Towards the end of my half marathon training I knew I wanted to clean up my diet a bit. I don’t eat poorly by any means, but I was not eating as clean as I had previously and instead of eating a meal, I’d find myself all too often reaching for a protein bar or something else processed like pretzels instead of fruit or veggies. While I am a big believer in everything in moderation, I think being smack in the middle of my busy season at work and at the end of my training led to some habits that to me, were unhealthy. I had already committed to making November my month to clean things up in my diet (more on that later), but then this Groupon crossed my email for a 3-day juice cleanse. I have never been big on these fad diets or cleanses, again, everything in moderation is a good way to live, but I had a few friends who recently did the Blueprint Cleanse and really loved it, so I researched this particular Groupon a bit more. Then, in a moment of throwing caution to the wind, I bought it. Why? Well, I am willing to try almost anything (within reason) once and I was curious to see what the hype around it was all about. Robyn made me homemade juice every single morning during my first trimester of pregnancy and I loved it, so I figured, why not? I will get to try some new flavors of juices, maybe some ideas I can made myself with our juicer at home, get some good nutrients and get me ready for my November diet clean up. Worse case scenario, it’s ONLY 3 days, so if I hate it, I know it will be over quickly. Throughout the cleansing process, I took notes so I could fill you in on my thoughts. So, here’s how it all went.
The Groupon I purchased was for a 3-day juice cleanse from Jus by Julie, a company out of NY. I scheduled my delivery for Tuesday, October 22nd and was excited to come home and see it waiting for me. I opened it up and was excited.
It came in this great reusable zippered bag, which I will definitely be re purposing for grocery shopping. Here’s a pic of all 18 juices. They were banded by day, which made it really easy to pull out one day and repack for work.
Day 1 – Carrying the juices to work felt like a little luxury. It’s amazing what a little change in routine does for the mind. My juicing schedule was: 6am Morning Glory (a green juice with kale, romaine, spinach, apples, strawberries and bananas), 9am Spicy Pome-nade (pomegranate, lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup), 12pm Sweet Spin (another green juice with spinach, kale, pineapple, bananas, and mango) , 3pm Chia Berry (Strawberry, lemon and chia seeds), 6pm Sweet Spin, and 9pm Island Coconut (coconut, date and cinnamon).
Of all the juices, the Morning Glory was hard to choke down, all I could taste was the greens. It’s texture was really course and even after shaking it a lot, there was a lot of pulp, which normally I LOVE, but in this case made it worse. Being that it was the first juice of the day, I was hoping the rest wouldn’t be a disaster too. Overall, I felt fine just drinking the juices during the day and never felt famished. This may or may not have been because I was also slammed at work and barely had time to think about eating, but either way I was okay. I did continue to workout through the cleanse and did a 11 mile bike ride in the am and some stretching and felt good.
My favorite drink on Day 1, hands down was the Chia Berry. OMG, it was delicious and I would love to drink it every single day. Around 6 pm I did get really hungry, which was hard because I was just getting home with Ashton and Robyn was cooking dinner. I started to feel a little bit light-headed so during dinner, I did have some lettuce and a few small bites of a homemade crab cake and I felt much better. While I am up for trying new things, I wasn’t about to pass out for the cause! I went to bed feeling fine.
Day 2 – I woke up feeling like I slept like a rock. I am not sure if it was because I worked until 10 p.m. the night before or if it was the juicing, but I felt great. My juices for the day were: 6am Morning Glory, 9am Spicy Lemonade (lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup), 12pm Sweet Spin, 3pm Acai Blend (Acai, Strawberry, and Banana,) 6pm Sweet Spin, 9pm Not so Chunky (peanut butter, banana and water.)
I couldn’t drink the Morning Glory. I took a few sips and gagged, so I ended up not drinking the first juice. I got into work and ran almost 4.5 miles and felt pretty good throughout the day, but I was a little hungrier than day 1, likely because of the distance of my run. I missed eating my food. I was supposed to teach my weekly Group Power class, but had a conflict so I didn’t teach, which I am very grateful for, as I am not sure if I would have been able to make it through on so little calories, especially given I had already run in the morning. The Acai Blend was really good and I’d definitely want to drink that one again. I skipped the Sweet Spin at 6pm because I had a major headache and was feeling weak. I ended up eating dinner with the boys, just a little bit of broccoli and some cheese tortellini. Clearly we are seeing a pattern here aren’t we? Only two days of this and I can only make it to dinner time. I had the Not so Chunky drink before I went to bed and by far, that was my favorite. I am a sucker for anything with pb and banana, so it’s really no shock that I devoured that drink in like 3 seconds flat and was left wishing there was more.
Day 3 -Once again, I woke up feeling like I slept much more than the 8 hours I actually slept, but I was HANGRY (hungry+angry). At this point, I knew that it was my last day so I was going to try and get through the day as best as I could. My juices for the day were: 6am Morning Glory, 9am Spicy Pome-nade, 12pm Sweet Spin, 3pm Chia Berry, 6pm Sweet Spin, and 9pm Almond Breeze (almonds, dates, cinnamon.)
Again, I didn’t even attempt the Morning Glory based on my last two experiences with it, so I substituted it with the Sweet Spin that I skipped yesterday. I missed the 9am drink because I was at a Dr’s appointment but drank it when I got home around 11ish. I got into a great groove working so I didn’t have my “lunch” until 2:15pm, but decided I was more in the mood for the Almond Breeze than another Sweet Spin, so that is what I had. It was pretty tasty. I finished up my day and went for a short 2 mile run with my sister-in-law. I knew dinner was on the horizon and we were having my father in law over for pizza. Every Friday night is pizza night in our house AND we were having company, so what’s a girl to do?
Eat pizza and enjoy it! At this point, mentally, I was done with the cleanse. I have a few extra juices I will enjoy over the next few days, but as of 8pm on Friday, I was done!
- Convenience: It was really easy to not have to think about what I was going to eat for 3 full days. It was delivered to my front door, banded together so I knew what to drink when and there were no dishes to clean.
- Motivation: I think this was a great way to kick-start my plans to get back on a healthier eating routine and I feel more motivated than ever after spending money on this cleanse to keep up the healthy eating.
- Variety: Variety is the spice of life and I was excited to taste some really great combinations that I wouldn’t have necessarily tried if I hadn’t done this cleanse and I am looking forward to recreating them in my kitchen with our juicer.
- Cost: This 3-day juice cleanse was priced normally at $150 plus $35 shipping, so broken out, it costs about $62 a day. This clearly is not a cheap activity and I can guarantee that if I didn’t have a Groupon plus an additional discount from Groupon already in my account, I would not have tried this. I also think that if you do enough research and have a juicer, you could make these juices yourself for MUCH cheaper, but you of course would lose out on the convenience factor.
- Decreased Energy, headaches: While I still worked out during the cleanse, I definitely didn’t have the energy I am used to when working out and was thankful that I didn’t have to teach my normal weekly Group Power class, as I don’t think I would have had the energy to power through it. The headache that came on the 2nd day was pretty bad too. Overall lethargy is not something I enjoy, hence the reason I did eat some dinner each night.
Overall, I’d say my juice cleanse was an interesting experience. I thought I would feel revived and refreshed from it, but I honestly don’t feel much different than I did before the cleanse. If anything, it did give me the motivation to continue with a cleaner, healthier diet and try to recreate some of the recipes at home. I am glad I gave this a try, since it was something that had piqued my interest for quite some time, but I personally don’t think it is something I will do again. I mean, come on, I ate something every single day when I was only supposed to be drinking! It’s pretty clear that drinking all my meals was not ideal for me. I didn’t like the headaches and light headed feeling I had and I also feel like such drastic calorie restrictions is not good for anyone, especially those who love to exercise like me.
Question of the day
Have you ever tried any sort of cleanse? If yes, did you like it? If not, do you want to try one?