In August I made a major life change and went gluten free, sugar free, caffeine free and (except on special occasions like birthdays or holidays) alcohol free. What precipitated this change is a story for another post, but I have never felt better. It hasn't been easy, but the way I feel is reason enough to keep me on track...At least when it's not Christmas and New Year's!!
The last two weeks of December I fell off the wagon with a thud. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, flour tortillas, soda, wine and gin. All the gluten-y, sugary, caffeinated, alcoholic things! Within hours of eating gluten, I feel bloated and lethargic. If I don't immediately get back on track, within 48 hours, my joints ache, I have trouble sleeping and I get a persistent dull headache. You can imagine how I felt after 2 weeks of being off track! Compound that with the weight gain and energy loss that accompanies a diet of sugar and alcohol...I was desperate to feel better as quick as possible.
Jan 2nd I marched into Press Juicery and bought three days worth of their Cleanse 1. I have never done a juice cleanse before, but did spend the better part of December learning about intermittent fasting and am used to drinking only liquids for an extended period of time.
What I liked about Pressed, is the accessibility. I appreciated being able to commit and implement without any prep or wait time! Knowing very little about what I wanted, other than to feel better, the girls at the shop were very helpful. They suggested I start with their cleanse for beginners and even offered to let me sample some of the cold-pressed juices I would be purchasing. If there was one I didn't like, they would switch it out for a comparable juice of a different flavor. Nice! I was sold.
Cleanse 1 includes an almond milk in the morning, rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates to help keep first time cleansers feeling fuller longer. Cleanse 2 includes a juice in place of the morning almond milk and is marketed as their "most popular." Cleanse 3 is recommended for experienced cleansers, being their most intense and lowest calorie.
The cleanse also comes with aloe vera and chlorophyll waters. I had never tried either before, and honestly, these were the hardest of the cleanse for me to drink! The aloe helps soothe your digestive system and you are are supposed to drink it each night before bed. I felt like I was drinking pool water. The chlorophyll helps keep you full while detoxing and while its taste is mild, I felt like it was something out of the City of Oz. It is BRIGHT EMERALD GREEN!
The juices themselves all tasted fantastic. We own a Breville juicer and I make several bottles of "Mean Green" on a weekly basis. Several of these juices were similar in flavor. I am not a fan of beets, and I was afraid I was going to have to "grin and bear it" for at least one bottle over the course of the day, but I didn't! The Citrus 2 downright tastes like candy.
Day 1, I was surprised that I didn't feel hungry. In fact, I had to make myself finish all 8 bottles of liquid. I didn't work out this day and went to bed a reasonable hour. I flooded myself with water, afraid of a detox headache...but it never came. All things considered, it was an uneventful, easy start to my first cleanse.
Day 2, I woke and went to my 5am crossfit class. I expected to have less stamina than normal but that was not the case. I was definitely more hungry by midday than I had been on Day 1. I am pretty good about drinking at least half my weight in water each day, but I found myself reaching for it more often to curb my hunger. When it came time to cook dinner for the family, I was ravenous and tired. I ate a 100 calorie pack of cashews and half a cucumber sliced up to satiate myself.
Day 3, it felt like I settled into a "new normal." I wasn't hungry. Perhaps because I knew real food was around the corner? I ran on the treadmill for 40 minutes in the late afternoon and it was laborious but doable. Interestingly - I began to crave the chlorophyll water. Enough so, that I went online and bought a bottle of chlorophyll drops for future consumption!
Day after the Cleanse, I woke and went to my 5am crossfit class and felt like I had rocks in my shoes. I was definitely dragging. I couldn't wait to get home and EAT REAL FOOD! I weighed myself and I had lost 8lbs in 3 days. That's kinda crazy. I had a poached egg over roasted cauliflower and kale for breakfast, veggies and baked chicken for lunch and another juice for dinner. I was so full within a few bites each meal.
Final Thoughts - within two days, I had gained back 4 of the 8lbs I had lost. Which is understandable. I didn't eat for three days! I think the cleanse was relatively easy for me because of the diet changes I had made prior to starting. Having already eliminated caffeine, gluten and refined sugars made it much more enjoyable! I think if you were used to your cup (or four) of coffee each morning, giving that up would be extremely hard. Regardless of the weight loss or gain, the cleanse was worth if for me because it was a legitimate restart for my system. I haven't felt any sugar or carb cravings since finishing and the bloat is GONE! Thank goodness. I am, once again, motivated to eat well and stay on track with my workouts. I am thinking about starting each month with a 3-day cleanse...it was that doable and beneficial.
MollyB LOVED the Vanilla Almond...so much so, I went and bought her her own on the final day of my cleanse. No way I was giving up my ONE taste of creamy goodness!!