Congratulations to those of you who completed the three-day cleanse! I almost didn’t make it myself. There was a debatable moment when I had to order chamomile tea (and only chamomile tea) at brunch with my cousin, who had a veggie burger and fries, but I powered through.
I’m glad I tried the cleanse, but it’s because of unexpected situations like the one mentioned above that I probably won’t do it again anytime soon as a “just for fun” thing (though it’s a great consideration before a vacation). It’s hard to plan every second of three days, and when you find yourself in a situation where everyone is eating, it’s not like you can ask them to refrain.
However, I will say that I woke up each morning feeling absolutely amazing after only ingesting things that looked like this for three days:
For those of you considering a future cleanse, or wondering whether it’s worth it before a vacation, my stomach absolutely feels flatter than it has in months, and I barely worked out. According to the old-fashioned scale at the gym, I lost 4.5 pounds. And though there were a few times when I craved solid food, it was more because it smelled good than because I was hungry.
I should add that it wasn’t a strict juice cleanse. It was more of a “mostly juice” cleanse, which almost certainly helped me power through for three days. In addition to three or four juices, each day I had a blueberry basil smoothie (recipe below) and a veggie-only salad (mashed avocado and a pinch of dijon mustard instead of dressing). I really recommend cleansing this way — I’ve heard horror detox stories when people do only juice, but balancing it out with a little fiber and blended food seems a lot less rough on your body.
I also wasn’t trying to limit my calorie intake at all — if I was hungry, I had another juice. I don’t think starving yourself is good for your metabolism, and though you have a greater short-term payoff on the scale, it usually catches up with you.
Ranking the days easiest to hardest, it would probably go one, two, three, mainly because it was still so exciting on day one, day two it was still pretty fun, and on day three I was ready for some spaghetti squash with asiago.
On another fun note, the cleanse gave me a chance to practice my food photography a bit more. I still spent way too long (think, the better part of Saturday morning) figuring out how to get these pictures just right, but I can definitely see an improvement! Thanks Plate to Pixel, most helpful book ever.
Would you guys be interested in doing another group cleanse, maybe after the winter holidays? Maybe just a day or two, instead of three days? Or meh? Let me know!
And without further ado, the blueberry basil smoothie recipe that I can’t live without:
- One banana
- Heaping handful of spinach
- Several fresh basil leaves (to taste, I usually use around 5 large ones)
- Several fresh mint leaves (to taste, I usually use around 8-10 since they're smaller)
- Half a peeled cucumber
- Splash of orange juice
- Juice of one lime
- ½ cup - ¾ cup frozen mixed berries
- Enough water to get the blender going (not too much or you'll dilute the taste!)
- Put all of the ingredients in a powerful blender, like a Vitamix, and enjoy!
- Feel free to vary up the recipe -- I sometimes put a small handful of kale in it, or a little bit of hemp protein. You can also use your favorite green juice as a base. The possibilities are endless!