Most people don’t realize that the old adage you are what you eat applies to the health of your skin. In the season of holidays and The Super Bowl, I had consumed my fair share of junk food and alcohol, which was wreaking havoc on my complexion. I needed to detoxify in someway. In the age of cleanses, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try one. The Green Smoothie Cleanse by Lisa Sussman seemed to be the best option for me. I had tried a raw juice cleanse in the past, and failed miserably. I thought that smoothies would keep me fuller, this proved to be true, and I can now say I successfully completed a smoothie cleanse. My cleansing journey came with its pros and cons, and now I can share them with our readers.
The first step in committing to a Cleanse is PREP. You need time to choose which cleanse you will be doing, mentally prepare, stock your fridge, and set goals for what you would like to get out of your cleansing experience. I started by reading the book cover to cover, to better understand what I was getting myself into. Sussman’s book is full of pages on nutrition, what to expect while on the cleanse, ways to save money, how to keep motivated on this cleanse, and even tips on what to do when you have given in to your temptations, and fail. I personally loved the pages on money-saving tips. I learned how to make my own protein powder, because of this book. Sussman really puts an emphasis on avoiding overly processed food products, and wasting money. A philosophy that is near, and dear to my heart.
As a disclaimer, cleansing can break the bank, and this cleanse can certainly do that if you aren’t conscience about what you are buying. I was impressed that the book acknowledged that fact. I think it is important to note early on that I did set a budget of $25 dollars a day for the five-day cleanse, plus pre cleanse. Totaling 8 days of food. I was under budget most days. However, I did spend a total of $293.28 on groceries, and all ready-made foods. That seemed like an enormous price tag at the time, but I am still have a lot of the ingredients that I bought for the cleanse in my pantry and freezer a month later.
I bought most of my ingredients at Whole Foods of Madison NJ, and Trader Joes of Florham Park NJ. Although, I am obsessed with Whole Foods, I think going to Trader Joe’s will save you money. Had I gone to Trader Joe’s for my big shopping trip, I calculated that I would have saved, at least $50, taking into account that I bought organic produce. Above, I mentioned that you need to be conscientious about your purchases on this cleanse, I think I definitely purchased too much. Most of the recipes make too much, and I found myself freezing a lot of smoothies, and being left with unused produce, which doesn’t keep in the fridge for long.
Having tested the waters now, I recommend buying produce for a day worth of smoothies, and buy more from there. It is time-consuming, but it will also help your wallet. Frozen fruits are great for out of season products, and can really help with keeping your budget down. Take note of the DIY section. As I said before I made my own protein powder, and saved money doing it. Don’t stress about substitutions, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to buy more. Also avoid going out for food. One night on the Pre-Cleanse I went out for salmon, being too tired to cook. What a huge mistake. It cost me $9.00 more than if I had just taken the time to make a better piece of fish at home, and it didn’t even come with brown rice. Taking your time with this cleanse saves money. Pay attention to what you are doing and you won’t pay a higher price than you need to.
Back to the cleansing process, part of your prep is choosing which cleanse you will be doing. You can determine this by taking the quiz within the book. I decided to take the Five-Day Fine-Tune Cleanse given that I really wanted to reset my eating habits, am normally very health conscience, and have cleansed before. You can also choose from a one day, three-day, or two-week cleanse. These cleanses are in three parts, Pre-Cleanse, Cleanse, and Post-Cleanse. A Five-Day cleanse is really a two-week event. You should not jump right into the cleansing stage, or break from it right after the cleansing days are over. This smoothie cleanse has an option for everybody, which makes it different from other cleanses I have seen. After deciding which cleanse you will be doing, start planning. I kept a journal for this, which really helped me stay motivated and organized throughout the process. In the journal I logged what I had been eating prior to cleansing, how I felt about the process, what I was going to eat during the Pre-Cleanse, which smoothies I would be making during the Cleanse, how I was going to eat after the Cleanse, and which smoothies were my favorites. I also took notes on what I already had in my pantry, made shopping lists, and kept tabs on how much I was spending.
The Pre-Cleanse days were boring, but easy. I wasn’t starving, and life without caffeine wasn’t terrible which kept me in good spirits about doing this. I kept it simple by eating similar things everyday. I didn’t want to get smoothied out before starting the process, so I only had one smoothie for dinner on the third night. My snacks were always veggies, and mixed nuts, I used the whole container of Trader Joe’s Carrot soup for lunch, and tried to have salmon for dinner as much as possible. Below are pictures if my omelet and ingredients, hot water with lemon and raw honey, and mixed nuts.
Variety is important on the Cleanse portion of this journey. The book shares sample menus with you for each cleanse, that makes choosing simple. The recipe box is so much fun, there are tons of smoothies to choose from, no one smoothie is a like, and they keep you full. You can cleanse for a variety of different reasons including dieting. While on the Cleanse, I also noticed that I was getting slimmer, but never starving myself. If you are interested in losing weight, this might be a good way to start. The recipes were easy to follow. My favorite part of the day was making the Master Green Smoothie. It was the time of the day that I could go a little off script, and make my own creation. Sometimes it went beautifully, other times it was awful, like on Day Five. Some of my favorite smoothies were Almost Cup of Joe, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Grasshopper, and Virgin Mary. The pictures below are from Day One.
While on the Cleanse I often made my smoothies for the next day. I always in transit, and not necessarily near a kitchen. I kept those smoothies in thermos, and in carrying bags. Save yourself time, and don’t let cleansing get in the way of your busy routine by investing in these things. I had my thermos, but they are available to purchase on the Internet for cheap. I recommend buying Mason jars with handles, and a convertible lids to save some cash, and be eco-friendly.
They say Day Three is the toughest to get through in the book, but for me Day Three was cake, and Day Five was terrible. I was resisting the temptations of my friends and family like a pro, but it was the little things that started to accumulate into my hatred of this cleansing. By Day Five I was tired of drinking liquid, I was often too full, didn’t want to deal with the blender anymore. I was drinking pre-frozen smoothie in an attempt to save money. I had felt cleaner, but there was no real change in my skin, which was the purpose of the Cleanse. Additional negatives included, spilling a smoothie; forcing me to buy one from a health store and attempting to use all the ingredients and making a mustard green Master Green Smoothie that was downright terrible. It was my last smoothie, and I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. I completed the Five-Day Cleanse with an awful taste in my mouth. As soon as the next morning came I went back to my old ways of eating, which was terrible on my stomach, and later choose to actually follow the Post Cleanse the days after. You are now probably wondering why I think it was a good cleanse after all that.
Beauty wise I think it teaches you something about what you are ingesting. Cleansing isn’t a miracle worker, but rather a start to a better routine. Eating better helps your skin. Not in five days, but over time. It wasn’t so bad, I just had one bad day. On my good days, on this Cleanse, I had more energy, I did feel more beautiful, and was not bogged down with sugar, which is half the battle. The first Post-Day was a real indicator of how much I changed when it came to my diet. The junk didn’t interest me as much. Removing most of the junk food in my life has helped my skin, and it started with the process of checking in, and doing this cleanse. I love coffee, but drink less now, I think before I gorge, and have even healthier habits, all culminating in a more radiant self. I say to you go cleanse with an open mind, take the bad days for just bad days, and take the good days to mean you are creating a more beautiful self. Happy Spring Cleansing to all!
*Disclaimer: The PR team sent me this product. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*