Last week I went on a juice cleanse. For you. Well, for me, really. But I had you in mind. Promise. Now, those of you who know me will know that I’m very much obsessed with detoxing. I’ve tried a couple of different local juice cleanse programmes that have done wonders for my body and taken my health to the next level. Last week, I finally got around to trying the 3-Day Radical Cleanse by my favourite Cape Town juice bar: Orchard on Long. Yup, for three whole days I binged on green juices… And I lived to tell the story!
Before I get to my juice cleanse diary, let me elaborate a little on the cleanse that I did and why I did it. So, the 3-Day Radical Cleanse, which will cost you R1 050, is a relatively advanced cleanse sequence. You get six juices to drink per day. I’d say it’s best for “experienced” juicers, but I’m sure beginners would be able to stick it out, too. Just a side note: Orchard on Long does offer other programmes that are designed for newbies entering the cleansing arena, such as the 1-Day Activation Cleanse and the 1-Day Radical Cleanse, which both cost R350 each.
My decision to do this juice cleanse can’t quite be chalked up to any one thing. I wasn’t really trying to drop weight, though I’d been feeling a little sluggish after eating pretty badly over the past month due to stress and other factors. I felt that it was time to take back my health. I wanted to feel a little lighter, fresher and, well, newer. The 3-Day Radical Cleanse promised nutrient-dense, alkalising and detoxifying juices that would “target every nook and cranny”, helping me achieve maximum detoxifying results. Sounded pretty good to me!
So now, here’s a look into my juice cleanse journey…
My juice cleanse diary
Monday (3 days before cleanse)
A menacing calendar invite pops up on my phone just before I step into the office, reminding me to “stop drinking coffee/alcohol and eating dairy/bread/meat”. You see, in order to get the most out of any juice cleanse, you need to prepare your body. You’ll want to start weaning yourself off of your usual indulgences and make a few adjustments before you start, so that your body doesn’t go into panic mode when you consume nothing but liquid for three consecutive days. Yup, this Monday without coffee was tough!
The work day is almost over, and all I’ve consumed is green tea, nuts and berries. The tummy rumbles are real right now.
My evening yoga workout seems to have kept my hunger at bay. For dinner, I enjoy two soft-boiled eggs sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Tuesday (2 days before cleanse)
My head hurts. By now, I’ve usually glugged down a cup of coffee. Maybe two. Today, I drank a blueberry and coconut water smoothie for breakfast, and plan to sip on green tea for the remainder of the day. Caffeine is part of my morning ritual. Okay, maybe it isn’t just a ritual. Maybe I’m addicted to it. Whatever.
Time to meet a friend for coffee during my lunch hour. Well, she has coffee, and I have a cup of chilled green tea with a sashimi salad.
I feel like inhaling a plate of nachos right now, but I blend up a raw cacao and peanut butter smoothie bowl for dinner instead. Yes, chocolate for dinner. I needed a pick-me-up, okay?
Wednesday (1 day before cleanse)
I pick up my box of juices! It’s huge. And heavy. All this is going into my body in only three days? Whoa, okay. I spend the next half an hour arranging it all in my fridge.
After a one-hour spinning class, I’m pretty starving, but I resist temptation and cook up a low-calorie vegetable soup for dinner. I feel pretty ready for my impending cleanse. Bring it on!
Thursday (day 1)
I wake up bright and early, feeling ready for my cleanse. I’m about to drink cold things for three days straight. I’ve done it before, so I can do it again, right? I hope they’re tasty. Let’s see how it works out.
After drinking a mug of warm water with sliced lemon to wake up my system, I have my first juice, which is labelled “Greens”. It’s… Not bad! A blend of spinach, kale, dates, wheatgrass, orange, pineapple, vanilla, oats and spirulina. It’s actually pretty sweet and refreshing. I definitely taste the spinach and kale, but luckily the pineapple keeps it from going full veggie flavour.
Onto my second juice – The Electro. It’s a blend of celery, kale, spinach, apple, lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper. Pretty gingery, but it was better than the first one for sure. Plus it was filling. I feel full. Not necessarily sated, but I’m certainly not starving.
I might be starving… I’m not sure. Maybe it’ll pass? I drink down my third juice, The Panda. Avocado, pineapple, lime, celery, cucumber, spirulina, apple spinach and ginger are the ingredients in it. Wow, tasty!
Feeling rather dizzy, but still going. Time for my fourth juice, the Sunflower Special. It’s a mix of sunflower greens, celery, wheatgrass, lemon, apple and kale. Okay, wow… The wheatgrass taste is rather overpowering. But it’s drinkable.
I’m feeling pretty energised! Perhaps it’s the little bit of caffeine in the green tea I’ve been drinking throughout the day to thank for this?
Time for my fifth juice, the All Star Greens juice! Yes, another green juice. It’s loaded with watercress, celery, parsley, basil, kale, cucumber, mint, spinach and lemon. It tastes a lot better than it sounds.
Dessert time! My sixth and last juice of the day is the Almond Milk. A delicious combination of raw almonds, vanilla, Himalayan salt, dates and coconut oil. I close my eyes and it tastes a little like a milkshake. As someone who needs to end their day on a sweet note, this is kind of life-saving.
It’s time for bed. I feel a little dizzy, but actually not so bad. I’ve had a caffeine withdrawal headache all day, but I’m sure the feeling will pass as the juices get to work and the toxins leave my body.
Friday (day 2)
I’m done with the first day! Walking into the office was hard. I almost fainted from all the smells. Do my colleagues really have to drink their coffee at eat their oatmeal at their desks? I find it rather inconsiderate. Also, why are my senses so heightened? Okay, juice time.
I’m feeling a tad wary about the rest of the cleanse now that I know what all the juices taste like. I hope the novelty won’t wear off. My bladder is constantly full of liquid. It’s quite uncomfortable.
I’m three juices into the day and I actually feel great! I probably only feel this way because it’s Friday, right?
I’m busy working from a coffee shop. I just finished my fifth juice of the day. I had to have a change of scenery – delicious smells be damned! My last juice is sitting in my bag. I’ll treat myself to it after a light run around the block after finishing my work.
Still at the coffee shop. It’s interesting working through the “am I really hungry right now, or am I just bored?” and “am I really hungry right now, or am I just used to eating at this time?” questions on a juice cleanse.
I’m on the couch, feeling a bit drained after my run. But I know it’s normal to feel light-headed after even light exercise when you’re consuming so few calories per day. I drink my almond milk juice. It’s so good!
Okay, maybe the lack of food is getting to me a little, because I just yelled at someone on the phone who probably (okay, definitely) didn’t deserve to be yelled at. Also, I feel so antisocial. A Friday night spent at home? Really? Okay, time for bed.
Saturday (day 3)
I wake up and I feel totally fine. I’m not miserable or starving. Hmm, surprising. I do miss food and liquid that isn’t juiced fruit and veggies, but I suppose knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel makes it manageable.
If anything, I feel a little tired of not eating. I’m on my third juice of the day, and I’m about to go and meet a friend for tea. I think I miss salty carbs the most. I want pizza. And nachos. I wouldn’t mind ice-cream, either.
Got a little caught up watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills episodes, so I’m finally heading to bed with my last juice. I’m feeling a little sentimental – I’m going to miss having everything I need for the day tomorrow planned out for me. Plus, there’s nothing in my fridge except for an almost-empty bottle of red wine and a LUSH face mask.
The final verdict
While I’m not going to tell you what I weighed before and after the cleanse (what, are you crazy?!), I will say that I had lost 3 kg when I weighed in on Sunday morning. 3 kg in three days? Not too shabby. I feel lighter on my feet and the furthest thing from bloated. Not that I’m constantly stuffing my face with food and eating to excess, but you know what? Sometimes I do (there, I said it).
In addition, my mental and physical energy levels have skyrocketed and my skin is glowing! I can also feel that my digestive system and liver are well-rested. Gosh, I feel absolutely fabulous in actual fact! It wasn’t cheap, but eating healthy usually isn’t. It was, however, well worth it. I think I’ll do this cleanse once a season.
If you too want to invest in your health, give a juice cleanse a try. Just like you set aside money from your budget for high-quality clothing and accessories that will last, your body deserves the same attention. Whether it’s splurging on a gym membership when the temperatures dip and you can’t run outside, or a seasonal reboot to your diet, it’s always worth it. I promise you!
Now if only I could go cold turkey on my beloved chocolate cake and pizza…
If you want to read more about the juice cleanses that Orchard on Long offers or get right to placing an order, go here.