Yesterday I started The Renewal Cleanse from Viva-Raw, a local Charlotte, NC-based juice company. I’d been toying with the idea of a cleanse for some time. I knew I couldn’t handle cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon for days on end — and I really couldn’t wrap my head around it being nutritionally sound — but four days of cold pressed juices prepared fresh just for me? That I could get on board with. I checked into a few options around the area, and Viva-Raw had a nice price point along with a lot of information on their site. What I did find lacking was personal testimonials. I found one article written by a Charlotte publication, but no other results. And so, I decided to document my experience in case others were as curious as I.
So at this point you may be asking “why on Earth would you want to drink juice for four days?” I’m hopeful the claims are true and a juice cleanse can break me of my addiction to processed foods high in salt, sugar, and potentially harmful chemicals. That’s not to say I’ll never eat another Dorito or double fudge brownie sundae after this, but, if I can learn to actually enjoy a healthy and clean eating regimen, that would be fabulous. A juice cleanse is intended to give your body a break from the foods which are harder to break down and process, i.e. processed foods such as breads, pastas, dairy and sweets. Given this break, the body is supposed to work overtime eliminating harmful toxins and generally flushing out your system. In the process, since you’re consuming only juices from fresh fruits and vegetables (more heavy on the veggie as there’s less sugar) you are also breaking the cycle of addiction to salt and sugar laden foods. As a side bonus, you also tend to lose weight.
Now you’d probably like to know how it’s going? Right?
I should preface by saying I didn’t follow the instructions to the ‘T’ in the pre-cleanse phase. Although I did focus on my diet consisting of 1/2 fruits and veggies, I didn’t entirely give up bread and dairy. I had PB&J on wheat or a salad for lunch. Dinner was chicken and veggies. The night before I did cave and have a peanut butter brownie. I also didn’t avoid alcohol entirely and had a glass or two of white wine in the evening one or twice the week before. Ideally, the week before I would have 100% cut out dairy, grains, caffeine and alcohol. This helps your body ease into the detox.
It is recommended to start with a 10 oz. glass of water each morning, so I did. I started my first juice at around 9 am and it is the Clean Green. This is your primary juice and you drink it four times a day. I don’t mind it, even enjoy it, although I’ll admit by the fourth I was a bit weary of it. It is mainly leafy greens, cucumber, celery, apple and lemon. I HATE celery, but I can’t really taste it here. I had some Mary Kay work to do that morning, I packed juices 2 and 3 into a small lunchbox with ice and brought them along. You’re supposed to have a juice every 90-120 minutes. If you are going the 120 minute route like me, I’d recommend starting your first juice at 7 or 8 am. Starting at 9 am I was drinking my last around 9:30 pm, and it was a bit late.
Today food was really tempting. My MK event that morning was a spa brunch and the blueberry bagels smelled tantalizing. I did cheat and had two watermelon cubes, but I figure they were mostly juice any way. I don’t think I was actually hungry, it’s more just the habit of snacking. I’m used to reaching for food all day long, so this was a training in impulse control. I caved once again late afternoon with six apple slices but again – there’s juice in them! On my way home I called my fiancée who was also heading home and picking up lunch. I begged him to eat it wherever he was ordering from and not to bring it home. He reluctantly obliged. I’m not sure I could have resisted the smell of my favorite pasta dish from Noodle Co, so I was grateful.
While with two fantastic ladies for a pampering session at 4 pm, somebody brought pizza into the studio building. It smelled so. damn. good. Strangely, when Brian heated up his leftovers for dinner later though, it really didn’t phase me. I think I’m over the hump.
In regards to the other juices, the beet and carrot-based juices are really good. A nice break from the green. They are a little sweeter given the veggies are more naturally sweet. By the time I got to the protein drink – almond butter base – it was like a milkshake. There is cinnamon and cacao and it is delicious.
I didn’t feel hungry when I went to bed. It is 8 am on the next day, and I didn’t wake up hungry either. I’ve had my first juice of the day and I thought I’d have to force another green down, but actually it went down easily.
What you’re really curious about is if I lost any weight. Yep, down 2 pounds. What you may reluctantly be curious about is if I’m “backed up,” or much the opposite. Simply put — nope. All systems are operating normally. 3 more days to go.