I Survived A Juice Fast… Here’s an Honest Review

I shudder at the thought of ingesting any more cold, green juice.

Before you come rioting with pitchforks, please know that I did this because I was at my wit’s end at how my body was feeling and I had to see for myself if these cleanses actually do anything.  If you read my getting back on track article, you’ll know that I had been feeling gross after falling off the holistic health train for a few months.  I was sluggish, addicted to sugar, and bloated after every meal. 

TL;DR Disclaimer & Trigger Warning: I would not recommend this cleanse if you’re struggling with your relationship with food.  I think this cleanse could be very triggering for people who haven’t totally healed their relationship with disordered eating, and I’ll expand more on my experiences later if you feel like this isn’t too much of a sensitive subject for you and read the full article.

I’ve had a Pressed Juicery membership for a few months now, and I genuinely enjoy the occasional juice or wellness shot when I’m feeling a cold sneaking up on me.  In the warmer months, nothing beats a dairy-free freeze with mouthwatering granola butter. But I could never ignore the little advertisements for ‘cleanse’ packages so, being at my wits end with my health (and being my curious self), I finally looked into it.

Pressed offers a few types of cleanses for varying lengths of time.  Essentially, they offer a beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level cleanse depending on your experience and goals.  The advanced cleanse has the least amount of sugar and the least amount of calories. You can find the nutritional breakdown for all the cleanses on their website, but for the sake of saving you a click, I’ll tell you the nutrition facts for the advanced cleanse I did.

  • 6 bottles of juice
  • 760 calories total
  • 15g fat, 140g carbs, 19g protein

This cleanse is advertised as the best one to do if you want maximum results in a minimum amount of time.  What kind of results, exactly? Basically, it allows you to get hydrated and supercharged with micronutrients while letting your body focus on digesting and detoxing all of the crap that’s been stuck inside.  To clear up some of the TMI topics, no, this kind of cleanse is not like a laxative and will not make you have to run to the bathroom 10x daily. Generally, those kinds of cleanses are dangerous because they can leave you dehydrated.

Full disclosure, there was no way that I was letting my body survive off of 760 calories in a day, so I munched on handfuls of almonds a few times.  I knew I’d be feeling the symptoms of a ‘detox’ but I didn’t want it to actually cost me my health. Even Pressed strongly recommends on their website to listen to your body and eat if you’re uncomfortably hungry.  To honor the dramatic Virgo moon in me, this cleanse felt like some sort of physical/mental challenge a yogi would put themselves through to get in tune with their inner self, and I’m not going to lie I kind of experienced that sort of moment.

Here’s a breakdown of my day:

8am: I’d been awake for about a half hour and sucked down the first juice.  I wasn’t feeling hungry at all yet. I also had my usual glass-and-a-half of water.

10am: Since I’m so used to eating a big breakfast, by now I was starting to feel the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything.  I sipped my second juice a little slower to give my body more time to absorb it, and actually felt it curb the little bit of hunger I had.

11am: At this point I began getting a bit of a headache and a slight brain fog, which are the normal symptoms of detoxing – something I absolutely expected to have, considering how much sugar and processed food I’d been eating.

12pm: ‘lunch’, aka my third juice for the day.  By now I was kind of getting tired of cold juices, and I was feeling a dip in energy.  I also knew I had to go out grocery shopping, which I was kind of nervous to do since I was  in such a fasted state.

2pm: I survived grocery shopping and was actually feeling pretty good after being out and about! It was time for my fourth juice of the day, which I drank slowly because I was not exactly in love with the taste of yet another earthy, cold liquid.  By now, my friends were receiving Snapchats with my self-deprecating humor, such as ‘why am I doing this’, ‘I miss food’, and ‘I have a headache, make it stop’.

3pm: At this point, the hunger really started hitting me.  I also noticed a bit of nausea so I decided to munch on some almonds that I bought at the store.  I decided to turn on the TV and watch YouTube or anything to take my mind off of my stomach. I also did a bit of research just to make sure that I wasn’t feeling anything abnormal.

4pm: I really didn’t want to drink another juice, truly.  I had low energy, a headache, and a little nausea, and I began feeling like an idiot for doing this to myself.  Regardless, I drank my fifth juice. The feeling of hunger and deprivation honestly made me remember my days back in high school when I struggled with disordered eating and used to ignore my body’s cries for calories and nutrients.  In all honesty, it reminded me of how important my balance with food is. I love that I don’t feel guilty for going out and eating a combo of fries and treats, because I know that I can balance it with nutritionally dense foods at home.  Depriving your body for the sake of looking a certain way is just not worth it. I had to remind myself that this cleanse wasn’t for weight loss, and at this point it turned into a sort of mental exercise – I felt like it was important for me to finish up the day and fully pay attention to what hunger signs actually felt like.  I had been doing a lot of boredom eating lately and this really gave me a reset in how I viewed my body’s signals and took food for granted.

6pm: I was excited for this final juice because it actually had substance to it: a mixture of almonds and dates.  I actually enjoyed this one because I felt it satiate the leftover hunger pangs for the day. I was still distracting myself by doodling on my iPad and listening to music. At  this point, I had also taken a warm bath and pampered myself a little bit to celebrate being almost done with a (self-inflicted) difficult day.

8pm: No more juices to be had, I jumped into bed dreaming about my morning avocado toast and scrambled eggs.  I fell asleep with a headache, but actually wasn’t feeling hungry.

THE NEXT DAY….

I actually woke up feeling really, really good.  I didn’t wake up starving like I expected, and I had a solid night’s sleep.  I was beyond grateful for the fact that I didn’t have to drink another juice, and fulfilled my dream of crunchy avocado toast with soft scrambled eggs.  A single tear may or may not have leaked from my eye as I sipped my coffee with soy creamer, too. (Just kidding, that’s dramatic.)

Do I think the cleanse ‘worked’? YES

But, overall, would I do it again? NO.  

I think the balance of benefit-to-risk is not worth it to me.  I ate less than half the amount of calories I normally consume in a day, which is just so counterintuitive and feels like I’m going directly against my body’s needs. However, I’m happy to say that I got rid of that gunked-up feeling in my gut and woke up without any bloat.  My skin also looked brighter too from all the water I’d consumed, and although I didn’t weigh myself I could tell I dropped a teeny bit of water weight.

Will I continue buying stuff from Pressed? YES

I loooooove Pressed a lot, I think they sell great juices and delicious freezes, but full-day cleanses are just not for me.  They do offer half-day ones now, which I think might be good to try in the summer because you get to actually eat food in conjunction with the juices.  Also, cold juices during the winter was just a recipe for feeling absolutely frozen solid. I think I was wearing two blankets at one point.

Do I feel kind of embarrassed for doing a juice fast? YES. 

Because I’ve spoken on how I feel about detoxes.  I don’t think they’re a good habit to get into and I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there.  The truth is that there’s no maintainable quick-fix detox in the way that many places advertise. I didn’t expect this 24-hour cleanse to solve all of my problems or magically cure my sugar cravings, but I did expect it to give my body a chance to digest any of the remaining junk from the past few days.  This was equal combinations of an experiment and an attempt to reset my gut.

If you’re looking into doing any type of cleanse or reset, I’d strongly recommend doing one that involves food.  I’ve done plant-based days in the past and they’re a much less miserable way to put clean stuff into your body while letting it focus on digesting the bad.

Now go eat something good and tell your body you love it.

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