Juice Cleanse Recap

A week later, I’ve gotten some clarity. The short synopsis: Juice cleanse is awesome! It was hard. Sometimes really hard. But definitely worth it. It did everything it was supposed to do. I feel healthier, cleaner, and back on track. Also, it’s weirdly addicting and I kind of want to do it again.

green juice

It’s such a strange experience. After my last post, I took a turn for the worse. I did the juice cleanse from Sunday morning to Thursday afternoon and my reaction got progressively worse. I’d read more than once that the first day is the hardest, but that wasn’t my experience at all. I felt really good the first day, but pretty normal. The second day, which I’ve already written about, I went a little crazy. Felt real weird. Almost cried in public. Slept a million hours. The third day was similar to the second. I was less crazy maybe, but I felt more lightheaded. I couldn’t focus on anything at all. The fourth day, the headache arrived. It was terrible. Also, I slept a million hours again. I barely even got out of bed that fourth day. I ended up eating a modified version of my clean southwest salad because I was feeling so weak. The fifth day was a half day, which was my intention. And, it was for the best because I was legitimately sick by that point. Maybe the sickness meant that I should have kept going to get past the detoxing, but it was time to stop. I was so nauseous and my headache was even worse.

So, my description probably makes it sound really terrible. But somehow, it really seriously wasn’t. Like, the bad parts were bad. But overall I could tell it was working, which is what’s important.

And all weekend, after the cleanse was over, I felt amazing. I still do! I’ve been having a 16 ounce of green juice everyday for breakfast, which is good for two reasons. First, it’s really the best way to consume as many greens as possible, and it’s a nice way to ease your metabolism into the day. Second, it’s a really good way to remind me to keep up the clean eating for the day. If I have kale-pear juice for breakfast and feel really fresh after, I don’t want to ruin it later.

So for anyone who might be interested, I thought I’d post my juicing schedule. Juice Cleanse

A few of the recipes are on the last couple of blog posts I’ve made. It would take a long time to post the full recipes of every single juice, so I’m not gonna do that unless I get some requests. But in the meantime I have some basic rules for how much to use of each ingredient.

    • Kale: 6-8 leaves. (If you buy Cal-Organic, it’s one bunch.)
    • Spinach: 1 cup.
    • Romaine: 4-6 leaves.
    • Cucumber: 1 cuke.
    • Celery: 5 stalks
    • Carrots: 4-5 carrots
    • Beet: 1 large beet or 2 small
    • Apple: 1-2, depending on taste preference or how many other ingredients are involved
    • Lemon: 1 fruit.
    • Ginger: 1 inch chunk.
    • Grapefruit: 1 or 2 depending on how many additional ingredients you have.
    • Mint: Handful of leaves
    • Parsley: 1/4 cup
    • Pineapple: 1 cup

Obviously, I just included the first three days, because that is how long I prepped. The fourth day I recommend taking your favorites of each category and having those. You can also experiment with combos that use these basic ingredients. I made choices partially based on what I had left from my big shopping trip. For the fifth day, do one green, one citrus, and one root, then eat produce and seeds/nuts for dinner. Avoid animal products and sugar especially. You should also stick with vegan for a couple of days after, too.

Hopefully if you try it out you find it as rewarding as I did. Please let me know if you have questions!


More Juice

Wow okay. So the juice cleanse is…intense. Well, maybe intense isn’t the right word. I should say weird. It’s been real weird. For instance, it took me three tries to write this coherently!

I meant to post something yesterday, but I fell asleep halfway through writing it and basically slept for the next 14 hours. I told you, it’s weird. So I’m posting about yesterday today! And maybe I’ll post again with more tomorrow.

Physically, I’ve been pretty okay. It’s been a lot more manageable than I expected, aside from sleeping a million hours. One weird thing is both nights I’ve woken up at like 4 a.m. with the most insane headache. I’ve had a lot of headaches, and a lot of different kinds but nothing really like this. Maybe the headache when I had a minor concussion…that’s actually the closest I can think of. It felt like someone had hit me really hard with a really heavy bat. But I went back to sleep pretty quickly and felt much better in the morning. Today, a much milder headache has come and gone but other than that I’ve been good.

Yesterday was a lot harder. I don’t know if it’s because I was doing too much or what but I went a little nuts in the middle. I felt so loopy. I almost started crying at an office supply store. Eventually I had to stop and get a gluten/sugar free granola bar because I felt like I was drunk driving and was worried about making it home. I’m guessing it was a combination of low blood sugar (stemmed from not following my juice schedule closely enough) and the detoxing process. Luckily it just lasted a few hours.

Other than the afternoon weirdness, I’ve been feeling really good. All of the juices I’ve made have been pretty tasty. Some have even been super delicious. Here and there I’ll feel hungry or I’ll really wish I could get some Indian takeout (or whatever) but for the most part, the consumption part has been no problem.

2013-03-18 17.01.43

In fact it’s going so well that I’ve decided to extend the cleanse, but on a modified level. Remember those old Slim Fast diets? A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and then a sensible dinner? I’m thinking about trying something similar but with juices. I have no idea if it is a good idea or if it even makes sense, but it’s something I’m going to look into. I used to be a consistent habit of starting the day with a liquid, and I realize now it’s something I’ve been missing.

Also, I am adding on a fourth day to the full-on cleanse. I had enough produce leftover so I think I can fill up the whole day tomorrow. I definitely did not expect to want to keep going but I’m not sure three days was long enough.

So, that’s my experience with juice cleansing so far!

Here are a couple recipes that I have enjoyed:

Sweet Green Juice

  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 Stalks Celery
  • Handful Mint
  • 1 Pear

Tropical Carrot Juice

  • 1 1/2 Cups Pineapple
  • 1 Orange
  • 5 Carrots
  • 1 Inch Ginger

I would include pictures but I forgot to take some! Let’s blame the juice cleanse…


Juiced Up (Adventures in Cleansing)

Hello! Welcome to the first day of my juice cleanse. So far, so good!* I’m planning on doing three, possibly four days, depending on how I feel. And I thought I would blog about how it’s going along the way.

*It’s been about 7 hours…

I’ve wanted to try a juice cleanse for a while. I’ve done a couple of raw or semi-raw food detoxes in the past year, as you know if you read this thing regularly, but this time I wanted to step it up. I’ve said I want to amp up my efforts starting now, because it’s been a year and it’s time. First step of amping up? Juice cleanse.

The specifics of a juice cleanse are simple enough. Six bottles of juice a day, equal to roughly 96 ounces total. I am adding in an extra bottle of “spicy lemonade” which is like a lazier version of Master Cleanse (lazy because it is agave nectar instead of hardcore black tar pure maple syrup and more water).

When I decided I wanted to go this route, I was planning on ordering my cleanse. Juicing establishments often have cleansing programs. We have one local one in Indy, or there are several in LA or New York who will ship overnight to you. The national ones are crazy expensive, though, presumably because they are using LA or New York pricing. The local one was cheaper, so I decided to go with that, but when I went to place my order I was informed that they were booked for the next 8 days and I should have scheduled earlier. Something they could have mentioned on their website, which I read three times.

So, I was annoyed. I put a fair amount of effort into planning the cleanse, limiting my nutritional and caloric intakes for the week and limiting my number of work assignments for the weekend. But I was telling my mom about this problem and being the angel on earth she is, she suggested she buy me a juicer! I have been really missing my roommate’s juicer since I moved out a few months ago, so that was like the best solution I could think of.

After doing a little research on different juicers, I ended up with the Omega Vert 330. It juices at a low-speed, which is important because the high-speed ones heat up the juice and cook away some important nutrients. So far, it’s been pretty great.

The Omega Vert 330 Juicer! (Yes, I am blogging Instagrams. #noshame)
The Omega Vert 330 Juicer! (Yes, I am blogging Instagrams. #noshame)

But then the problem was the actual juice. The bottled programs have certain schedules to follow, and then often you pick the specific juices based on the category. For instance, you start with a green juice of your choosing, then mid-morning have a citrus. So that’s fine, I had some guidance there, but I still didn’t know specific recipes. I was on an hours long Internet scavenger hunt, looking for the perfect combo of juices, and if possible, recipes to go with them.

In the end, I found a few basic ingredient lists (e.g. Apple, Lemon & Ginger), a few actual recipes, and a couple that I made up myself (or already had in my repertoire). I spent quite a while mapping out which juices I would drink which days and in what order. Some of the standard ingredients were going to be duplicated (or quadruplicated) on any given day, but I didn’t want, like, three pineapple juices on day 1 and none the rest of the time. I also wanted to make sure if there was a juice I was really dreading that the one after it would be extra delish. That was another thing, I needed to make sure that I wasn’t cheating by using juices that sounded really tasty but weren’t necessarily as effective as others would have been.

Granted, I’m only halfway through the first day, so have had three out of eighteen juices, but I think I did a good job. I am starting out every day with the same super green juice (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, celery, apple, lemon & ginger) but the second green juice of the day can be a little more innovative. In an hour or so I’m going to drink “Mojito Juice,” which came mostly from the link above.

The process has been really great so far. Aside from actually purchasing the juicer, it’s significantly cheaper to do it yourself. It was going to be about $160 to do the local bottled program, which is a lot. I spent about $115 at Whole Foods, which is still a lot, but it’s less than $160. Also, the amount of produce necessary for 18 16 oz bottles of juice is pretty substantial.

-This is what $115 of organic produce looks like.
-This is what $115 of organic produce looks like.

For bottles, I poured the water out of a bunch of 16.9 oz water bottles and into bigger 1.5 liter bottles, and am using the little ones for juice. Glass is better, and if I’d been thinking ahead I would have been saving up tea bottles over time, but live and learn. The plastic ones are fine!

The other good thing about doing it myself is it’s actually kind of fun. It’s quite a bit of work but I like seeing the whole process. There’s something so soothing about seeing the process, witnessing how it goes from a big leafy green to a juice I’ll be drinking. I like the creativity.

Day 1, Juices 2-5
Day 1, Juices 2-5

I’m going to keep updating the next couple of days, tracking my progress both physically and emotionally. And I’ll post my “meal plan,” but I’ll wait for a post that isn’t already so long. (I’m wordy, I’m sorry!)

In the meantime, here are some recipes:

Super Green Juice

  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 8 Leaves Romaine
  • 3 Stalks Celery
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 2 Apples
  • 1 Inch Ginger

Grapefruit-Ginger Juice

  • 2 Red Grapefruits
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Inch Ginger

Spicy Lemonade

  • 15 Ounces Filtered Water
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar

Spicy Lemonade

-Please don’t be mad if these do not taste good. Sadly deliciousness is not a requirement for juice cleanse. I think they are all tolerable though, particularly the first two.

Happy juicing!

Accidental Liquid Diet

So I made it through Week 1 of my cleansing process! I feel great! Not only because I accomplished a goal that was a seriously lofty challenge but also physically, I can’t remember the last time I felt this good. The headaches went away all together a couple of days ago.

I did a pretty good job of sticking to the plan of following some of the Whole Living recipes and making up my own recipes with the list of Cleanse-Friendly foods. My favorite new thing is to make smoothies. I don’t have a blender at my house, but I’ve been visiting my parents and I could make a smoothie everyday.

Some Favorite Smoothie Concoctions:

Orange-Berry Smoothie
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 2 Oranges
  • 2 cups frozen berries (Whole Foods & the local chain both had an organic blend)


  • 2 cups frozen berries
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Mango
  • 1/2 Banana

Tropical Fruit & Strawberry

  • Half a pineapple (& the juice)
  • Juice from 2 Clementines
  • 1 Mango
  • 1 1/2 Bananas
  • 1 package frozen strawberries (approx 2-2 1/2 cups)

Yellow Smoothie

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1/2 a pineapple (& the juice)
  • 1 Mango
  • Juice from 2-3 Clementines

Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup Pineapple (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups Mango (chopped)
  • 1 cup Kale
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 1 inch Ginger (chopped)
  • 1 Stalk Celery
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple juice (or however much is available)
  • Water as needed (maybe 1 cup?)

I was telling a friend about these smoothies and she asked how I got them to the consistency I wanted without adding juice, yogurt, ice or water (usually). Really, it’s trial and error. And, really I do add some fresh squeezed OJ to it, and in the veggie one there is some water. But seriously it’s just a matter of knowing what fruit serves what purpose. Bananas will help give it a creamier effect. Pineapple adds juice (and some sweetness). Mango adds sweetness (and some juice). The berries thicken it, I think, and since they’re cold they add to that sort of frozen treat experience people are looking for in a smoothie. So yep. I guess maybe I am a scientist after all because that’s chemistry folks!

All of these recipes make more than 1 serving, but for instance I was being in decisive about dinner one night and so I just made a big batch of smoothie and had probably 3 servings as my evening meal. I realize this is not an ideal technique for all dieters, but on a cleanse, where you want to get a lot of fruit, especially berries and citrus, I thought it would be okay. I haven’t noticed any adverse effects, anyway. And it was definitely filling.

I also am still into making regular juice. I’ve been making a lot of grapefruit juice, which should be considered its own superfood since it is delicious and has a variety of health benefits. I mean, just look how enticing:

Grapefruit Juice

I generally use a manual juicer to squeeze 3 grapefruits. The sweeter ones taste better but so far I can’t figure out how to tell which ones will be sweeter. Maybe the softer ones? I don’t know. I’m not a scientist, ok? Anyway, here’s a fun tip! I like to save the leftover pulp to eat as a snack later on. It looks kind of weird but tastes good and is pretty filling.

So at this point I was going to also write about all the awesome soups I have made as a part of this cleanse but I think I’ll save that. I’m really happy with the way it’s going though. Week 2 incorporates legumes and fish back into the diet. I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump right into eating fish again, so for today I mostly stuck with a Week 1 diet, but incorporated some lentils. I’ve said this before, and it’s probably obvious based on the subject of this post, but I definitely want to continue incorporating juice, smoothies and other liquids into the diet because it is easy and healthy.

Week 1 was such a success, I’m excited to see what Week 2 has in store!

Cleanse Day 1

The first day of the cleanse was a success!

I feel pretty good. I have a little bit of a headache and, I won’t lie to you, I’m kind of hungry. But overall, I think it was pretty successful.

I am using a modified version of the Whole Living 2012 Action Plan Challenge. I am modifying it to fit a) my tastes and b) my commitment levels (both financially and in time). For instance, I will not be making the beet soup that takes four hours, even if it is super healthy looking. I’d rather just eat some beets and go on my way.

Here are the fundamentals of the cleanse: eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Eat some oils with omega 3, including nuts and seeds. DO NOT eat/consume sugar, gluten, caffeine, alcohol or animal products.

There are a lot of foods that are particularly good for cleansing and detoxing. I’m trying to eat those foods almost without exception. Here is a list of the cleansing foods:

This list isn't completely exhaustive. I also will eat mostly any fruit or vegetables, even if they aren't on the list.

So the Whole Living Challenge suggests starting the day with a cup of hot water with lemon, so I did that. It was nice and refreshing. I don’t have a caffeine addiction, nor do I drink coffee, so I liked the hot water in the morning. I wonder if for coffee drinkers it would have been a rude awakening (or NOT-awakening hehe). Then I set out to make breakfast.

The thing I am noticing already about this program is that I am spending insane amounts of my day in the kitchen. Normally, when I “cook” I don’t do things that require a lot of prep work. I throw some tofu in the over and let it roast for 20 minutes. I throw some salad on a plate and pour on some bottled dressing and go on my way. All this chopping and mixing for this in depth recipes I can already predict will get old. But, the results (today at least) were pretty cool.

The cleanse recommends having juice or a smoothie for breakfast, because liquids are easier to digest (obviously) and it’s a nice way to ease your system into the day. It offers a few recipe suggestions and I chose the one that looked the most appetizing: Grapefruit-Carrot Juice. It is really simple, which I also liked about the recipe going into it. It is simple: 2 grapefruits, 5 whole carrots and an inch of ginger. You just chop them all up and put them through a juicer, which out of kismet and because we are kindred spirits, my roommate had on hand. Although I think if you added a little bit of water (maybe 1/4 cup), it would work in a blender too. (Provided the blender is strong enough to puree carrots.) In the future I think I might put the glass in the refrigerator for a little while before serving the juice because it was a little warm. But it turned out pretty tasty and it looked very good, in my biased opinion:

The rest of the day went well, too, but I think breakfast was my greatest achievement. Lunch was a really good salad/slaw thing that I will probably post some other time. Dinner was not so great. I roasted some cauliflower with garlic and red peppers and it was intensely bland. Blandness is something that is going to be a problem for me over the next two weeks, that’s pretty clear already.

Throughout the day, I didn’t get as much work done as I wanted to. Mostly I think I was distracted thinking about food and cooking. I was surprised though, because I thought I would be exhausted and I wasn’t. I’m supposed to get 7.5 hours of sleep per night minimum, and that might be a challenge. Overall though, I think I will be really happy with this cleanse idea.