The Juice Cleanse Diaries
In the winter issue of Edible Indy (issue 18), Brandon Waloff, of the Raw Juice Alliance, was highlighted with his take on HPP verses non-HPP juices. In light of this intriguing information and article, The Garden Table, Broad Ripple’s hottest non-HPP juicery (and eatery), engaged the publisher, Jennifer Rubenstein, and assistant managing editor, Katie Hopper, to experiment with their new juice cleanse programs. During the three-day cleanse program, each kept a short journal of how they felt and the end result.
The first question most people ask when they hear about juice cleansing programs is: Why?
Cleansing is a chance to detoxify the body, not only from poor dietary choices, but also daily pollutants. The body cleanses naturally through digestion, however, it can become sluggish from working hard to digest solid foods and fiber. Cold-pressed juices are filled with micronutrients, enzymes and minerals, which cleanse the digestive system. In return, the lungs, liver, kidneys, colon, skin and lymphatic system all work together to detoxify those pollutants. It’s basically a way to thank the body for all of its hard work, while allowing it to naturally detoxify itself.
You may be thinking, “this sounds great, but can I really go three days on just juice?”
Katie Hopper and Jennifer Rubenstein kept a daily journal of thoughts and challenges while on the Garden Table’s three-day juice cleanse. Jennifer had never cleansed before, while Katie had; however, they experienced some similar results. You will see both had positive experiences, and while juice cleansing may not be for everyone, it was a challenge and provided the result of a more healthful body on day four.
Three days before the cleanse begins, you need to prepare.
The Garden Table (and many other cleanse programs) recommend you begin prepping your body three days prior to cleansing. By doing so, you maximize your cleanse results and eliminate the initial shock to your body. It’s recommended to only consume raw foods, juices, smoothies and soups. To have the fullest results, eliminating meats, dairy, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine is a necessity. For Katie and Jennifer, giving up the beloved morning coffee (or two) may be the biggest challenge.
The Garden Table has two levels of cleanses: Level One and Level Two (the first level is for beginners and the second for experienced juicers). Each level comes in three- or five-day packages and contains five juices and one nut milk per day. Both cleanses have a specific order to follow during the day to encourage the best results for the detox. Both levels start with the Detox Dream, which contains activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a powder used in many different products, including beverages, to enhance flavor and increase the detoxifying elements to further the cleansing process.
Katie Hopper’s Journal
The Garden Table Cleanse, Level Two
Juices and Milk Provided:
Pre-Cleanse Day One and Day Two: I dropped my morning coffee with no problem, and replaced it with a cup of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. The majority of the day I only consumed raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and a plant protein powder smoothie. Giving up meat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol has been a breeze.
Pre-Cleanse Day Three: Today I picked up my 18 juices. I brought them home and proudly organized them in my fridge. The colors are all so vibrant; I’m excited to get started tomorrow. You typically pick up your cleanse the day before you begin, or early that morning. Since the juice is raw, you want it to be fresh. My pre-cleanse diet has not been the best today. I felt the need to carb load like I do for a road race. I have done a juice cleanse in the past, and I know day two can be a little tough. I’m heading to bed tonight feeling satiated, and ready to get started tomorrow.
Day One: Started my morning off with warm water with fresh squeezed lemon. My first juice is the Detox Dream—spicy with ginger, activated charcoal and cayenne pepper. The first initial spicy kick woke me up; let this detoxifying begin.
Garden Gate: Refreshing with a bit sweeter flavor from the beets, carrot and apple. Excited this juice contains turmeric, which is great for inflammation. Emerald Elixir: This is very green and earthy, basically drinking a salad in a bottle. I have spent all day running to the bathroom, so you are definitely well-hydrated. Tropical Tonic: Sweet and delicious. Not feeling very hungry. Tropical tonic is refreshing and is giving me a little boost of energy. I have been consuming my juices every two to three hours. Emerald Elixir: My second Emerald Elixir for today. I’m getting used to the earthiness and enjoying the lemon in this juice. Cashew Concoction: Creamy, dreamy sweetness, this is my dream drink. After a day of juices, this liquid gold is dessert in a bottle. I’m ending my day with an Epsom salt detox bath.
Day Two: I did not wake up starving or hungry, which my husband and children are thankful for. I did warn them of the possibility. Detox Dream: Doesn't taste as strong to me today as it did yesterday. No problem getting it down & feeling satisfied. Afternoon—still not very hungry. I think all of the lemon juice is appetite suppressing. 3:00 p.m.: Just finished my Tropical Tonic. Oh pineapple juice you taste so amazing. Finished day two with my favorite—Cashew Concoction. It's very satisfying and makes cleansing easy. Day two was, dare I say…easy. The juices are keeping me full and very well-hydrated. I really thought I would have a tough time today, but I feel great!
Day Three: Last day of juices! I woke up and oddly have no hunger pangs. I really thought I would feel more hunger. I did weigh myself out of curiosity this morning and discovered I'm down three pounds. Most likely all water weight, but always a treat to see the scale move. I have zero bloat and feel lean in my stomach. I thought I would miss chewing and food texture, but I don't. I think a five-day juicing would be more of a challenge, but doable. Starting off my morning with my final Detox Dream. On Day One, I wasn't sure about this drink, however, it's grown on me. No hunger today. I stayed on track with my juices, but did not need them out of hunger. I have noticed my teeth feel like there is a film on them. I'm assuming this is a detox symptom, so I'm currently sitting on my back porch oil pulling. It's not an easy task, nauseated me twice. It's recommend for 20 minutes; I'll be lucky to make it 10 minutes. As I sit here pulling oil through my teeth, my husband is grilling hamburgers. The aroma from the grill is blowing my way and still no craving! How is this possible? I have not eaten solid food in three days. Evening of Day Three: I can't believe I only have one juice left in my three-day cleanse. It's gone really fast and has not been as challenging as a previous cleanse I did years ago. The juices are satisfying, easy to drink and I'm truly enjoying them. I've pondered what my breakfast will be tomorrow, thinking I would have an intense craving, but nothing.
Day One Post-Cleanse: I did not wake up and run to the kitchen to stuff my face. Instead, I made a warm mug of water with fresh lemon. This cleanse has ditched my cravings! I'm not craving pancakes or something sugary; I'm really not remotely feeling hungry. I'm heading to the Carmel Farmers Market and plan on purchasing another juice! I don't even know who I am anymore? This cleanse has taught me several things: I do have the discipline to stay on track, I need to continue to love my body and nourish it with nutritious whole foods and most importantly, I need to treat my body with love and gratitude. Will I splurge again on a delicious dessert? Absolutely! That's one of life's many pleasures. Life is about balance and a juice cleanse is a fantastic way to get yourself aligned again.
Jennifer Rubenstein’s Journal
The Garden Table Cleanse, Level One
Juices and Milk Provided:
Pre-Cleanse Day One and Day Two: For a foodie, cook and someone who owns a food magazine, not eating is a sin…but a sin that can also cause you much pain, bloating and unpleasantness. During the first two days of the pre-cleanse, I concentrated on starting my mornings with a cup of hot water, grated ginger, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. The lemon surpasses your appetite, but the ginger and pepper help to open your system up for a restart. For lunch and dinner, I enjoyed simple southwest salad with raw vegetables, black beans, corn and a little salt and pepper. No dressings and nothing cooked. I would recommend cooking the beans or even sautéing some of the vegetables verses going cold turkey as I was bloated and had cramping from all of the raw foods in my system. It was an indicator this juice cleanse is way over due.
Pre-Cleanse Day Three: I picked up the juices from the Garden Table. They are beautiful, cold and I am ready for the challenge. For me this is completely out of my comfort zone and I am one who tends to cheat on these types of programs. I have told myself I will not cheat this time, and the end reward will be even better than the other times. This day was easier as I learned what not to do on Day One and Day Two with my foods. I cooked my veggies and had bone broth. The warmth of the broth filled me up as I prepared for Day One of the cleanse.
Day One: Drink. Pee. Drink. Pee. Drink. Pee. Cringe with a headache. Pee. Drink. A large whiff of the Indianapolis City Market’s lunches tempted my nose. My stomach says yes, wait—drink some more and then pee, but I can’t have it….the pasta and breadsticks I made for my kids almost killed me…it.was.so.close.and.smelled.so.good…
That was Day One in a nutshell. Harder than I expected. My tongue was white with a coating indicating the toxins are leaving my body. My face, which never breaks out, had a few blemishes that surfaced in the afternoon, another sign of my body restarting. My energy level was less than desirable, however, in all of the research I did prior to juicing, many articles give the advice to take this time to slow down and reset yourself.
Day Two: I woke up and was surprisingly not hungry. I also did not have a headache from giving up my one-to-two cups of coffee in the morning. I found myself drinking more than a gallon of water during the day, in addition to the juices and my body wasn’t bloated. I truly enjoyed the detox dream and the lush love, both completely different tastes and satisfying in different aspects. The Hoosier Heater was a lunch time drink and reminded me of a salad in a bottle. The next in line was the Emerald Elixir. Having two green savory juices back-to-back was tough to finish. I found myself near the end of the Emerald Elixir leaving about a quarter of the bottle as I was not only full, but had a difficult time getting it down. I cook for my family every night, so sitting at the dinner table and drinking a juice while they eat a delicious meal is a bit tempting, but alas, I know I can do it and will. My saving grace for each day is the “dessert” drink of the cashew concoction. It tastes remarkably like leftover cereal milk and it is delicious. I look forward to this juice after the juice cleanse!
Day Three: The last day! Excited that I am in the home stretch. I hopped on the scale and found I was down a couple of pounds, my skin cleared up and my stomach felt tight, in a good way. I reflect back on my sleeping and found Day Two I slept like a baby, other than getting up to go to pee four times. I can honestly say, I didn’t have a craving and was amazed at how good I felt. My mental clarity was crisper and even my smell was heightened. I did not cheat!!!!
Day One Post-Cleanse: Saturday mornings are tough and I normally make a large breakfast for everyone, which I did. However, I decided to have a cup of hot tea and a banana to ease my way back from the cleanse. I spent a few days eating raw foods, clear broths and slowly incorporated small amounts of chicken and fish into my diet.
Juice cleanses may not be for everyone, however, if you are up for a challenge and want to reset your body to get on the proper eating track, this is a good start.
Jennifer truly wasn’t sure if she could pull it off, but she knew Katie was up for the challenge and would kept her in check. (Perhaps safety in numbers in a juice cleanse is a good idea, for accountability and encouragement.) The overall results of what eating, rather, drinking clean can do, will vary greatly from person-to-person. Jennifer and Katie gained confidence, eliminated toxins in ways they wouldn’t have guessed and made their digestive systems take a well-needed break.
Would they recommend a cleanse? Absolutely. But, be sure to do your research and be sure to commit to it.
For more information about the Garden Table juice cleanse program visit here.