juice to get loose
Juice cleanses are a hot, juicy topic. (lol, see what I did there) Love them or hate them, you can't say they aren't an interesting discussion topic.
When discussing cleanses, juicy topics like food health and embarrassing digestive side effects often come up. Yep.
You've probably heard that people get really sick while doing these things...and why would somebody wanna experience the awfulness of hunger? Also, no coffee?! Are you kidding?
There is the appeal of juice cleansing with bright, shiny, exciting buzz words like "CLEANSE" or "DETOX" like we're all a bunch of little grease splotches running around and we need to be scrubbed clean and we would buy anything to feel light, sexy and pure again...like we did when we were innocent little babies, or something.
Any aforementioned buzzword like that would have previously launched me into desperate action; swiping my credit card so that magical science can swoop in and fix my stubborn fat. Most of the fitness industry preys HARD on people who want a quick fix but lack the confidence to do something challenging. (*ahem* why I switched to do MINDSET work instead of pursuing my previous experience of fitness.) So their sales and marketing techniques can be rather aggressive and filled with empty promises of it being quick & easy. They push words like BLAST, DIZZOLVE, MELT, CLEANSE, DETOX and use words like STUBBORN, UGLY, UNWANTED to realllllyyy get into your subconscious.
WHY did I do a juice cleanse?
Why does ANYONE do juice cleanses?
Surely, there are sane health-conscious people who do juice cleanses to better themselves in a safe way, right?
I have done a lot of inner work to assure myself that I am doing this for the right reasons.
I HAD to find a juice company that I trusted, that was doing this for my benefit and sanity, a product that was helpful, inspiring and didn't obliterate the bank.
Fortunately, I found Jrink, their Adam's Morgan location is just a couple blocks up the street from my apartment here in D.C.
Their motto "healthy is the new wellthy" just felt right to me.
It undid a lot of my preconceived notions about juice cleanses being dangerous and harmful to your energetic wellbeing. | So without further ado, this is why I decided to get myself a black friday juice cleanse;
I was sick of my dependency on coffee.
It wasn't feeling fun, cute or quirky anymore.
It was a death-grip that this black bean juice had on me.
The amount of coffee I used to consume just left me feeling groggy and unmotivated… I didn't even feel like a real human anymore, just a zombie who needed a huge hot cup of america's most popular drug to be a nice person.
That's not genuine freedom!
That's dependency...not the kind of look I'm going for here. I tried swapping it out for green tea, half-caf and even going cold turkey. Nothing was working. I knew I had to bring out the big guns and do a juice cleanse if I was ever going to kick this habit.
Many others who do cleanses admit that they have dependency on other substances like sugar, alcohol, salt, nicotine and many many more. It's wise & helpful to do some form of cleanse to reset your system before starting a new dietary lifestyle. For example, people who are interested in eating clean or going vegetarian, will usually just hit the reset button on their whole system by doing a cleanse first.
I was tired of eating my feelings.
I, the life coach, who goes to great lengths to assist people who realizing that the power is within the whole time - was guilty myself of emotional eating.
I've made great strides in own self worth and feelings of not-enough-ness.
I've laughed at myself for catching myself digging into ice cream or pizza when someone makes me feel bad about myself. I've even done some digging as to why this even is? Why do we do this to ourselves?
But taking a few days to abstain from eating as normal really takes you into a third person perspective at our habits. I caught myself walking into my kitchen during my cleanse to mindlessly grab a snack when I was feeling bored or unsure of myself.
The simple act of preparing food and eating it can feel so satisfying that we can include it as a hobby in of itself. Eating tasty food can be a decadent amazing experience, yes, but consider the fact that most of us reach for comfort foods simply to bring us closer and reminisce about these experiences. Having a 100% strict non-negotiable diet plan that does not allow for any ifs ands or buts about it created space for me to see where I was slacking in my discipline game.
Where I was just mindlessly craving food to ease my emotions or handle boredom.
Where I was kinda technically wasting groceries by eating more than I needed to....
Being disciplined for 3 days was eye-opening and offered me valuable information about my eating habits once I began eating solid food.
Also, it certainly helps that the expiration dates on the juices and the price point motivate you to not just let them sit around and go to waste. There was a moment in time when I felt like giving up & trying again some other time, but then I remembered the juices expired in about 4 days from now and I had spent real money on this...the hardest part was making the commitment, I was halfway there!
So, what exactly does the process look like?
You may have heard all sorts of horror stories or blissful spiritually enlightening stories of those who go on juice cleanses. Based off of my personal experience, let's just say, you need to be prepared.
I rescheduled all my plans in anticipation for this cleanse, I set aside all the resources I needed to be sick and emotional for 3 days. I went grocery shopping & bought the food that I would eat before and after the cleanse, and nothing else that would tempt me.
Remember that your subconscious mind is probably going to be freaking out during this whole process & will sneakily find ways to screw you over. If you're serious about this, you're going to need to commit. Commitment is not a dirty word, it's giving up temporary control of whatever the hell you wanna do in that moment so that you can have better control of your health later.
Trust, breathe & be kind to yourself. This isn't boot camp. This is a better life we're talking about here, make it fun & make it kind. Find some tasty recipes online (I like this one here. Sarah just kills it in general, so read the whole blog) to have 1-2 days before your cleanse and 1-2 days after. This helps your digestive system prepare for the cleanse and wind down afterwards.
Next, I told my husband that I was going to be crappy, low-energy and virtually useless for the next couple of days. My whole body would be working hard mourning the loss of my addiction to coffee, sugar and butter. I needed some time. He understood.
I fluffed up my pillows and stocked up on toilet paper.
Your body will be shook during this process, but your exact symptoms will depend on your eating habits now and what, specifically, kind of juice cleanse you're looking for.
Don't leave any stone unturned.
I got my favorite books out and lots of pens and paper to keep my mind busy. This isn't a doomsday scenario, you're not planning your own funeral, you simply want to keep yourself comfortable for the next 3 days when your whole body will be revolting.
But remember, the body isn't in control...your mind is. The prefrontal cortex, the part responsible for higher thinking - the part you were probably using when you went through with doing this thing in the first place - THAT part of you is what's in charge, no matter what your body goes through & no matter what your monkey brain tries to make you think.
If you'd like to invest in bath bombs, nice soap or whatever suits your fancy, that can be fun, too. I certainly took a LOT of baths during these three days when I experienced pounding headaches.
The goal is to keep you comfortable & feeling safe & taken care of. That way, when your mind is in desperate pits of despair, you can wiggle your toes in your fuzzy socks & smell your nice smelly things and remember that you're safe and taken care of, even when your tummy is hurting.
These things are serious - don't skip this step, no matter how tough you are. Because that's what this whole cleanse is about, right? Self care.
The process entails drinking multiple juices throughout the day at a predetermined order and time. I personally went with Jrink's beginner 3-day.
I started out each day with what's called a Gut Shot, as recommended by the employee to have on an empty stomach. Then I had each juice within 2-3 hours of eachother.
As for my own personal symptoms;
BIG FAT HEADACHE.
This is from the lack of coffee.
For those of you familiar, this is that dreaded "caffeine headache" so many of us experience that make us reach for another cup.
My body became physiologically dependent on coffee and thought it was dying from not being given it. This is where I had to put on my observant scientist cap and not get tangled into the drama of how much this headache sucked. I had to be a scientist about it and simply observe my symptoms, metaphorically scratch my beard and say
"hmm..interesting..this headache sure sucks, but I know that I am doing the right thing so that I never ever have to experience this ever again. Good for me. You go, glen coco."
I felt fatigued. Not necessarily STARVING AND HANGRY, because receiving a consistent flow of nutrients helped with that feeling of "hangriness" but I definitely experienced some fatigue as my body wasn't exactly being given what it was used to.
Anytime you have a diet change, no matter how drastic or subtle, your body's initial reaction is to not be the biggest fan. It will think it's starving and go into energy-preservation mode. Your body's job is to use its ancient wiring to save you energy and keep you alive. Your job, as the highly evolved thinking human, is to be in the driver's seat.
I also experienced mind fog and a slight stomach ache. What got me through that feeling was remembering that I was on my way to feeling strong and full of energy. I was actually surprised at how not-terrible this cleanse was.
I stayed super focused on the long-term gain, even when I felt like total garbage. I truly believe what helped in this success was my I had found that yes, on the other side of this was health & vitality. My previously foggy brain & weak body was ready to jump up at my next adventure.
I had a head full of ideas and a body that was feeling strong & ready to take on the world.
I didn't realize how amazing I had the capacity to feel....
Most of us go through our lives with a low-grade headache/stomach ache kinda feel, and I was determined to find my way out of it.
Turns out, you guys, there's a light on the other side :)
Would I recommend a juice cleanse? You may ask?
The answer is, if you're doing it to punish yourself; no.
If you're doing it to soul search and are coming from a place of LOVE and CURIOSITY and you do your proper research, my answer is yes.
Give it a shot!