A few weeks ago my husband and I bought a juicer with a gift card someone gave us for our wedding. I have wanted a juicer for a long time so I was beyond excited to juice everything in sight. Over the past two years I have developed a greater focus on nutrition and in doing so I learned that fresh juices can be a great way to get a large amount of vital nutrients without eating pounds of fruits and vegetables. I have also read about juice cleanses where you replace solid foods with nutrient-dense juices for 1-7 days. The goal of a juice cleanse is to rid your body of toxins and give your digestive system a little break.
The reason I wanted to try a cleanse is because I had been so busy with work and traveling I felt I wasn’t getting a good dose of the essential nutrients my body needed. I was seeing evidence of this in my skin. I don’t normally have break-outs but all of the sudden my skin seemed to be reverting back to its teenage self. I was also feeling very tired and just generally blah.
I have looked online and in-store at a couple different juice cleanses but one thing always stands out to me: they are so freaking expensive! The average cost per juice is about $7-10. Most cleanses contain 5-6 juices so you’re looking at about $60 for one day. Spending that kind of money is just not in my food budget at the moment so I decided to do some detailed research and make my own juice cleanse at a lower cost.
I thought I would share with you how I made the cleanse, how it went for me, and my impression of it overall. Since I have never done a juice cleanse before I chose to just make a one day cleanse to give my body a little reboot.
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian, doctor, or nutritionist so you should definitely consult your physician before starting anything like this.
OK, I just wanted to get that out of the way in case someone reading this decides to juice an octopus or something, gets sick, and then says “Hey, that one blog lady made me do it!” Please don’t do that. 🙂
On to the cleanse!
To start this juicing journey it is best to choose organic fruits and vegetables. This will provide you the most amount of nutrients with the least amount of, if any, pesticides. There is a small farmer’s market near my home once a week so I chose to get the majority of my fruits and vegetables from there. This is also a great idea because you are supporting your local farmers and that, in my opinion, is just swell! The rest of the things I needed I bought at a local grocery store and I managed to get everything organic except for the lemons and the beet. In total I spent about $30 on all my fruits and vegetables. After making my cleanse juices I still had a lot of vegetables left over. I estimate each juice cost me $2-3. Of course this may be different for you depending on where you buy your fruits and vegetables.
Next, you will need some glass bottles or mason jars. Most cleansing juices I have found in grocery stores are about 12-16 oz. I am a frequent GTS Kombucha drinker and bottle hoarder so I used 6 empty kombucha bottles to store my cleanse. These bottles just happen to hold exactly 16 ounces.
Now, it’s time to get to juicing. Along with your juicer you will need a cutting board and a sharp knife. Cutting up the fruits and vegetables can help extract the juice more easily. I chose to clean and set out only the items I needed for one juice at a time in order to reduce error in juicing the wrong things. Like I said earlier, I was very excited to be juicing and I tend to get carried away with other things in my life so there was a strong possibility I would just juice whatever was in front of me in a fury of juicing excitement.
I based these juices on a few different cleanses so I am not claiming these are my original recipes. I just looked up a few different cleanses and what each juice contained and then juiced those things myself. Another reason I wanted to make my own cleanse is because I am allergic to kiwi and many store bought juices contain kiwi.
6 Stalks of celery
3 Collard green leaves
Spinach (About 1 cup)
Kale (About 1 1/2 cup)
A sprinkle of mint
4 1/5 Large carrots
1 1/2 Apples
2 Slices Pineapple OR 1/2 Grapefruit
A dash of Turmeric
3 Large carrots
3 Celery Stalks
A LOT of kale
4 Celery stalks
A handful of Spinach
A handful of Kale
2 Collard green leaves
A pinch of ginger
10 oz Unsweet vanilla almond milk
1 tsp Honey (Real honey. No honey-like syrups)
A handful of cherries OR 1/2 grapefruit
A pinch of cinnamon
1Tbsp of coconut oil
* For this drink you will mix all ingredients in a blender instead of using the juicer.
To prepare for a cleanse I read it is suggested you cut out caffeine. I read this the night before the cleanse so this was simply not possible for me. Yes, I am a caffeine addict. When caffeine addicts cut out all caffeine suddenly it can result in a horrendous headache and complete loss of life. OK, that last part is a lie. The headache part is real though and I have felt the rage of a caffeine withdrawal headache before. It is not pretty so I decided to allow myself 1 cup of black coffee in the morning.
I woke up the day of the cleanse at 9am and after my one cup of coffee I drank my first juice. I felt great! The juice tasted great and I had a sudden burst of energy. I happily got ready for the day and started some work. At around 11am I had my second juice. I drank this juice through a straw because the strong taste of carrots was not my favorite but still it didn’t taste horrible. After doing some more work I could tell my mood was noticeably elevated. I had some errands to run so I packed my 3rd juice in aluminum foil and headed out the door.
One of my errands took me into the mall where I faced my Goliath: Auntie Anne’s pretzels. The smell of warm dough and sugar was like a siren song calling to me. I was strong though and grabbed a cup of hot mint tea at the coffee stand directly across from Auntie Anne’s. I win, Auntie.
As soon as I left the mall I opened up the 3rd juice and about 1/4 of the way through I started to feel very full. I had taken in a lot of liquids that day. It took me about an hour to finish the 3rd juice. When I arrived home I got into the zone working and doing some chores around the house. I felt very focused. At around 6pm I started drinking the 4th juice. After this juice I was feeling thirsty so I drank a glass of water and watched some TV. Suddenly I didn’t feel hungry or thirsty. At 8pm I tried to drink the 5th juice but my stomach still felt full and I couldn’t seem to force myself to drink it. I ended my night with 2 juices left in the fridge.
At first I felt bad like I had failed the cleanse but then I settled on the fact that I should listen to my body and my body was telling me it was full.
I got ready for bed feeling rejuvenated and cleansed. Then at 10:30pm my husband came home from work and popped a goat cheese pesto pizza in the oven. As the smells of garlic and cheese wafted into our bedroom I felt many emotions: anger, resentment, and longing. I turned on the fan, closed my eyes, and went to sleep.
My Overall Impression
My experience overall was great. I would definitely recommend this type of cleanse for someone looking to improve their energy levels.The days following the cleanse I still felt good. I had more energy and my breakout started to clear up. Looking back I think I couldn’t finish those last two juices for a couple of reasons. I should have chosen a day where my schedule started earlier say, around 7am. I also think if I had been more physically active that day I might have used up more energy and needed those last two juices. Regardless I feel it was a success and I will surely try this again in the future.
If you try a juice cleanse I would love to hear about your experience. Let me know in the comments below, on my Instagram-liveloveandtiu, or on twitter @imperfectperla.
Have a great day!