I’m sure most of you have heard of “cleansing” or a “detox” and likely of “Juice Cleanses” as well. A cleanse is exactly what it sounds like, a way to rid your body of toxins that could do damage to it. But its that exact sentence above that has caused a lot of debate.
If you look up juice cleanses, you will find varying opinions. There is a group that maintains that a cleanse does actually help your body. This group includes, but is not limited to companies that produce these cleanses. There is another group that states that your body does not need a cleanse, and that it does this on its own. They typically go on to say that it can be dangerous to your health if you do it for an extended period of time.
I looked into both camps – and I decided to go for it – not once, but twice. Both times I logged it on my Instagram Stories and both times I got many questions about it. So here’s my experience with it.
For my first cleanse – it was organized by someone at work. Originally intended to be a 3-days, we finally settled at a 2-day juice cleanse. It was cold-pressed juices, which apparently keeps more of the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables than regular juicing.
I decided to put down the $100 (with a group discount) and do it for two reasons.
- I had read both sides of the argument, but I felt like I had to see for myself what would actually happen. If it really made me feel bad, I could always stop.
- I thought it would be a great way to kick start a bit of a crash diet in order to prep for the upcoming holiday festivities, which included parties, family get-togethers and a trip back home (where I would have a bit less control over the food).
We got the juices from Crux Comptoir in Quartier Dix30 (Greater Montreal Area), and here’s what actually happened.
It was really hard, mostly because I really got tired of the juices. It became a struggle to get them down near the end. The produce used created some really strong flavours. I think 4 of the 6 each day were green juices, which became unbearable near the end. It would have been great to have more variety.
For the first half day, I was pretty hungry but by the evening I actually wasn’t any longer. Perhaps my body had started going into starvation mode to preserve calories but I think there were enough calories to sustain me. But my bad habits became obvious when I went to almost pick some food from my kids plates. I was doing it out of habit or just by its look/smell, rather than out of hunger. This was a great lesson for me. While I don’t want to restrict myself from a little taste here and there, those little nibbles can quickly turn into more, and a lot of calories than I need in a day. Moderation is key.
And it didn’t kill me – not at all. It was manageable, I lost some weight and it fueled me to continue eating well and stick to my temporary goals (which I knew were not sustainable but needed to be done). It was a great kick-starter as I didn’t want my $100 to go to waste. Money is an excellent motivator. Note that I did not work out during this time and I drank the juices every 2-3 hours.
I did say at the end that I probably wouldn’t ever do it again – as the juices just weren’t that palatable for me.
Then came the holidays…
And as all the holiday festivities were coming to a close, I had put back all the weight I had lost before (and maybe a bit more). This was not a result of the juice cleanse, but really just the fun I had partaken in for the last month. Before New Years, I decided that I would do the Whole 30 diet (you can check out my blog post on it here). But to kick it off, my husband and I would do a one-day juice cleanse. Just to try and boost our systems a bit and help us appreciate healthy food a bit more than we did over the holidays. Like this lovely looking and delicious salad – which was not looking like comfort food over Christmas.
This one was a little more pricey (we didn’t get a group discount) so it was $60 each (for the day). But I believe this is the normal going rate – we just had a deal before. You can often find deals if you look. We decided to order from Velish Cold Pressed Juices as they would delivery to our house (or I could pick up from their nearby distribution locations (ie TAU). They were again, cold-pressed juices.
The main reason, as I mentioned, was really to kick start the Whole30 plan I was going to be doing. I wanted to kind of shock my system to then re-set it and move onto a more healthy lifestyle for 2018. And that’s exactly what happened.
Again – no adverse side effects. I didn’t lose any weight in that 24 hours but have shed some pounds today. I believe that its impossible to track weight loss vs. a goal on a day to day basis. I do weigh myself daily to know how different calorie intakes, macro nutrient ratios and workouts are affecting me – but its more as a motivator than actually logging it as results.
The juices were actually fantastic (I’ve linked the actual cleanse we did here). There was a great variety – and only 2 green juices. But they also included things like turmeric and cayenne pepper in one that really felt like your body was revving up from it.
So if you ask me now if I would do it again – it would be a yes – but I would likely go with Velish again, OR be sure to research the variety of juices in the cleanse more closely to see if it will be manageable.
For me, while there may be no actual health benefits, it really helped me to set the stage for bringing back some healthy eating habits back into my life. Sugar is addicting and very bad for your body, and process foods are (I think) even worse. And it can be SUPER difficult to rid these foods from your diet cold-turkey. But I think that a short (1 or 2 day) juice cleanse can be just the thing to help you break those habits and get into better, healthier ones.
Unless you have some health issues that may make doing a juice cleanse dangerous for you, I totally recommend trying one. I think as long as you are using it as a kick-starter or motivator, rather than an actual weight loss mechanic, then it can be a useful tool. It will not make you lose weight or any weight loss will be small (plus you will gain it back after if you go back to eating the exact same way). I’m still not sure it helps cleanse your system anymore than drinking lemon water in the morning or lots of water during throughout the day.
Do you think you would be up for it? Let me know by commenting below.
If you have any more specific questions, you can feel free to comment below or e-mail me directly.
So obviously I am not a doctor/dietician or any other type of professional on this subject. I’m simply sharing my experience and thoughts on the topic. This post is in no way sponsored or affiliated. If you are thinking about doing any type of cleanse, but have questions, you should do even more research on the topic OR even better, speak to your doctor before going ahead with one.