I just finished a 3 day (83 hours, to be exact…) vegetable and fruit juice cleanse. Not one bite of food for 3 days. Not one adult beverage for 3 days. But more shocking than any of that…
NO COFFEE FOR 4 DAYS!!!!!
A few weeks ago, rather than lounging by the pool at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok, I signed up for a full day of medical tests and exams at Thailand’s Bumrungrad International Hospital. The results… I’m healthy. Very healthy! In fact, my doctor said he had only seen 3-4 other people the week prior as healthy as me! In that moment, all I could do was laugh. Then my doctor laughed. Then I stopped laughing and looked straight into his eyes. Then he stopped laughing. Then I asked if he was serious. He said yes. Then I asked if he would be interested in being my new doctor.
It was a very good day.
As a reward, I wanted to treat my hard-working body with a few days of rest and rejuvenation. So, when I passed the newly opened Pressed Juices shop on Hollywood Road last Saturday, I decided to go for it! [Side confession: I already had dinner reservations for that following Monday, and since nothing comes between me and a meal at Restoration, I started my juice cleanse the day after, last Tuesday.]
I did a cold pressed juice cleanse. Cold pressing is the closest thing to raw, pure vegetables, allowing for a more concentrated amount of nutrients, that would be impossible to achieve by eating raw vegetables alone. Because of this, cold pressed juices should be consumed within 2 days of pressing. Since Pressed Juices is only one block from my home, I decided to pick-up my juices each morning for maximum benefit.
Unlike the majority of juice cleanses out there, those loaded with sugary fruit juices, mine leaned heavy on vegetables. In fact, I only had one fruit juice per day (known as the happy hour). I do not eat greens, so I knew this cleanse would be challenging. But honestly, my low points (and I had a few) had nothing to do with the taste or lack of chewing, but rather stemmed from the never-ending headaches. Also, I never realized until this week how much I think about food! What’s for lunch?… What plans have been made for dinner or drinks?… having that huge factor removed, made me feel a little bored.
My daily cleanse consisted of 4 bottles of vegetables (Greens 1, Greens 3 and Earth 1), 1 fruit (Zing 3), 2 waters (1 chlorophyll and 1 aloe vera) and 1 smoothy (Nourish). On top of that, I had two cups of mint tea (which I really grew to love the ritual of making each day) and 2 liters of regular filtered bottled water.
Oh, yeah… and one bottle of Tylenol.
I kept telling myself the cleanse wouldn’t be hard. But once I got going, it was hard. I guess if it were easy, more people would do them. Detoxification is hard work on your body and mind. I quickly felt my body changing. All kinds of stuff was happening internally and I quickly learned how important it was to take it easy and allow my body more rest, more sleep, and more quiet time.
Throughout the cleansing process, I documented what I was feeling and experiencing so I could provide some real… according to Ken insight.
Day 1: 8:00am- Although the juice shop is only a short block from my home, in this humidity, I was ready for my first juice the second I arrive. And because of the heat, I easily downed my first Greens 1 (celery, cucumber, kale, lettuce, parsley and spinach) without much hesitation.
After a full day of light headaches from the day prior’s pre-detox with no coffee, I couldn’t bring myself to passing Starbucks for a second time. Being new at the whole tea thing, I ended up ordering a mint tea (no caffeine), rather than my usual black eye (bold coffee with 2 shots of espresso). I immediately felt better having that familiar cup in my hand for my morning commute across the harbor.
It’s now 11:00am, and I just finished Earth 1 (beetroot, carrot, celery, cucumber, kale, lettuce, parsley and spinach), along with a cup of mint tea and about half of the Refresh 2 (chlorophyll filtered water). Typically, I would have already had a litter of regular filtered water, but I don’t feel dehydrated… at all… and I don’t think I could handle any more trips to the restroom. The detox is in full swing!
It’s 2:00pm- I’m back from my daily workout at the gym downstairs and just finished my Greens 3 (apple, celery, cucumber, ginger, kale, lemon, parsley and spinach). I don’t normally eat greens, but the taste isn’t anywhere near as bad as I imagined. It’s not good… but not horrible either. I like G3 better than G1, as the lemon and ginger provides a little kick.
4:00pm- I just enjoyed my one and only fruit juice of the day, Zing 3 (pineapple, ginger, mint and pear). Which I found yuuuummmmmmy!!!!! Happy Hour started early today!
It’s now 5:30pm. I signed up for a 3 day detox, but secretly planned to do 5 days. I just decided that’s not happening. I feel like I’ve spent more time in the restroom than my office today. I have one ugly headache happening. I just looked at the stop watch I set on my phone last night after eating. It’s now been 21 hours since I last ate. Happy hour is over.
6:20pm- After packing up my remaining juices, I headed home having the last of my Greens 1 (celery, cucumber, kale, lettuce, parsley and spinach) on the ferry back to the island. After noticing my bright green juice, a lady on the ferry asked where I bought my juice. I told her not in Tsim Sha Tsui, but rather in Soho @ the new Pressed Juices. As I sat there learning how hard it is to find green juice in TST, I knew this green stuff was more powerful than I expected. As this was the first time in nearly 3 years anyone had approached me for a conversation on the ferry!
On my walk home I stopped for a massage, to further help release toxins, but more importantly to keep me distracted from eating. As I was leaving my massage at 8:30pm, I drank my last juice of the day; Smoothy Nourish (acai, almonds, almond meal, dates, blackberry, cinnamon, filtered water, sea salt and vanilla bean). Not only did it feel good having something of substance on my tongue, the taste was really good to boot. [Side note: That is the weirdest sentence I have ever typed.]
As soon as I got home I was ready for a drink of water, so I pulled out my Refresh 1 (aloe vera filtered water). I wanted to make sure nothing interrupted my sleep, so I stayed up until around 10:00pm, before going to bed.
DAY 2: I started day 2 with a melt down (both literally and figuratively speaking…) at the juice shop. The juice shop wasn’t open at 8:00am…. as they said they would be… and after waiting 20 minutes in 100% precipitation, every fiber of cotton on my body was soaked with sweat. Not happy or pretty, I finally had to leave only to jump into Hong Kong’s one and only English-speaking taxi. [Side note: THIS NEVER HAPPENS, BUT ALWAYS A DREAM OF MINE!] However, on that particular morning I was not in the mood to be questioned about the World Cup and where I am from and how long have I lived in Hong Kong and why do I take the ferry and not the MTR and why didn’t I have a superman outfit under my shirt ( ??? ), as I proceeded to change in the backseat into my gym clothes, and why. am. I. so. quiet.
Once my juices were delivered to my office later that morning, I downed my Greens 1 and thirty minutes later finished off my Earth 1. All seemed better once I was back on track with my juice schedule. Sending an angry email to Pressed Juices, also felt good. Having that email bounce back undelivered because I mistyped their email address, felt even better.
Should I say now, my second day had moments of euphoria but was mainly filled with moments of major irritability? I didn’t think so.
DAY 3: I woke up day three with lower back pain, most likely from all the liquid my kidneys had processed over the last 48 hours, but overall I felt lighter and my stomach flatter. Once I got in front of the mirror, I had a long talk with myself on how I should do another juice cleanse soon, as my face and eyes looked amazing! Even my lips were glowing. It was a really long talk. I couldn’t get over myself.
Not willing to take any chances of another melt down, I had requested the balance of my juices be delivered to my office the day prior. Once I got to work I started juicing. I felt more alert than the other two days. I also felt my taste buds were working better than ever, as I could taste each of the greens in my juices. The best part of the day was finally being able to think about food again. I even jumped on Pinterest for a few minutes, before realizing what an awful idea that was. [Side call-out: Jack, I’ll be back for your famous potato salad.]
So, was it life changing? I would say YES! I can’t express how proud I am of myself for doing this juice cleanse. It was a huge test of willpower and I can’t believe I won for a change! Deep down I also think the HK$500 per day cost provided additional motivation to stick to it. I will continue to eat at places like Restorations (In fact, I’m meeting some friends there this Sunday for all-you-can-eat steak…) but I will not go as often. I also plan to eat less sugary treats and reach for more fruits. And for someone who never eats greens, I now feel those days are behind me. This… IS BIG NEWS PEOPLE!!
To learn more about Pressed Juices Hong Kong , go for it here!