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…that is the question.

green juice cleanse

I’ve been thinking about trying a juice cleanse for a long time. Was it something I could actually do, make it through three whole days without food? Was this just some fad for LA waifs or would it actually be good for me? Would I be willing to spend ~$160 on what is, essentially, a three-day diet? Well, when a Gilt City deal for the Nekter Juice Cleanse popped up in late January, I decided it was worth a shot.

I’m the kinda girl that does not skip a meal. So since I was so freaked out that I would starve to death I made sure to do my research before starting the cleanse. I read about one girl who had a heavy, fried meal as her last hurrah before the cleanse and she experienced horrible, hangover-like symptoms the first day. I read about others that had bad caffeine-withdrawal symptoms. This made me even more nervous, so I started preparing my body about 5 days beforehand.

And this preparation proved to be very, very important.

I started cutting down on caffeine. This was hard for me. It’s not so much the caffeine that I crave (although I usually need one cup of something per day), but more the ritual of holding a hot mug in your hands and sipping coffee or tea. Waking up slowly in the morning or indulging in afternoon cosiness with a book.

Slowly I cut back to one cup of coffee a day, replacing other caffeinated beverages with tea. Then I made the switch from black tea to just green tea. Then just one cup of green tea in the morning. The next day was my first caffeine free day, and I did get a headache in the afternoon. But those were the last of my symptoms. I also made sure to eat increasingly healthier. I shoveled in giant kale salads and began to cut out any carbs, processed foods, and sugar.

Then I started the cleanse. And the verdict? I loved it! The juices were delicious (although they didn’t always look it), and the fact that I had a different juice 6 times throughout the day meant that I was never hungry. The juices take about half an hour to an hour to finish, and you drink one about every 2 to 3 hours. In fact, I’ve felt way hungrier just trying to eat really healthily existing off of salads, nuts, and fruit on diets like the 3 Day Perricone Cleanse.

That first day I felt strangely exuberant and energetic. My skin looked good, I lost a few pounds, and after 3 days my waistline came back! Unfortunately the day right after the cleanse happened to be Easter, and while I wasn’t horrible, it probably wasn’t the best way to keep going on an uber-healthy plan.

So, was it what I expected? Not quite. The negative – I didn’t instantly lose 10 pounds as I was secretly hoping. It really was more about getting the toxins out of your body than losing weight. The positive – I was never hungry and was always satisfied (although I did miss food in general).

Would I do it again? Absolutely. I felt really great, I looked great, and I was motivated. It’s definitely pricey, but you can probably look up juicing recipes online and do your own, homemade cleanse.

What about you? Have you tried anything like this before?

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