Not feeling a pricey juice cleanse? Try a homemade one instead.
By Natalie Dressed
Last week Seth and I decided to do a 3-day juice cleanse. The cleanse was Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and we I prepped by eating as raw as possible the 2-3 days before that. I didn't have the dedication to go completely raw, but I didn't notice any negative effects on the cleanse despite that. We used the recipes found here, which are based off the BluePrint Cleanse.
I went to the farmers market on Sunday to get the majority of the ingredients, which I highly recommend as you can get fresh, organic produce for really great prices (and you're supporting local farmers). I made sure we had enough to make all of Wednesday's juices on Tuesday night. On Wednesday evening, we had to run to the grocery store to grab more apples, beets, and lemons for the last two days. I didn't want to get all the ingredients at the same time because when there's two people doing it, it's a lot of stuff and our kitchen isn't that big. (For example, one person needs 15 apples for all 3 days. Since there were two of us, we decided not to buy 30 apples in one day, but instead split it up a bit so we didn't have to worry about storing 30 apples.)
I'm not sure exactly how much we spent because we bought some other things we needed and lots of fruit for the few days before the cleanse, but my guess is that we spent somewhere between $100-$150 for both of us for all 3 days (between the farmers market and grocery store), which is way cheaper than buying a cleanse. Also, I highly recommend buying a case of standard 16 oz water bottles. I bought a case of 24 for around $5 thinking we would just use the bottles for our juices, but you need filtered water for the cashew milk and spicy lemonade so we ended up using the water too. It worked out perfectly.
Making the juices at home was significantly cheaper, but it was also a lot of work. The first night I juiced everything by myself and it took about 2.5 hours total. Seth helped me the following two nights and since we had already done it once, we got the hang of it and cut the time down to about an hour. Not bad at all. I can see how buying a cleanse would be worth it in terms of convenience though. It's really just a matter of what you can afford and how much time you're willing to put into it.
The chart above shows the recipes in a more visually appealing way and varies just slightly from the original recipes based on what we did.
Please note: We doubled all of these recipes since there two of us. When we doubled the green juice recipe, it actually made 4 juices instead of 2. So if you're doing this solo, you probably only need to make 1 green juice and will get enough for 2. Of course this isn't a perfect science, but it's something to note.
We both liked all of the juices. The P.A.M. is nothing short of delicious and would make a really good cocktail. The spicy lemonade was tart for us, but it helped take our appetite away. The cashew milk is delish! It could totally be a milkshake substitute.
Here's a shopping list for you so you don't have to add everything up!
On Day 1, I woke up energized and super excited to start. I felt pretty great all day, except around 3:15pm I had a stomach ache and small headache. They only lasted around ten minutes though and could have been due to my starting to take my fish oil pills again. I drank my juices around 2-3 hours apart (except for the beet juice - I had almost 4 hours between the lemonade and beet juice). I did get hungry, but it was always in between juices and once I drank a juice, my hunger went away and I felt fine. I felt good by the end of Day 1.
On Day 2, I felt exhausted in the morning (although this isn't unusual). Unfortunately, the tired feeling lasted all day. Around 10am, the office smelled like coffee and I wanted it so bad. But I resisted. By the end of Day 2, I questioned whether to keep it a 3 day cleanse or leave it at 2. It wasn't because I was hungry - I just wanted to chew and have substance. Seth reeled me back in and convinced me we should keep at it.
On Day 3, I felt fine. I expected to eventually have a lot of energy and feel a sense of clarity, but I never did. I felt mostly like I usually do. I did feel like my insides were getting cleansed and could tell it was working, but I never experienced any really noticeable physical change. And I really craved a sandwich. Seth and I made the decision that we would celebrate the end of the cleanse by going to dinner that night. Since I wasn't noticing a huge change, I figured eating that night or the next morning really wouldn't make a difference. It was the best decision ever.
Overall, I'm glad we did the cleanse because 1) now I know I can do it, and 2) I could tell it was actually cleansing my insides. It also significantly lowered Seth's blood pressure, which was great. I was disappointed about not having more energy or really feeling any different. The next time I do it, I'd be interesting in trying different recipes to see if that changes anything. One thing I realized is how enjoyable and pleasurable eating is. It definitely made me appreciate it more. The cleanse also made me realize I can say no to anything and don't have to give into my cravings.