green juice for breakfast – I felt like I had an epiphany. I finally found my rhythm with these juices. Drinking them more slowly and with more water/tea (yes, I must admit I probably peed about 20 times/day) so I had time to feel full enough (or, you know, my stomach had just shrunk to nothingness). Day 3 was a breeze compared to Day 2 – I started apologizing to my coworkers for my crankiness and whining – this wasn’t so bad. I finally knew what to expect when each juice came, and I guzzled them (slowly) like a pro. When the cashew milk came at dinnertime, I looked at my fiance’s pad thai he had ordered, and was glad I didn’t have to make my stomach digest those long, starchy noodles. I was almost proud.
The day after, I felt like a pure, wise, experienced juicer – and was actually worried about spoiling this feeling of enlightenment with solid foods. As suggested by BPC, I started my day with melon – it was the most delicious melon I’d ever tasted in my life – but I still wanted to be careful with introducing myself to the world of food again.
The next few days I was both cautious and conscious of everything I put in my mouth, and more-so, how it made me feel. A month later, I can’t say I’m still an angel when it comes to what I’ve been eating day-to-day, but the experience definitely left it’s mark in ways I had hoped. I’ve been actively using my juicer I have at home and realize how amazing a kale salad can both taste and make you feel. My diet is back to being much more veggie-based these days (two weeks before the cleanse, you could find me at La Birreria in Eataly eating blood sausage…), and for the most part, I’ve been eating whole foods with simple preparations.
All in all, I would recommend this 3-day cleanse to anyone who’s curious, or wants to start anew on the right foot. I could definitely see myself doing it again – perhaps leading up to my wedding…not eating can certainly make a girl feel skinny!! That being said, this is NOT meant to be a diet. If you are expecting to lose weight on this, expect to gain it back too. This is meant to be more of a simple detox to flush out toxins and help to “restart” healthy eating habits – if that’s what you’re looking for.
Have you tried any cleanses you’d recommend? I’d be curious to learn about cleanses that include foods and make you feel great too.
Feel good -