This is a three-part series that chronicles the before, after, and during of a three day juice cleanse. Follow along with me for all the juicy details about my experience!
After surviving the preparation for our juice cleanse, I felt ready to take on the juice cleanse. I had mentally prepared myself for not eating any potato chips or bread (two of my biggest weaknesses), I had sorted my fruits and veggies…I was set. My husband on the other hand? He didn’t have to mentally prepare for anything. He has the discipline of a military man and the determination of a superhero. Sure, he loves to eat as much as I do, but completing a juice cleanse was something he took as a challenge; this is the kind of thing he thrives on: overcoming challenges.
The website with all the cleanse information recommends having two days of light, healthy eating prior to thee three days of juicing, followed by another two days of the same light eating after the three day juice cleanse. These days are meant to ease your body in and out of juicing. During these two days, you’re supposed to “cut out all caffeine, sugar, red meat, dairy and processed foods [and] focus on fruit, vegetables and lean protein. My husband and I really enjoyed the clean, healthy eating that were “forced” upon us.
Here’s what our eating looked like on the first two days, along with our thoughts and observations:
Day One – Monday
- Pre-Breakfast: As soon as we woke up, per the cleanse’s instructions, we had warm water with ginger and lemon juice. We really were not fans of this. The ginger sunk to the bottom making the last gulp the most ginger-flavored thing we’d ever had. If we were having a flavorful Asian dish, we wouldn’t have been complaining. But, we weren’t too thrilled about it just being steeped in warm water.
- Breakfast: Bananas & raspberries. After eating so many elaborate dishes while cruising, to have a plain bowl of bananas and raspberries was actually a great reminder that fresh, ripe fruits don’t need anything else to shine – they hold their own ground.
- Snack: Carrot with lime juice and tajin. One of his favorite snacks – no complaints there!
- Lunch: Egg salad
- Dinner: Pan fried salmon and potatoes. Although everything was fried in olive oil, we weren’t sure if starches like potatoes were allowed. Either way, we welcomed the potatoes, as they filled us up after a day of eating light.
- Night: One cup of herbal tea. We choose peppermint flavor. It is widely said that hot water helps the digestive system do its job.
Day Two – Tuesday
- Pre-Breakfast: As soon as we woke up, per the cleanse’s instructions, we had warm water with ginger and lemon juice. Blehhh.
- Breakfast: Mushroom omelettes. These were super filling, and as a bonus…super healthy. We often eat mushroom omelets so this didn’t feel like any kind of deprivation.
- Snack: Strawberries and blueberries
- Lunch: Tuna salad. I replaced mayo with avocado to produce a pretty poor tasting tuna salad. We didn’t love it but we ate it. Fresh dill helped the taste.
- Dinner: Grilled tilapia and garden salad. We missed the filling starch in this meal, but we were satisfied with our meal nonetheless.
- Night: One cup of herbal tea
Now, the next three days were our juicing days…where our real colors would shine! My husband did a super job of sticking 100% to the juice cleanse. Me on the other hand? Weeellll… things were a bit rough for me. Here’s what my three days of juicing looked like. These are the days in which our diet was supposed to consist of only the juices and a dinner composed of solely fruits and vegetables. Spoiler alert: we included fish and poultry in our diets, for our sanity and well-being -> according to me.
Day Three – Wednesday
- Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros
- Throughout Day: Juices
- Dinner: Fish and Chips
Okay, okay…let me explain. Why in the world did I have huevos rancheros (tortilla topped with salsa topped with a fried egg) for breakfast when I should have solely had juices throughout the day? Well, I have a very good excuse. My father in law had invited his friend and myself to breakfast at his house. I work in marketing and his friend is a marketing guru, and my father in law thought that I’d enjoy connecting with his friend. Of course I loved meeting his friend and talking marketing. I was so thankful for the introduction that I was not about to pass up the home-cooked breakfast that my father in law had made at the crack of dawn. Did I feel guilty eating them? Yes. We’re they delicious? Yes. This is me trying to excuse myself from my infraction, but I don’t think it’s working out.
Now, ahem…for the juices. Wow! All of the juices were awesome. The recipes are all provided on the cleanse’s website. Not only did all five juices taste great, it felt amazing to be drinking juices that were 100% natural. My least favorite juice was the lunchtime gazpacho juice because it had a strong raw onion taste, which I don’t love. My favorite was definitely the pre-dinner juice, as the sweet potato, beet, and red bell pepper made for a sweet creation that made me want another three glasses of that same juice (of course, I only had one).
While I was originally planning on making baked cod and a kale salad, that day was my husband’s birthday. I felt absolutely horrible that I had not foreseen his special day coinciding with the juice cleanse. Although he complained of nothing and was ready to take on the less-than-exciting birthday meal, I could see the disappointment in his face. I didn’t have the heart to serve him something that I knew he wouldn’t love, so I re-formatted the menu to fish and chips– one of his favorite foods. Needless to say, we were quite happy and full after dinner. The look of surprise and happiness on my husband’s face? Priceless.
Day Four – Thursday
- Throughout Day: Snap Kitchen Clean Start Juices (1 day bundle)
- Dinner: Grilled chicken accompanied with kale and avocado salad
On this day of juicing, rather than drinking the Joe Cross juices, I tried one day’s worth of Snap Kitchen’s Clean Start juices. Snap Kitchen had offered me a day’s worth of juices to try (six sixteen ounce juices), and I figured that there wasn’t a better time for me to try them than in the middle of my juice cleanse. I’m glad I did, as it allowed me to compare the flavors and see what having pre-made and bottled juices was like. First off, the juices were clearly labeled and came in a carrier – very convenient. I also didn’t have any mess to clean from making juices. All of the juices were just as good and refreshing as the ones I had made. Actually, a couple of the juices tasted similar to the ones I had made. The biggest exception was the Chai Cashew Protein Shake, whose nut addition made it completely different than all the others. It was by far the most delicious of any of the juices – it was subtly sweet and rich in consistency and flavor. It was heaven on earth.
Differentiating Snap Kitchen’s juices from the ones I made at home was Snap’s cold-press method of making the juices, which is a way of making juices in which the juice is pressed and strained while being kept extra cold so that no nutrients are lost (many people argue that a regular juicer takes away the nutrients in fruits and vegetables because the juice is heated as it is made).
Although I wasn’t super hungry after the day of drinking Snap’s juices, my husband’s grilled chicken and kale and avocado salad looked and smelled too good for me to pass up. I had a small serving of both. If I were following Snap’s program strictly, I should only have eaten raw vegetables if I got hungry.
The Snap Kitchen juices
Day Five – Friday
- Throughout Day: Juices
- Dinner: Caprese salad and grilled tilapia
What the hell? It was the last meal on a juicing day, so even though we weren’t supposed to have dairy, we went for it at dinner by way of a caprese salad. This day was the toughest for me, as by dinner-time I was starving for a satisfying, chew-able meal.
Days Six– Saturday
- Breakfast: Bowl of cereal
- Lunch: Beet salad
- Dinner: Roasted vegetable and mozzarella panini, beer
For the last two days, we were supposed to go back to the same diet we had on the first two days of the program. We failed at following the rules, but I think that our meals could have been much worse. We shouldn’t have had the bowl of cereal, but the lack of milk in my diet was killing me (I’m used to drinking 3-4 glasses/day). The beet salad was healthy enough, as was the Panini in spite of including dairy once again and – gasp! – bread! Oh yeah, and…beer. Listen, juicing for three days (kind of) was tough (a little bit).
Day Seven- Sunday (the day it all went downhill)
I’ll suffice it to say that we started our Sunday out with a heaping pile of pancakes smothered in butter and coated with maple syrup. We caved into our carvings, therefore marking an end to our healthy cleanse. While he was disappointed that we didn’t follow through with the whole seven days of the program, I was proud for lasting as long as we did –don’t mind all of the cheating in between 😉
Stay tuned for part 3 of 3 in my Juicing Diary series, where I share my after-thoughts on doing a juice cleanse and give you some advice for doing a juice cleanse of your own!