Summer is here. Similar to the mantra of New Years, people start looking at themselves and want to change. Why not, right? The weather is warm, the sun is out, flowers are blooming and farmers markets on the side of the road with glowing produce make you think you should start doing better for yourself. While a juice cleanse is a serious decision, it might just be what you’ve been looking for to reboot your body. After much research on the symptoms and expectations of cleansing, I tried it out. Here were my 10 stages:
Pre-stage 1: The Realization (Your Body Needs A Reboot)
Experience fatigue? Grogginess? Headaches? Shitty sleep? These can all be good indicators that you’re body isn’t at it’s healthiest. Maybe you’ve been hibernating in your apartment over the winter and lived off take out and pizza deliveries. As delicious as that sounds, you probably aren’t getting the minerals, vitamins, and other good stuff your body needs to feel vibrant, energetic, and awesome.
Pre-stage 2: The Hype (Overwhelmed with Excitement)
You surf the internet, you watch the Netflix documentaries, you see the before and after photos, you read people’s testimonials. It sounds like a miracle cure right? Your eyes are brighter, your skin is clearer, your hair is shinier, you have more energy than you know what to do with, you might even lose a few pounds. You can’t help but get a little excited. Try doing this with a friend or partner, it always makes it harder to give in when your partner is relying on you to stay strong with them.
Day 1: Intolerance & Irritation.
So you decide the start first thing in the morning. You wake up, make a beautiful green juice, but around lunch and dinner time the juices don’t seem to cut it. You’re f*cking hungry. People tease you about your decision to see if you’ll give in. Hunger pains and taunting? Not a good combo. You become irritated. Not to mention all the detox side effects that occur when toxins are leaving your body.
Day 2: Withdrawal (Low Energy & Headaches)
Your body is going through a detox, it’s inevitable you won’t feel superb right away. Your body is being deprived of all that sugar, processed foods and caffeine. The withdrawal is real, and you will feel it. But as they always say, it’s always darkest before dawn and you are well on your way to brighter pastures.
Day 3: Unexplainable Anger (Watch out)
You want to kill everyone in sight. You’re miserable, you have a headache, you’re tired of juice. You can’t drink any more green shit, and the red and orange shit isn’t much better. You want crunch, you want chocolate, you want anything other than fruits and veggies. People seem to make you angrier than ever before…
And then you apologize. It’s not their fault, it’s you, and you know it. We all get a little vicious when we’re hungry. Maybe it’s best to warn your friends and family before you go on a cleanse so they know what they will be dealing with.
Day 4: Elimination & Detox Magical Shits
TMI? Sorry folks. I actually did a 7 day detox plan before my juice cleanse, one component containing a laxative. When you are detoxing, all of those toxins get secreted through your urine and bowel movements. This is a good thing! How else are you supposed to eliminate all that stuff from your body? Make sure to drink A LOT of water to replenish your body. This is all a part of the process and it’s a positive sign, but you don’t really think so at the time.
Day 5: Temptation (Should I Give up and Give in?)
You want to give in. It’s been too long since you’ve had solid food. You’re at the point where you don’t care and this is where you might flirt with the idea of heading down to a fast food joint and consuming everything on the menu. DON’T DO THIS. When you juice, you need to re-introduce solid foods into your system slowly, and healthy solid foods at that. This may seriously upset your system..
Day 6: Devastation (Misery loves Company)
It’s Saturday night and all of your friends are going out. To the bar? For a nice dinner? Out for drinks? You want alcohol, you want onion rings, and you have to say no, and sit in your apartment with your green juice and probably cry. At this point your body probably feels good, but your mental drive is probably a little depleted. Don’t worry, you’re almost there.
Day 7: Rebirth (When you Realize You Feel Awesome)
It’s over. Shit starts to turn around. You probably feel awesome about yourself for sticking it out. You’re super excited to eat something that doesn’t taste like grass or beets. You cut up some fruit and have some oatmeal, possibly snazz it up with some almonds too. You feel amazing, you look amazing, and your body thanks you for it.
Step 8: The Aftermath
Despite all the ups and downs, you look back on your journey feeling proud and thinking it wasn’t so bad. Hell, you might even make plans to do it again in another 6 months. You feel so awesome and you just want to dance.
Juice cleanses bring out sides of yourself you didn’t know were there. Why did I cry when I saw a little girl eating ice cream? Why was I so jealous of that man eating a sandwich? Why did I flip that old lady off in Wal-Mart? Not your finest moments, but live and learn. Now you feel fantastic and you want to rave to everyone about how they should try it too! You don’t want your body to go into shock, so try making some yummy smoothies with chia, honey, almond milk, or some overnight oats to ease your transition back to normalcy.
Juice cleanses for the win!
Featured image via Tom Boy Beauty.