DIY Juice Cleanse: How I lost 4 pounds in 4 days

by Erika Torres


Juice cleanse, juice fast, whatever you want to call it–For (almost) four days all I ate was juice. The benefits of such an endeavor are that it’s supposed to cut back on your cravings, rid you of your toxins and improve overall health. Let’s cut the B.S. okay? I wanted to lose weight fast.

Over the course of Labor Day weekend, I indulged in exorbitant proportions. So much so that I ended up gaining back weight that I had worked for over a month to lose! It was heartbreaking–I needed a push to get me back on the healthy eating wagon, and what better way than to punish myself with a juice fast? Besides, all the celebrities are doing it, and that’s good enough for me!

I looked at several different companies, such as Blueprint and Ritual cleanse which both offer organic produce. However, the costs were hefty–$200 for a 3-day Blueprint, and even with a discount code, I was looking at about $165 for Ritual. I couldn’t justify the expense.

After looking at juicers on Craigslist (they run about $50 used), I ended up asking my mom if she had one, and *ta-da* FREE Juicer to borrow!

The Cost of a DIY Juice Cleanse

I had to buy A LOT of produce to get my juicing on. I used the Blueprint recipes (also listed at the bottom of this post) and calculated how much I needed for three to four days of juicing. You’re looking at SIX juices a day, each day, in this order:

  • Green Juice
  • Pineapple Apple Mint Juice
  • Green Juice
  • Spicy Lemonade
  • Beet Juice
  • Cashew milk

That’s a lot of juice. Typical cleanses last three days, bad-asses go for five. Since I’m a half-ass, not a bad-ass, I figured I would shoot for four.

I ended up spending about $65 at the Farmer’s Market, plus $12 at Costco for all my produce. However–if I had known that Whole Foods was having an organic apple sale for $1.50 a pound, I would have saved $15 (instead of paying $3 a pound at the farmer’s market)–you need a LOT of apples for this cleanse (I think I bought like 10 pounds worth).

Tip #1: Wait for a sale on apples to do a DIY cleanse since that’s what you’ll spend the majority of money on.

So, about  $77 on produce total, but again you can probably do it for about $55 if you shop a little bit better than I did (I had a $3 whole pineapple, a $3.99 bag of organic spinach, and a romaine lettuce leftover plus a bunch of lemons and a few other stragglers).

Review of a DIY Juice Cleanse

This was my typical schedule on the Juice Cleanse:

8 a.m. Green Juice
24 ounces of water
10 a.m. Pineapple Apple Mint Juice
24 ounces of water
12 pm Green Juice
24 ounces of water
2 pm Spicy Lemonade
24 ounces of water
5 pm Beet Juice
24 ounces of water
7 pm Cashew Milk

Tip #2: It’s important to drink a ton of water in between juices to keep yourself hydrated.

You can also score a lot of great recipes for a juice cleanse by picking up a copy of 101 Juice Recipes. The author is a popular juicing fanatic by the name of Joe Cross.

Day 1

For the first day of my cleanse, I actually purchased the first two Blueprint juices from Whole Foods the day before. The farmers’ market is on Saturday morning, so I figured the pre-bought juices would hold me over until I could get home to juice up my own concoctions. I also ended up purchasing the Dr. Oz juice at the Whole Foods juicing station for my third juice–it contains the exact same ingredients as the Blueprint juice, except you need to add kale. And it was cheaper ($7) than Blueprint  ($11) and fresher too!

Tip #3: Whole Foods will juice your produce for you for a $1.50 fee per juice. You may have to schedule a time though if you want to do a whole cleanse.

This is what I did right for my first juice day: I started on a day that Eric was working a 24-hour shift so that I would not be tempted by any of his food.

This is what I did wrong: Everything else. Seriously. I ran 10 miles that morning (per my half-marathon training plan)  and I was definitely light-headed on that last mile, having had only the first green juice to sustain me. I know it was stupid, but I was on a mission! No pain, no gain right? (Plus I had a bowl of pasta the night before as my carbo-load, hoping that would balance out the juice the next day–I make no excuses for my stupidity).

I also was super busy Saturday. On the first day of my cleanse, I ran 10 miles, went to the Farmers Market, went to Costco, went to Whole Foods, came home and juiced enough for two days’ worth, went to get a massage (which helped a little), got a pedicure, and hung out with family. No wonder I had a splitting headache at 3 pm that would not go away. I ended up passing out at 8 pm. I felt really really horrible the first day. Like my head was pounding and I was praying the rest of the days would not be like this.

But one thing I did not feel? Hunger. That’s right. This whole time I was worried that I would be hungry, but I was actually shocked by how not hungry I felt. Granted, I never had that full feeling, but I never really got hunger pains. Still, I was hoping Day 2 would be better.

Day 2

On day 2 of the Cleanse, Eric was home from work. He came home at 8 am and made eggs with turkey meat, and man oh man did it smell good. He also made coffee. And you’re not allowed to drink caffeine on the cleanse. Lucky for me, I’m not a coffee addict, but enjoy it occasionally. I stuck with my juice though. It kind of sucked to drink green juice while he’s scarfing down yumminess, but it wasn’t that bad.

I also took Day #2 a lot slower than the first day. I stayed in my pajamas most of the day and didn’t leave the house, except to walk Bentley. Prison Break Marathon on Netflix kept me occupied.

I was happy to say that the juices kept me full throughout the day. I did sneak in a few cashews (maybe 10?) because I figured if I’m drinking them, then eating them is the same thing, right? By the end of the day though, I was kind of over it. Eric would make a burrito, and it would smell good, and even though I wasn’t hungry–because I wasn’t–I really just wanted food. I wanted pizza, I wanted a burger, I wanted cheese, for all things holy, I wanted to CHEW!

As I went to bed on Day 2, I had no idea how I was going to make it two more days…

Day 3

Day 3 actually was probably the easiest day. I was at work and it was a Monday. I hauled a cooler with all my juices in it and just drank a juice about every two hours or whenever I started to get hungry. Being at work definitely made it easier since there was no food and no kitchen to tempt me.

Eric was on another 24-hour shift this day, so I went home and took it easy. I had my cashew milk and curled up to watch Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, a documentary on juicing and two men’s journeys on losing 100 pounds doing a 60-day juice cleanse. Pretty impressive stuff.

I basically watched it because I needed motivation!

Day 4

I wanted to give up on Day Four, but I had a whole day’s worth of juice in my fridge, plus I had just watched the documentary, and I’m not gonna lie, the numbers on the scale were exciting to see.

I was over the juice though, and decided to break my fast in the evening, with a plate full of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.


All in all, I lost 4 pounds on the fast and it brought me to my lowest weight of the year. However, I know all those critics and Negative Nancies are all like “it’s just water weight!” so I purposely waited a week to see what my weight would be and if I would gain it all back.

Well, I did gain it all back, because I was soo excited to be done with the juice cleanse that I went crazy and ate EVERYTHING in sight. It was very counter productive, I know.

Sooooo, the next week, Eric decided he wanted to do a juice cleanse too. So we did one together, but this time, we only stuck with it for one full day, and then incorporated salads and veggies for lunch or dinner.

I have kept up with the juicing. Almost every morning (I would say 5 out of 7), I start my day off with a green juice for breakfast, then I like to have a pineapple juice in the afternoon for a snack. Continuing to juice has helped me get to my lowest weight since last year.

Obviously, amazing results can be achieved through an extended juice fast:


But so can any person who severely restricts their calories for 60 days. Maybe I’m just jealous that I don’t have the will power to keep it going for 60 days, but for me, this was the boost I needed to jump start my weight loss again. I have been stuck in a rut for the past year, and I needed a little push to help me get motivated to continue eating healthy.

While juice fasting is hard, I did not really go hungry as long I kept drinking juice and lots of water. However, I like this new balance of incorporating juicing into my every day life. It really helps with the cravings, and even better is that I am getting lots of good nutrients. Whenever I eat crap food now, I definitely feel like crap and I don’t appreciate it that much.

For example, I’ll take a bite of donut and then feel disgusting for about an hour afterwards. SO I don’t crave donuts as much…

Blueprint Recipes and Reviews: Does it taste good?

Green Smoothie

  • 5 Ribs of Celery
  • 1 Cucumber, Halved
  • 2 Large Green Apples of Your Choice
  • 3 Kale leafs
  • 1 Ounce of Lemon juice
  • 1 Handful of Parsley
  • 3 Romaine leafs
  • 1 Handful of Spinach

It tastes like pickle juice. I like pickles. I think this really depends on whether you like pickles or not. I actually forgot celery and just left it out, still tasted fine, and it produced a lot more than 16 ounces, depending on the size of your produce. I chose big cucumbers (how you like them apples?)

Pineapple Apple Mint

  • A Third of 1 Pineappple
  • 2 Large Green Apples of Your Choice
  • A few pinches of Mint, to taste

Seriously? What’s not to like? Pineapple, Apple, and Mint yummy!! Add some rum and make it a mojito! (but not during your cleanse…)

Spicy Lemonade

  • 14 ounces of Filtered Water
  • 3-4 juiced medium Lemons
  • A few Dashes of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Agave Nectar

I don’t like spicy foods (yeah, I know I’m not a real Mexican). And the first day, I just dumped the cayenne in there–who knew such a tiny spice could provide such a big flavor?! Yeah, on the second day I just did a pinch. This is sort of the blah drink. Not bad, not great.

Beet Juice

  • 1 Green Apple of Your Choice
  • 2 Beet, with the greens left on
  • 3 Large Carrots
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoon of Ginger
  • A 1/2 ounce of Lemon Juice (to taste)

This was by far the hardest drink to get through, and I like beets. It’s not so much that it tastes bad–I actually think it tastes okay–it’s that it’s such a strong drink and one of the last ones of the day, that by the time 5 pm rolls around, the last thing you feel like drinking is the beet juice. On all four days, I left a little bit of the juice because I just couldn’t finish it.

Cashew Milk

  • 4-5 ounces of Raw Cashews
  • 16 ounces of Filtered water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Agave Nectar
  • 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 two-inch piece of Vanilla Bean (or 1 teaspoon of extract)

This is supposed to be your dessert for the day. And it really is yummy, but I would suggest you have a really good blender to get those cashews all chopped up. I couldn’t finish this drink on any of the days because I just wasn’t hungry.

For more on healthy living and how we plan to accomplish it check these articles out.

Your Health is the Most Important Investment You Will Ever Make
My Relationship with Food and Our Journey toward Clean Eating
My Plan to Lose Ten Pounds in Three Months


emva June 30, 2015 - 9:19 pm

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Paula November 26, 2014 - 6:42 pm

Did you make all the juice drinks all at once or did you do it daily?

mika August 26, 2014 - 11:10 am

Thanks for the tips, I really want to try to juice cleanse then get back to eating healthy. The weight-loss is a great plus, but I need to get all the nasties out of me so when I do eat healthy it is effective. Can’t wait to try these! ♥

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Anna December 28, 2013 - 8:59 pm

You gained the weight back because you are starving yourself. You look so sickly in your last picture, to be honest. I’m not trying to be mean, and I’m not jealous. Please seek professional help before you seriously hurt yourself. You don’t know what you are doing. Eventually your body is going to give out on you. You can’t restrict to this extent without negative effects.

Elenor January 2, 2014 - 8:25 pm

No she doesn’t! She looks great! Juice cleanses are excellent for your body. Or just watch Fat,Sick,and Nearly Dead. Speaks for itself.

Do you have any scientific evidence to support your claims? Because what you posted appears to be your opinion.

Holland Shop May 23, 2013 - 1:02 am

I am really inspired together with your writing abilities and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to peer a great blog like this one today..

Melissa October 20, 2012 - 12:20 pm

We just watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead last night and loved it. I plan on having a veggie juice drink for breakfast, but I am not going to do a juice only diet. Can’t wait to try it.

Jordann @ My Alternate Life October 15, 2012 - 8:38 am

Congrats on taking the plunge and starting juicing! I’ve been wanting to juice for a long time but unfortunately I don’t have access to a juicer – maybe I’ll put it on my wedding registry. I’ve watching Fat, Sick and Nearly dead a ton of times too to inspire myself to eat healthier.

Econowiser October 14, 2012 - 11:55 pm

OMG, I have to give this a a try! You look great!!!

Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals October 14, 2012 - 9:21 am

I had to do a clear-liquids diet for a colonoscopy a few weeks ago, and it was hell… don’t think I could ever go liquids-only for a prolonged period of time after that! You did provide a very comprehensive list of recipes, though… maybe once I get over the colonoscopy trauma, I’ll give it a try 🙂

Paul @ Living Beyond Organic October 13, 2012 - 9:42 pm

Juicing yourself is the best! because of the supreme freshness of the fruit/veggies and also because you know its the quality you want. However for some of us, we don’t have the time or money to buy all the necessary ingredients/ and blend blend blend like mad! I’ve used the new Beyond Organic Cleanse with great success and its cheaper than any of the best juice cleanses out there.

While I agree your juice cleanse is awesome! It may be worth it for a future cleanse as maybe a “maintenance cleanse” per-say. check it out here: http://trylivingorganic.com/beyond-organic-3-day-suero-cleanse/

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Amy @ JobCred CV Builder October 12, 2012 - 12:09 pm

Awesome quick-result diet advice. This really makes sense. At first I got discouraged because I thought it meant taking a lot of acids because of the idea of juice but the recipes are great.

Gwen Albaugh October 12, 2012 - 7:10 am

Great words of advice. Know a lot of people are wanting to try juicing and you actually tell is how it is!

Jami October 11, 2012 - 9:56 pm

I’ve been thinking about a juice cleanse, but I’m not totally sold on it yet. Basically I’m too lazy to juice myself and too cheap to pay for it, lol. I like that you’re now incorporating the juicing into a ‘normal’ routine, that seems much more manageable. Great information!

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland October 11, 2012 - 3:46 pm

My friend did one of these for 60 days. He spent $40 every other day on produce for juicing. It was silly!

jobo October 11, 2012 - 1:57 pm

Wow, you have more willpower than me to do a juice cleanse! I need to chew my food, plain and simple, and I think this would be REALLY hard to do especially working out as much as we do! For example, running 10 miles while on a cleanse? no bueno! I am not surprised you felt so crappy! BUT I will say this – I am impressed with this in that you did it, you are seeing results and you like them!! AND are making them yourself!! Nicely done my friend 🙂 but you look great, you know I will always say and think that! BTW I will be out there in December!! hope to see you!!

Jessica @ Budget For Health October 11, 2012 - 1:38 pm

That FSND documentary was pretty sweet to watch. I’m happy to hear you did some research before jumping right into a juice fast. It looks like it definitely helped you out! Props for running 10 miles on top of that! Are you feeling on track for race day? Two recs I’d give that Joe from FSND recommends as well for his recipes– 1. make the majority of your juice from vegetables since the fruit does contain mostly carbohydrates and you aren’t getting much fat/protein. 2. Let the juice sit in your mouth until it gets warm. Gross but helpful bc we have enzymes in our saliva that get the digestion started on carbs. Skipping that step can sometimes cause bloating/gas later from the carbs fermenting in the intestines. Probs not a big deal for a short juice fast but definitely a consideration if going a longer stretch. Great article!

Madison October 11, 2012 - 10:57 am

While I’ve never done an official juice cleanse per se, I did buy a juicer a year ago in order to get more fruits and veggies into my diet one way or another. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a day on only juice, so I decided to just use juice as a breakfast and as what I drink with my lunch and for an afternoon snack in addition to a typical snack.

I lasted two days. Because I got sick of having to pee 5-8 times an HOUR. Ugh. It was ridiculous. Did you experience this at all?

So then I just made one juice to drink throughout the day at work, but I got too busy after a few months of that and stopped doing it. And now it’s been a year, whoops! I actually just pulled my juicer back out last weekend to make some fresh apple cider, so I may have to go back to making daily juices.

newlywedsonabudget October 11, 2012 - 3:40 pm

I pee a lot as it is, at least once an hour, because I drink so much water. As much as I do hate getting up to pee (I will hold it for as long as possible!) I like that it forces me to get up from my desk, since you’re supposed to take a break at least once an hour anyway to give your eyes a chance to rest. Sooooo yes, pee a lot, but I liked the break.


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