A few weeks ago, I tried my very first juice cleanse. I. Was. Terrified.
Most people don't know this about me, but all through grade school, I had debilitating migraines on a weekly basis (loss of vision, vomiting, complete incapacitation, all the bad stuff) and one of the triggers was a lack of food. This made me super paranoid about having food on me all the time. To this day, I still always have a snack on me - usually just an apple (since I can no longer eat any kind of bars, with all that sugar).
I've heard of people doing juice cleanses, but because of the migraines, it never felt like an option for me, so I completely put it out of my mind. Then recently, my husband started having stomach issues, and one of the recommendations his doctor had was a juice cleanse to reset his gut. For some reason, it just felt like the perfect time to try this, and I became extremely intrigued.
I chose Project Juice because they're local and have an awesome 3-day green cleanse (Advanced Reset Juice Cleanse) with very little sugar. Brad chose the Classic Reset Juice Cleanse, and we were off! I was definitely worried about being hungry based on all of the reviews I read. But the truth is, I actually never got hungry.
We didn't prepare for the cleanse - we ate normally until the night before we started. The cleanse came with 6 juices a day each, and we drank a juice every 2 hours. It actually took me around 2 hours to drink each juice, so from 8am through 8pm, I was drinking juice nonstop! It worked out super well. I'm a night owl so I tend to stay up late working (like, 4am late), so when I got hungry again around midnight, I'd have one of the approved snacks: a stalk of celery. Again, I was super surprised that I actually never stayed hungry. I'd get hungry and have my next juice, and feel completely satiated. In normal life, I tend to get snacky and overeat, so it was a really freeing experience to know that I can actually not give in to those snack cravings (I changed to healthy snacks years ago, but even so, snacking isn't great for weight loss).
Some of the green juices were harder to drink later in the day, so I loved the charcoal lemonade and almond mylk mixed in to the set! It was the perfect combination, and ending in a heavier milky drink was super satisfying after drinking more tart green juices the rest of the day. Black Magic was actually one of my favorite drinks - it's a charcoal lemonade, which helped remove toxins and bloat from my gut. I'm already such a huge fan of charcoal - I eat it in capsules to reduce gas and bloat, brush my teeth with it for teeth whitening, and use it in masks to clear up my skin. Drinking it as part of the cleanse was a total treat.
Overall, the cleanse wasn't difficult, and we each lost 6 pounds and our guts felt better than ever. The amazing thing is, we've actually kept the weight off. Our stomachs shrank, so it's been easier to eat healthy portions. American culture absolutely centers around food and pushes us to over-indulge. Everything is about instant gratification, sugar, and more of it. Even social interactions are mostly based around eating. In trying to build a healthier life for ourselves, learning that juicing is a viable option (even for grown adults who work out regularly) has been extremely freeing. I want to ingest nutrients that help my body function at its peak, not indulge in heavy, unhealthy, processed products that leave me feeling lethargic, overweight, and bloated.
The other super cool thing is that this experience inspired us to continue to drink juice in the mornings. I've been a believer in and practicer of intermittent fasting for a long time (I usually don't eat until noon or 1pm), and juicing in the mornings is the perfect way to manage this lifestyle. My mom was sweet enough to buy us a juicer, and it's actually super fun and easy to make our own juices (and super yummy!). I make a batch of 6 jars at a time so we can juice for 3 mornings, making it super easy to grab and go (kind of like meal prepping!).
I absolutely recommend the Project Juice reset cleanse to anyone. The 3-day cleanse is super doable, it'll reset your gut, remove bloat and gas, and shrink your stomach so you need less to feel satiated.
Don't hesitate to ask me any questions about this experience!
Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in San Francisco.