In my life, I have done a variety of “cleanses.” I am the girl who has done the juice cleanse, the cabbage soup cleanse, the master cleanse, the water cleanse, the cucumber cleanse, name it and I have done it. For the most part, I try it out of curiosity and not really because I have any sort of weight specific goal. To be honest, if I want to lose weight, I usually just decrease my carbohydrate intake significantly, increase protein, drink a ton of water, 6 small meals a day, stop eating 4 hours before bedtime, the usual prescription. Oh, and if you wanted the secret to rapid weight loss, there you have it! Hard work, persistency, and consistency go a long way.
So, why am I doing this juice cleanse now? Well, first of all, the lovely people over at GOOP approved this particular brand of juice, and since Gwenyth is the celebrity go to for health and diet, I figured if I am going to do ANY sort of juice cleanse since my last one (which was terrible), it would have to be Greenhouse juice Co. I also really love that their juice is cold pressed, which means all of the valuable antioxidants are kept intact since no heat is used to press the juice. On top of that, their cleanse program is A LOT better than most on the market, they include an E3 live shot, alkaline water, and aloe vera. All things that are not usually included in most juice cleanses in Toronto, and all things that are super important for maintaining a healthy GI during a juice cleanse. For the purpose of comparison, and because not all juice cleanses are created equally, the last juice cleanse I did was the Total Cleanse. I did it for three days and I felt as if I would faint most of the time (seeing stars on the stairs up to the bedroom does not make for the picture of health, per se) my blood sugar levels were out of control, and the juice was all given to me on the same day, and not very fresh (they have no guarantees when it is made and the girl at the front desk couldn’t give me an answer). I also encouraged a friend to do it at the same time, and her juice was rancid so she didn’t even end up following through, she threw it out and went on living her life. So, I am hoping for a better experience this go around. So, what I thought I would do is share my experience, the bare bones truth of it, with you.
I said goodbye to food on my two days before the cleanse by eating lots of fresh vegetables and lean protein (sashimi salad is so delicious). I should also be as candid as possible in that I am doing this cleanse while confined to my bed. I sprained my ankle and what better time to do a juice cleanse then when you can’t cook or clean, it’s a long weekend, you can’t leave bed, you are in pain, and you are sleeping for most of the days. Seriously, I didn’t think I would be able to maintain 4 days on juice with my normal lifestyle, at least not after my last experience. Please note, this is also something one should consider before they embark on such a cleanse. Make sure you aren’t about to run a marathon or something like that.
My cleanse starts with a two day pre-cleanse, which is essential to help your body get ready and not shock it by all of a sudden only consuming liquids. I am basically following the same diet for two days, frozen fruit and raw plant based protein smoothies (spinach, almond milk 1 scoop sun warrior protein, frozen banana), green salads (arugula, cucumber, watercress, spinach), steamed kale, lots of lemon water, and green tea in excess (its just so good!). This isn’t very hard for me to maintain and I actually love eating raw fruit and vegetables in the summer, it always makes me feel so much lighter! I recommend this to anyone before starting their own cleanse, it will make their juice experience A LOT easier!
Day 1 Juice Cleanse:
I start at 8am with the Clean-Zing juice and its incredibly spicy! The liquid cayenne literally burns my mouth and I possibly look like I just had lip injections but it tastes good otherwise. This juice actually tastes exactly like the master cleanse, which I have done in the past. I usually start my day with alkaline water with lemon and cayenne (no maple syrup though) so I am used to this. I also have a big mug of green tea. The rest of the day goes pretty smoothly. I have never had an E3 live shot before and I actually liked the energy boost I got from it immediately after; it also doesn’t taste as bad as I had predicted it would. I must say that raw aloe doesn’t taste very good, but the almond milk on the menu is the BEST I have ever had and could easily be mistaken for a vanilla milkshake or melted down hagen dasz vanilla bean ice cream. WOW. I am counting down the hours until my almond milk for tomorrow.
The last juice of the day, alkaline water with chia was actually incredibly filling and I am glad I was able to get some fiber and omega 3’s in my body on this cleanse. Like I said earlier, since most juice cleanses don’t have this included it is a welcome part of the detox and so good for your hair, nails, skin, and circulatory system. This juice cleanse is unique in that they provide all the basic macro nutrients for you so that your body isn’t missing anything, I love this part so much and it was one of the reasons I chose Greenhouse for my detox.
All in all, the day was good. I am so glad that I did my pre-cleanse as it readied my body for the days ahead and the first day wasn’t so bad. No fainting spells, no stars, and my blood sugar never went wacky on me! I think a huge reason for this is that none of the juices have too much fruit and are mostly vegetable based, this is really important because although fruit is great for you, the sugar in fruits can mess with your blood sugar levels, especially if you aren’t eating too much protein or fiber to help level it off. I went to sleep eager for the next day ahead.
Still totally fine and I have enough energy to do a core workout and mat Pilates that my ankle is allowing (along with crutching around the house, which is an insane workout in itself). As always, I look forward to the almond milk part of the day and although I miss the texture of food and chewing, I think I can get by for a couple of days. I am noticing that I am sweating a lot though, and a little bit backed up. I decide to make myself some peppermint ginger tea (fresh mint leaves, ginger, lemon, hot water, maple syrup), not only to help with the inflammation from my ankle but also to help with my GI. I was kind of tired today but it wasn’t that bad, I am actually really enjoying this cleanse. I debate if this is something I could also do in the winter, during the cold weather. The jury is still out on that one.
I have lots of energy. I am not really missing food at all and I love the structure and schedule of this juice cleanse. My whole life I have really responded well to structures and schedules; having something on the menu every 2-3 hours gives me that. If you have food control issues or an eating disorder I could also see how this could either go either very well or very badly. At the end of the day, I won’t lie, I miss having food to chew so badly! I wish I could eat an apple or something crunchy but I promise myself not to break the juice cleanse! The chia water helps because the little seeds are almost like tapioca balls in my mouth. I chew on those. One more day to go, but really, this is not difficult at all. I can’t believe I even wasted my time doing the Total Cleanse. Greenhouse is much better.
This is the best day yet, which is strange. On the last cleanse, I was half dead by the third day and my boyfriend almost made me quit. Now, I am on day 4 and sort of sad that it’s my last day. I even cook chicken and make a chickpea salad for him for dinner and I have no desire to eat it at all. All I want is my juice, and I get excited as the clock ticks to 3pm, which is almond milk time. Now I am regretting only doing 4 days and I wish I had done 5 or 7 instead. At the end of this last day I am a little hungrier than the other days but I have some lemon water before bed that I make myself as well as some peppermint tea and the hunger goes away. I am going to miss the almond milk, that’s for sure. I feel absolutely incredible, light, and full of energy. I am so glad I could continue with my mat Pilates workouts as well and maintain my energy levels.
Honestly, on day 5 and day 6 I wished that I had continued the cleanse for a full 7 days. I never thought I could feel so good only consuming juice, especially after my terrible experience with the last one and the state of my swollen ankle. The entire menu by Greenhouse is so perfect that your body can keep running and you can keep fueling yourself with the proper nutrients despite not eating “normal” meals. I really think that this cleanse also made me a lot more focused, less emotional, less moody, I went to sleep earlier and woke up earlier, I was more productive during the day, I looked forward to not only the juices but also the E3 live shot and the raw aloe, my skin is softer, my eyes are whiter, and I feel all around great. I was backed up for a little while but that all changed and it all came out. My stomach is totally flat despite it being that time of the month (females can understand this HUGE positive), and I also experienced NO PMS! This is a huge thing for me. I am not sure if it was the detox that did this but it must have been; I haven’t had a PMS free month since I was 15.
I think if you are someone who is looking to detox your body, if you find you are drinking too much, maybe eating out too much, or just generally not feeling great, this is something that you should consider. You don’t have to do 4 days like I did. I think 1-3 days is a great start for anyone. I also think that transitioning in to this cleanse is very important. I am so thankful that I took two days to only eat veggies and fruits before jumping in to just juice and shocking my system totally. I also took two days after the cleanse to do the same thing. I read and did a lot of research and coming off a juice detox is the most important part of it. You don’t want to hurt yourself or your stomach by going right back to eating junk or consuming too much, too fast. Coming off the cleanse I was almost sad to leave it. I looked forward to those juices every day and I still find myself missing them! I definitely plan to do this cleanse again very soon and will probably do it for 5-7 days next time. I think it was a great clean out for my body and obviously also for my mind. After completing this cleanse I also now know you can definitely do a juice cleanse and maintain your regular active lifestyle and workout routine. My clients, my close friends, and my boyfriend also noticed a huge difference not only in my appearance but also in my moods and general temperament. As a fitness professional, a former national level athlete, a nutritionist, and a kinesiology grad, I have done A LOT of research on diet, nutrition, meal plans, weight loss, etc. and I am still learning. I love using myself as a guinea pig and testing out the latest trends and latest research on myself. I can say with full confidence, I would recommend this cleanse to anyone and everyone, including clients, friends, family, and general population.