And so it happened. I fell victim to attempting the "quick fix" that is a juice cleanse. By recommendation from a friend, I was to start my three-day liquid detox. I ordered my blended products online and anxiously awaited their arrival. A few days later, it was time to indulge in those boldly colored substances purchased from Juice from the Raw. The cleanse consisted of six juices daily, one per "meal" (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and one for in between each meal. For the specific cleanse I chose, the flavors were as follows: Detox Greens, Pineapple Apple Mint, Sweet Greens, Spicy Lemonade, Root Veggies, and Coconut Fusion. You were to drink solely those six juices per day, accompanied by just one serving size of raw vegetables. Yummy, right...?
I cringed at the thought of lasting 72 hours with no substantial intake of solid food, but we live in a world where this is becoming accepted as the norm. The popularity of juice detoxing is gaining traction now more than ever. Society encourages it and celebrities enforce the remarkableness of these liquid binges. It's important to note that I wasn't starting this detox to lose significant amounts of weight. I am by no means what some consider "fat." I began this cleanse as a way to release the toxins accumulated in my body, maybe lose a pound or two, and gain a fresh restart for a healthier lifestyle. It seemed like the ideal way to begin a diet. I'd like to put immense emphasis on the word seemed.
Day one was just as you'd expect--different. Through the episodes of loud stomach growls and extreme desire for real food, I pushed through. I lasted 30 hours on primarily juice, which was supposed to supply me with the essential nutrients and energy needed to survive a whole day. In addition, I had one serving size of baby carrots. I accompanied my friends to a restaurant that night where I drank only water. It was from this moment and the hours that led up to it that I learned my first lesson. Willpower-- "the ability to control yourself /strong determination that allows you to do something difficult." I was able to withstand taunting urges and scram away cravings while my friends devoured a plate of cheesy nachos. I was truly impressed with the self-control I exhibited and have a profound confidence that I can and will use it again, in a variety of situations.
But by day two my body was weak and my soul was disheartened. My organs felt like they were shutting down faster than a bar after its last call. I was ready to throw in the quitting towel. The frustration I was feeling brought me to another revelation-- empathy. Is this how starving children in Africa feel on the daily? Worse? The difference being it wasn't their choice to go hungry, while I sat there with all this juice to consume, "starving."
So I did not entirely complete the three-day juice cleanse. And at first I was embarrassed to admit it, but I'm not ashamed of the lessons I learned in the process. It was freaking hard. Juice cleansing is not for everyone. I've heard stories where it's worked wonders and I give those people so many props. I'm not invalidating its effectiveness or results. I'm just stating it is not for everyone, my third discovery being to know when to stop something that may not be for you, something that may actually be harming you. I did not feel the rejuvenation and health this juice cleanse promised. I was faint, nauseous, and overall miserable. As much as I wanted to prevail in this detox, I decided my overall personal health was more important. To make that decision was difficult, but I was able to accept I could not handle it. "Know when to walk away" not just from people, but dietary decisions too!
After consuming a turkey burger roughly 48 hours into the cleanse, I developed a newfound appreciation for the life I am so privileged to live. God, I love food. And what a beautiful world we live in to have such a surplus of it. Though I went back to my unfortunate eating habits, I can't help but think of the people who do not have such an option to. Along with willpower, empathy, and discernment, this three-day juice cleanse taught me gratitude. Why waste edible food when there are so many others going days with none? I will never throw out day-old salad again. Nor will you see me on an exclusively liquid-based diet again. I do however see a ton of gym sessions and healthy eats in my future, which is way better than the mushed up greens I was seeing yesterday.
If you're up for the challenge, don't hesitate to give Juice from the Raw a try just because of my own opinions. And let me know how your personal experience with detoxing goes!
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