21 Day (sort of juice) Cleanse

Alternatively titled: I like food too much to ever complete a real juice cleanse.

I genuinely do enjoy making fresh juice in our juicer. And, since I’m not a breakfast person, it’s a great way to wake me up and get my metabolism going in the morning.  But once lunchtime rolls around, I’m starving.  And having more juice just doesn’t cut it the same way pizza does!

Which is probably why I should try some sort of cleanse in the first place.  Gluten (along with a lot of other stuff) really doesn’t sit well with my sensitive stomach and I’ve definitely been feeling the need to hit the recharge button lately.  I genuinely love healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, but I’ve been “cheating” enough lately that I do feel the need to hit the breaks and start fresh.  I considered a 3 days juice cleanse to jump start my digestive system, but that just hasn’t worked for me in the past.

Rather than suffer through hunger for three days, just to cave and EAT ALL THE THINGS when I’m done, here’s what I’m going to do for the next 21 days:

  • add fresh juice back into my diet, with lots of veggies to cut down on the sugar
  • yogurt smoothie or bowls, for the probiotics
  • whole fruits and veggies (maybe with hummus or nut butter) for snacking
  • protein (fish, chicken, eggs) with veggies or a salad
  • some healthy, whole grains (like quinoa, brown rice, or oats)
  • lots of water, green tea
  • minimal caffeine and alcohol
  • zero gluten/trigger foods

Eliminating trigger foods, while sticking to whole foods, along with fresh juice, still provides the cleansing benefits and jump starts your system to run on clean, unprocessed foods without leaving you hungry and uncomfortable all the time.  But, how did we get to 21 days?!?

I realized that my ultimate goal is to heal my stomach and start eating consciously again.  To really think about food attachments and anxieties – especially why I continue to eat trigger foods (like gluten) when I know they don’t work for me.  To really and truly give myself a chance to see how I feel after a lifestyle change.  I don’t think I would answer these questions with a 3 day juice cleanse, but I would probably have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t after 3 weeks.

That’s not to say that I don’t see the value of juicing…there are certainly a lot of benefits:

  • great way to get your recommended amount of fruits/veggies
  • delivers a nutrient dense meal quickly
  • allows the body to focus on eliminating toxins by freeing it from having to digest food
  • increased energy

But, there’s also some negatives:

  • excess sugar (if not careful to use a majority of veggies)
  • wasted pulp (which contains the fiber)
  • it can go bad very quickly since it’s not pasteurized
  • it’s very expensive
  • there’s little evidence to support that juicing yields more health benefits than simply eating whole fruits and vegetables

About a year ago, I was incorporating fresh juice into my diet almost everyday, and I felt amazing.  I also ate a ton of fresh produce, virtually no gluten, and clean, unprocessed sources of grains/protein.  For me personally, considering both the positives and negatives, juicing is a fantastic addition to a well rounded, clean diet.  But I’m just not on the juice cleansing bandwagon.

21 days of focusing on what has worked in the past will, hopefully, work again.  But, in actuality, I’d like to get back to my old habits and treat my body the way it deserves to be treated permanently.  So, other than the fact that I plan on documenting progress in the 21 days, I guess this isn’t really a cleanse, but rather a lifestyle change…and I should probably come up with a different title for this post altogether.  But I won’t =)


How do you feel about cleanses?


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