Progress Update: The juice cleanse is going well, albeit mak­ing a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions (see below).

Back­ground: My body has never han­dled sugar or a big influx of carbs very well. Ever since I was a kid, I would get sick within min­utes of eat­ing a donut and usu­ally vomit it all up. Too bad. I really do love donuts. They just don’t love me back.

Mod­i­fi­ca­tion: Since I usu­ally con­sume about 50g crabs per day, drink­ing 40-60g in one go was mak­ing me feel out of my head. So instead of wak­ing up and hav­ing a green juice first thing, I had what I was crav­ing – my nut milk. I am used to start­ing my day off with a hunk of pro­tein and fat, so the switch-up worked beau­ti­fully. No feel­ing light­headed, no sugar high, no crappy nau­sea. (After all, con­trary to pop­u­lar cleans­ing dogma, those are not “detox” symp­toms – that’s a blood sugar issue.) Plus, the nut milk stim­u­lated – shall we say – a super awe­some emp­ty­ing of the intestines. Weeee! The milk kept me full for about 4 hours, where­upon I went for my green juice. I had a red juice 2 hours after that, skipped the lemon­ade, and wasn’t hun­gry at all the rest of the evening. I felt ener­gized and great and woke up on my own at 6 this morn­ing. That. Never. Happens.

The green juice has been deli­cious and sat­is­fy­ing. For the first time in months, I have not craved choco­late or sugar. Con­sider how much more amaz­ing that is when I tell you I am about to have Aunt Flo over. What? No pre-period choco­late binges? Nope. I haven’t even fan­ta­sized about it. High-five to self. So over­all I am super pleased and my juice bonanza has been accom­plish­ing exactly what I wanted – clear think­ing, more glowy skin, energy upon wak­ing, sleep­ing like a baby, and reset­ting my taste buds.

On to the ques­tions I’ve been get­ting via email and mes­sages. There are some great ques­tions in the pre­vi­ous DIY Juice Cleanse post com­ments, too.

Can I drink my juices and milk in dif­fer­ent orders?

Yes. I pulled that juice order from Blue­print Cleanse, not a sci­en­tif­i­cally tested reg­i­men. The thought is to drink the green juice first to encour­age an “imme­di­ate” absorp­tion of nutri­ents and pro­vide a nice boost of energy. The thing is, our intestines absorb nutri­ents in dif­fer­ent stages, and it still takes a few hours. It’s not instan­ta­neous, even though there’s no fiber. Now, say if you drank your nut milk first (like I did). Keep in mind that nut milk con­tains slower digest­ing pro­tein and fat, so if you attempted to drink a green juice soon after, you may not get all the ben­e­fit (though some of the fat sol­u­ble vit­a­mins like A, D, and K would have a bet­ter time get­ting absorbed).

What is beet kvass and why is it in the red juice?

I don’t like straight beets very much. But beet kvass? LOVE. It’s a tra­di­tional fer­mented bev­er­age, and I grew up drink­ing that and slurp­ing borscht with my grandma. Kvass has pro­bi­otics, and because I am not tak­ing any sup­ple­ments on this “cleanse,” I have to get my good bac­te­ria in some­where (and I can’t eat my usual 1/2 cup sauer­kraut). The solu­tion? Pop 2 ounces of unpas­teurised beet kvass in the juice.

Can I eat?

Well, con­sid­er­ing this is a juice-only bonanza, the answer would nor­mally be no. If you’re feel­ing light headed, nau­seous, “sugar high,” etc. check out the mod­i­fi­ca­tion I made for myself and give that a try. (No, feel­ing light headed and nau­seous is NOT a sign of detox. It’s a reac­tion to either a spike or dip in blood sugar, not your body get­ting mag­i­cally and instan­ta­neously flooded by nutri­ents and sub­se­quently suf­fer­ing an instant detox.) If that doesn’t work, there is no harm in eat­ing veg­eta­bles. Another option: instead of run­ning your ingre­di­ents through a juicer, put them in a blender and make smooth­ies. You’ll use less pro­duce that way and get lots of fiber to help pull water into your intestines and shoo waste prod­ucts out.

Why is there cayenne in the lemon­ade and can I leave it out?

Yes, you can leave it out. In fact, if you have eczema, rosacea, pso­ri­a­sis, or any other autoim­mune dis­or­der or a diag­nosed gluten intol­er­ance or Celiac, leave the cayenne out of your lemon­ade. The rea­son is that cayenne con­tains cap­saicin, an alka­loid and irri­tant to mam­malian tis­sues. Cayenne is there for stim­u­lat­ing bowel move­ments, as it irri­tates the intesti­nal walls. This is safe for peo­ple who do not have com­pro­mised immune sys­tems and chronic low-level inflam­ma­tion, but as I said above, if you have any of those con­di­tions, omit the cayenne. Another way of mak­ing sure you poop is sim­ply drink­ing aloe vera juice (I use Lily of the Desert) or a gen­tle herbal lax­a­tive tea from Tra­di­tional Med­i­c­i­nals or Yogi Tea.

Have a ques­tion? Let me know. :)
~Steph  x