I used to hear the word ‘cleanse’ as if it was a 4 letter word. It taunted me, teasing me to consider trying it, knowing the whole time I would have to make some serious compromises from my normal routine.
Could I stick to it? How could I manage juicing and raw foods while at work? Would the hubs be supportive? Would I spend more time in the bathroom than anywhere else? Would I be satisfied, or feel hungry the whole time?
I remember the first cleanse I ever tried four years ago. It was a horribly unstructured cleanse ordered by my doctor to address poor adrenal and liver function and help get my digestive system back on track. I stumbled through it, not prepared, and didn’t fully understand how to take advantage of the tools and support that was available to me. So needless to say, my first experience was a bust.
Fortunately, I didn’t let that define my opinions of a cleanse.
And when I met a couple here in Austin that are running an incredible Raw Foods company, and offered to have me join their upcoming Group Cleanse, I was intrigued. I had been thinking about trying another cleanse for a while, but was a little intimidated to go about it on my own. So, I sucked it up and registered for their group cleanse. No turning back now!
Choosing the right group for a cleanse.
As I just mentioned, I’ve recently discovered an amazing group of people who are passionate about helping people transform their lives through healthy eating and better lifestyle choices. They believe in helping us get to the root of our health issues through cleansing programs that strengthen the body, help kill off bacteria and metal toxicities and just generally make you feel great.
I discovered the group I will be joining the Group Cleanse for while in Whole Foods one day looking for a chocolate treat I could eat – it had to be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and Organic. And like the incredibly knowledgeable staff at Whole Foods often do, they were able to guide me to a product that would rock my world. These amazing Chocolate Goddess Clusters remind me of a dense macaroon, but without a noticeable coconut texture, and quickly became my favorite indulgence.
So when I started researching New Earth to learn about their other products, I discovered a cleanse they were putting on for a Spring Jumpstart. By the way, if you want to try some of my favorite raw snacks that helped me get through the cleanse, you can click the image below and head over to our store online to pick them up – I highly recommend you do!
What did I experience?
Day 1: I was unprepared to be out of the house most of the day, so I felt a bit tired and hungry much of the day. Need to do a better job of being prepared for the rest of the week! I stopped by my favorite Juice Bar in town and stocked up on some green juice to get me through the day.
Day 2: I was better prepared since I stopped off at Whole Foods and stocked up on some fresh fruits and veggies. A bit of sticker shock over the bill though 🙁 I hope I love this cleanse!
Woke up feeling good, but about the same as I usually do, so wondering if I’ll start to notice a little more energy throughout the week. Stayed full all day since I was better prepared and enjoyed some recipes such as a classic green juice:
1 green apple
1 inch knob ginger
5 large stalks celery
1 large handful parsley
5 stalks kale
Snacked on some raw crackers by 2 Moms in the Raw with some guac around dinner time. Feeling good and satisfied!
Day 3: no more energy in the morning than I typically wake up with, but head is clearer. I did notice that I was feeling a bit more emotionally vulnerable throughout the day though. Today I added some carrots into the diet and followed this recipe as well as the green juice from above….
3 large carrots
1 green apple
4 large stalks celery
1 large handful of spinach, parsley, or other dark green
1 small cucumber
1 inch knob ginger
Day 4: I noticed I’m sleeping really well now and not waking up in the middle of the night. Yay! Also, definitely feeling clear headed in the morning but again, no more energy. I decided I wanted to chew something today so I made a simple salad with julienne carrots, cucumbers and zucchini and used some fresh lime juice for a dressing. Today I added another new juice recipe into the mix:
Summertime Mojito: A virgin mojito that is fresh, simple, and delicious!
1 large pear
1 large handful mint
Feeling really good today, and glad I decided to give the raw foods and juice cleanse another try!
Day 5: Woke up feeling good with a little more energy today! Emotions are better (not as raw) and feeling great. Today I wanted to add a little sweet juice to my routine so I tried this one and totally recommend it! Not too sweet but gave me a satisfying sweet flavor alongside the green juices I keep drinking. On a personal note, my bowel movements are stable and I’m peeing more frequently than usual, so I’m avoiding any liquids too close to bedtime.
1 large pear
1 cup pineapple, cubed
4 large stalks kale
Day 6: I’m feeling confident and happy, and made some raw crackers in the dehydrator I borrowed from a friend. They weren’t bad, but I’m glad I have some store bought goodies on hand too! For dinner I had some guac and crackers alongside a beet juice:
4 large carrots
1 inch ginger
Day 7: Woke up feeling great, but my emotions are right on the surface again. I have a class today for the group cleanse and I’m excited to see what they suggest we do to keep a portion of raw foods into our diet as my goal is to keep at a 50/50 ratio of cooked and raw foods. I decided to finish out the cleanse with a combo juice I made up:
4 large carrots
1 inch ginger
Day 8: Today I wasn’t as hungry as I had been on the previous days, but I still kept up with my juices and just avoided the raw snacks. My emotions are good and I’m definitely continuing to have a clear head!
Day 9: Slept like a baby last night and I woke up feeling great. We have another group class today and I’m looking forward to the recipes they share. I’m’ so glad I’m doing this as apart of a group. It’s been really helpful to share in my experiences with the other group members and learn how much better they feel since most of them are on their second or third group cleanse. Here’s a new juice I added into the mix today:
2 Granny Smith apples
1 McIntosh apple
5 kale leaves
4 celery stalks
1/2 cilantro bunch
1 lemon (optional)
Day 10: I made it! The last day of the cleanse is here, and I’m heading out this morning to a final group class. I did notice that I’m feeling a little vulnerable (emotionally) but otherwise I’m doing great. Slept great, head is clear, energy is high and I’m so glad I did this. It’s such an amazing feeling to know I can do it! Here’s my new favorite juice blend:
1 red beet
3 celery stalks
What does a cleanse do for me?
Eating raw foods and consuming an abundance of fresh leafy veggies and fruits through juicing give me a sense of energy and awareness that I don’t have otherwise. I wake up refreshed, I have an easier time at work, my emotions feel more balanced and I sleep better at night.
I’m happier, more energized and any hints of anxiety or emotional ups and downs are gone. Though I will say that if you’re approaching a cleanse form a typical American diet rich in sugar and grains you will probably experience some emotional clearing (meaning you may be a raging bitch or weeping basket-case for a day) but that will pass and you will be on the other side of it feeling better, more balanced and motivated to keep on the path!
So, would I recommend a 7 day raw food and juice cleanse? ABSOLUTELY!
My overall experience was positive and I felt great, had a clearer head, lost a couple pounds of water weight and slept better than I typically do. I’m planning to keep up with a goal of a 50/50 ratio cooked to raw foods, and I bought a dehydrator to make some flat breads and crackers. I’ll share some of the recipes I’m trying as I keep on this raw food path and definitely recommend a cleanse for anyone who wants to give your system a nice little reboot 🙂
Have you followed a raw food or juice cleanse? I’d love to hear your experience too!