Proponents claim by giving your digestive tract a break with a juicing cleanse, the body is able to efficiently relieve itself of the massive amount of toxins we consume on a daily basis.
With the excess and indulgence of the holidays behind us, I decided it was time to try a juice cleanse myself, along with three friends. Together we make up a hodgepodge of diets and fitness routines.
For someone who makes a living by eating incessantly, it's going to be a challenge -- and probably hilarious.
The three remaining juicers were feeling pretty strong on the morning of the third and final day.
Emily Alvarez (part-time spin instructor; currently training for a marathon) caved in to the need for protein in the morning -- she couldn't sustain herself at the gym with just juice.
Gilcelia Dos Santos (regular exerciser) prepared herself a gallon of green juice to get her through the day.
I (occasional dog walker) was feeling great throughout most of the day; however, by the time evening came around, complete with an office happy-hour get-together, I was starting to feel the cravings.
Around 7 p.m., I sent out a text asking the others if they were ready to call it quits; it had technically been 72 hours by that point.
Dos Santos, who was expressing an extreme sense of starvation, said to wait until the morning.
About five minutes later, I ate a piece of bread with cold tomato sauce; normally, I wouldn't have been impressed, but at the moment, it was one of the most delicious morsels of food I felt like I have ever had. Within 20 minutes, my stomach was growling and I felt another one of those strange headaches that vibrated through the top of my head.
At 9:21, I sent out another check-in apprising everyone of my bump in the juicing road. Dos Santos had also succumbed to the pangs of hunger -- she nourished herself with two hard-boiled eggs and a spoon of honey. She felt fine afterward, apparently.
Aside from the mishaps, all three of us reported feeling energized and clear-headed, with an overall sense of wellness.
Throughout the day, I was told on numerous occasions -- two, but who's counting -- that I was glowing and my skin appeared radiant and dewey. It actually feels really nice, as well.
All three of us now look forward to eating whole food and drinking coffee.
While the cleanse was difficult, it wasn't so bad -- the hunger is definitely more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
Lessons learned from day three:
- Don't go to happy hour while cleansing -- it's torture, and the temptation is difficult/impossible to resist.
- Bread is a bad choice for a snack while juicing.
- Your skin will be visibly healthier -- it feels nice too.
- The strange bodily odors subside after a while.
- While the cleanse gets easier, the desire to chew does not go away.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.