You might be wondering why I tried a juice cleanse in the first place. Three reasons:
1. Usually I’m pretty good at recognizing when I haven’t been eating well and making healthier choices, but lately I’ve been struggling with that and generally turning to food (and not the fruit and veggie kind) for comfort. I hoped that a cleanse would help kickstart me on a healthier path both physically and psychologically. Plus, why not see if there is any truth to all the health and beauty claims?
2. Ever since Greenhouse Juice Co. opened, I’ve become a juice convert. I absolutely love their products and their brand. It’s hard for me to pick my favourites, but I really love Gold Rush (pineapple, cucumber, lemon, and ginger) and Deep Roots (beet, carrot, apple, celery, and lemon). East of Eden (romaine, kale, celery, apple, and lemon) is also a good choice – I just go for whatever I’m feeling that day. Also: for every ten bottles you return, you get a free juice AND a free yoga class. Also: their smoothies are SO good. Drinking “The Rio Deal” is like sipping a ginger cookie through a straw.
3. I’ll try just about anything once. Not crack though. You’re on your own there, Mr. Ford.
^From left to right: Clean-Zing, East of Eden, E3 Live Booster, The Good, Almond Milk, Reishi Booster, Deep Roots, Chia Seed Hydrator. Each with its own health-enhancing properties.
So, without further ado, here is a peek into my day-to-day experience…
8:30am: Pick up my juices at Greenhouse, feeling excited to begin my new adventure. The first juice of the day, “Clean-Zing”–water with lemon, maple syrup and liquid cayenne, à la Master Cleanse–is not my favourite but I have had it before and am more or less used to the flavour. Either way, nothing can sway my motivation at this point.
9:30am: Take obligatory Instagram photo of juice lineup (see above).
10:00am: Crack open the first actual juice of the day, East of Eden. I am happy to start my day off with a juice that I know I enjoy – it fuels my motivation, and I’m already counting down to my next juice. Let’s be real, though: that’s mostly because I’m hungry.
12:00pm: Apprehensively contemplate the E3 Live booster, a blue-green algae shot that resembles swampwater and is supposed to improve mood, brain function, and hair/skin/nail health. I am pleased to discover that it has next to no taste.
Craving: All the Easter chocolate I see while walking through Shoppers.
1:00pm: Time for The Good: romaine, spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, and Himalayan salt. I’m a little nervous about this one too–it’s the only juice I haven’t tried before due to its being made entirely of vegetables–but it’s surprisingly good. I really like the hint of salt.
3:15pm: Almond Milk o’clock. This isn’t just any almond milk – it’s made with coconut oil, vanilla bean, and dates for extra sweetness (or are they all? I wouldn’t know). The first time I had it it was a little watered down, but this batch is AMAZING, almost like a milkshake. The vanilla bean is a seriously welcome addition and I feel like I’m having a well-deserved treat.
3:45pm: Feeling horrible and sweaty post-downing 500mL of almond milk in under half an hour. Pace around before putting my head on the desk in an attempt to rest before my 5:00 physio appointment.
4:20pm: In the car driving to physio and yawn-yawn-yawning all the way there. Doubting that I will make it through my hour-long appointment.
6:30pm: Made it home! Time for my Reishi immunity booster, which I became scared of when I learned that it’s a mushroom extract. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mushrooms–they are my favourite vegetable and yes, to me they are a vegetable and not a fungus–but I want to eat them, not drink them. Luckily, just like the E3 booster, it goes down like water.
Craving: A bagel and cream cheese. Can’t remember the last time I’ve craved this.
7:15-8:15pm: Sipping Deep Roots while watching a couple episodes of Scandal. Feel a pang of jealousy as I smell my dad heating up some of our friend Martha’s homemade chicken noodle soup.
9:00pm: Decide that I can’t put off drinking the Chia Seed Hydrator (alkaline water, chia seeds, lemon, and maple syrup) any longer. Shake up the bottle and brace myself for my first sip. Want to gag at having to swallow mouthfuls of slimy chia seeds whole. Feel more jealousy as dad takes an oatmeal raisin cookie out of the freezer. Force myself to drink 3/4 of the bottle before dumping the rest down the drain and calling it a day.
Craving: A salad topped with canned tuna. If you know me well, you will now understand just how much I hate this chia seed thing. Canned tuna is the one edible thing on this earth that I despise.
Bedtime: Apart from the hour post-almond milk-guzzling, I felt completely normal today. It is 11:00pm and I still have a lot of energy, actually, even though I didn’t sleep well last night.
8:00am: Wake up as I always do, hungry and excited for breakfast. Alas…
Craving: Breakfast cereal. Any kind will do.
Then: This apple cinnamon bun from Piroshky Piroshky (sigh):
12:15pm: This algae shot tastes a little worse today. Ugh.
12:40pm: Losing faith in my willpower. I really want solid food.
1:15pm: Everything tastes really intense today – The Good is really salty. I’m thinking I could really appreciate the flavours and textures of that bagel and cream cheese right now.
Craving: Any food ever that appears on my Instagram feed.
3:00pm: Mmm. Almond milk (consumed more slowly this time). Looked forward to this one because not only is it the tastiest of the bunch, it’s also the most filling.
5:30pm: My thumbs are purple. That’s pretty standard for me though.
7:00pm: Take Epsom salt bath as suggested by Greenhouse + the internet. Prop my laptop on the counter so I can multitask by watching Homeland.
Craving: Teriyaki salmon and broccolini? I don’t know, solid food.
8:25pm: Tonight was supposed to be bad, but I still feel completely normal. Just really, really thirsty. Does that even make sense?
Craving: Anything and everything that my dad is eating right now.
10:00pm: Starting to feel like I might have the beginnings of a sore throat – you know that annoying scratchy feeling?
Bedtime: Honestly, other than the throat thing I still feel fine. Maybe that just means I didn’t have a ton of toxins to begin with? I find that hard to believe, but who knows. I’m not complaining. I’m probably jinxing myself for tomorrow though.
7:30am: Wake up with a worse sore throat than before. Jinx confirmed, or this cleanse is finally working its magic.
8:00am: Search the house frantically for my phone before finding it in the pocket of the vest I am wearing. Feel generally weak and kind of like I have cold sweats.
Craving: No food – just a nice hot cup of tea.
8:30am: Pick up my juices from Greenhouse, substituting the Clean-Zing for the Long John (a hot version of the same thing). The flavour is even more powerful in hot form, but it energizes me and soothes my throat.
12:00pm: I’m sweeeeepy. Someone bring a fuzzy/furry blanket to my office please.
12:10pm: Look in the bathroom mirror and notice that my lips are tinged green from juice. That’s a good look.
2:30pm: The salt in this drink makes me so. Thirsty.
Craving: Everyone’s Instagram food.
4:00pm: Feelin’ pretty spritely as I leave the office. Oh, almond milk, I will miss you.
5:45pm: Rudely awoken from my nap on the couch by the phone ringing.
6:15pm: This is definitely my shitty day. The sore throat is back in full force and I feel phlegmy (sorry), weak and tired. Ugh. I had really been hoping to end off on a good note. This calls for more Scandal.
6:30pm: Spitting into Kleenexes between each sip of Deep Roots. Again, sorry, but if you came into this post thinking it would be all sunshine and roses, you were mistaken.
7:45pm: Soothing myself with some herbal tea. It occurs to me that I haven’t craved caffeine once in the past three days – guess I’m not as dependent on it as I thought.
8:30pm: I just want to get into bed. But that chia seed thing is beckoning…ugh.
9:30pm: Wow, I actually finished the bottle. I also popped an Advil for my sore throat – I wanted to avoid it but I also want to sleep.
10:00pm: Just as I am getting ready for bed, I have a renewed sense of energy/general health. Of course. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all!
Day 4 and Final Verdict
^ I woke up like dis.
My sore throat has abated and I’m feeling good, just hungry. Though I had some rough patches, overall I felt pretty normal during the cleanse. My main complaint is that I had a hard time sleeping, probably because I just had so much energy every night. And/or maybe I’m not yet used to the time change.
As for the other health benefits: My skin is definitely the clearest and softest it’s been in a long time. I feel more positive and cheerful. And maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I also think my hair is shinier, teeth are whiter, and vision is clearer. More than anything, I’m proud of myself – I never would have guessed I’d have the willpower to follow through with this so completely. I feel accomplished and like I’ve truly done a good thing for my body. And I do feel motivated to continue down a healthier path.
Let’s see how that goes…breakfast, anyone?!
P.S. Because you’re probably curious, this healthy splurge cost me $65 per day (before tax). I think it’s a great investment, but definitely one I’ll be making less-than-frequently.