Skeptic Tries a 3-Day Juice Cleanse & Bares All (PHOTOS)

cooler cleanse I'm a health nut. But something about juice cleanses has always made me a bit iffy. Maybe it's their grand promises of renewed energy and a clear mind, or the fact that since I'm not uber-earthy, I feel like one giant poser. But recently, an opportunity arose for me to try out a popular one from Cooler Cleanse, and I knew immediately that there was no better candidate for the job.

My task: Drink six juices per day for the duration of the three-day cleanse, and live to tell the tale. Going into it, I felt the way any woman who really loves eating would: Really nervous. Would I be hungry? Would I get super cranky? Would I whittle away to nothing by consuming less than 1,200 calories daily?

Costing only $58 per day, the Cooler Cleanse is MUCH cheaper than a lot of the other celeb-touted alternatives out there. At that price, it's a cleanse real people can afford. At 8:48 a.m. last Monday, my cleansing journey began. I'll admit, what happened the next few days really surprised me.

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Day 1: The cleanse arrives

cooler juice cleanse

How I felt: Excited, for the most part. I'm totally as cool as Salma Hayek, right?! I wasn't thrilled about giving up my coffee or Diet Coke habit, but I knew it was for the best.

The biggest obstacle: The green juice.

green juice

I wasn't super surprised when I didn't enjoy the taste of their essential green juice, but I knew the cleanse would be anything but a sugary sweet ride. Loaded with veggies, this bevvy is a staple in a majority of cleanses, containing most of your nutrients for the day.

Around 3:30 in the afternoon, I felt dizzy and a bit wacky -- as if I were intoxicated. I was already looking forward to an early bedtime, which is recommended while you're on the cleanse.

Day 2: The journey continues

How I felt: Hungry. I was hoping to feel refreshed or well-rested, but I woke up craving my first juice.

The biggest obstacle: Around midday, I felt as though there was food everywhere I turned and had a persistent headache. I daydreamed of eating a burger (or five).

The good news: After my first juice, I was genuinely full throughout the entire day.

Day 3: The light at the end of the tunnel

How I felt: Well-rested and lighter. The first two days felt long, but the third blew by. Before I knew it, I was sipping pineapple & ginger juice (my favorite of the whole thing!) and it was well into the afternoon.

The biggest obstacle: As a runner, I was starting to get a little restless. I wanted to work out, or even just take a little walk-ski, but I didn't want to overdo it and stress my body out on minimal calories.

As I enjoyed the last sip of my sixth and final juice on day three, almond milk, I was proud of myself. I did a little jump for joy before bed. I did it! I persevered through the cleanse ... without passing out!

The verdict:

I learned that a juice cleanse is doable, but three days would be my max. I felt happy and accomplished, and it didn't hurt that I lost weight. Six pounds in three days, to be exact.

The biggest lesson I took from this whole shebang: I learned how to trust my body's instincts. I lost 60 pounds over the past three years, but not until going through this cleanse did I really learn what it is like to truly feel full or hungry. 

I also learned that life without caffeine is livable. I have no problem admitting that I drink a lot of coffee. But without it, I felt healthier and, dare I say it, more alert. Weird, right?! Of course, that didn't stop me from cracking open a Diet Coke my first day post-cleanse!

diet cokeReunited and it feels so good!

Would I recommend cleansing to others? Yes, I would. Just make sure you really understand what you're getting yourself into. Take the time as a mini-vacation from the things that stress you out the most, make sure to drink plenty of water to supplement your juices, and listen to your body. While I may not have loved the entire process while I was going through it, I did enjoy how I felt afterward. Now I can proudly say I juice-cleansed and lived to tell the tale.

What do you think about juice cleanses? Have you or would you ever try one?

 

Images via Emily Abbate

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