Confessions of a Juice Detox Quitter

Before I start, and as an advisory note to my blog's drive-by haters, let me define "quitting" - it happened 2.5 days into my 3 day detox, in my defense. And, as you'll read below, it's not because I'm a wuss.

Last year, a friend of mine highly recommended the Ritual Reset cleanse by Ritual Wellness in Orange County. I filed it in the back of my mind. Juice cleanse? That was some heavy stuff, not my style. Give up food? I think not.

Fast forward a few months, and my bff asked me if I'd do a juice cleanse with her. Given that we run races together every month and have done numerous insane physical endeavors together, I figured if I was ever going to take it on, the time was here. So we signed up for Ritual's Seasonal Cleanse and got ready for - well, we didn't know what. 

Confessions of a bad pre-cleanser
The Week and Night Before
Things not to eat before you cleanse? Jack in the Box. I was on the run, and tried to get a healthy food item (a chicken pita). Ok, and fries. But after a few fries, I threw them away! In any case, that's probably not the drive thru you should be hitting 24 hours before going into juice-only mode. Learn from my mistakes. Did I mention that I met up with a visiting Jon Yang at Extraordinary Desserts? Had berries with lemon curd and decaf coffee. I'd been warned that ditching caffeine is the hardest part of detox, so I figured I'd work ahead - I started tapering down a few weeks before and thought I'd be close to ready to go.  Jon actually took a picture of me eating that night, but I'm not posting it here because I look stoned. Which is apparently how I look if I'm not powered by coffee

Detox Juice Cleanse Day #1
Our Ritual Cleanse arrives!
Ritual offers to have your juices couriered to you between 12-6am the morning of your cleanse. In my idiotic decaffeinated stupor, I had messed up the address (uh oh, it was already happening...), but Byron called J and made the delivery. When J & I returned from spin class that morning (oh yeah, we were ambitious that first day) our cooler bags of juices were there. All 18 of them plus 2 juices in case we decided to work out during the cleanse (we wouldn't).

We broke open juice 1 of the Reset Cleanse, an organic mix of kale and other green loveliness.  And I went off to work!  I was feeling good and clean and knew I was doing something great for my body.  Ready to do it!

By lunch I was feeling a little foggy/slow, which surprised me since I don't usually eat a big breakfast.  Lunch included a meeting with some 
Lunch with the guys. Guess which one's me.
business colleagues. Two men whom I had warned ahead of time I wouldn't be joining in eating.  A photo of our lunch table. Not photographed: Mikel making fun of me all through lunch and offering me bites of his veggie burger. A frequent faster, he assured me it's par for the course.

I went back home and kept back at work. I was feeling slow and the headaches were setting in, but I kept reminding myself that that's how detox works. The worst part about day 1 was the headaches and fogginess. I just felt like a space cadet, and probably would have felt crazy if I didn't have a friend to compare symptoms to. By 7pm I was completely exhausted and started feeling rough. I figured sleeping early (yes, 9pm) was the way to go. I was ready to break into the last juice of the day, #6, which is a nut milk and rather filling. I sipped it in bed while my eyes drifted to sleep. Day one, done!

Day 2
It felt great to wake up and see the line of bottles on the counter. One day done, no biggie! I had this.  I was feeling lightheaded and I definitely had a headache, but I'd be ok. Exercise was definitely not happening, so I shelved the "Shred" supplement juices I had ordered when I was my old, optimistic self.  I began sipping juice one and got on with my day. At my first meeting, I realized that I was barely coherent and found it difficult to have conversations through the veil of my headache. I explained to the lady I was meeting with what was going on (girl to girl, you can do this stuff).  I hung in there as long as I could, but couldn't wait to go home and take a nap! (Yes, working from home has its benefits!)

one day down!
After a nap and some Advil, I felt MUCH better. In fact, I started to feel splashes of that euphoria people always say they have on a cleanse. I hadn't felt it once, but I started to feel very clear. I took advantage of it and sat at the computer, cranking out my first really good work in 2 days. I even started to admit to some other friends what I was doing. I had this in the bag. If this is what detoxing is, sign me up! I can get behind this!

By 10pm I started to wind down and the headache was coming back, but I was feeling capable and at least I'd had a glimpse of what people always rave about with cleanses. Only one day to go...

Two days, down!
Day 3: The Beginning of the End

I woke up with a raging headache and realized I'd had one most of the night. Had I even really slept? I moved myself to the couch with juice #1. I was almost done! I could do this. Bad toxins, begone!  I tried to drink some water. And next thing I knew, I was... throwing up. Violently.

Photo from a deathbed
I had heard different things about detoxes - that you'd spend quality time in the bathroom (maybe with some cleanses, but this one is based in food, so no), that you pee a lot (obviously), and that you'd have headaches.  But nowhere had I read that you'd throw up so violently that you'd consider going to urgent care.  I probably wouldn't have been surprised if I'd experienced it early on, but I'd felt pretty ok, so I got worried. But I wanted to be a trooper, so I went back to the fridge for Juice 2, a tasty pineapple juice, and next thing I knew, I was vomiting again. I scared the HELL out of the housekeeper, that's for sure. I moved myself to the couch (my place of refuge) and slept. After a few hours, the headache was only getting worse. I knew that my body needed electrolytes and something it could keep down. 

Barfing and feeling like This was starting to feel like a terrible hangover without the awesome stories or debauchery.  The following conversation ensued:

Me: "Lilly, why are you pushing yourself to continue this?"
Me: "I want to do this! I want to be healthy and learn better eating habits, and rid my body of toxins!"
Me: "Do you feel healthy right now?"
Me: "Um, no."
Me: "Did you learn what you wanted to learn?"
Me: "Yes."
Me: "Do you want to land in the urgent care explaining to a doctor that you overdid it on a juice cleanse? Do you want to be THAT girl?"
Me: (hangs head in shame) "No"

It was time to break up with my cleanse.

I knew my electrolytes were suffering, so I ate a few saltines and drank Pedialyte, and I passed out. I felt better, but not great. I had more saltines, so I could down a much-needed Advil. When I awoke, I was 90% old me. I could think straight, I felt optimistic about life!

Now, I'll admit, I'm drinking #4, a cayenne lemon water, as I type this. I learned a LOT in 2.5 days of doing detox, but it wasn't worth pushing myself through another 8 hours just to say I did.  I regret that my first "real" food had to be saltines, but I wasn't about to add the price of a doctor's visit to the price of my fancypants juice.

I emailed with Ritual this evening and they responded very quickly-and compassionately. Because I felt better after having saltines, we were pretty sure it was a severe detox symptom and not anything to do with their juices. I've already recommended this particular juice fast to other friends. If you're going to do it, you should do a quality pressed juice like Ritual's. They send encouraging emails throughout the days of your cleanse plus their customer service is excellent. And, like I mentioned before, I was miraculously NEVER hungry throughout the time I did their detox. Now that I'm feeling a bit better, I may even drink the nut juice before bed. Done and done!

What Juice Detox Fasting Taught Me:
*Coffee is awesome. In moderation. When detoxing from it makes you feel hungover, cranky, and shaky, that's a hold you don't want any beverage to have over you, no matter how tasty it is. This detox really opened my eyes to how much I relied on coffee for energy, and, sadly, how much coffee is responsible for my energetic personality :(

*How much junk we pass as "food".  Compared to many people I'm a pretty darn healthy eater. But yesterday (day 2) I walked by a burger place, a place I would have normally loved, on the way to my car-and got nauseous. I was floored that it's one of my favorite foods. Remember, I was the person at Jack in the Box just two days before. I'm sure I'll eat one again, I mean I'm a realist, but it made me realize how desensitized we get to what we eat and how food like that definitely doesn't need to be part of a regular weekly rotation. 

*How sweet natural foods taste. By Day 2, J & I were talking about how sweet the pineapple juice tasted- too sweet! The amount of sugar in our daily meals (many times snuck into your food by restaurants, making it tasty) had desensitized us to real sweetness. 

*How much I eat when I probably don't need to.  Of all the symptoms I felt during the cleanse, surprisingly hunger wasn't one of them. It kills me to admit that every women's magazine ever is right, but I guess I eat when I'm thirsty... or pissed. Trust me, people annoyed me while I was on my cleanse (probably heightened by my decaf-ing), but I couldn't reach into the pantry and hush them with a snack.  It made me realize how often I do that, and how easy it is to let things slide off your shoulders when you are so foggy that you couldn't give them attention even if you wanted to.

*Take on your crazy health endeavors with a buddy. Having someone else texting you back that they really DO understand your misery makes a difference.

*Try everything once. I never thought I'd pull something like this off, definitely not for 2.5 days, and while I probably wouldn't do it again, I'm glad I did it once. As with detoxing on crappy food, same with taking caffeine out of the rotation. It just gives you a glimpse of the other side and what is/not working for you.

As a parting gift, enjoy this hilarious clip about juicing.

RIP my cleansing days 


Unknown said...

This is nice that you are prefer juice, Juice is very good for health. I like noni juice. It is very tasty and healthy.

Organic Noni Juice

Seo Media said...

Wow,,, love this idea,, thanks...
My favourite is Smart Detox with Fiforlif

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