– Yes she can! It is a crisp Tuesday morning in March (2021), and after a year+ of Covid 19 restrictions, lockdown, too far too many regular vegan take-outs, I feel it is time to give my body some love and take a break and get back on the healthy self-care track!
So I have been thinking about a cleanse, and as I do love fruit juices, smoothies and blends, a vegan juice cleanse might do the trick.
In my little town of Victoria, on the South East coast of Vancouver Island, we are lucky enough to have a small organic juicing/cleansing business here called Jusu Bar – and along with juices and smoothies and some other products they sell, they offer a one day, a three day and a five day cleanse. I know that Vancouver have a few juice options also, and probably most cities will have something if you hunt around… But you can always make your own (which would be my next step, possibly, if this is a good experience!).
I had toyed with the idea of a cleanse before, but now it felt like the right time: Covid lockdown and too many take-outs/processed foods in recent months, Springtime allergies starting to kick in, weight gain (from those take-outs and less exercise lately), bloating, and sinus issues – all tell me it is time to take care of myself. Other than those, I don’t have any medical conditions to worry about, or to check with a doctor about, so I feel a cleanse and detox might be a nice break for my body.
I am going to be doing the three day cleanse – which consists of drinking 6 x juice blends per day, and that is it (I will be drinking water in between juices). I could have gone for just the one day, but feel three is the sweet spot for me – not too long; not too short!
So of course, yesterday was my husband’s birthday and this did include a vegan Indian food take-out (doh!) – and we usually have enough left over to have another meal from it the next day – so that will not be me today! 😦 Lucky husband who gets an extra curry! 🙂 Poor planning on my part, I picked up the juices 2 days ago, and I did not want to keep them longer, nor give any excuses… Plus: I wanted it done and out of the way by Friday – as that is my very favourite day of the week! 🙂
Now, I did have to enquire about the juice content before placing the order – to check if they are vegan. I was informed that one (of course, the one I found most interesting and liked the colour and name!) had honey in it, so I was advised to skip that one (told to mention it in the notes of the order) and replace with one other blend, which I did.
Another important thing to mention about the juices, is how they are blended/juiced: They are all Cold-Pressed – which means that:
“Cold Pressing is a process that extracts juice, vitamin, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients from fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods (nuts and seeds). Jusu’s Cold Press Juicers use a tremendous amount of hydraulic pressure to very slowly extract the nectar from organic produce maintaining the integrity of its cellular structure. It is a much gentler and slower process where little to no heat is created specifically from the lack of the fast spinning blade included in other form of juicing. This results in a juice that is much healthier, richer in nutrition & with bright colours and superior crisp, clean taste.” (Jusubar.com/faq)
As with any kind of change in diet, I am aware there could be some side effects – but I am used to doing things like the intermittent fasting (eat low calorie twice per week), etc,. without necessarily getting any headaches or obsessing over food, so am hoping this is similar. But whatever the outcome; I just like to give my poor old system a break now and then and it really does feel good to include more fruit and veggies and all the other good stuff – kinda helps to remind me to ‘up’ the raw or basic steamed veggie intake on a daily basis which benefits the family too. 🙂
So, I thought I would share my experience each day and then wrap it up with final thoughts on it. I’m also thinking it might be good to share how easy/difficult it is with any cravings and having a family around who are still eating like normal folk at the same time!
I have weighed myself (that was a bit of a shock for a Tuesday morning!) – just out of interest – I am not expecting any dramatic weight loss, but am interested to see if it happens as part of this detox, anyway (and it would be welcome, I can tell you – those yummy vegan take-outs have taken their toll this last year!).
Juice #1: I’m just now drinking the first one – at 7am. It’s called Good Vibrations and is a blend of: Apple, Cucumber, Lemon, Ginger, Spinach, Kale and Parsley. I will be having two of these juices this morning, as this is the replacement I chose for the non-vegan one.
BTW: You are instructed to consume them in a specific order – and the one I omitted would come next, hence my doubling up on this one in succession.
So, aside from the amazing ingredients above (I am halfway down a small bottle and it really is quite nourishing/filling), the juices are also packed with other amazing antioxidants and vitamins; this one has: Chlorophyll – an excellent detoxifier, and the greens all apparently help my energy levels and should keep my mind focused (also something I am could do with lately: – a little focus and clarity!). This first juice has a sweetness on top of the bitter greens, and is quite tasty, I think. So, so far; so good. 🙂
I am thinking, to spread out 6 juices in around 12 hrs = 2 per hr. So next one around 9-ish sounds good. It will be the same green one (Good Vibrations) again, and then on to the next one at around 11-ish. I think you can be quite flexible/easy with timings – as long as you consume them in the correct order.
My daughter is home/off school for Spring Break, so will probably fit in the juices around mealtimes too.
OK – so I managed to finish this first one off in around an hr – I just took sips here and there – tried to stick with conscious drinking – taking the time to be mindful of the flavours, in between doing work and updating this post.
I feel good, not hungry (I don’t tend to eat until after 10am anyway, usually). If I were to guess at when I might feel hungry/it could get tricky; then I would point to around 3pm-5pm. That is often when I feel the afternoon slump and tend to want an energy boost – so it will be interesting for me to see if the juices have any affect on that.
Juice #2: Good Vibrations: Same as above. I almost forgot to get my second juice – so started it at 10am, finishing it off now at 10:40am – feeling good still, and actually liking the taste more the second time around! I actually feel like I am getting little treats, instead of feeling deprived…. Well, that is ‘so far’ at least! 🙂
Juice #3: Eye of the Tiger: This juice is a blend of: Apple, Carrot, Orange, Turmeric, Lemon. Took this one at around 12pm. This one says it is packed with vitamins and antioxidants to keep your immune system in check.. and also an energy boost again – so quite similar to the first ones, but more citrusy. This is the kind of juice or smoothie I would normally opt for, so it really does feel like a nice treat for lunchtime. Note: I almost had a peppermint tea earlier, which I think is allowed (it says you can have water in between, and maybe ONE coffee – but as I don’t have coffee or regular caffeinated tea, I think the herbal tea would have been just fine), however: I AM trying to stick to juices only (and water later probably)… But that just reminded me of how easy it is to fall back into habits, like making a hot drink without thinking about it. Still feeling good/not missing anything, but wondering what the evening and dinner-time will bring! Mmmm… this juice though, is seriously YUM!
Juice #4: Black Betty: A blend of: Filtered Water, Lemon, Sugar Cane, Zeolite Clay, Activated Charcoal. This one is apparently the most powerful detoxifier in the juice cleanse set. It contains activated charcoal and zeolite and is supposed to be good for neutralizing and filtering out toxic substances, aiding in digestion and reducing bloating. Also good as this can eradicate the afternoon slump. So I DO have a bit of a hunger pang at the mo, so just on to the 4th juice of the day, at 3.:30 pm. The taste is nice, a little sour, but I can handle that, and I guess that is why they add the sugar. It reminds me of gooseberries or sour blueberries! I did note that I need to be careful when drinking and opening the bottle, as the black colour could stain, I would imagine. Let’s see if it can get me to 5/5.30pm for the next one!
Juice #5: Welcome to the Jungle: Another green juice. OK, it is now 5:30 and on to no.5. This one contains: Cucumber, Celery, Lemon, Spinach, Bell Pepper and Parsley. This one tells me it is loaded with vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Chlorophyll again to curb appetite (hmm…so that is why I felt the first one was quite filling!). So this is my least favourite so far, and quite a bit of a chore, in all honesty.
At this time of the evening (5.30/6pm), I could have done with a more satisfying flavour. This one makes me wince a little with each mouthful, unfortunately. The next/last one sounds much more promising, and the thought of that is what is keeping me going! I am now going to take a nice Lush bath whilst the husband and daughter have dinner, and will arrive back feeling all relaxed and lovely, in time for chilling and the final juice of the day (Please don’t disappoint me #6!).
Juice #6: Heart and Soul: 7pm for the final juice of the day (will do water after this, until bedtime). In between this one, and the previous juice, I had a nice bubble bath treat, full of lovely Lush bombs and loveliness… This was mainly to avoid smelling the lovely tofu yellow curry my husband was cooking for he and our daughter, but also to act as a treat! By the time I came out, they were finished and I avoided feeling jealous and grumpy and left out! 😀 And so this final one contains: Carrot, Beet, Apple, Celery, Romaine, Ginger, Lemon, and is really nice (phew!). This is a nice way to finish the day of juices… It is supposed to ‘enhance athletic performance (but I am going to bed in a short while? Should I hit the treadmill instead?!). This tastes good though, thankfully. I was getting concerned with that last one. I think tomorrow I might take the last two a little earlier, I think…
End of Day 1 wrap up: So, as expected, I started off great guns, with much enthusiasm in the morning and even at lunchtime, but found the 3-5pm time tricky (had to avoid the kitchen for fear of picking something to eat!) and lost momentum around 5:30 – 6:30 when I had the less than lovely 5th blend. The last (6th) blend saved the day, and I went to bed feeling good about the day, and not particularly hungry (although I intentionally tried to avoid the kitchen that still smelled of nice tasting vegan food, where at all possible!). So, with that in mind, I am ready for a new day!
I’ll not go over all the juices again, as it just follows the same pattern as above (Day 1), but will observe how I am feeling along the way, where useful. I have a busy-ish morning, with some training at work, so that will take up most of my morning. I think I might try going for a run at around the 3-5 danger zone today, also.
Morning: So, it is 7:30am and on with the first juice of the day again, which I am looking forward to (because these are the nice ones, remember?!)…. 😀
Feeling a little tired this morning, as had a spotty sleep. A few weird noises gurgled away in my stomach last night when I was first in bed (and why I am going to try to have the last juice a little earlier tonight), plus I did get up for the bathroom at least 3 (if not 4!) times – lots of fluids will do that!
First juice went down well and I do feel more awake now and ready to take on the day! Have a training session 9:30-11:30, so will probably take the next two juices just before and just after that.
I do feel a little less bloated around the stomach this morning. Sinuses still playing up a little, but no headache or stomach issues really, so far.
Had second (same as first) juice during (9:30am) the training session = -1 points for mindfulness, unfortunately. 😦 Note to self: Much better to take time to be mindful and consciously ‘enjoy’ drinking the juice!
Mid-day: Managed to make daughter food AND not pick at anything in the kitchen (win!). Not so easy today though – feeling a little deprived, have to say. Drank 3rd juice with daughter on a lunch break, which was nice. Added a glass of water with lemon slice. 🙂
Had next juice (#4) from 2pm-3pm: Getting used to the sour taste of this one and really enjoyed it!
Evening: #5 Juice (not so nice one!) – Due 4pm. Will try to go on treadmill around this time as well, to make it feel more palatable! Update: Went on treadmill at 4 for 30 mins, and had half the juice a few minutes after – had larger gulps this time, and it was not as arduous! Not a fan of celery, and this really smells strongly of celery… so maybe that is it! It’s 5pm now, so will keep on and get this fella down!
Juice #6 (nice one!):- 6:30pm – Trying this earlier tonight, as it felt a little too late last night and my stomach gurgled a bit when I went to bed. Yummy taste and definitely better that bit earlier… however, the smell of the food the family had, still lingers and is hard to ignore! Ah well, just one more day. I am loving the mornings, actually…. but by 3pm could be done with it! (Good sign I could re-introduce the intermittent fasting 2 days per week for husband and I).
So far, I definitely feel much less bloated and lighter – I’m hoping it gives my inners a good clean out/break.
Starting to fantasize about foods now though! “One more day…”
OK – on to the final day – feeling a bit more confident today, of course, knowing I can resume normal service as of tomorrow! I have to say, that I have had a little guilt at seeing uneaten leftovers in the fridge, realizing that I usually have these for my lunch. I have tried to sneak a few into husband’s lunch box, or give daughter for lunch here and there, so not too bad… But seeing them sitting there, lonely in the fridge, unloved, has made me a little emotional at times! 😉
So today has been crazy busy with work – I was signed on for work before 6:30 to prep for a meeting, then had a pre-meeting, then another and was buzzed for another meeting at the same time… if that doesn’t make sense, then you will understand how my mind feels!
So I did have the first juice around 8am, only now having second (same) juice at 11.20am, so will have the 3rd one in an hr or so, I think. So I’m running a little behind, but that is fine. I am now venturing into the forbidden kitchen to make daughter lunch consisting of…. leftover spaghetti and tofu! Whoop! It’s Spring Break, btw – so daughter is at home most of the time. She is so sweet, asking me “is that OK, will it make you want real food?” !! I AM eating Real Food, I tell her – just in liquid form! 😀
I really do find mornings and even lunchtimes quite easy with the juicing thing… it is just that darn 3-5 (actually leaks into 7pm!) that I find tricky. I don’t think it would be so hard if I were on my own, sans family… I would probably just have my last juice then go to bed to get out of the way, or go out for a run or something to keep me busy. But with a family, there is the need to interact and chat and hang out with each other. But then I suppose I could easily ‘cheat’ and nobody would know! I DO like that it provides a break from the norm – the normal schedule of family life, and also a break for my body too…
OK – off to the kitchen – wish me luck! 😀
Oh btw: I wasn’t going to do this, but I had to go down to the basement today, where the scales are, and so I weighed myself. It showed -6lbs! Now I realize much of that will be water loss and will very likely go back up in another few days, when back to eating as normal, but was still a pleasant surprise! If I ever have that big red carpet premier, or need to get weighed in public…now I know what to do (kidding of course – I determined quite a long time ago, after years of diets etc., that the scales did not really dictate how you look or your health – they are simply an instrument to measure how much gravity is pushing down on you (or you it?)!) 🙂
3rd Juice: 12.30pm Enjoyed while daughter had dinner – LOVE this one – carrots and oranges…mmmmm.
4th Juice: 2:30pm and time to enjoy the Black Betty blend for the last time… awwwww.
3.:30pm A treadmill run to prep me for 5th Juice (sharp intake of breath!), and take gulps of it while coaching my daughter on the treadmill, finishing this one between 4:30pm – 5:30pm (yes, it takes me THAT long to down it!) I think this one probably tastes like a virgin Bloody Mary or one of those V8 kind of drinks, with an emphasis on celery, which I have never really liked, but I know many do… so let’s assume it’s just me! 😀
Final 6th Juice: Heart and Soul – Final juice of the cleanse! 6:30/7pm – still avoiding family ‘eating’ time with another lovely Lush Bath treat! So clean, so cleansed! And tomorrow’s Friday! 🙂
So now at the end of a rather long post (sorry!) – but let’s ask the question: “Was it worth it?”
Answer is: I think so. I feel lighter/less bloated for certain. The area around my rib cage feels less bloated/leaner. I feel like I have given my body and digestive system a treat and a break all at the same time.
Was it difficult? Yes and no: Easy for me in the morning and up until 3pm onwards.
Was having a family a help or a hinderance? As mentioned before; I think if I was on my own, the evenings might have felt easier, without having to try to avoid wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, but I definitely felt a little deprived/sorry for myself in the pm with the family all around enjoying dinner… But then, the family were also great for encouraging me to keep going, and they tried to avoid mention of their lovely food! Plus it gave me a break from my usual evening kitchen routine of making dinner for the family, deciding what to eat, etc., which was also nice.
Would I do it again? Yes, I think so, but I would probably do a 1 day cleanse next time, and maybe leave the 3 day cleanse for once or twice per year – and plan it out well. The 1 day I think would be quite easy: I might attempt to do that maybe every other month or so, to keep on top of things.
What are the benefits? For me, it has been feeling like I am adding some great nutrients to my body, and yet giving it a rest at the same time. It has made me feel a little healthier, and even those ‘real food cravings’ have morphed into ‘real healthy food’ cravings now! It has also acted as a catalyst to getting back into more healthier habits -both eating and exercise! Last night, I thought I would rush into the kitchen early, and wolf down some bread/toast, etc. But this morning, here I am, and all I feel like is a glass or water with lemon! I don’t want to reverse any good this has done, in all honesty! Of course, lunchtime will most likely be a whole other story! 😀
All in all; I think it was a good decision and I am more than happy I did it..But, I am also also more than happy to chew some food again now!
I think it served as a good reminder for me to take care of my body, and acted as a kick-start for being making healthier choices again. Just being vegan does not automatically equate to being healthy: There are plenty of junky/processed vegan foods out there – which is OK, it’s not terrible to eat these – but everything in moderation – there needs to be a balance.
Hope this helps some of you/anyone thinking about doing a juice cleanse – thanks for getting to the end! 🙂
UPDATE: So it is now 2 days after the cleanse, and I feel the need to provide a brief update, as there have been some things I did not expect:
I thought I would be starving and desperate to eat ‘real food’ yesterday, but in actuality; I did not eat until lunch time, though I had water and a herbal tea. When I DID sit down to eat with my daughter, I found I felt full pretty quickly, and only ate half the amount I had portioned (which was not so big in the first place!). Then I had to visit the washroom… I won’t go into any details, but suffice to say: I think the detox cleanse was still in process!
Had the same feeling of not needing to eat too much occurred in the evening mealtime also, where I had a small amount, was going to have a couple of glasses of vegan Prosecco – but ended up sipping on only one.
Today, I had a glass of orange juice in the morning, a sip of Kombucha (which felt too fizzy/gassy for me today), and then ate some tofu scramble at lunchtime, maybe a little more than yesterday, but still not heaps. I am not sure if this ‘feeling full already’ is psychosomatic, or if it is physical really. I think I am preferring not feeling bloated and maybe trying to avoid going back to that, possibly. One thing I am noticing also, is my thirst – I am very thirsty so far… and drinking plenty of water with a few slices of cucumber and lemon in it. But I am still feeling good, feeling clear. I did have a few stomach cramps earlier, but nothing terrible or worrying. So still good – but just thought it might be interesting for anyone about to detox, to hear my experience following it.