About one month ago I participated in something I never thought I would - a 5 day juice cleanse courtesy of Néktɘr Juice Bar. I had been thinking about trying a cleanse for awhile after watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary about an overweight man with chronic disease who goes on a juice cleanse (for 60 days!) and essentially heals himself and loses a ton of weight. And quite honestly, I had been feeling pretty bloated and icky after a month of "not so healthy" eating and drinking. So when the opportunity arose to try out a cleanse from Néktɘr, I jumped at the chance. I already loved their juices and acai bowls, so couldn't wait to give their cleanse a try and also to reset my body.
Before diving into the results of my 5 day Juice Cleanse, let's talk about how it works. On the Néktɘr Juice Cleanse (and most others), you drink 6 juices daily for the length of your cleanse. Cleanses normally last anywhere from 1-5 days. Each juice is 16 oz. and they come in a variety of flavors including green juices, a lemonade based drink, and a nut based milk drink at the end of each day packed with protein. The 6 juices in my cleanse were:
Normally in addition to the cleanse, people spend a few days before the cleanse preparing for it. This includes eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and lean protein as well as cutting out red meat, starches, alcohol, and coffee for most. Many people try and do this post cleanse as well.
Before starting the cleanse, I was actually pretty nervous about being starving, irritable (I generally am not the most fun person to be around when I am hungry), and tired. However I was pleasantly surprised that during the cleanse I really did not find myself hungry too often. You end up basically drinking a 16 oz. juice every couple of hours and can drink an unlimited amount of water and herbal tea as well. With all of that liquid, I really wasn't hungry too often. Although I will admit that the first day was definitely challenging.
In terms of energy, I was also happy that I did not find my energy levels dipped too much. I continued my regular workouts (jogging 4-6 miles or 1 hour exercise classes) and found myself with plenty of energy during and post workout. One thing I did find though is that I was going to bed about 1-2 hours earlier each night. I didn't necessarily feel tired, just felt ready for bed earlier. It could have just been that cutting out dinner frees up a lot of time so I finished up my nightly routine earlier.
Now let's talk weight loss, which I would be lying if I didn't admit was a goal of my cleanse. After completing the 5 day cleanse, I lost a total of 7.8 lbs. (I made the boy do it as well, he lost 8.9 lbs.) Neither of us were overweight before starting, but I was definitely feeling chubbier than normal. I have been able to keep the weight off since, and have actually lost 2 more pounds since the cleanse one month ago. Many people report gaining weight back right away, but I think if you continue a healthy eating routine after the cleanse it is easy to keep losing or only gain back a small amount.
Additionally, there were some unexpected benefits of the cleanse that I wasn't expecting. First of all, my skin was really clear and glowing by the end of the cleanse. I can't exactly explain the change, but my skin seemed more vibrant. My eyes also looked clearer. I also found that my cravings for unhealthy food had also dropped significantly. At the end of the cleanse I found my body craving fruits and veggies.
In terms of negative aspects of the cleanse, there were a few. First, for someone like me who absolutely loves food and spends a lot of time thinking about, reading about, preparing, and eating food - a cleanse gets boring. It just isn't that exciting after the first couple of days. It also can make it tricky in social situations based around eating and drinking. If you do a cleanse I would plan it during a week where you don't have too many social functions. At the end of the day for me though, the benefits greatly outweighed these aspects.
If you think you may want do try out a cleanse, I highly recommend Néktɘr. Their cleanses are available local pickup if there is a store near you, or can be shipped nationwide. I found that their juices tasted great and they were really easy to work with. Additionally if you find out you can't get Néktɘr Juice Cleanse where you live or the cost is prohibitive (it runs about $165 for a 3 day cleanse), I recommend checking out this at 3 day at home juice cleanse.
Have your ever done a juice cleanse? What was your experience like? Also if you have any questions, please ask away! I am happy to share anything from my experience.
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