Food Health Lifestyle

Tale Of A Failed Juice Cleanse

May 5, 2016
juice cleanse image

I unsuccessfully attempted a juice cleanse a couple years ago.

I was prepared. My fridge was full of apples, ginger, kale and beets; My Breville juicer was clean and ready to go. I was not, under any circumstances, going to have caffeine or solid food. I’d be subsisting on fresh  juice for 4 days, and I was going to love it.

I couldn’t wait for the promised feelings of euphoria. I’d be so calm without caffeine that I’d give meditating a try. My bloated stomach would be so flat, I’d finally see where my hip bones had been hiding all these years.

The cleanse didn’t go exactly as I’d envisioned. I never felt anything close to euphoria; in fact, I felt pretty darn angry. My stomach was flat, but only because I was so freaking hungry. I was in such terrible caffeine withdrawal; I felt nauseated and weak.

Sometime during day 3, I ended up in Starbucks ordering a Venti soy latte. Don’t ask me how I got there, I was in a juice induced fog.

After a couple sips, I felt like I could see things clearly for the first time in 3 days. I realized two things: I’m seriously addicted to caffeine and juice cleanses are BS!

Look, I love green juice and it can be a wonderful part of a healthy diet. However, eating and drinking whatever we want and then only drinking juice for a couple days is not healthy. Let’s be real, a juice cleanse doesn’t cancel out the 6 glasses of wine and Chipotle burrito with extra guac you had last Saturday.

As I’ve learned more about nutrition, I know that nourishing our bodies isn’t something you ever need a break from. We need calories from nutrient-dense foods every day.

Furthermore, our bodies are designed to detox naturally. That said when we’re eating processed foods, taking medications, drinking alcohol and exposing ourselves to environmental toxins, our body’s natural capacity to detox can be impaired.

Here are ways you can help aid in your body’s natural ability to detox without subsisting on green liquid and sadness. 

Stay hydrated. Filtered water & herbal tea are your friends.

Limit pesticide & hormone exposure. Buy organic whenever possible, especially for all meat and dairy products.

Up your fruit & veggie intake. In particular, load up on broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and kale.

Take it easy on your digestive system and eat more soft foods. The more broken down food is before you eat it, the less work your body has to do.

Make a delicious fiber-rich smoothie or blended soup. Try some bone broth. You could even have a green juice (gasp!). Just don’t get crazy on me.

Give your liver a hug with this liver detox tea instead of having a glass of wine.

Swap green tea for coffee. I know. How about we compromise and have 1 cup of coffee in the morning and green tea later in the day?

 Sweat. Perspiration is an essential part of natural cleansing. I don’t care if you want to hike or go in the sauna or have sex. Your choice.

Use natural products. From deodorant to cleaning supplies there are some nasty ingredients in conventional products. Try  natural products with recognizable ingredients to reduce your overall toxic load.

Finally, find a way to manage stress. I know this is hard. Harder even, than doing a 4-day juice cleanse all the way through.

One of the worse things you can do to your body is to be chronically stressed. When you’re stressed, your body goes into fight or flight mode and everything else–digestion, clearing toxins, making essential hormones–become secondary.

Practice deep breathing. Exercise. Hug your kids or furbabies. Know that whatever you face next, you’ll be able to handle it. You always have, right?
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  • Reply Joanne November 4, 2015 at 6:02 am

    We need calories from nutrient dense foods every day. Excellent advice and so well stated. . Could be in a Michael Pollan book ! And it’s advice I can live with …

    • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Thanks, Joanne!

  • Reply Jessica November 4, 2015 at 7:02 am

    i love reading your blog- you’re an awesome writer and very entertaining! I tried a cleanse too….I didn’t have quite the experience as you because I rarely drink coffee, so I didn’t go thru that withdrawal, but my bank account sure felt some pain! I bought organic EVERYTHING and damn, does that add up, especially considering how much produce you need to make a half cup of juice….I can’t remember how long I cleansed, I just know I didn’t experience any benefits worth the amount of time and money I was spending on juicing….you give great advice! Thank you!

    • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Thanks for reading, Jessica!

  • Reply Jon November 4, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Great read! I have always thought that “juice cleanse” was code for “crash diet”. Glad to read an article promoting sustainable healthy eating habits. If I want to start incorporating juice into a balanced diet, what fruit/veggies do you recommend? I assume some are better than other. Thanks!

    • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Thanks for reading, Jon! I’d go for green juices with more veggies (kale, cucumber, spinach) than fruit so you don’t spike your blood sugar. Another tip is to dilute fresh pressed juice so it’s not such a sugar rush. I’d recommend kale-cucumber-ginger-lemon :)

  • Reply Kris Cunningham November 4, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I just love your blog! Interesting entertaining and full of great practical advice! Keep it coming Anna :-)

    • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      Awww, thanks Kris! :)

  • Reply S. November 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Extreme diet anything triggers the worst rebound behavior in me. What’s up with that? Love your sense of humor, by the way. Keep the posts coming- has actually become part of my afternoon break at work.

  • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Me too– depriving myself leads to nothing good! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Lauren November 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Laughing out loud at 6 glasses of wine and chipotle with extra guac! Thank you so much for providing this positive encouragement and excellent suggestions for ways to sweat the toxins out 😉 Juice cleanses never made much sense to me either.

    • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      So glad you liked it!

  • Reply JM November 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Great article and thanks for bringing reality into those myths about cleansing. Anything extreme should be viewed with caution. Common sense practices on care of your body typically will keep you healthy. Love your blog. Keep it coming. JM

    • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      “Anything extreme should be viewed with caution”- love that! Thanks for reading

  • Reply Lynne November 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I like what you wrote . It makes sense to me. One thing I think to be on the safe side if a person is medically diagnosed with any health issue that affects food intake , she or he should check with their doctor first before undergoing any change in their diet. Just to be on the safe side. Your suggestions do sound reasonable and really healthy.. But just to be sure.
    Lynne recently posted…New Thrills for Lady Lynda and her husband Seymour Toze.My Profile

    • Reply Anna November 4, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      You are right on, Lynne! As I say in my disclaimer, I am not a doctor or an RD. It’s a great suggestion to make this more clear to readers next time :)

  • Reply Ivy November 5, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I love your blog! Thank you for keeping it real like you always do. I’ll be bookmarking this page to explain to friends why I won’t juice cleanse with them! I much prefer your balanced suggestions ?

    • Reply Anna November 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks for reading, Ivy!

  • Reply Pete November 30, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Thank you so much for being real here. I know the juice cleanses work for some … but to me, I’m just like you … I love me some coffee and bourbon and red wine (not necessarily in that order) … and the juicing would get in the way of that. Not to mention, at least for me, I manage to stay in good shape by focusing on chewing my nutrients and foods. I’m not opposed to tossing in a juice to supplement, but going all-in just ain’t for me 😉 Thanks for linking up on #bestoftheblogs

  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt November 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    So true! I can’t fathom doing a juice cleanse! I can’t even skip a meal without getting Hanry! Love your tips to really stay in check all the time.
    Thanks so much for linking up!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Best of the Blogs Linkup & November Top PostsMy Profile

  • Reply Andrea December 1, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I doubt I could handle 4 days either- I like food too much and get hangry very easily. One day every so often would be a lot easier and still balancing I think.

    • Reply Anna December 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Thanks for reading, Andrea!

  • Reply Diana Cote January 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I can totally relate and have been taking steps to clear my diet and my home of anything that’s unhealthy or toxic from our lives, but I could not fathom doing a cleanse, I am a frequent eater and if I dont I will get shaky, nauseous plus i get this acid stomach and things go downhill from there, i become a tired nervous wreck and I become not so pleasant to be around. lol

    • Reply Anna January 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      I feel you! Thanks for reading, Diana!

  • Reply Bethany June 30, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Amen sister! Give me the food!

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