Thinking about doing a juice cleanse? Awesome! That’s the first step to actually doing one. If you’re like me, you like to know what you’re getting into before you commit to something and so I’ve decided to share my cleanse experience so that you can be more informed. And if you haven’t thought about doing a cleanse, maybe this will inspire you to start thinking about it!
First a little bit about me – my name is Emily and I recently started managing Pure Simple Juice. I’ve been juicing for three years and done my own “mini-cleanses” but never a full blown multiple day cleanse of just juice, and I figured being a new part of the company it would be great for me to experience the cleanse so that when and if YOU choose to do it, we can compare notes. Keep in mind, everybody’s experience will be a little bit different and this is just a snapshot of my personal experience.
Honestly, I was pretty well-primed to jump into a cleanse. I eat a mostly vegan diet, exercise regularly and don’t drink very much. For anyone who drinks more or eats more animal products/processed food (hey, I’m no saint – chips are my kryptonite) than I do, it’s probably a good idea to start cutting down on these things a few days before starting a cleanse.
That being said, I love to eat – I eat frequently and a lot of my time is spent in the kitchen – prepping weekly meals or trying new recipes, so my biggest challenge was how to not participate in the passion that takes up most of my time for three days. When I told my boyfriend, Rich, that I was doing the cleanse he immediately asked if he could do it with me, so I was very fortunate to have a buddy during the cleanse.
Here’s a snapshot of my three day cleanse!
The first day I wake up around 8 and I’m less hungry than usual, which I’m thankful for. I start the day with some herbal tea and the Turmeric Tonic. Then I have my Green Lemonade and am feeling awake and refreshed. Around 11, I notice that I am hungry, but it’s that good clean feeling of hunger. I’m a little lightheaded and whenever I open the pantry I notice my roommate’s chips and fantasize about chomping down on them (food texture – especially crunch-factor – is a huge thing for me).
I saved a few projects and errands specifically for this day so that I would have things to fill my time – I make some more kombucha and laundry detergent, send a package to a friend and go to the library.
After Rich comes back from work, we’re having some rest time before going to yoga. Around 5 I become uncontrollably hungry, feel really weird, and am having heartburn. I’m so uncomfortable and in my mind, the solution is just to eat something. I have some baking soda in warm water for the heartburn, which helps, but I’m still starving. Rich talks me down and tells me to just relax and encourages me to stick to the cleanse, reminding me that most of what I’m feeling is mental. The fact that HE feels okay and doesn’t have a need to eat helps the feeling pass.
I feel so much better after our restorative yoga class. We end the night with the Miso and after the first day of drinking nothin’ but juice, Rich relaxes, sips his broth and says, “This is everything”.
I wake up hungry again, but it’s that clean feeling of hunger. I’m less tired than yesterday and I feel more alert. And maybe it’s just mental, but my jeans feel a little looser! I go into work for a few hours, which is good to have a distraction for a chunk of my day.
I’m still hungry but I’m better able to cope now. It feels normal and it’s easier to ignore. I use a lot of mental energy doing research at work and for a few hours after, so by the time the evening rolls around I’m zonked. I relax in bed and read. Around 8.30 I eat my Miso and afterwards draw myself a hot bath and soak for around 20 minutes. At this point my belly and my body are warm and I’m definitely ready for sleepytime.
On day three I’m feeling more normal. My tiredness and energy levels have normalized, and my mind feels clear – no more feeling lightheaded. It’s raining heavily all day, which makes it really hard to want to do anything. I mostly alternate between reading and watching Netflix. I break my day up by braving the weather and walking to the produce stand, about 20 minutes from my house, to buy some fresh fruits and veggies for the next day. It feels good to walk outside, even if it’s raining.
At this point the feeling of hunger still hasn’t gone away but it’s more distant now – just a latent feeling that I’m used to. In the afternoon I notice I start feeling stiff and so I frequently stretch and do some embarrassing dance/boxing/stomping around moves to get my blood flowing. When your muscles feel stiff, it’s your body trying to rid itself of toxins, so any sort of movement helps your body facilitate the process. It’s still pouring in the evening, so I keep reading and Netflixing, and end up asleep pretty early.
I wake up early for work the next day, honestly really excited about having coffee (I just had a little black tea during the cleanse) and eating solid food. I have an apple for breakfast. I want to ease my body back into digestion. I eat slowly and savor the taste and texture. The apple sits well with me, so I have a banana a few hours later and continue to eat mostly fruits and veggies for the rest of the day.
So – was this cleanse easy? No. Was I hungry? Yes. Did I murder someone? No. What I did like is that the commitment to a cleanse challenges you mentally and physically, and it’s good to give yourself challenges every once in awhile and break your routine. That’s what it’s really about – pushing your limits and forcing yourself to be in tune with your body. I’ve never paid so much attention to how my body was feeling.
I also found that the day after the cleanse I wasn’t craving foods that I normally crave – I crave both sweets and salty/crunchy things and try to be reasonable about this, allowing myself to indulge sometimes or find healthy alternatives. But the day after, I was very satisfied with things I was eating just the way they were.
Now that I know how my body and mind are going to handle the cleanse, I actually feel like I would be much more prepared to do it again in the future. During your first cleanse, you have no idea how your body/mind is going to react (I didn’t expect to have a near meltdown on the first day). Your first cleanse is just sort of a test run.
A few tips:
- Drink a ton of water. More than you want to. I was drinking so much water and so much herbal tea (like, I always had a drink in my hand). It’s the best way to aid your body in ridding itself of toxins. Stretching and sweating also help with this.
- If you can get someone to do the cleanse with you, awesome! It was so nice to know that Rich was on my level, that we were going through it together. If not, it’s great if you can have someone to talk to about how you’re feeling. At the very least, you can always contact us with any questions or concerns!
- Be open to what’s going to happen to your body. Weird stuff will come out of you, especially if your diet has incorporated a lot of processed foods in the past. You might be shocked, but seriously – it’s okay. This is part of the cleansing process. You might be peeing a lot. This is okay. Keep in mind that everything that your body is doing is part of the process of expelling toxins – whether you’ve got a headache, heartburn, frequent bathroom trips, fatigue, brain fuzziness – this is all part of the detox process. Don’t let that sense of panic creep up – take a moment to breathe, to touch base with your body and mind, and remind yourself of your larger goals.
- Make plans. Nothing too strenuous or taxing. Go for an easy hike. Do projects around the house. Read. Schedule things to distract you, but also set time aside for yourself. In the three days of my cleanse, I got a lot of restorative me-time (Rich was at work a lot), which is akin to a mental reset, as well as physical.
- After a cleanse is a great time to reset your intentions. A lot of people find that they want to eat better after a cleanse. It’s a good time to try healthy foods you think you don’t like, or just sort of reset your lifestyle. Maybe you’ll drink less coffee, consume less sugar or less junk food. A cleanse helps your body wipe itself clean and it’s up to you how you’re going to fill in the blank space.
It’s your cleanse, it’s your journey, and only you will dictate how it all goes down. So give it a shot! It can be scary to commit, but what’s the worst that can happen? You can’t really fail. At the very least, you’ve got a ton of healthy juices to drink. We get so caught up in our habits and schedules and forget that we have the power to stretch our limits, to challenge ourselves, to better ourselves. Taking part in a cleanse is a great way to remind yourself of that and a great way to reconnect with your body and your mind.
This clip shows you what goes into our nutrient rich and oh-so-satisfying soups (and our sweet little kitchen). Recipe for our Spiced Crunchy Cornbread Biscuits, see below.
Come try them at our kitchen during our hot-grab-and-go Soup Service M-F 11am-2pm, or send us an email if you’re interested in more info about our weekly soup subscription before it goes live Mid-February.
Pure Simple Juice Kitchen 1620 SE 3rd Ave.
We’re here to warm your damp little souls… see our menu below, we’ll be updating it daily.
- +Onion, Carrot, Celery
- +Turmeric & Dried Chile
- +Brazil NutMilk
Red Bean Chili
- +Leeks, Tomato, Bell Pepper
- +Turmeric & Chili
- +Radish & Chard Stock
- +Green Juice Stock
And here’s the recipe for our Spiced Crunchy Cornbread Biscuits:
Preheat oven to 325
In a large bowl, mix well:
- 1 Cup Organic Rice Flour
- 1.5 Cups Organic Fine Cornmeal
- 5 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 4 tsp Sea Salt
In a blender, mix well:
- 1 Cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Overnight Soaked Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 Cups Water
- 2 Tblsp Grade B Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp cloves (optional)
- 1 tsp black pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
Mix wet & dry ingredients together well for 5 minutes, then scoop 3″ blobs onto a greased baking tray at least 2″ apart.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, then check color and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown.. depending on your oven etc.. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving, eat same day, freeze extras & reheat later. Makes about 12 large biscuits.
check out one of our favorite winter vegetables to keep you going when it’s cooooold outside..
Oh yeah, and if you want to try a few of our favorite things, we’re offering our weekly juice subscription here.
As we fall into winter, and holiday feasting begins, the creative juices are flowing at Pure Simple Juice. We’re cooking up quite a storm, perfecting our newest offering… Pure Simple Soup! To satisfy hungry lunchers, we will be serving up savory soups made from the same organic local produce we use in our juices plus hearty legumes, ancient grains and immune-supporting alums like onions and leeks. In-line with our commitment to health & sustainability, we only employ re-useable glass packaging.
- Our selection of 4 soups for grab-n-go service includes:
- *Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- *Caramelized Onion, Red Miso & Sweet Pepper Stock
- With 2 rotating soups like:
- *Creamy Potato Leek w/ Celeriac
- *Mushroom & Ancient Grains in Greens Stock
- A 16oz Soup Serving + Crunchy Cornmeal Biscuit is only $6
- Monday-Friday 11am-2pm, starting December 1st at our kitchen 1620 SE 3rd Ave
- Come and have a taste!
As you’ve probably noticed if you’ve picked up a magazine or watched TV recently, juice cleanses are one of the biggest trends around health and wellness (and weight loss dieting) these days.
Since all of us at Pure Simple Juice have been doing plenty of research on many different fronts, we thought it would be nice to distill some of what we’ve found, and demystify this trend a bit.
If you’ve tried doing any research on your own about juice fasting (or juice cleansing), the most notable information you may have gotten is…there’s not much scientific information on it, and what information there is can be quite confusing and frustrating. Does that mean that you should call the whole thing off? Not necessarily. Personal health is an essential component of Pure Simple Juice and we believe it’s just that: personal, and therefore up to you to find what works best for YOU. How does that translate to your everyday? First and foremost, being honest with yourself about what you’re eating and how you’re taking care of yourself—paying attention to which foods do or don’t make you feel good. Our bodies are pretty magical, and once we decide to take care of ourselves, it’s amazing how much difference we can make in our wellbeing simply by eating well. The French physician Brillat-Savarin’s infamous quote, “You are what you eat,” still speaks volumes. We believe eating living food is the best compliment to being alive.
Deciding to make changes is easy—it’s implementing them into your daily routines that can be challenging, and it’s best to take it slow; the most effective changes happen through your daily habits. If your diet primarily consists of refined and synthetic sugars (if you’re not sure, it likely has plenty), processed grains (white rice, white flours), processed and treated meats (any animals treated with antibiotics or preservatives), alcohol, cigarettes, or if you work with toxic chemicals, you don’t want to rush into committing to a juice fast any time soon. There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to true health, and if you jump too quickly into a “cleanse” you could have an unpleasant experience and overwhelm your system.
If the foods mentioned above are an integral part of your diet, you’ll want to start by first reducing how much processed food you eat. Try incorporating a smoothie (preferably with green leafy things in it) into your diet on a daily basis and cutting out one processed food per day. The fiber in the smoothies will act as a scrubbing brush for the buildup of processed foods in your system and slow down the absorption of the natural sugars from the fruit in your smoothies, so you don’t get a sugar spike or crash.
If you don’t have a lot of the above foods in your daily diet, a short juice fast is like pressing a soft reset button for your digestive system, and is an excellent way for you to redirect your eating habits, lose a little weight (mostly water weight in the first 3 days), release toxins (resulting from both your diet and environment), and heighten your senses (your sense of smell will surprise you!). Think of it this way: a juice fast is like a nutrient flush that requires no digestion because all the fiber is removed, so nutrients go straight into your system in the most efficient way.
“Will I starve?” you ask. Not if you get enough nutrient-rich juice. 80-100 ounces of juice is standard for a raw juice cleanse, and contains plenty of nutrients for an average adult. Not all juices (or vegetables, for that matter) have the same amount of nutrients, but raw juice is the most efficient way to get all the nutrients and enzymes from whatever produce is juiced. We make cold-pressed juice, which is the most nutrient-rich way of having vegetables, and use produce grown without synthetic fertilizers that isn’t sprayed with chemicals, and therefore goes through a plant cycle that promotes nutrient accumulation and retention.
There are many ways to juice fast, and what you put in your body when you’re cleansing is as important as what you’re not putting in. You’ll want to drink a variety of juices, not just one type, and drink at least 12 ounces daily of “green juice” made with at least 20% dark green leafy veggies (like kale). Variety is one of the biggest factors in nutrition, so the more types of produce you can incorporate into your cleanse, the better. Generally, you don’t want to have fruit with vegetables, but citrus and green apples are widely accepted as ok to mix with veggies.
Here are important things to think about during your cleanse:
What to do:
- No solid food is the idea, but if you’re struggling with hunger at the end of the first day, have some steamed dark green leafy greens (like kale, chard, or beet greens).
- Drink lots of water. It’s counterintuitive since you’re drinking liquids, but because the food you’re “eating” is helping to release toxins, you’ll want to aid this process by flushing your body with water in between drinking juices.
- Chew your juice! Chewing releases enzymes that will aid in the absorption of nutrients.
- Take an Epsom salt bath* before bed to release the toxins freed up by all that juice.
- Take probiotics! Kombucha, pills, or liquid supplements are all good, just no dairy or refined sugar.
- If you feel like you need protein, make sure your cleanse includes a seed milk (nut milk) that’s raw (not from a box).
What not to do:
- For starters, you’ll want to limit your caffeine intake, but if you’re drinking coffee daily, you’ll want to reduce your intake by at least half before starting a cleanse, otherwise you’ll likely end up with a headache. The less caffeine you have during a cleanse, the better. While cleansing, a little caffeine (preferably green tea or yerba mate) is okay.
- Absolutely no alcohol. You’ll get tanked on 1 serving, and will probably end up craving foods that nullify the point of doing a cleanse. And your liver would love a break!
- No refined or synthetic sugars.
- As a general rule, don’t eat anything out of a box.
We’d love to hear from you if you have questions or anything you’d like to share with us, such as ideas or personal experiences. We feel that it’s really important to communicate, so we’ll get back to you within 48 hours. We’re glad you’ve taken the time to educate yourself, and we support your journey towards better health!
*Epsom Salt Bath:
2 cups unscented Epsom salt (available at any drug store and most grocery stores)
1 cup raw apple cider vinegar to balance the pH (so as not to dry out your skin)
A few drops of mint/tea tree oil for the aroma
Mix well in the hottest water you can stand, soak at least 30 minutes, and you’ll be warm, utterly zonked, and ready for sleepytimes.