Planning on trying a cleanse to detox after the holidays and give you a head start on your New Year fitness resolutions? Read this first to find out if it’s for you. I tried a cleanse before the holidays (the turkey, cakes and endless calories). I’ve heard so much about them and I wanted to finally see what it was all about. I ordered a 3-day cleanse from the Canadian juice company, Total Cleanse. Total Cleanse puts together a juice meal plan designed to detoxify you and delivers it to your home in coolers.
I tried the Energize Cleanse (recommended for beginners) and each day I had the following juices in this order: Green Energy, Lemonade, Green Energy, Very Berry, Lemonade and Cashew Milk.
The cleanse was certainly difficult, but I did begin to see benefits right from the start. Find out what changes I saw and what I learned from the experience.
The days leading up to your cleanse are very important. You have to prepare your body for what it will experience. Going from eating normally to a liquid diet can be a shock. To make sure you’re ready, Total Cleanse suggests sticking to a fish and veggie diet the days leading up to the cleanse.
I tried my best to stick to the pre-cleanse menu of tilapia and kale, but I didn’t do too well. The day before my cleanse I ate oatmeal for breakfast, sushi for lunch, a cupcake as a snack (I couldn’t resist the red velvet) and a mushroom and kale risotto for dinner. While I did have fish and veggies, there were a lot of carbs and sugary foods that I shouldn’t have eaten. This made day one much more difficult on me. If I were to do this cleanse again, I would definitely stick to the recommended diet for an easier transition.
It was harder than I thought. I woke up hungry and usually I’d chow down on some delicious fiber cereal before heading to work, but that wasn’t the luxury I had today. The fact that I couldn’t chew for the next 72 hours hit me. I dove into my first juice of the day called Green Energy, which included ingredients such a as kale, celery and parsley. All of these things sound lovely and I would very much enjoy them in a salad, but mixed into a drink, they didn’t have the taste I was expecting. But, I sucked it up. I wasn’t going to quit based on taste and a little stomach growling.
I had trouble finishing my juices, leaving some a quarter to half full when moving on to the next. I shouldn’t have done that as you are supposed to finish the juices to get the full 1200 calories for the day and all the nutrients you need to feel energized. Around 3pm I started to feel the effects of skipping those last few sips. I took to my Total Cleanse guide to find out what to do. If you are really hungry they allow for a few snacks: a piece of fruit, a few almonds and some other small and healthy options. I opted for almonds, eating 12 in total. This helped and I was able to make it through the rest of the day successfully.
When I woke up and looked in the mirror, I noticed right away that my skin looked more luminous than normal. I think drinking more fluids and the excellent nutrients I was getting the day before definitely had a positive effect on my skin and that was exactly the motivation I needed to begin day two.
Again, I found it difficult to finish the juices completely. The Lemon Rush juice was delicious but the Cayenne made it hard to drink quickly. The cleanse suggests taking 20 minutes to drink each juice and to drink them 2-3 hours apart. I found that it took me about 40 minutes to finish a juice and I was drinking them every 2 hours. Their suggestion is for freshness, the longer the juice sits without the cap, the staler it becomes. But, I found that the juice still tasted good after sitting out for 40 minutes.
I was less hungry and I was beginning to get used to the cleanse. My stomach felt flatter, my skin looked better and overall I still had energy. It wasn’t until I joined friends at a local bar later that evening that I started to struggle. There were delicious appetizers being served and while everyone enjoyed the salami and cheese, I was stuck clinging to my juice. I was sad to miss out but I convinced myself that the results would be worth skipping one of my favourite guilty pleasures.
It gets much easier by day three! Even though the night before was sleepless (I was running to the bathroom all night to pee!), I woke up feeling invigorated and it was another great skin day. I didn’t have the urge to snack on almonds or a piece of fruit at lunch and I finished more juice than I did the days before.
Whether I was truly getting used to the new diet, or just happy to finally have the finish line in sight, I was feeling great on day three.
How I feel now that it is over:
I have to admit I am glad it is over. Not because I didn’t see results – my stomach has never been flatter – but because I can finally chew (a luxury I never appreciated before). The day after my cleanse ended was also my Christmas Shopping Day and I was surprised how much energy I had. I walked all of Yorkdale Mall, Eaton’s Center and the Superstore without a break. Whether it was from my Energize juices or that adrenaline you get while shopping, I was definitely feeling a boost! I had no problem digesting solid foods in the days following and the transition was pretty smooth. I found I did feel full faster, which helped me stay away from over-indulging during the holidays.
If you’re looking to do a liquid detox, make sure you do your research and consult with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you.