Summer is in full swing….Whooo Hoooo!! We spend so many month in rain, snow, sleet, and cold in the Midwest that when summer finally comes the ZenSweet family is so happy. We love the sunshine, who doesn’t!?! Every year we hope to have a few weeks of 70-80 degree days before the heat index goes to 100 with humidity skyrocketing. The weather is Chicago is crazy compared to the temperate Northwest coast we love. In this warming up weather it feels nice to do a cleanse. So I decided to do my first ever REAL juice cleanse.
When I say REAL, I mean drinking nothing but juice for three days. We eat very clean in the ZenSweet house, but even I suffered a few headaches in the three days of my juice only diet. In retrospect I should have done a bit better with the pre-cleanse because drinking only juice is no joke on the body even if you maintain a very clean diet regularly.
For two to three days pre-cleanse I suggest cutting out all meat, dairy, and most heavy fats if possible. So basically eat slightly cooked vegetables and maybe even a few grains like quinoa and rice. I know…grains…yikes! But I feel it is what is needed personally before this type of cleanse. We’re going more vegan here for a few days and can jump back on the Paleo bandwagon a few days post-juicing. Everyone is different so all you can really do is experiment and see what feels best for you body.
So, for two to three days before juicing, I’d eat a light breakfast each morning with two eggs and sauerkraut or a bowl of oatmeal with some fruit. For lunch, a salad with a lot of fresh, raw vegetables, avocado and a light dressing with just a bit of coconut or avocado oil and vinegar. For dinner a variety of lightly cooked vegetables and 1/2 cup of quinoa or rice.
After the juicing part I’d slowly incorporate protein back into your diet. So maybe for another day eat like the pre-cleanse and then on the second day post-cleanse incorporate some more fats and fish. On the third day post feel free to put chicken and other protein back into your diet if it feels right!
I did not do such a good job of pre-cleansing so my juicing phase was a little challenging. I really only took all meat out for one day before starting and if I would have followed my own directions I would have had less symptoms during juicing. But there is always time to get it right next time, and I’m proud of myself for trying and mostly sticking to the plan!
I did all my juicing at one time. I bought a bunch of plastic bottles and filled them up in one felt swoop because I knew juicing every day, three to four times a day would be challenging with little kids. Preparing all the juice ahead of time really helped me out. Fresh juice hold for about 3-4 days so doing a 3 day juice cleanse phase worked well for me this way.
I experienced a few mild headaches, and mild fatigue. The first day of juicing was fine and I wasn’t even really hungry because I drank a juice every 3 hours which totally works to curb hunger. The second day I felt a little bit of fatigue but also felt refreshed in a way. I’m sure my body was working hard to detox so the mild symptoms of headache were manageable to me. The third day I felt like I wanted to be done with the whole thing and just wanted to eat some real food. So honestly, on the third day, I not only drank juice but ate a light veggie only dinner. Even though I wasn’t super strict with the plan, for me I felt like I had achieved a pretty good cleanse. I think that is all that matters. For the next week or so I felt pretty good like the juice cleanse had worked for my body so overall I’d call it a win. In hindsight I’ll try and be a little stricter with my diet the few days leading up to juicing. I’ll incorporate a few saunas, massage and Epsom salt baths with essential oils at night; some fun self-care while in the juicing phase next time.
I think while doing any type of cleanse it’s important to not only take care of the body but also the mind and spirit. Treat yourself to some self-care and it will go a lot smoother!
Oh and after doing so much juicing at one time, I really couldn’t stand wasting all the leftover vegetable fiber pulp. So I came up with a few recipes to use the pulp. You can google juice pulp recipes and there is a lot out there. My favorite was green juice pulp chocolate chip cookies and I’ll share that recipe! There are all sorts of wonderful recipe ideas like making crackers, muffins, soup and truffles.