In the days leading up to my juice cleanse, I slowly ween myself off meat, dairy, carbs and caffeine. Two days prior, I have egg whites for breakfast with a final cup of coffee, a spinach salad for lunch with olive oil—and for dinner, salmon with brown rice. The next day, I bring blueberries to the office for breakfast, down an assortment of broccoli, quinoa, corn, kale and steamed spinach (plus some ginger lemonade) for lunch, then for dinner splurge (hah!) on another spinach salad with olive oil. I'm still hungry so I fill the void with two green teas.
I wake up and heat a cup of water and add lemon. On my walk to work, the smell of fresh coffee wafts out the door of Oren’s and I enviously eye the steaming cups in everyone’s hand. At work, I make myself a green tea, no sugar, and open my first juice. This isn’t so bad, I thought. Thirty-minutes later and one juice down. Five more to go! I’m already feeling slightly accomplished and relieved the green drink wasn’t half bad, but I’m still curious how I’m going to survive three full days of this when I ALREADY have pizza on my mind. The day goes on and luckily my co-worker and I are in this together, so we can compare notes and commiserate along the way. We finish the second and third juices, (ugh, green juice, again?) and move on to a fourth spicy lemonade which is a refreshing break from the kale, cucumber, apple blend. I’m feeling slightly light headed, but overall I feel pretty good! The key is to keep up your water intake along with the juice. (Thankfully, the bathroom is just steps away from my desk.) I head home and am energized enough to lift some arm weights. Don't want to risk overdoing it my first day so I get a brief workout in, drink my sixth juice of almond milk with cinnamon (the tastiest yet) and go to bed early.
It’s only appropriate the second day of my juice cleanse falls on Wednesday—hump day. One green drink in and a few waters later, and it's time to go to the office “wellness screening,” where they test your cholesterol level, blood pressure and glucose by drawing blood. You're supposed to fast for ten hours beforehand, so I figured since I'd only had juice, I’d be fine. I let the nurses know and they assure me it shouldn’t be an issue. I’m not one to faint, but after they draw the blood I see black spots. This can’t be good. I tell them what I’m feeling and my entire body starts sweating. “We’ll get you some candy!” they offer. “I CAN’T HAVE CANDY!” I snap. They bring back water and I start to regain my strength enough to joke that I WOULD be the one to die at the office wellness screening.
I find my way back to my desk and realize I think this is grounds for a “cheat” food. I head downstairs to see about getting some avocado, cucumbers or vegetable broth, all are foods permitted on the Blue Print cheat sheat, and I settle for (NOT low sodium) vegetable broth and broccoli—the closest I could get to light sustenance post peak lunch hour. I continue feeling lightheaded throughout the day but keep up my water intake. The theory the nurses had was I was dehydrated (which a Blue Print staff member later confirmed over the phone).
Today my head just feels foggy, and my thoughts are slightly disorganized. I FEEL like I lost weight though and I am enjoying the thought of wearing skinny jeans tomorrow, but I’m noticing I’m still light headed when I stand up. I’ve had three green teas today and TONS of water to avoid yesterday’s near catastrophe. Heading home and SO happy there’s a light at the end! TWO juices left. I can do this! Although right now all I can think about is laying in my bed. In fact, that’s all I plan to do tonight in celebration of being DONE. I may even enjoy grocery shopping for some greens and fruits for a real breakfast that can be chewed not just swallowed! Watermelon has never sounded so good.
The Day After: