A DIY Juicing Cleanse Detox Diet: How Two Foodies Fared

Words: Crush

Juice cleanses are all the rage, and for good reason, if you’re looking for a great detox diet, juicing can help shift those lingering nasties in your body. Trouble is, they can be pretty pricey, as someone has made all those juices for you. We here at Crush aren’t scared of many things, but not eating is something we are truly terrified of. But, we created our own DIY juice cleanse with recipes and a shopping list. The following is what happens when food people stop eating for three days.

Our Detox Diet Guinea Pigs

EMMA – Production Assistant, 6-cups-of-coffee-a-day kinda gal, worships carbs and wine.

When we were brainstorming ideas for the next few months I was super keen on the idea of a DIY juice cleanse. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to give a go but had always thought the store bought kits were a bit out of my price range. So, I volunteered for the juice cleanse detox diet, in a Hunger Games fashion. It was only when I realised what I’d be giving up (coffee, wine, smokes, chewing!) did I start to have reservations. I like… nay, love to eat and expected that I would feel weak.

JESS – Food Writer, trained chef and lover of butter, croissants and negronis.

I’ve always wanted to do a juice cleanse, it seemed like the Cape Town thing to do but I refused to pay those ridiculous prices and still be hungry. So, when we decided on this article, I was keen but also a little worried I would be hungry and, that as a result, I would either give in really soon or just get nothing done as I wallowed in self-pity.

What You Knew About Juicing Before Going on the Challenge

Emma: Basically, I was under the impression that as long as it was a liquid, it was okay (so coffee and wine would be allowed right?) This was definitely not the case.

Jess: Nothing, except that day two would have me curled up into the foetal position, crying for my mother.

The Juicing Detox Diet Diary: Day 1

Emma: Off to a great start, instead of coffee, this morning I had hot water, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper. Not bad.

At work, I make my two morning drinks for 09h00 and 12h00. The real challenge was when everybody in the office was making their lunch (we also had a Koeksister recipe shoot, which didn’t help).

By 16h00 I am so grumpy I want to throw my MacBook at my editor. I go for a walk instead. When I eventually get home, I am so exhausted that I fall into the couch, flip through Instagram and promptly pass out!

Jess: Yeah! So pumped! Juice cleanse! I come back from yoga (and score extra smug points for that) and make myself the hot water and lemon while I shower and get ready. When it comes times to my first breakfast drink, I wasn’t too hungry so it was actually quite pleasant.

I sit down for work and feel surprisingly full until just before midday, where I enjoy the delicious pineapple-y drink. By the time the lunch juice came around, I was feeling good and not hungry at all, so happily powered through all these drinks.

The first one that I struggled with was the beetroot late afternoon juice, where it was a little sweet for me. I had a late afternoon meeting where I had herbal tea and came home to a green juice (fine) and my dessert ‘treat’ of a homemade almond milk with cinnamon. I felt good at the end of day one and even thought that I would make the almond milk drink a thing in my nighttime routine.

Detox diet 4x6

The Juicing Detox Diet Diary: Day 2

Emma: Feeling super revitalised, I have a feeling that that has more to do with having 12 hours sleep than the juicing. But, this is short lived as lunch time approaches and I want to eat everybody’s food. Instead, again, I go for a walk. As I exit the building I am greeted by second-hand smoke, I inhale deeply.

By mid-afternoon I’m not nearly as grumpy as yesterday (still grumpy though) and consider going for a run. It’s the thought that counts.

Jess: Wake up to a headache and a grumbly tummy. My first thought is that I’m so weak I can’t possibly go to yoga, but then the promise of smugness overrides that and I make it to my class. I know the headaches are part of my body’s detox so I make sure to drink lots of water after class. I follow the same process of juices, slightly less enthused than the day before. I’ve never really been one to eat the same thing over and over, so drinking the same thing is a little dull.

Once I’ve got my two morning drinks out of the way, I found that I felt really flat and it was hard to motivate myself to work. I was also starting to feel hungry, so I chased each juice down with a mug of herbal tea (ginger and lemon were my favourites).

I somehow got through this flat day and made it to ‘dinner’, which was fine, because it’s a clean green juice, but the almond milk was not as enticing as it was previously. The appeal had definitely worn off. I slukked it back and got into bed, looking forward to the last day of this juicing hell.

Detox diet 4x6

The Juicing Detox Diet Diary: Day 3

Emma: The final day, YAY! I can do this! My tummy is so flat if I look really hard I can see the muscle beneath the fat. My body has definitely gotten used to not eating, but my mind still sees pizza walking around the office. I am also starting to have juice fatigue, the thought of cleaning that machine again is draining me, so much effort –  all for a juice.

But I power on till my last almond milk dessert at 20h00 (I will be making that again). By 20h30 I have a glass of wine (I mean technically the cleanse was done!).

Jess: I spring out of bed, purely because it’s the last day and I’m closer to being able to chew food again. My overall thoughts on the last day were ‘bleh, another juice?’. Texturally, it was so boring and I found it so hard to finish my juices, almost as if I was at saturation point. But, I managed to make it through the day, getting through all the juices until the beetroot one. I couldn’t face this a third time, so I skipped it and actually found that I wasn’t hungry at all until much later in the evening.

I had my dinner juice, nixed the almond milk (I am certainly not making that a part of my nighttime routine) and went to bed feeling surprisingly good.

Final Thoughts on Juicing as a Detox Diet

Emma: One of my main concerns about juicing was losing all the fibre in the fruit and constantly being hungry. Hunger and fatigue were a big downer but if you looking for a flatter stomach for one day then it’s definitely worth it!

Jess: I felt good and lighter by the end of it, I also lost a couple of kilos that I could have kept off if I hadn’t immediately returned to eating croissants and French fries. It was easier than I thought in terms of hunger – I definitely didn’t starve as I initially thought I would – but I just got really bored.

I enjoy cooking for myself, so not being able to do that was actually the hardest part. All in all, I reckon I would do another DIY cleanse at home if I felt I needed a push for health and wellness.

Tips for A DIY Juice Cleanse

  • On a juice cleanse you’re looking to drink a juice that measures roughly between 400 and 500 ml.
  • Start every morning with a mug of hot water and lemon.
  • Remember to stay hydrated, drink lots of water. No coffee allowed!
  • If you get to a point where you feel faint, light-headed or like you want to give up, eat one of the ingredients of your juices (for example, leave out one carrot and eat that or an apple)
  • You can switch the mid-afternoon and early evening drink, but don’t switch any of the others.
Detox diet - lemon and ginger water
Detox diet 4x6


Morning Juice – Apple, Cucumber, Grapefruit (before 09h00)

2 x apples, cored
3 handfuls x kale/spinach
½ a cucumber
½ a grapefruit, peeled

Makes about 400ml

Mid-morning Juice – Pineapple, Apple, Mint (11h00)

½ pineapple, peeled
1 apple, cored
mint, to taste
½ C (125 ml) coconut water
½ lemon, peeled

Lunch Juice – Orange, Lemon, Ginger (between 13h00-1400)

1 orange, peeled (might need a ½ more)
½ lemon, peeled
small piece of ginger
2 tsp, turmeric
½ C (125 ml) water, if you think it’s too strong

(if you leave out the water, this one doesn’t quite make the 400 ml mark. You may just need your mid-afternoon juice slightly earlier if you feel hungry).

Mid-afternoon Juice – Beetroot, Apple, Carrot (15h00)

3 small beetroot, washed very well (no need to peel)
1 green apple, cored
3 carrots, washed very well
small piece of ginger

** This juice is pretty sweet, you could probably go down to 2 small beetroot and maybe add a good splash of water.

Evening Juice – Cucumber, Lemon, Pineapple (17h00-18h00)

½ cucumber
½ lemon
small handful of basil
1 apple, cored
½ pineapple

Late Evening Drink –  (20h00)

150 g soaked almonds (soak overnight at least)
1 C (250 ml) water
pinch of cinnamon
small splash of real vanilla extract (not essence!)
pinch of sea salt
honey, if necessary but only a drop

**strain the soaked almonds, then juice, following with the cup of water.

Recommended Teas While Juicing or doing a Detox Diet

Green tea
Ginger (especially if you begin to feel nauseous)

Shopping List for a Detox Diet 3 Day Juice Cleanse

15 apples
3 cucumbers
2 large bags of spinach
3 grapefruit
3 pineapples
ginger root
1 pack of mint
1 ½ c coconut water
3 lemons, plus extras for hot lemon water
3 oranges
9 small beetroot
9 carrots
1 pack of basil
450 g almonds
vanilla extract
honey, optional
fresh turmeric (if you can find it)

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