One week ago I decided to look into these so-called detox programs and decided to test it myself, starting with a seven-day juice fast and then another three weeks of clean eating.

After one week of drinking LOADS of juices and fluids, it’s about time for my first review!

Be careful what you buy!

Since I have been working in the media and marketing industry for more than ten years, I had this little feeling in my stomach that there is a huge lobby out there that promotes these juice programs and many smart marketers that sell the products. Honestly, I truly hoped that this little challenge would prove me wrong, but it didn’t!

I tested four different brands that offer this healthy, fresh juice and had my own list of different criteria: smell, taste, body tolerance and also had the juices analyzed by its ACTUAL ingredients.

I thought we do have some strict food labeling protocols in Europe, but as it turned out, there is still enough room for hidden ingredients and other labeling tricks. One of the four fruit and vegetable juices contained hidden ingredients that were not on the food label – only a tiny amount, which, according to European law, gives you the right not to put it on the label. Unless, it’s any sort of allergene, then you have to mention it in a little side note. Hallelujah!

I don’t wanna mention the brand, but it was a regular “fresh” juice you can buy at almost any supermarket in Germany. So, no, it wasn’t really fresh! The other three juices were by special detox brands such as Dean & David, Detox Delight or Pressbar. The results came back all clear.

First rule: When they write “100% pure juice, no sugar, not pasteurized” – don’t automatically think it’s good for your body or completely healthy. Take a closer look and do some research BEFORE buying them.

During my 7-day juice fast I went for the cold-pressed juices by Pressbar. Usually cold-pressed juices are much more expensive and much healthier: As a result of zero-heat extraction, these juices preserve valuable enzymes and vitamins for up to three days, which explains why cold-pressed juices have such a short shelf life. Typically speaking, a cold-pressed juice can take anywhere from 12-24 hours from sourcing to juicing to bottle. Most cold-press juice has a shelf-life of 72 hours.

However, due to High Pressure Processing it is possible to extend the shelf life of bottled products, without destroying vitamins, minerals and enzymes. BUT: “This process can change enzymes in not entirely predictable ways, and small studies have shown, for example, that tomato puree and juice lost some of its lycopene content or that protein in broccoli was reduced.” (Lisa Elaine Held)

Well, the juices I ordered at Pressbar have a shelf life of four weeks, which makes it pretty clear, that they are not untreated. However, they are 100% raw and don’t contain any unhealthy ingredients.

It’s up to you whether you wanna go for it, spend A LOT of money (ca. 50 EUR for three days) or if you wanna prepare your own fresh juice or get a FRESH, RAW, ORGANIC juice at a juice bar! I certainly go for the latter and prefer my juice untreated!

Side effects

I am honest: the past few days were my personal nightmare! The week started out pretty good when I just had my own fresh smoothies, my regular “Spring Break” at Dean & David and some soup. I felt pretty good, energized and very happy!

Well, and then I went for the treated cold-pressed juice: 100% raw. There were just so many things that came together: I did not like the smell, AT ALL. I even had my colleagues smell it to make sure it’s not just in my head. One of them said “it smells like glue”. Yep, it smelled totally different than my freshly squeezed juice. The taste: oh boy! It literally made me choke. One hour later I felt nauseated, got sick to my stomach, broke into shivers and was suffering from diarrhea all night. The day after, I felt so weak that I could not even do my exercise program and my stomach hurt so bad.

That was enough! Sorry, no more treated juices for me. I immediately stopped drinking them and felt so much better.

And please, if you now tell me, this is part of the healthy cleaning process?! Sorry, this is just crap! First of all, diarrhea and pain is NOT healthy! Besides: your body detoxes itself – EVERY single day: the liver, your intestines, your kidney, lungs and your skin! When you suffer from pain or almost pass out, your body tells you that something is NOT right. Period!

After having it checked by my doctor she confirmed that my body had a bad reaction to these juices. It could have been too much of these raw juices so that my intestines had a little shock or that my body just did not need it. My blood pressure was pretty low and my heart was racing like crazy. Hence I had one cheat day where I needed to eat some potatoes to get my strength back.

I lost 3kg in one week. Does this sound healthy to you? Losing that much in just a few days? (rhetorical question) – Of course, it was mostly water and intestinal contents, but also some muscle mass. 🙁

So, rule number two: before considering ANY kind of diet, fast or cleanse, consult your nutritionist or doctor to avoid any bad side effects.

And please, be honest to yourself! Why do you wanna do such a juice fast? Do you really need it? Does your doctor say so? Or isn’t it better to change your personal lifestyle and eating habits?

Your weight does NOT define you

First of all, I would like to say that I do believe it is important to stay and live healthy – no matter your size, figure or age! Health is something you cannot buy – for no money in the whole wide world. Next to love, family and friends, it is one of the most precious things and privileges we have.

When you are sick and have health problems due to your weight, talk to someone. Address your feelings, symptoms and anxieties. Don’t think you have to deal with it all alone!

We all should stop judging a book by its cover. And – SERIOUSLY ?! – these stupid body challenges on Instagram?! Again, seriously?! Do you really wanna limit yourself to your body weight or your figure? Who tells you how big or skinny your thighs should look like? Who has the right to judge about that? What does this say about your character?!

When you have a thigh gap, a Kim Kardashian butt and a tiny waste, you are automatically an awesome person? Does this stand for things that actually matter: how kind or friendly a person is, if he or she is a great colleague and team player, that a person treats others with respect, loves animals?!

At my age a woman knows what she wants: I feel good about myself and my body and no longer get insecure when I don’t fit in someone’s box. But there are many others and young teenagers that feel so much pressure by these stupid body images in the media and on instagram. I don’t wanna support that!

Please, when you do wanna lose or gain weight, when you don’t feel comfortable about yourself, talk to someone! Don’t let you guide yourself by some body challenge or detox trend, ’cause every body is different and fasting doesn’t work for everyone!  For some, it can be dangerous – for them and their body – when doing it without any consultation!

I will continue this 30-day cleanse. But will no longer use these juices, since the side effects were too much for my body. Right now, I am happy that I no longer feel sick and that I got my energy back.

xoxo

photo credits: V’s World