I’ve been working at Faith Juice for about 8 months now, covering weekend shifts and the occasional market evening. I have prepared countless cleanses in my afternoons in the little shed under the tree and promoted the colourful concoctions to many customers. I’ve always known of the many benefits of juice cleanses however it was based on accounts from others and theory. So, I figured it was about time I practiced what I preached. After all I was growing increasingly curious about the ‘Day 1 Black Lemonade’ (which isn’t on the standard menu) as well as those notorious caffeine withdrawal headaches. My body also felt in need of some boosted detoxification after feeling not quite itself for the past few months. I wanted to use this experience as a sort of reset, a jump start, to feeling at home in my physical again. I also wanted to be able to say, from first-hand experience, how I experienced the juice cleanse program.
Naturally, working at a juice bar and all, I drink a lot of juice. At home I’ve experimented with some weird and wonderful combinations so I am no stranger to the taste of greens or the tang of ginger. It was the absence of a warm dinner and my morning instant coffee fix that I was weary of.
Feeling ready, I walked down to the Noordhoek Farm Village on the morning of my juice cleanse – Day 1. I did have mild envy of those sipping on their flat whites on the deck of the Village Roast. I knew that under the foamy layer was the caffeine I had been depending on for the last 4 months, to get me through a school day. Trying not to linger on the coffee grind aroma, I collected my cooler bag which was clearly labelled “Clara”, accompanied by a sweet little flower doodle, a nice personal touch from Joy.
My first drink, the Black Lemonade, was a pleasant change as it was the only juice I hadn’t tasted before at work. Zingy, zesty and rather zany. An exciting twist on the traditional sweet and sour refresher. Throughout the rest of the day, I drank my juices at the 3-hour intervals and was slightly peckish at times, but never hungry. It was only at supper time, when my family sat down to my sister’s falafel-pitas that I wanted something warm and solid in my stomach. What helped a lot was that the last juice of the day was always, in my opinion, the nicest one; fruity and sweeter than most.
Day 2 of my cleanse proceeded in a similar fashion. I was working a shift that day and experiencing the infamous caffeine withdrawal headache. However, I never missed the absence of food as I was in juice-mode; making delicious drinkables from the fruit and veg in the fridge. In the evening I visited the weekly Wednesday Noordhoek market, as I often do, and my usual lentil curry and caramel pancake were definitely missed. Watching my friend indulge in a hearty burger didn’t help much either but it wasn’t all that difficult to stick out, I was drinking a Spice-C and that was Day 2 done.
On the third day my cooler bag accompanied me to school as I received my exam marks. I was really getting into the routine of it, the 8am juice and 11am smoothie were little markers in the day I looked forward to. The last-day-of-grade-11-cupcakes baked by my friend weren’t easy to turn down but the headache was mostly gone and my body was feeling good. By the time supper came around I was no longer resisting the process as I quite happily sipped on my juice while others munched on bean curry.
The next morning, having finished my cleanse, I could eat solid food again. Before starting the cleanse, I had expected to be thrilled at the thought of some oats and instant coffee with milk and honey for breakfast the morning after day 3. However, contrary to this, I didn’t feel the need. I proceeded to make myself a smoothie followed by some green tea (although I did linger at the thought of Nescafe)
All in all, it was a good experience and I’m happy I can now give a first-hand account of the three-day cleanse. Its not the easiest but Joy certainly designs the program in a way that makes it as enjoyable as possible, and of course the juices are delicious!
I’ve hopped back onto the coffee train. I feel balance is important and my little daily dose of caffeine isn’t going to kill me. The cleanse was a reminder to eat and nourish my body more mindfully and I’m learning to gradually tweak my habits to accommodate this. I would recommend getting into a routine of a smoothie or juice daily if possible, just to keep the goodness steadily flowing.
If you’re unsure or feel you need some sort of reset; go for it folks! Even if its just a two day, you’re showing your body some love and that’s always, always, always a good thing!