Last week I did my first ever juice cleanse, having wanted to do it for so long to give my digestive system a little break.
Juice cleanses are a great chance to rest and repair the gut - which I really wanted to do due to suffering from inflammation due to ulcerative colitis. It’s an opportunity to allow the gut to rest, while consuming nutrient-dense rainbow plant based juices allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine - consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself.
I got my juices from Raw Press Co. With Raw Press you get 8 juices per day (including the MOST delicious almond milk).
Here's how my days went…
I was hyper conscious that I wouldn’t be eating so woke up and began thinking about food immediately. One of my concerns was that my taste buds would be terribly sad and uninspired on a juice cleanse. I have had some healthy juice in the past that taste so ‘green’ I struggled to enjoy them… but force down because I know they’re good for me. However, honestly all the juices I got with Raw Press were so delicious! So much so that I am going to get some more delivered soon just because I enjoyed them so much. Their nut milks are the best I have ever had!
So the juices I had were (mixing to add to 8 per day):
- Deep-rooted (unreal tasting beetroot based and has cacao in it so feels indulgent and like a treat)
- Uprooted (orange based with turmeric and argan oil, very warming and feeling)
- Green (super tasty, has apple juice so it’s sweet)
- Super Green (no fruit in this, but SO good. One of the best vegetable green juices I’ve tasted
- Citrus (nice but my least favourite)
- Almond Milk (has vanilla bean in it which gives it the most beautiful smooth, sweet taste – could drink this forever).
After work on day one I went to a wonderful meditation event called Just Breathe and was concerned that I wouldn't be able to concentrate enjoy it due to hunger... but I was totally fine, if anything I found it much easier to meditate and be in the moment.
One of the meditation exercises was to mindfully eat a (tiny) piece of vegan chocolate... so I did do that! Does that count as cheating?! Either way, having to consciously look at the chocolate, noting its groves, its edges and shape before and mindfully allowing the chocolate to melt on my tongue, me hyper aware of really being present when eating - instead of mindlessly putting food in my mouth and not enjoying it.
Woke up feeling full! Had a green juice to start and lots of herbal teas throughout the morning. Met my friend for lunch and brought the almond milk with me so that I could have something nice while missing out on lunchtime snacks! I also bought myself a nice herbal tea to feel like I was having a treat. I was so surprised by how much I didn't miss food; I had no cravings or hunger pangs.
In the afternoon I had a headache which lasted a while (maybe 2 hours). I've read that this is pretty normal if you ever eliminate certain things from your diet (caffeine, sugar etc.) as your body has become so acclimatised to them and can suffer withdrawal symptoms.
After work I packed the remaining juices in my and headed to get my hair cut... which is normally a time when I have copious amounts of coffees and popcorn. I don't know was it juice cleanse madness but I decided to chop my hair off - a good 8 inches - into a long bob (which I am delighted with even post-cleanse, phew!).
I was surprised at how much energy I had and that I felt my usual happy self and not the worlds hangriest yogi!
The cleanse made me realise how often I absentmindedly eat. Picking at popcorn or nibbles out of habitas opposed to need. I often eat quickly because I'm on my lunch break and want to fit in so many activities in that hour, from yoga to eating to picking up a present for someone's birthday!
The only food I craved for the entire cleanse was a peanut butter bagel. I was practically dreaming about peanut butter.
Full of beans on the final day! I went to a really strong yoga class at lunchtime and felt great. Lots of energy... almost slightly hyper at times! No headaches either. Definitely the best day of the cleanse.
I started to really think about how I graze on food constantly and just drink coffee for the sake of having a hot drink (don't get me wrong I still love coffee!) when I could have a herbal tea instead.
Feel really hydrated and great in general. I had no plans after work on day three and struggled to do something that didn't revolve around food. I'd normally go for food with a friend, sit in a cafe nibbling while reading a book, or even the cinema (can't go without having popcorn!) ... however I couldn't find something to do that didn't involve food.
In the end I decided to chill at home and read... which turned out to be the hardest time of the day. I could smell my housemate’s lovely dinner cooking and I was just pretty bored not being able to cook dinner and eat! I found myself just clock watching until I could go to bed as I couldn't really concentrate.
So to sum it all up: I found the first day of the cleanse to be the hardest in terms of adjusting to not eating and feeling a bit 'empty', the second day was much easier (apart from the slight headache for a few hours) and on the final day I was full of energy and felt great!
I would highly recommend the cleanse and it’s something I’m definitely going to do again in the future more regularly to rest my gut.