We asked Renata to share a bit about where she is on her health journey, and then document her experience with our Three Day Juice Feast. Some of you may find our Juice Feasts extremely challenging and uncomfortable, and that is totally normal. You're breaking a cycle of unhealthy habits and completely changing your eating routine for a few days -- no small thing! We appreciate Renata's honest account of these challenges and will use her feedback to create resources to add extra support before and after the Juice Feasts to make the transition a little more gentle.
Renata's Health Journey:
As I sit in front of the computer to reflect on my health journey, I am a little puzzled as I realize I eat much healthier items now then I did as a child or as a teenager, but somehow I am overweight now and was always described as a skinny teenager. So the question is: Was I healthier then? Not at all, I was a very picky eater as a child and I have always been a "snacker." Until this day I would much rather snack than actually sit down and eat 3 meals per day.
I believe that my bad eating habits have finally caught on to me. Back when I was a child and a teenager in Brazil, I was always very active. I did all sorts of sports. My mom didn't drive, so we walked everywhere and just the weather alone made you sweat just by walking on the street. When I was younger, every time I wanted a snack in between meals my mom would force me to eat a fruit. Now, I will open a bag of chips or eat a piece of bread.
I don't drink soda, I don't eat fast food or frozen foods. I enjoy a lot more vegetables now than I did growing up, but unless being forced I will not eat a piece of fruit. Not my favorite go to food. :( I usually just have a cup or two of coffee in the morning. Then nothing until lunch. If lunch is not something well planed and brought from home to work, I will buy a sandwich or a burrito. If lunch is not filling I will snack from the time I get off until I get home and prepare dinner. I am also attending night classes after work, so there are days that I will skip dinner and get home from class late at night and eat whatever is in front of me. To top it all off, I went from someone that was always very active and went to the gym 5 to 6 days per week to zero exercise since I had my son in 2008. I have done a class here and a hike there, but nothing permanent.
My biggest worry is that my children will pick up my bad eating habits, so I have created a very healthy lifestyle for them by limiting the amount of sweets they are exposed to. No soda or sugary drinks, no fast food, 3 main meals per day with grains, protein and a vegetable and fruit as their between snacks... but I don't follow that myself. My biggest down fall is sweets and carbs. Planning ahead and packing for work is huge. When I do that my day goes a lot better.
Renata's Juice Feast Experience:
1st day- I had been fighting a cold and on my first day, Monday, I woke up with a huge headache and with a terrible sore throat after coughing all night. I slept in and didn't have my first juice until about 10:30am, which threw off the times I drank the other juices too. I spent all Monday feeling sluggish and still had a headache at night. I went to bed early and did not drink my last green juice.
2nd- I woke up starving and still with a headache. I drank a bottle of the Tropical Greens for breakfast at 6:30am and the Beet Juice for snack around 9am. Then I had the Army Greens for lunch. The headache continued and I still felt sluggish. Total lack of energy. I had Half of the carrot juice on my afternoon break and the other half on my way home. By the time I got home I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep, but I was hungry. I actually boiled two eggs and ate them, because I felt I need it to chew on something as well as some protein. I drank half of my last green bottle, then some tylenol for the headache and a NyQuil. It takes a lot for me to take any medication. Last night I felt like my head was going to explode.
3rd day- Today I woke up without a headache and feeling much better. I drank all juices in order and besides the juices I only ate a hand full of nuts around snack time. At lunch time I felt I needed to chew on something so I ate about 3 leaves of plain romaine lettuce.
The juice feast was and is extremely hard for me. I felt like giving up so many times. I think if it wasn't for you, I would have given up. The headaches on the first couple of days were crazy strong. Yesterday I felt I almost did not have enough energy to talk. I am not sure if it was just the detox or the fact that I was still sick... or a combination of both. It was somewhat easy to fit into my schedule, except the snack ones...since I would do them on my 15min break so it felt like it wasn't enough time to drink a whole bottle. But it was manageable. Most people that I told about it were very supportive and curious on how it works. Very few said things like: "that's crazy, no food for 3 days?" or "that's not going to work." Some bottles were easier to finish then others. The Breezy Greens and Gold Rush were the toughest for me. I didn't recall Gold Rush being so "gingery" but the ginger in it got me this time. I am not a big ginger fan...so the ginger bomb was also tough for me. I've only used 2 ice cubes of it so far.
We asked -- What's missing? Do you wish it included more supplements or protein (like, chia seeds or almond milk?) Do you wish it had more structure or more guidance? Would it help to have supplemental materials to help you find healthy food out in the community or recipes for homemade juice and smoothies? Is there anything else we could do to improve the experience?
For me the lack of protein was huge! I also missed chewing on something. Also, as I think about it more and more now... I think the headaches could also have been due to the fact that I jumped into this detox/cleansing process after have been eating tons of junk. I had not been eating very healthy plus being sick didn't help neither. In the future, I don't think I would use the package for an entire day. I would use them to substitute a meal along with other healthy meals throughout the day. I really missed real food.
I am really glad I did it and I am happy that it kind of gives the opportunity to stop the bad diet I was on, it has cleared a lot of the toxins in my body... and it gives me a head start on a healthy path again. But truly, I was miserable the first two days! :( Super tired and grumpy. I don't remember feeling this way the first time I did your package. But perhaps that was because I was eating healthier then and exercising more.
I guess it would be helpful to know what type of foods wouldn't interfere with the cleanse so much if we did feel like eating something. Because I was doing this as a case study for you I wanted to stay true to the cleanse as possible for best results, but It was very hard not to eat anything at all.
Overall, I feel good today. I don't feel bloated at all and according to the scale I am 4-5 pounds lighter. I know this will change once I eat solid foods tomorrow, but after having gone through this process it makes me want to watch what I eat more.
Thank you so much for this opportunity! You rock! I am one of your biggest fans!
Thank you, Renata!
Ever since life after college, I have experienced many digestive issues. After my second year of teaching and struggling with vertigo in the classroom on a daily basis, I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet. Although vertigo was the most inconvenient symptom, I was also dealing with eczema, upset stomach, and fatigue. After going gluten free I immediately felt much better and have been very strict about it now for 4 years.
Since then, I have improved my eating habits by cooking almost all of my meals, reading labels, and eating more fresh produce. However, there are still times when I feel the symptoms of inflammation and have tried to eat less processed foods. I do have a sweet tooth though which has made it difficult for me to experiment with eliminating refined sugars and dairy. Through this juice feast, I hope to feel more energetic and be motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. I am thankful to be a part of this case study!
Juice Feast Daily Recap
Everyday I went in the same order of which juices I would drink when. The order was: Tropical Greens (breakfast), Gold Rush, Army Greens (lunch), Evergreen (dinner), and Heart Beet.
Tropical greens was already one of my favorites, so it was a good way to start off the morning. That morning before drinking the juice I went for a swim and afterwards felt great. I went to work from 12pm-6pm and during that time (around 3pm) I had a headache.
During my time at work (I work at the Carmel Youth Center supervising children, so snacking and drinking juice is acceptable), I felt the need to chew so I had some raw pumpkin seeds, pecans, and almonds. I do usually drink a cup of green tea in the morning so it may have been the lack of caffeine, or more likely a sugar withdrawal. The headache lasted until I had dinner around 7. It was then that I decided to eat a bowl of brown rice and organic black beans with the Evergreen juice. One of the reasons why I ate rice and beans was to make it easier to drink the Evergreen juice. I learned quickly that I am not a fan of cilantro, so the juice was bit challenging to drink. I added the ginger bomb water to it (made a pitcher of water with it and drank it throughout the 3 days) and it was better for me, but I was only able to drink 8 oz of the Evergreen with dinner. I ended the day with Heart Beet, but only felt hungry for about 1/2 of it.
I realized that my stomach was feeling great and I had a lot of energy today! I resumed my routine of the juice drinking with also drinking the ginger bomb water in between. I found it a little difficult to drink as much water as I usually do (which is a lot) because I felt like I was always drinking. However, I never felt dehydrated and only got a slight headache in the afternoon. After work I went to my routine yoga class and felt stronger than ever! I ate dinner after yoga (brown rice and black beans) and drank 1/2 of the Evergreen juice. I ended the night with a little bit of the Summer Cider (which is my favorite!).
I felt really hungry when I woke up today, but the Tropical Green juice and a large cup of the ginger bomb water helped significantly! On this day I didn't work until 2pm, so I had a snack (pumpkin seeds) and 1/2 of the Heart Beet before work. During work I drank Army Greens and Gold Rush. I had no headache today and had lots of energy. My stomach felt great and I could feel the sugar cravings subsiding. For dinner I had my brown rice and beans with 1/2 of the Evergreen juice. I ended my juice feast with the rest of the Summer Cider. Delicious!
Conclusions and Suggestions
Overall, the juice feast was easy with a few challenging moments. With my type of job, it was fairly easy to work into my daily schedule. I also have to say that it was nice not doing very many dishes for 3 days :). As I said in my day-to-day summary, I felt like I had to eat raw pumpkin seeds, almonds, and pecans for an afternoon snack and then brown rice and black beans for dinner. I believe I would've been fine without the nuts and seeds, but felt that by the end of day I really missed chewing (especially since I am a person who loves to have little snacks throughout the day) and need to eat something.
My husband was very supportive (especially when I was struggling to drink the Evergreen juice), and he may be interested in doing the juice feast once he is done with school at DLI. My coworkers were also supportive and were jealous of the delicious juice I was drinking! I gave them some samples, so hopefully you will have some new customers!
I found it a little difficult to finish all 5 bottles in one day. Usually I would drink about 4 total (leaving 1/2 of the Evergreen and Heart Beet). I love ginger, so the ginger bomb is one of the things I regularly purchase from your farmers market stand. I usually freeze them into ice cubes and make a "tea" with it adding hot water, lemon juice, and honey if my stomach needs some help. For this juice feast I decided to add it to a pitcher of water which ended up being helpful. I almost wish I had a larger ginger bomb to do both!
We asked: What's missing? Would a tea in the evening make a big difference? Do you wish it had more structure or more guidance? Would it help to have supplemental materials to help you find healthy food out in the community or recipes for homemade juice and smoothies? Is there anything else we could do to improve the experience?
I would love to have had an evening tea! I am a tea drinker myself (no coffee), so a good way to end the day is by drinking some herbal tea (usually peppermint for me) at night. I liked the freedom of deciding when to drink which juice and found it easy to develop a routine (which helped me to be consistent during the 3 days). I love to make juice of my own, so homemade juice and smoothie recipes would be great to continue the healthy eating process after the juice feast.
With my history of stomach issues, I was a bit worried that my stomach would be upset but overall it felt better than ever! From this juice feast, I'm now motivated to eat fewer (maybe none at all) refined sugar products and reduce my dairy intake because I know that they could be a factor for inflammation.
Thank you for this opportunity! It was pretty cool to be able to do something like this and see how it would turn out. I enjoyed it, and hope that my experience encourages others to try the juice feast!
Thank you, Kristi!