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A jar of cleansing beet juice

Clean Living--My Juice Cleanse

Locally made beet juice for a cleanse

Here's the first post of my column, which I'm calling Balancing Act.  I'll write about lots of topics in the context of being a working mom and thinking about wellness, because that's my life and my job.

I’ve been wanting to do a juice cleanse since September, but I kept putting it off because it seemed like too much work.  I know that sounds silly, I mean I have juice every day, but it had been a long time since I really focused on eating clean for a few days. 

Sometimes the things we think are hard are only hard because we imagine them to be!  But with two kids, a busy work schedule, multiple projects, and generally no patience for two separate meal plans, I kept putting it off.  But this past week, after Thanksgiving over-indulgence, I committed to a Tuesday – Thursday 3 day program. 

As I sit down to write this on Saturday morning, I’m already scheming to stay gluten free for as long as I can take it.  Here’s how it went:

Tuesday – I picked up my 5 servings of juice and one serving of cashew milk on Monday so I was ready.  I drank 16oz of juice – carrot, green (twice), beet, lemon/cayenne, and the nut milk every two hours.  I felt great and I wasn’t hungry, really it was like a red bull high but from vegetables (the enzymes and vitamins enter your bloodstream immediately).  I came home and made brown rice (gluten free) and roasted veggies, I seasoned with olive oil, Himalayan pink sea salt (more on that later – separate article) and lemon juice. 

Because part of the cleanse should include thinking about how you feel and sleep and think, I had like five minutes before I fell asleep to think wow, I felt great and I wasn’t hungry or cranky and I did not snack off the boys plates.  Yay – success!  Note:  drink LOTS of water. 

Wednesday – ditto on day 2 – went to yoga – had great energy and repeated the same plan.  I did cheat and have a Kind bar around 3pm.  I had the same dinner as the night before, which kept it simple and it tasted delicious. 

Thursday – day 3 – I became anxious about what I was going to eat the rest of the week.  I had completely debloated.  My skinny jeans fit better.  By dinner time, it was a full-fledged anxiety attack – I had to get more juice for Friday, HAD to. 

Friday – went to the juice store, got two juices and a cashew milk.  At a work lunch, I got soup.  At dinner added chicken to the veggies and rice.  I kept gluten free, but did have some dairy.  I regretted the chicken later when I felt sluggish before bed. 

While writing this I had Greek yogurt and raspberries and honey – it tasted so sweet.  I don’t want to go backwards, so I’m plotting my juice plan for the day. 

For the purpose of inspiring the masses and in full disclosure: I did have coffee each morning – 2 cups with maybe a tablespoon of half and half.  I also had a glass (sometimes two) of pinot noir each night, and I say that without shame, because if you lived with my boys you would need the wine too.  I’m a realist, this was not a true cleanse, I know that.  This was the best I could do within the parameters of my life.  Others will do better, some will not do as well (someone I know had to have Oreos on day two and snuck a bite of pumpkin pie on day one).  Other than the coffee - I am a two-cup morning coffee person and have been since birthing the beasts and waking at ungodly hours to keep all the balls in the air, and the wine, which gives me the 30 minutes of relaxation I need after putting said beasts to bed - I live a very healthy life.  I exercise, eat mostly well, sleep not as well as I should, and practice gratitude most days.  I try not to eat any processed food, any white food, and any food with more than five ingredients. 

I share all of this because at a baseline, anyone can do what I just did.  It’s relatively painless and it's a restart on healthy habits as well as a bit of a break for your digestive system.  It’s also a mental reset on what we need to survive, how food tastes, and a good reminder that simple is good. 

Perfect is not a destination, it’s a goal.  Any steps we take on the health continuum can add up.  Remain calm and Juice On!

Joanna Roche is a wellness, beauty and retail expert with a long career in the spa industry; she spent eight years with Canyon Ranch and then ran Pierce Mattie PR in NYC where she tried, tested, and worked with hundreds of beauty and wellness brands. She is currently an educator for the Esthetics Spa International speaker series, a member of ISPA and CEW(Cosmetic Executive Women). On Nantucket she is the Spa & Fitness Director at The Westmoor Club and is committed to promoting wellness and providing inspiration and tools for healthy living. Joanna is a runner, occasional yogi, entrepreneur and co-founder of ACKFresh, and mama (or tamer of wild beasts) to Luke and Noah.

[photo credit:  Kristen Kellogg]