An Update On The Great Juice Cleanse Of 2013

I hate juice.

I hate fruit juice.

I hate vegetable juice.

I hate freshly-made juice and I hate Cooler Cleanse juice.

So yeah, The Great Juice Cleanse of 2013 is going supremely well! Clearly.

ARE THESE POP-UPS NECESSARY, EVERY WEBSITE??? No. Get that shit off my screen.
ARE THESE POP-UPS NECESSARY, EVERY WEBSITE??? No. Get that shit off my screen.

To refresh your potentially short-term memory: I am in the midst of a self-Brian-mandated 10-day juice cleanse. The goal is to clean out my digestive system and let my body recover, heal and restart itself in the wake of the most brutal Crohn’s disease (“CrohnsColitis”) flare-up I’ve ever had.

Today, Monday, April 8, marks Day 7. I have officially been cleansing for one week.

I will wait while you rush my office door to pat me on the back.

JUICY SELF-PORTRAIT! Mom, you can frame it. Brian, you can, too. This photo is proof that I made it to Day 3. So impressive.
JUICY SELF-PORTRAIT! Mom, you can frame it. Brian, you can, too. This photo is proof that I made it to Day 3. So impressive.

Thank you.

I mentioned last week that Day 1 was really hard for me. On Day 1, I didn’t think about feeling better or moving forward. Instead, on Day 1 I thought about grilled cheese sandwiches. So I had a tough time embracing what was ahead.

Day 2 was easier, and Day 3 was simpler still. In fact, on the evening of Day 3, I got a little treat with my dinner.

Now if that's not the best garnish you've ever seen...
Now if that’s not the best garnish you’ve ever seen…

I was admittedly not drinking enough juice throughout the day, so by nighttime I was starving and empty-feeling. I needed something with more substance, so Dr. Brian gave me a hunk of watermelon upon the agreement that I would “really carefully pick out all the seeds first.”

Those few bites of watermelon…oh man. They were like dunking my head underneath a chocolate fountain. I savored every little nibble.

Day 4 kicked off what I knew would be a challenge: a weekend road trip to Boston both to see my family and to attend my college friend’s bridal shower.

Family = food.

Bridal shower = food.

Road trip = chicken nuggets.

I went into the weekend feeling strong, though. My stomach had begun to ease up and my bathroom trips were less frequent and more enjoyable, if that’s possible. OK let’s go with “less painful and sob-worthy” instead of “enjoyable.”

The drive up to Boston with my friend Lauren got off to a fine start. I took a trip to Juice Generation before we left so I could stock up on juices for the weekend (I wasn’t bringing the juicer with me). Lauren even brought some juices of her own in support…

Lauren's juice (on the left, mostly complete) and my juice (on the right, pathetic little sips).
Lauren’s juice (on the left, mostly complete) and my juice (on the right, pathetic little sips).

…and then her hangover demanded that we stop at McDonald’s for Chicken McNuggets. Lauren’s lucky she was such a spectator extraordinaire when I ran the Hamptons Marathon, otherwise I may have dumped my juice over her head, punched her in the face and run away with her remaining nuggets.

Yeah, I’ve seen the pink slime videos. I know what those McYummies are made out of. But on Day 4, I really wanted one. Or 12.

I resisted though! And we powered on to a little town north of Beantown where my brother, his wife and my best friend forever reside.

You thought this post would be all photos of juice? YOU ARE WRONG. Tyler!!!
You thought this post would be all photos of juice? YOU ARE WRONG. Tyler!!!

My parents came down for the night, too, and they decided to order in Italian food for dinner.

Dinner was hard. I sat there with my Grapefruit & Mint Cooler Cleanse as they chowed down on pizza, cheesy garlic bread and pasta with some sort of buttery scampi sauce.

But again, I stayed strong. And, oddly, I really enjoyed being around their food and smelling it. While they went to town on bread, cheese and saucy things, I positioned my nose dangerously close to the opening of a bottle of A1 steak sauce and took many deep whiffs.

I love A1 steak sauce. I would bathe in it.

Maybe I should bathe in it…and then drown in it for a little bit.

No. I’m not a steak.

So I got through family dinner without giving in! Hooray! I’m so strong!

By Day 5 I was in my groove. Breakfast? I’m good. Bridal shower food? I can say no to that. Even the crab cakes. Ryan’s nachos and pizza for dinner? Whatevs, I’ll have my juice. Also, Ryan, are you sure we have the same disease? Why can you eat that and I have to eat…nothing?

On Day 5, I also reached a critical halfway point realization. I had miscalculated! Juicing for 10 days did not mean juicing until Saturday. My math is gross! It means I can eat again on Friday! That discovery was critical to my mental state.

There were times during Day 5 (Saturday) when I really liked the idea of breaking the cleanse and mauling a jar of peanut butter. But I liked the idea of feeling better even more, so that kept me going. During the bridal shower I repeatedly reminded myself that I want to be healthy and dancey at my friend’s wedding, so I need to make little sacrifices now. That’s doable enough.

I poured my green juice into a wine glass. Because I'm fancy. It needed to be stirred...
I poured my green juice into a wine glass. Because I’m fancy. It needed to be stirred…

Another thing that helped while I was at the shower was the fact that I had run my mouth so much leading up to it. I had announced to the world (or whatever) that I was doing a 10-day juice cleanse. Not a one-day cleanse. Not a nine-day cleanse. I was doing 10 days. I would feel like a tragic loser if I reported back saying I had only made it to Day 2 before I threw in the towel and threw back a plate of BBQ chicken.

The more I talked about juicing, the easier it was to do it.

With the bride-to-be. My juice didn't make it in the photo. I wanted to keep the focus on her pretty hair, not my ugly lunch.
With the bride-to-be. My juice didn’t make it in the photo. I wanted to keep the focus on her pretty hair, not my ugly lunch.

That’s not to say this has been easy.

It hasn’t.

By the end of the weekend, my passing cravings included cheese and crackers, macaroni and cheese, sea bass, a sweet potato in any form, Levain bakery cookies (I’m thinking the peanut butter chocolate chunk ones), those McNuggets, a foot massage (Brian!!!), sleep, Oreo’s and a meat lover’s pizza.

I stood by the Papa Gino's at a rest stop and smelled the pizza. It made me happy for about two seconds...until the guy behind the counter asked if he could take my order and I had to run away from him.
I stood by the Papa Gino’s at a rest stop and smelled the pizza. It made me happy for about two seconds…until the guy behind the counter asked if he could take my order and I had to run away from him.

The cravings all passed quickly enough…except for the still-unfulfilled foot massage one. (Brian!!!)

But then Day 6 arrived.

I woke up on Day 6 ready to quit. I knew I could keep going, I just didn’t want to.

I was hungry. I wanted to chew. I wanted Eggs Benedict.

I was tired of liquids. I was tired of drinking all my meals and I was just plain tired and energy-less.

Snuggle time with Tyler is my favorite. Mostly because I didn't have the energy to do much else.
Snuggle time with Tyler is my favorite. Mostly because I didn’t have the energy to do much else.

The first thing I noticed when I woke up on Day 6 was that my boobs had disappeared. Naturally I’ve lost a bit of weight already by doing this (based on how things fit, since I haven’t actually weighed myself since my last doctor’s appointment), which was not the goal. But between the flare-up and then eliminating solid foods, my pants are slightly baggier and, evidently, I have gone concave up top. That’s a sad loss.

Day 6 generally sucked. For six days, I had remained mostly positive. I was excited to feel better and I was motivated! I was going to prove to the world (Brian!!!) that I could do this! I could juice for 10 days like it was no big deal and I was going to emerge with happy, healthy intestines! Ka-pow, bitches!

On Day 6, though, I started feeling frustrated again. I just wanted the cleanse to be over already. I didn’t want to plan for another week without food. I wanted more energy and I wanted to run or spin or do anything active after just about a month off.

So I teetered around Meltdown Territory for a while once I got back to my apartment. I sulked around, drank half a juice and whined like the brat we all know I can be sometimes (all the time).

It was also cute that every single commercial on TV Sunday (still on Day 6 here) was for food. Domino’s! Velveeta! Ragu! Maybe it doesn’t help that I tortured myself by watching “Hell’s Kitchen,” but still. Sunday from 3 PM until 11 PM will not go down in history as being my “finest hours.”

It should also be noted that on Day 6, in a fit of tears-about-to-happen, I stomped my way into the kitchen, took out a spoon and slowly enjoyed a tiny (heaping) scoop of almond butter.

So I guess I technically cheated, both by having that bit of watermelon and the almond butter. But I don’t care. Judge me accordingly and then shut up. (Love you.)

That brings us to Day 7.

Last one. Promise.
Last one. Promise.

I’m so close to the finish line that I can taste it.


I can taste food.

And I can hear my sneakers crying from the closet where I have banished them. We miss each other so much.

The upside? I haven’t had to do laundry for a month.

The other upside? I’m not running for the bathroom crazy-often. And I’ve slept through the night three nights in a row without painful interruptions.

So maybe this will work. Maybe it won’t.

I’m going to keep throwing juicer tantrums either way.

Stay tuned, my friends! We’re in the home stretch.



44 Responses

  1. I’ve just come across this blog as I was searching the benefits of juice cleanses for Ulcerative Colitis (which I have… yay.). So I assume, for you, that the health benefits of the daily juice helped your Crohn’s symptoms? And because I have twins and can never get through reading just about anything, we’re you making your own juices or purchasing the pre-made ones? I was considering Raw Cooler Cleanse…? Sorry for all the questions 🙂

  2. Nice! Thanks for sharing these updates and how you’re feeling each day of the cleanse. It really helps take that “unknown” scariness out of juice cleansing!

  3. Wow! I hope you’re ok and you finished your juice cleanse today. Did you drink your DIY juices or bought it in the bottles? I hope you’re not newbie in juicing because it’s very hard for newbie to start from such 10 days diet. You’re really very strong. With all these meals and your participation I thought it’s impossible to avoid foods. You’re very brave! But don’t you think it maybe dangerous to your health?

  4. I’m pretty sure I would gauge my eyes out with a fork if I had to do a juice cleanse, so way to hang in there with missing any eyes.

  5. Not that I am going through the same thing as you at all!!….but here is a story for you:

    I had to do the same juice cleanse once to “reset” my stomach/bowel/digestive system. AND I had a wedding during the 7 days. So I had to bring two juices to a “sit down dinner” at a wedding!!!!…..On top of it, I where I sat at the “SINGLES table” (where I didn’t know anyone, and it was 75% men) and when everyone else was brought STEAK…the waiter brought my two juices out. I WANTED TO DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT and eat all their steaks at once.

  6. You’re so brave and remarkable to try this and I’m so happy to hear that it’s working out great for you. Home stretch! Yay!

  7. I know I don’t really know you or anything, but I’m really proud of you, and if I lived in NY I’d totally pat you on the back 🙂

    I know you are probably tired of talking about juice, but for someone who might maybe want to try a juice cleanse, and doesn’t own a juicer, what would you recommend?

    1. I think it depends on what your goals and intentions are with the juice cleanse. You can look into BluePrint Cleanse or Cooler Cleanse for 3- or 5-day options. They’ll deliver to your house and then you don’t need a juicer (though they’re quite pricey). I honestly don’t know anything about juicing beyond what I’m doing for myself, so I’m hesitant to give any sort of advice. I’m sorry!

  8. You are kicking butt! I’ve never made it past 3 days of juicing – I know how hard it is! I am SO GLAD to hear that things are calming down – intenstionally speaking 🙂 Keep it up!

    1. I’ve never made it past day 3 either. I actually find it easier to do a water fast than a juice fast. You did so well. And you look great on it too Ali – although maybe showing a little strain on day 7! How is the Crohn’s now, did all the juice have the results you wanted?

  9. My god, your will power is remarkable. I know I’m all about clean eating and food impacting your health, but I don’t know if I could do a 10 day juice cleanse. For kicks (yes, I’m an idiot) I decided to try a fruit cleanse a few years ago. All fruit and fruit juice, all the time. I made it a day and a half before I was ready to eat my own arm. I just wanted to sink my teeth into something solid and substantial.
    You are amazing, and by the way, you are glowing in those pictures and it does sound like things (at least physically) are improving, so there’s that. You rock!

  10. No night sweats and major badass points for being so strong about this. I’m a little bit envious of your will-power.

    Pretty much all your photos show green juice. Are you drinking any different ones? I think maybe changing it up a bit and having a wider range of flavors might help you cope? You might be already doing this but just thought I’d mention…

    Good luck! Almost there!

  11. I am bowled over that you kept up your cleanse over the weekend. I would have caved for sure. I reckon that’s the worst bit over…now it’s downhill all the way to the finish line. I feel like you should actually get a medal at the end…bling always motivates me!! Hang in there…it’s nearly over.

  12. YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR. Keep up the good work; you LOOK better and FEEL better what more can you ask for. Hang in there friend, New Hampshire is rooting for you!

  13. Way to rock it out! I don’t know you at all but I can say you look really great in these pictures. Keep busy this week like you always do and the time will slip right on by. BTW I caved on day 2 of my juice fast for a grilled cheese so I know what kind of power bread and cheese can have. But you are way stronger so I know you can do it. I can’t wait to hear how it all was worth it in the end. Also the juice fast that I did allowed a caffeine free pepermint tea. Not sure if that’s your thing but it was a nice diversion from juice on occasion. Keep it up!!

  14. You can do it, Ali! Juice sucks, but it sounds like it might be making you better so keep it up. And pick the best thing you love to eat on Friday, only a few short days away!

  15. It really sounds like this is working for you! Are you going to slowly start incorporating food into your diet again to make sure your body can handle it? You are seriously glowing in those pictures so it’s obviously doing great things! 😀

    1. Yes, that’s the plan. As excited as I am to start eating again, I’m also nervous about how things are going to digest. Slow, steady and a bit at a time!

  16. Ali, you are so disciplined! I watched “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” this weekend. I hope juicing works for you the way it worked for those guys in the documentary. They’re filming a sequel, maybe you can be in it. 🙂
    Instead of my usual breakfast (nothing too exciting, but I won’t mention any hard food here), I went to Juice Generation and got a Supa Dupa Green Juice. So, am I only supposed to have one juice in place of every meal? Only three juices a day? I’m going to be very hungry, but I have to qualify that I decided to give it try in place of my day time food (breakfast, lunch, snacks), but have a sensible dinner — kind of like the SlimFast shakes, but healthy instead of gas inducing and horrible tasting.
    Keep it up Ali at least for the full 10 days. Just think those guys in the documentary did it for months! The woman that was featured did it for 17 day.

    1. No, you definitely need more than three juices a day! Juices are only around 180 calories (most of them, obviously this varies) — definitely not enough to fill you up for the day! Enjoy the juices!

      1. I can’t believe there were so many typos in my comment. Anyway, ….
        I’m going out to Juice Generation now and getting some juice. It’s particularly hard to sit here and hear my co-workers ordering lunch!

  17. So glad you are starting to feel better. You LOOK so much healthier in your pictures! I’m adding fresh juice to my diet (used the juicer for the first time on Saturday!) and trying to work up the bravery to do a cleanse. Good luck good luck!! You’re nearly there!!!

  18. Hey Ali–I’m a long-time reader here, and have never commented before… but I wanted to tell you (because I’m a creepy blog stalker like that!!) that I’m SO GLAD that you’re doing this and working so hard to feel better. I’ve never done a juice cleanse, so I can only imagine how much you want to eat something else now. However, I had to radically change my diet a couple years ago. At first it involved being exceptionally restrictive and I was pretty convinced I was going to die. Or kill someone else first, then raid a bakery and a fruit stand and a candy machine. But once I got the kinks worked out and figured out exactly what it was that was making me so sick (gluten free FTW!) it made the misery worth it. So… my unreliable internet stranger advice is: keep it up, and don’t worry about feeling sorry for yourself, because it does suck and you are more than entitled. Also feel free to tell yourself that you are a martyr, suffering for a good cause 🙂

    People will say to do this diet or that diet or no diet, but the most important thing is to figure out what YOU need and find out what helps you be healthy. Gold stars to you for doing something really tough in the name of getting better!! I know you can make it to Friday (says stranger on the interwebz) and that you will find ways to continue helping your GI tract heal 🙂 Good luck in the next few days!!

  19. You are amazing. I did a juice cleanse for one full day and halfway through the second day, I caved. Your positivity, resilience, and dedication are absolutely inspirational. I really hope this works for you and you feel better soon.

  20. Tell Brian it’s time for that foot massage now….and everyday until this cleanse is over. 🙂

    You are doing awesome – much better than I would have! Seriously.

  21. You are amazing – this mental toughness will serve you well…..hoping the next 3 days pass quickly and this really does the trick and gets you back healthy where you belong!

  22. Good for you for taking your health into your own hands and sticking with the cleanse. I admire your tenacity. Three more days! I’m rooting for you!

  23. You should be really proud of yourself one for making it so many days on juice and two for not hurting any of your family for eating all that delicious food around you. I had to fast for almost 2 days before my last colonoscopy and I wanted to punch every person who ate around me. I can’t imagine how’d I’d be without solid food for 7 days, so I’m impressed!

  24. I know how hard juice fasting is and I am impressed you’ve stuck it out this long! I’m also really glad you’re not in as much pain – these few days alone are already worth it. Keep feeling better!

  25. I have 3 words for you: YOU GO GIRL!!!! Seriously SO impressed with your strength and will power. Food temptations suck, I’ve been there and am currently craving some grilled cheese (But I know my stomach would HATE me).
    Question…have your night sweats eased up at all?

    Keep rocking your juice clense!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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