I’m happy (and a bit surprised) to say that my first day on a juicing cleanse was not as scary as I expected it to be. Certainly, the challenge to not grab something from the work snack counter proved pretty difficult when hunger pains kicked in, but the overall experience proved successful. Because I was couch-surfing at the time, I didn’t have the necessary blender to create my own juices.
I ended up going with a juicery near my apartment called Liquiteria. This company has several locations all over Manhattan (I went with the location on 2nd Avenue) and has pre-made juices and plans. For a newbie like me, this was very helpful. For $33, I received four pre-made juices to get me through my first day. The cashier I worked with also gave me a flyer with some need-to-knows for your first day of juicing. Here's a play-by-play of my 24-hour experience.
It’s suggested that you eat as healthy as possible the day before cleansing and avoid eating meat. For those of you that are carnivorous southerners at heart like me, I’d suggest skidding around the meat issue by swapping out poultry with fish. I had a green tea matcha acai bowl for breakfast, a lunch filled with wheat bread, veggies, and fish, and my dinner was fish and veggies. My meals were filling, healthy, and preparatory for a good start for the next day.
THE CLEANSE BEGINS
Drink: All Greens (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, celery, cucumber)
Thoughts: I’ve got this. I took my first sip of this bottle of health on the subway. I’m not sure what hideous face I made, but it must have been entertaining because two people laughed at me. This drink had the most "distinct" taste of all. With a lack of fruit, it tastes like all of the childhood vegetables you stuffed under your plate at dinnertime blended into a cup. (Ok, maybe it was just me who did that, but you get the point). I heavily lean toward fruits over vegetables, so this drink took the longest for me to get through. By the end, though, I was pleasantly surprised to already feel a bit cleaner. Drinking something with that few ingredients, and those ingredients not being chemicals, does wonders for your body and you can feel them almost instantaneously.
All Greens with apple (Kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, celery, cucumber, apple)Thoughts: This one has to be better than the first one. Please lord. This juice was delicious. The apple additive was just what I was looking for in my earlier juice, and it made drinking this one a much more pleasant experience. Just as I was starting to really enjoy my cleansing experience, a wave of exhaustion fell over me. I got extremely sleepy, which was not a great thing to happen while I was in the middle of my work day. This brings me to my biggest tip from my experience:
Do not, under any circumstances, do your first juice cleanse on a work day.
This might be common sense to most, but being the adventure junkie that I am, I decided to put my body through something completely new during the middle of a work week. Between the numerous bouts of sleepiness that followed after my second juice, and the number of times I had to go to the bathroom due to the 64 ounces of liquid I put in my system that day, I vowed to never do this again.
Drink (Mr. B: Carrot, beet, ginger, orange, pineapple)
Thoughts: Halfway there. Ignore those packets of almonds on the snack counter. You can do this. This was another favorite juice. I’m not a big fan of beets, but the pineapples, oranges and carrots helped to balance the flavor. By this time, I was running back and forth to the bathroom. Your body doesn’t hold back on getting those toxins out, so be prepared to use the bathroom like a 5-year-old when you’re juicing. By this time, I was tired and getting hungrier, so I put on my favorite Spotify mix and tried to focus in even more on my work tasks to distract myself. Distraction is key when you're doing this for the first time.
Drink: Turmeric tonic (Turmeric, probiotic, lemon, maple syrup, filtered water)
Thoughts: If someone doesn’t bring me Chipotle in about 5 minutes, I might scream.This one tasted just about as cleansing as it sounds. It’s the last round of juice for the day, so the turmeric kicks out those last bits of toxins for the day to get you in a good place for dinner. This drink wasn’t especially good or bad. It was there to get the job done, and that’s what it did.
Some programs only allow you to drink juice for the entire day. As a beginner, I chose the very starter plan that included a meal at the end of the day. Not wanting to ruin my hard work, I stuck to a clean salad to finish off my day of health and wealth. Surprisingly, even with the initial hunger pains, by the time I finally got to dinner, I was not that hungry. When I'd finished my fourth drink, I was sleepy, yet refreshed at the same time. Therefore, eating dinner was more of a chore rather than a huge desire.
I would easily do the cleanse again. It was a challenge for me to drink the number of vegetables I should have been eating all along and to push through without food until the end of the day. Though I wasn’t looking to lose weight, I did drop pounds in the same day. Juice cleansing is worth the attention it gets, and I think everyone should give it a try.