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Lessons from a Juice Cleanse

by jenny sansouci on January 12, 2012

I just completed a 10 day juice cleanse. It was intense. It was up. It was down. It was a beautiful thing and I learned a lot.

I broke the cleanse yesterday – gently and easily, so I wouldn’t put too much strain on my newly-cleansed digestive system. I drank only juice until the evening hours, which felt good. The first thing I ate was an orange. It felt odd at first eating something solid – my instinct was saying to just juice the orange instead! But later in the evening, I had some steamed asparagus, and that felt like Thanksgiving dinner. I felt really full after eating it.

Now, 2 days after the cleanse, it’s almost 6pm and I’ve only had green juice, coconut water and tea today. My body feels good on that. I’m roasting some Brussels sprouts in the oven right now with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. I’m going to stick to just veggies and fruits for a few days until my body feels ready to re-introduce other foods. I’m really listening to my body and I don’t want to overdo it. I want the crystal clear cleanse feeling to last.

A few people asked me what my key takeaways were from the cleanse.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • My body feels much better on less food.
  • Overeating kills creativity.
  • Drinking green juices daily makes (almost) everything feel better.
  • 10 days (or more) of just juices is totally healthy and fine (for me).
  • The first few days were the hardest. By the end I was just sick of using the juicer so much.
  • A clean body = a clear mind.
  • Detoxing the system involves emotional detox, too.
  • Homemade almond milk is the most delicious thing on the planet. I’d take it over ice cream any day.
  • Depressing moods aren’t permanent. Neither are ecstatically blissful ones.
  • Juicing your own juice is a time-consuming process (but the juices are super fresh).
  • Cleaning the juicer is a less-than-fun activity. Music and singing helps.
  • Cleansing can be a part of my daily life even when I’m not on an “official” cleanse.
  • Cleansing is about moving forward by getting rid of old, negative stuff from the past that’s weighing you down. Literally and figuratively.
  • I started to see more clearly what’s positively enhancing my life vs. negatively dragging me down. I realized that some things in my life do both. It’s not all black and white.
  • My ipod has too many songs on it that bring me into the past. On the agenda: detox my ipod and include more songs that are motivating and inspiring.
  • The cleanse made me want to clean out my whole apartment and get rid of everything that isn’t enhancing my life.
  • During the cleanse and after, the foods I craved the most were vegetables.

So I’m moving forward in 2012 with a clearer feeling physically and mentally. More deeply in tune and conscious about how what I eat affects my life. Able to see the benefits of detoxing the old in order to move forward with a fresh perspective. And way, way more excited about fruits and vegetables than I already was before. 🙂

Here are the 10 recipes I made during my cleanse:

Get my juice recipes in one easy, printable PDF!

If you’re thinking about doing a cleanse, you probably have a lot of questions. Following along on my documented 10-day journey will help, but there are some other great resources out there. Although the following 2 links are specific to certain cleanses, there’s a ton of info contained about general cleansing and health here:

Organic Avenue Cleanse FAQ
Blueprint Cleanse FAQ

So before you embark on your first cleanse – check those links out, do your research (if you’re anything like me, you’ll read every word!), get psyched up and enjoy the wild ride.

Oh, and remember – you can make small steps towards a clearer mind and body every day. Just begin to notice when you’re doing things that are creating a less-than-awesome experience in your life, and next time you’re about to do that thing…think for a minute, and maybe, just maybe...make a different choice.

All you cleansers out there….what did you learn from your cleanses? Any cool insights to share? You know I love learning from you.


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Ali January 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hi Jenny! Here is my list of takeaways:
* Don’t read food blogs all day as that is torture during a cleanse.
* Do a cleanse with other people for inspiration and motivation. Inspiring others will inspire you more than anything.
* Fill your day with fun and restorative activities you normally wouldn’t treat yourself to. Mine included bikram yoga, sauna, restorative yoga, and watching movies.
* Make a savory juice for “dinner” as it will like a special treat.
* Be patient and stay present during all the ups and downs. They are fleeting.
* If it feels like torture, listen to your body and make a change. I wish I had allowed myself a kombucha, almond milk, or broth as it would have made a world of difference in my physical and emotional experience.
* Don’t go back to eating fiber, protein, and fats right after the cleanse. Ease back into it slowly *No trips to wineries right after a cleanse!
* Enjoy the new found sensory experience of solid foods and eat slowly and mindfully

jenny sansouci January 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Ali, these are awesome lessons! Thank you! Can I delete my blog post and re-write it with these instead? 😉

Monica January 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Congrats! Love this post w/all the juice recipes!
You have inspired me to make homemade almond milk & detox my iPod! (along w/drinking more green juice!)

jenny sansouci January 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Thanks Monica! You’ll love the almond milk and YES – I was surprised when I hit “shuffle” how many songs came up that reminded me of an ex or a low-level experience. DELETE. 🙂

Amanda Kelly January 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Hey Jenny,
I just started reading your site and I am so inspired! I am planning on starting at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition this spring and it’s so great to see someone who has used that education to make such a positive impact. I also just bought a juicer and am planning a juice cleanse of my own!! I look forward to reading your site, thank you for the inspiration!

jenny sansouci January 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

Amanda, that’s awesome!! I just sent you an email so we can connect more about IIN. Good luck on your cleanse!! xo

Juliette @ Finish Your Broccoli January 13, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hi Jenny – reading your 10-day cleanse journey was inspiring! I’ve never done a cleanse before but I would love to start with a 3-day one. I have a few questions for you:

-I just got a Vitamix for Christmas (!) – do you think I’d be able to use your juice recipes in the Vitamix, or is a juicer absolutely necessary?
-I’m allergic to nuts, but that almond milk sounds divine. I’m thinking of trying it out with pumpkin seeds. Do you have any recommendations for other seeds that might work?

jenny sansouci January 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

Hey Juliette! So funny – I JUST wrote a post about juicing vs. blending and what you need for each.

I’ve never personally made a milk out of seeds, but you could definitely try hemp seeds! The hemp milk that I’ve tried from the store is delicious. Good luck!

Juliette @ Finish Your Broccoli January 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Perfect – thank you!

Ralph Antolino, Jr. January 26, 2012 at 5:43 am

Great post, blog and website Jenny! Cindy has become a dedicated juicer. I have learned a great deal about it as well by joining her on some juice meals. Thanks for sharing. Love to catch up some time!

Hanna January 25, 2013 at 1:51 am

Is there a certain order for your smoothie? for example, in blue print you have to start with the green juice and end with the almond milk at night.

Jc Paul May 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hi! I would like to know if I can do the recipes in my blender?

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