Reflections on a Juice Cleanse

Hello friends. As you may know, recently Mr. HP celebrated a milestone birthday, and with that came a month-long food and drink binge for the entire extended family.

pain killers

Add to that the horribly depressing winter weather we had until early April in Virginia, and you get a few people in a state of suboptimal health.

Accordingly, in late March, the ever-adventurous Cheenius, always-obliging MrDr Cheenius, and I decided to do a juice cleanse after the final birthday party to kickstart a new era of good feelings. Fortunately for us, Charlottesville is home to The Juice Laundry, an organic, cold-pressed juice company that offers several types of cleanses to the Central Virginia area. We chose a medium-strength 2-day cleanse, but a wrench was thrown into our juicing plans by a nasty snowstorm that interrupted juice production, delaying juice delivery by a couple days. The new schedule didn’t suit my plans, so the Cheeniuses forged on alone.

Day 1 for the Cheeniuses was a bit rough as their abused systems angrily complained, but by Day 2 they were flying high. I believe the word “magical” was used when they raved to me about feeling the toxins leaving their bodies, and they plan to do a reset cleanse quarterly. Based on their reviews, I eagerly scheduled my cleanse for the following week. Below are my notes.

WHAT

The Juice Laundry 2-day “Normal Wash” cycle. 6 juices + 1 NOMÜ nut milk drink per day. I chose the Creamy Cashew NOMÜ.

Normal Wash juices are:

  • Gentle Green: kale, spinach, cucumber, grapefruit, apple
  • Red Load-ed: red pepper, carrot, celery, cucumber, lemon
  • Rinse + Refresh: cucumber, grapefruit, pineapple
  • Green Agitator: kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, parsley, ginger, lemon
  • Rinse + Recharge: filtered water, lemon, pineapple, maple syrup, cayenne pepper
  • Gentle Green: kale, spinach, cucumber, grapefruit, apple
  • NOMÜ: Creamy Cashew: filtered water, cashews, Medjool dates, cinnamon, vanilla bean, Himalayan pink salt

A cup of black coffee is allowed, but I abstained during my cleanse for the full detox effect.

WHY

From the Juice Laundry’s site:

Juice consumption allows your overworked digestive system to devote more energy to detoxifying, cleansing, purifying, and healing your body and strengthening your immune system.

The Juice Laundry cold-presses and doesn’t pasteurize its juices in order to maximize nutrients and beneficial enzymes and microorganisms.

This cleansing argument resonated most with me, based on my post-celebration physical state:

A cleanse is as much about what you’re leaving out of your body as it is about what you’re putting in.

Also: 2 lbs of produce in each juice!

Also: Why not? Sure, there are plenty of nay-sayers out there, but when it comes to nutrition nobody agrees on anything anyway. If something sounds interesting, the only way to know if it’ll work for you is to try it yourself.

HOW DID IT GO?

Day 1

First juice

Juice 1: Gentle Green. Smells highly vegetal but has a sweetish taste from the apple. Actually very good. Finished it around 10:30. Am not hungry now, but keep thinking about food, probably because I know I can’t have any.

Juice 2

Juice 2: Red Load-ed. Smells like red peppers, and I’m not a big fan of red peppers. The carrots are the main flavor, and I do like carrots. Overall not bad.

Mid-morning: Feeling totally distracted from work (even more so than usual).

Lunchtimeish: Freezing (even more so than usual). Not sure if it’s related to juicing.

Juice 3

Juice 3: Rinse + Refresh. Yum! Fruity! Finally! Pineapple is the main flavor. Crisp though, not too sweet.

2pm: Starting to wonder how I’ll get through all 7 bottles in 1 day.

Juice 4

Juice 4: Green Agitator. Ingredients are intimidating. Also, starting this one at 3pm, feeling a bit of time crunch. Smells very kale/spinachy. No me gusta. Must power through. It’s easier if I do a big exhale after swallowing and don’t breathe in the odor.

5pm: Feel kind of sad. I miss food.

Juice 5

Juice 5: Rinse + Recharge, a little after 5:00. Sweet and refreshing, with a sneaky cayenne burn. Less burn w/ the same exhale through the mouth trick as used for #4.

Juice 6

Juice 6: Gentle Green again. It’s fine. I’m cranky and irritated. This cashew milk had better be amazing.

Juice 7: Cashew milk blend. Yummmmmm. Can take big sips happily. It’s sweet, hearty, comforting.

Bedtime: Stomach started growling as I tried to fall asleep.

Day 2

Morning: Unfocused, blue, blah. Not physical, just mental. Hard to blame it completely on the lack of food since the weather is crap and work is dull. Need to drink faster today to be done with everything by 7:30 for dance class. I miss food. Constraints make me angry.

Mid-morning: Working on #2. Feeling cold and distracted again, but it feels more like my normal levels of cold and distracted.

Early afternoon: The agitator wasn’t as bad today. About to start the cayenne… also less offensive. Huh.

Late afternoon: Mood is unmotivated, blah. Physically a little tired. Really looking forward to eating breakfast tomorrow, and I’m daydreaming about what I should make.

Evening: Finished #6 early, at 5:45. Got a little mood lift late in the afternoon, maybe from a walk? Still not very productive at work.

Day 3

Soooooooooooooo excited to eat. Made spinach and eggs.

In a fantastic mood today. Could it be the weather? It’s still cold and blustery out, but today is the turning day. The past 2 days I didn’t want to interact with anyone at work, felt bristly and irritated and sulky. Today everything is funny, I can’t keep my mouth shut in meetings, I’m singing stupid songs, etc.

Lessons learned: The lack of food forced me to examine my relationship with food, and I want to start cooking more, like I used to. I also want to try adding meat back in, starting with cow. That’s kind of a major realization. I didn’t feel the magical physical changes that the Cheeniuses did–and I was jealous of them for that–but the psychological effects were interesting.

Will I do it again? Maybe, but I’d probably sub in the beet juice for the agitator, or try the Light Rinse cleanse just to make the experience a bit more pleasant. I imagine the terrible mood I experienced on Day 2 would be lessened a bit next time knowing how happy and energetic I’d be feeling the next day.

Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely. It’s all about self-experimentation, and everyone’s mileage will vary.

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2 thoughts on “Reflections on a Juice Cleanse

  1. You know, I can’t rule out that the Cheeniuses are just a simple folk, and they fell for the pretty juice colors. You, as a sophisticated, finely-tuned athletic machine might be more susceptible to the downside of juicing. But, at least you gave it a fair, scientific chance — speaking of, shouldn’t there be happiness graphs with this post? : )

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