Professionally, especially to my patients with diabetes I have yet to recommend that any patient hops on the juice trend train that’s currently choo-chooing around the nation. It is the lack of fiber that can cause drops in blood pressure and changes in digestion that can be dangerous for certain people.However, if you have a clean bill of health I do not see much reason against a short juice cleanse. There were a couple of reasons for my giving in and attempting this super trendy juicing trend. The first was to actually speak from a personal perspective when patients came in asking a few questions about it- the truth is I wrote off cleansing probably too quickly because of the lack of fiber in juice and decided to challenge my own opinion and give it a go. The second reason was that I wanted to test the theory of “giving my GI tract a rest.” Part of this theory is attributed to the way we Americans have come to eat 3 large meals a day and the extra food consumption not only adds calories, but also stress and inflammation to our bodies. It was time to give my GI a well needed vacation- especially as summer has started and the demand for drinking and eating has increased as we are more out and about in the food obsessed culture we live in. I have recorded my experience below and noticed a few food habits of my own, of my friends, and of New Yorkers in general. I want to clarify I did NOT do this cleanse as a means of weight loss, nor would I recommend any one else expect real, lasting weight loss results. Yes you do shed a couple of pounds from a ton of water weight constantly being in the restroom, but that is sure to come back when real food is introduced. Also, I do not think that all the toxins release from your body from this simple three day cleanse. Yes you feel cleaner and leaner but do not be fooled this is not a complete toxin removing experiment.
9:30— I woke up and drank warm water with lemon as per my usual routine. Monday being a day off of work, I am a little more at leisure so I figured it would be a great day to give it a go for the first time.
10:00— Time for juice #1-here we go folks…it was surprisingly delicious I have to admit. Perhaps, I would even go as far as to say it was a little too sweet towards the end but in a good “treat-like” kind of way.
11:00— Here comes that time on Monday morning for our awesomely intense group personal trainer- where I kept up like I normally would (had food in my system from the day before so felt it would be safe to beast it out) and shed an entire layer of water. Nothing like that feeling.
12:30 juice #2— Probably my favorite treat of the cleanse…I drank my almond milk post-workout recovery drink with some protein and fat, while watching my friends chow down on yummy salads, womb wraps and soup. Now I won’t lie I would have loved to join them but it was really too soon for me to care. I committed to a 3 day cleanse, pre-paid for all the juices and “it is only 3 days” kept playing over in my mind. Temptation #1 avoided.
2:15 juice #3—After a stressful ordeal at Fedex trying to locate my package, I became hungry and ready for another juice- second green juice of the day- cucumber, celery, spinach, parsley, lemon, apple, ginger—it’s so clear that an apple is involved for it is super duper sweet, but hey- this really is not as bad as I thought it would be.
4:45 juice #4— Yet another green juice, this time with kale, spinach and ginger. This juice was a little more grainy and heavy than the other greens but still more than tolerable. At this point I was really actually liking these juices. A semi headache popped in- probably from caffeine withdrawal, nothing I couldn’t handle though. It was expected- I love myself some coffee.
530— Whoops! Giving my pup a cucumber treat I almost had a small piece myself out of habit. Listen a cucumber would not have made such a difference, but the point of writing about his is that this juicing cleanse is making me realize how much I pick mindlessly, making me more aware of my own “bad” food habits. Here we have lesson #1 for myself- be conscious of eating just to eat- grab a glass of water or tea instead. It’s probably thirst anyways, as sometimes our body mistakes hunger for thirst.
630— Embark on the ferry back to NYC, back to real life. No beer or cup of wine this time, just straight up chilling and enjoying the view on the deck of the ferry without the habitual cold brew.
7:00— Bring on juice #5- Lemon, cayenne, and maple syrup in water. Personally, I prefer things extra spicy and less on the sweet side, so I will be adding an extra dash of cayenne to my next drink to counter the sweetness, but it was a refreshing and yummy treat on the back of the boat nonetheless.
8:40— Already starting to get hungry again but not quite ready for yet another juice. I’ve actually stayed full for quite some time and I still have 2 juices left for the day- I’m pooped. After I finish unpacking, I reject some dinner plans at my favorite sushi spot (oh man! All for the cause) and chill on my bed to do some work on my laptop. I’m also too tired to set out and go chill in my friends apartment on the couch just a mere 6 blocks away- I am ready to call it a night! Usually I’m a night owl… so I’m hoping to feel more energized tomorrow. To be fair I also, have to attribute some tiredness to the earlier commute and the workout we did this morning. Banded sprints were involved.
930— Still doing computer stuff on my bed and about to delve into the Netflix vortex,when actual hunger sets in! I then go and grab juice #6 (I did it, I did it.)- beet, carrot and apple juice that tastes mostly like yummy beets. I do admit I can’t finish the juice and only get about 2/3 the way through. Day #1 complete.
7:45 am— wake up to find out my first patient of the day cancelled. Hello to another hour of sleep!
8:45 — One snooze- and got up. I go to make my usual lemon water- whoops out of lemon, so I just have a glass of water get ready for work and have my first green juice of the day while waiting for an extremely delayed 6 train. Decided to switch up the order of my juices today to keep it interesting starting first with juice #2 at 9:30 Oooooo! Getting crazy up in here.
10:00 — Of course, there is breakfast in work for the first time since I’ve been working here and in the kitchen which is right across from my office, sponsored by some bagel shop with tons of coffee, and any type of bagel and cream cheese I could probably want. I admit, usually I probably would have picked on a quarter bagel or had a half if I hadn’t had breakfast.
No chewing for me- run past the bagels to the fridge and stick to my juice.
11:30— Juice #2- No chewing for me- run past the bagels to the fridge and stick to my juice. In between patients I have my second juice of the day- lemon, cayenne, and maple syrup aka juice # 4- spicy enough this time with the extra pinch of cayenne. Overall, I am feeling fine, but definitely start to feel hungry every 2 hours. A little fog enters my mind though at this point. Eeek not too great when my job is to listen closely and interact with patients.
1:30— Started to drink my green juice- Juice #3- during my next break and finished two -thirds before I started to feel full. Instead of lunch break, I then headed to my treat of the cleanse which was non-food centered of course; a chiropractic alignment/ back tension release/ acupuncture that left me feeling unbelievably loose and relaxed. This is my second session and happened to be on my cleanse- turns out it was great support during my 3 chew-free GI resting days. Left with a huge smile and swing in my step.
3:15— Finish the other 3rd of lunch- kale, apple, and spinach on my walk up back home, weaving in and out of stores doing some errands.
5:30— Drank juice #4- beet, carrot, and apple during halftime of the USA soccer game- no beer for me. Wow there sure is a lot of drinking to avoid in the summer. Feeling alive, not as lively as usual but alive enough.
7:15—Juice #5— It’s yet again time for another green juice, this time without any apple- definitely my favorite green juice, I’m sad I didn’t have a chance to have this one yesterday! While sitting and chatting with my friends at Bryant park, I got my energy mostly back but with a few brain lapses in conversation where it was on 30 second delay in answering questions. No big deal, they love me anyways.
I then actually had enough energy for some some Bryant park games, where I showed off my hula hoop skills and then headed to sit outside with my friends as they ate a yummy looking and smelling meal at Bryant Park Grill. I had a treat- sparkling water with lime. Yummm. For serious.
9:15— Still out and about walking down to chill by my friends apartment downtown- but oh no! I didn’t bring my last juice with me. This sucks, I’m getting hungry. Thankfully, I made some calls to all of the close juice bars thanks to yelp and find that juice generation is open till 10pm- woohoo!
9:45ish— Jucie #6 I chose a hemp milk for some protein and because it was half the calories of the almond milk (which I tried the day before and was my favorite) and it was mehh but drinkable. I couldn’t reason drinking 490 calories! I’d rather eat my dense calories in the form of almond butter or nuts. Chewing is underrated I miss it. I only finished 2/3 of the drink and was satisfied for the day.
9:09— out of bed. Water w lemon on the way to a 9:30, hour and a half yoga flow and restore class with my friend. Could not think of ingesting another green juice at this point in the morning.
11:15— Ready for my favorite green juice without apple, I really prefer the juice sans apple and started my day drinking my greens watching my friend head to magnolia for a delicious large iced coffee (totally salivated at the site of it) and mini banana pudding. The manager ironically oogled my green juice as I oogled the sweets behind the glass. Didn’t reach over like Obama would have though, I contained myself. Suck on that Mr. President.
1:30ish—Green juice #2 as I blew my hair and got ready for work- drinking meals sure is a time saver let me tell you!
3:30—Before my next patient consultation it’s lemon, cayenne, and maple syrup time! Yummy mid afternoon “treat”.” Added my own cayenne to the juice again this morning. Boo yeah.
5:30— In between patients again and now I’m starting to feel foggy- reach in my cooler and tear out what feels like my millionth green juice. Kale, apple and spinach down the hatch.
7:30 I’m finally home but I made a colossal mistake. I left my treat drink at work in my cooler in the fridge, along with teh last green juice of the day! I was definitely not as astute as usual while on this cleanse, but this could have happened any other day. I was not so ready to drink another juice, but hunger forced me to do so. I took a few sips of the beet juice. Nope- can’t do it. Did not make it past the few sips. I just want to head to bed at this point so I can wake up and chew half an avocado with some salt and red pepper flakes (been craving this for some reason).
9:30— Still awake, turned down the opportunity for another night of drinking and treated myself to a green juice, drank about half, gave up and headed to bed. I came. I saw. I conquered.
Overall, I am looking back on a surprisingly pleasant experience and will definitely do a juice cleanse again- next time maybe for 4 days and definitely with my own juice concoctions or my own juices chosen to cater to my taste palette; It did seem to get repetitive at points with the same juices over and over. Thus, I would need to switch it up more in order to last 4 days and so I plan on doing so. My body reacted normally without any crazy hunger pangs and besides for some fogginess due to drops in blood pressure (secondary to a lack of fiber), I felt healthy overall. It was easy for me to accomplish the cleanse because going into it, I knew it was only 3 days and I had committed to the cause. I am now more compassionate about the cause and would recommend juicing for people to reset their minds to head into a healthier lifestyle and also to reset your taste preferences. I found that juicing helped to reset my taste buds, as I came out craving crunchy lettuce, sashimi and avocado (strange, huh?). Post-cleanse I find myself eating slower and consuming slightly smaller portions before I am full. The day after the cleanse I was super motivated to eat clean and now a few days later, I have not even reached for a coffee yet. I don’t expect that to last, but I do expect to keep to a diet of completely natural foods (meaning no bread or pasta- yes, gluten) for a few weeks. I feel great, clean and energized! I would say if you are a healthy person okayed by your doctor- go for it! If I can do it, so can you.