today is day three of three of my first ever juice cleanse. my friend aimee owns embody natural health in lawrenceville and makes these raw, organic juices from local produce. i felt good, not only accepting the challenge of cleansing but also supporting my friend’s small business. that made the price worth it, alone.

i chose to do this cleanse now, along with three of my coworkers, to clear my dependency on caffeine and sugar (recent addictions, probably due to stress, ongoing winter, and a slippery slope), improve sleep (i clench my jaw to the point of waking with headaches frequently), and regain better energy overall (i’ve had horrible mid-afternoon fatigue and mood swings). plus, after the pneumonia vaccine that drained me, i wanted to restart my body in a natural way and see how the clean energy affects my joints.

the first day was not nearly as bad as i expected. i was excited and proud of myself. the second day was hard. i was getting tired of the same juices and the sweetness of them was becoming overbearing. i never really felt hungry, but i was craving crunchy salty foods frequently. after work on day two, i “let” myself eat half an avocado, some cantaloupe, and one stalk of celery with all-natural peanut butter. i felt better, and learned a big lesson: withholding yourself from clean, healthy snacks is ridiculous, even during a cleanse. i figured this choice would also lead to less indulgences post-cleanse.

today is the last and i’ve almost forgot i’m cleansing. i’m definitely sick of the green and red juices now, but know the end is very near. i’ll probably introduce similar foods as i did last night back into my diet for dinner. i didn’t use all 6 of the daily juices, so i have some left. i’ll freeze a few to use in smoothies or just drink them as energizing snacks for the remainder of the week.

the results have been great. my caffeine headaches and afternoon slumps of tired crankiness are gone. work doesn’t feel as stressful and my yoga teaching has been more energized. i’ve slept better, but i still feel tension in my jaw (time to call the dentist, i think). my skin has noticeably less clogged pores to pick at, and my knuckles are free of all swelling, where on sunday my rings were uncomfortable to wear. overall, my energy and happiness is up, and hey, my jeans are a little loser.

when i do a cleanse again, i’ll approach it differently. next time i’ll likely just buy one day worth of juice instead of three and intermix them with a raw veggie diet. it’ll be more affordable and seem less like torture. i’ll also continue to schedule my cleansing with friends. having a support system was key, if not for more than encouragement and a few laughs about how tough the red juice was to finish after day one (tasted great, just really rich).

these results do bring up questions for me: should i be gluten free? does that have something to do with my joint relief or is it the sugar, processed foods, and dairy elimination as well? i’m going to continue to eat as clean as possible to keep up this energy level. i’m also going to try to notice how certain types of food affect my body. almost a year ago i tried eating for my blood type (basically, the paleo diet). i may go back to that general way of thinking: heavy on greens and good protein. light on everything else. we’ll see how it goes.

glad i could check this off my bucket list! thanks aimee for a great first cleanse.

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