“Eat your greens,” said your parent/guardian, doctor or basically anyone who claims to know anything about nutrition. If you’re anything like me, you may not be the biggest fan of eating “greens.” If so, you can receive all that nutrients everyone talks about in a smoothie. Many people may be hesitant due to the unappealing green or even the brown color, but despite it’s aesthetically displeasing look, these smoothies actually taste better than you’d expect. Whether you want to lose weight or just feel outright lousy after a year of failed health kicks and eating junk, a cleanse might be an option to detox your body. It may seem like a daunting commitment, but the benefits for your body—or at least mine—were worth the sacrifices.
Go online or to a local book store and pick up a smoothie cleanse or green smoothie recipe guide. I used the “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” by JJ Smith, but any brand will do.
Do your grocery shopping ahead of time so you don’t have to run to the store as often.
Make it easy on yourself and prepare the smoothies the afternoon/night before and leave it in the fridge so you don’t have to worry about rolling out of bed and frantically trying to throw random fruits and vegetables into a blender before school or work. It takes all of ten minutes tops, but if you’re not a morning person this may seem like a horrendous chore.
You can still go out with friends, a cleanse does not have to restrict your social life. I still went out to restaurants and spent time with friends. It wasn’t necessarily a big deal that I didn’t eat (however, they did have their fun teasing me). It will definitely be challenging resisting the urge to scarf down a burger, but you’ll thank yourself later.
Bring snacks– Cravings definitely will happen so bring some nuts, fruits, or vegetables to help curb your appetite. Also I’d advise hiding your typical snacks for a little while or you may be tempted to dig into a bag of chips when you feel like giving in.
Drink Water—You should make a habit of bringing a water bottle with you everywhere if this is something you don’t already do. I noticed I dealt with less severe headaches when I drank a sufficient amount of water. The average per day is 64 oz, but if you don’t meet this every day it’s not a big deal.
Tell your friends—initially I was embarrassed to tell my friends I was doing a juice cleanse because I thought people would think I was being ridiculous or trying to drop a dangerous amount of weight fast. I had trouble finding a way to express that I did this cleanse for my body not for somebody else’s satisfaction. I took on this challenge because I wanted to start taking care of my body and try to ditch old habits. Don’t do this cleanse to meet anyone else’s body standards. Everyone has insecurities that push them to improve and grow but don’t idolize celebrities who most likely do not eat a healthy amount of food or take supplements to drop weight fast. It’s important to let people know so they can support you and aren’t tempting you with your food.
I did the modified version of this cleanse which allowed me to eat chicken or fish for dinner as opposed to another smoothie.
Expect to be irritable. This may not be the case for everyone, but after two days my family compared me to a cranky baby. Let’s just say I wasn’t the most low maintenance child. The thing is, I couldn’t necessarily understand why I grew so easily frustrated which made me especially stubborn. I honestly can’t even remember the arguments I started because of how petty they were. My point is, know that this is a challenging transition for your body so be patient and try to control mood swings. Day four my skin started breaking out and I panicked. I thought I was doing everything right: finally eating clean and working out yet my skin was worse than it had ever been before. So as most girls do, I covered it with makeup because let’s face it, pimples are unsightly and make everyone insecure. I later researched that flare up skin symptoms were common because it is a way for toxins to exit your body (well, I realized this after a friend talked me out of a breakdown over a few pesky pimples). To say I was being a drama queen would be an understatement. I’d say day five was the day I felt most energized and motivated. Once I met the halfway point I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride.
At this point I started to gain more energy throughout the day and was used to my daily smoothie. Towards the end it definitely got a little repetitive as I started counting down the days to the finish line but I noticed my appetite had significantly decreased. In the first few days I felt hungry and the smoothies didn’t feel like a meal replacement more like a snack. However, as time progressed and I got into my daily routine I felt refreshed and confident. By day nine and ten I started craving my favorite greasy foods again but resisted the urge to fold after I’d made it so far. Overall, I’d recommend trying a cleanse to anyone looking to feel more refreshed and energized especially during dreary winter months when motivation dwindles.
Smoothie Cleanses aren’t for everyone and that is okay. Everyone’s body reacts differently to change and for you the cutback of food could be extremely detrimental. If you are miserable and you feel the cleanse is making you feel worse. Stop. There is no shame in knowing your body’s limits and taking care of yourself in a way that works best for you. However, for some people this may be just what you need to kickstart your year.