Headaches, mild colds and bloating were feeling all too normal for me over the last few months, so I decided to do something about it. I had heard about juice cleanses but had been put off because it sounds really boring, but I thought I’d give it a go to see if the claims of better energy, less headaches and glowing skin were true.
After doing a bit of research online, I chose to go with PRESS and chose the Virgin juice cleanse. After pressing the purchase button online, I started to think, can I do this and what on earth am I doing?
As I write this I am day 2.5 of the 3-day cleanse. I’m sipping a bottle of daily sweet greens which looks like dirty pond water but it tastes really good. Kale, spinach, romaine, celery, cucumber, apple and lemon are stated on the label alongside a claim of 1/2KG of fruit and veg! Apparently this is 1 of my 5 a day- blimey – how much more goodness do I need for the full 5?
I’ll take you through my experience of doing a juice cleanse:
After the huge box arrived with 24 bottles of PRESS juices in, I loaded up the fridge and pretty much took the entire thing over. They arrived at 4pm on Monday, so I set my mind to starting on Tuesday morning. After I had eaten a jacket potato, cheese and beans (love this easy dinner, kids do too) I had a huge piece of carrot cake – it almost felt like the last supper. Weird, but the cake tasted fab!
Day 1: 8 bottles to get through, extra water and herbal tea if wanted and NO TEA OR COFFEE. In some ways I really enjoyed day 1. I felt light, a little bit hungry – 8 bottles of juice is quite a lot and some of them are quite thick – and I didn’t really miss tea or coffee. I found it hard cooking for the kids and making snacks for them and when my husband made a coffee I really craved the taste and hit of it – but I didn’t. I continued with my carrot/beet/green juices and I was ok. I had a mild headache but nothing unusual. That night, I got to sleep ok, and everything felt very normal.
Day 2: ooooh day-2! What a beast of a day. The same regime as day 1, starting with a bottle of water with activated charcoal (yup really) after which I sipped (and downed) my way through the juices and the hunger saving banana and berry nut shakes – made with cashew nut. My headache was very obvious on day 2. It hurt. I kept myself hydrated, but I knew the feeling wasn’t from dehydration, it was clearly from lack of caffeine. I am a five teas a day and one coffee kinda girl, sometimes more. A few months ago, I switched to decaff tea in the evening, but sufficed to say I am a caffeine drinker, and I need it! By 5pm, when I was cooking spag bol for the family, I was HUNNNNGRY! There is no other way to put it. I also felt full, almost too full to drink yet another bottle of squished something or other. The idea of pouring 500ml of green juice into my body was a tad nauseating I have to say. By 7pm I was feeling rather, shit; vacant, cold and somewhat off my head. As a mum of three, I couldn’t just climb into bed to warm up and rest my achy head, instead I did 2 bath-times, cleaned the kitchen, usual kid-wrangling and I was done! I didn’t make it to bed until 10pm and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like a light!
Day 3: On day-3 I have to say when I woke up, I felt pretty rubbish. Probably not helped by the fact my son woke up at 4am and for the first time ever I got him into bed and he kicked and wriggled from 4am – 6:30am. On top of that delightful sleep-thief style morning, my head was banging. It, and I, felt empty, vacant. I didn’t feel hungry in the morning, but the head! ouch. After the school run, I came home and made a CUP OF TEA – I know! I know! against the rules so to speak, but blummin’ heck I needed it. I didn’t do the cleanse to get off caffeine, so I felt cool about standing over the kettle for the first time in 2 days to make a brew. It just shows how much caffeine affects us doesn’t it? I have no problem with drinking caffeine and certainly don’t want to be a clean-living geriatric mum, so I succumbed to the craving and didn’t feel bad about it. The tea was with a dash of oat milk, and guess what? After 20-mins, my headache was gone! Truly. I didn’t have any coffee or other caffeinated drinks on day-3 and I powered through the rest of the juices, still wondering from time-to-time what the hell I was doing! Having said that, in the evening of day-3 I felt great! Really great. No headache (was this the tea?), no bloating, no feeling cold – just a general feeling of well-being and dare I say it, energy!
Summary of the 3-day cleanse:
Well, it was hard. I felt challenged to the max. I started the cleanse to get rid of feeling a bit euurrghhh all the time, colds, sore throats and just generally feeling a bit lethargic. Could be many reasons for this but I wanted to try a cleanse to see if it helped. It certainly wasn’t done for weight loss or any vanity reasons. I thought I would miss chewing food, but I didn’t. I felt well hydrated (8 drinks is a lot) and my fave PRESS juices were the Clean Beet and Banana M*lk Shake (made with cashew nut). I chose the Virgin Cleanse which is the highest calories and is for beginners. I can’t imagine what the advanced hardcore cleanse is like, I know for a fact I won’t be trying that one – the virgin option was enough. All drinks were tasty and felt hugely nourishing, I just felt a little bored with the same 8 drinks each day, but I think the drinks were perfectly planned to address what I needed at certain points in the day – i.e the nut milk drink (more substantial) at 9am was a god-send because I felt hungry. In terms of my digestion, this might feel like too much info, but it does need to be mentioned. I didn’t go to the loo (number two) the entire time of the cleanse – which isn’t surprising after no solid food was consumed, but is this a good thing, I don’t know. My wee (haha) was the pale colour that one is ‘supposed’ to produce and this, I guess, was a good thing.
I haven’t noticed my skin looking any better or worse and I am sure I am glowing on the outside, but I do feel good on the inside.
I enjoyed the cleanse, but have to say I am not one for denying myself anything (unlike back in my late teens when I had an eating disorder and was all over the place). Being fully aware of the miserable five years I had from age 16 to 21, these days I am never brutal to myself when it comes to food and drink, and never will be. I love eating and drinking and at the age of 46 I have a very balanced view towards food, and don’t ever follow a plan or a diet, mainly because I can’t be arsed and I value my long-term health too much. A juice cleanse of this sort could be a trigger for someone with my history, but I trust myself and am confident with myself in a way I never was back then, so I knew this wouldn’t have been a dangerous way for me to behave over a few days, and as I said before, the aim was definitely not weight loss.
The biggest negatives for me were: feeling cold, the 24 plastics bottles (which looks a lot in my recycling bin) and the bad headache – soon eliminated by sneaking in a cup of tea!
The biggest positives for me were: feeling really hydrated, sleeping better, the day-3 energy and not feeling or looking bloated.
Have you tried a juice cleanse? Do let me know which one and how you found it…
Email Lucy here
This is not a sponsored post. I paid for the 3-day juice cleanse in full myself.