I survived a 7 day juice cleanse and was surprised by the results
Updated: May 12, 2019
My poor wine and chocolate infused body desperately needs a detox and according to all the hype, a juice cleanse will do just that.
** Firstly, I'm not being paid to promote anything. I struggled to find a real person account of one of these juice diets so figured that I'd do just that. I'm pretty skeptical about fad diets, tried many with zero success, but desperate times call for desperate measures.**
I've had the best Easter, 4 days of sunshine, boozing and eating way too much chocolate. Now I'm back at my desk, feeling bloated and regretting my lifetime of bad decisions. On top of a crap diet I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to something. I did an allergy test and it came back with a whole host of random stuff (who the hell is allergic to asparagus!?). Whatever it is makes me puff up and feel sluggish after I eat, so I want to reset everything and start reintroducing certain foods afterwards. Plus I want to be skinny, gorgeous and healthy - a few days of juice can do all that yeah?
Why The JuiceWorks?
Basically it came down to cost and gut feeling. I spent ages researching pros and cons of juicing and was overwhelmed by the information about what different 'types' of juices promised. I didn't want anything that was celebrity endorsed and would prefer a veg/fruit blend for lower sugar content.
The JuiceWorks seemed very simple, smaller and less commercial. Basically it felt like they cared. I was chuffed with their service, they called after my order to arrange delivery and for a chat and threw in a free ice-bag because I wasn't sure how long they would be left on my doorstep. You're invited to contact them for advice and that meant a lot. Overall great price (juicing is expensive wherever you look), great variety of juices and top customer care and product packaging/delivery.
My Juicing Journal
Day 1 minus 8 minutes (Thursday)
At 23:52 on Wednesday I realised I still had an Easter egg in my car and panicked that I wouldn't be able to eat it for a week. I scuttled out in my pajamas, grabbed my chocolate treasure and gobbled it up in bed. I'm not proud of myself but I finished it with 2 minutes to go until midnight, so I wolfed down the chocolates that came with it too.
Lesson one - This is NOT how you should prepare for a 7 day juice fast.
Day 1 (Friday) - Maybe I'll start tomorrow instead...
In hindsight starting on a Friday probably wasn't smart but I needed to finish in time for a hen party this weekend. The day started with a slight issue, my juices were being delivered to my house and I was in the office, so no juice until the evening. I spent the morning drinking green tea and getting hungrier and grumpier by the hour. I begrudgingly turned down a bacon sandwich and pub lunch (that gives you an idea of my normal diet). I'll be honest, I did think 'fuck it, I might as well enjoy today and start tomorrow' but somehow managed to stick to the plan.
I got home at 18.15 with a growling stomach and the overwhelming urge to pick an argument with my poor husband. Luckily seeing my lovely cool bag full of frozen juices cheered me up. They all had fun names like 'The purple mega mix' and 'Green ginger ale' and I spent a while mixing up the 7 flavours so I would have 4 different juices per day.
Lesson Two - The juices need to stay frozen until the day of consumption. I hadn't considered how much freezer space they would take up. You need to throw out all ice cream in advance...
I downed an apple and ginger shot (I'm great at shots) and it was delicious. Then I waited painstakingly while my 'Lean green' juice defrosted. It was tasty and refreshing and after no food all day it was quite filling. I had one more juice before bed and slept really well apart from some strange dreams about dragons. BOOM nailed day one!
Day 1 symptoms:
Stomach growling like a T-Rex
Feeling a bit faint in the afternoon
Strange dreams at night
One 'fuck it I'll start it tomorrow instead' moment
Day 2 (Saturday) - Slimmer and trimmer
I woke up feeling excited about my new juicy life and made myself wait until 10:00 for ginger shot and a ginger carrot juice. I felt great, not hungry and much less bloated. This wasn't about weight loss for me but I hopped on the scales and I'd lost 1kg, further fueling my good mood.
I struggled during the day, not because of hunger but mainly due to boredom. The weather was awful so I stayed indoors watching movies and painting, both activities that require lots of snacks. I felt a bit lethargic mid afternoon, possibly due to it being a lazy day, but felt better after my afternoon juice.
Then the big test, a trip to the pub. I love food and the hardest thing for me was not lack of alcohol but not succumbing to any bar snacks. A few bottles of sparkling water and a peppermint tea got me through though, despite lots of teasing from my friends and the barman. I had a great evening so forgot to have my juice until much later and went to bed feeling slimmer, trimmer and really proud of myself.
** I read a few other blogs after writing this and day 2 is usually the 'high day' - pretty much exactly what I felt. Feeling less full and sluggish and starting to benefit from juicy goodness **
Day 2 Symptoms:
Feeling slimmer and less bloated
Lots of energy
Looking forward to and enjoying each juice
Mild hunger between 1st and 2nd juice of the day
Slept well again but strange dreams (about being in a submarine in you're interested)
Day 3 (Sunday) - I feel like shit!
Can you be hungover from too much sparkling water? I was nursing a cracking headache, my body ached and I felt really sick. Unfortunately I didn't have time to sulk as I was off to see a Wedding venue with my sister. I struggled to concentrate on the conversation and kept forgetting what I had already asked. I avoided the marquee with drinks and canapes because I felt better in the fresh air and didn't want to see food. Imagine the worst hangover you've ever had.
Then I had to drag my weary corpse out for a family lunch. I had my juice and some herbal tea but really wasn't hungry. I cut up my nephew's meal and fed him. Prime opportunity for some sneaky bites but the smell was making me feel sicker. I felt shaky, cold and just very floppy (not a medical term). To try and distract myself I insisted on driving everywhere so I had something else to focus on, I think that helped a bit.
I felt even worse in the afternoon and Googled my symptoms to check I wasn't dying. Turns out day 3 is usually the rough day for most people. It's detox day - the novelty has worn off, your body is entering ketosis and the toxins are starting to leave your body. In fairness I have been pretty unkind to my body recently so it's probably brimming with nasty stuff. The effects of detox day can be reduced by preparing for a week prior to the fast...yeah, I didn't do that.
I went to bed early with a hot water bottle for my cold feet and a cooling spray for my flushed face. Before dropping off to sleep I decided that if I feel this bad tomorrow I'll have to stop, I really need to be fit for work.
Day 3 - Symptoms
No hunger (possibly because of sickness)
Slept well but strange dreams
Lack of concentration
Fluctuating temperature (cold and clamming or too hot)
Day 4 (Monday) - I am invincible!
I don't know how the hell it happened after feeling so awful the day before but on the morning of day 4 I felt amazing. I slept brilliantly, woke up fresh as a daisy and full of energy. I walked the dog, stuck a chicken casserole in the crock pot for my husband's dinner and bounded off to work in great spirits. I was focused, motivated and got more work done that day than I had in months. I drank lots of herbal tea and water so had to pee a lot but I wasn't at all hungry. Only downside was chilly hands and feet.
I got home to the delicious smell of a cooked casserole and almost had an 'oh no' moment. Not because of hunger but because I missed eating food. The juices are great but I'm kind of over them. Maybe if they were smoothies they would feel like a meal but the lack of texture was getting to me. I tried a spoon of the casserole to check it was seasoned and then forced myself to spit it out. Damn that bit was tough!
Day 4 symptoms:
Mentally very calm
Few small spots on face
Less puffy under eyes
Starting to miss food
Day 5 (Tuesday) - Fuck all juices
I'm over juice. Yeah I feel great and I've lost 2.1kg but I can't face anymore stupid juices. I had to chug my morning juice down in one go, until then I'd been leisurely sipping and savouring them. Again, I had very productive morning, my head felt clear and I was full of energy.
I went to get my hair done in the afternoon so had 3 hours staring at my face in the mirror. My skin is definitely benefiting from this cleanse. It's way less puffy and I have a more even skin tone, especially under my eyes. My husband asked if I had put make up IN my eyes because he though they look brighter. I agree, they are a bit whiter and less bloodshot (I spend 8 hours a day in from of a computer screen).
Not eating is really getting to me. The poor sod had to eat his dinner in a different room because he said I was watching him eat food too intensely. I denied it but he was right, I'm missing food now. I'm not hungry per se but I miss the taste, texture and the social element of eating. If I did this again maybe I would try soups in the evening, cold juice doesn't cut it as an evening meal.
I missed my yoga class that evening, I didn't feel weak or faint but I wasn't sure if it was fair to do it to my body after 5 days without food. I was still full of energy later on though so did a practice at home and felt much more balanced than normal. I even had the focus and strength to hold a pose that I have been trying for months and always failed. I'm genuinely surprised, I was expecting to be lethargic and sleeping a lot by then.
Day 5 symptoms:
Getting bored of juice
Skin clearing up
Face puffiness gone
Whites of eyes are brighter
Very clear focus
Balance very good
Feeling much stronger than usual
Cold hands and feet
Day 6 (Wednesday) - Fantasising about food
I'm feeling a bit hungry this morning and it's almost a relief. This is the first day I haven't lost any weight which I was surprised about because I look slimmer in the mirror. I did spend the day daydreaming about what food I want to eat on Friday but the idea of eating food almost seems a bit scary now. I like the control and regime I have with the juices and eating at set times.
That said I truly am over the juices. I've got it into my head that the red (beetroot) and orange (carrot) juices are more like 'meals' than the array of green juices. This is absolutely not true, they are all equally tasty and satisfying but I guess I've had way to much time to overthink it.
My brain still feels switched on and my colleagues are impressed that I've been in good spirits and not at all moody. Granted I did send the below text to a colleague thinking they were going to the cafe for a bacon sandwich.
Day 6 symptoms:
Daydreaming about food
Not wanting juice
Over thinking juice
Slight fear of eating again
Day 7 (Thursday) FINAL DAY!
Well glaze my nipples and call me Rita, I made it to the final day! I was having to force down juices by now so I didn't die, but I could have happily gone without them. I felt brilliant and had lost 2.5kg in total (although nothing in the final 2 days). I feel mentally well too. Happy, strong, calm and focused. Usually I can only manage one of the three at any given time. The final hurdle was a curry night with my workmates. Usually this gets a bit boozy and messy. I toyed around all day about whether to have my final evening juice then snack on some curry and have a few G&Ts.
When it came round to it I was still on a bit of a juicing high and decided to stick to the cleanse for the final meal. I drank sparkling water and whilst everyone's food looked incredible, I wasn't tempted. Yeah it was a bit odd being sat there while everyone else was eating but I was so happy with myself that I chatted away and had a brilliant night. Usually I need a few glasses of wine to get in the spirit otherwise I'm a bit awkward and self conscious (shhh don't tell anyone, I do a great job of faking it!). It was great getting home from a night out feeling sober, not stuffed or uncomfortable and feeling so so proud of myself.
Day 7 symptoms:
Exceptionally proud of my willpower
Feeling good because people were impressed that I had stuck to it
Feeling great overall (still cold hands and feet though)
Feeling in great shape
Feeling physically and mentally awesome
Business as usual
I wasn't hungry at the start of day 8 but forced myself to have a banana. I had succumbed to chocolate by lunchtime and had a normal dinner. I felt like I was looking at food choices and portion sizes differently.
I messed up massively by going on a hen party on day 9, I still wasn't hungry so had forgotten to have breakfast and lunch. Needless to say alcohol and party food hit me like a bullet train and I was a mess. I fell asleep by 9pm, missed the night out and was confused, dizzy and disoriented for all of the following day. That was stupidity on my part and another lesson learnt!
Would I do it again?
Yes, in a heartbeat. I would only do 5 days though because the final two days messed with my head a bit as far as overthinking eating goes. I would also do one/two day fasts for a bit of a clear out and refresh. I would be more sensible about preparing for the cleanse and gently reintroducing food afterwards. Finally, I would make sure that day 3 fell on a weekend, there was no way I could have worked that day.
** FYI - I am a HUGE coffee drinker and whilst I stuck to the cleanse pretty well I did allow myself 1 black coffee a day. I expected to be lethargic and thought that might be the only way to stay functioning for work. Plus I couldn't face massive caffeine withdrawal**
Any questions feel free to give me a shout, I struggled to find answers to my own questions beforehand so I'm more than happy to share.