What It's Really Like To Do A 1 Day Juice Cleanse

Skeptical about juice cleanses? You're not the only one.

I was curious about doing a juice cleanse for quite some time now but the price - and, let's be honest, the fear of being extremely hungry - had always stopped me. Why do a juice cleanse? Juice cleanses are known for releasing the body of harmful toxins, minimizing stress, resetting our stomach, speeding up our metabolism, aiding in better sleep, and improving the appearance of our hair, skin, and nails. Sounds like a magical answer to a bunch of pesky problems, right? The long list of solutions was enough to convince me to try a 1 day cleanse before going full throttle with 3 days. 

After Googling juice cleanses offered in Chicago, I chose the Real Good Juice Co. located in Old Town. You can also find Real Good Juice Co. in River North and in the West Loop. I decided on this brand based on price, clever titles, and a positive reputation. For five 16 oz bottles of juice and one signature salad the total price came out to be $50.91 including tax. I began my cleanse at 9:30am and set timers for every two hours to drink the next juice. This 2 hour time frame was recommended by Real Good Juice Co. under the Juice Cleanse section on their website.

9:30 AM

First up, the Juice-Tin Bieber (insert laughing emojis here). The soothing three ingredients of almonds, coconut water, and sea salt created the perfect introduction. The taste was very enjoyable and the dose of antioxidants was enough to "look as youthful as a teenybooper pop star who strongly resembles a pretty woman". I savored my first juice by drinking it slowly over the span of an hour and a half. Before I knew it my timer was going off and it was already time for Juice #2.

11:30 AM

Time for the "lovechild" of apple, beets, carrot, ginger and lemon with drink number 2; the Juice Bigalow. Containing much stronger flavors than the Juice-Tin Bieber, this 100 calorie concoction had an earthy, yet pleasant taste. I found myself feeling alert and lacking any craving for solid food.

1:30 PM

While the first two drinks were enjoyably different, my least favorite out of the bunch was the Lucille Ball. This was solely based on my body having negative reactions to the mixture of lemon, cayenne, and maple syrup. Out of the three main ingredients the cayenne specifically did not sit well with my stomach and I unfortunately became sick due to this. My dislike was based on my own personal reaction and not because there was anything wrong with the drink itself.

*Personal note to self: cayenne is a no-no.

3:30 PM

After the negative reaction to the previous drink I was so glad to re-introduce my body to the Juice-Tin Bieber for the second time. The 65 calorie mix of light, hydrating ingredients was just what I needed. It was around this time that I began to feel very hungry and a little sluggish. 

5:30 PM

Hooray! The last juice of the bunch. Drink #5, the Punky Juice-Ster, was an unusual blend of matcha, almonds, chia, chlorophyll, and mint. Wacky, yet pretty good. I was glad that I saved this for last as it had more of a "desert" quality compared to the other flavors. 

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I thought the Signature Salad would be full of leafy greens and vegetables. Instead, the box contained sweet potatoes, soba noodles, cucumbers, and a light dressing. The sweet potatoes, spot on. The noodles and dressing, not so much. Maybe it was just the unfamiliar taste of the meal or having an overwhelming craving for pizza, but my body was looking for something light and this was a heavy option after cutting out solids for majority of the day.

The day of the cleanse I found myself not as hungry as I thought I would be and enjoyed most of the juice flavors. It wasn't until the next day, however, that I felt some positive results. I woke up with 10x more energy, was flushing out toxins about every 40 minutes, and loss 3 lbs of water weight. As expected, it is hard to see any drastic results from a 1 day cleanse compared to a 3 day cleanse, but I was still pleased for a first time try (you get what you put into it, right?).

These 4 tips are what I took away from the experience: drink LOTS of water in between juices, keep your mind preoccupied so that you are less likely to think about food, do not worry about the scale, and listen to your body. It's natural for your body to feel a unfamiliar to the introduction of a liquid diet, however if something is actual wrong, like an ingredient that is making you physically sick, listen to your body. It's also important to understand that the cleanse is about feeling clean and nourishing your body, not about losing weight.

Would I do it again? Maybe.

If I was to try another juice cleanse I would be sure to pay closer attention to the ingredients and explore the different juice cleanses offered within the city. For now, I'm sticking to my nutritious whole meals!

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