3-DAY CLEANSE FOR BEGINNERS
For me, the start of a new year is often accompanied with feeling quite motivated to make some positive changes for myself. Last year I came across this 3-day cleanse for beginners on the Mind Body Green website and thought – now that seems doable!
I had a free weekend last week and felt it was the best time to flick the big reset switch before things get busy for me this year! Thankfully my hubby Denis tagged along for the ride which made things a lot easier to manage, plus it was ever so encouraging to have a juicing buddy.
I chose to try out a 3-day juice cleanse for my first cleanse experience because it seemed less intimidating and I’m happy to say I breezed through it! I share my cleanse experience here with some extra tips for if you wish to try this yourself.
THE SHOPPING LIST
The 3 day cleanse I followed featured on Mind Body Green didn’t include a shopping list, so I have listed what you need here (for two people) if you wish to give this a try. I wanted to grab everything in one shop incase I needed to lay low in the house for a few days!! Although, I did totally mis-calculate my quantities, and by Day 2 I had to venture out again to buy 3 extra heads of celery! Yes 3! So this list will be handy and it includes the ingredients to make a potassium vegetable broth as well…
Juicing for Two (divide quantities by two if juicing for one):
+ 3 x bunches Kale
+ 2 x bunches Spinach (I used this where it calls for mixed greens/collard as well)
+ 4 x heads of Celery
+ 2 x bags Carrots
+ 48 x Cucumbers (yes 48 Cucumbers!)
+ 18 x Green Apples
+ 3 x Beetroot
+ 2 x bunches of Basil
+ 3 x bags mixed Greens
+ 4-5 bunches of Parsley
+ 6 x Lemons
+ 6 x Limes
+ 6 inches of Fresh Ginger
+ 1 x Onion
+ 9 x Dandelion leaves (I didn’t have Dandelion so didn’t include it in my smoothies)
+ Cayenne Pepper
Things you may also need for the daily protein milk drink:
+ Frozen Berries
+ Coconut Flakes
+ Cacao Powder
+ Chia Seeds
+ Hemp Seeds, Flax or Pumpkin seeds
+ Cinnamon, Nutmeg
+ Soaked figs or dates (pits removed)
+ Almond Milk (unsweetened with the least amount of additives)
So after your big vege shop the challenging thing is where to store everything. I grabbed a few buckets and filled them with water to store the kale and spinach just like big bunches of flowers! Luckily the weather was cooler so they were fine being stored like this for a few days. The herbs were popped into jars of water, and the rest I managed to squeeze into the fridge.
It’s impossible to fit 4 heads of celery in the fridge so I cut the stalks and placed them in a plastic bag (they take up less room doing this). Alternatively, to keep celery ultra crunchy you can also try storing the stalks in sealed plastic containers of water in the fridge.
I used my Breville Juice Fountain (a second-hand purchase from e-bay) and to help with the clean up I lined the container designed to catch the pulp with a bio bag ready to throw in the compost. Cleaning the juicer is relatively easy if you rinse it straight away.
THE POTASSIUM BROTH
One thing I would do differently is make the broth the night before starting the cleanse. I made the mistake of making it on Day 2, and I felt like I was in the kitchen all day that day; plus it would have been good to have it as a filler on day one!
When preparing the broth there is the option to separate the liquid from the vegetables then eat them, or to blend everything together to make a thin soup. I chose the blending option, and it was quite tasty but lacked a bit of salt! Any broth left overs can be frozen and used as a stock base for homemade soup later on – I’m thinking about adding some sweet potato and coriander.
We did have a funny “broth” moment. I said to Denis after making it , “would you like some broth” and I immediately cracked up laughing as the words came out my mouth. “Broth” is not a very nice word huh! Denis responded by saying he felt like he was in some sinister fairy-tale nightmare and the hysterical giggling didn’t stop after that every time we mentioned the word!
I made the juices in the order recommended and I found they became less and less appetizing as the day progressed. It could be because the morning juices included a green apple, adding a little extra tang and sweetness. Thank goodness for the evening protein milk! Here’s how my taste buds rated each juice recipe out of 10…
Carrot Bliss – 8/10 (a great kick-start to the day)
Green Beauty – 9/10 (my favourite – fresh and clean)
Renew – 3/10 (pretty intense flavour and a challenge for me to drink)
Detoxville – 7/10 (love the citrus element in this one)
Nourishing Cucumber – 2/10 (This one made me feel a bit nauseous for some reason!)
Protein Milk – 10/10 (design your own flavour)
When it was time to have the protein milk, it felt like a real treat after a day of vege juice and broth! The recipe below (a single serve) is my basic protein milk concoction that I made each evening using ingredients that I already had at home. These ingredients can be found in your local wholefoods store, supermarket or health food store.
250ml Almond Milk
1 tablespoon Cacao
2 tablespoons Coconut
1/2 cup frozen berries
2 tablespoons Chia seeds
Hand-pressed nut milk would be the best choice, but for convenience store bought milks are ok too – go organic or choose one that has the fewest additives. I basically blended all the ingredients in my Nutri-bullet.
I’m really amazed with the energy I felt right from day one. I felt so vibrant, clear in the mind and healthy but a little on the hyper-active side. I just couldn’t stop working and doing, and I was operating at a faster speed! It was like a big humour switch was switched to the ON position the entire time! I was cracking jokes, got the giggles and saw a lighter side to everything the whole way through.
Denis on the other hand really struggled and spent Day 2 lying on the couch. He woke up to drink his juice and then just went back to sleep! Mmmmmm, I think he could have eaten more in between the scheduled juices to avoid feeling depleted, hungry or tired. The cleanse instructions say “it is OK to have steamed vegetables or a raw salad in between your juices if you feel your body needs extra food.” Ooooooppps… better do this next time!
I woke up on Day 2 feeling quite thirsty, and realised I probably didn’t drink enough water the day before – so that’s something to consider. I did get a slight headache on Day 1 later in the afternoon, possibly a common symptom as your body moves into elimination mode.
I spent most of the time walking around the house wearing a green mustache!! A couple times I caught myself leaving the house and had to go back and wipe it off. Then when visiting a friend, she said to me what’s that green on your chin? Oh dear! So green mo’s were the go!
Over the three days my energy did go through the roof, but since the cleanse I have felt the opposite for most of the week – quite lethargic actually. It’s been a busy week though, and I think my brain is a bit buzzy so my sleeping patterns have not been the best.
So would I do this again? Yes I think I would, but not for a while. It ends up being quite a lot of work constantly making juice every 2 hours, and you really do have to plan ahead when you do this – preferably on days when you don’t have much on or any commitments. I think 3 days is a good length of time when you consider having to fit it into normal life.
I have a feeling that a cleanse could result in a different overall experience each time depending on what is happening in my life – i.e. how fit or run down I am, if recovering from sickness, it I’m stressed and what my hormones are doing. So I would like to do it again to compare! This 3-day cleanse is actually designed for Winter, so I might try it again then when I am in Winter hibernation mode.
If you do decide to give this cleanse a try yourself, please let me know how you go by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, if you have one that you recommend I’d love to hear about it!
And finally, I think overall this cleanse did do exactly what I was hoping for. I have come out the other side wanting to now maintain healthier eating habits – and I’ve noticed myself craving the “Green Beauty” juice everyday this week which is not a bad thing!