I’m on day three of my fourth-ever juice cleanse. It’s been a lovely roller coaster of emotions, as always, but this time around, I felt more ready than ever. It’s a fun and interesting way to challenge yourself in a way that’s entirely personal. Each time, I feel like I get a little bit better at cleansing, and things go a little bit smoother. I definitely could have used some support the first time around; I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So, here are some tips I’ve put together based on my own experience, for those of you who are thinking about doing your first cleanse.
Ten tips for your first juice cleanse, in no particular order:
- Avoid the break room/market/restaurants/cafes. Seriously. While a juice cleanse is a lot about discipline and dedication, there’s no reason to put yourself through an unnecessary struggle. Your senses will be on high alert, and pizza cravings are through the roof. Sitting in a Starbucks while your friend munches away on a scone is going to be torture. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you will be temped to cave. Your cleanse is worth it, I promise!
- Listen to your body. Some days you are a rockstar with all the energy and enthusiasm in the world. Some days you shout at drivers stopping at a yellow light. On your good days, feel free to pack in the activities. I try to work out when I’m feeling good, and on the not-so-good days, I do small chores around the house, or read, or nap (to dream about pizza).
- Be prepared to be simultaneously the sleepiest and most alert you’ve been in a long time. I go through waves of exhaustion and spacing-out, followed by insane productivity and getting-it-doneness. Just go with the flow. And, if your having trouble interacting with others, just let them know. Maybe they’ll tell you that pressing deadline can wait until tomorrow. Maybe they’ll want to get on board for your next cleanse.
- Make it easy. Although it’s not the most financially-sound decision, I buy my juices, and I buy them by the day (6/day). It works out to roughly $30/day, but that’s less than I would spend going out for dinner each night. Furthermore, I buy juices made for cleansing, so they are labeled 1-6. All I have to do is follow the numbers, so there’s no worrying about getting the next one, or making it.
- Plan around your events. There’s nothing worse than being halfway through your cleanse and realizing that you have to attend a baby shower or holiday cookie exchange.
- Timing! For your first cleanse, I suggest picking a weekend when nothing is going on. Start on Saturday, end on Monday. By day three (Monday), you’ll be feeling like a champ: refreshed and ready for what the week has to throw at you.
- Don’t be afraid. There are a lot of negative ideas floating around about what happens during a juice cleanse. But, for the most part you should have a really good experience. We don’t always make the best choices for our health or metal/physical wellbeing. Cleansing a good jumpstart or addition to healthier living, or it can at least help you feel like you’ve offset some of the carb-kindom that you live in.
- Acknowledge that it’s difficult, then let it go. There are so many times when I have to remind myself that I’m fine. Except in the mornings, I’m never hungry during a cleanse (it’s a whole lot of liquid). But, I honestly do have the urge to chew all the pizza and carb-y snacks I could get my hands on. I’m better than solid foods, and thinking about them won’t get me down.
- Be proud of yourself, you did a good thing! Your body gets a chance to chemically-reset, you’ve probably had more nutrition in you than in a long while, and things are looky rosy. While it might not be publically acceptable to brag about your first cleanse, you can certain brag to yourself: your the best and the strongest and you just proved what you are capable of when you commit: anything!
- Have a plan. Do you know what you’re going to eat, when you’re eating solids again? Are you going back to donuts and pizza and coffee? Honestly, if you bee-line right to the vending machine when your cleanse is over, I won’t blame you. On my second cleanse, I had such bad cravings that I ended up stockpiling snacks and junk food, which was a very bad decision when I finished the cleanse. It’s best to have a game-plan for the days following your cleanse. Have a juice in the morning, salad in the afternoon, keep it light.
Every cleanse is different, just like every body is different. Even with that in mind, I always come out of a cleanse ready to do another. If I had a more economical method, I would do them more frequently. I hope that your first cleanse is easy and stressfress, and that you end up liking it just as much as I do.
I’d love to hear how your first cleanse went, or any tips you’d like to add to the list, in the comments below.