A few weeks ago I decided to embark on a 3-day juice cleanse by Urban Remedy. If my friends didn’t think I was already barking mad-obsessed in the world of yoga, meditation and eating too many green things, this was just further proof to them that I was living on a totally different planet: “Three days of juice? As in, no food at all? Why would you?”
Why would you indeed… well my reasons were mainly to give my digestive system a bit of a break, and also to set myself a personal challenge to see whether I could do it. I had done a 3-day fruit fast before as part of a yoga “40-day revolution”, which I had found incredibly difficult as I was eating about 10 pieces of fruit a day and felt hungry the entire time. I wanted to trial this idea of blended juices but did not have the equipment to make my own, so this was where Urban Remedy came in.
Urban Remedy (UR) is a juice detox program designed to fit seamlessly into your busy urban lifestyle. You go to their website, select your juice level (levels 1, 2 and 3 for the newbie to seasoned juicer), select your duration of detox (1, 3 or 5 days), date of delivery and that’s pretty much it. The juices are then made to order and delivered to you in these nifty little cooler bags complete with cooler ice packs and straws, with the juices clearly numbered from 1 through to 6 for your detoxing convenience (6 juices per day are provided on the UR program, with the day beginning with juice number 1 and ending with juice 6).
I opted for the Level 1, 3-day cleanse. My personal experience with other detoxes in the past had told me that one day was not enough to reap the benefits of the detox, whereas five days at this stage seemed a little intense for my liking. I found the Level 1 juices all to be fresh and super delicious – my favourite was juice 4 (carrot, ginger and orange if I recall correctly) which was the perfect little zingy pick-me-up for 4pm work blues!
In terms of juice intervals, they recommend “chewing” your juice and spacing them out 2 hours each, with water or herbal teas in between, with the last juice being taken at around 7pm. By following this suggested routine, I found that I wasn’t really all that hungry throughout the 3 days – the hardest was day 1 but surprisingly it was a struggle to finish juice 6 (a thick, chia seed-based smoothie) at the end of each day because I was so full! I experienced mild headaches and fatigue on day 1, however by day 2 and 3 I was feeling lighter, more energised and alert both physically and mentally. The food cravings continued to day 3 but honestly they became more for the act of eating and the craving for the variety of foods that we are so accustomed to, and not because I was genuinely hungry. It was the biggest lesson learnt in terms of how much I usually eat out of habit or boredom, and how much little food is actually required if I were to pause and consider my diet consciously!
Post-cleanse: my mid-afternoon biscuit / sugar cravings were gone. I’m generally not a big sugar / processed foods / meat-eater anyway, but I was definitely making healthier food choices more consistently, increasing my water daily intake and feeling wonderfully light and refreshed.
I would recommend that you do this with buddies for mutual encouragement as well as swapping of experiences (“I’m hungry!” “I’m not!” “It’ll pass, just hold on, I was hungry 10 minutes ago”). I was able to coerce two girlfriends from work to do this with me and being virgin juicers they went through their 3 days with no troubles at all and came out on the other side feeling similarly energised and refreshed!
The verdict? It’s an easy and convenience juice detox program with good flexibility for choice in terms of how easy or hard you want to go. Until I save up enough to purchase my own amazing cold-pressed juicer so I can make my own yummy juices, I would definitely consider doing this a few times a year to give my system a bit of a break. For those who see juicing as a form of self-torture, I’d say that it’s not about starving yourself, but more as one way to shift perspective and to more conscious habits about what we eat, how we eat, how we feel and become attuned to what we actually need. Give it a go if you’re curious about juicing – what have you got to lose?
Please feel free to share your juicing experiences, I’d love to hear!