If you’re considering a detox or juice cleanse program you might want to read MY HISTORY WITH DETOX PROGRAMS + WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A JUICE CLEANSE first. I’ve tried (and quit) several detox programs before and when I finally completed one, my results were not long lasting. I was looking for a quick fix and since then learned that I needed to change my approach because quick fixes are hardly ever sustainable. That doesn’t mean I’m against juice cleanses (I love them actually!) but I wrote my last post to highlight what I consider good reasons to go on a juice detox program. So if the reason you are considering a juice cleanse is because you “feel fat” then click here to read that post or continue reading below for my review of Jason Vale’s 7lbs in 7 days Juice Cleanse.
WHY A 7-DAY JUICE CLEANSE?
Sometimes I think I like juicing programs for the same reason I like to run marathons… pure craziness. And although I know running marathons and drinking only juice are not things I plan to do for long periods of time I really do enjoy the process, challenge and benefits of such craziness. Besides that, I wanted to complete Jason Vale’s 7-day Juice Cleanse because I love the idea of enjoying an overabundance of fruits & veggies for a week, I wanted to document my experience and I wanted to highlight what I think are good reasons for going on a juice cleanse.
With that in mind you’ll notice that there are no before and after photos in this review because like I mentioned before, I didn’t complete this program because I was unhappy with my body or because I overindulged during a vacation. I also didn’t consider my seven days of juicing a week of misery or deprivation so this review is meant to show you what goes on during a week of juicing from a different perspective.
The following table is a general summary that includes a short description of my prep before starting the detox, changes in my daily schedule, modifications I made, most difficult day, favorite part of the program and overall results.
SEVEN DAYS OF NOTHING BUT JUICE
Workout: I had green tea (about 20-40mg of caffeine) as a pre workout followed by 30 minutes of strength training & 6 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training). I enjoyed a vegan protein shake after the workout.
Summary: All of the juices are delicious so the first day is always a nice treat! I exercise on an empty stomach every morning so I didn’t feel a difference during my workout. I feel like getting through today was pretty easy since the husband is joining me for the first day of this cleanse. I worked all day so it was really convenient to have the juices done and ready to go in the morning, I didn’t have to worry about making lunch or dinner! I had a lemon/ginger tea in the late morning and a fennel/mint tea at night. I felt great all day and I drank 64+ ounces of water but I felt a little foggy before drinking my last juice for the day (there’s a total of 5 large juices per day on this program and they are all super filling!). I enjoyed a variety of “cheat meals” last week and I think the fogginess at dinner may have been in part because my body is asking for more chips and beer.
Workout: No green tea this morning. Went for a 10 minute walk and then 15 minutes of HIIT and had a vegan protein shake after working out.
Summary: I felt great all morning and the fogginess from the night before is long gone. I had to be out of the house extra early so I was only able to make three out of the five juices for the day. Making the remaining two juices when I got home in the late afternoon was kind of a pain since I had to pull out the juicer and clean up again. I joined the husband at Starbucks in the evening but since I’m not really a coffee drinker I didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms or anything, I do love the smell of coffee though! The husband had a veggie sandwich for dinner (tofu, collard greens, tahini dressing, Tapatío and capers…) and it looked delicious. I thought about taking a bite of the sandwich (but didn’t) only because my dinner juice for that evening was not one of my favorites (there’s only a couple of juices I don’t like from the program) so it was a little tough for a moment. A couple of hours after dinner I enjoyed an apple/cinnamon tea before bed and eight hours of sleep.
Workout: Half a cup of green tea for pre-workout followed by strength training and 6 minutes of HIIT. I didn’t drink my full cup of tea before my workout because I woke up with a lot of energy! I had a vegan protein shake after my workout and I went for a 25-minute walk in the evening.
Summary: I loved my juices on day 3! I felt great all morning, I normally feel really bloated the week before my period but I don’t feel bloated at all! I went to lunch at a friend’s house and although they’re all amazing and respectful about my detox I had a hard time during lunch. The food wasn’t vegan but there was white rice, chimichurri (an Argentinian sauce that smelled amazing), hummus and a giant salad with cucumbers topped with homemade vinaigrette. Dessert was an apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream… oh.em.gee. Although I loved my coconut yogurt/pineapple/banana juice that I was drinking I was imagining the chimichurri sauce over some black beans and rice, mmmm! I felt a little low on energy in the late afternoon and took a 20-minute nap around 3:30pm. I never take naps during the day so this was kind of shocking! I wasn’t having any cravings or headaches I just felt a little tired. I later realized that I didn’t drink as much water as I should have so I’m thinking that may have had something to do with how tired I felt (in the book, Jason Vale emphasizes the importance of drinking a lot of water but I completely forgot today!) The husband made split pea soup for dinner and our apartment smelled divine… I’ve heard that the third day can be the hardest and so far that seems pretty accurate.
Workout: No green tea this morning. For my workout I did twenty minutes stretching, a 15 minute jog and 15 minutes HIIT followed by a vegan protein shake.
Summary: Had a hard time waking up on day 4… I slept 8 hours but I think I could have easily gone for more. I feel silly writing this next part considering that I’m in Hawaii but I felt so cold all day… I even turned on a miniature heater in my office! (It’s common to feel colder than normal when on a detox program) I drank 64 ounces of water before 10:30am so I think I might have been a little dehydrated (that may explain my low energy yesterday). My energy slowly picked up during the day and I had a busy day so it was nice to have my food ready to go. I drank my dinner juice late in the evening so I had a little headache but I felt fine as soon as I drank my juice. At the end of the day I felt really good, I wasn’t craving anything and I was excited for the juices on day 5. I enjoyed an apple/cinnamon tea before bed and slept 7.5 hours.
Workout: Green tea for a pre-workout followed by 6 minutes of HIIT and 45 minutes of strength training. I had a vegan protein shake after my workout. I felt really great today, strong and with lots of energy!
Summary: On day 5 I was about a week out from my period and during this time I normally feel really tired and irritable but surprisingly I felt great all week! (I’m super excited about this because I can stay focused on upcoming projects and not have cravings for an entire chocolate factory.) I even felt like some of the juices were a little too sweet on day 4 so I enjoyed the extra green ones for day 5.
Workout: No green tea (I had so much energy in the AM I forgot to drink it!) For my workout I did twenty minutes of stretching and 15 minutes of HIIT followed by a vegan protein shake.
Summary: The lunch juice was SUPER green and although I can usually handle hard-core green juices that one was a little hard to drink. I felt a little overwhelmed with a few upcoming projects I’m working on but preparing my juice every morning was starting to feel somewhat therapeutic. I track my menstrual cycle on an app and it said that I should have been feeling super down but I felt quite the opposite. I felt really great, positive and with loads of energy! Day 6 was the first day I felt a little hungry but I enjoyed an apple/cinnamon tea before bed and felt fine afterwards.
Workout: Rest day so no green tea but I enjoyed a protein shake about an hour before my breakfast juice.
Summary: Last day! I considered continuing the cleanse for 7 more days because I loved how I was feeling but I have a lot of great recipes I’m working on for this site so I obviously have to taste them all!
RESULTS + DAY AFTER THE CLEANSE
Summary: I feel amazing, clear headed and with loads of energy. I’ve also noticed that I haven’t gotten any pimples on my face (usually I get a couple of pimples a week before my period but not this time!) and I don’t feel bloated or anxious which is very common for me when I’m a little stressed or before my period. Unlike last time I completed a juice detox, this time I gradually introduced solids back in my body. I had a warm miso soup for breakfast and I enjoyed every second of it. I had a protein shake as a mid-morning snack, a salad for lunch and I enjoyed an amazing dinner at my favorite raw vegan restaurant in Honolulu (and also took home lunch for the next day, score!) I didn’t feel hungry or get any cravings during the day (I did crave juice but I was too lazy to bust out my juicer again) so I’m very pleased with the transition into eating solid foods again. I went back to drinking smoothies, enjoying salads and soups without a problem and although I didn’t take before + after photos I did weigh myself because of the workout program I was doing at the time. Besides feeling less bloated and losing about ½ inch off my waist I also lost about 3 pounds. It’s been about two and a half weeks since I completed the cleanse and I haven’t gained anything back which shows me the power of consistently eating whole, plant-based foods.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this review, I’d love to do a follow-up post answering anything I may have missed. If you are considering a juice cleanse I can promise you that it’ll be SO much easier to complete after you’ve been eating whole, plant-based foods on a regular basis. To get started you can download a set of plant-based starter recipes HERE and browse my growing library of easy vegan recipes. I’m so excited for you to start experiencing the benefits of adding more plant-based foods to your life, please let me know how I can help!