Day 3: The Breaking of the Juice

I wasn’t quite as perky this morning, but I still don’t remember a time I’ve been this energetic on this little caffeine. Anyway, I can tell I’ve dropped some water weight, but I’m not surprised by that either. However, after 3 days of fasting, I think I’m going to break it tonight. The thing is, I miss chewing things. My body is sending up little crazy signals telling me I should be chewing, and I’m totally okay with that.

As a note, before I launch into the list of things I learned from this little experiment, I’m glad I didn’t pay for this cleanse. I thought about it, laughed at the price, and then read the pages of health information. Let’s just say the health field is filled with people who have a loose grasp on anatomy. Your stomach is acidic, but your pancreas pumps out enzymes that lower the pH of your food when it enters your small intestines, and this part, where the digestion takes place, is at pH 8. And your liver, for the last time, does not need detoxifying. If your liver and your kidneys were not working, you would be dead. If you want to lose actual weight, a juice cleanse isn’t for you. I wouldn’t go on this cleanse for more than 3-4 days. These companies suggest you eat vegan before you go on your cleanse, so they’re effectively prepping you for a week long commitment. If you put your body into starvation mode, your standard of health will decrease. A few days at depressed calorie intake on a cleanse should be fine, but don’t go the master cleanse route and fast for two weeks. You will lose muscle weight, and you’ll be less fit and healthy. So let’s stop talking about ‘detoxing’ and try to figure out what this means in terms of improving health.

On the flip side, I didn’t do this cleanse to start eating pizza and nachos again. I’m going vegan for this week and eating the remainder of my veggies and fruits. I read articles about people whining about how hard juice cleanses are and how terrible juices taste and how they weren’t healthy and how only nutty people cleanse and they’re just going to eat a fat steak now. If you’re going to do this, work with an open mind, and for all that is amazing, don’t do the master cleanse. Use a nice grapefruit juice to replace the SPICY LEMONADE.

Here are some takeaways from my DIY juicing experiment.

* I don’t eat enough fruits and veggies on a regular basis. I live in a culture where it’s permissible not to, and it’s easier to get good tasting non-vegetable food.

* I have improved energy, but I didn’t notice anything major with my skin. Some people say their skin gets ‘glowy’, but I didn’t see that result. I did have some digestion issues early on, but those cleared up. I don’t own a scale, but I did drop some water weight. I was able to run errands, work out, and go to work for days 2-3 of the cleanse without problems.

* Green juice is the answer to my fruit juice woes. I went into Whole Foods, and the two green juices I found (one being Naked) listed 5 fruits as their top 5 ingredients. I think the mostly-veggie green juice is what makes all of these juice cleanses work. My green juice included 1 kiwi, 1 apple, and a few handfuls of spinach and kale. I would consider adding parsley or celery in the future, but this recipe is simple, and it’s as many veggies and fruits as I eat during a normal day. I have effectively doubled my veggie/fruit consumption per day with an extra 15 minutes of work.

* You can do juicing with only a blender. I was skeptical I would be able to make this work with a blender because every other person who wrote about their DIY juicing had a juicer or dropped several hundred dollars to buy one. I can confirm that with a blender, pasta strainer, a funnel, and a bottle of some sort to keep the juice in you can make decent juice. Just make sure to add water, a bit of lemon juice (if desired), or coconut water to the veggies in the blender.

* I like to eat some fruits and veggies whole. I’m not going to grind up my other pineapple. I love pineapples! I was so sad when I had to throw away the pulp from the pine apple/cucumber drink. I love eating those two things raw, and my strawberries have been patiently waiting for this fast to be over.

* That said, I can expand the amount of fruits and veggies I eat everyday by blending together fruits and veggies I don’t like to eat whole. The perfect example is grapefruit. I loved the grapefruit/apple drink. I drank it right now, and I want more grapefruit juice. The same goes for kiwis and carrots. I can get cheap veggies and fruits, mix them together, and increase the amount of veggies and fruit I’m eating.

* I’m still skeptical of store bought juices. There are some good brands out there; I’m obsessed with juice now, so I went out and looked last night. I would consider buying some of those brands, but the majority of easily available juices aren’t vegetable based, and even the natural ones are designed to be very sweet by adding concentrated fruit juice. The only juice I found that listed vegetables as the first plant ingredients were tomato/carrot juices. We’ve designed our juices to include no pulp, too. As a rule, when you drink a bottled juice, it shouldn’t be clear. Juice isn’t soda, and the fibrous parts are good.

* I want to try one of the green juices from the cleansing companies. I couldn’t find any, but maybe in the future I’ll be able to try one. I want to know what the physical difference is between the green juice I made and the ones those companies are selling. That said, I wouldn’t pay to do this cleanse. Not $60-$80 a day for a labeled bottled and juice I could make myself. I spend that much money on my entire grocery bill, and I still have food left over I’m not going to juice, and I could, if needed, do two to three more days of just juicing on what fruits and veggies I have. I also don’t feel comfortable supporting the companies selling these cleanses because the websites do promote a lot of pseudo-science and feel-good anecdotes as supported health claims.

* The DIY method is definitely cheaper, and I can fit parts of it into my budget. I can make the green juice for under $20 a week, and with $25, I can make an additional fruit juice. I liked the cashew milk, but I think I’ll just stick to my cartoon of almond milk because it’s less chunky and has less calories. That said, 1/4 cup soaked cashews, 1 banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a splash of almond milk would make a great alternative to sweet and salty desert cravings.

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