Attempting a Cleanse, The Do-Over

I have a very weak memory for pain. I will be crawling to the finish line of the marathon, wondering what on earth I was thinking for putting my body through this living hell, my face white and grainy from dried sweat. But as soon as that finisher’s medal is around my neck, I’m thinking about which marathon to sign up for next. This also helps explain why I have three children. Child birth, Schmild birth, it’s not so bad.

After I finished breastfeeding my daughter, I decided to do a three-day juice cleanse. I thought of it as a way to reclaim my body, re-center, get things back in balance. I received my vibrant array of 18 bottles of juice from the truly lovely Portland Juice Co., opened the first bottle, and then remembered something: I’m not a big fan of juice. It was a very rough three days. There was much complaining. There was much fantasizing about chewing. And I didn’t even make it all the way through. I caved and had a non-juice dinner on night three. And it was delicious.

Two years later, and here I am at the end of my second Portland Juice Co. cleanse. Once again, my motivation was to get things back in balance. Relying on running 40 miles a week, my diet has slowly turned into a toddler’s dream. Chocolate for lunch – as long as there are almonds in there, why not! Popcorn for a second course? Fiber, my friends. Gluten-free cookie for dinner? If there’s peanut butter on it, I can’t think of a single reason why that wouldn’t be a fabulous dinner. But it became too much sugar, just generally too much, and my body started letting me know I wasn’t doing it any favors.

So I decided to do the cleanse again. And this time, it has gone much better. If you have any desire to do a juice cleanse, here are my tips.

  1. If possible, sample the juice first. I learned the hard way that the mere smell of coconut water is enough to make me want to throw up a little. Also the leafy green ones, unless they are heavily laced with fruit, just do not appeal to me. I wanted to get through my juices this time, so I avoided the ones I knew I couldn’t stomach. This time I ended up with juices that, except for one (darn celery!), were very good – even for a non-juice drinker like myself.
  2. Start small. Three days of cleansing is a lot of days of cleansing. Two days seems like the right amount for me. The first day is new and exciting, the second day the end is in sight. Not a problem.
  3. Don’t kill yourself over it. If you have a caffeine headache, have a cup of tea. If you are absolutely starving, have a handful of almonds. If you are still absolutely starving, decide that the handful wasn’t really a hand-FULL and go back for more. It’s still healthy.
  4. Don’t ever be more than 10 minutes from a bathroom. Because you are going to have to pee an annoying amount. Also if you get one with beets, don’t freak out – that’s normal.

I’m feeling good at the end of day two, but I’m also very happy I don’t have to have any more juice tomorrow. At least for now, my sugar cravings have subsided and I’m feeling good about starting off with a clean slate tomorrow.

Have you ever done a cleanse? What was your experience? If not, would you want to?

One response to “Attempting a Cleanse, The Do-Over

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