I Did a Juice Cleanse and This is What Happened…

juice cleanse experience

Have you ever participated in a juice cleanse before? Known to help give your digestive system a break to recharge and remove unwanted toxins from your body, juice cleanses have become increasingly popular among those looking to make healthy changes in their life. Learn more and read about my recent experience below!

juice cleanse experience

Photo courtesy of New Moon Juice

I did something I told myself I would never do. I recently participated in a 1-day juice cleanse, which meant drinking nothing but liquids for 24 hours. For those who know me and know how much I love foods, this was a big deal!

Why did I do a juice cleanse?

“If you told yourself you would never do it, then why did you?” Great question!

As my passion for nutrition and health has continued to deepen, one “trend” that I never truly understood was any sort of liquid fast, including juice cleanses. As someone who loves to eat and knows the importance of nourishing the body with whole, nutritious foods in order to maximize health, I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around how going on a liquid fast would help someone reach a particular health goal.

But as my experiences and knowledge continue to expand, so do my opinions and thoughts on what a healthy lifestyle looks like and the tools you can take advantage of to get there. Studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and working at a local juice bar, New Moon Juice, has become an integral influence in my journey and is challenging me to take my blinders off and look at health and nutrition in a different way.

Having heard about the benefits of a juice cleanse, I wanted to see what it was like for myself! I wanted to be able to speak from experience when talking to customers of the juice bar about the cleanses, as well as my future health coaching clients. I didn’t just want to know the challenges and benefits of a juice cleanse; I wanted to experience them.

What are the benefits of a juice cleanse?

While this topic is hugely controversial, I do believe that juice cleanses (done for the right reasons) can help individuals reach their health goals.

Juice cleanses are a way to get more phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables into your body than you normally would in a given day. And because you are consuming the juice without fiber, your body absorbs these nutrients into the bloodstream more quickly.

I think the biggest advantage for someone doing a juice cleanse is to look at it as a pathway to healthier living. It can provide the jumpstart needed to crave healthier foods and adopt healthier lifestyle habits. Other benefits that may result from a juice cleanse includes: a clearer mind and increased focus, reduced symptoms related to certain illnesses, decreased inflammation, healthier skin and nails, a healthier digestive system, and even weight loss.

What a Day on a Juice Cleanse Looks Like

I really didn’t know what to expect while on the juice cleanse and truth be told, I was a little nervous. I rely so heavily on nutritious foods to give me the energy I need throughout the day that I was worried about how my body was going to react when I was only feeding it juices.

juice cleanse experience

Here’s what my day and thoughts on the juice cleanse looked like (I must note, I cheated and had some coffee. As we will talk about later, it’s best to prepare for your cleanse so you don’t, ahem, experience a raging caffeine headache).

8 am – drink my first green juice. I woke up and was feeling anxious about the cleanse. Funny how something so small can take you outside of your comfort zone! I was just hoping I would have the energy I needed to get some work done.

10 am – I broke down and had some black coffee with a splash of the hemp milk. I was craving some normalcy in my day and I was texting my juice guru, aka the owner of New Moon Juice, pleading asking if it was acceptable to have coffee. I also drank half of the hemp milk for some protein and satiety. Once I had a sip of coffee, I knew I could do this. (Anyone notice anything – coffee addict!)

12 pm – drank a root juice. Surprisingly, I was feeling great and wasn’t jittery from the coffee (which can happen sometimes when I don’t drink it with food). I was feeling focused and ready to tackle the rest of my day!

2 pm – went to target. Big mistake. I started feeling slightly weak and hungry and decided I better go home, drink a juice and relax. I drank a green juice and the rest of my hemp milk and was productive the rest of the afternoon, while laying on the couch.

4 pm – drank another green juice to power me through the evening.

6 pm – made myself another hemp milk because I was feeling like I needed the protein and a little more substance. I also made (more) coffee because I thought I needed it, but actually didn’t end up drinking it! <- WIN

8 pm – drank ½ of another root juice. I was surprisingly not hungry after a day of juices, but my husband and I were talking about breakfast the next morning which made me crave solid foods. Maybe you shouldn’t talk about pancakes and omelets on a juice cleanse?

I had one green juice leftover that I didn’t drink. I ended up waking up the next morning feeling really good and actually reached for the leftover juice, surprising myself since I thought I would want all the foods!

juice cleanse experience

My Takeaways

If I’m being honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy the cleanse as much as I did and was skeptical about the benefits I would see in just one day. But, the morning after the juice cleanse I felt great! I noticed that my skin and nails were more moisturized and it felt like I had a summer dew (in the midst of winter). I also noticed that my complexion was clearer and less blotchy, I could think more clearly and my energy levels were up!

One thing I didn’t anticipate was how much of a mental battle it would be for me on the day of the cleanse. I believe this challenge I experienced was due to the reason I did the cleanse in the first place. I consider myself a pretty healthy eater and was feeling good about my diet and food choices at the time of the cleanse. The reason I wanted to do the cleanse was for more of a test than it was to jumpstart healthier habits.

Would I do a juice cleanse again?

Absolutely! I think there is something to be said about the benefits of a cleanse and is something that most people can benefit from. However, if I were to do a cleanse that lasted more than a day, I would look at ways to incorporate clean, whole foods into the program that wouldn’t stress the digestive system, but would satisfy my need for substance in my day.

I believe that a cleanse shouldn’t be tasking, rather, it should be enjoyable, and it’s important to find ways to make it realistic to you and your lifestyle, while still being able to reap the benefits. Some people can only go a few hours without something to chew, others can go a few days. It’s best to find what works for you and to listen to your body. This is your journey – no one else’s!

Get an inside glimpse into the day in the life of a juice cleanse, plus learn about the health benefits and 4 tips for making your juice cleanse a success by clicking through! #juicing #health #detox

4 Tips for Making Your Juice Cleanse a Success

Now having successfully completed a juice cleanse, here are four tips to guide you towards success if you are considering one of your own (adapted from the New Moon Juice website):

Find what works for you. Let’s be real. You probably won’t be as successful on a cleanse if you don’t sign up for something you think you might enjoy. While I believe any cleanse might push you outside of your comfort zone a bit (which is a good thing!), there’s no sense in dreading it. Maybe that means you incorporate sweeter juices, more nut milks, solid foods (within reason and are still detoxifying!), or you begin with a half-day and work your way to a few days cleanse.

Prepare for your cleanse! This is what I didn’t do that I should’ve. It’s best to start eliminating certain foods from your diet before your cleanse to prevent your body from going into shock. These foods include: anything processed, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soda, wheat and even meat. It’s also important to remind yourself and reflect on why you are doing the cleanse. Maybe write a motivational saying or reminder somewhere visible to glance at frequently during your cleanse.

Take some time to rest and relax during the cleanse. I didn’t know the importance of resting while on the cleanse until I was already in it. This is especially important for cleanse newbies, like myself. Not only are we giving the digestive system a time to relax, this is also a time to relax your mind and take a break from the demands of every day life.

Set yourself up for success after your cleanse. This is a huge step for success and something I want to dive more into within the programs I will be putting together for future clients and at the juice bar. You signed up for the cleanse to give yourself a healthy reboot, but then what? Do your research and talk to the company you order your juice cleanse from about what this looks like. To me, this means not having a cheeseburger and fries the next day. It means slowly incorporating nutritious foods back into my diet and taking note about how these foods make me feel in order to find what fuels my body best.

Tell me. Have you tried a liquid fast or juice cleanse before? Would you ever give one a try? Share with me in the comment section below!

Join the discussion 96 Comments

  • Chris says:

    I love how detailed this post is! I’ve considered trying something similar to this, but usually I’m put off by the flavours of the juices or it seems a bit daunting having to commit to a brand new routine!

    Great post 🙂

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Thanks, Chris! Even if you just incorporate more juices into your day, you will reap the benefits! But if you don’t like the flavors, don’t force yourself – it’s not for everyone!

  • Candy says:

    Never tried one before
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  • Erin says:

    I love cold pressed juices, but the idea of a juice cleanse totally scares me too! Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

    Also, what widget do you use to get the “Click to Tweet” button? I’d love to know!

  • Chelsea says:

    This was SO interesting for me to read because I’ve gone back and forth on the juice cleanses. I’m a lot like you; I love EATING so the fact that I wouldn’t be chewing on anything all day is bothersome. I think I’m going to try this with my friend! Baby steps; I’ll incorporate my morning coffee as well! This is such a fabulous post. I tweeted and will be referring back to it! I also love your tip about relaxing while you do this; if I went to Target to run errands I would probably be feeling dizzy as well!
    Chelsea recently posted…10 Travel-Inspired Spaces You’ll LoveMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Thanks, Chelsea! I’m so glad you found this post helpful. Let me know how your first cleanse goes! 🙂

  • Jenn Slavich says:

    Good for you! I have done 1 juice cleanse and felt great. I’ve heard of people doing more then 1 day. Not sure if I could go more then 1 day without chewing food!

  • I’ve done a 3 day juice cleanse and honestly it sucked. I could probably do 1 day like you did. After about halfway through the 2nd day I was grumpy and hungry for solid foods. Not doing that again!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Oh no! I think that’s why I mentioned that I would incorporate some foods into a multi-day cleanse. I think I would need the substance!

  • tianna says:

    thanks for these helpful tips! I did a cleanse a few years back, but I had some of the same issues as you. It’s so hard to not crave solid food. Maybe I could do better on a 24 hour cleanse (the previous one I did was 3 days). Thanks for sharing this!

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  • Leah says:

    I have never tried a juice cleanse. I have thought about it, and even though I am a coffee addict too, I can go without for a day if needed (I did it for 18 months with 2 kids!). Thanks for the great info!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      I can’t imagine 18 months with no coffee!! I have recently started drinking a matcha tea latte in the morning instead of coffee and I am liking it better!

  • Kari says:

    Thanks for sharing! I have been thinking about doing one too!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  • GiGi Eats says:

    Juice cleanses make me SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO mad! Whenever someone says they are going on one, I want to punch them in the face.

    I don’t want to punch you though, don’t worry – I know you did it as an experiment and you were smart about it!
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    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Hahahaha… they did me too GiGi! I just didn’t understand it. I think you have to do it for the right reasons and I believe you can still achieve what you want to achieve while incorporating some foods, too. I can’t imagine not eating for an extended period of time!

  • Sarah Twain says:

    Wow- I have been in two minds about doing a juice cleanse, but now I’ve seen this- that’s it!

  • michelle says:

    i have been debating doing a juice cleanse so i’m pleased to see that you have good things to say about it
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  • Sola says:

    I have to admit, I’m a little scared to try a juice cleanse. But you gave a lot of awesome reasons why I should get over my fears and give it a chance. I think I’m going to give it a go at the beginning of Feb. Thank you for sharing your experiences!
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  • Neely says:

    I’ve done a few juice cleanses and Im a huge fan. I drink a green juice daily which I love

  • Mistle says:

    I’ve never done a juice cleanse before but I have a lot of friends that have done it. I’ve heard there are so many great benefits of doing one. I love that you said it made your skin look better. That’s always a plus as well as feeling better. I may have to complete a cleanse soon!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Yes! I also notice a difference when I drink juices regularly, so you just have to find what works for you!

  • tina says:

    Thanks for all the great tips. I’ve been curious about juice cleanses. I can’t believe that you are not hungry during it. I guess I just feel like I need to chew ! 🙂

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      That’s how I thought I would feel too! But it was kind of nice not having to think about what I was going to eat for once… ha!

  • I’ve been wanting to do a juice cleanse. I’ve never tried it before. Glad to know you’d do it again!
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  • Tara says:

    I do a 21 day cleanse each year in January. It’s liquids for the am and pm meals, and a big, healthy afternoon lunch. The first few days are always really tough, but my the second week I have so much more energy! Thanks for sharing. those juices look fantastic.
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    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Now, that’s a cleanse I could do! I love that you have some foods in there somewhere 🙂

  • Kell says:

    I did a 7 day lemon juice cleanse with small clean meals about2 years ago. It cleared my skin up so nice! Haven’t done anything since. Not sure if that counts 😉

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      I’ve seen the lemon juice cleanses! I’m glad you had meals with it… 7 days is a long time!

  • Ri says:

    i have never tried juice cleaning…now i may

  • Jazmine says:

    I’ve heard of these but never really stopped to look up on it. This seems like something I’d be interested in trying in the near future once I start some sort of exercise routine and healthy diet. Is this similar to a detox?
    Jazmine recently posted…How To Accomplish Your Goals Like A BossMy Profile

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Hi Jazmine! Yes – it is similar. It’s really just about giving yourself time to relax and your body a break, while supplying it with so many nutrients. I would suggest taking a break from exercise while on the cleanse if you decide to try one!

  • Very interesting! It is nice to get a testimonial from a real person lol

  • Chelsea says:

    I’ve never tried one just because I feel like there wouldn’t really be any benefits from doing it for one day, but I also know nothing about juice cleanses, so I don’t know, ahhaha. I’d definitely not be able to make it through a three day one!

  • I’ve always wanted to try a juice cleanse but have been too scared to do it. I LOVE food so I’ve always been afraid that if get weak, cranky or generally just feel awful without it for just a day. But honestly after reading this I’m kind of motivated to try it after my son is born.

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      You never know until you try! The good news is – you don’t have to do it exactly as planned. If you start to feel cranky and miserable, have a snack! It’s not the end of the world and you will still be supplying your body with lots of nutrients!

  • Karen says:

    I couldn’t agree more, set yourself up for success by planning. One day isn’t hard and it an be fun to experiment. I know when I do mini cleanses it usually is to set myself up for future success in changing the way I eat or what I eat. Congrats.

  • Kam Kay says:

    Sounds interesting. I have never done juice cleansing but like to try sometime.
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  • Kay Tee says:

    I honestly prefer to eat my fruits and veggies because I don’t like to drink green juices. Weird, I know. I don’t even like the consistency of milkshakes. However, I do need to replace my lunches with a juice or something. This is when I tend to head for fast food. I’ll try a non green juice for results like yours. Great post!

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Just start small! There are so many flavors of green drinks to try. I would suggest finding one that has a lot of fruit, like apple or pineapple, to start and then work your way towards the more “green” stuff!

  • Kristin says:

    I’ve never tried a liquid cleanse but I have a lot of friends who have and they saw great results!
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  • Jackie says:

    I’m not a huge fan of green juices, but am a big fan of green smoothies. I’m usually piling the greens into my blender. I just never acquired the taste or texture of the juices! The ones you tried look good though! 🙂
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  • Taylor Layne says:

    I love juice cleanses! We have an incredible organic cold-pressed juice bar here in Kansas City made with all local produce. I try and do a 3 day juice cleanse every quarter or so. I just feel so much better! Thanks for writing this post girl!

    Have a beautiful day!

  • Sarah says:

    Wow that sounds pretty difficult actually! I think I could maybe do one day, but anymore than that and I think I’d be miserable. This was a really interesting post!
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  • Lisa Sharp says:

    Honestly I’m not a fan. Most juice cleanse have a lot of sugar and are missing some key nutrition like protein. And most weight loss is just water and/or due to a big increase in fiber. Also sudden diet changes can be tough on your body.

    We all have to research things ourselves and decide what we feel is best but I prefer long term and sustainable changes. Most of us could use more fruits, veggies and fiber so adding some smoothies or healthy juices into our diet can be super helpful, I just think it’s best to keep it more balanced. But again, to each their own. 🙂

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Hi Lisa! I agree with you that it’s important to research and find what’s best for you. I am all about finding longterm, sustainable changes, which is why I suggested that it’s best to look at the cleanse as a jumpstart, not a fix. Some people need this, others can be successful simply incorporating more nutrient-rich foods into their diet! Thanks for your comment!

  • Christine says:

    I’m glad you had such a great experience. I tried the Master Cleanse once about 15 years ago but did not prepare properly and started eating solid food on the third day. I love to drink fresh juice but I don’t know if I would do a cleanse again. Thanks for sharing your experience!
    PS I’m an IIN grad 😄

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Ah, Christine! So happy to connect! I have my first IIN exam coming up and I’m a little nervous. How in depth is it? Do you have any tips for me on how best to prepare??

  • Britt Hanson says:

    I find juice cleanses so intriguing, haha. I think I might have to try one some day!

  • I have always wanted to do a juice cleanse! Have to try this!
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  • I think I would have gave up at Target! I have gone back and forth between doing this I just don’t know if I have the self will!
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  • Tish says:

    Great post. I’ve done several 10 day juice cleanses in the past. It always ends up being more about metal hunger than physical hunger. Good to keep all the benefits in mind to stay motivated.
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  • Cassandra says:

    I love juicing! Did a juice cleanse a few years ago and it was amazing.
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  • Nicole says:

    I’ve been going back and forth on doing a juice cleanse. I used to juice for breakfast and I really need to get back into making juice.
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  • I did a juice cleanse, well I’ve done it a few times. I bought a juicer and actually made all of my own juices, and while I lost a significant amount of weight the first time, it was also not that great since most of the juices I actually liked were fruit and too sugary-so I had big sugar crashes from it. Also, I hated cleaning the juicer haha!
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    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Haha! I’ve never made juices at home, but I hear it can be a pain to clean the juicer. It is easy to get sidetracked with the super sweet ones! I think I’ve had so many now, that I actually prefer the veggie-based ones 🙂

  • WOW! I totally thought this post would be negative towards juice cleanses. After reading it, I want to try! I admit, I love FOOD but a juice cleanse might be a good change of pace! Are most of the juices made with a little fruit, to make them at least tolerable?
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    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Hi Chrissa! The type of juices totally depends on where you get them from. If you are making them at home, I suggest researching a program to follow. If you get them from somewhere, they will typically have a program already designed, so I would encourage you to talk with them to find juices that sound good to you! There are juices made with a lot of fruit/little green, half and half or more veggie-based. I love them all!

  • Tiffany says:

    Good for you for giving it a try. Juice cleanses are not my bag but this looks pretty yummy!

  • Roxy says:

    I have REALLY been wanting to try a juice cleanse. I know people that have done 7 days, but I just don’t have that kind of will power. I didn’t even know they had 1 day cleanses out there! I’m going to keep this tips in mind and make it happen this year!
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    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Hi Roxy! Some places might not. What I love about the company I work for is they are willing to meet you where your at. If that means a 1-day cleanse, great! You can always get a 3 day cleanse and see how it feels and add in some foods if need be!

  • KatyRose says:

    I think I could handle this for a day, might even enjoy it. But the people who do a week or more on nearly only liquids – those people I think are crazy! Maybe I should try this soon to experience the benefits for myself. Great post! – Katy
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  • This was really eye-opening for me! I’ve always thought cleanses were weird, and I too consider myself a pretty healthy eater so I’ve never really thought I could do one. I can’t believe you actually felt results within one day! (I also can’t imagine feeling full after a day of juice.) You’ve encouraged me to be more open-minded to this stuff… and maybe I’ll try it myself! How did you decide what kinds of juices to make? Could you share any resources?

    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Hi! I got the cleanse from the juice company I work for since I don’t have a juicer at home. Most juice bars have a cleanse program that you can check out. If you are doing a one day cleanse, I would suggest 3 greens for your “meals”, 2 root-based (carrot or beet) and at least 1 nut milk for fullness. If you have a juice bar located near you, I would suggest visiting them and talking through what would work best for you!

  • Tamara says:

    I keep debating doing one of these, and I think it might be time to try one.

  • I’ve always been sceptical of cleanses or liquid diets, but this seems good to do a reboot. Like you said, I’m curious how sustaining it would be over a longer cleanse since our bodies are designed to eat whole foods. You survived the day at least!
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    • Carly Ferguson says:

      I’m curious about that, too… I don’t know if I could go multiple days without foods!

  • Wow. I have never tried a juice cleanse but this sounds great! Noticeable changes just after one day? That is amazing. I am a coffee addict here, too! I will definitely check New Moon Juice website and be pinning this post. I am surprised the business is in Orlando! I live close by and have never heard of them. Thanks!
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    • Carly Ferguson says:

      Hi Elizabeth! New Moon Juice has been in business for a year, but we are about to open our first juice bar location in College Park! We would love for you to come visit 🙂 So fun to connect with someone from Orlando!