A few weeks back my husband started juicing again. I had decided at the beginning of May to kickstart a healthier lifestyle… and hopefully loose those last 5kgs that have been hanging around for oh, 9 years or so! And after a week of avoiding sugar, alcohol & carbs on my own without any spousal support he got on board.
With our rather measly little juicer he began making us a juice every morning… for 3 days… when the time and hassle factor got the better of us both and we gave up.
As luck would have it a few days later Joy from Faith Juice contacted me to find out if I would be open to doing a 3 day Juice Cleanse! It was perfect timing and I happily signed up.
As the start day drew nearer I started panicking… did this really mean that I couldn’t touch solid food for THREE days?? How is that even possible without falling over?
But, it was all on track and there was no way I was backing out. So one Tuesday morning I woke up and had my first cup of hot water and lemon before heading to the office where Joy was going to deliver my first batch of bottled juices…
She arrived as my stomach was about to start eating itself and gave me the guidelines of how to make these 4 glass jars of nothing more than juice, last all day!
After downing my ginger shot, I moved on to the first juice of the day… Now when we juice we stick to 3 ingredients – apple, carrot and ginger – but Joy’s juice was GREEN and held no visual appeal at all! Fortunately it smelt ok, and after downing it I realised it actually tasted pretty great in fact… I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
And so proceeded my 3 day juice cleanse. Not one to make things easy for myself I actually headed out on the first night to meet up with some friends – wine and chocolate were in abundance and I had to muster every ounce of self-discipline to keep away! it was torture. my usual self has ZERO self-discipline and never says “no” to any sweet treats (hence those pesky 5kgs!) so I was super proud of myself when I walked out that night not having touched anything… ok so I did take a “party pack” home but surprisingly I didn’t need to touch that either (until now… where did I hide it??!)
The Health Benefits of Juicing
You may well be wondering why juicing at this point so let me give you some of the Benefits of Juicing.
- Juicing offers an efficient way to absorb immune boosting nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables as it provides a way to access digestive enzymes typically locked away in the fiber matrix of whole fruits and vegetables. Your body is supercharged with concentrated phytochemicals to help fight diseases. These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. Valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in a variety of fruits and vegetables and guard against oxidative cellular damage, which is exacerbated by exposure to chemicals and pollution
- Most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making poor food choices and this limits the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients it needs from the vegetables. Juicing will help to “pre-digest” them for you, thus allowing your body to receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet! You’ll also noticed improvement in your daily bowel movements if this is an area you struggle in.
- How many of us are actually consuming the recommended six to eight servings of vegetables and fruits per day?? Juicing allows you to consume a healthier amount of vegetables in an efficient manner and helps you to add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet.
- Juicing can help to promote weight loss.
- Vegetable juice drinkers significantly increase their intake of vitamin C and potassium, while decreasing overall carbohydrate intake.
- When your body has all the nutrients it needs, and your pH is optimally balanced, you feel energized. Raw juice contains biophotonic light energy, which can help revitalize your body and increase your energy. Since juice can be utilized by your body immediately, those who drink raw juice report feeling a “kick” of energy almost instantly.
- Your brain health is boosted. People who drink juices more than three times per week, compared to less than once a week, are 76 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Kame Project.
Convinced yet? Well let me tell you more about my experience on the 3 Day Juice Cleanse…
So as I mentioned I consumed only 4 x 500ml of juice a day and no solid food for 3 whole days. And I totally survived. And actually enjoyed it!
Fortunately I think I was pretty healthy to begin with – I don’t smoke or drink coffee and for about a month before I did this cleanse I had tried to cut out sugar, alcohol and carbs (at least during the week). I really do think that my slower entry into the detox aided my experience of it. I hardly had any side effects. The most noticeable negative one was probably that my teeth felt “furrier” than usual due to not eating any solid food! I know other people can really struggle with side effects such as headaches, moodiness, nausea or cramps but I was one of the lucky ones!
I usually started my day with the warm water and lemon, then had a ginger shot at about 9am followed by my first juice, I had my second juice between 12 and 1. I tried to last as long as a could between juices and embraced the hungry feeling for an extra 20 or 30 mins hoping that it would mean I was using up some more calories…
If I was hungry between meals I had one of the herbal teas that Joy brought with my daily delivery, or a cup of Rooibos. I had my 3rd juice at about 3 or 4. It was meant to be for supper but I found I really needed it earlier. My last juice was for supper at around 7pm. Fortunately my husband was doing the cleanse with me so I didn’t have to be around food too much. We gave the kids easy meals like eggs to avoid too many food smells in the house… although making them peanut butter on toast was a KILLER!!
During the cleanse I tried my level best to avoid solid food, mostly because I wanted to be able to report back to you here on what it was really like! One afternoon I opted for the once-a-day food lifeline of a banana. And felt so guilty for it. You are also “allowed” half an avo if you’re really struggling!
What really helped was Joy’s daily encouraging email. Before I started she sent some helpful tips to get through the first day and even lent me a DVD on Jason Vale’s 28 day juice cleanse retreat which was incredibly inspiring. Then each night of the cleanse she would tell you what to expect the next day including what ingredients were in each juice and how they benefit your body. It really helped having someone “rooting” for you!
Obviously living on juice forever is not an option and it was with mixed feelings that I went back to “normal” food on Friday. Dare I say it but I almost wanted to continue on the juicing fast… although my stomach had other ideas.
What was great about doing the cleanse was that it really made me more aware of what I was putting into my mouth. In fact, things I would have had no problem shoveling in (hello chocolate) actually tasted TOO SWEET and I didn’t want more than the first bite. WEIRD!!! I realised how much power the mind has too. I went from swearing I would never be able to do without solid food to actually doing it for three days because I was determined to and had set my mind to achieving this goal. Harnessing your will-power is a truly powerful feeling.
The personal benefits I experienced included smoother skin, more energy, less bloat and I finished a little bit closer to my goal weight too! I felt healthier too. One night I even headed off to yoga (in the rain) when you would have thought all I wanted to do was get into bed….
So, did I enjoy the experience. I can honestly say YES. Without a doubt. Even though my cleanse fell over the coldest few days of winter thus far, and everyone else was tucking into hot chocolates and warm pastas, I am so glad I tried it and I definitely feel like juicing is something I want to incorporate into my daily life.
Have you tried juicing? Ever done a cleanse? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please tell me in the comments at the end of this blog post!
If you’re keen to try a juice cleanse or just sign up to get juice delivered to your door daily (& you live in the South Peninsula of Cape Town) give Joy a call. Daily juices and 2, 3 and 5 Day Cleanses are offered
Images: Kathryn Rossiter