Last week, I mentioned I would like to share with you my juice cleanse experience in more details this Sunday. So, let’s crack on!
What I had
As I mentioned in the previous post, getting into juice cleanse does not and should not happen suddenly. Rather, there should be a transitional stage. For me, I went from a plant-based diet to a detoxification diet, before I was physically ready for a juice cleanse. Equally important, to become emotionally ready and to make sure I got the most out of our juice fasting experience, I finished all the reading in the acne program in details and did extra research as well.
For three days straight, greeted by warm water with juice from half of a lemon as soon as I woke up, I then had wheatgrass, jasmine tea with goji berries, noni juice and different kinds of juices throughout the day. On average, I took 5 liters of liquid daily during the juice cleanse.
Knowing that sugar (even natural sugar from certain raw fruits) can cause acne because sugar causes hormonal imbalance in our body, I only limited juice made from sweet fruits like apples and grapes to 600ML per day. As toxins were released during the juice cleanse process, I took 500ML bentonite and flexseed shake per day to avoid toxins from being re-absorbed into the body.
Besides, I also took digestive enzymes, Essential Fatty Acids and probiotics. According to the diet program, taking digestive enzymes can “improve the breakup of plaque that builds in the bowels”. Essential Fatty Acids give the body minimal nutrients during the juice cleanse, while probiotics re-establish the friendly intestinal bacteria that can be depleted in the cleansing process.
- Juice Cleanse 1st Day: initially I felt a little bit hungry. But hungry quickly went away. I experienced constipation. Feeling tired, I took a one-hour nap in the afternoon.
- Juice Cleanse 2nd Day: I felt thirsty immediately after I woke up. I guess that was because I had drunk the bentonite and flexseed shake the night before. Similar to what I experienced on Day 1, I felt hungry; but hunger went away within 20 minutes. I felt tired (but not sleepy) and was lack of energy all day. I started to notice I had bad breath.
- Juice Cleanse 3rd Day: bad breath slowly faded away. Hunger came back to visit me and again quickly went away. Still, I was experiencing constipation. My skin improved a bit more after I practiced cardio yoga and shed some sweat (I have attached a snippet of what I practiced below). As you may have noticed, sweating after workout can help remove acne marks, especially right after a warm shower!
Getting off a juice cleanse
After the juice cleanse, it is not recommended that we immediately go back to a normal diet. Instead, I went on another detoxification diet, which means I had small snacks (strictly limited to 100% raw fruits and vegetables) throughout the day and only one plant-based meal per day for two days.
After the juice cleanse
As I am writing this, it has already been a week since the last day of my cleansing adventure (here is a detailed schedule for my acne diet program). One noticeable change is that my skin improved a lot after the second day of juice cleanse. I also feel that I feel thirsty more easily. I guess my body is starting to demand more water after I took 5 liters of liquid every day for three days. This is interesting, compared to the past, when I had to remind myself to drink more water. But right now, the need and awareness to drink more water simply comes naturally. Another change I have noticed is that my bowel movements have improved. After experiencing constipation during my juice cleanse, my bowel movements slowly improved as I got off the juice cleanse. These days, I have been having bowels movements twice per day.
Juice Cleanse can fail you, if…
You go on a juice cleanse with very sweet juices
In my last post, I mentioned that I would like to share with you some of my friends’ juice cleanse experience. This is from one of my friends. She ordered juices from a juicing company sending her juices that she thought were too sweet for her. After 3 days, she did not experience benefits and said that she actually gained weight.
You go straight from a normal dining routine to a juice fasting
Another friend of mine said he was “forced” to go on a juice diet as his buddy would like him to do a juice cleanse together. In fact, he had neither the knowledge of how to do juicing or the intention to do so. So, he went directly from a regular diet routine to a very intense juice fasting for a couple days. The result? He had all kinds of negative influences on him: fatigue, hunger and feeling sick. From then on, he left a bad impression on juice cleanse until he has recently been told by his nutritionist friend that juicing in a scientific way is actually good for the body.
You are in the middle of an energy-consuming project
Even though this is about water fasting, there is some commonality we can learn from my friend’s experience. My friend, who is a programmer and who constantly works under pressure, decided to go on a 3-day fasting for de-stress himself. Yet, he chose to do so on his work day. On the first day of fasting, he felt little different in his body. It is from the second day that he started to feel the fatigue and hunger which made him feel so uncomfortable that he quickly went back to a normal diet routine.
My experience and my friends’ experience tell me that juice cleanse does need some preparation work. We should be slowly introduced to juice fasting and be gradually led back to a normal diet routine. This means, it takes longer than the actual fasting time to get the most out of this cleanse. From my experience, to prepare for a 3-day juice cleanse, I went on a plant-based diet for at least 5 days and a detoxification diet (100% raw vegetables, fruits and nuts) for another 2 days; to get out of juice cleanse, I was on a more intense detoxification diet (100% raw vegetables and fruits without nuts) for 2 days and back to plant-based diet for another 4 days. That was a total of 16 days.
We should also remember that taking some form of nutrients in the meantime is necessary; and always keep in mind that workout, daily skincare routine and having enough sleep can greatly enhance juice cleanse experience. I have also learned that: to optimize the benefit of juice cleanse, it is best that we could go on a low-sugar juice diet (preferably juices mixed with all kinds of leafy greens for acne-prone skin); and do remember to choose a stress-free environment to begin your juice fasting.
Last but not least, start small. Try a 2 or 3-day juice cleanse first before deciding to go for a 10-day fasting or longer (I still need to do more research on this kind of more intense fasting as it seems to be very controversial). Every human body is different. Eventually, you will have to experience this yourself to see if it works for you and your skin. But always remember to do your homework, be prepared (physically and mentally), start slowly and start small.
Good luck with your Juice Cleanse! Please feel free to comment below to let me know what you think or exchange experience. ; )
Oh, here’s one more thing: according to the schedule, I will be doing liver flushing soon. I’m excited about this one, as the program says it can dramatically improve my skin and liver functionality. I will share my liver detox experience with you in two weeks (on 10/20)!