Yes, that says feast, not fast.
To kick off the New Year I tried out Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet 21-day adventure cleanse. I found it was the same as my day-to-day diet, so calling it a ‘cleanse’ was a stretch. When I was done (for the record, after 10 days, not 21), I thought the next cleanse I tried would be a juice one. Kris Carr recommends juice cleanses in her book and I have heard of people having great experiences so I thought I would give it a go.
I considered doing my own but it seemed like a lot of work. For my first go I wanted to make it as easy as possible. Don’t let anyone tell you there is something wrong with easy! After some searching, a colleague recommended the BluePrint Cleanse, based in New York. They ship anywhere in the country (with a cooler and ice packs so the juice arrives ice cold). She had done the cleanse before and enjoyed it, so I was happy to have a resident expert nearby. I was also excited to have two lovely ladies to cleanse with.
The BluePrint Cleanse has three levels of juice cleanses: foundation, renovation and excavation. The excavation is supposed to be for the most adventurous because it contains the most green juice. You all know I love me some green juice, so excavation it was! I still giggle every time I say I did the ‘excavation cleanse’.
Before the cleanse
My diet is plant-based and gluten-free, so pretty darn clean, with the exception of my favorite vegan indulgences – wine, dark chocolate and French fries. I made sure to minimize these foods for a day or two before the cleanse.
What does a juice cleanse look like?
The cleanse includes 6 juices a day, numbered 1 through 6. You drink them in order beginning with one, start your next juice at least an hour after finishing the last one, and aim to drink the last bottle 2 hours before going to bed.
Juices 1, 2, 3, 5 – Green Juice! They were a delicious green juice made with – romaine, celery, cucumber, apple, spinach, parsley, kale, lemon. Talia (19 months) tried to steal some of #5 – sorry baby, but this is mommy’s dinner and I am not sharing today!
4 – Spicy Lemonade! Made with water, lemon juice, cayenne and agave nectar. This was yummy, sweet, and slightly spicy. It was exactly what I needed by the afternoon and I will definitely be making this in the summer months.
6 – Cashew Milk! (AKA liquid heaven) Made with cashews, water, cinnamon, vanilla and agave nectar. It was soothing, sweet with warm undertones from the cinnamon. Of course the kids loved this one too. Jacob asked me ‘mommy, when are you going to make me some #6?’
Day 1 - testing the juicy waters
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Normally I start my day with warm lemon water, followed by some green tea, then a green smoothie. I usually have liquids until lunch, so I wasn’t worried about the morning. Our juice arrived to the office around 9am and we were excited to get the party started and have some green breakfast!
I felt great most of the day, not at all tired, and surprisingly I had random bursts of energy where I had urges to run around the office or go outside and run around the block. I felt like I was jacked up on caffeine except less jittery. It felt like energy from a clean, G-rated source – not from a Starbucks latte or a big ol’ glass of wine.
I felt hungry for about 5 minutes around 4pm. I finished the spicy lemonade and was fine a few minutes later. That was all the hunger I experienced. I really felt like there was A LOT of juice and was worried I wouldn’t get through it all. In between juices I enjoyed herbal teas; dandelion, licorice, green, chamomile.
Overall I feel good, light, cheerful and optimistic.
Day 2 – pumped
After almost 9 hours of sleep I woke up feeling rested and energized. I did some dry brushing (which I do daily – highly recommend!) and had a shower with only the light of the nightlight on – very nice way to wake up.
When I came out of the shower Ryan was at the gym and the kids were sleeping so I took the opportunity to do a little mediation. Some much needed practice.
To get my digestion machine up and running, I had some hot lemon water followed by some green tea. Even by the time I got to work over two hours later I wasn’t hungry yet. So I had some more tea, then my morning juice. I thought I would wake ravenous, but that was definitely not the case.
I hit what is typically my hungriest part of the day between 4 and 6pm. I had signed up for an intense conditioning class at the gym that night, and I planned on seeing how I felt, and going only if I felt good. I was a little hungry, and I knew the workout would be intense so I could have easily sat on the couch for the rest of the evening sipping my tea and juice. I needed to get some pent up energy out though so I went, and I killed it. Disclaimer: I had a little cheat and had 2 tsp. of raw agave before I headed to the gym. I figured agave was in drinks #4 and 6 and if I was going to be throwing kettlebells around and flipping tractor tires a little agave was allowed. Permission granted.
Chasing my workout with the sweet cashew milk (AKA number 6) hit the spot. I just had to hide it from Jacob since he tried to sneak some when I was in the shower.
Onto the last day!
Day 3 - excavation
I am pretty sure I peed every few hours during the night. Did I mentioned the cleanse I chose was the ‘excavation’ level cleanse? It should be called ‘pee-cavation’ – because that’s what I did.
The third day went great, I still felt good, but I was getting excited for some more food variety.
I celebrated the end of the cleanse with a massage and grocery shopping for green goodies: kale, spinach, cucumbers, except I was going to chew these ones and I was going to enjoy it.
after the show ended
According to the BluePrint guide, they say to not go from ‘zero to prosciutto’. While prosciutto isn’t on my list of foods to indulge in, I did want to ease back into other foods. This is what they recommend in the days following the cleanse:
Day 1 – fruit, water, fresh squeezed juice, cucumber, avocado, celery
Day 2 – fruit, raw or steamed veggies, mostly greens, seeds, raw nuts
Day 3 – salads, more raw than cooked, slowly phase in brown rice or starchy veggies like sweet potatoes and squash
Day 4 – meat, fish, salad and veggies (so in my case, more salad and veggies)
Day 5 – back in business! But my body taught me some important lessons.
I eased back into the world of digesting again by sipping on green tea and made a huge green smoothie with cucumber, pear, celery, parsley, lemon and ginger.
Get my breaking the cleanse smoothie recipe here; you’re really going to love it! Lunch was a massive spinach salad with some cucs, radish sprouts and a whole heck of a lot of avocado. I was full until dinner!
what this juice feast taught me
Overall, this cleanse was a valuable adventure. My attitude towards food continues to evolve, and I saw just how much my body loves raw and unprocessed foods. I am going to be incorporating more raw goodness into my daily feasts. The more nourished you are, the less hungry you are.
While I was super productive in other areas of my life, I missed playing in the kitchen, so I am looking forward to getting back into the kitchen and all the raw soul-food I am going to make for you!
UPDATE! one month after the cleanse
I think the most benefits came in the weeks following the cleanse. My digestion was improved, needed smaller meals and I continued to feel light and clear-headed.
Would I do the BluePrint Cleanse again? Definitely! Bottoms up!
I’d love to know how your cleanse went, please share your successes + struggles in the comments below!
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