How to survive a juice cleanse: The inside scoop on everything that happens during a 3-day juice detox
Last week, FASHION’s online editors, Randi Bergman and Paige Dzenis, kick-started a summer of healthy habits by doing a 3-day juice cleanse with Raw Juice Guru. Each day, 8 customized juices were delivered, drank and digested. But what fun is a juice cleanse if you can’t share the process and results with your friends? Here’s their take on what 72 hours of juice-only consumption is really like.
Paige: I show the list of today’s juices to my boyfriend and even though he makes his own green juice every morning, he’s wary of this cleanse. I eagerly shake the bottle of Juice 2—parsley, carrot, celery, lemon, cucumber—in his face to show my excitement. “This is going to do weird things to your body,” he states.
At 10:00 am I already feel tired and weak, but have to remind myself that I don’t usually eat breakfast or have a coffee until 10:30 am on weekdays, so this is normal and has nothing to do with the juice. Despite not drinking coffee all weekend in preparation, all I want now is coffee. I am literally counting down the minutes until I can drink the next juice.
By the afternoon I have this feeling that if I can just find food, I can eat it. Like, it’s not that I’m not allowed to have food, it’s that I’m being kept from it. I wonder if I’m being dramatic and this is all placebo effects or is this real?
I start tweeting about my obsessions with food and thankfully @rawfoodguru is there to coax me along. “Have another juice and drink some water with lemon,” she advises. “Cravings are in high gear first day, by second day it will be smooth sailing. Think of all the good u are doing. Ur skin will glow.” I bike home from work, expecting to feel exhausted and drained but I actually feel fine.
Randi: Admittedly, I had a crutch to get me through Day One. I had been out at the beach over the weekend and suffered an extreme burn on my thighs and back (always just pushing myself to be healthy, you know) so luckily I got to stay home and work from bed. I may have been working the same hours as Paige, but being able to do it from bed definitely eases a caffeine withdrawal side effect, which had been my biggest fear. I felt totally fine all day and even walked both ways to see The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, which took place on the other side of town. A-ok.
Paige: The weather is not in my favour today: it’s cloudy and feels like it’s about to rain, which means I have an instant headache when I wake up. Usually I’ll take an Advil to combat this pressure-change headache but no dice—Advil isn’t part of the detox. All my muscles are actually incredibly sore, but I don’t know if this is due to the detoxification process or just because I went for a long run on Sunday night.
I start the day at a beauty editor event—thankfully the one venue where you can decline an offer of food with “sorry, I’m on a juice cleanse” and no one bats an eyelash. I’ve started using straws to drink the juice: while it’s very delicious, the acidity and sheer volume of it all is making my tongue and teeth hurt. I was told that one of the things I would miss the most would be the actual act of chewing and eating food, and it’s true—my mouth wants variety!
After work I fall into the same routine from Monday night: my couch plus a Pretty Little Liars marathon. There’s a part of me that enjoys the fact that I have no kitchen related chores to do: no washing my coffee thermos, no cleaning dishes, no making a lunch for tomorrow. Basically, this cleanse has turned me into a very lazy person. I justify every non-action with “well, I’m on a juice cleanse, I can’t possibly do that!”
My ankle is also throbbing and incredibly swollen, but instead of taking an Advil I spend the evening icing it. Hopefully this pain is thanks to a whole bunch of toxins leaving my body!
Randi: My second day on the cleanse was also pretty easy for most of the day. Firstly, we had each other for support, and secondly, we had two friends nearby on What’s App to beleaguer with any and every minor discomfort. Where the difficulty came in was navigating a work lunch that I had already committed to. With the advice of Eliane over at Raw Juice Guru, I stayed as close to raw as I could and ordered a salad with watermelon, asparagus and toasted onions. Eating with a fork felt real nice. Later that day, I felt a low-grade headache coming on, but on the flipside I was drinking blended kale and romaine lettuce and really enjoying it. Later that day, my mom came over and proceeded to tease me with a roasted vegetable focaccia bread sandwich and I felt really fierce for not giving in.
Paige: It’s day three! The last day! I wake up resigned to the fact that this is it: juice is my life for the next 24 hours but then it’s all over. Last night I started plotting about how if I felt food crazy today I was just going to YOLO it and eat something, but today, I feel okay. Is this juice cleanse Stockholm syndrome or have the powers of the detox finally kicked in?
A friend Snapchats me a shot of him making cookies and for the first time since Monday my reaction is “oh, cool, some cookies” instead of “GIVE THEM TO ME NOW.” Is this juice cleanse zen? Or is it the sad reality of defeat, the feelings of someone who has been so beaten down by juice that she now accepts the juice as her be all and end all?
I definitely haven’t been hungry over the last three days but I am very bored with drinking juice. By 11:00 pm I feel ecstatic that the end is near, until my boyfriend gasps at the sight of my very swollen ankle. “You should have taken Advil for that a long time ago,” he says. I continue icing it but a little bit of my juice cleanse victory is diminished by the feeling that I’ve actively ignored an injury, something I wouldn’t normally do.
Randi: My final day on the cleanse was I guess what you’d call my breaking point. Though the best juice combos by far (cayenne pepper lemonade! cantaloupe and coconut!), my headache was getting much worst and energy was at an all time low. I sent Paige a cartoon of a pizza around 3:00 pm, which could have been much crueller if it were a real photo.
Paige: To be entirely honest, post-cleanse Paige feels pretty similar to pre-cleanse Paige. I definitely felt virtuous for making it though 72 hours of juice, but I really dislike how much of the cleanse was spent whining. (Thankfully, Randi was there to listen to most of it.) I am generally a very positive person and it made me feel very negative. According to my boyfriend: “it made you very cranky.” On the plus side, a number of friends have commented that my skin is glowing—however I don’t think I would do another cleanse just for that reason alone. (Also, I took an Advil immediately when the cleanse was over and could actually walk without a limp! I’ll never reject you again, Advil!)
Randi: I’m not sure if I physically feel any different, though knowing that my system was rid of bad toxins is something I’m going to be casually bringing up in conversation for the next month. And even though it was fleeting, the fact that the scale showed 5 pounds less than usual was fun, even if it was just for the day!