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.

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. MELISSA says

    I watched FAT SICK and NEARLY DEAD net flicks on Christmas Day 2014. I was inspired and went on a juice fast. I spent lots of money on the kale, nuts, and friends and went gung ho. I woke up the next morning a t 5 am, sick as a dog. I hate throwing up and have not done it since I had morning sickness 23 years ago. I THREW UP AND THREW UP. I thought my throat was damaged. I could not swallow. I called my physician and she said that one can damage their esophagus if they throw up too much. She asked me if I was bleeding. I said no. So she thought the throwing up and acid hurt my throat. My throat continues to be beat read and hurt to swallow. I have used Popsicles to relieve that throat pain temporarily. I am going the bathroom all day into the night, and it has not stopped. This over trying to get healthy…I have to laugh.it set me back on my vacation from teaching school..

    • MELISSA says

      I misspelled a few words in my write up.. I meant to say on Net flicks, and fruit, not friends, and beat red not read..as I am correcting this my stomach is still making all kinds of noises from being so upset from Friday Dec. 26,

  2. Mattie says

    I am really glad I found this. Here I am t the end of day 1, half a bottle of juice 6 left, hugging the toilet and puking uncontrollably. I thought to myself that this couldn’t be normal, so to google I went! I guess vomiting is pretty normal. Will that convince me to stick with this? Absolutely not! If I can’t even make it through day 1 without puking, why would I do this to myself for another 2 days?

    I’m glad I found your blog post. It motivated me to not continue hurling into the toilet. It sucks that I lost out on all of that money, but its better than hugging the toilet for 3 days.

    P.S. I had to take a break to visit the toilet mid comment. This is a wonderful Saturday night.

  3. Lizz says

    Thanks for this. My husband, also Chris, is sitting across from me feeling on top of the world on day six of his juice cleanse. I made it 2 1/2 days. It made me super nauseous. But all the food documentaries have inspied me to eat better. Looking forward to better health!

  4. Stephanie says

    I wonder if it was just too much of a juice cleanse for you. The reason I say this and I know this is an old post, but I used to do green juices, spinach, cucumber, pineapple and so forth and did absolutely great! However, last January 2014, I was in the hospital having people stuff all kinds of toxic medicines down my throat, in my veins, in my neck, in my pic line, you name it and now what once used to be a joy for me, is absolutely terrible! Some juices like a lemon juice cleanse, my chiropractor said can be just too harsh on the body. I wonder if you take medicines at all. These tend to be the things — even antibiotics that cause us to get so violently ill. I actually thought I was going back into septic shock. It sure felt like it. There must be a way to detox that does the job a little less harshly. I can still do carrot, orange, pineapple with little to NO problem. It’s the green juices that pull every toxin directly from the fat cells and dump them into your body and if it’s a fast, it can be ALL AT ONCE! Needless to say, back to the drawing board as I am bound and determined to get the toxins out of me. I can tell, because I had nerve damage from these medicines and the juice cleanse started to irritate the nerves in my feet again. AHHHHHH!!!!!! Going back to my chiropractor to give him a shot at “what to do??” safely without feeling so terrible. If you like, I can give you some ideas because as much as I hate to say it, I don’t know what you take for medicines even if they are just simple medicines, cold medicines everyday for years or antibiotics throughout your life, there is going to be what they call, TOXIC DUMPING. AND I speak from experience, it’s awful !!!!! to say the least!!!??!!

    • Jen says

      “It’s the green juices that pull every toxin directly from the fat cells and dump them into your body.”

      Except that’s utter nonsense.

      • Tammy says

        I was jucing just my breakfast and lost 30 lbs. I had to stop because I was starting to get stomach pain and throwing up. Over the last year I’ve gained 10lbs back…I keep trying off and on to start jucing again and I just cant!! Feeling so frustrated. .

  5. Jennifer says

    I am on day 7 of my smoothie cleanse and over all I feel good. Not great but good. (I normally feel crappy… All the time. All day every day). I did the smoothie cleanse to get rid of toxins to hopefully feel less crappy. I have noticed when I don’t drink enough water I feel worse. Those greens are working hard to get the toxins out and if you aren’t drinking enough water, the toxins are just hanging out instead of being flushed out. I don’t blame you for giving it up… If I felt progressively worse every day I would have called it quits too. I’m confident this is helping me, but I can totally understand it would effect everyone differently. Don’t feel bad that you have it up, be happy you gave it a shot and you know it didn’t work for you :)

    • Kathy says

      Jennifer – and this is where I’m confused – because I read that if I began feeling sick to drink more water – however, I was drinking a lot of water (at least four 8oz. glasses every two hours. And for five hours last night, that is all that was left was the water I continued to drink after bottle 5 – that kept coming back up.

    • Grace says

      My husband we are vegetarians, and in great health . We fasted on juices , we did everything your supposed to colonics, coffee enema and dry brush massage wore warmer clothes , had couple massages, sauna , we felt great, and we were so happy that we did the juice fasting and would do about three times a year
      Now, a two years later I became very ill it was from black mold exposure and chronic sinus infection caused by scar tissue blockage so I met with my ND for a natural approach to get rid of scar tissue, and he put me juice fast I was on apple juice and pear juice, CALM and which is laxative,, and SPRINGGREEN 77 clay to grab toxins . I could not believe how sick I felt on this fast it dragged on and on I felt like I was a zombie My ND checked me for pre-diabetic and electrolytes and every thing was fine
      I made it to 14 days I realized the fruit juice was making me sicker. I figured out that sugar in the juice was making me sicker. creating more candida/yeast and if you have mold poisoning sugar makes it worse…
      I changed from fruit juice to green juice and that made me feel better then my ND took blood to check tests for yeast overgrowth. I think I was having a herximer reactions…a die off of some sort . I was put on month OF Diflucan

      • says

        great! info i made a juice cleanse of 5 days for candida and was most alkaline green juices ! and bitter lemon to kill it, problem is what to eat after u finish

      • Andrew says

        Whenever I try to juice my candida goes wild, my sinuses become inflamed and I feel horrible. Plus the sugar is just too much. I’m thinking of 1. getting the candida under control and trying more of a green juice. Because like so many, I’m desirous of the “glow” so many ppl have from juicing. Thanks for posting.

      • Grace says

        This is an update Diflucan stopped my heart palpitations/PVC permanently,
        and I’m so happy i want to scream ! I had fungal overgrowth and apparently many horrible symptoms from it and now I’m back on another juice fast for 21 days, so it makes a difference to troubleshoot issues with a
        my ND who is a big proponent into juice, fasting and does researches centurions, internationally …I mean gets on a flight and goes to these places and talks to the people!, He knows a lot about health has been the perfect fit for anyone juice fasting

  6. Jessica says

    I think the recommendation on a juice cleanse that’s more than a few days, is for you to incorporate raw veggies into your diet along with juicing so that it’s not so drastic a change on your system. Then after the five days, go strictly to juice. I’m on day 10 of a 60 day cleanse, but have been eating some things (mostly vegetable based soups) here and there. I definitely feel more energy. I’ve only lost 6 lbs so far, and have heard most people having lost more than that after a 1st week, but my goal is not the weightloss but more to detox.

  7. Kathy says

    Oh my gosh – I’m so glad I found this blog! I was feeling like a complete loser after quitting my juice cleanse after one day. I was so violently ill that I got up this morning and googled “Should I quit my juice cleanse if I can’t stop throwing up” and it brought me to your post. I am just like you – I eat healthy and just wanted to support my husband, who needs to lose a considerable amount of weight and get back to healthy eating. I was a good soldier until 6pm on day one when I could not leave the toilet and was in such pain (head and stomach) and like another commenter said – thought I had permanently ruined my throat. When I opened the refrigerator this morning and saw all those bottles ready for day two, I almost got sick again. So I am drinking my coffee with stevia, eating my sprouted whole grain toast with real butter and smiling because I did the right thing for me. Thank you Thank you!

  8. Sally says

    I’m totally confused by my experience. I attempted to do a cleanse and didn’t make it thru day 1 without food. I was starving, which shocked me cause I’m not a big eater. I lost 4 pounds overnight. Was starving today and ate but still feel awful. Totally hungover! I am never doing this again. I know it’s not caffeine withdrawal because I recently gave it up for a week with no problem. I hope I feel ok tomorrow. This is awful.

  9. Aida Marie says

    Thank you for writing this! I just started my first juice cleanse yesterday and it was going really well. That is until this morning when I couldn’t get out of bed without feeling like I going to die. I opened up juice 1 of the day and sipped it slowly hoping that would help. Nope, I was hugging my toilet within the hour.
    It’s so expensive that I want to keep going, but my body isn’t loving me right now. So thank you, for sharing your story so I don’t feel like a failure or that I was going nuts with how much people love these.

  10. Regena says

    I’ve read the nausea is caused by bile dumping into the stomach. Some people certainly do have a harder time juice fasting than others. It helps to start a vegan diet several days before you move to just juice, and in some cases people simply do not have teh adrenal stamina or blood sugar regulating ability to do only juice. So a modified fast that incorporates vegetable broth soups, and salads, nuts, seeds etc can help. I don’t blame you for quitting. I certainly would have done the same thing in your situation.

  11. Randy says

    I’m so sorry to hear you had such a terrible reaction to juicing. You mentioned the cleanse cost a lot of money so I assume you purchased a juicing cleanse from somewhere, which is when they pre-make all the juices you need. I’m wondering if all the produce they used was organic? I have read that non-organic produce should not be used for juicing because it would concentrate pesticides in the juice. That could explain such an extreme reaction. The guy you refer to who was also doing the cleanse and did not get sick can be explained by chemicals per pound. Women and children are suseptible to less chemicals than a full grown male, simply due to lower body weight.

    Some day when you feel brave again, I’d try making your own juice at home with organic juice and start out by just having one or two juices per day in place of snacks or in between meals. I had to start juicing slowly and as my body became healthier, I could handle the juice fasts.

  12. clifford browning says

    First off you are not supposed to buy your juice. It is pasteurized, meaning cooked, and often from concentrate with added vitamins. When juice is from concentrate it no longer has vitamins, minerals remain because they don’t cook out, but then they add not natural and inorganic vitamins and minerals. Also it isn’t and excuse to splurge on high sugar fruit juice. vegetable juices with some fruit is the real fast. Too much sugar alone could have been the problem. Also just like quitting smoking and many other things, 3 days really is the key. I don’t know why but it takes 3 days often for immediate changes in the body. Everything up to that is the worst of the symptoms. As to how good a juice fast is for you I can’t really say so I’m not saying you are wrong, just doing it wrong.

  13. Danni says

    I’m so glad I found this. The same thing happened to me, but I couldn’t find anything online that talked about what exactly to do when you throw up. I’ve been an advocate for eating raw and juice for awhile, and I have really strong willpower, but I’ve never tried shoving so many nutrients in my body. It definitely woke me up to the fact that my body is messed up (I didn’t think vegetables could do that to someone). I still want to be healthy, but I’m not sure what step is next after throwing up on this? I feel bad about breaking the fast, but does anyone have any advice on what step is next? Do I eat more vegetables or fruits (not sounding so good right now) eat what’s good for my stomach, or some combination of both?

  14. says

    I started day 1 of the Juice Junction Juice Cleanse (https://juicejunction.com.au/juice-cleanse) today. First half of the day I was okay then a friend came to visit and I did not have my second drink of the day on schedule and slowly felt a headache coming on.

    Eventually this was combined with nausea but I know this is part of the process so I refuse to quit although I did come to good old Google and typed “juice detox first day feel sick” to find this blog article. I gotta say, it was slightly comforting to see other people feeling the same way and I was tempted to quit but the feeling I had 1 hour ago was the same as when I wake up after a heavy night of drinking alcohol. Pulsating headache combined with the feeling I wanted to vomit.

    I really hate vomiting and wanted to avoid it but 10 minutes ago I had to run to the bathroom and do it. Almost instantly I felt a little bit better. A minute later I had to run again for a 2nd time and this time afterwards both the feeling of nausea and the headache have almost completely gone. Feeling relieved.

    My usual diet consists of bacon and eggs for breakfast, chicken souvlakis and burgers, one or two coffees every day and even occasional cigarette smoking so I am pretty sure that is the reason I felt so sick today. Once I did a fast/-detox in Thailand for 7 days without ANY food or juices, only water with supplements so I know I can do this so I AM NOT GOING TO QUIT.

    I know it can be extremely painful to bear but before eating, if you are sick perhaps you might need to just vomit and let it out. I am definitely feeling much better now. I might just go for a walk to get some fresh air and get my body moving. Been sitting on the computer all day, can’t be good.

    Hope this helps motivate others wanting to quit.

  15. Bill says

    Is everyone here buying the off the shelf “cheap made” but $$$ expensive juice cleanses?
    Some of these off the shelf cleanses have too much fruit sugar. A DYI at home is a lot better and you can control how much fruit you juice. Try at least 80% vegetables. Lots of greens. Less fruit. too much fruit sugar will make anyone throw up….

  16. N.K. Brown says

    OMG! Thanks for posting this. I think I eat well and I thought a juice cleanse would be a great way to rid myself of toxins. But well into day 1, I had a horrible headache and my mouth was watering up like it was preparing for me to vomit. I got through day 1. But I didn’t drink the 6 servings of juice that was allocated for the day. I only got through 2. By day 2, I thought the worst was over. Boy was I horribly wrong. I started feeling bad and by about 5pm, the toilet was a new friend. Luckily, I felt better afterward and wanted to continue. But the taste of the next bottle made me sick again. Back to the bathroom. I vomited all of the juice that I drank that day. My head was pounding. I didn’t know what to do. I was leery about taking meds as my stomach was empty. Didn’t want food as I wasn’t sure my body could handle it. So I did the next best thing….SLEPT.

  17. Adam says

    to those of you that fail or throw-up, there is something wrong you are doing in your approach to this.
    such as not using only organic, washing correctly, or mixing fruits and vegetables, or not deseeding apples/pears/citrus stuff. You should mostly be juicing vegetables. Every now and then I make a fruit juice to treat myself.
    The thing is, I have a knack for choosing and mixing the right produce and changing it up. So that helps. Reading various books on the topic helped me learn about things, but overall, there is no need to make it complicated. Change it up! turmeric root, ginger, and some of the other odd ball things in the produce section, it’s all juicable. Another thing, is during the fast, sometimes, I would not feel hungry or the need to have juice, so for the day, maybe I’ll have 1 glass of juice, where on another day, I’ll have 3.
    I’m on of the biggest pigs with the worst health eating habits, smoking, alcohol drinker anybody would know. With a huge beer belly and feeling lethargic. I love hot wings, beer, wine, mac and cheese, pizza and so on..
    but every year I do a 40 day juice fast to reset myself (since 2012). After the fast, the beer belly is gone and I feel much better. My wife and I do it together, and the 3rd time around something in her clicked and she became a vegan. I felt like I almost clicked to, but no quite.
    If I can do it, anyone can. I do have to say, that I owe much of my success is to the type of juicer that I’m using. I will only use the Masticating type of juicer and I cannot succeed for a long duration using any other type of juice machine.
    I’m currently in Afghanistan as an I.T. contractor, and I’m on a juice fast right now. I’m on a camp where our food/produce is shipped in from I have no idea where. It’s not organic, but I’m only juicing with what I have because I’m desperate and was not feeling well after 6 months being on camp. The folks here are amazed already, I’m on my 1st week and they notice a difference in my face, body, and attitude. I was also known to be one of the biggest pigs on the camp, thus adding to their amazement…

  18. Fat Albert says

    Hey Hey Hey. I hate to sound too “critical”, but I’m afraid I got to say this: I’m not at all surprised you all got so SICK. Here’s why: If you don’t start out slow, you’ll HURT youselfs! You can’t just suddenly QUIT eating te way you’ve been eating ( 200% “cold turkey! ) and throw 3 whole pounds of pulverized fruits and vegetables into eour system and expect it to “rejoice” in the Lord and be GLAD!!!! Remember, your digestive system is USED TO hamburgers, fries, pizza, junk food, soda pop, and yes, various “toxins.” To quit all that “cold turky” and throw 3 Lbs of fruits and vegetables into youself is to throw your system into “shock!!!” Suddenly, you stomach ( all your other organs, too ) finds that it ain’t in KANSAS anymore! It’s like throwing your warm and cozy stomach into a tub of ICE WATER!
    Here’s what you do: Go to your grocery store ( buy “organic” if you can ), buy those bags of pre-made salad mixings. Cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and radishes. Get lemons, limes, grapefruit, and ( so long as you aren’t diabetic ) apples and oranges. Then get cilantro and parsley. If you have some “bucks”, you should buy some pomegranate juice and some tart cherry juice and add about a shot-glass of each to your juices each day. And if you aren’t diabetic, you can use some Tampico punch as a catalyst ( providing you are using a NutriBullet or Ninja type juicer ). If you’re diabetic, you’ll hae to use either a good “diet” juice or unsweetened tea. At first keep your “doses” relatively small. If it won’t fit into a regular large tumbler glass, it is “too much.” At first, you may have to make your juice once a day ( you’ve got to let your system GET USED to the new nutrient packed stuff!!! Just a little “common sense.”
    I made the same mistake YOU all did, and I got sick, too.

  19. Fat Albert says

    To the moderator: Oh my god! You erased my entire advice article!?!? WHY??? I know I failed to adhere to the rule of staying “on topic” I’m sorry about that. But you were FINE with my advice article!!!! I was about to apologize for not staying “on topic” when you got pissed off and removed everything I had so caringly written!!!!!!!!!! You’re THAT QUICK to ANGER?????

  20. Emily BH says

    You’ve bought into the myth that “health” is about “nutrition”. RATHER, health is about having a CLEAN IMMUNE/LYMPHATIC system which means, like you referenced at one point in your article, you HAVE to detox or GET RID OF the acid wastes that have been stored in your body for YEARS! and STOP eating the foods that created it.

    Sometimes while that happens (especially if you go from a standard American diet to Juicing 24/7 for 10 days), you are bound to feel sick as your body tried to get rid of stored wastes.

    Simply keeping eating the same way you always have and ADDING an apple a day, isn’t going to cut it.
    If you keep eating the same way but start adding in a green juice 2x a day plus change out your breakfast for lemon water and then fruit (instead of eggs, bacon, bagels, pancakes, protein smoothies, yogurt, cereal etc), eventually your body will crave more of the raw foods and THEN your body will gradually detox because when that takes place, you will no longer be eating the same amount of cooked/processed junk, “healthy (healthful) or not. Then your intake of alkaline foods will be able to begin breaking down the hard acid wastes clogging your immune system.

    Again think about the silliness of the theory of adding “nutrition”. A) They say we are “omnivores” when our digestive tracts are more delicate than primates but are 97 percent IDENTICAL to theirs. They are FRUGIVORES!. Not only are we NOT omnivores, our digestive systems are more sensitive than primates’ digestive tracts are. B) You are asking a LOT of the tiny amounts of “nutrition” you are adding to combat years and years of stored acid wastes. Additionally, since the basic diet isn’t changing, new wastes are ALSO being ADDED in addition to the supplemental “nutrition”.

    Think of a big waste barrel full of garbage and you adding 1000 mgs of Vit. C or even a gallon or orange juice. What impact is that going to have? Answer: Next to nothing! So don’t kid yourself. To feel better, you have to stop eating the bad stuff and replace it with raw fruit and vegetables which is all our digestive tract knows how to fully recognize, utilize and eliminate. The more you challenge it with foods it isn’t designed to digest, the more it won’t recognize ad will simply store which will later create havoc with your health as it will become more and more acidic and inflammatory inside your body!

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