After two trips to Thailand within a month of each other (and not doing a single grocery shop in between), I felt like I had developed a Buddha Belly from eating far too much Pad Thai and meals on the go. In lieu of that, I decided to do a three day juice cleanse to give my body a healthy kick in the butt! I had never done a cleanse before, but I eat fairly healthy and exercise regularly, so I figured this would be a walk in the park (with perhaps a bit of a limp). So there I was, ordering a Genie Juicery Intermediate Cleanse, not thinking too much into it. Unfortunately, I was naive enough to think that my biggest struggle would be me wanting to shove a burger down my throat after the first day.. Boy, was I wrong! So. Very. Wrong.
The company that supplied my juice cleanse was Genie Juicery, a fairly established (since 2011) shop in the HK health/cleanse-craze. Before this cleanse, I went over to the shop and tried two of their juices just to see if I would be able to handle the cleanse, ’cause at $1,700 for three days, this cleanse sure isn’t cheap. I decided to try two “smoothie” juices from their shop in the IFC; Smooth Operator (banana and avocado based) and Geisha (Vegan green tea latte), which were both delicious, but a far cry from what the majority of the juices taste like on the cleanse. What I really should have done was try one of their vegetable-based drinks and imagined myself drinking that for three days in a row.. Lesson learned.
Due to my naivety and overly confident self, I didn’t really take much time to read up on juice cleanses. Yes, yes – I knew the basics of what a juice cleanse was and I had heard all of the hype: “OMG, Sharon! Did you hear how much weight Betty lost after doing a seven day juice cleanse? And her skin; it was practically glowing! She said she felt, like, totally amazing afterwards!”.
I was told to start a pre-cleanse three days before my actual cleanse began (apparently there’s a rule where you pre-cleanse the same amount of days as your actual cleanse), which meant no more alcohol (boo-hoo!) and foods high in sugar, and you should be eating ample amounts of raw fruit and vegetables. Since this is how I pretty much eat on a regular basis, save for the alcohol, I thought I was all good to start.
The Night Before
Genie Juicery delivered my supplies for the first two days of my cleanse on a Sunday night. They called ahead of time and the 16 labelled juices I would be consuming (8 per day) during the following days came in two cute shoulder “lunch bags” with an ice pack inside to keep the juices cold (since they’re cold pressed and are unpasteurized, you gotta keep that freshness refrigerated!) and my “Genie Juicery Bible”, which provided some helpful tips on what to expect during the next few days (though nothing in there could have prepared me for what actually happened..).
Before I jump in and talk about what was going on in my head or what worrisome things were happening to my body, I want to fill you in on the 8 different juices I was either enjoying or plugging my nose while drinking.
Juice 1: THE MASTER
The flavours that were most dominant were the lemon/lime combo and a kick of Cayenne as you swallowed. Really easy to go down and I enjoyed the texture of the Acai Berries and the Chia seeds.
Juice 2: SMOOTH OPERATOR
I really enjoyed this smoothie (it was also one of the ones I tried beforehand): the texture was nice and thick thanks to the banana and avocado, and it was very filling.
Juice 3: FOUR LEAF CLOVER
This juice was celery and spinach based, both of which you could really taste. There was also a strong acidic taste left in my mouth that put me right off. Needless to say, I was not a fan.
Juice 4: ORANG UTAN
After hating my life while drinking the Four Leaf Clover, I was seriously skeptical about this brightly colored carrot and orange juice. Thankfully, it went down much easier; you could taste subtle hints of carrot, but the orange and ginger were dominant. I liked the kick from the ginger and the pulp from the orange. This juice gets a thumbs-up from me, even though it is veg based.
Juice 5: SAWADEKAH
I’m not sure if it was a combination of the last two vegetable-heavy juices or if my body was getting overwhelmed by all these vegetables and no solid food, but this kale, spinach, and cucumber juice did me in. All the flavours were potently present and it packed a rough punch with each sip. I could tell it would be tough getting down the second I opened the lid and the strong smell hit me like a brick wall.
Juice 6: HAWAII H2O
You can really taste the coconut water, pineapple, and something else that’s a bit tangy – perhaps the chlorophyll? It wasn’t all too bad in and of itself, though after a few sips the flavour becomes a little much to bear.
Juice 7: LIFE BLOOD
This juice was okay, but the raw beet taste is very strong and overpowering. Like most of the other vegetable-based drinks, the first few sips were fine, but as I got to about halfway, it became quite difficult to finish the rest of the juice without regretting my decision to do a cleanse. Thankfully, it wasn’t as painful to drink as the Four Leaf Clover and Sawadekah.
Juice 8: SWEET DREAMS
This last juice turned out to be my favourite of all the juices: it’s an almond/milk drink that tastes divine and was a more than welcome relief to the other juices I’ve been shoving down my throat. I would purchase this drink again and could probably drink it every day and not get sick of it.
My Three Days Of Juice Cleanse Torture
I woke up feeling great and was eager to start my cleanse. Every morning you get to drink some Organic Psyllium Husks in a big glass of water. The seeds gave the water a bit of a wheat taste, but nothing too strong or off-putting; that would come later. After a few minutes, the seeds will clump into gelatin bunches on the sides of your glass or water bottle. After I drained my glass of Psyllium Husk water I was ready to power through the day!
I started with The Master after I got to work. My stomach was growling at this point, but after I drank this juice it settled down. The first juice went down nice and easy, and all was well.
My second juice was also a piece of cake (ooh, I could go for a piece of New York cheesecake right about now). I was practically laughing at this point thinking the entire time would be this easy (now I’m laughing at how unprepared I was). I was feeling great after drinking this smoothie and had half-expected and half-hoped that the other juices would be equally as delicious.
Now here’s where my struggle begins.. Next up were all of the vegetable-based juices: five of them. I must have spent over an hour trying to finish these liquid meals. “Think of all the health benefits,” was what I kept telling myself as I wiped tears from my cheeks and attempted to get through another gulp.
So here I am, midday, and I’m already questioning how people do these cleanses for extended periods of time – how is it physically possible to consume so much juice?! My belly is ballooning with liquids and I am starting to feel gross and bloated. I totally thought I was going to feel all skinny since I wasn’t consuming any solids. Nope. At this point, I couldn’t believe I was only halfway through the first day.. Ugh.
I got through the workday (though the struggle was real by the end) and made it home in one piece.. You know when you take a horrible shot, eat something that tastes purely awful, or even just get a whiff of something funky, and you get goosebumps and shudder? Yeah, well that’s exactly what was happening to me after each sip of the Sawadekah. It was borderline cruel that I had to drink this juice and I actually had to plug my nose when I was drinking in order to get through the bottle.
After barely being able to finish the last juice, I made a weak attempt to drink Hawaii H2O, my 6th juice of the day. The juice itself wasn’t actually that bad, however, at this point I was feeling like absolute garbage. My stomach was sloshing around and a headache was beginning to emerge. I just could not finish it; I felt like I had just done 10 shots of tequila and was then put on a merry-go-round.
Within 15 minutes of finishing juice 6 (Lord knows how I actually managed to finish it), I was curled up on my bed with a massive migraine and severe nausea. I literally could not move without wanting to die. There was no way I was going to be able to drink another vegetable based juice without blowing chunks. That last thought was definitely a premonition of the subsequent events.
I really wanted to finish all 8 juices, but my body was scream-crying “NO! ARE YOU CRAZY?!” (clearly I am for doing this!) so I listened to my body and remained lifeless on my bed.
Unfortunately, lying on my bed didn’t last for long as my stomach started to gurgle and I knew the unfortunate events that were about to take place.. I rushed to the toilet and proceeded to throw up. Yep, you heard that right; I puked. What was happening to me?! I could not believe that I had gotten this sick so quickly on a juice cleanse. I knew this was going to be hard, but I had no idea that this kind of physical torture was in store. I can laugh about it now, but at the time it was actually horrible.
Even though it was only 9:00 pm, I was physically and mentally exhausted, and ready for bed. My head was still pounding and I just couldn’t take the head/stomach torture-combo, so I popped an Advil to relieve my migraine. It took awhile to set in, but afterwards it was just my stomach that was still unsettled. I also felt a bit loopy; when I walked, it felt like I wasn’t really walking. Not sure I can put into words the feeling, but I’m sure the other juicers out there probably understand, right?…
My alarm goes off at 6:00 am. Death ensues.
I was literally a walking zombie getting ready for work while downing my glass of water and Psyllium Husks cause I was so damn dehydrated. When I arrived at work I popped open juice 1 (The Master) and began to sip away, but something just felt off and within about 30 seconds I was running for the bathroom to throw up again.
At this point, I looked and felt like death, and was actually quite concerned; is this normal? Should the side effects of a juice cleanse be this bad? I even had a coworker tell me I looked grey. Grrrreat.
So, I did what I do whenever I have a health-related question (or any question in general, really): ask Google! I must have read at least 20 blog posts and tonnes of Q&A’s on various forums, and it seemed as though quite a few people were going through the same thing as me. The only difference between us was that most of them were smart enough to quit the second they got violently ill, whereas I persevered through the pain. Maybe that was a stupid idea (especially considering I puked again later that morning), but I had told lots of people about doing this juice cleanse, it wasn’t cheap, and when I put my mind to something, not much can get in my way.
My brain also turned to mush and I became fairly useless at work; my reflexes had severely slowed down and I was a professional mumbler. Thankfully, after lunchtime I was feeling much better (not great, but better), though I could only manage to get down 6 juices today. I just could not stomach Four Leaf Clover or Sawadekah. The mere thought of those vegetable juices made me cringe.
Thankfully, I woke up feeling like my same ol’ self, just a bit more tired than usual even though I was able to get a solid 8 hours of sleep.
Overall, day 3 went by very smoothly. My stomach had finally settled down and I could feel the hunger pains instead of the I’m-going-be-sick pains. Drinking the juices wasn’t a problem, though again I couldn’t finish all 8 of them. It was just too much juice for my stomach to handle.
Once my cleanse was finished, I wasn’t exactly jumping at the chance to consume everything in sight (surprise, surprise). In fact, I didn’t really want to eat much – I ended up having a different Genie Juicery juice to help my body slowly go back to eating solids (the delicious Bo-Yo did the trick) as well as Smooth Operator and Hawaii H2O, since I had a few juices leftover from not being able to finish 8 a day. I incorporated these juices into my day with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Overall Thoughts About My Juice Cleanse
It’s hard to say exactly how I feel about doing this 3 day juice cleanse. Now that it’s over, I feel good for pushing through even though I thought I was going to die on the first day. But, I also think it’s pretty friggen crazy that I blew chunks three times within the first 24 hours of this cleanse. I’m still not sure why my body rejected the cleanse initially: maybe it was a bigger shock to my system than I had anticipated. If there’s anyone out there who has an idea, let me know!
As for whether I feel any different, the answer is not really. I assumed I’d feel great and have that “glow” to my skin, but instead I actually still felt bloated. I never lost any weight during the three days either, not that that was my intention, which I also found a bit strange.
Either way, now that it’s over, I am glad I did it. But, if you’re asking if I’ll ever do it again, the answer is a big N-O!