I kinda just felt like a juice cleanse. I had heard of people doing it, feel like my diet is irregular most days, and the idea of opening my door in the morning to a cooler full of fresh juice seemed like a really nice thing to wake up to. So I called the healthy folks over at Raw Juice Guru and bartered with them: Free 3-day juice cleanse in return for a story to share my first juice cleanse experience: DEAL WAS STRUCK. I may struggle to pay the bills, but sometimes having a blog is really cool.

Now, perhaps because I didn’t invest $240.00 in the trial meant that I was a bit sloppy preparing. I’m pretty sure had I forked up the money, I’d have done this a bit better. For instance, don’t go to a restaurant opening the night before and wolf down six courses of rich, buttery, fattening, sugary food.

Just like anything in life, there are small things you can do to make the transition easier. Wean yourself off of coffee, stock your fridge full of chopped veggies and fresh fruit so that if you need to cheat you don’t open up a jar of peanut butter and start licking it direct from spoon. This happened, so did the coffee. And then I may have had some bacon. And I may have been invited to a secret midnight dinner at a gala that teased me with steak tartar and balls of cookie dough. So, basically…I suck BUT omggggawddd THE JUICE!!! It’s like drinking a box set of Planet Earth. And it’s all organic.

Here’s how this thing works:
– You sign up for a cleanse that lasts 1 day or go all the way up to 28 days!
– By about 8 am, you open your door and are greeted with eight bottles of juice. And they are fucking DELICIOUS. Cold, tasty, packed with nutrients. The best.
– Raw Juice Guru inserts instructions for the day and each bottle is clearly numbered, so that you gulp ’em down in the right order.
– You are supposed to drink every couple hours. The delivered package also comes with a tea bag…and you can reuse it multiple times throughout day.
– It is suggested that you drink a lot of water. It is not suggested that you have a coffee in between juices. (Bad idea! I know!)
– Raw Juice Guru staff also recommend that you hit a yoga class or sauna. I didn’t but contemplated an afternoon at Body Blitz.

Essentially, you aren’t supposed to eat anything and frankly, the juice is packed with enough good stuff that you shouldn’t really feel hungry. I easily handled coasting on juice until about 3 pm, but then things got a bit cray-cray. I walk a lot and exert a ton of energy racing around the city. I’m also not used to just drinking juice, or generally being pro-active with my health. It was hard. I caved. And instead of snacking on a bowl of shredded carrots and an apple, I basically dove for a quick carb fix. BAD! I didn’t cheat often within my three days but I did cheat maybe 2x daily. It’s not like I raided an all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffet, I kind of supplemented the juice cleanse with one mini meal a day..with the wrong food.

So what happened?
I slept like a baby. I have been suffering from insomnia lately and for some reason, the juice made me sleep better. It says that you require a 10 day cleanse to see changes in your skin, but I swear my complexion was enhanced. I also felt cleaner inside and had a different kind of energy than when I typically drink three cups of coffee, eat chocolate and raid my fridge like a hungry raccoon. But most of all, I began to crave the juice because it tasted so damn good and I loved envisioning my intestines soaking up so much healthy stuff all at once. Even if the toxins leaving my body weren’t totally noticeable, it felt like they were. Apparently proof is that I was so tired at night.

What’s in the juice?
Here’s an example of 8 juices on day one.
Juice 1: Apple, Carrot, Lemon, Ginger, Fennel
Juice 2: Grapefruit, orange, lemon
Juice 3: Aloe Vera elixir
Juice 4: Beet, Carrot, Celery, Ginger, Lemon, Apple (my personal favourite)
Juice 5: Celery, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, Turmeric, Coconut Water
Juice 6: Chlorophyll
Juice 7: Beet, Carrot, Celery, Ginger, Lemon, Apple
Juice 8: Apple, Cucumber, Spinach, Celery, Orange

Side affects/symptoms of cleansing:
– Waking feeling like you are “hung over” for a while (I didn’t notice)
– Waking up with a headache (Didn’t happen)
– Waking up feeling tired (Not really)
– Some get acne (Lucky I didn’t)
– Grumpy (Didn’t notice)
– Increased frequency of bowel movements. (Yep)
– Increased urination (I pee all the time anyway)

It’s not unusual that I didn’t experience a lot of this as many people do not notice any of the above.

I basically treated this as a way to consume as many nutrients as possible. My sleep has improved but mostly the juice cleanse inspired me to do other things. Although I didn’t hit yoga while mid-cleanse, I have since upped my game at Octopus Garden. I also now want a juicer for Christmas but deep down, I know it won’t be as good as the Raw Juice Guru juice that came to my door as they use a crazy special machine that cold-presses the ingredients and pulls the most nutrients as possible from each veggie/fruit. I miss it already.

Curious? More info here.

~ Jen McNeely