I Survived HIC's Three-Day Juice Cleanse (Quite Easily)
Let me begin by saying that the motivation behind my juice cleanse was hardly about weight loss. Yes, I badly needed to pump my body with fiber, vitamins and all that good stuff after some intense feasting in Beijing the week before, but the cleanse was really about challenging myself. I wanted to see if I could do it without losing my sanity and crumbling into tiny, starved pieces in the process. Also, when I casually mentioned to a certain cleanse-seasoned elder sibling that I was considering a juice cleanse, she simply replied, “You will die.” Challenge accepted, sister. Challenge so accepted. A call, a click and a delivery notice later, I was ready to embark on HIC Juice’s three-day active cleanse. That’s six bottles a day.
THE PREP: The misery actually began before the cleanse. As I really wanted to go by the book, I followed the steps on my pre-cleanse guide and stayed away from carbs for two whole days before my first bottle. It isn’t mandatory, but it claims to help with the transition. “Suffer now to suffer less later,” I kept reminding myself. The torture was real. I specifically arranged for my juice cleanse to take place over the weekend, so that if I ever felt hungry, I could at least sleep it away.
DAY ONE: Saturday was Day One of my juice cleanse. The first two bottles – Popeye’s Delight and Kale Tales – were easy enough. The real test came in the afternoon, the time of the day when I usually have my first meal. I was beginning to feel extremely hungry and the food pictures on my Instagram feed only made things worse. Also, whose idea was it to turn on Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals on TLC? Oh, what would I have given for some warm pasta. I sprinted – this isn’t figurative, I did actually sprint – to my fridge when it was time for the next bottle, Sweet Potato Pie. It tasted like sweet potato pie, just without the crust, which was depressing to think about. I realised that the key to this whole thing was to shut food and eating out of my mind.
The situation become a lot harder during dinner time because (1) my next bottle, Green Genie, contained ginger juice (2) I hate ginger with every bone in my body and (3) the smell from my neighbour’s barbeque pit was drifting into my house and it was tantalising. I shut the windows, grabbed the bottle and gulped down half of it in one breath. That’s the most I could get down. I really do hate ginger. I’ve also decided to avoid food in all forms at this point, digital and physical. At last came Nut Milk, the oasis to my desert, the curry sauce to my chicken nuggets. I’ve never been so happy to see crushed nuts, a solid edible thing in my life. I wolfed the cashew, almond, vanilla and cinnamon mix down, and went to bed feeling surprisingly full.
DAY TWO: The second day was so much easier. I woke up feeling so, so good. I wasn’t hungry and my stomach felt tight. My first bottle, Liquid Fuel, was so delicious it actually left me feeling chirpy. “Solid foods, I am over you”, I thought. Well, for the next two days at least. Many juice cleanses leave you feeling lethargic, but HIC’s active cleanse does the opposite. I went for a 30-minute running session and still had energy to spare. The other juices for the day were a mix of hits and misses. Citrus Chia was way too sour and Heart Beet was all beetroot and ginger (see point 2). Apple n’ Spice and Chunky Munky, however, were so lovely I desperately wished there was more. HIC Juice really gets the chunky juices right, I’ll give them that.
DAY THREE: By the third day, I was feeling like a juice cleanse pro. My day went by so easily I was beginning to wonder if I was being delusional, that I was only convincing myself I was free from my solid food craving. I truly wasn’t tempted at all, though. I slurped down Tropical Green Smoothie, Maquila, Clean Greens and Sweet Potato Pie like I had been doing juice cleanses for years. The great thing about HIC – besides their chunky juices – is their variety. I only had two repeats throughout my cleanse. I did have quite a startling end to my last day in the form of Kaleidoscope, which tasted like chilled soup that had been doused with chilli oil, thanks to the cayenne pepper flakes. “Cayenne pepper is so good for you, so, so good for you,” I chanted in my head as I painfully slurped it down. Why are health nuts so obsessed with cayenne pepper? As with the previous two nights, Day Three ended with a chunky mix – Nut Milk. I love you so much, Nut Milk.
VERDICT: Did I lose any weight? A little. Did I feel any different? Quite. I felt energised and my body did feel like it was cleaned out on the inside. What was surprising were the few visits to the bathroom for number twos. I thought I'd be having a serious case of the runs, but that was only on Day One. I was also told that gunk would gather on my tongue as a sign of toxins being expelled – that didn't happen either. Maybe I wasn't as unhealthy as I thought. What's great about HIC is how frequent the bottles were and how they alternate between smooth and chunky, so you're not actually starving yourself from solids completely. I was so used to the routine by Day Three, I would have gone on for another two more days without any problems. I think.
Photos: HIC Juice