So, I’m either doing something really right, or something really wrong . . .

If you’ve been following my #juicecleanse tweets you know that I am not really finding the juicing experience all that hard.

In fact, on both Day 1 and Day 2, I was only hungry enough to down 5 of my recommended 6 daily juices (granted, on both days I snuck in some fairly harmless solid food in lieu of the 6th juice — a handful of strawberries on Day 1, and a half an avocado mashed up with some lemon juice on Day 2).

While on Day 1 this meant I skipped a green juice (day end tally: 3 fruit, 1 green, 1 nut) on Day 2 I made things a bit tougher by targeting more green than fruit juice for an intermediate level cleanse (day end tally: 2 fruit, 2 green, 1 nut).

I have a few theories on why I’m finding this so easy.

1) Juicing without a juicer 

I opted not to spend several hundred dollars on a juicer for my cleanse.  Not knowing whether I was going to stick with it (this time around, or in the future in terms of integrating juice into my regular diet) was a major factor in that decision.  Also, my Dad is already freaking out a bit over the many other cooking implements that have taken up residence in his kitchen since I moved home a few weeks ago, and I didn’t thinking adding another would go over well (oh, the joys of temporarily moving home in your 30s . . .).

Juicing with a blender is long and painful process.  My Greens with Apple juice this morning (which was delicious!) took about 40 minutes to make.  Why?  While, when you juice with a juicer it draws out all the pulp as it processes the ingredients.  A blender just, well, blends them in.  So before you drink, you gotta strain.

The major down side of this is obvious.  Takes way. too. much. effin’. time.  The plus side?  For a significant part of my day I’m too busy juicing to think about how hungry I am.  

In addition, some juices once blended are really hard to strain and I will confess to messing up on Day 1 and downing my Strawberry-Kiwi juice without straining out the pulp and seeds.  I can’t help but wonder if this unstrained version of the juice was more filling than would be a properly made version?
2) Not that much of a stretch for vegetarian

I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14.  Sure, I have my cheating moments (mmm, bacon), but in general I consider my meatless existence a lifestyle choice made fairly easy by the fact that I don’t miss (most) meat.

While I have had a few solid food cravings during my cleanse, and I definitely miss coffee, I think I’m at a way better starting point than other people who find the eating nothing but fruits and vegetables for 3 days a real challenge.

3) Not how much you eat, but what you eat that matters (Eureka moment!)

This one’s my favourite theory, and most definitely the best food for thought from my cleanse so far.

So, I’m eating less than usual.

Both in terms of volume (all my food is liquid and is therefore physically less) and in terms of calories (according to the book 6 juices a days adds up to roughly 1200 calories . . . though I think this may be a bit low given the nut milk sees you drinking at least 1/3 cup cashews).

However, am I really?

There are a lot of foods that form part of my regular diet (non-fat yogurt, for example, or the deliciousness that is pretty much any flavour of granola bar) that I’m beginning to realize fail to give me a feeling of “fullness” equivalent to their caloric value.

The Greens with Apple juice that I started Day 2 of my cleanse with is under 200 calories and (combined with two cups of herbal tea) kept me full until almost noon.

On the other hand, I can easily eat a Kashi granola bar and a fat-free yogurt (resulting in around the same caloric intake) and feel hungry 30 minutes later.

Important lesson.

Makes me think that whether I’m doing this cleanse right or not, I’m definitely benefiting from it.