3-Day Juice Cleanse: A journey of struggles, sadness and sacrifice

I fancy myself on trying new things and doing things for the sake of doing things.

Whether it’s running in a 200 mile team marathon on a week’s notice, driving to Yellowstone to search for gold on an hour’s notice, becoming a vegetarian for a week, running a half-marathon without training or living off minimum wage for a month, I’m all for experiencing new things.

Sometimes it’s dumb; sometimes its fun; but it’s always intriguing to me. I call them my experiments and for me, it’s a way to change things up from my daily routine of life.

While browsing through Facebook, I saw one of my friends had posted a blog about a 3-Day Juice Cleanse over at Wichita Mom’s Blog. After reading it, my senses told me, “That sounds like fun!!!” My brain heard the word “Fun” and by that point, I knew there was no talking myself out of it.

I brought up the idea to my co-workers and friends. A good majority of my friends told me things like, “It’s a waste of time”, “It’s not healthy”, and “Why even do it?” Keep in mind, these are the same friends who pushed and encouraged me to try 30 different burger restaurants in 30 days.

Surprisingly though, I had a few co-workers who were willing to join me in this cleanse. We spoke about it on a Wednesday and started the very next week. I present to you my journey of struggles, sadness and sacrifice.


The Cleanse Process

Before I even get into the three-day journal, let’s cover what is a juice cleanse? We purchased ours at Songbird Juice Co. and this is their definition:

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the “juice cleanse”, but the bottom line is this; any time you challenge yourself to do better, it may be difficult, but change can benefit you. Juice cleanses allow your digestive system a chance to take a break, resetting and cleansing your palette from processed foods.

Not a single person went into this cleanse thinking it was a magical diet, a quick way to lose weight or a way to bring world peace. Nope. We did it to sort of hit the reset button on our bodies, give our digestive systems some rest, maybe lose a couple of pounds and get a better grasp on our eating and drinking habits.

At Songbird Juice Co., it cost $90 + tax for the 3 Day Cleanse. Let’s face it, being healthy isn’t the cheapest in the world. Here’s more info on Songbird’s Juice Cleanse. So, this doesn’t sound like some big advertisement for them, I’ll preface the rest of this by saying we all paid full price for the cleanse. This wasn’t given to us or discounted.

Pre-Cleanse Process

To prepare for the cleanse, it is important to drink lots of waters, reduce and/or eliminate caffeine, alcohol and sugars, increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, and decrease consumption of meats and dairy.

I’m a guy; I make mistakes. So while I did a good job of drinking water, eliminating caffeine and alcohol, I did what anybody else on Sunday would do. I had gone to a Sunday Brunch Buffet and increased my consumption of meat…..and all good food in general. To make up for it though, I had strictly fruits and vegetables for dinner.

I wasn’t too worried about coffee or caffeine because I don’t drink either of those during the day. I know a couple of my colleagues did, so they had to prepare themselves mentally for the change.

While I don’t know Marty Spence, the owner of Songbird Juice Co., I reached out to her with some questions and she made herself happily available over the phone. We had a great chat about what to expect, what to do, and answered any questions my co-workers or I had.

Day One of the Juice Cleanse

All ready to go!

I woke up bright and early Monday morning excited for what this new challenge had in store for me. I picked up the bottles from Songbird Juice Co. and was on my way to work with all the bottles for day one.

The bottles came with a step-by-step instruction sheet on what to drink. There were four bottles per day. Nearly everyone started their morning with some green tea and honey. Around 9 am, we then began the Juice Cleanse with the first bottle: Generosity which consisted of Kale, Cucumber, Pineapple and Ginger. The greens inside give energy, so this was the recommended drink for the day. This was surprisingly delicious. I wasn’t sure how a drink with all those ingredients would taste, but everybody enjoyed the first one.

So far, so good. We would also mix in water throughout the day to hopefully curb away the appetite.

Around lunchtime, it was time for the second juice: Harmony which consisted of Pineapple, Carrot, Orange and Tumeric. The first sip was a bit weird, but after a couple of drinks, Harmony really grew on us. It was at this time, I learned to “chew my drinks”. I was told that if you chew while you are drinking the juice, it breaks down the nutrients and is better for you. Either I was being made to look like a fool or it really worked. I’ll never know.

In the afternoon, Marty called me to see how things were going and answered any questions we had.

I also had some Kombucha which is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks. I purchased a few different brands of flavored Kombucha at Sprouts. Some tasted like Kiwi-Strawberry, some like Dr. Pepper, some like Root Beer, some like straight up flavored vinegar which was gross. Kombucha helps out with the digestive system and curbs the hunger pains that were starting to come on. This was recommended to me on the Juice Cleanse tip sheet as well as on a previous call with Marty.

To end the afternoon, we had Loaded Lemonade. It consisted of Alkaline H20, Lemon, Lime, Ginger and Local Honey. I’ll be honest this was a tough one to put down. Nearly everybody in our group had trouble finishing this one. For me, it was just too acidic. Others put syrup or more honey into their drink to make it a bit more palpable. Three of the four of us have to admit, we didn’t drink it again.

Once I arrived home, things started to get worse. I was watching television and when you’re not eating you pay closer attention. EVERY commercial is about food. It was really disturbing and annoying. I watched the National Championship Game that evening, which was good enough to keep my mind off food except for every commercial. Watching the Capital One commercial with Charles Barkley and the Snack Hoodie was so tempting.

I finished my evening with Recovery which contained Romaine, Apple, Cucumber, Celery, Spinach, Parsley. Compared to the Loaded Lemonade, this was like drinking the nectar of the Gods. It was a delicious drink that did me good until bedtime.

Day Two of the Juice Cleanse

I’m the type of person that sleeps maybe 5-6 hours a night. Tuesday was no different. On such little sleep, I was quite energized and ready to go for the day. There was certainly some hunger pains coming on.

As I was driving to work, I noticed how many places served food which made me even hungrier.

I saw a Subway….food. Spangles…..food. Dillons gas station…..food. Fidelity Bank…. lollipops. Wendy’s….food. Burger King…. food. Off brand gas station…. food. Apartment Complex…. many fridges with food. Everywhere around me was food. Even a car passing by had a driver eating a donut.

The moment I arrived at work, I started drinking my first bottle of Generosity. The rest of my workday was similar to the day before. I stayed on the same plan with the juices, mixed in some green tea and Kombucha along with plenty of water. I avoided going to the cafeteria as I knew some of my colleagues would jokingly enjoy their food more in front of my presence. One colleague did make it a point to let me know how good his lunch was. (I see a glitter bomb in his future).

Outside of the morning struggle for food, the afternoon went by quick. It was only when I was at home when the real struggles came. I skipped my late afternoon Lemonade drink and switched it up with lukewarm water with lemonade along with vegetable broth. The vegetable broth may have been the best thing I ever had over the past two days. It felt like a real meal. Hours after that though is when the sadness came along.

In the early evening, I had a major headache. I was told ahead of time that people who drink caffeine and coffee, both of which don’t apply to me, may experience headaches on a juice cleanse. After talking with a couple of others who were doing the cleanse, they had the same headaches.

I ended my evening with the final juice and tried to sleep earlier than usual which I failed because I started a new show called Big Littles Lies which is excellent.

Day Three of the Juice Cleanse

Even though I was on 5 hours of sleep again, I woke up with no headaches, no hunger. It was like a new day. Very exciting times for my colleagues and I as it was our last day on the cleanse! My morning started off with the first juice and then it was off to start the work day.

The moment I arrived at work, the hunger pains started to come on again. At that point, I caved in. The Juice Cleanse instructions notes that if you must eat, it’s best to stick to easy to digest foods. So I had a banana. Come to find out that day some of my other co-workers had some snacks; one had vegetables and another had a small bag of popcorn.

Throughout the day, all I could think about was what I would eat for my first meal. For whatever reason Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches were on my mind all week. My stomach was calling for them.

The rest of the day was on and off again hunger that I tried to avoid with the help of water, green tea,  Kombucha along with many visual pictures of food spinning through my mind.

That same evening it was a birthday dinner for one of my friends. I stopped by towards the end of it because I didn’t want to see people eat. When I arrived, everybody had their leftovers out and it all smelled wonderful. There was even some baby food out that I would have eaten in a heartbeat. Listening to everybody talk about how good their food was pretty miserable. In fact, I was told that I looked miserable. After the brief 30-minute stop, I was home to drink my final juice and lay in bed.

After the Juice Cleanse

PB&J Finally……

The day after the Juice Cleanse and being able to eat real food was like turning 21 all over again. That morning I ate the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich I was craving all week. An hour later, I crashed. It didn’t dawn on me that the processed jelly and carbs would knock me out. Even though, I wasn’t hungry that was the worst I felt all week. I followed that up with carbs again and had Pho for lunch. I couldn’t even finish a medium bowl of Pho; the hunger just wasn’t there. The whole experience really made me rethink my food choices for the workday.

For everybody in my group that weighed themselves, the average weight loss was around 7 pounds over the three days. Everyone didn’t feel so hot by day three, but throughout the whole time, people admitted the energy level was good and they were getting better sleep.

Everyone felt lighter and “cleaner” so to speak. Even a week later, I didn’t feel so bloated or awful after eating. It did wonders for the digestive system. A key takeaway someone had was people don’t need as much food/calories as they think they do. It’s obvious that eating habits greatly affect how you feel and this just solidifies it.

All the juices we had, we would drink over an hours time. It made us realize that we don’t think about how much food we are shoveling down our throats on big binges in quick time spans.

A week later, I still haven’t gained my weight back. I have changed my diet to eat a light meal or drink a juice to replace a meal if I knew I would be eating something unhealthy that same day.

Would we do it again?

None of us would probably do a 3-Day Juice Cleanse again; that was just too long. I would certainly consider a 1 or 2 day cleanse in the future, followed by light fasting for the next day or two. Am I glad I did it? Certainly! I’m always open to trying new things and didn’t feel like it was a waste of time or money as some people told me. It gave us all a better realization of many things that we wouldn’t otherwise have thought about without the cleanse.

Another thing I’ll add is Marty Spence was wonderful throughout the whole process. From answering all my dumb questions to checking in, everything I read about her was entirely true. She really does care about her business and her customers. That alone is enough to keep my business, whether it’s a shorter juice cleanse or just stopping by for a smoothie.

So, that does it with my latest life experiment. What I do next, you’ll have to keep reading to find out.

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