5 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Juice Cleanse

      I just completed a 6-day juice cleanse, and let me just start off by saying that I am glad to be finished with the whole process! Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy doing it, and I am so glad that I did. But there were definitely difficult moments that tested my patience and tugged at my willpower. Even though I went through some very cranky days and annoying headaches, the positives definitely outweighed the negatives in this situation. 
     The first few days were a breeze. I felt amazing. I had energy to burn and loved the new experience. After a few days, I did start to feel very hungry, but I also began to notice some very welcome physical changes. My hair had never felt so soft, and I found that I didn’t even need lotion after I showered because my skin already felt super hydrated. And, as a result of eating fewer than half of normal calorie intake, I lost a few pounds.
     Most importantly, I have never felt so accomplished. This was by far the most difficult physical challenge I have ever completed, and it feels great to know that I can do something demanding if I just stick my mind to it. You will definitely want to mentally prepare yourself for some hurdles, but as long as you have some determination, I know you can do it too. Here are a few things you should know before beginning a juice cleanse. 

1. Juicing is messy. If you decide to do a cleanse with all pre-made juices, this won't be an issue for you. But if you're like me, and opt to make your own, prepare for your kitchen to be a bit of a mess for the duration of your cleanse. Your counters will likely be covered in fresh produce, since you won't be able to fit all of it in your refrigerator. I can't even tell you how many times I cleaned the juicer, swept the floors, and cleaned the countertops- only to have them covered with bits and pieces of produce a few hours later. Should you let this stop you from juicing? Of course not. Just something to keep in mind. 
2. Prepare to be hungry. I can honestly say that for the first two days, I wasn't hungry at all. I would have an occasional craving if I saw Chris eating something that looked and smelled amazing, but it wasn't too hard to resist. By the end of the third day, that all changed. It became more of a mental challenge than anything else, but just be prepared for it to get progressively more difficult as the days pass. Plan things ahead of time to keep you distracted, so you aren’t constantly focusing on how hungry you are. 
3. Make sure you drink plenty of water. I made the mistake of only drinking a few glasses of water the first few days, because I was constantly sipping on a juice. This left me with mild headaches each afternoon. As a rule I would shoot for at least 1 large glass of water between each juice to make sure you're getting enough. More is better. 
4. You might get cranky. If I were you, I would warn your friends and family that you might be a little bipolar throughout the juicing process. I was on such a roller coaster of emotions, I didn’t even know what to do with myself. The fourth and fifth days were by far the worst, in terms of my mood. I did, however, feel very calm the last day, knowing I had almost made it to the end. When you are feeling extra hungry or just plain grumpy, remember that each day is a new day and you won't feel that way forever. 
5. Get lots of sleep. Typically, I can’t sleep in on the weekends no matter how hard I try. My body is just ready to wake up by 7:00am, whether I went to bed at 10:00pm or 3:00am. But I found that throughout this cleanse I was much more tired than usual. Give yourself time to rest and take naps, if necessary. Remember, you are running off of much fewer calories than you are accustomed to, so you need to adjust your activity accordingly.

     With that being said, I think a 3-day cleanse would be very doable for a first time juicer. Anything beyond that becomes quite challenging. But hey, if you’re up for it, I say go all in! Why not? You’ve got nothing to lose, and a wealth of delicious nutrients to gain. 

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