juice fast
Fat Loss,  Health

My 3 Day Juice Cleanse – Detoxing from IVF

Why I Needed to Detox

honeymoon
Honeymoon in St. Bart’s

My decision to do a 3 day cleanse was to detox from a year of IVF treatments, lose some of the weight I’d gained, and to find my soul again. Three failed cycles using a ridiculous amount of fertility drugs put my body through hell and my emotional stability to the test.

I was determined to find peace again and was willing to try a juice fast in order to jump start my healing process. And since I’ve always loved to juice, I thought this would be right up my ally.

Health and fitness has always been an integral part of my lifestyle. I regularly lift weights, go running, go walking,  play beach volleyball and eat “mostly” a clean diet. After gaining 15 lbs over the year of treatment, I just didn’t feel like myself.

I wanted to shake this constant feeling of depression, quit sleeping so much, and regain control in my life, since everything over the past year has been so greatly out of my control. I wanted my active life back and I wanted to feel sexy again!

Day 1 Cleanse

I woke up one morning this past week and said, “this is it, no more,” and decided right then and there that I would start juicing. I had been fantasizing and researching detox spas online, but they are quite pricey and I knew I could do this on my own.

Hell, I could have taken a four week-long spa vacations with the money I’d spent on fertility treatments. Grrrr….

Carrot Celery Apple Juice
Carrot Celery Apple Juice

So I dusted off my juicer and made my first juice with ingredients I had on hand, and one that I’d made many times before: apple, carrot, celery and ginger. First juice down the hatch! No planning, no grocery shopping yet, just a determination to start and luckily I had some supplies.

I followed by drinking some green tea and within a couple hours I was ready for my next juice, which was actually a smoothie since I was low on ingredients: greens plus powder, organic strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and water.

The sugar from the fruit gave me a huge energy burst and I went out on a 5 mile walk. I felt great and was energized! I thought, I’m actually going to do this!

By dinnertime I was feeling sluggish and was starting to get some hunger pangs. I decided to make a pureed sweet potato soup with carrots, celery, garlic and low sodium organic veggie broth. Again, this was all I had on hand until I could go grocery shopping the next morning and it tasted glorious!

Sweet potato is a vegetable and since I pureed all of the ingredients, my body did not have to work to digest it. I’ve done shake/soup cleanses in the past where this recipe was an option, and it completely filled me up!

Throughout the day I also drank a ton of lemon water which is great for detoxing and you want to drink a lot to flush out all of the toxins, otherwise they will be reabsorbed into your bloodstream and back to your organs.

My head hit the pillow earlier than normal and despite my achy legs and achy body, I fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep. Day 1 was complete! But day 2 proved to be harder yet…or was it?

Day 2 Cleanse

I woke up with a slight headache on day 2, but pulled myself out of bed to the scale to see if I’d lost any weight from day 1. I was down 2 lbs so that gave me some motivation to keep going!

I looked up some recipes online and made a grocery list and headed to Whole Foods. I needed kale, spinach, carrots, celery, cucumbers, beets, pear, parsley, pineapple, turmeric, and some mint!

juice fast
Veggies all washed and prepped

For breakfast I had another smoothie with organic strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and water. More of the same yes, but it gave me sustenance until I could go shopping and add some variety to my pallet.

By the time I got to Whole Foods it was time for a juice, so I ordered their “Ultimate Greens” juice which consists of kale, spinach, wheat grass, spirulina and green apple.

It totally energized me and gave me the boost I needed to complete my pillaging of the produce section despite tasting like a tree.  Then it was home to wash, prep and find room in the fridge to store all my juice ready fruits and veggies.

I took it easy for a while and watched some TV and wanted to have some energy for my walk so I threw together something that I will never  make again! Kale, spinach, parsley, carrot, celery, pear, and pineapple juice.

The pineapple made it too sweet and did not mix well with the pear. Have you ever heard of anything delicious combining pear and pineapple? I didn’t think so (and now I know why), but it didn’t matter because I will drink all things nasty if it’s healthy!

It did however give me energy for my daily walk, and again I trekked 5 miles through my neighborhood feeling great with a spring in my step and beginning to journey farther into the thoughts of my own head. The mental clarity I was beginning to feel was cleansing to my beat up soul.

For dinner I decided I need to lay off the sugar so I juiced kale, spinach, celery, carrots, cucumber, ginger and a green apple. Much better without the pineapple! I made some decaf herbal tea and found myself tired and ready for bed much earlier than normal.

Sleep was welcome at this point since it would mean one more day under my belt of my detox being complete!

Day 3 Cleanse

green juice
kale, spinach, carrots, celery, cucumber, apple, ginger, parsley – yum!

Today I woke up so refreshed and rejuvenated!  Overall I’m surprised by how content I’m feeling not eating any solid foods. I’m down another pound and a half today and I’m feeling less bloated, especially in my face!

For breakfast I juiced more of the same: kale, spinach, carrots, celery, cucumber, apple, ginger and a handful of parsley. I could drink this everyday and this has become my go-to recipe.

I’m not so adventurous that I need a different juice recipe for each meal and honestly you don’t really need to. Using 80% vegetables and 20% fruit is key.

A huge monkey wrench was thrown into my plans today however. While I woke up ready to sit around and juice all day and relax, my husband decided he wanted to have a small house party to watch the international volleyball tournament finals and invite the crew over.

I was surprisingly warm to the idea (after all I didn’t feel hungry and had plenty of energy) so we rallied the troops and they would bring most of the food.

Watermelon Smoothie
Watermelon Smoothie

Before they arrived I needed a snack so I blended watermelon, mint, lemon juice and cayenne pepper up in my nutribullet. This is one of my all time favorite smoothies and it’s great for detoxing and hydration!

Fast forward a couple hours into the party, and while everyone else ate chicken wings, buffalo chicken dip with cheese, veggies with ranch, rice with sausage, mac-n-cheese, and ice cream cones – I happily warmed the food and and played hostess with no one noticing what I was sipping on in my “concealed” cup.

Since I didn’t want to break out my juicer mid party, I had bought a greens protein shake made with all veggies and pea protein that I mixed with water and sipped away.

This was hands down the nastiest tasting broccoli-meets-tree bark concoction that has ever touched my lips. I drank every drop of that green sludge.

My only weak moment was stirring the warmed mac-n-cheese and having the willpower not to lick the spoon or at least taste it! I was quite proud of myself for pushing through the temptation of the afternoon not eating one bite of any of the food (committed? yes, nuts? I’ll let you decide).

Once everyone left (luckily it was a short match where the U.S. lost to Brazil, boooo!) I had the house to myself again and was exhausted and got into my husband’s recliner and sipped on herbal tea. I didn’t walk today nor did I have the energy, but I still felt good. It was time to rest.

beet juice
kale, spinach, carrots, celery, cucumber, apple, ginger, parsley & beets!

For dinner I broke out all the same veggies again but this time added some beets! Beets are wonderful for detoxing the liver, pancreas and gall bladder.

My poor liver. I’m so happy to be nourishing my body and giving it a break from having to do anything, especially not having to process any fertility drugs!

I actually had some trouble falling asleep this night, probably from the natural sugar in the juice I had for dinner keeping me up.  Sleep brought the most vivid dreams, so strange and mostly having to do with animals, namely horses and who knows what else that I can’t remember now.

I honestly believe that juice fasting allows our brain and our deepest thoughts to reach another dimension that we’re not accustomed to.

As crazy as it sounds, there is a huge spiritual awakening of the soul when you experience this kind of thing which is part of the reason why I wanted to do it. I am awake!

Day 4 – Breaking the Fast

When I woke up this morning I was so happy it was day 4. Not that I was ready to be done with juicing, but because I’d reached my goal and felt so much better, both mentally and physically, and I was down 4.5 lbs!

I had a decent amount of energy during those three days although there were definitely peaks and valleys but only one small headache on day 2 and the only hunger pangs were on day 1. And if you drink enough juice, you really don’t feel hungry since your stomach shrinks. In fact, I still don’t really feel like eating.

When you’re done with a juice fast, you have to ease in to eating again or else your digestive system can become really upset, and it’s also a good way to reintroduce food groups to see if you have a reaction.

The recommendation is to have one day where you eat softer fruits, raw veggies or steamed veggies, or some homemade vegetable soup with plenty of broth. The second day you can add some nuts to the mix and on the third day add some lean protein.

It’s also recommended that you continue to juice and that’s something I will continue to do to supplement my diet.

green smoothie
Green smoothie w/the fiber

So for breakfast instead of a green juice I made a green smoothie keeping all the fiber with all the same old stuff: kale, spinach, carrots, celery and apple but I skipped the ginger this time.

I have to say, it didn’t taste so good because my blender sucks so it was more of a porridge (think like drinking apple sauce, eww). But like I said before, I will eat or drink all things nasty if it’s healthy!

I decided to treat myself to a deep tissue massage and salt scrub at the spa today in celebration of my efforts and also to continue on my path of detoxing. On my way out the door I grabbed a pear and ate it on the way; it actually felt weird to chew and it was such a juicy and delicious pear it made me kinda sad that I didn’t just sit there and enjoy it.

My spa treatments were amazing and I lingered there a while using the steam room and shower and just being. Once I was dressed I made some tea and had a small plate of cantaloupe, honeydew melon and strawberries and sat by the waterfall.

I also drank a lot of lemon water to help flush out all the toxins that the massage might have stirred up. I was feeling peaceful, very peaceful, and my gut felt just fine. In fact my stomach has not growled at all over the past four days.

On my way home I grabbed some fresh kale from the store and went home and made my usual juice as a late lunch,  and for “dinner” steamed some broccoli and cauliflower that tasted delicious! It’s amazing how good healthy food tastes after having gone without for 3 days!

Will I Do a Juice Cleanse Again?

Absolutely, but I don’t think I’d ever go more than 3-5 days on straight juice because I don’t want to lose muscle and I need more energy for workouts and volleyball than just juicing alone provides.

My main goal doing this cleanse was to rid my body of a year’s worth of nasty fertility drugs and to move to a better mental space and I needed to do something extreme in order to achieve that goal. I needed to push the reset button and that’s exactly how I feel right now: rebooted!

Completing this cleanse gave me an opportunity to rest. Rest my body and flood it with high doses of vitamins and minerals that I couldn’t possibly eat in a normal day while detoxing my body from the IVF drugs.

It also allowed me to rest my thoughts and refocus on living.  Being spiritually awakened made me realize that no matter what happens, what makes me happy in life is my husband and my marriage.

Post cleanse I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and I’ve released some of the pain of the past year by making it to the finish line of a goal where I was in charge!

Q & A

bravelle juicer
Bravelle Juice Fountain
  1. What was the worst part of the cleanse? Not having enough energy for my normal workouts, but this was ok. Doing gentle workouts such as walking and yoga are much better during a cleanse.
  2. What was the best part of the cleanse? Knowing that I was nurturing my body, mind and soul and getting in touch with my feelings. Also “most” of my juices were delicious and filling so I did not feel deprived.  Also treating myself to the spa, and of course, losing weight!
  3. Did you poop during your cleanse? You’ve gotta wonder right? Not much. I wasn’t so toxic that I had a build up that needed expelling however the fiber from the fruits and veggies does still make you poop a little. And when I ate beets, my poop was red! If you’re backed up, I highly recommend a juice cleanse.
  4. What kind of juicer did you use? I use a Bravelle, it’s easy to clean up but it could do a better job pulverizing (I may need a new blade).  It cost about $189.
  5. What did you use to make the green smoothies? Just a decent quality blender, but I totally want a Vita Mix so my smoothies won’t have the consistency of apple sauce.
  6. How much weight did you lose total? On the morning of day 4, I’d lost 4.5 lbs. By day 5 (one day after breaking the juice fast), I’d lost 6 lbs and I’m still going strong. I’m going to continue to juice as a supplement to clean eating until I reach my goal weight. Eating clean is a lot easier now.
  7. How much water did you drink during the cleanse? I would sip on lemon water all day and drink about 5, 16 oz. glasses of water. You should always drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day, more if you’re detoxing. Click here to read more about how drinking lemon water can help with weight loss and help clear your skin.
  8. What’s your favorite juice or smoothie? Watermelon smoothie, click here for my recipe!
  9. Have you tried any other diets for weight loss that have given you results? Yes, I tried the Fast Metabolism diet and lost 12 lbs before my wedding. Click here to read.

Do you have more questions? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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6 Comments

  • Miranda

    Hi Rachel, I’m glad I came across your 3-Day Juice Cleanse. 3 days is definitely manageable and I’ve done it before (Reboot With Joe). I’m 42 and have also done 3 IVF attempts in the past 12 months. I’ve gained about 8 lbs since I started the treatments. I’ve noticed changes in my body and my periods since my 2nd attempt. I’m so bloated around my period and around ovulation. I’m super moody and sluggish too. My metabolism has definitely slowed and I’m still working out 3 times a week (but less intense than before because I’ve read that intense exercise can cause fertility issues). I don’t want to chalk up my symptoms to aging! 😉 I tried drinking lemon water and dandelion tea to help naturally detoxify but they just made me even more bloated. Nothing seems to be working. I’ve had to buy new clothes because half my clothes don’t fit anymore! LOL The fertility struggle is real. We will be using donor eggs since I wasn’t responding well to the treatments and well, I’m 42 and her eggs are 21.

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      Hi Miranda! Sorry you’ve had to go through this… I did feel better after the juice fast although juicing can make you feel a little bloated sometimes too, but I couldn’t help but think it was a good thing to do after all those hormones. I understand it can take a full year to get them all out of your system and in hindsight, it pretty much felt like it took a year for me to get back to “normal.” Donor egg is a great option, although it’s not something we ever pursued, I wish you the best of luck!! Once you’re done with it all maybe think about trying the ketones, that’s really been a life savior for me, for fat loss and for a more level, good mood! The decaf is safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, but it’s best to listen to your Dr.’s advice on the additional of any supplements, and not while you’re trying to conceive. Take care and good luck!! Rachel

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      Reina, I answered this before but it seemed to disappear. For this particular juice cleanse I was not eating foods, I was giving my digestion a full break. There are other ways to cleanse if you think this would be too difficult. Soup and juice cleanses maybe be a little easier. I have a recipe here for a Creamy Carrot Ginger soup that’s wonderful for cleansing. I would think juicing during the day and having some soup for dinner would also be a very effective cleanse. Let me know if you need any more help or you can email me at [email protected]. Thank you! Rachel

  • Courtney

    I became a surrogate mother on 2016 and gave birth on June 2017. I took all the medications that was provided by the fertility docs. I was told by a person it’s impossible to detox your body with all the ivf treatments. They laughed at me and stated to prove them “scientifically” I know what I took was harmful to my body. I want to rid all the harsh chemical I consumed. Is it ever to late to cleanse the body?. I have been drinking lemon water but not religiousily. Also does turmic tea help? I drink it religiousily.

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      Courtney, it’s never too late to detox. I felt a lot better after juicing. I have heard it can take 6-9 months even a year to fully detox from those drugs. Tumeric is also detoxifying. No one should be laughing at you when you ask that question….treat your body kindly and keep drinking that lemon water. Hope you feel better soon! What an amazing gift you gave to someone. <3 Thanks for your comment. Rachel

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