I have wanted to try a juice cleanse for a while, mainly because I have seen so many people doing them! I heard of Jason Vale or the ‘juice master’ a while ago and also have his book so I’ve been interested in the research behind juicing for some time. Apparently it can be good for you – it can give your digestive system a well deserved rest and as the ingredients are blended they can work their way into your system much more efficiently.
But I have also read a few bad things about juicing too. Juicing fruits and vegetables removes a lot of the fiber you can gain from them in their raw state as most of the nutrients are found in the skin and pulp of fruit and vegetables. And who wants to just drink juice for days on end? I know I didn’t but I also wanted to try one out of curiosity.
I had binged all weekend, felt pretty sluggish and wondered if a juice cleanse would help my energy levels and make me feel a bit less bloated. I didn’t want to try this to lose weight – I can’t think of a worse way to try and diet! There was no way I was going to try it for three days (let alone five as I’ve heard some people do) but I thought a one day cleanse could be a good experiment.
I don’t actually have a juicer so I used my blender to make some smoothies throughout the day. I had one fruit smoothie in the morning consisting of frozen mixed berries, half a banana, milk and greek yogurt. I really enjoyed this smoothie as it gave me the sweet kick I usually get from my porridge! I repeated this smoothie on my morning break. I wasn’t actually feeling that hungry by lunchtime – I think because I really increased my water intake too. So when I cracked out my green smoothie at lunch I wasn’t that fussed about drinking it. But I decided to as it was packed full of nutrients and I knew it would help me avoid snacking. I don’t really like green juices, I’ll be honest. I don’t believe it when I see people drinking them and really enjoying the flavours, I mean they are salad in a cup…but they are so full of nutrients I do try to incorporate them into my diet and just try and drink them swiftly.
The green smoothie consisted of water, celery, cucumber, spinach, grapes, a pear, an apple and a dash of lemon and was actually not too bad! By mid afternoon I started to feel a bit sluggish and started to get a headache. It’s around this time that I’ll search for something sweet to snack on but alas, more water.
By dinnertime I was still craving something sweet so made a chocolate based smoothie consisting of milk, banana, peanut butter and cacao. It definitely sorted out my craving and gave me the energy I needed to make it to my pilates class. Despite feeling fairly rubbish before the class I actually felt quite good throughout it – a bit more energy than usual I’d say.
After I got home I did what I think most people do to avoid eating…I went to sleep. I didn’t have a great sleep and when I woke up in the morning I can honestly say I didn’t feel much different. I felt full, a bit bloated and just as tired as I felt at the weekend! But flash forward a few days and I am feeling much more energetic – my stomach has definitely felt less bloated this week and overall I feel like even just one day off solid food did me some good. The 5:2 diet has been really popular and is all about limiting calorie intake two days a week and whilst I don’t think I could do this or juicing on a regular basis, I totally get the theory. Our bodies aren’t built to take heaps of food everyday.
The verdict: I struggled to stay off solid food for a day and there were quite a few points throughout the day that I felt like quitting. But I’m glad I stuck it out. A few days on and I am feeling the benefits of it and would certainly try it again.