The Liquid Diet

My Experience, Thoughts on Juice Cleanse


Photo Courtesy of Tova JohnPress

The six juices each day (from left to right) consisted of Detox Greens, Pineapple Apple Mint, Sweet Greens, Spicy Lemonade, UpBeet! and Coconut Fusion. My favorite by far was the Spicy Lemonade because it tasted just like regular lemonade but with a little spiced kick.

Ally JohnPress, Reporter

Juice cleanses. Everyone’s heard of them, but few have made the commitment of giving up solid food for days on end. However, for me, growing up in a particularly healthy household, juice cleanses have just about become the norm every once and a while. 

I was first introduced to the idea by my mom who thought it would be a great idea to “clean out my body” and “give my insides a break” from solid food. I didn’t really think much of it until one week where I found myself struggling to keep up healthy habits and instead feeling sicker each day. Now, this might have been jet lag from travelling to visit family in Wisconsin or other confounding circumstances, but I promised myself that when I got home I was going to give this raw juice diet a chance. 

As soon as I arrived back at home and told my mother I had wanted to try it, she became ecstatic and immediately ordered the juices. Within the week, a package had arrived from Juice from the Raw. There were eighteen juices in total, six per day. 

  • Detox Greens
  • Pineapple Apple Mint
  • Sweet Greens
  • Spicy Lemonade
  • UpBeet!
  • Coconut Fusion

The reality, though, was that I barely drank three juices a day. On the first day, I struggled. A lot. My first juice of the day was the Detox Greens. I vividly remember grabbing a purple straw from the cupboard and unscrewing the cap on the cold juice bottle. As soon as I opened it, the strong stench of wet grass and vegetable juice filled my nose. I gagged. Throughout the next hour and a half, I sipped that green juice through my straw. In all honesty, I hated it.

The next juice wasn’t much better, even if the name sounded sweeter. Pineapple Apple Mint. It tasted more like bitter apple juice mixed in with leaves. Now by this point in time, probably late afternoon, I was craving food. Literally anything. I think at one point I almost gave in when I saw my mom eating a salad at the kitchen table. Nevertheless, I persisted. 

Now, it was around dinner time when I realized my predicament. I was about to start my third juice! Only my third. Yikes. My mom had warned me that I wouldn’t be that hungry, but I didn’t believe her. The final juice for that day that I chose was the Coconut Fusion. This one wasn’t actually that bad. It tasted like milky coconut water. Although I couldn’t really enjoy it because my tolerance for liquids was incredibly low, I managed to gulp it down. This was like the dessert of my drinks. 

After that first day, I noticed a lot of changes. I woke up feeling lighter, maybe because I hadn’t really eaten anything before bed. Although it wasn’t the focus of my juice cleanse journey, my weight fluctuated a lot from the beginning of the first day, but I also faced headaches and hunger pangs. My mother had told me that it was normal, though, and I wasn’t really too bothered by it. The will to finish this three day cleanse was stronger than the need for solid food, even if only by a little.

The second day I started out with a personal favorite of mine, the Spicy Lemonade. It tasted exactly like lemonade, but it did burn the back of my throat a little bit because of the cayenne pepper in the drink. Later that day, I sipped on some more of the Coconut Fusion drink, but I wasn’t really that hungry, so I didn’t finish it. The final drink I had that day was the UpBeet! juice. Words cannot describe how putrid this drink was. Funnily enough, my mother loved this one. Maybe because she likes beets, which I am NOT a fan of. That drink took me a good two hours and a jug of water to down. By this point in time, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the third and final day. 

I woke up the next morning, having slept a lot better than I usually do, and also gotten up a lot earlier than normal, ready to drink my last day of juices. I started off with the classic Spicy Lemonade (I don’t think my stomach could’ve taken those Detox Greens again), which I drank in thirty minutes. My next juice, which the day before I had decided was going to be the Sweet Greens, was not the Sweet Greens. I took a sip of that drink and it made the wet grass drink taste good in comparison. So I opted for one I could tolerate, the remainder of the Coconut Fusion from the previous day. My final drink of the day was the Detox Greens. Reflecting back to my first day of the cleanse, I have no idea how I managed to get the thing down. It took me a solid three hours to drink half. Half! I didn’t even finish it.

Now I’m aware I don’t sound very fond of the juice cleanse, but I definitely don’t regret it. In fact, I think I’d do it again. “Eating” a limited amount of “food” taught me so much about my self-control. Even though there were moments throughout each day where I almost gave up, I told myself to do it. Only three days. Then food. Plus, even now, after a couple weeks after doing the juice cleanse, I am still benefitting. Some of my main takeaways are as follows:

  • Learning the difference between being “mind hungry” and “stomach hungry” has helped me control bingeing habits. It is one of my biggest struggles, actually.
  • To me, a juice cleanse isn’t about losing weight or eating less, but rather giving your body a chance to breathe. It is about setting yourself on a healthier path after the cleanse.
  • A juice cleanse was a chance for me to stop worrying about my future meals. In a way, it helped keep me in the present. If you’ll bear with me for a moment, it was as if the juices were so bad that I didn’t want to think of food at all, but rather finish what I was “eating” in the moment. 
  • Distractions don’t help. As I’m sure you understand by now, the juices didn’t taste the best to me. Everyday I would sit at the kitchen table, one hand around my juice bottle and the other around the handle of my water jug. I couldn’t focus on anything else when I was drinking these juices mainly because their jarring taste jerked me out of whatever daydream I was in. I was focused and determined. The opposite happens with comfort food. Whether it be sitting in front of a screen or doing work, we repeat the mindless actions of lifting food to our mouths, not even really appreciating or noticing how good it tastes. 
  • Appreciate chewing. The first day after I finished my cleanse I had egg whites and toast for breakfast. I had never appreciated carbs so much. I try to keep that mentality even today when I eat; it’s just more filling that way.
  • Water is your best friend. For those three days I had never felt more hydrated in my life. I drank at least two full jugs of water a day and one to two glasses of water with each juice I drank. I’ve tried to keep the habit of drinking lots of water on a regular basis even though I’m back to eating solid food. 

Now, obviously there are concerns when doing a juice cleanse. The lack of nutrients can lead to dizziness and headaches and a person can feel weak and sickly, all of which I’ve experienced to some extent. However, a juice cleanse isn’t supposed to be a long-term solution. Like I said earlier, it’s meant to set you on a better path. 

Websites such as VeryWell Fit state that some of the pros of doing a juice cleanse are one’s improved health and increased energy as well as eliminating toxins and having better digestion. However, according to experts such as Kelly Plowe, a dietician nutritionist, juices lack fiber and ultimately never lead to a person feeling full and satisfied. I definitely experienced this. 

I also researched some popular reviews of others doing their own juice cleanses, and I came across a woman, Molly Stillman, trying Clean Juice’s 3-day juice cleanse. Although slightly different than the one I did, the basis is the same. Six cold-pressed juices a day full of raw veggies and nutrients. I read through her experience and it was quite similar to mine. She noticed a significant increase in her energy around the second and third day, which is similar to what happened to me.

Overall, my experience with this juice cleanse was worth it. Yes, the taste of the juices weren’t the best, but as my mother told me, “what is there to expect, it’s raw healthy food, Ally.” I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is curious about its effects or just wants to try something new. However, I do caution people who struggle or have struggled with eating disorders, as a juice cleanse might not be the best choice. If you are interested, please make sure to contact your doctor or dietician to ensure that this is a good option for you and your body. If you have any questions about my experience with the cleanse, feel free to contact me by emailing [email protected].