Throughout the fall, I had been a diet and exercise rockstar. I was eating big salads for lunch and feeling satisfied, working out regularly…it was great. By the time February rolled around, however, I found myself with an insatiable appetite and cravings for sweets, which I normally don’t have. I was bloated, annoyed, and feeling frustrated so I bit the bullet and bought a 5-day Viva Raw cleanse. Here’s how it went:
Day 1 (Saturday):
Oh sweet Lord what have I gotten myself into. Seven juices, alllll day. Nothing else (except water). Why, why, WHY did I decide to do this?
Yep, was my thought process as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning. I drank a half cup of coffee when I woke up because I really wasn’t in the mood for a caffeine headache. If I’d planned it more in advance, I would have weaned myself off beforehand. Oops. I drank my first juice (and a ton of water) and head to the Y for a Cardio Funk class. I can only make it to that class on Saturdays and I seriously look forward to it each week, so I just chilled and did the modifications so I didn’t overexert myself.
After the gym, I made the extremely horrible decision to go with Patrick to the grocery store. I mean, I was only two hours in. How hungry could I be?
Turns out: really hungry. This had to be like going to a liquor store the first day you get sober. Have I mentioned it was a bad idea?
I felt hungry when we got home from the grocery store, so I chugged another juice and a lot of water. According to Viva Raw’s cleanse guide, drinking alkaline water is best. (For more info on alkaline vs. acidic in the body, click here.) I knew this would be especially important at work where I didn’t have access to filtered water. I had two choices: 1) buy jugs full of alkaline water and tote them around for five days or 2) buy this alkaline stick that just goes in your water bottle. I chose option #2.
Even though it was a beautiful day, it turns out people in Charlotte don’t want to do much outdoors other than drink on patios. If I’d been further into my cleanse that would have been fine, but I didn’t want to tempt myself on day 1 or feel like I was missing out, so I turned down invites to go to a brewery and stayed on my couch.
Early afternoon was the hardest part for me, but I realized I had plenty more juice (four, in fact) to get me through the day. I sat and watched a Gilmore Girls marathon, which was a poor idea simply based on the fact that they talk about food all.the.time.
By late afternoon, I had a slight headache and was feeling a bit woozy. I just tried to keep drinking water, since obviously I was not exerting myself in the least. (Literally: wrapped in a blanket and on my fourth episode of GG.)
I called a friend around 5 and felt much better afterwards, probably because I had something else to think about for a few minutes. Apparently, sitting around on the first day of a cleanse and thinking about nothing but your cleanse is NOT productive. Who knew?
By the time 6 o’clock rolled around, I knew I was going to make it. The last drink of the day was Almond Bliss-a mix of almond milk, almond butter, and a bunch of other goodies. It was my protein source on the cleanse, as well as being a third of my daily calories. It literally tasted like melted ice cream after a day of veggie juices. So, so delicious.
By 9pm I couldn’t keep my eyes open (I hadn’t slept well the night before) so off to bed for me.
Day 2 (Sunday):
I woke up feeling AAAAAAAMMMAAAAAHHHZING. Seriously. I slept for ten hours (9pm-7am) and felt completely refreshed. I didn’t feel hungry at all. I was also so proud of myself for making it through yesterday without caving and eating food.
I started the morning with a 20oz Klean Kanteen of alkaline water, then a mug of hot water with lemon. That really got things, er, moving if you know what I mean which made me feel even better. After that, I savored a ¼ cup of organic coffee with a splash of coconut milk to stave off a caffeine headache. At this point I was singing and dancing around the apartment as Patrick watched in mild annoyance/amusement. (He’s not really a morning person…..)
I modified the cleanse a bit this morning and started with a Glowing Green Smoothie. According to (our guru) Kimberly Snyder, a juice cleanse needs a bit of fiber to help move out the toxins you’re releasing. Without it, they can just sit there and be reabsorbed into your body. (Um, no thanks.) So a GGS for me, followed by my first green juice. Still singing. Did I mention it’s only 9:30 at this point?
I went to my favorite yoga class @ 11:15 and felt fine-I just made sure to take it easy (and it wasn’t a heated class).
Again, the afternoon (12-4) was the most difficult. I felt like all I could think about was being hungry, even though I kept myself busy. Once I made it to 4pm, I felt great.
My biggest a-ha today was that I finally understood what it felt to be hydrated. I was drinking so much water in addition to my juice and it really showed me how much of my hunger pangs are related to dehydration.
Day 3 (Monday): Another great night’s sleep! Seriously, it was WONDERFUL to wake up feeling so refreshed. Today was a teacher workday and I really didn’t experience much hunger at all, which was great. Kendra and I took the photos for our Almond Butter Brownies, Chana Masala, and Date Balls, and I did take a bite of each. (What can I say? I am dedicated to my craft.) It was interesting because after a few bites of food I felt SO FULL….for the rest of the night. I didn’t even finish all of my juices! Generally, I am a big overeater so It was a big wake up call to see how little I really need to feel satisfied.
Day 4: (Tuesday) Slept well, but not was well as I had on an empty stomach. Back on the wagon today for the last two days. I couldn’t believe I was more than halfway through at this point. Honestly, it hadn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be and I felt like I became really aware about how much I eat just from boredom vs. actually being hungry. Sure, there are times I’ve wanted to eat over the past few days, but I wouldn’t describe the feeling as starving. And, other than that lunchtime witching hour(s), I didn’t feel hungry AT ALL. After day 1 I continued with my GGS every morning as well, which helped.
Day 5: (Wednesday) Last day. To be honest? I’m going to miss it. I feel so good I could easily do this for another few days. The only thing that’s difficult at this point is the lack of social activities when you’re not drinking or eating. Wednesday night is usually Patrick and I’s date night but that wasn’t an option this week. I also miss lunch and that witching hour hasn’t gone away. However, this whole thing opened my eyes to the fact that I eat FAR more than my body needs or even wants. It negatively affects my sleep, my weight, and my energy and changes need to be made.
For me, this experience was truly life-changing since I’ve always struggled with overeating and giving in to cravings. I can’t recommend Viva Raw highly enough if you’re in the Charlotte area! I’ll share my long-term takeaways in another post, but holla at me below in the comments if you have any burning questions.