Proponents claim by giving your digestive tract a break with a juicing cleanse, the body is able to efficiently relieve itself of the massive amounts 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 out 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.
Before starting the cleanse, I was told the first day was the hardest.
Lisa Wray (occasional exerciser) gave up at the end of the day. Trying to keep up with the juice at work proved to be too difficult a task -- she hopes to give it another go on a weekend -- she ended the day with a salmon kale salad.
Gilcelia Dos Santos (regular exerciser) felt starved throughout most of the day. To curb her terrible headache, she ate some almond butter in the evening, which helped.
Emily Alvarez (part-time spin instructor; currently training for a marathon) reported feeling extremely hungry -- her words were a bit more explicit -- and bloated from the juice; however, she felt marked improvements in her mood -- on day one, it wouldn't have been a surprise to hear she punched someone.
At different points in time, some of the girls -- not naming names for the sake of avoiding embarrassment -- described having excess gas and bad breath. Note: Stay away from anyone you would like to impress while cleansing.
For me (occasional dog walker), personally, the second day was much easier than the first. I woke up in a terrible mood due to a strange night's sleep; I wasn't restless, feverish, or achey, but my body just felt weird -- I have no words to explain the feeling.
I forged on anyway, starting the day with a glass of lemon, cayenne, and agave water, which perked me up straight away. Maybe my blood sugar was low -- I don't know.
From there, I had about a quarter cup of homemade almond milk -- I lost some due to personal and blender malfunctions -- then a green tea, and a couple hours later a green juice.
At that point, my energy level surged; it was as if I had just come back from a run. From 8 a.m. to about 6 p.m., I was just as productive as I normally am.
In the evening, I had a mellow headache, but it wasn't excruciating.
For my last juice of the day, I tried to add avocado -- I thought fat would help stabilize my hunger -- but, I soon discovered that avocados don't juice well. Because I felt so bad about wasting it, I scraped it out of the blender with my fingers and ate it. It was even better than the time I ate Red Lobster after hiking for six weeks.
Lessons learned from day two:
- It gets easier.
- Chewing your juice actually helps ease the desire to eat.
- Expect strange odors to come out of your body.
- Avocado is the greatest thing in the world after not eating for a couple of days.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.