It seems like a lot of us are in the same boat trying to get back on the healthy train before school starts, and one great way to push the reset button is with a juice cleanse.
I used to be pretty disciplined about using juice cleanses to jump-start some healthy habits or to recover from all the comfort food and sweet treats that usually come with the holidays. I’d sort of forgotten about this practice until a friend of mine posted that she had done a 3-day juice cleanse this summer to snap some sugar cravings and she felt great when she was finished. So I decided to give it a go.
I called Forest Greens Juice in Lake Bluff and ordered their 3-day juice cleanse. It’s a little more than $50 per day to do the cleanse. In return, you receive five freshly pressed juices plus three concentrated juice shots. Additionally, Forest Greens gives you a charcoal drink to have the night before you start to begin to flush your body’s toxins.
I think I’ve tried nearly every juice cleanse I can source locally (as well as a few national brands that ship right to your door) and Forest Greens was– hands-down–the best one I’ve done! Forest Greens numbers your juices so you know when to drink them, and no two days are exactly the same. Because it’s healthy to be taking in a variety of fruits and vegetables, Forest Greens does a great job giving you a little bit of everything to keep things interesting.
I didn’t cheat at all over my three days of juicing, even resisting the handful of almonds or apple slices they said I could have if the hunger pains were too much. I think the real game changers were the lemon-ginger shots they included as an energy boost mid-morning and mid-afternoon. For me, these little concentrated boosts got me over the hump to my next juice.
Here are three of my tips for setting yourself up for a successful juice cleanse:
- Start on a Monday. There’s something about having the weekend to prepare yourself for your cleanse, as well as the clean, healthy slate a new week provides.
- Make sure your days are busy. If you can plan your cleanse over days that are busy for you, do it! The time will go faster and you won’t constantly be reminded of the eating you can’t be enjoying.
- Let yourself have that cup of coffee in the morning. Although it goes against cleansing rules, if you look forward to your cup of coffee first thing, let yourself have it. I will never give up my morning coffee so it doesn’t make sense to eliminate it, even on a cleanse. (It would be the first thing I would go back to any way!) I didn’t have a single headache while I was juicing.
- Drink your water. Try to get in your 64 ounces. It’s a lot when you’re cleansing, but it’s amazing how this will help keep you full.
- Go to bed early. This helped me a lot. Just as the ice cream cravings were starting to hit, I went to bed. Another cleanse day in the books.
I noticed that immediately after the cleanse was over, I felt less bloated (even though the first and second days you’ll feel a little puffy as the toxins are moving through), and I slept much more soundly. I lost three pounds on the cleanse and have kept them off. The cleanse really helped me reframe how I was eating. Since then, I’ve done a couple of 1-day cleanses just to start my weeks off right.
Have you done a cleanse? What helped you get through it? I’d love to know!
You can connect to Forest Greens Juice Bar here. They have 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-day cleanses available.