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.

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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.

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