Adventures in Juicing
When I was reading the Skinny Confidential blog, I noticed that Lauryn posted recipes for a 3-day juice detox. I became intrigued and decided that I wanted to try it. I have one experience with a juice cleanse in the past and it wasn’t a good one! I had not been on a healthy diet before I started and it made me very very sick. I barely lasted two days and that was only because I was too sick the second day to eat. So, yeah, my juicer has been sitting in the back of my cupboard, untouched, since.
My second experience has been with green smoothies which worked really well for me. I brought my little personal blender to work with me and blended up whatever fruits I had on hand + a handful or two of spinach + 1 scoop of low-cal protein powder. I would start to get hungry around mealtimes but the smoothies were really filling so once I had one I felt satisfied until it was time for my next meal. If I did get hungry between smoothies, I snacked on raw fruits, veggis, and almonds. The smoothies tasted pretty good, being that I was used to a low/no sugar diet, I didn’t feel the need for added sweeteners. I had plenty of energy for workouts, my skin looked great, and I was able to get past a weight-loss plateau. I did this a couple of times for 3-5 days at a time.
This weekend I started to have anxiety about my bridesmaid dress fitting right (The wedding is in 2 weeks!!!) To begin with, the dress was purchased in March, so I had to lose 4 additional dress sizes (5 total) before the dress was even going to fit. I don’t typically recommend purchasing clothes that are too small (but I had 5 months and a goal) so I did it anyway. And while I’ve been using “the wedding” to drive my weight loss, it’s really about getting healthy, feeling better, and becoming more confident. But sometimes it helps to give yourself motivation and a goal to work towards – just remember to be realistic with your goals, be flexible, and don’t beat yourself up if you fall a little short (especially if you’ve been trying).
So. The dress. It fits! But I think it will look better if it were just a little bit looser in some spots. So it’s crunch time (HA! literally). The thing about a juice detox is that even though it sounds like you are starving yourself (because you aren’t eating solid foods), you are really giving your body tons of vitamins and nutrients that it doesn’t normally get (so you are not starving your body at all). Plus, this detox allows for one meal of lean protein per day so I’m expecting that I will have plenty of energy for working out.
I started by shopping the produce aisle at my local 99cent store. Find out what day your local store gets it’s produce shipments. I was able to purchase 85% of my ingredients for the three-day detox there for about $20.
Day 1: I woke up early on Wednesday and started my first day of juicing, using Lauryn’s recipe for day 1. The juice included apples, celery, cucumber, beets, tomatoes, and maybe some other stuff that I am forgetting. Lessons Learned: (a) Juicing is MESSY, (b) I don’t like beets, (c) Beets make your pee pink. It was tough to get through the day and I did feel hungry. I ended up with about 16 oz. of juice that I just couldn’t finish. I had plenty of energy at the gym – I lifted weights then ran 1 slow mile – then switched to the elliptical for 20 minutes due to a debilitating side cramp (too much fluid?) and was able to push myself to run another mile after that. Dinner was a 16 oz. piece of salmon, cooked in lemon and garlic over a bed of spinach that I lightly drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Dinner was delicious.
Day 2: This recipe included things like apples, cucumber, celery, spinach, parsley, and ginger. This was potentially the best tasting drink, except that my juicer didn’t do well with the leafy green veggis – leaving me with only about 32oz. juice instead of 64oz. I was okay with that fact until I realized that the ginger ratio was WAAAY off – too spicy! Lessons Learned: (a) My juicer may not be the best for leafy greens, (b) I don’t like ginger. I felt great – light and full of energy when I first woke up but then the stomach ache came on. I was barely able to down 8oz. of the “ginger juice” but drank lots of lemon water. My stomach instantly felt better after dinner: shrimp grilled in a tiny bit of olive oil with garlic salt and pepper on a bed of spinach. I had forgot my iphone (my music!) and my water bottle at work and since my stomach was killing me I decided to skip the gym.
Day 3: Skipping the gym is not an option! I got up super early to make my juice. Beets again, joy. This recipe included beets AND ginger, cucumber, celery, kale, and lettuce (I used spinach). I did weights at the gym and 20 minutes on the stair master. I couldn’t do my normal “level” and I was exhausted and dripping with sweat after 20 minutes (which IS pretty normal). After I got to work, I tried the juice. You could not pay me to drink that stuff. OMG. So gross I might die. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. For lunch, I broke down and ate half a chicken salad from Chipotle (with guac, no dressing). Dinner will probably be something like chicken and vegetables. Lessons Learned: (a) A juice detox makes me crave lean meats and veggis (b) Juice detox may not be for me.
I rarely drink juice anymore because of all the added sugar so I LOVE the idea of making my own, no sugar added – un-processed – no preservatives juice. But I may need to ease myself into the vegetable juices a bit. Beets would probably taste better if they were blended with fruit. Ginger wouldn’t be so bad in moderation. I also like the idea of adding more veggis to my green smoothies. I might try one for breakfast and lunch and the lean protein and veggis for dinner.
Do you juice? Do you have any advice?