MY HISTORY WITH DETOX PROGRAMS
The first time I tried going on a cleanse was when I was in college and because I wanted to “get skinny”. I was supposed to eat nasty soup for 10 days (although it was probably meant to be delicious I didn’t know how to cook anything) and I don’t think I made it past the second day. I almost threw up several times trying to force myself to chug the thick soup so quitting was definitely the right thing to do. The second time I attempted to “detox” was after college and it involved drinking canned tomato juice and egg whites on a daily basis. After the first few days I was done with gagging at every “meal” and depriving myself so I quit. Again.
A few years later and after lots of chips, ice cream and sweet vegan treats I decided to attempt another cleanse for a third time. I wanted something that didn’t feel so restrictive (and gross) like the things I had tried before so I purchased Jason Vales book 7lbs in 7 days and decided to juice myself to an itty-bitty waist. I was drawn to the book because I was a fairly new vegan at the time plus I knew nothing about cooking so I was eating a lot of processed foods and not enough fruits and veggies. My dad had purchased a juicer years before so I was familiar with drinking a few juices every once in a while and I liked the idea of a raw approach. Surprisingly I actually completed the 7-day cleanse!
Although I felt great about my results (I lost 5lbs!) I basically sabotaged my efforts towards a “shiny new body” the morning after completing the program when I served myself a giant bowl of highly processed cinnamon cereal with a side of muffins for breakfast. I didn’t even enjoy it as much as I imagined I would, in fact I was craving more fruits and veggies, but because I had started the cleanse to “not be fat anymore” (a.k.a. I went on a diet) I was “rewarding” myself for finishing the program with a bowl of cereal.
I looked for, selected and started a great program for the wrong reasons. Although I had awesome results they were not permanent because my “diet-cleanse to be skinny” mentality would eventually drive me back to eating only junk food, drive thru and all sorts of processed foods.
It wasn’t until I STOPPED dieting, trying to be skinny and quit finding things wrong with my body that I finally felt like I could successfully complete a juicing program AND develop long-term healthy eating habits. Fast forward a few years later (and some failed & successful juice cleanses in between) I decided to kick start the year with Jason Vales 7day Juicing Challenge AGAIN. Click here to read my review of the Juice Master Detox 7lbs in 7 days program.
WHY DID I COMPLETE ANOTHER DETOX PROGRAM?
I didn’t take before and after photos because I want to make it clear that I didn’t complete this program because I was unhappy with my body, because I wanted to drop 83 pounds or because I overindulged during a vacation. I wanted to complete this detox program again for 3 main reasons: I love my body & the idea of enjoying an overabundance of fruits/vegetables for a week, I wanted to write about my experience and I wanted to highlight what I consider good reasons to go on a juice cleanse.
THREE GOOD REASONS TO CONSIDER A JUICE CLEANSE (NOT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO “BE SKINNY, LOSE WEIGHT OR ‘NOT BE FAT’”)
I begin each of the three reasons below with You Love Your Body but this is not to imply that you don’t love your body if you choose NOT to take part in a juice cleanse. I use these words to highlight the importance of starting a cleanse with love and appreciation for your body as opposed to a quick-fix mentality (quick fixes simply don’t exist and I promise the temporary “benefits” are not worth it). Let’s move on to three good reasons you might want to consider a juice detox…
1. You love your body. You consider yourself a healthy foodie freak (like me!) and you like the idea of enjoying an overabundance of fresh raw juice and its many benefits (like a healthy balance of flora in your belly and better digestion). You have already developed good, strong habits (like eating loads of veggies, drinking lots of water, getting proper sleep and moving your body) and you’re looking for something to shake things up a bit.
2. You love your body. You broke up with diets and are ready to make healthy eating habits a part of your LIFESTYLE and not something you use to punish yourself for having some cupcakes on the weekend. You want to use a detox program as a catalyst to a life-long change. You realize that you don’t have to go on a cleanse to get healthy or fit but you want to kick-start your health journey.
3. You love your body. Your healthcare practitioner has recommended a cleanse/detox program or some major changes in your lifestyle habits to help manage a particular health issue. You are excited (and serious) about breaking up with things that are damaging your health (smoking, too much drinking, no sleep, sugar addictions, etc…) and want to see the benefits of plant-based food in your life as soon as possible.
So please, if you are considering a detox or a juice cleansing challenge (whatever you want to call it) make sure you’re in it for the RIGHT reasons otherwise whatever benefits you gain from a few days of a liquid diet most likely won’t last. Starting a program with the right focus and mentality is what will determine whether your week of juicing/cleansing/detoxing is a week of deprivation and pure torture or a week of abundant energy and glowing results.
If after reading this you feel a juice detox is NOT for you (it’s all good!) but you still want to enjoy powerful plant-based foods (but don’t know how/what/or where to start) I invite you to download your set of starter recipes here and get started. And if you’re curious about what it’s like to only drink juice for one week you can read my 7-day Juice Cleanse Review here!
xoxo, -MFollow my blog with Bloglovi