After the abundance of fabulous holiday treats and feasts (combined with emotional eating caused by a deployment Christmas), I made my New Year’s resolution/priority #1 to jump start 2014 on a healthy note. As soon as my plane took off headed home from the holidays, I began my research to find the most appropriate route for me. Juice cleansing was just about everywhere I looked and therefor I figured I would start my journey there. With juice cleansing diets flirting with a $60 per day mark, I decided a mail-order service was not for me and so, of course, it was Pinterest to the rescue. The cleanse I opted to try was entitled ‘ START FRESH: 2014 Homemade Juice Cleanse!‘ <– exciting, right? Now this 3-day cleanse and all associated recipes and grocery lists are intended to serve two, so I did cut everything in half *whomp, whomp… #ArmyWifeLife. Anyways, picking up the necessary ingredients at the commissary, I made it out of the store with everything I needed in under $70 (much less than the alternative, mail-order cleanses!) Having gone vegan for 3-days leading up to the cleanse (including substituting my daily Venti Pike Place for a big mug of green tea) I felt I was ready to take on the challenge.
Day 1: I severely underestimated the time it takes to make these juices. I was working remotely on Day 1 due to the threat of snow (which here in the South pretty much means doomsday), so I had more time than normal to roll up my sleeves and juice to my heart’s content. It felt like I was constantly cutting and slicing, juicing, dissembling the juicer, cleaning the juicer, reassembling, and repeating. It was exhausting. Juice 1 ‘The Greens’ was intense and tasted like a salad (which it pretty much was). Juice 2, ‘The Hydrator’ was better (but not by much) and Juice 4 ‘The Roots’ was inedible (and now I have to find a recipe that requires 3 days worth of beets…). Juice 5 ‘Hydrate and Digest’ was my favorite by far, and tasted more like something you’d have at a spa to refresh than a meal replacement.
By the end of Day 3 I was starving and cranky and ready to take a long hiatus from my juicer. All-in-all I would have to consider the juice cleanse a partial success. Was I excited to make and drink only juice for 3-days? No. Did I have my normal energy level? Not even close. But between the cleanse itself and pre-/post- cleanse vegan diet, I am definitely paying attention to what I put into my body and making a conscious effort to live a healthier lifestyle in general, to include my new favorite class, spinning.
If you’re looking to jump start a healthy lifestyle in 2014 I would recommend a cleanse, however maybe a 1-2 day deal, and maybe not the one that I tried. Be smart. If you drink 2 Venti coffees every morning, switch it up and substitute that java for green tea. If your diet consists of mostly preservative heavy, sodium/sugar/filler laden meals, try to eat Paleo or Vegan for a week. I’m not a dietitian, health nut, or fitness expert, I just know what makes me feel good-inside and out, and treating my body like a temple and not a garbage can definitely feels good.
Have you tried a juice cleanse that you loved? Any juice recipes you recommend? Let us know!