Update: Behind The Scenes of Our 3 Day Juice Cleanse

Note: This post was first posted on the <original blog> Motivate Your Plate in April 2014.  Since we recently started juicing again, we wanted to bring it back and show our readers what our first experience was like during a 3 day MODIFIED juice cleanse.

Disclaimer: The information in this post was obtained through research, personal experiences, and collaboration with other health/fitness professionals.  The views are mine alone and should not be taken as medical advice.  Please consult your doctor prior to making any changes in your diet and/or fitness program.

Can you taste it?  That’s the taste of success (or maybe it’s just the taste of solid food for breakfast)…  Either way, it tastes like success to me!  Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 3 day modified juice cleanse with us!  It was an extraordinary journey and I am blessed to have shared this experience with so many of you.  You did it!

For those following along, we documented our “juicing diary” and put together some FAQs to help explain what we’ve been doing the past few days.  Be warned… this is a LONG post so feel free to skip to the questions that appeal most to you and your needs.

 

Juice Cleanse FAQ’s

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What is a modified juice cleanse?   How does it differ from a non-modified juice cleanse?  Is this the same thing as a juice fast?

A modified juice cleanse simply means that we are not fasting.  Many cleanses encourage you to fast (aka eat no food during the entire duration of the cleanse) but in this case, we elected to do a modified juice cleanse consisting of 4-5 juices during the day and a light dinner of raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables at night.  The alternative, fasting, is ideal is because you put digestion on hold for 3 full days.  This is AMAZING and gives the body plenty of time to flush out toxins, rest, and restore itself.  When we eat (or even trigger eating with products such as smoothies or gum) our digestive system starts back up and we lose the magic of the process.  We also start to get hungry 🙁

So why did we choose to eat at night when there are so many wonderful reasons to fast?  We ate at night for a few reasons, the main one being sanity.  We’ve done plenty of diets, cleanses, fasts, etc. in the past to know that a light at the end of the tunnel is sometimes the only thing that will keep you going.  Also, having so many “newbies” join us, we thought it would be best to start simple and take baby steps.  Additionally, we choose to eat at night because our goal (for today) wasn’t a deep detox but rather a cleanse.  We wanted to break bad habits, rid the body of processed junk, and reintroduce “good-for-you” foods such as raw fruits and vegetables.  Sometimes you don’t need to go to extremes to feel the benefits and this is one of those times.

 

Why would anyone want to participate in such a crazy idea?  Will I lose weight?  What’s in it for me?

As I mentioned before, juicing is a phenomenal tool to cleanse the body and rid it of toxic waste.  Juicing allows you to put your digestive system on hold and use that energy to flush out toxins, rest, and restore.  Furthermore, juicing allows you to take tons of healthy, nutrient dense foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and compress the nutrients into a juice.  The amount of produce that can be crammed into one juice is crazy!  The healing properties of many fruits and vegetables are magnified when the fiber is removed and the juice can fuel the body directly without having to pass through digestion.  More benefits of juicing can be found in the “Benefits” section at the bottom of this post.

You may lose weight on a juice cleanse or fast but I do not encourage you to participate in a cleanse for weight loss.  It is an extreme measure to take for weight loss and most of the time, this weight will be re-gained as soon as you reintroduce solid foods back into your diet.

 

How will I feel?  Will I feel hungry?  Will I be tired?

Typically the first day you will feel tired and cranky.  Your mind will play psychological tricks on you and make you think that you are hungry when you are simply bored.  As long as you do not activate the digestion process by eating food, mints, gum, etc., then you do not need to worry about hunger.  The juices have sufficient calories to provide energy and healthy carbohydrates.  Any hunger is most likely out of boredom or habit.

You may have a headache if you are detoxing from caffeine or any similar substances.  Be sure to drink PLENTY of water to flush out your system.  Note that your headache (if any) should be gone after the first day.

Usually you will feel tired (and possibly even defeated) on the first day but push through this feeling because once you break past that barrier, you’ll be surprised by how much energy you have on days 2 and 3!  YOU WILL FEEL BETTER!  We know this first hand.  Frankie wakes up every morning with a little congestion (most likely from his consumption of dairy), however during the cleanse he wakes up without any congestion whatsoever!  It’s like magic!

 

Can I work out while doing a juice cleanse/fast?

Yes, but listen to YOUR body.  In the past I have completed many intense workouts during a juice fast, however my main suggestion would be to listen to your body.  Each person is different and only you will know if you feel comfortable working out.  If you are tired, try yoga or any low impact exercise.  If you feel up to performing an intense exercise, consider staying indoors (possibly running on a treadmill) in order to stay cooler and avoid fatigue from increased heat.

 

How do I start?  What kind of juicer do I need?  Can I use a blender?

Hmm how do you start… Well first of all, you need a juicerNot a blender, but a juicer.  The reason you cannot use a blender is because the pulp (fiber) is not removed.  Technically you would be making a smoothie in a blender and your body recognizes a smoothie as food that needs to be broken down, and therefore you would not receive the same detoxifying and cleansing benefits as compared to juicing.  Plus, you may get hungry once you activate your digestive system.  I have heard some people blend their juices and then strain the blended concoction with a cheesecloth, but I do not know first hand if this works.  If you do not have a juicer then I suggest you borrow one from a friend or purchase one from Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Target, etc.  Also, you can buy premade juices from Whole Foods or many companies online if you do not want to purchase a juicer but still want to participate in a cleanse.

I personally own a Breville Juice Fountain Multispeed (BJE510XL) and I love it!  It retails for $199 but you can find it at a discount in many stores.  If you are serious about juicing, I would suggest you spend the money to get a “nice” juicer.  Read reviews on the models you are interested in or feel free to email me to ask my opinion.

There are two types of juicers: centrifugal and masticating (cold pressed).  Neither is necessarily better, as it depends on your budget and what you want to juice.

  • Centrifugal juicers work by shredding the fruit and/or vegetables and rapidly spinning the pulp to extract the juice.  These juicers are typically less expensive and more commonplace in the at-home juicing community.  They work best for solid fruits and vegetables, but not so much for leafy greens and wheat grass.  Juices produced by these juicers should be consumed immediately as nutrient loss occurs very rapidly.
  • The other type of juicer is a masticating juicer.  This juicer works by slowly crushing the fruits and/or vegetables and squeezing the juice out.  This juicer works much better for leafy greens and wheat grass, however it is typically much more expensive.  Juices made from this type of juicer can be stored for several days with minimal nutrient loss.

 

Can I make all of the juices ahead of time?  How long do they last?  How do I store them?

You can make all of the juices ahead of time, however if you have a centrifugal juicer, the juices will begin to lose nutrients nearly immediately.  My trick for combating this issue is freezing all of my juices as soon as they are made.  Simply remove the juice(s) from the freezer the night before and allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  If you have a masticating juicer, the juice will remain “good” in the refrigerator for two to three days without losing nutrients.  Juices are best stored in airtight mason jars, which are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at Walmart or Target.

 

Do the juices taste good?  What do I do if I don’t like a juice?

Yes, they taste great!  Honestly, this one depends on your personal preference.  I prefer the fruit based juices, whereas my boyfriend thinks they are a little too sweet and likes the vegetable ones better.  If you don’t like a particular juice, change it!  If you think it’s too sweet, try diluting it with water or adding more greens.  If you think it has too much of an earthy taste, consider adding a green apple or lemon to the juice.  Just be careful with the quantity of fruit you use to juice.  Not only can the sugar add up quickly, but so can the calories too.

 

What do I do if I get hungry between juices?

If you get hungry between juices, I suggest you drink water first.  Most of the time you are not hungry but rather bored or used to eating out of habit.  Drink water and it’ll help flush your system and keep your belly full.  If you can’t wait any longer, than have more juice!  Just be careful not to have too much fruit juice because of its high sugar content.  I try to limit myself to 1 fruit juice per day.

 

How do I resist temptation of others eating food around me?  Is it okay for me to have just one little bite?

Remind yourself why you are doing this.  You may need to talk yourself back into the game.  This process is simply mind over matter.  You have full control over all of your choices, and for these 3 days it may be a little hard to resist temptation but push through and remind yourself that you can do it.  Sometimes I find it best to have a person I can check in with like my own personal cheerleader who I can text or call when I am feeling weak.  Pick someone who you respect and who you will listen to.

Unfortunately, you shouldn’t have just one bite.  As we said earlier, as soon as you have one bite, you activate digestion and thus end the cleansing process for the day.  Hold out until your predetermined dinner time so you can maximize the benefits of your cleanse.

 

Can I do more juices instead of 4?  Can I do less?

Yes, of course!  This is YOUR cleanse so adjust it to fit YOUR needs.  My only recommendation is that you limit the amount of fruit juices that you consume since they are high in sugar.  I try to limit myself to 1 fruit juice per day.

 

What time is dinner time?  What would you recommend to eat?  Can I eat out?

Dinner time is whenever you decide it to be.  We decided to have dinner at 6pm because that worked with our schedules (for this particular cleanse).  I recommend eating raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables.  Some suggestions include a big salad (with lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. olive oil as a dressing), the deliciously detoxifying vegetable soupzucchini spaghettilettuce wraps, etc.  Get creative!

Yes, you can eat out but be sure to stick with your plan of eating raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables.

 

What do I do if I am hungry after dinner?

If you are hungry after dinner, feel free to eat additional raw fruits and vegetables just be sure that you are truly hungry and not just bored.

 

Do the juices have calories?

Yes, all of the juices have calories so be mindful when adding juices into your everyday diet.  Juices typically range from 150 – 250 calories per 16oz.

 

Do the fruits and vegetables for the juices need to be organic?

No, they do not need to be organic but it is preferred.  Consider all of the chemicals and pesticides that seep into your fruits and vegetables, do you really want to be consuming all of those toxins during a cleanse (or in general)?  I highly suggest buying organic.  If organic is too expensive, try out a local farmers market, they usually have great deals!

 

Is this safe for anyone to do?

I am not a doctor and cannot advise whether or not a cleanse is safe for your specific medical needs.  I suggest consulting with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Can I repurpose the leftover pulp?

Yes, you can!  There are tons of recipes on the internet for pulp muffins, crackers, “meatballs”, etc.  I have not used the pulp in the past, but this is something I am actively researching to find a few great recipes to use in the future!  If you have a great pulp recipe, leave it in the comments below!

 

What was your experience like?  Did you enjoy the process?  What did you “get” out of it?  Would you do it again?

We had a WONDERFUL 3 days!  It was an amazing experience and I would 100% do it again.  I personally love these cleanses because it provides an opportunity to reset your body and restore its connection with the mind.  There are plenty of “addictions” and unhealthy habits that we face on a day-to-day basis.  When you can no longer rely on food as a crutch, you are forced to face these issues head on.  Whether it be emotional eating, constant snacking, eating for boredom, eating in bed, etc., this is the perfect opportunity to rid yourself of these bad habits.  Furthermore, the energy I receive from doing a cleanse is unexplainable.  I feel like I am treating my body right and in turn my body is at peace.

 

Our 3 Day Juice Cleanse Diary

  • The Juicing Plan: Lemon water + 4 juices per day (1 fruit, 2 vegetable, 1 mixed)
  • The Dinner Plan: Raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables
  • The Timing Plan: Juices are to be spaced out in 2.5-3 hour increments
 

Tuesday 4/8/14

  • Health: Slightly clogged nose, sore throat (from lack of sleep)
  • Mood:  Oddly excited
  • Daily Recap: Today was rough.  I started the day excited and slowly melted into a puddle of misery.  The warm lemon water and first juice (carrot, apple, ginger) were great but then it started… I started over thinking this whole process and questioning why I agreed to this in the first place.  I’m missing my morning Nespresso so badly right now.   My head is killing me, I am exhausted, and I am ready to quit.  It was my boyfriend’s idea to juice cleanse in the first place and I am beginning to question why I agreed to this madness.  I am counting down the minutes until dinner time.  This is SO not how you are supposed to juice.  I am literally watching the clock tick.  Yay it’s finally dinnertime!  Dinner consists of the most boring salad.  I scarf it down in excitement for solid food!  I am being a horrible partner in this process.  However, for the first time in a while, I choose not to “work” after dinner.  I love the blog and I love my clients and I love to work, but today I just need to shut off.  Between the headache and the exhaustion, nothing productive will be accomplished.  Ok, I need to change my thinking.  Let’s think positive!  In as long as I can remember, I am in bed at 6:30pm watching a movie on a Tuesday spending quality time with my amazing boyfriend and juicing partner.  What a perfect ending to the night!  Let’s thank the juicing gods because this is a special moment 🙂
 
 

Wednesday 4/9/14

  • Health: A little tired (granted I woke up at 5am)
  • Mood:  Bearable (I need to psych myself back into the game)
  • Daily Recap: Once I got the day started, today was SIGNIFICANTLY better!  I have energy, I am happy, and I feel great.  Phew, thank goodness I pushed through the first day.  Having a partner was vital for me to keep going.  Today is easy.  I’m not hungry and my head feels so much better.  Dinner tonight consisted of the most amazing lettuce wraps!  Wow, I appreciate every bite!  Yesterday I stuffed my face with food, but today I am savoring the entire experience.  It’s surreal.  Every bite is more delicious than the last.  I am feeling wonderful!  Yay for juicing!
 
 

Thursday 4/10/14

  • Health: I feel great!
  • Mood: Happy and excited!
  • Daily Recap: Today we had a bumpy start.  We removed all of our remaining juice from the freezer late last night and woke up really early this morning (before 5am).  We froze everything in giant mason jars and decided we would separate them into individual servings once they thawed.  As we were separating our juices for the day, we realized they were still completely frozen!  I’m ready to give up but Frankie is determined to melt these suckers.  You will never guess what we did this morning… we drew a warm bath in the sink and soaked these juices until they began to melt.  It probably took 20 minutes of soaking and shaking for us to melt enough of the juice to pour Frankie his set of mason jars for work.  Talk about a crazy morning!  He’s a really great partner 🙂 The rest of the day went very well.  I was filled with energy and excitement (since today was the last day).  Our juices melted appropriately throughout the day and our dinner was phenomenal.  We had a enormous salad filled with fresh farmer’s market veggies and a perfectly ripe avocado as well as the deliciously detoxifying vegetable soup.
 
 

Friday 4/11/14

  • Health: Awesome!
  • Mood: I’d definitely do it again!  I’m excited to start the day!  And really excited for breakfast 🙂

 

3 Day Juice Recipes

 

Pre-juice (upon rising)

  • Glass of warm (not hot) water with the juice of ½ a lemon

Juice #1

This juice is simply delicious! Sweet like apples, yet packs a punch with the ginger, this juice will have you up and out of bed first thing in the morning! Dare I say it… It’s better than coffee!

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 red apples (any variety – red delicious seems to work well)
  • 1 inch ginger root

Juice #2 / Juice #4

This juice is the traditional green juice that comes to mind when you think about juice cleanses.  It is sweet in a very subtle way and to me, the celery stands out most in this juice.

  • 6 kale leaves
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 celery stalks (sticks)
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • ½ lemon

Juice #3

This juice is sweet and refreshing, yet not too sugary.  The pineapple adds just the right amount of tart and the coconut water and celery keep the taste very balanced and pleasant.  This juice has extraordinary hydrating properties and electrolyte replenishment…perfect for after a workout!  Don’t have a juicer?  Try making this as a smoothie instead!

  • ½ pineapple
  • 2 celery stalks (sticks)
  • 4 oz of coconut water (I purchased this premade at the store – look for a brand with no additives other than coconut water)

Juicing Benefits

The benefits listed below are just SOME of the amazing healing properties found in each of these fruits and vegetables.  Please do not consider this a complete list because I could easily write a book on each of these foods individually.  If you would like to learn more about juicing benefits, Juicing For Health is an amazing resource!

Pre-juice (warm water with the juice of ½ a lemon)

This is an amazing way to start your day EVERYDAY! You do not need to be juicing to instill this healthy habit. A glass of warm (not hot) lemon water in the morning right when you wake up provides countless health benefits such as aiding in digestion, cleansing your system, balancing pH, boosting immunity, clearing skin, aiding in weight loss, and so much more!  Check out the full post here.

Juice #1

Carrots

  • Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin B, C, D, E, G, K
  • Rich in biotin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, organic sodium, phytonutrients, and some trace minerals
  • Powerful antioxidant properties (from carotenes)
  • Helps maintain vision, helps maintain epithelial tissue surrounding the organs, helps cleanse and restore the liver, restore alkalinity in the body, etc.

Apples

  • Vitamin A, B, C, K, alpha-hydroxy acid (malic acid), phytonutrients, flavonoids, phenols, potassium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus
  • Protects against cell and tissue damage, powerful antioxidant, promotes skin rejuvenation, natural laxative (aids in digestion and bowel movements), reduces inflammation, and has anti-cancer effects

Ginger

  • Contains essential oils, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C, choline, folic acid, inositol, manganese, panthotenic acid, silicon, and a small amount of vitamin B3
  • Helps anti-coagulate platelets (aka makes your blood platelets less sticky which reduces your risk of atherosclerosis), works as an aphrodisiac, aids with cold symptoms (immunity booster), aids digestion and upset stomach, reduces inflammation, relieves menstrual cramps, and reduces fever

Juice #2 / Juice #4

Kale

  • Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, E, K, omega 3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), calcium, copper, iron, folic acid, potassium, chlorophyll, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Rich in flavonoids that control indigestion, inflammation and stress
  • Powerful antioxidant properties
  • Anti-cancer properties that help fight cancer by boosting the repair of healthy cells and blocking the growth of cancer cells

Cucumbers

  • Vitamin C and A (anti-oxidants), folate, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, silica, sulfur, vitamin B complex, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus
  • Helps alkalize the body, provides intense hydration, reduces inflammation, and acts as a diuretic for cleansing and flushing

Celery

  • Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, potassium, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and amino acids
  • Helps lower blood pressure, alkalizes the body, calms the body (great for cooling and reducing fever), and intensely rehydrates the body and replaces electrolyte loss

Apples

  • Vitamin A, B, C, K, alpha-hydroxy acid (malic acid), phytonutrients, flavonoids, phenols, potassium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus
  • Protects against cell and tissue damage, powerful antioxidant, promotes skin rejuvenation, natural laxative (aids in digestion and bowel movements), reduces inflammation, and has anti-cancer effects

Lemons

  • Vitamin A, B, C, potassium, folate, lycopene, phytonutrients, flavonoids, minerals, and alpha-hydroxy acid (citric acid)
  • Powerful antioxidant activity
  • Boosts immune system, aids in digestions, cleanses and detoxifies, freshen your breath, provide energy, reduces mucus, clears skin, aids in weight loss, alkalizes the body, reduces inflammation,fights cancer, and rehydrate your lymph system (click here for more amazing health benefits)

Juice #3

Pineapples

  • Vitamin C, B, bromelen (natural alkalizer), manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid, and dietary fiber
  • Powerful antioxidant activity
  • Helps reduce inflammation, alkalizes the body, aids in digestion, improves immune system functionality, increases energy, improves kidney health, regulates blood sugar, provides menstrual disorder relief, provides sore throat relief, and improves skin

Celery

  • Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, potassium, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and amino acids
  • Helps lower blood pressure, alkalizes the body, calms the body (great for cooling and reducing fever), and intensely rehydrates the body and replaces electrolyte loss

Coconut Water

  • Vitamin B, potassium
  • Contains electrolytes, various plant hormones, enzymes, and amino acids
  • 94% water, fairly low in calories, and has been used as a way to rehydrate after exercise or illness.

 

Phew, I warned you that it’d be a long post!  I hope all of this information has enlightened you into the juice cleansing world and our personal experiences.  If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments section below or email me.

Question: What’s your favorite juicing recipe?  Comment below!

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