Oh Yeah, I Totally Quit My Juice Cleanse

Empty Juice Bottles
You were probably expecting a triumphant post today about how amazing my juice cleanse was, but here I am writing about quitting. Because I am a quitting quitter who quits. And I quit the juice cleanse.

Which, honestly, kind of killed me a little bit. That cleanse was a lot of money. And aside from that, quitting felt like admitting defeat. This was especially difficult for me when it seems like everyone else feels crazy amazing on a juice fast. Chris had the whole mental clarity, glowing aura of health thing going on and couldn’t stop talking about how much energy he had, how great he felt, how he could wrestle a grizzly bear. And I just had an aura of “I spent the whole morning hunched over the toilet puking.” (Because I did spend the whole morning hunched over the toilet puking.) At first, I wanted to soldier on. Then I thought: really? Am I really thinking about sticking with this? When it’s making me physically ill?

So then I ate some saltines. And later, a falafel wrap. Because at that point, the thought of eating fruit or vegetables made me want to throw up even more.

I mean, I expected headaches. Hunger, I could deal with. But throwing up? Not so much. I am not a good thrower-upper. And juice that doesn’t taste so good going down tastes even worse the second time around.

A lot of people say that when you get sick on a cleanse, it’s your body releasing toxins. (I didn’t really do the cleanse to release toxins–I’m not sure I believe that’s a thing that happens, but I do believe that getting an insane amount of nutrients in juices for a few days can be beneficial.) But I eat pretty clean to begin with, so I really don’t understand how my husband, who eats much more junk food than I do, could be feeling invincible, and I’d feel like jumping out of the window to end my misery. Especially after just coming off a 3-day raw cleanse that I felt fabulous on. I figured that, after a day and a half, I had given the 3-day juice cleanse a fair try, and since I felt progressively worse the whole time, it was time to throw in the towel. Something about those juices just did not agree with me–as soon as I’d start to feel a little bit better, I’d have another juice and feel terrible again.

I feel really disappointed. I was hoping for all those wonderful things people say happen to them during their juice cleanses–glowing skin, cleared sinuses, renewed energy. And instead I got crazy, ridiculously sick. Am I weak? Probably. But also, I think these cleanses just don’t work for everyone. And they clearly don’t work for me. There seems to be a lot of pressure that, once you’ve started a cleanse, you should stick with it and see it through; if you don’t, it’s some kind of moral failing. No, it’s not! Listen to your body, always. I know that by posting this, I’m going to attract a lot of drive-by commenters telling me my body must be super toxic, that I didn’t give this a fair chance, that I suck at life, and really, you can have at it; my experience is my experience and I stand by it.

So I’m sorry this post isn’t super motivational. I guess I’m kind of being a bit of a downer today, huh? I’m not saying you shouldn’t do a juice cleanse–my husband did well on it and so many other people have too. But know that it’s not all sunshine and lollipops before you start, and maybe try a single day before you commit to three. Despite all this, I still got some positive takeaways from the whole raw food and juice cleanse thing:

  • I really enjoyed raw food and I felt good eating it. I’m planning on eating more raw desserts, eating sprouted nuts and seeds as snacks, and skipping the frozen convenience lunches (even if they’re low cal and/or healthy!) for fresh fruits and veggies. I have spent so long focusing on eating less, when what I really should be focusing on is eating more–eating more nutrient-dense foods, rather than eating less calories.
  • I wondered if maybe, after doing this cleanse, I would want to make a dramatic change in my diet. I don’t. A moderate approach is definitely the best for me, although, like I said, I will be replacing at least some of my weekend brownies and cupcakes with healthier raw desserts.
  • Since I know everyone’s wondering, I did lose 5 pounds. Of course, throwing up your food (or juice) will do that to you. I gained back a pound and a half when I started eating again.
Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. Autumn says

    Thank God in heaven above!!! I am DONE!!
    I started juicing yesterday and felt great until about 3 p.m. As we say in the south, I threw up my toenails most of the evening. Of course this was done into a trash can while protecting the other end on the potty. Absolutely vicious. My head was screaming! Body…screaming! I lost 6 pound in one night. There is nothing healthy about that. I invited death with open arms. It’s one thing to have a slight headache and body aches…this was 3000 times worse than the worst.

    I have been so concerned about quitting. But, my body cannot handle this. Before reading this, I reluctantly ate a Banana this morning feeling like a big quitter. Then I found your blog. Are we just a bunch of whiners who can’t follow through? Honestly, I don’t care. I will not allow my body to undergo self inflicted torture. I will juice as a supplement for breakfast, but I am slowly reintroducing solids today while drowning myself in water to recoup. It will take a while.

    thank you for this post! All of us who have bodies more sensitive to the process need others like us to realize it’s not the end of all things if you quit.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      No, we’re not a bunch of whiners! It’s not like we’re all, “Wah, I have a headache, I’m throwing in the towel!” – I was SICK sick. Sicker than I had been in a really long time. People who think we’re babies for not following through obviously never got that sick from a cleanse because if they did, I can guarantee you they would be quitting too. I hope you’re feeling better now!

    • Cindy Hall says

      I have never laughed so hard. Laughing not because your cleansing demise is humorous but because I can so relate. I had my first green juice yesterday evening. I enjoyed it until I got to the bottom of the glass. Then it started happening. I got so nauseated that I barely slept all night. I finally woke up about 3 am and made half a turkey sandwich and a glass of milk to try to absorb whatever was happening to me. I had read all the positives about juicing but was ignorant about any negative side effects. I only had the one drink yesterday but all day today I have been fighting severe nausea. I can’t eat much without getting sick to my stomach and I definitely can’t think of having any healthy fruit our veggies. I’m a little put off right now. Oh and I have now bloating and very noxious fumes emitting from one end of my digestive tract to the other. Is this ever going to end?

  2. A Fleming says

    I’m so glad I found this! Am on day 3… Feel awful. Just texted my partner to bring home some salad for dinner. I’m exhausted, nauseaus, head ache, feel like I have flu and all this trying to look after a one year old :(

  3. Angela says

    Thank god for this! I started a 3 day juice detox yesterday, felt no hunger but my god did i feel pukey! id feel fine until it was time to drink another juice, than the sickness would be back with not to mention a headache like someone was physically hitting me over the head with a sledgehammer!

    Waking up this morning on day two, i felt great with loads of energy and i said to myself “well i may aswel continue.” Once out of bed and going for drinking my first juice of the day, it happened. All hell broke lose. I was throwing up whilst seeing black spots in front of my eyes. And as i sat on the floor hugging the toilet bowl, i thought to myself “is this really worth it?”

    it wasnt that i missed food or anything, i had no hunger. But my health had to come first. I wasnt going to end up fainting and being ill just for the sake of “cleansing” myself. So i quit on the morning of my second day of detoxing…..and i felt great.

    To anyone that feels like quitting, just do it. You know your own body. If it doesnt feel right, than stop.

  4. Michelle says

    I am so happy I found this. I started my juice fast yesterday and felt pretty good until after I ate my lunch juice… After that even the thought of drinking juice made me feel sick. I went the rest of the day without eating anything else because I knew my stomach wouldn’t hold the juice down. When I woke up this morning I was starting to feel a little better so I decided to try and drink my morning juice, HUGE MISTAKE. Even the thought of juice makes me sick. My family was so encouraging and keeps telling me to pull through but I need to listen to my body and quit because it is obviously not enjoying this and now that I see their are other people like me I don’t feel like a failure lol.

  5. Lee says

    Oh, I am so glad I found this post – and the comments which correlate with my own experience!
    I did a 10 day fast last year – juice only, nothing solid. I only lost a couple of pounds (I had plenty to lose!).
    Problem was, the thought of the juice after day two would make me feel so nauseous, I would simply skip it entirely, only having water.
    Unbelievably, I had committed today to doing a 5 day fast -apparently I had forgotten just how bad I felt last time! – but one of the comments above jogged my memory.
    The body aches.
    The feverish shakes.
    (I quite enjoyed the ‘floaty head’, mind you!)
    The ripping, tearing feeling in your muscles.
    At the time, I could not understand these symptoms: I usually eat fairly healthy, certainly nothing processed, have been gluten free for a couple of years. I never take so much as an aspirin: I have a high pain threshold, and don’t agree with medication in general. However, by day 6 I was rooting around in the medicine cabinet, and dug out some well-expired pain killers I had left over from being admitted to the Intensive care unit years ago (I am talking STRONG pain meds!). They were issued as I was on a ten day no food/no liquid fast whilst in hospital and, as the Specialist explained, this forces your body to cannibalize it’s own muscle…. which HURTS!!
    The pain I experienced on juice fasting was identical to the pain whilst I was in intensive care.
    So I swallowed the out of date meds (which helped a little)… and fasted for another two days (continually taking the zonk-me-out meds!)
    So much for cleansing, when it forces me to add chemicals to my body!
    Just can’t believe I had forgotten the issues associated with juicing (for me)…. talk about a slow learner. Oh well, now I’m going to roast all these lovely veggies I just purchased – and clean the juicer up (yeah, I’d forgotten about that down-side, as well!)
    Again, thanks all for posting, I think you just saved me from making myself very ill!

  6. Kira says

    I have just completed day 1 of a juice cleanse and feel like I have had the worst hangover with vomiting up bile all night. I don’t want to quit but I’m thinking the vomiting has to be worse for me than any benefits of juice cleansing. Even the thought of drinking another juice makes me feel sick. Your post had helped me understand that juicing doesn’t suit everyone and that it is ok to quit. Thanks.

  7. Meg says

    Same, same, same. I have tried fasting multiple times, with rice based protein support given by my Naturopath, with juices only, and then I tried eating raw foods for a week. I ALWAYS get very sick. The worst was when I did an apple juice fast in lead up to a liver cleanse – could not stop throwing up. Thought I would need to go to the ER but then stopped the whole process simply by eating. Also started to feel sick on just a plain water fast. I am a little jealous of all these people who can fast.

  8. G says

    Thank you for your blog! I feel so much better now reading it. I did a five day juice cleanse and I got to the fifth day feeling very miserable. With only two drinks left, I gave in and had a salad. I felt so much better. I did feel like a failure but oh well. I whined at work the entire time and I hated everyone around me!! I love food too much and food loves me. I think I’ll just watch what I eat more than go on this crazy detox ever again!!!!

  9. claire says

    oh god…… im so glad i found this..i have finished a cleanse……its 6.04am….and i have been up all night vomiting….i eat pretty clean and i thought ill try a cleanse…blue print cleanse…..NEVER AGAIN!!!

    i didnt think i would be up all night dying in pain & vomiting until i almost pass out….

    ugh…..

  10. Kesh says

    My friend is juicing, she is on week 2 and is down 11 pounds. Everything I read says that once you introduce foods back into your diet, you will gain the weight back. Did they happen for your husband? I do not have to heart to be the debbie downer because so many people are rooting her on. I would like to know if she is just losing to gain??

  11. says

    I keep h I flushed all the toxinsearing people say that the cleanse isn’t working because they are getting sick, when actually that is the point of the Cleanse. You’re ridding your body of harmful toxins and bacteria. As they pass through your body that is what is making you feel ill. There are several ways you can lessen the side effects. I have quit several times in the past. I wasn’t sucessful until I obtained knowledge and understanding of why my body was reacting the way it was. I can’t stress enough how important it is to stick it out. I was miserable in the beginning. I had flu like symptoms and I was constantly vomiting. After I flushed all the toxins from my body, I feel 20 years younger. I have tons of energy and motivation. I lost over 100 lbs so far. Trust me it will be worth it in the end.

    • Dana says

      Finally!! Thank you Travis, I had to go all the way down this thread to find your post. All the posts about the juice cleanse being unhealthy. Currently I’m on day 2 of a headache and having a little nausea, on day 6 of my cleanse. Feeling crappy is normal isn’t it, when toxins long buried are coming up and out. I feel like crap right now and reading all about the nausea made me feel so much worse, until I came across your post. It makes perfect sense. This is the Reason to cleanse. It’s so hard to continue but on the other side is probably a big fat breakthrough.

  12. Amy says

    It’s 3:00 am and I’ve been up all night throwing up. I did 2 days on the Urban Remedy juice cleanse and feel absolutely horrible. I cannot even thank you enough for posting this!! Soooo good to know that I’m not alone!! I went into this with hopes of having some ‘eureka’ moments,etc. I felt *very* gung ho about doing this and was feeling like a quitter — until I read this post and the other comments. As others have commented, I guess this just isn’t for me. I feel super disappointed — and feel like I wasted money. At least I can say that I have tried it. But my body is not happy with my decision. I didn’t feel hungry during this experience, so at first I thought “hey, this is easy.” I did have a horrendous headache from day 1. Then today it turned into not being able to hear out of my left ear, to really bad ringing in that ear, to throwing up. Ugh. I will go back to eating my vegetarian diet and be a much happier and healthier person. I concur – I do not think that throwing up is an indication that your body is purging itself of toxins. It’s telling you that it’s not happy and to fix it. Now. Thank you again for sharing!!!

  13. RTC says

    Oh THANK you, JESUS! Good Lord…I was actually laughing when I Googled “Am I a failure for quitting a cleanse?” because I thought surely, there would be nothing. Ha! Thank GAWD. Three days in and I’ve lost five pounds, but SON OF A BITCH, the headache. I can hardly stand it and am going to leave work early and eat, for GAWD’s sake! Thank you thank you thank you thank you for this post.

  14. Dajana says

    Would be interesting to hear what your juices consisted of. Where they store bought or self-juiced?
    I’ve never heard of anyone vomiting! That’s horrible, quit it at once if you vomit. The “toxin cleanse” is supposed to go out your pee and poo.

    Vomiting causes dehydration and is dangerous.

  15. Jetlagmama says

    I had tried a 2 day juice fast previously and felt good so I convinced my husband to have a go. By 3pm I too was puking my guts up. Awful. My husband felt awful (though no throwing up) too. We are Quitty McQuit pants too.

  16. Heather says

    I’m so glad I found this post. I am on day 3 of a fruit cleanse and feel just plain awful. I have been completely out of it for three days, my head pounding, and so nauseous yesterday I thought I was going to die. I’m supposed to go through tomorrow morning and I’m sort of beating myself up for stopping a couple hours early. WHY???? The thought of another piece of fruit makes me gag. Why do we do this to ourselves, am I not strong because I can’t eat fruit for three days, ummmm no!

  17. Sarah says

    Hi Everyone, I think it’s important to mention that ingestion of too much of certain types of fruits and vegetables within a short timeframe has a higher amount of toxins than your body can effectively process. That is most likely the reason so many people are so ill after a few days. My friend who is an avid juicer said that kale, as an example can be toxic if ingested in amounts which are too high. There are many greens that are like this. The human body can only process so many chemicals at once and then after that it becomes too high of a level. Hence the vomiting. Please do be careful! Moderation.

  18. Gab says

    So glad I found this! I started a juice cleanse this week as my partner raves about them and they make him feel great!
    I did the first 2 days with juice for brekkie and lunch, and a salad for dinner and after 2 days now in juice only I have diohreah. I felt really sick in the stomach so thought I would try and eat an avocado, had one bite the size of a pea and have been feverish and vomiting all day/night! Definitely won’t be finishing the juice cleanse and so glad to find this article!

  19. says

    I’m on day two of a four day juice cleanse, have had a migraine since last night, and I just threw up. So I googled to see what to do and landed here. I have three children and I can’t be going through this kind of detox, or whatever it is! So glad to know I’m not alone in this, and I’m sure there’s a way to eat cleaner all the time… probably won’t cleanse again.

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