A few facts about me. I’m a certified Health Coach and Vegan Chef (retired). But my love of food remains and cooking just for me brings me a tremendous amount of joy. I was vegetarian/vegan for about 18 years and at the time I write this blog… I’m 48 years old.
28 days into this supported Juice cleanse, yes I’ve lost weight, 12 pounds in 28 days and it feels good to have dropped some fat. And I am fucking STARVING!!!!!
Now, I could end there and say how awesome cleansing is and try and sell you some health coaching using the cleanse as a marketing tool.
But I’m gonna tell you the truth.
My friends, in reality according to science and medical studies Juice cleanses don’t work. According to Dr. Arlene Youdim of Cedars-Sinai juice (and several friends of mine who are physicians) cleanses are a waste of time and can be a waste of money. Dr Youdim says, “Our bodies have their own elaborate, elegant detoxification system, called the liver, intestines and kidneys. It’s foolish to think the body can’t detox on it’s own.”
In my experience working for 5 years as a vegan chef in one of NYC’s top vegan cafes… there are a lot of women using juice cleanses, and the vegan and raw food eating styles, to cover their eating disorders.
Of course, as with every experience, there are many women who do just fine with these eating styles and have no problems at all and if juicing works for you then great!
If juicing works for you, do what makes you feel good and brings you joy.
But, if you are someone looking at the dramatic weight loss photos of folks after they complete a juice cleanse and think that losing that weight will make you a better person, I highly recommend you ask more questions.
First, I’ll share my experience of doing, not a complete juice cleanse…but a supported Juice Cleanse, then I’ll share with you 8 side effects of juice cleansing.
So, I don’t do juice cleanses. But some new friends of mine who I really admire, were starting a 30 day juice cleanse and sharing their progress with their instagram followers. I decided to do my own version and to share my recipes on my instagram thread @rhythmtherapyj9. I also, coincidentally, had just bought a new Kuving’s Juicer and was super excited to put it to good use.
The first three days of a juice cleanse are the most difficult. My body goes into shock/freak out mode and starts to eat itself. I have to drink a ton of electrolyte water so I can function and not want to stab people in the face. Seriously. I get hangry when I don’t eat, and that hanger cranks up 200% when I’m doing a “cleanse”. When I was a vegan chef, I was super skinny and I also had some serious mood swings. I didn’t realize it then, but people I worked with, hated me because I would snap at people. I was hangry.
My plan with a supported juice cleanse was to drink 36 oz of juice a day with either a plant based/vegan soup, salad or plant based vegan protein smoothie and grass-fed beef bone broth. I planned to just drink a lot of water without creating a set amount of water to drink every day. I allowed nuts, beans and quinoa as my main source of protein. I also cranked down my workout program doing hot yoga class every day I was in NYC and vinyasa flow yoga when I was traveling.
I noticed the shift in my energy immediately. Hot yoga was hell. It felt hotter and took everything I had to make it through the classes. I’d leave depleted, dehydrated, exhausted and hangry.
These are the air head days. I drink more electrolyte water to control the headaches and I do my mindfulness practices and meditations so that I don’t snap out at people in hanger but I now have challenges forming sentences and remembering where I put things. I even missed a day. I spent the entire day thinking it was Sunday, only to find out it was Saturday when I showed up for my swim class and no one else was there. I go to the front desk at my health club and the folks at the desk are like…”Umm…it’s Saturday”. I have to make sure that I really keep myself in check when dealing with other people, drink water and go to sleep so that I’m not falling asleep in the middle of the day.
People literally look like food to me. I’m so hungry. I have to admit, I had to take two pause days during this process and eat some organic animal protein. And DAMN that animal protein tasted good and I immediately. I drank warm organic grass-fed beef bone broth throughout the supported cleanse and could literally feel that beautiful liquid just melt into my body and bring me energy. I must say, my skin looks great, I lost some weight and my period was a moderate blood flow, with very few blood clots, and I had no cramps at all and minimal back pain. I must meditate and really think before I speak or send emails. I hurt some folks feelings by some blunt emails sent while in a hanger fury and end a couple of relationships with acquaintances.
So yes I lost a good amount of weight in a reasonable amount of time while hopefully protecting my joints and not losing muscle tone. But here’s the thing, I’m healthy I don’t have diabetes or heart disease and I’m not on any medications that may be effected by juicing. And, I met with my doctor to get his okay before trying this experiment on myself. I’ll be happy on Friday when I can go back to eating mostly plants and real food in moderation with a ton of water.
6 SIDE EFFECTS OF JUICING YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN
1. You may get food poising.
Fresh juice is unpasteurized for taste and preservation of nutrients. But when you don’t heat juice to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to kill germs the juice becomes vulnerable to bacteria like listeria, and salmonella. Even if you make your juice at home, if you leave it out on the counter unrefrigerated over night it can make you sick.
2. If you have prediabetes, you could develop full blown diabetes
Green juice can taste bitter, so many recipes call for fruit to cut the bitter taste. But if you are prediabetic and you drink one or more servings a day of grape, apple, orange or any other high sugar fruit juice you can increase your chance of getting type 2 diabetes by 21% . I read this info in a Harvard University study back in 2010. When you eat fruit without the fiber you’re getting straight up sugar which can spike your blood sugar levels. When you eat fruit in it’s natural state, the fiber in fruit slows down the fruit sugar in your bloodstream, allowing your body time to naturally process the sugar.
3. Serious drug interactions.
Kale and spinach are high in vitamin K which, if you are on blood thinning medication, can be life threatening and lead to blood clots which cause strokes and death. If you are taking medicine to lower cholesterol, citrus fruit blocks this enzyme in the intestine that controls the body’s ability to absorb drugs. Also if you drink grapefruit juice while on these drugs you risk, pain in your joints, muscles, liver and kidney damage. You can also be messing with high blood pressure medication, allergies, anxiety and a host of other ailments.
4. You could mess with your thyroid glands
Cauliflower, spinach, kale, book chop are rich in something called glucose plates, which form goitrin which is a compound that is associated with hypothyroidism. When the thyroid is out of balance it can cause all kinds of hidden challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and nourishing your metabolism.
5. You ain’t gettin’ no fiber
Fiber makes your colon do the work it needs to do to stay healthy and strong. Fiber helps you poop!! Fiber also helps to regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol. And fiber keeps you full longer.
6. Too Much Potassium can harm your kidneys and where’s the protein?
Bananas and kale have high amounts of potassium which are dangerous if you have kidney issues, have high blood pressure.
Eight ounces of kale juice has tons of vitamins but only 2-8grams of protein. An 130 pound woman needs 65 grams of protein daily to repair cells and regenerate new ones.Protein also builds lean muscle and helps to burn calories. Fruit and most veggies are not great sources of protein.
As with everything juice in moderation. If you’ve gained some weight, while you eat more plants and start exercising more, consider looking into doing the emotional work of why you chose to fill yourself with food instead of turning to extreme weight loss strategies that may do more harm than good. Just because a body is thin, does not mean that body is being nourished and fed.
Follow me on social media @visableblackwoman And @rhythmtherapyj9
If you’re interested in tuning into discovering what foods your body needs to nourish yourself join me for my annual Rhythm Therapy Wellness Healthy Thru the Holidays wellness program.
Instead of binging on food during the holidays then binging on unsustainable diets in January join me on a journey of wellness discovery using mindfulness dance yoga and cooking real food made with love to get through the mosey stressful time of the year in peace.