Spring Cleanse Part 2: From the Inside to the Outside – Body detox with juice feasting
23. März 2021
Have you ever heard of juice feasting?
Waiting for the first day of Spring, I thought it´s a perfect time to renew my body and mind and enjoy a burst of energy through a little detox. A 3-day juice treatment was the plan – I was so ready for it!
After reading a couple of articles describing the procedure and the benefits of juicing (e.g. “10 Reasons Why Juicing Can Improve Your Life” and “Juice therapies”) I was immediately interested. The idea behind juice feasting is to stimulate the cells and the immune system with the consumption of highly concentrated juices made out of raw fruits and vegetables and avoid any other food to release the intestine and the food processing organs. In juice feasting, the overall number of calories per day is 750. To me, this sounded like a good alternative to general fasting, where the max. number of calories per day is only 500.
My major concern was not to omit food, but rather not drinking coffee for 3 days. To avoid headaches and nausea through the waiver of coffee, I decided to follow the recommendation of two discharge days to reduce food and select cooked vegetables over carbohydrates. In addition: no alcohol, no caffeine, no sugar. So far so good.
The juices. Scrolling through my internet browser, I found a couple of companies pre-preparing “ready to drink” juice treatments for the selected number of days, such as “Kale&Me”, “The Frank Juice” and “I DO”. I clicked the first one, which promised a quick delivery (once the decision was made, I didn´t want to delay it) and selected the starter kit from Kale&Me: 6 juices/day for 3 days, beginners’ packages with 4 fruit juices and two veggie ones (practiced juice feasters can also select a pure vegetable cure). The juices arrived in a cooled box with additional information material to be downloaded from the website. Time to start…
Discharge Day 1&2
I let go of my beloved cappuccino and start the day with black tea and porridge instead of bread with butter and jam. A light lunch and healthy dinner round off the day. On the second day, I let go of any caffeine and drink only herbal teas. Headaches and deep fatigue follow. As I only consume light meals, I feel hungry throughout the day. I’m curious how the next day’s turn out.
I start the day with a 20-minute Yoga stretching routine, as usual, followed by a cup of tea and the first juice: Cucumber, pine, lemon, and mint, which should be refreshing and energizing. An hour later I’m tired and feel a growling in my tummy. Time for the next juice: carrot, apple, lemon. At lunchtime the first veggie drink is due: spinach, avocado, and pear. Surprisingly, this juice has exactly the same texture as the others: thin and juicy and not like the thick smoothies I sometimes prefer as a lunch. The afternoon comes with carrot, beetroot, and ginger, distributing a good mood through the bright red color. Nevertheless, it could hardly keep me awake in the afternoon, coming along with a slight feeling of hunger. No. 5 is the one with celery, the ONLY vegetable I really dislike: eyes closed and away with it. Afterward, I brew myself a cup of broth to get rid of the celery taste. I´m looking forward to bedtime. The evening drink is tasty with almonds, strawberries, and dates. A bit disappointed about the lack of food, I go to bed early.
I wake up early feeling completely energized. I follow the plan and drink the exact same drinks as the day before. My energy level stays constant, maybe pushed through the meetings I’m involved in throughout the morning, giving me no time to be tired. I notice a longing for real food in the afternoon, driven by the fact that I prepare an afternoon snack for my kids. I am surprised that I am neither hungry nor tired. However, I´m already looking forward to the end of the cure, just for the taste of food. Again, I´m not a fan of the celery and can only pour half of it and also only half of the almond drink as I am already filled with broth and tea.
To be honest, I`m not looking forward to the juices anymore. The lemon-sour taste and the fact that every juice should be accomplished with either water, herbal tea or broth is excessive. Far too much drinking for my taste. I don´t feel as energized as yesterday, so I skip the Yoga and try to rest as best as I can. I´m not very productive today nor am I hungry. There is just this longing for real food, missing the sense of community sitting together with the family and eating – not only drinking (only a sip of celery today). I am quite happy, it´s over tomorrow.
The Day After
Oh, Happy Day! I wake up early again, feeling awake and happy to be finished with the diet. My husband (who has joined in the juice feasting) and I have made plans for a delicious breakfast. We decide to skip the recommendation to restart lightly with porridge and go for a “normal” breakfast instead: Bread, butter, jam, yogurt, fruits, and coffee. What a delight!
We keep light meals for the rest of the day, trying to slowly introduce food again, still giving the body plenty of rest. I have no problems with digestion or abdominal pain (even though I am sometimes very sensitive).
I am not a fan of juice feasting. After all, it was not the hungry feeling nor fatigue, or the withdrawal from coffee, but you really have to get used to the constant drinking. Plus, there is this immanent sour taste and it´s always cold, which distracts further energy from the body (I softly warmed the juices in warm water from time to time). Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn´t help either: instead of a moderate spring start, the temperatures had fallen down to zero and it snowed the whole week. The body was longing for food to keep the metabolism going and heat the body. My husband really got problems with hypoglycemia – he was sitting on the couch tucked in a warm blanket, even though he is never cold and still not feeling completely powerful again.
Overall, three days were a good start to get an idea of how my body reacts to the withdrawal of food and get a glimpse into the cravings of my mind. The promised energy kick was slightly feelable on the second day, but there was no sign of glowing eyes or radiant skin as noticed by other participants. Likely, it would need more days to dive into those benefits.
It was still a good push to rethink my eating habits – I am a healthy eater (no binge eating or processed food), but this can always be improved. In addition, I lost a couple of my COVID home office pounds – 1,8 kilograms (approx. 4 pounds) but gained back 700 grams already. Let’s see where my weight evens out finally. In terms of cleansing the body, I would rather prefer an alternative with light warm meals, such as the ayurvedic cleanse the next time.
The burst of energy I already had a glimpse of, comes hopefully with the blooming of spring, slightly delayed by a couple of days.
“The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.”