There are two main reasons why one may want to do a juice cleanse. One is weight loss and the other is to eliminate toxins in the body. I obviously did and will be doing juice detox to get rid of the toxins in my body. It may be one of the reasons I get my cluster headaches. (Remember, I indicated that I would do almost anything to get rid of these headaches!) If you are going to become an avid juicer, I strongly recommend getting a book about juicing and recipes to familiarize yourself with the different benefits of juicing. This will help you get to your overall goal in juicing whatever the reason may be.
Before juicing, one also needs to be aware of the cleanse process. It helps to be prepared and not to be thrown off guard like I was! Each person's experience is different depending on the level of toxins in their body at the time.
Stage 1: Day 1: Be prepared for cravings. You are no longer chewing food. This gives your digestive system a break and a chance to break down whatever is left in your stomach. You may or may not get cravings this day. This also allows you to recognize what your body is addicted to. Day 2: You will get a slight film on your tongue. This is all the toxins coming out. You may get tired, have breakouts or a slight headache. You will also be going to the bathroom a lot. This is ALL normal. It is your body now focusing on cleansing the rest of your body. Stage 2: Day 3: Hunger will disappear and now your digestive system is fully at rest. This allows your body to focus on the other organs in your body. They will cleanse and heal the body. Stage 3: Day 4: You may experience a healing crisis at this point (which I did) This is where your body now accelerates the cleansing experience. You may also experience feelings of old injuries reoccurring. This is just your body healing itself at this point. The healing crisis will also now eliminate toxins out of your body through secondary resources. If you are prone to sore throats, sinus infections, etc. The body will eliminate toxins this way. It will feel similar to getting sick with a cold or a flu. However it should be all clear. This indicates there is no infection. DO NOT TAKE MEDICATION AT THIS POINT! It will completely reverse all the work you have done. When you take an antibiotic or medication, it suppresses the toxins in your body and forces the body to take longer to heal. Stage 4: Your body should be completely cleansed of toxins. You should be feeling great. You should have a lot of energy, your skin should be clearing up, old injuries may be healing as well. Stage 5: Breaking the fast, sticky, toxic, mucus coating on the intestinal wall is loose, and the first meal frees it from the intestinal wall. It should go right through the colon and gall bladder. At this point, you should be feeling better then you did before you started the detox as it will have eliminated A LOT of toxins from your body. With that said, you do need to be careful with what you put back into your body. You didn't do all the work for nothing!
Now that you know all of this, let me share with you my first experience with the juice cleanse. I had printed out all the recipes from Vani at Food Babe. There were three main juices I was to have throughout the day. I had several questions for myself such as, was this going to fill me up, was I going to like it, and can I do it? It definitely is a physical and mental battle going into this juice detox. I decided to do it on Monday so that way I would be out of the apartment and not near food. The first day was HORRIBLE for me. I had never juiced before in my life. I had so many cravings that day. It ranged from bananas to butternut squash soup to cookies. You name it, I wanted it. I also did not like the juices at all. (Remember, I had to halve the recipe since Chris wasn't doing it with me.) I literally had to force myself to drink the juices throughout the day. However, it did fill me up (which was one of my fears). The second day went a lot better. I tweaked the recipes and made it more tastier. I was able to drink the juices with NO problem. I started getting film on my tongue. Towards the end of the day I got a headache. No problem, it was bedtime for me anyway. I was also hoping that this was some of the toxins that causes my cluster headaches on its way out. I knew I only had one more day, I could do it! Day three, I woke up with a horrible sore throat. I ran to my resources. Was this normal, do I break the fast, what do I do?? I read numerous resources where they all say this normal. (read the above paragraph) This relieved my fears. I figured, okay, one more day. It should be gone tomorrow when I break the fast. (also keep in mind, I was finishing up my 6 day steroid pack for the cluster headache while doing the three day juice detox). Day four, yay I was able to break the fast, I had watermelon and some soup. Keep in mind, my stomach has now shrunk to the size of my fist. It took very little to fill me up. I still had a sore throat. As the day progressed, my nose started to drip. The mucus was clear as can be. Then later that night, I had a fever. Arg. I was frustrated. Wasn't this ALL supposed to go away when I broke the fast. However as I kept reading my resources, this was all normal. Some however suggested continuing the fast until all symptoms went away. I chose not to because it also indicates if you are going to fast for more then three days, you do it under a doctor's supervision. I'm not THAT crazy to do something like that. So for about another week, I continued to have a drippy nose, sore throat, and a cough which was all the toxins coming out. Remember, I said that your body will eliminate toxins through a secondary source? Well obviously I am prone to headaches, sinus infections and sore throats. This was ALL the toxins coming out. I refused to take anything because I really wanted to eliminate all the toxins. Besides it was all clear, no sign of infections. This is also why this post is a bit delayed.
After all this is said and done, I know my readers are asking, was it worth it? In my opinion, yes. I learned a lot about my eating habits as well as multiple other benefits. I learned that I have an intolerance to wheat (gluten as well) and dairy. I tried a bit of each after and noticed blown up stomach, tired, and not feeling well. So I will no longer be eating wheat. I'll have minimal dairy. (That will affect all the recipes I post up on the blog now.) My acne is clearing up. My hair is a lot softer. I'm sleeping better through the night and waking up with lots of energy. I have regular bowel movements. I lost 7lbs. (finally broke 160 which I've been trying to do FOREVER. Still have ways to go but I'm proud of that milestone. I also wonder if I would have lost more weight if I wasn't on steroids at the same time.) I'm breathing better. The best benefit of all is, with all this rain the past several days along with some hormonal changes, I haven't once had a headache or a twinge of a headache!!!!!! That was the goal for the juice detox.
Please remember this was my first juice detox. This was 28 years of toxins coming out of my body. I will definitely be doing a juice cleanse once per season. The reason for doing a detox each season is to do a seasonal cleaning of my body. I do not want to accumulate toxins that could possibly trigger my cluster headaches. Also I may do a juice day or two per month. It depends on how I feel. I'm not sure how big of a juicer I will become. Only time will tell. I am very interested in my readers opinions, if anyone has ever juiced, what their experiences were and if anyone plans on juicing soon.