Having prepared 2 rounds of this juice cleanse for our members, it was high time that I stepped up to the challenge. My rational powers rival those of Superman’s leaping of buildings so I stood confident that I didn’t need the cleanse. After posting the production video on Instagram one follower asked, “What are your intended goals?” Great question.
When suggesting a Juice Reset to our athletes, I tout the following benefits: 1) give your organs a break with easily absorbed nutrients. This break allows your system to clear out the gunk that’s built up. Picture shoveling a sidewalk. There’s always that leftover layer or bit that simply doesn’t come up. The cleanse lets your body attack that. 2) reset your palate. We live in a flavor-playground. Couple that sweet/salty party with textures like creamy and crunchy and there’s a veritable celebration on our tastebuds each time we eat. The cleanse? No party. And these 3 lame days help reset what gets the tastebud party started. And 3) mental toughness. If you can handle 3 days of juice nutrition including the hollow stomach feeling, the smells you can’t enjoy (family members should do it together, an act of solidarity), and a disruption to your norm, then…you can learn to abstain from that birthday cupcake. … “But it’s her birthday!! :(“
Back to the question. What was I to gain? I eat a formulaic nutrition plan. I don’t deviate. I’m a robot. Boring? No way! Met expectations. Every time. I don’t eat out. I don’t look to food for enjoyment as much as effectiveness. I can eat when I’m not hungry. I can find joy in broccoli. I eat strategically. Why do the cleanse? Because. Yep. Just because. Because I haven’t done it and if you ask my life’s mantra, I’ll respond: “Do it.” McConaughey recently, successfully, tagged it: “Greenlight.”
Rules of the game: 1) no coffee, no booze. 2) 5 juices per day and an evening casein/nut milk protein drink. 3) no food. 4) unlimited water and green tea.
The night before, the last meal, deserved consideration. What does one eat before falling into Alice’s Rabbit Hole of Hungry? A blowout? Of course not! I told you, robot. I made our standard Taco Tuesday night dinner. Being that I started the cleanse on a Tuesday I knew I’d miss it and that simply could not happen. Hell, Taco Tuesdays were a pivotal component in Abbe and I’s courtship. Final meal: Spanish Right Rice (it’s veggie-based and you should start eating it), diced chicken, Alexia street corn, and southwest salad.
Okay, let’s cleanse!
Day 1. No coffee in the morning. No breakfast. Hell, nothing to do! I slept an extra 30 minutes without the Standard Operating Procedures engaged. WIN #1! I split out to work in record time where Juice #1 waited for me. It’s green. It’s nutrient-dense. It’s damn good. Earthy.
Abbe stopped at Starbucks on her way in and grabbed me a hot green tea. Here’s where the complaining starts…
First off, tea is freaking HOT! Seriously. I brew coffee each morning from a boiling kettle yet somehow tea water is doubly boiled. It’s unnaturally hot and requires nearly an hour to reach a temp level that eliminates the risk of my tongue turning into Freddy Krueger’s face. Second, it’s terrible by comparison. The complexity of coffee’s taste borders orgasmic for me and this piss water doesn’t come close. I’m out.
3.5 hours in. Feeling good and here comes Juice #2! Pineapple, apple, and mint. Tropical mouth party. Hell yeah! So good. Wait? Am I that excited? Genuinely? I am. My energy is high. I’m doing well. This is unexpected!
Day 1 was not without some valleys. The hollow stomach feeling felt true a couple of times but slamming 24 oz of water pushed the feeling aside and the 3-hour juice intervals kept my energy humming all day. Juice #4, Spicy Lemonade, provided the jolt needed for a workout. I performed a 30-minute Stages SOLO cycling workout and held my power levels as directed. Post-workout distractions included beet-based Juice #5, a hot shower, and growing anticipation for my final meal: the evening casein protein drink. After 80 oz of thin juice, the thick protein drink felt substantial. How did I deal with skipping a true dinner? Easy. I went to bed at 7:20 PM.
Day 2. Same early start. Same strategy. I left the juices at work and headed in after 16 oz of plain water and another 16 oz with a Nuun Immunity tab. Juice at work and a new rhythm is established.
No coffee, no problems. Determined to adopt a drinkable tea into my program, I tried Bigelow Matcha Green Tea with Turmeric. Doable. Probably not drinking it next week but for a hot drink distraction, it’ll play.
The energy level I’m experiencing continues to surprise me. Juicing provides the rush of highly bioavailable nutrition to the system and I’m intimately aware of how spraying lighter fluid into a campfire brings intense power, not to mention great fun. Maybe we should rename this cleanse? WD-40 for your Soul? How will this hold up with a planned outdoor endurance ride today?
Another cleanse allowance includes daily vitamins. You can keep taking them according to the rules. I use NUUN for both immunity, vitamins, hydration, and pre-/post-workout. I tore off with a bottle of NUUN-enhanced water and pedaled West without much of a plan outside of a 3-hour effort. I climbed, coasted, and spun the first hour without much distraction. The second hour included long sustained climbs toward Morrison and then Lookout Mountain. Emptying the 22 oz bottle at the end of hour two left me with a straightforward pedal back to e3. Straight. Forward. e. 3. “Umm…energy, where did you go?”
“Fuel for Performance.” An e3 nutrition mantra. A tenant inside our hallowed walls. Here I am, the leader of this crew, and I’ve got my forehead resting on my handlebar begging for the final 7 miles to disappear under my tire as quickly as possible. Let. Me. Be. Done. Calorie-restricting strategies work until you need to do work. Ouch.
Juices #2, #4, and #5. I chugged them all. Like dollar-you-call-it night back in Iowa City, 2002. Crushed. And…I feel ALIVE! These damn juices have magical powers! …or calories, much-needed calories. Juices, shower, NUUN Recovery, and I finished the afternoon of coaching sessions feeling great. The evening protein drink proved just as delicious as night 1 and I met the pillow at my new bedtime: 7:30 PM.
The final day. I’ve got to be honest, I’m thinking about quitting. I learned my lessons. I understand the mental fortitude. I get it. I really want a solid meal. One more day. I can do one more day.
Unlike Tuesday and Wednesday’s early morning coaching sessions, Thursdays start with casual reading time and coffee. Err, tea. Now they are reading with tea. Mmmm….tea. Similar to emotions, housekeeping, and the kitchen junk drawer, this cleanse was easier when ignored. Sitting at home reminds me too often of the food I am NOT eating. Determined to finish this cleanse I took down Juice #2 and headed in for my final training session on the cleanse. Learning from yesterday’s energy cliff I kept my session to 45 minutes and treated Juice #3 as my new post-workout meal.
Nearing the end of anything comes with the celebratory “end spurt”, that explosive bit of energy that compels a marathoner to sprint the last 200 yards. Juice nutrition feels easy. The hollow stomach is a comfortable old friend. The evening drink is the athlete’s nightcap. Day 3, no sweat.
Takeaways from 15 Juices in 3 Days
- I don’t NEED coffee to start my day. Sleep is adequate!
- It’s okay to be a little hungry. A tiny grumble doesn’t mean I need to pull a CLIF bar from my pocket. Sticking to a nutrition schedule can have a couple of rough moments.
- Hydrate. The ultimate appetite suppressant.
- Plants micronutrients make me feel superhuman. Get MORE of them!
- EVERYONE can optimize. I’ve maintained changes to my standard meal plan, post-cleanse. Little changes, sure, but noticeable adjustments that the cleanse made me aware of.
- I dropped bodyfat %, my weight dropped, and my physique was more defined. Thanks juice.
Interested in doing the cleanse?
e3 Fitness provides the cleanse opportunity every 6 weeks. Our next option is 3/22. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.