I Went On A Three Day Juice Fast And Failed Miserably!

When I read Cat Marnell’s post on xoJane about going on the Ritual Cleanse three day juice fast, I thought “Hey! I can do that! Why don’t I try it?!” Even though I’m ordinarily obsessed with food and actually look forward to the moment I’m hungry just so I can eat again, I also like to test myself. But when I told my roommate Caitie I was thinking about doing a three day juice fast, she totally laughed at me!

” You don’t think I can do it? I’m serious!” I screamed, probably while eating some pasta.

“I think you can do it for like half a day,” She said, rolling her eyes. “Then you’ll get too bitchy and cave.”

As much as I hated to admit it, she was right. I suffer from a serious case of hangry — getting really irritated and mean when I haven’t eaten in awhile. But despite my starvation-induced moodiness, I was determined to try this. So far, 2012 has been all about quitting bad habits and pushing myself toward living a healthier lifestyle. I had already been successful in the few things I’ve sought out to do, so I figured a juice cleanse would be the logical final step toward becoming a healthier me!

I ordered the juices and prepared to detox by cutting out meat and most dairy. I started to drink green juices and snacked on healthy food throughout the day. I even cut out booze! I knew that if I didn’t take these necessary steps, my body would be in serious shock when I started the cleanse. I mean, I’m basically made of white wine and Nutella, for god’s sake! When I told my best friend I was doing this, she was like, “Good for you! But Ryan, I’m not saying you eat unhealthy but… you don’t even like organic food!” Okay, first of all, I love organic! My favorite saying is “Don’t panic, it’s organic!” Second of all, does anyone have ANY faith in me?! I don’t blame them for being skeptical but Jesus. They’re making me feel like John Candy at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I’m not that bad!

The day the juices came, I was excited. I had already spent the last week sober and starving, so why not just go all the way?

Ritual Cleanse works like this: you get six cold-pressed raw juices to drink a day and they ALL taste amazing. That’s not even a joke. I didn’t get this stuff for free, so trust me when I say that every juice was pure deliciousness. Most of them are some combination of kale, romaine, lemon and ginger. Throw in the occasional green apple for diversity. One juice is lemon, water, and cayenne pepper which reminds me of The Master Cleanse, and another one is made of cashews, cinnamon,  and nutmeg. It tasted so good. Like a healthy milkshake. They were smart to put that drink last because it serves as good incentive to make it through the day.

I’m not gonna lie. The first day was a damn nightmare. I felt woozy and had a headache. Most importantly, I WAS STARVING. I looked at all of Ritual Cleanse’s reviews on Yelp and everyone was just like “OMG, YOU NEVER GO HUNGRY! THE JUICES ARE SO FILLING!” Um, yeah right. Liar, liar, organic cotton pants on fire! If you drink nothing but juice, you’re going to be hungry. Unless you’re a person who subsists on nuts and grapefruit, a juice cleanse will be a shock to your appetite and all of a sudden you’ll find yourself wanting to eat your La Mer eye cream before bed just like I did!

That being said, if you make it through day one, the worst is over. I woke up the next morning feeling a lot better. The hunger I felt subsided and became just a dull ache (#dark). That day I sprinted off to Brooklyn to go to the office with my juices in tow, ready to take on life! And my stomach felt really flat. Have you ever not eaten anything for 24 hours? Your stomach practically becomes concave. It’s crazy! (And probably scary.)

Here’s one thing you should all know though. Writing on a semi-empty stomach is a really hard thing to do. Whenever I would try to come up with articles ideas, they would be something weird like “5 Things You Should Do With Your Ex Who Resembles Spaghetti” or “How To Be Full Off Of Eating Wonderful Amazing Food.” My focus was a little bit off. My energy was fine, my hunger was manageable, but focusing was difficult. It also didn’t help that Stephanie Georgopulos was sitting next to me hungover and ordering a giant burrito.

At around 5 PM, I felt my resolve start to weaken. I wanted to eat. Not because I was particularly hungry but because I just wanted to. I didn’t want to cave though because that would mean I failed. In the last two months, I’ve made such positive changes in my life and if I quit this cleanse, I felt like it would all come crashing down. It’s irrational, I know. But it’s how I felt.

Screw it, I thought. I’m going to eat.

So I did. I ate a salad. I mean, I wasn’t going to totally throw it all away by eating a burger — my body didn’t even want that — but I was going to cheat. After I wolfed it down, I immediately felt this mixture of relief and shame. I thought about all the people who wrote about doing this cleanse like it was NBD. All of the people who weren’t hungry and found it invigorating. And here I was, cheating halfway through day two. What the hell was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I do something that everyone else did seemingly without a hitch?

I left work in a serious shame spiral and with a stomachache to boot. My body was FLIPPING OUT about the fact that there was food in it and I felt stupid for essentially making myself sick. I drank the rest of my juice that day and passed out at 10 PM. I wanted to continue on the cleanse. I didn’t want to quit but I also knew that the saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” applied to cleanses as well. I knew there would be a second time. There was no way I was making it through without another relapse.

The next day, I woke up feeling energetic. Whatever stomachache I had the night before appeared to have left me. My body had started to crave a green juice in the morning which was an amazing feeling. So I drank one and went to work in high spirits ready to conquer my last day on the cleanse. I got this, honey!

Or… maybe I don’t. Smash cut to later that day: Me at Five Leaves chowing down on a kale salad. Oops! At this point, I had stopped feeling guilty about the cheating. What was the point? All it did was make me wanna eat more. I accepted it for what it was and let go of any shame.

After my cleanse ended, I didn’t know if I wanted to write about it. It was, in many ways, a failure. I ate food. Twice. I broke the rules, dirtied up my digestive tract again, and found myself back at square one. But then I realized that I had to write about this. Because whenever  someone writes about doing a juice cleanse, I don’t think they’re being entirely honest about how hard it is to not eat. Even on Ritual Cleanse, which has the most delicious juices I’ve ever tasted, it was super difficult. I can’t be the only one who had a experience like this on a cleanse, right? There are other people who relapse. They just must not talk about it. Well, here I am! I’m going on record to say that going without food for three days is really, really hard. And if you cheat, it doesn’t make you Kirstie Alley. It just makes you human.

Despite my infidelities with food, I still consider my experience with Ritual Cleanse to be an overall success. Since its ended, my cravings have changed. Instead of drinking coffee, I drink a green juice every morning and have 10x more energy. I don’t need sweets like I used to. As a cruel joke, my mom Fed Ex’d me Girl Scout cookies the day I went off the cleanse. Under normal circumstances, that stuff would’ve been GONE in two days but thanks to the cleanse, I’ve only been able to eat a few cookies over the course of a week. Sugary processed foods hit my stomach like a brick now. They’re not as fun to consume anymore. On top of having healthy food cravings, I’ve also had the most amazing sleep in the past week which I’ve heard can be a direct result from going on a juice cleanse.

Would I recommend that you go on the Ritual Cleanse? Yeah, I would. It’s fun to challenge yourself and see what you’re capable of. It feels good to drink yummy juices all day long and watch your body start to crave fruits and veggies instead of just crap. Even though I fell off the wagon, I’m still feeling the benefits from it. If you do choose to go on it though, be prepared for how difficult it can be. I mean, everyone is different. For some, going on a juice cleanse might be super easy but it’s not like that for others. For me, it was a total bitch. This is just my experience. Juice carefully, y’all! TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Anonymous

     Why would you starve while wasting money on juices?  Just change your eating habits and drink more water and it should have a similar effect.

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    Don’t panic it’s organic! haha

  • Dixie

    Let me start off by saying I generally like your articles and thoughts on here. So I’m not, like, tryna hate. But… why do (seemingly bright) people fall for fad diets like ‘cleanses’? I’d really like to see some peer-reviewed, clinical-based studies on the ‘benefits’ of cleanses. Dude, you just starved yourself for 3 days — and then felt bad about it! when you did the sensible thing! and actually ate some food. Youre great, but just one look at that product website has got me scratching my head… “Organic produce contains 20-50% more nutrients than conventional produce?” really? Care to share the citation for that study, Ritual? Bulllllllllll. But I mean, live your life darlin. Just FYI cleanses are fad diets, let’s not get trendy now.

    • steph

      There are many documented cases in which people who change to a juice-only diet reverse diseases..  That alone should tell you that it’s not as horrible as all ‘fad diets’ which would usually worsen disease due to ensuing nutritional deficiencies.  It’s because fresh unadulterated juice packs so many nutrients in, and is absorbed so rapidly by the body.  Diabetes, cancer, digestive issues, skin rashes caused by immune response all may show improvement with a highly nutrient-dense diet such as a juice ‘cleane’…  I don’t advocate starving oneself.  Simply, people can eat enough calorically and nutritionally on juice alone, if they drink enough that is made from enough of the right things.  And that’s far superior to any other ‘fad diet’ imo

      • anon

        I would say that there is some research to back the claims you made, but not a lot. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle far outweigh going on a crash diet for a few days. The body naturally cleanses itself, and shocking the system could actually affect the liver and other organs from doing what they do anyway. Also any weight loss through this method most surely would come right back when one returns to their old habits. Ryan obviously has no intentions of completely changing his alcohol and food consumption habits, so the effects of this cleanse will be null.

      • anon

        Sorry, one more point I must make. A diabetic should absolutely not do a juice cleanse. It would cause their blood sugar to fluctuate so badly. I have no idea where you found information stating that this would be good for diabetics.

      • Bealtaine

         But do these juices have the fibre?There has to be some kind of long term catch. We are not designed to live off juices alone (case and point-we have teeth) so eventually damage is going to set in. Honestly if people just eat healthily and exercise they have nothing to worry about.A cleanse is rather short term for a long term issue…

      • Juicer

        They don’t have fiber, that’s the point. You go on a cleanse so that your digestive tract doesn’t have to work on breaking down the food you consume each day, and then it will begin to “clean” or process matter that has been collected in the colon over time. The support for juicing in order to add nutrients to one’s diet is totally sound and many people do develop auto-immune conditions that can be reversed with the addition of the vitamins and nutrients from juicing. The catch is that pharmaceutical companies don’t want people to know that they can get healthy without having to use prescription drugs.

        Basically, the point of a juice cleanse is literally to clean out one’s system, it is a short term system. It CAN help reduce or eliminate caffeine, sugar or other cravings and it can be a boost to a new eating plan. The point of adding juices to your diet regularly is to embrace your health in the long term by providing your system with tons of macronutrients that will help overall body function. There just seems to be a lot of confusion about juicing, not everyone who “juices” means that they are fasting. 

      • Guestlady

        Wow. You do know that fiber is the good stuff, right? Your body doesnt break down fiber, fiber does the work for your digestive system. Your digestive tract does not break down fiber. This is silly, get a book from the library and teach yourself about nutrition. So ridiculous that you (guys) wont educate yourself/are unable to discern valid sources from rumor.

    • http://www.candicepayne.com Candice

      Truly. The entire ‘detox’/’cleanse’ concept is bunk. Your body does a perfectly good job of eliminating ‘toxins’ on its own unless you’ve got worse issues than feeling guilty for eating too much junk food. It’s just self-flagellation as punishment for bad eating habits.

      At least this doesn’t appear to be one of the systems that claims to clear the intestines of plaque buildup. Those ones contain ingredients like clay or psyllium husk that will absorb water and create disgusting casts of your insides (necessary because there is no such thing as plaque buildup to begin with) that will convince you they’re working as well as keep you in pain and running to the toilet all day, consequently making you lose a ton of weight by dehydrating you. This cleanse  just seems to be starvation. So yes, you will definitely lose weight. But damn, it’s expensive… I would be willing to pay as much as zero dollars to starve myself the natural way by just… not eating.

      Ryan doesn’t blame his friends for being skeptical that he could complete the fast when in fact no one involved was being nearly skeptical enough. I really hate seeing people try to sell others on complete garbage like this. It’s infectious somehow despite the evidence in favour of it being anecdotal at best (placebo effect, anyone?) and despite all of the very good evidence against it that no one bothers to look into. Same old easy answer nonsense that people have always fallen for, I suppose.

  • Danaynay

    These juices are flippin’ expensive! $100/day?? Buy a juicer and “cleanse” year around. You can make basically the same drinks for like… $2 per serving. 

  • Adamcrittenden

    Haiku #5

    You told me celery
    would hold me over,
    just like masturbation.

  • Subliminal Messanger

    How much did Ritual Juice pay you for this?

    • Ryan O'Connell

      nothing! (sadly) YOU READERS ARE SO PARANOID JEEZ.

  • http://twitter.com/aayushjindal92 Aayush Jindal

    Organic Cotton pants on fire!! lol..!! :D :D

  • http://twitter.com/brandimcmeow Brandi Mcbrayer

    You are for sure my favorite person on the internet, Ryan. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=903990701 Rae Gross

    The real question is, did you lose weight? And how much?

  • http://twitter.com/kyleangeletti Kyle Angeletti

    Pretty surprised this wasn’t a sponsored article by some master juice cleanse brand. Then that shit would have been free.

    Also, super weak. It was 3 days man. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Juicy Fruit!

  • Mclyrz

    I laughed when you talked about not eating for 24 hours and writing articles on food.  When I got my wisdom teeth extracted I got dry socket and couldn’t open my mouth for a couple of days. When I slept, I would dream about steak and potatoes….and every other food under the sun, but when I woke I still couldn’t eat…
    I love your articles! 

  • CeeCee McGee

    OMG. You spent all that money on juice and cheated? LOL! I’m in the wrong business. I need to juice some veggies and sell them for a ridiculous price to people! 

  • DM

    I’m going to by-pass all the comments so they don’t change my opinion of this piece. Anyways, thanks for writing! I’m in the transition stage this week and going to start a cleanse next week for 3 days of raw and cooked veggies so this article helped get me excited about it! People tell me all the time it’s not that hard so it’s nice to hear the truth and know what I should expect. Thanks!

  • Asdf

    John Candy jokes… too soon?

  • Supahhcool

    I’ve started saying “#dark” in everyday conversation now. You win.

  • http://twitter.com/topherjaynes Christopher Jaynes

    Apropo or sorts, but watched the Documentary on Netflix Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, guy went for 60 days on just juice. Says it isn’t for everyone, but that first few days are the worst by far, congrats for trying 

  • bee

    The whole craving healthy foods and feeling the true impact of junk foods is how I started to feel when going vegan.  It really is fascinating how we can tune our bodies into what they actually need to function (I can actually feel when I need certain macronutrients now! so trippy), as opposed to what we psychologically crave.  Don’t get me wrong, I still eat chips, chocolate, and candy (swedish fish, mmm), but not NEARLY as much as I used to.  I can actually reach a healthy point of satisfaction when I eat ‘junk food’, whereas before I just ate and ate and ate it and it made me feel gross and then I was ashamed of myself.  I never feel guilty anymore because I eat super healthy throughout the day. When night comes around and I want something sweet/salty, I enjoy enough of it to satisfy the craving, and that’s that.  No guilt.  That’s what this article reminded me of. 
    I also think it’s cool that you did the juice cleanse to challenge yourself.  Refreshing way of looking at it :P

  • sponsored

    1. This is obviously sponsored by Ritual Cleanse and you should probzzzz have said that. 
    2. Juice cleanses = most amazing things ever

    you’re forgiven

  • Hud123

    I tried juice diet for half day and i ran to Jack in the box and got curly fries…. sadly I wasnt even hungry but more wanting satisfaction of carbs and salt. I was ashamed to break my diet on first day but i got over it quick lol. not easy at all thanks for writing about your experience.

  • http://twitter.com/gypzAndy AndreaCarmona

    i want to try this now. i’ve done the Master Cleanse before.. and i kinda cheated too. >_> BUT! this seems more do-able.

  • margins

    I bought a juicer, and started a mostly vegetable juice (some fruit juice) on  April 7.  Today is May 23.  I’m down 34 pounds.   The first three days were rough, but by day 9, I began to have more energy than before the fast.  It’s odd, but true.  I intend to keep on the fast until June 7.  I began exercising at home and taking long walks along the Bosphorus – I live in Istanbul, near the Black Sea.  For me, the juice fast is great!  I started at 179 lbs.  Right now I’m at 145 lbs, and feel great!

  • Rayray

    I so feel you. 100%. I want food, badly. All I have is beet juice (with other things in it) and cashew milk. Meh. 

  • http://www.nats-umi.com Sarah

    I bought a juicer and my cleanse lasted about 1 hour. I made a juice and then 15 minutes later I was still hungry. I made a sandwich.

  • ruby

    i’m ending day one of my juice fast that i plan to be on until my birthday (August 10th). I made the mistake of making vegan tacos the night before as a ‘last horrah’ meal in an effort to get rid of any temptations. now, all i want are more tacos, lots of them. but i spent $90 on produce for this juice fast. i need to stick it out, i’ve never made it past day 4 during previous efforts with the master cleanse. coming out of a bad break up, i feel as if i don’t have a choice but to detox my body, and become emotionally/spiritually balanced again. thanks for the good read, i will continue on even though 10 days seems like a hell of a long time from now… happy thoughts.

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