Monday, April 13, 2015

Blame it on The Juice

As I took a bite of the 3rd cupcake on my NY trip last month, I decided I might need to do some serious detoxing when I returned back home. Usually, a binge roller coaster is the hardest to get off of. I started researching juice cleanses as they are growing in popularity and have been described as an excellent “reset” for your body. I departed for NY at 203 lbs., returned home at 208 lbs. and was, surprisingly, back at 203 lbs. after a little less than a week. Getting back on the wagon wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined because I was so eager to get back to my routine. I was craving my boring food and wasn’t threatening to commit crimes for a sugar fix. I fell back into life quite seamlessly but was still entertaining the idea of juicing. I haven’t been able to break the 203 lb. wall since I was plagued in January and didn’t eat. Juicing seemed like a great way to get me over this hump. I don’t own a juicer and they can be pricey so I determined that I was going to do a bottled cold-pressed juice cleanse. I didn’t have plans for Easter and had busy work days ahead of me on that Monday and Tuesday. Juicing is the best when you’re busy and short on time to think about food. I landed on a great review of the Suja brand (sujajuice.com) cleanse. They offer a variety of products and programs and, honestly, greatly appealed to me because you get a “dessert” juice at the end of every day. I did the Original Fresh Start program for 3 days. It’s a series of 6 different juices a day repeated for 3 days. I found 2 one-day kits at Whole Foods and was able to piece my 3rd day together with the exception of 2 juices (of course the dessert juice wasn’t in stock as an individual bottle). I substituted 2 juices from the line for those unavailable. Whole Foods was having a sale on the Suja products so I was able to get my 3-day supply for about $92. Normally, online it’s sold for $162. A few things I was sure of, 1. No exercise during juicing as I was already going to be at a high calorie deficit, and 2. I would drink a bottle of water before every juice to help with fullness. It’s important to note that on this cleanse you can have as much water and tea as desired. Luckily for you, dear readers, I kept a diary during my 3-day stint on the juice. I would like to apologize to my friends, parents and Oliver (the dog) who were in contact with me over the course of those days and regret anything I may have said out of hanger (hungry anger).

Day 1: Sunday, April 5th
Weight: 203.6

I slept in this morning and woke up already hungry (awesome). Prior to my first juice, and recommended by the Web site, I drank some warm water with apple cider vinegar to start my day. After the water, I waited for more hunger signs from my belly. The first breakfast juice is green and has mint tea. It’s not horrible. I’ve decided not to drink water during my juices as I want to absorb all the nutrients from the juice as possible. I’m going to try to wait at least 2 hours between juices. Mid-morning juice is orange and primarily carrot but also has turmeric (this will be my favorite juice with the exception of “dessert”). When lunch rolled around, I was excited that my lunchtime juice was red because I thought that meant fruit base.
FALSE BEYOND ALL FALSE. It’s beet. This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s like drinking dirt so I chug until I can’t, take a minute break, chug until I can’t and repeat until it’s gone. Holy moly it was terrible. I did offer to buy a friend a golden retriever puppy if she would bring me a double cheeseburger, fries, 3 piece chicken tenders and a strawberry milkshake. Low point. The worst part about today has been that I’m at home. I just keep thinking about how easy it would be to go to the kitchen and eat every last thing in my cabinets and refrigerator. I miss chewing. The best part about today was the dessert juice. Change your life goodness. The dessert juice is called Vanilla Cloud and is made with almond milk, water, honey, coconut meat, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s not from a lack of anything that this juice tastes so good, it’s just genuinely heaven. I didn’t have any “symptoms” of detox today besides hunger. The stomach’s growls couldn’t be ignored but I drank a ton of water and am going to bed early.

Day 2: Monday, April 6th
Weight: 200.4

Well, it’s nice to wake up 3 lbs. lighter! The hunger was a real struggle last night. I didn’t sleep very well and my stomach was growling loudly around 9 p.m. It’s so strange to have gone over 24 hours without ever having that full feeling. I was really dreading drinking that lunchtime juice today because it was so terrible. I was SLAMMED at work today and actually had to remind myself to drink a juice. You’re supposed to drink your last juice 3 hours before bedtime to allow for proper digestion. I also don’t start my first juice until after I’ve finished a bottle of water and a glass of tea in the morning. I have to fit the 6 juices in 12 hours, essentially, so I have to stay on schedule of every 2 hours. Research told me that day 2 of a cleanse is usually the “honeymoon day.” Well, that’s a fact! I feel so AWESOME today. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I saw results on the scale or the juices but today was incredibly easy. The Vanilla Cloud at the end of my day was such a treat and I am so sad that tomorrow doesn’t end this way. I’m lying on the couch and am in extreme awe at how thin I am (for me). My stomach is completely flat, there’s no bloat or discomfort in my gut. Again, I’m flooded with water and going to bed early.

Day 3: Tuesday, April 7th
Weight: 199

HOLY SHIT, you guys! I finally broke the 200 lb. barrier! I stepped off the scale, did a dance and stepped on again to double check. Besides the scale victory, today was terrible. I’m not sure if I was feeling the side effects of the detox but I felt like absolute crap all day. I read a lot about the following days and how to return to normal eating. Basically, lots of fruits and veggies, taking it easy and no dairy or protein for a few days. Yikes. I’m leaving for Orlando tomorrow for an extended weekend with my friends to celebrate my BFF Kate having a baby! Therefore, eating needs to be a thing. I could barely stomach the juices today. My mouth and body wanted to reject them upon unscrewing the bottle caps. I couldn’t finish my last 2 juices of the day because I thought vomit would follow closely behind. Instead, I had ¼ cup coconut milk yogurt, 3 blueberries, 3 raspberries and 4 almonds. Smallest. Dinner. Ever. I haven’t been sleeping well because my body is so hungry at night. I’ve been busy tonight with packing and organizing for my trip and for the baby shower I’m hosting. It’s a nice distraction and I was waiting to see if the non-liquid dinner decided to be vengeful. So far, so good. I’m never juicing again.

I took it easy the next 2 days by eating really small meals throughout the day. I didn’t have any issues transitioning back into normal eating. The worst part about the after phase of a juice cleanse is the lack of bathroom trips. Your digestive track has been in hibernation for 3 days and you have to be REALLY careful not to shock it. Then, it takes a few days for it to get back to functioning. It took me 3 days. Overshare but these are things you need to know. Another side effect that might be from the juice is my skin exploding in breakouts. I can’t 100 percent say it was definitely the juicing but I would bet my body wanted to rid some toxins by way of my face. Looking back, the juice was a good experience. I learned what TRUE hunger felt like and will use this experience to reset my portion size moving forward. It’s amazing how little your body can survive on. I did miss my workouts so I’m excited to get back to the gym. Obviously, I indulged this weekend at the party and over some leftovers but I’m back on track today and eating small portions in 2 hour increments. I was a tad heavier this morning but I’m hoping to get that back down by Thursday as I have to go weigh in at the doctor this week.

I’m really glad I did the juice cleanse because I proved to myself that I could and now I know that there’s nothing I’m missing out on by NOT doing it. If every day were like day 2 then I would juice a lot more but day 3 was miserable. I would definitely recommend the Suja program because that Vanilla Cloud made it ALL WORTH IT! I tried some of their smoothie juices (more fruits, thicker texture) in the transition off the juice cleanse and they’re delicious. These can be found at local grocery stores like Publix, Lucky’s, etc.  Reach out if you had a positive or negative juicing experience as I'd love to hear about it!

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