It’s that time of year again. Winter is slowly (painfully slowly) coming to an end and everyone is getting ready for warmer weather. That means no more hiding all the winter weight you gained under big sweaters and even bigger sweat pants. What it also means is that everyone (at least everyone I know) is either starting, finishing, or in the middle of a cleanse. Whether it’s a raw food cleanse or a juice cleanse, people are jumping on board. I’ve never been a big fan of cleanses, especially the juice/smoothie kind. If only for the fact that eating, for me, is almost a religious experience. I love making food. Chopping vegetables, stirring ingredients, putting things in and taking things out of the oven. Cleanses always seemed like something you had to suffer through. Once the cleanse was over, you were told you’d feel amazing, like a new person, but the experience itself turned me off.
So why did I decide to do one now? I have no idea! A friend of mine recommended the Dr. Oz cleanse to me and I was looking for a way to reset my system. I trust Dr. Oz’s opinion and if I was going to do a cleanse, it might as well be his. Before starting the cleanse, which consists of three to four smoothies a day, supplements and an Epsom salt bath, I looked at some reviews online. I got some great tips on how to start and all the prep work needed, so I felt pretty confident when I started.
Let’s get to the it!
Cost & Prep
I spent about $120 in groceries per the shopping list attached to the cleanse. Please note that the shopping list doesn’t include the snack shakes, so I would add a little bit extra to account for that. Like most of the reviews I read online, people suggested doing all of your prep work the night before so that when it’s time for your shake, you can just dump everything into the blender and be done in ten minutes. Friday night, I prepped my morning and lunch ingredients, putting everything into ziploc bags and sticking them in the freezer. I only suggest sticking the bags in the freezer if you have a good blender. I have a cheapo one from Walmart and blending took way longer than I expected. I ended up having to take everything out of the freezer and sticking it in the fridge to let it defrost.
To help with the consistency of the shake, I also bought frozen berries. Since berries are frozen right after picking, I figured this was just as good as fresh (and cheaper). I also decreased the amount of banana in the breakfast shake since I’m not a fan of bananas in shakes. I know that helps with mouth feel, but I couldn’t do it. The other reason why I suggest a high speed/high quality blender is because of the celery in the lunch shake and the kale in both the lunch and dinner shakes. Because kale is a tougher vegetable, it take a lot to break it down enough to incorporate into the smoothie.
Day 1 (and only)
I left out the stevia in the green tea since I’m not a fan and drank my tea without it. The breakfast shake was by far the best out of all of the shakes. The berries were very tart, but it really wasn’t bad at all. I suggest blending as much as possible (again) because of the raspberry seeds and the spinach. I found myself chewing on raspberry seeds while drinking which interrupts the whole experience. It took me about 2 hours to drink the whole shake and I still had some leftover. I found it to be very satisfying though and I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t have any cravings.
The lunch shake was probably the most disgusting thing I’ve ever drank in my life. Right up there with the barium I had to drink before getting x-rays, which is pretty bad. And when I say pretty bad, I mean I’d rip out my fingernails one by one before having to drink that stuff again. The lunch shake was right up there with that. I didn’t finish it at all. The ingredients call for four stalks of celery. I reduced it to two and it was still too much. I’d also reduce the amount of cucumber and up the quantities of apple and pineapple. The bits of celery I was sucking up through the straw were completely unappetizing as well. The coconut oil and almond milk added flavor, but the celery and cucumber overpowered everything else in the drink making it tastes like grass and dirt. Since I couldn’t finish the shake, I was starving by dinner time.
The dinner drink was just okay. It had a spicy kick to it, but I felt it lacked flavor. Or maybe I was too hungry by that point to notice any subtle flavor the drink had. I drank about half before I couldn’t take it anymore. I ended up having chicken breast, kale, and zucchini for dinner. I needed to chew something solid. I needed the experience of eating a plate of food. It also didn’t help that I was on some serious medication for my neck, which increased my appetite exponentially. I felt like I was starving!!
All in all, cleansing wasn’t the thing for me. I would rather have eaten all of the ingredients separately in a big bowl instead of blending them all together. The weight loss and feeling of euphoria would have been great, but I’ve always been a slow and steady kind of person, so I’m okay with not seeing instant results. I did take away some things with me. I still do the breakfast smoothie on the weekends and eat a raw food breakfast every morning consisting of berries and some melon. I also add in a couple of bananas. Before my breakfast, I drink a glass of lemon water or hot green tea with lemon. I’ve also been researching the benefits of a raw food diet. I don’t think I’ll ever be vegan or vegetarian, but I do believe that adapting a couple of my meals to that lifestyle will go a long way towards improving my health. I’ve also continued with the supplements and the Epsom salt bath, if only to be more relaxed and take some more time for myself.
If you want to read more about the 3 day cleanse, I suggest reading My Thoughts-Uninterrupted. She has some great tips and you can get a feel for how all three days will go.