Thinking about doing a two-week juice cleanse? I did one and this was my experience.
Are you looking for a juice cleanse in Las Vegas? Go Vegan Cafe, The Juice Box, The Juice Standard, Fruits & Roots, Pressed Juicery, Nekter Juice Bar and Bowlology all offer cleanses you can purchase.
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Six juices a day. Two handfuls of herbal supplements a day. Fourteen days. When Brendan Hancock, owner of the now-shuttered House of Alchemy, suggested I try a two week juice cleanse, my first thought was “yeah, right.” How could I do a two-week juice cleanse when it’s my job to dine out?
Never one to shy away from a wellness challenge, I decided to give it a go and did a two-week juice cleanse.
I’m no stranger to juice cleanses. In March 2016, I did three three-day cleanses. But, a two week juice cleanse? Is that even possible?
“Yeah, ok,” I blurt out as we sit at the community table inside the airy juice bar I love.
“Great, you’re starting on Monday.”
I leave House of Alchemy that Friday afternoon and wonder what on earth I’ve gotten myself into.
Two-Week Juice Cleanse
The two days before the cleanse, I come to terms with not eating for two weeks. I stuff my face with calorie-laded dishes.
Sunday, I head over to House of Alchemy to meet with Brendan and get my first two days worth of juices — 12 in total.
“You’re probably going to lose about 20 pounds,” he informs me. “And, you’re going to feel incredible. You’ve got to get few the first few days though.”
So, I clear my calendar for the first day of the cleanse since I’m also cleansing parasites (did you know 85 percent of the population has parasites living in our guts? Gross.).
As I walk out armed with my juices, I silently hope I can make it through the two weeks. Especially since I announced I was doing it.
For my last meal, I head over to The Pasta Shop for some spinach parpardelle and bread coated in garlic and olive oil.
Then, it’s time.
Two-Week Juice Cleanse: Days 1 – 3
I wake up Monday morning excited.
I know deep down this is the reset I need. The challenge I need. The first two cleanses I did, I was always excited, but always focused on what I wasn’t able to do (like, you know, eat).
This time, I’m excited for the changes I’m about to undergo.
The first two days are easy. It’s like the other cleanses I’ve done have been preparing me for this one, and I’ve nailed it.
The third day is a bit harder — something for which I take full responsibility.
I love going to the gym and despite being warned not to because of low calories, I go.
I can feel a difference immediately. I’m winded and move slower than normal and feel tired.
I attempt to power through the day, but it’s difficult.
That night, I go to bed early and promise myself I’ll listen more to my body the rest of the cleanse and not work out.
Two-Week Juice Cleanse: Day Four
Needless to say, with my hands in so many different pots, it gets overwhelming and stressful from time-to-time.
Well, Day Four stress maxes me out.
A part of cleansing the body from toxins also includes cleansing your emotions from toxins. In this case, I’ve built up a lot over the past year of being an entrepreneur and they have decided to rear their ugly heads as I launch into the cleanse.
The minor hysteria (look, I’m a little dramatic, can’t help it) lasts about an hour, and then I’m calm. Pulled back together. And on to my next juice.
Two-Week Juice Cleanse: Day Five
The next day, I’m weary.
Nervously waiting for more purging, but it doesn’t happen. Instead, I go to the gym. I power through work. I treat myself to a shopping outing to kill time between juices. I’m a little bored, but that’s because I’ve confined myself to home and away from people.
Operating out of fear lands me in a boring path and I realize that for the rest of the cleanse, I need to go about my life, make plans and live like normal, just without eating.
Two-Week Juice Cleanse: Day Six and Seven
I thought I was over the emotional purging, but I wasn’t.
I’m not blaming this on the cleanse though. I’m blaming this on external circumstances which landed in my lap and threw a nasty little curveball to me. Had that not happened, I’m certain days six and seven would have been easier. Of course, because my emotions are heightened, that curveball took center stage.
I did, however, get out during these days, forcing myself to be social, be alive and let the juice simply fuel me versus hold me back from experiences.
Saturday night, I went to Mumford and Sons. I had my last juice before I left for the show and watched as everyone around me drank.
“I can’t believe you’re not drinking,” my friend told me as we stood inside The Joint waiting for the British band to take the stage. “Don’t you even want a water?”
“I’m good,” I responded. And, I really, really was.
The following day, I headed to a market with food vendors.
“Isn’t this hard for you to be here?” A friend asked.
“Yes, but no,” I reply.
Later, I head over to pick up another round of juices, nut milks re-introduced.
“Got to give you a little reward,” Brendan announces, smiling as he puts the juices into my bag.
Two-Week Juice Cleanse: Days Seven – Fourteen
The emotions, the challenges I faced during the first week vanish as I start the second.
Days seven through 14 are filled with energy. Clarity like I’ve never experienced. Crisp, clear energy. I host my meet up at The Pasta Shop surrounded by homemade Italian food. I sit at Panacea as my friend sips a smoothie and another eats a wrap. I go out to dinner and drink water as my companion eats.
And none of it bothers me.
The 2.5 hours in between juices fly by.
The juices become second nature.
They become friends. I look forward to drinking them. To feeling the cold go down my throat and work their magic to rid my body of toxins. To give me a vitality I haven’t felt before.
I drop weight. Lots of it. My skin glows. I sleep like a baby. My dreams are vivid. But, most importantly, I feel amazing. Sensational. Productive.
The grit I went through with the necessary emotional purge makes it all worth it as I relish how incredible I feel the second week.
As I sip my last juice — a Golden Karrot — after four Vitality Greens (savory green goodness), I feel sad.
But, also incredibly proud.
I. Did. It.
I never gave up. I powered through the challenges and saw my life with new eyes. Did the juice cleanse change my life? You bet.
How a 14-day cleanse changed my life
The Food Relationship
We base our lives around food. Coffee. Alcohol. My days pre-cleanse were filled with coffee meetings. Lunch meetings. Wine with girlfriends at Whole Foods after a long day.
But, when on a cleanse, that all changes.
I had to make an adjustment.
To learn how to operate without these things.
I worked harder. I spent more genuine time with people simply sitting and talking and being in the moment versus eating or drinking (and taking photos, notes, etc.). Not eating allowed me to be fully present for two weeks, and I’ve never experienced that before.
It also changed my cravings. Funny what drinking a ton of green juice will do. All I want now is healthy, nutrient-dense, whole foods. Brown rice with veggies. Vibrant salads. Colorful plates of food that makes me feel good.
I noticed how alive I felt during these two weeks. How powerful I felt being powered simply by drinking clean and pure drinks.
Sure, I will always love pizza and bread, but I also know I don’t want to put it into my body.
The two weeks of being good to myself resulted in wanting a lifetime of being good to myself.
Of being kind and loving.
I look at the idea of eating fries now, or sugary desserts, and don’t want it.
My Relationship With Myself
That emotional detox I mentioned?
It changed me. A lot.
I realized during my cleanse how apt I am to tuck things away that I don’t like.
Single? Meh. Shove that right on down into the “don’t care zone.” Tight on money? No worries. That gets placed there, too.
Except, at some point, I have to deal with the things which cause a disconnect in my life. At some point, I have to see things for what they are and address them versus ignore them.
So, thanks to the cleanse, I finally acknowledged the things in my life which I’m not thrilled with and am dealing with them instead of tucking them away.
It’s a powerful thing to realize the things in life which I’d like to improve on, and finally being able to honor and accept these things makes me that much stronger of a person.
Also, let’s not forget how challenging a two-week cleanse can be mentally for a person.
First, you’ve got to get over the lack mentality and thinking you’re depriving yourself.
Second, there’s the constant reminder every 2.5 hours that you’re juicing. Not chewing. Not picking your meals. You’re doing something so so good for yourself, but sometimes it’s hard to see it because it is a challenge.
But, at the end of those 14 days?
Completing the cleanse was one of the prouder moments of my life. I rose to the occasion, swallowed the fear of failure, and let my willpower and strength take hold. And that? That feels the best of all.
The Bottom Line
I would go through the struggles of the cleanse any day now that I’ve seen how magical and wonderful I felt after it.
That last week was one of the best weeks I’ve had in a long time in terms of both mental and physical wellness. I bounded through my days and incredible. I dropped around 15 pounds and will continue to drop as I eat cleaner and healthier and go back into the gym
Armed with a newfound gratitude and existence, I can’t wait to continue the hard work and kindness to myself.
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby and has emerged as the face of plant-based dining in Las Vegas and the leading plant-based restaurant consultant in the city. She spent a decade in the travel blogging world before switching gears to work in elephant rescue in Thailand. Diana travels the world to meet chefs and try vegan food, as well as speak at events focusing on travel, tourism, veganism and entrepreneurship. She’s a partner with the prestigious James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinners at the James Beard House. Diana is also a partner with Life is Beautiful, curating the all-vegan Farm Stand.