I finally did it! After years of Ivo doing juice cleanses numerous times a year, I was finally ready to do one myself. I've actually been open to it for the past couple of years but, since I was nursing, was never able to. We just completed a 10 day juice cleanse and it was incredible.
About 6 years ago, Ivo was suffering from really high blood pressure (stroke-high) Hypertension runs in his family and after hearing that at 30 he might need to control it with medication, he knew he needed a change. He started reading about juicing and its incredible healing benefits and immediately jumped in. He completed a 14 day juice fast and for another 14 days ate almost entirely raw fruits and veggies, then very slowly started introducing other foods. His blood pressure was significantly lower! No more meds needed. Seeing the MANY changes in his health after such a short time made him a lifetime believer in the benefits of juicing. He does them a few times every year and his blood pressure is no longer an issue at all. It's pretty incredible.
I was so nervous about how I would feel for the first few days. I read that you can be lightheaded, sluggish, and overall unhappy for the first 3 or so days. I'm so happy to say that I felt none of that. I'm shocked by how easy it was. I never once felt hungry or low on energy.
The hardest part of the whole thing was kicking my caffeine addiction. I regularly drank over a pot of coffee a day and can say that, without a doubt, the caffeine was ruining me. On day 2 I had a debilitating headache that I know was directly connected to the lack of caffeine. But, on day 3 it was gone and I was a happy girl. And, I no longer want to drink caffeine!
The biggest thing I learned from the whole experience was how attached I am to food. I spend so much time thinking about eating or thinking about food, it's exhausting. Or how often I mindlessly snack throughout the day. It's kind of freeing when none of that's an option. You suddenly have so much freedom. Mental clarity. And after a couple days, thinking of foods like pizza, pasta, burgers, etc stopped even sounding good. I found myself, toward the end of the fast, craving eating a banana or an avocado. All I wanted was something pure and nutritious.
The juices are so good. So satisfying. For the first couple of days, I couldn't get enough of the sweet fruit juices. Ivo has told me in the past that after a few days of juicing, he always stopped liking the sweet juices and started craving the more hearty, vegetable juices. And he was so right, that's exactly how I felt - the fruits started tasting too sweet, almost like over-sugared drinks. Carrot was my absolute go-to. SO GOOD.
We made fresh juices every day and they would last about 24 hours. We stored them in glass jars and glass half gallon containers.
All juices were organic. We never really set out with specific recipes and would just purchase everything our local grocery store had in stock, that could be juiced.
Here are a just a few of our many mixtures:
Watermelon / Basil
Apple / Pear
Pineapple / Spinach
Beet / Kale / Apple / Celery
Carrot / Ginger
Bloody Mary - Tomato / Celery / Garlic / Parsley / Carrot / Cayenne Pepper
Orange / Grapefruit / Lemon
Strawberry / Kiwi
Mango / Pear
Kale / Romaine / Cucumber / Cilantro / Beet
Spinach / Cabbage / Parsley
Sweet Potato / Carrot
We never set up a specific schedule or amount of juice we should drink, we just drank when we felt we needed to, and drank as much as we felt we needed to. Usually more during M's mealtimes.
Another thing I was worried about was how it would be to cook for Maja while we were unable to eat - it wasn't a problem at all. Actually, I really enjoyed cooking for her and got really into it. It was therapeutic to cook for her. She maintained her usual healthy diet and also drank the juices with us.
In the end, I am SO happy I did it and can see myself doing it with Ivo throughout the year. He said it was so much easier having someone to go through it with!
I feel great and, although we have started slowing adding food back into our diet, I don't have any cravings for unhealthy foods - I'm sure they'll come back but, for now, I'm really enjoying healthy, raw foods.
If you're interested in trying a juice cleanse, watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead! Or if you have any specific questions, feel free to email: email@example.com