Saturday, July 27, 2013

Juicy Days

Juice Cleanses seem to be increasingly popular these days. After a friend mentioned the topic to me, I did some research and planned to do one; so, I am writing a post about juice cleanses and my experience.

Juice Cleanses are seen by many people as an excellent way to lose weight. It may indeed cause people to lose weight; however, it should be seen as a "reset button." What I mean is that a juice cleanse should be seen as a detox, instead of an efficient way to lose weight. During a Juice Cleanse, an individual drinks fresh juices. These can either be found at a store made specifically for a juice cleanse or one might choose to make the juices with fruits and veggies in a juicer(not a blender). Since the person is drinking juice and not consuming fibers, the body pushes everything else out of the system quickly. The body is able to more easily retain vitamins, minerals and nutrients and leaves the body feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Juice cleanses can last anywhere from 2-60 days.

When I decided to do a juice cleanse, I did it when i had a few "dead(er) days." I had just gotten home from a month of traveling. While I was traveling, everything I ate was actually pretty yummy. However, everything also was being cooked in bulk. That makes me nervous about what exactly was in my food. At the end of this adventure, I had three days where I saw a juice cleanse would be perfect. I only did one for three days because I was still a little skeptical of the entire idea. I juiced veggies in a juicer. For my three days, all my fruits and veggies cost less than $20. (If you have trouble finding good prices, Find your local farmer's market and GO! They usually have excellent prices.) The first day I was not hungry until I smelled BBQ. I hate pork, but my stomach started growling as I smelled it in the hallways of the office building. I drank a juice for breakfast, and then while I watched everyone eat their BBQ, I drank another juice. For dinner I had another juice.  If I wanted to continually sip on a juice, just as a snack, I would add water to them and make them last longer. So I drank juices. I would save the pulp because I felt guilty throwing it out. (I have made pulp muffins for breakfast recently. If you have a sweet tooth, top them with all natural honey and you are set.) It was also very important to stay hydrated so I drank lots of water, coconut water and organic herbal teas. During a juice cleanse a person should not have caffeine, so I gave it up. That was huge for me. I definitely think the second day was the hardest day. I woke up with no energy. I should have added lemon to a juice and ginger to more juices so my metabolism got going. I learned my lesson the hard way.

One of my favorite recipes was beets and grapes.  Beets and grapes sound weird together, but let me tell you that was one of the best juices I had. My other favorite was an apple, lemon and orange. I found recipes online and then I would tweak them, depending on what I had.

The first day after my juice cleanse, I took it easy on foods. My body had stopped taking in as many calories as it was used to so my diet was mainly fruits and veggies. After just having a grapefruit for breakfast, I felt satisfied and energized. I think one thing I learned after the juice cleanse was portion control. I hear this all the time from nutritionists and now I see it playing in my own eating habits. You don't have to finish that meal. Throw it out or throw it in a Tupperware, refrigerate it and pop it in the oven for a few (if it needs it) the next day. Do not even get me started on my microwave rant. That's another post for another day. You should not eat meats for a day or two. So, I stuck to fruits and veggies the first day. the second day I made muffins with the leftover pulp I had. Before my juice cleanse I had had trouble with running a steady pace for more than 8 minutes. A few nights after my cleanse I ran close to 30 minutes at a steady pace and I think the juice cleanse really helped that. I have also not had the need for caffeine in the morning. I have been more energized throughout my days. There have been times I have actually craved juices, instead of food.

A question I have been asked a lot is:Did you lose weight? The answer is: I am not sure, and I really do not care. Someone, not knowing I had done the juice cleanse asked if I had lost weight. I told them about the juice cleanse and said maybe. However, like I said earlier, I wanted to press the "reset button." My main goal was not to lose weight.

Definitely want to do another juice cleanse in the futurer to detox. So thankful for the lessons it taught me.

Live Healthy. Be Happy.