An attempt at a one-week juice cleanse

Bukhari tries a juice cleanse, a health trend that has gained popularity in recent years.

It’s a warm November morning and I’m staying in bed as long as possible to avoid my first of multiple juices that I will be solely sipping on for the next week. 

As I drink my beet, apple, carrot, ginger liquid breakfast, I reflect on why I keep falling for health trends and put myself through this misery. Since I can remember, I’ve always worried about my health. I have this weird dynamic where the constant feed of health fads and “treat yo self” come together to form what my diet usually is — not healthy. 

We all struggle with our health growing up; I think it’s a vital part of accepting yourself. So here’s the story of how my newest venture went and whether I think it’s worth it for you to follow this path. 

Juice cleanses: they’ve been around for a long time in comparison to other health trends that die out in a couple years. Even our little Kingston has multiple juice shops. If people are making a living off of this, there must be something there, right? 

The diet consists of a person limiting themselves to only liquids such as fresh fruit and vegetable juice, and water. This essentially detoxifies your body, flushing the toxins out and rebooting your system. 

The reason why I became intrigued by juice cleanses in the first place was because of the perks I heard were possible to gain between the fifth and tenth day. Your body goes into starvation mode, as it hasn’t gotten protein, fat or insoluble fibre. I know that sounds unhealthy, but if you drink six-plus juices, you’ll hit your daily calorie intake and nutrition. Because your body is in starvation mode, it heightens all your senses. 

Many years ago when we hunted for our meals, every sense had to be extremely sharp. Apparently our bodies haven’t lost the ability to do this, and juicing is a way to deceive our bodies into it. 

I chose to juice at home. I figured this would cut the cost of how expensive it is to buy unpasteurized juices. They can be upwards of $200 for only three days of juicing and I wasn’t willing to pay that kind of money for juice.

From lugging bags of produce all the way from Metro to how messy the juicing process can get, juicing at home was a lot more work than I thought it would be. I had to allot a one-hour time slot before bed to pre-make all my six juices for the next day. A lot of time and energy went into just the prep work. 

In a short period of time, I went from an eat-everything diet to a strict juice cleanse. That was a big mistake. 

Day 1

The first day was cruel. Life truly felt nasty, brutish and short. My juices kept me pretty full all day, but all I could think about was food. I wasn’t even hungry but the thought of eating something solid was so appealing. 

I had school the whole day so being around so many food options was a tease, which eventually made me cheat. It all happened when I got invited to have dinner. The thought of having to sit there and watch others eat while I sip on some juice drove me to it. Granted I only had one thing, sweet potato fries, but I have probably never felt so bad. 

I think it was partly because I felt so proud I had gotten through most of the day. I had made my mind up for a juice-only week so breaking it sent me into a bit of a downward spiral. I felt extremely sick, physically and mentally. Luckily, I was doing my juice cleanse with a friend and she lifted my spirits. It’s important to have people who support you around at all times. I couldn’t have done it without her. 

Day 2 

The second day was a lot easier. I’d prepared for it better and knew what to expect. I allowed myself some wiggle room and ate soup and applesauce, just to calm my mind. Getting in the right state would have to be the hardest part. Coming to accept that you’ll not be chewing anything all day is pretty depressing. 

Day 3

On the third day, my head hurt and I felt like juice cleansing was satanic. Nothing could surpass this evil that I brought onto myself. This is apparently the game-changing day. If you get through the third day, no matter how long you continue for, the rest will be a lot easier. For the life of me I couldn’t do it. I swear I tried, but the juices just made my insides churn and all my mind could focus on was food. The thought of my teeth sinking into food was distracting me from school and just wanted to sleep. So I ate. 

Day 4

By day four, I was slowly moving away from a juice cleanse. I was incorporating a lot of juice into my diet and then eating during the late ends of the day. After much debate, I came to the conclusion that juicing all my meals wasn’t for me. As much as a part of me wanted to discover what it would be like to have heightened senses, I couldn’t get through the first five brutal days, and to be honest I didn’t feel like it was even worth it.

I was angry all the time (that’s an understatement). I felt miserable and to be honest juicing as meals didn’t satisfy me. It just didn’t make sense for me to keep doing it. I reckon I just need healthy fats, protein and fibre daily.  When your body craves these healthy things you shouldn’t deprive yourself of such nourishment.

Juicing in a sense, helped me get back on track with what I ate. Suddenly when you’re so hungry, you crave even the healthiest of foods. This aided me in balancing my diet after I was done juicing. I realized I enjoyed drinking juices too. I just didn’t want that to be the only thing going into my body. 

I think bringing juices into a well-proportioned dietary lifestyle is great. It’s an easy way to get all your fruits and veggies, plus it’s fun coming up with differentjuice combos.

If you’re set on doing a juice cleanse, try it when you don’t have to focus on school or anything pressing. Your body and mind will need time to adjust and this added stress shouldn’t be taken on while you’re burdened by the workload of university courses. 

Research, test and find the juices you love because that can make a big difference. When your taste buds are excited, you’ll be excited. Honestly, if you don’t have the time to invest in making your own juices, buying them premade in packages, though extremely expensive, might be worth it. You’ll be sure to enjoy them as they’re perfected recipes and it’s so much simpler. 

Your strength will come from the people who encourage you. Be sure to surround yourself with positivity and those who want to see you motivated no matter what their personal opinion is. If you’re really into trying something new, your friends should be happy and helpful. 

When it comes to health fads, I’ve been there and I’ve done it all. In the end, there’s no easy way. No matter how much juice you drink, or how many super foods you include in your daily diet, it’s necessary to be in the right mindset. At the end of the day, if you treat your body well, your body will feel good, and more importantly, you’ll feel amazing. 

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