Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dr. Oz's 3-Day Cleanse {our review}

Ahh, tis that time of year...the overindulging of the holidays has taken its toll. The stuffing and pies are long gone, but the sluggishness remains. Everyone is amping up their fitness routines or tweaking their diets...or both. (Or they've already broken those resolutions and are searching for twinkies on Ebay). Either way, the chatter of detoxes and new diets seems to be rampant. Topping the discussions is Dr. Oz's 3 day cleanse.  We eat pretty healthy so I've never really felt the need to do a cleanse...but for me, last year was full of steroid injections, pain pills, antibiotics, and all things toxic. If ever there was a time to cleanse, this would be it. So I popped over to the Dr. Oz website to check it out. It's basically fruit & veggie smoothies with (multivitamin, omega, & probiotics) supplements. It's designed to rid the body of toxins and encourage the body to reboot any systems not running smoothly. I was intrigued. And after Arik saw what the cleanse was about, he was too.

This past weekend was a 3 day weekend thanks to MLK...the perfect time to embark on a 3 day cleanse. We both started this cleanse with different goals. Arik: to curb his caffeine habit and to see if this could clear up some throat/drainage/allergy issues. Me: to decrease inflammation, rid my body of any lingering drug-induced toxins, and replenish my system after a cranky stomach bug.

The recipes were pretty simple. Here's what the cleanse entailed:
{Day 1}
Breakfast: Loved the tea. No sweetener for either of us. Loved the breakfast smoothie. Tangy. Delicious. Feeling good. Loving life.
Lunch: Arik liked this smoothie. Me, not so much. I had to cut out half of the celery and cucumber and swap the kale for spinach. Then I was good to go. (Oh, and we didn't have pineapple at this point so used mango. Both tropical. No difference, right?)
Snack: We both opted for the breakfast smoothie again. We were pretty hungry by 4 pm. But doing well. No feelings of deprivation. All is well.
Dinner: Arik liked this smoothie too. He commented it was sorta "bloody maryish." For me, this was the worst one. I couldn't do the cayenne pepper. At. All. So I took that out and was back on board. After dinner we both noticed how we were used to having something sweet...but drank some tea instead. (Note: tea does not equal chocolate.)
Bath time: Arik said he enjoyed his detox bath but didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary after. I LOVED the bath. The Epsom salts really helped my aching muscles, especially in my back. And it was super relaxing with the lavender. Lavender makes everything better...even chocolate withdrawal.

{Day 2}
Breakfast: Arik had tea this morning. None for me. Still loving this breakfast smoothie...maybe a little less emphatically than yesterday. The reality of another day with no chewing is setting in. sigh.
Lunch: Same alterations as yesterday for me...only today I couldn't get the entire thing down. Texture is slowly becoming my worst enemy. This smoothie is kinda chunky. 'Nuff said.
Snack: I couldn't do another smoothie. I wasn't that hungry, especially not for smoothie. Had a few rice cakes instead. Arik opted for an apple. I'm feeling pretty lethargic at this point. Maybe from not being able to get all the smoothies down...not enough calories, or protein? Or maybe from toxins leaving? Arik felt pretty good. He even used the word "energized." But he has felt kinda hungry thus far. Oh, did I mention he was brewing beer and had a glass? Not sure how that factors in.
Dinner: Arik did the scheduled dinner smoothie. I did the breakfast one. I'm no longer loving smoothies. Dreaming of any solid food. But I am noticing that the cravings for sweet stuff are diminishing. Arik is cursing the pizza commercials.
Bath time: Arik had a bit of a headache after his soak tonight. It lingered until bedtime. I am still loving this bath. This was the highlight of my day. I felt great after.

{Day 3}
Breakfast: Same shtick as yesterday. Exactly. The. Same.
Lunch: We were both pretty hungry when lunch rolled around. I decided to have the dinner smoothie for lunch...such a rule breaker. I'm feeling pretty good after. Less lethargic than yesterday. As we watch tv, Arik comments that pizza still looks really good. And then his eyes glaze over.
Snack: I wasn't hungry enough for a full smoothie. Snacked on an apple and almond butter. Arik had the breakfast smoothie. He was starving.
Dinner: We are both ready for real food. I'm feeling defiant and throw random fruits and veggies into the blender. I can't finish mine. As Arik is finishing his I hear a disgruntled sigh. (Whose idea was this anyway?)
Bath time: For me, again, best time of day. Found myself looking forward to the soak...way more than the smoothies. This bath signifies that the end is near. I'm feeling grateful. Grateful it's almost over...but also grateful I did it.

If you're looking for a short-term jump start to healthier habits, this may fit the bill.

The Good:
While we didn't experience HUGE changes, there were definitely changes worth noting. (Note: we eat a well-rounded, fruit & veggie heavy diet. If your eating habits are less than stellar, you may notice bigger changes.)
*I felt less sugar cravings by the end.
*Arik was able to completely give up coffee.
*Arik noticed a bit less stuffiness in the morning.
*We both lost a few pounds.
*My skin seemed to have a nice glow at the end of the 3 days
*My stomach felt less "taxed," for lack of a better word. It felt like it wasn't working as hard to digest...always a bonus.
*I loved the detox baths and will continue these soaks as the mood strikes.
*My back seemed less "puffy" after the baths and overall.
*This was very easy to prepare. No planning. You knew what to expect at every meal.
*You can find all the ingredients at your local supermarket. We used lots of frozen fruits to keep costs down.

The Bad:
*Giving up the rituals that accompany our meals. There were no delicious coffee aromas or morning mugs of caffeine to savor. No snacking on chips & salsa or veggies & hummus while we cook dinner & discuss the day. No dessert while watching our favorite night time shows. No Starbucks after running errands. No glasses of wine or beer after a long day.
*No chewing...I didn't realize I'd miss it so much!
*Repetition. So tired of smoothies.
*Headaches. Arik had a few from caffeine withdrawal.
*Arik felt hungry. Often. (I didn't feel this way...to me the smoothies were filling. boring, but filling.)
*You may feel a tad lethargic if you can't fit all the smoothies in your belly.
*Super restrictive (I guess that's what happens on a cleanse. no chocolate. boooo.)

Moving Forward:
For Arik, he plans on resuming his morning cup of joe. Maybe not in the same quantity, but he's not sold on giving up caffeine or coffee as of now. He said he'll incorporate smoothies every now and then and liked their convenience. He thought it was a great way to "reset" the system and might be good to do a couple times each year.

For me, this cleanse created a baseline for knowing how my digestive system feels when it's working optimally. I'll be slowly reintroducing grains back into the diet to see how my body feels/reacts. The detox baths will be happening a lot more. I agree with Arik that this cleanse is a good "reset," but definitely a short term kinda gig. I'll for sure have a smoothie for a meal here and there...but not anytime soon. I plan on chewing, enjoying and savoring a lot of other noshes first. I've never been more excited to cook in my life!

Have you ever done a cleanse? Are you considering trying one?
{Let us know below}
We love hearing from you!
Here is a link to Dr. Oz's website where he discusses the cleanse. Click HERE.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Linsey. It was interesting for sure!

  2. I'm trying the cleanse now (Day 1). Feeling the same way, "filling, but boring." Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much for this awesome & funny review! I'm starting the cleanse tomorrow & was looking for REAL reactions. :)

    1. Becka-I hope you are surviving the cleanse! You're almost done! You can do it!

  4. Thanks for your posts....I started the cleanse today...similar feelings as the above...I am struggling with this dinner shake..the cayenne pepper is horrible! I haven't gone to the bathroom, but then again not sure what is as expecting. Lets see what day 2 brings...Good Luck

    1. Monica-I completely agree with that dinner shake! Tweak it! Hope it's going well for you.

  5. Starting tomorrow (the 11th) now with more dread....wish I had someone to learn on through this....going it alone. Wonder if Ill make it. :(

  6. Good Luck! You for SURE can do it! Check back in. I'd love to hear how it's going. Remember: it's only 3 days of your life. It will be over before you know it! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  7. Day 1 for me. Liked the breakfast shake; despise the lunch shake (still trying to choke it down). Glad I decided to bring the breakfast shake to work with me for my afternoon snack instead of the lunch one. This feels a bit like torture so far I must say.

    1. Great Blog...I too am starting the cleanse...drinking my green tea as I type. Thanks for for the tip about the cayenne pepper, I will eliminate it. Hope the next three days go quickly!

  8. I didn't even last a full day on it. It just made me feel bloated. Midway through the dinner smoothie I started to get nauseous. It was way too sweet. I think it was the coconut water.
    I thought this would be a good thing to try since I eat most of the ingrediants in my overall diet. I eat a very healthy diet containing a lot of fruits and vegetables. I guess having it all in one day was just an overload to my system.
    I can see having the breakfast smoothie occasionally but I think I will stick with my normal heathy diet which consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.

  9. Great review. Am on day two and am experiencing basically the same thing. I am generally a good eater, lots of fruits and veggies, but after an indulgent March Break thought it would be a good time to reset the system. I have been loving the morning smoothies, but the lunchtime one is a killer. The dinner was not as bad, but struggled to finish. I do plan on tweeking tonights a bit. I have found if you freeze the fruit it helps with the flavor. Was considering ending it today, however your review has given me motivation to continue. After all, its only one more day.

  10. Today is day one and it's harder than I imagine. Not sure if I can do three days of this. I didn’t like the taste or smell of the lunch smoothie. I had to put cotton balls up my nose to get it down. I don’t see how anyone did three days of this.

    1. Try adding some cinnamon to the lunch smoothie....makes it a little more bearable.

  11. Thanks so much for your review. Curious, since I'm on day 1 and thoroughly not enjoying my lunch as I type away, I forgot to add the cucumber (I'm at work so I did this in advance), did you just use lime juice? or like myself, did you peel off the rind and then cut the lime in half and add the whole kit and kabudle? I think I will just add lime juice next time. Believe the innerds of the lime are making this ten times worse.

    I'm going to struggle through this, but whoa, I'm just drinking the meaness drink ever!

    1. This is beyond a doubt the nastiest mess I have ever encountered. I never vomit, but this was a close call to me. Never again!!!

  12. OK I on evening of Day 3... it is NOT that bad folks. I think maybe because I am used to the green drinks already. Totally agree that lunch was NOT GREAT! I am wondering one thing from those that finished. Where do the toxins go? I was expecting all that fruit would make me.... you know have a lot of "movements", but it has not had that effect at all? Anyone else? Weight loss? so far maybe 1.5 pounds for me. Maybe this only works on women. :)

  13. I'm a 56 yr old male who lost 85 lbs two yrs ago, and put back 20. Currently 5'11", 240 lbs. Have been feeling crappy lately, likely partially as a result of stress from job loss. Suffer from male over 50 prostate stuff, which a variety of drugs hasn't helped. Plus fallen arches have made walking painful, though I swim and bike without issue. So during my unemployment, I decided to try the cleanse. I'm on day three, and just finished the morning smoothie. At the end of day one, I was ready to throw in the towel, and actually had 1/2 a Power Bar. But I said starting day two, I'll give another shot, and got through day two without issue other than a bit of nausea after the dinner shake. Even after removing much of the pepper. I like the breakfast smoothie the best of the three - was able to get it down this morning in less than 15 minutes. It took almost 90 minutes to get the lunch smoothie down yesterday. So do I feel any different? Not really - though I must be doing my digestive track some good. I did the bath night two, nothing super. At least now I feel I will finish this thing...

  14. I am on day two of the cleanse and dreading the lunch smoothie already! I love the Green tea and the breakfast shake is my favorite by far. I couldn't finish the lunch shake yesterday! I tried but like Laura, I had a problem with the texture and it didn't taste great. I think today I will try adding a little cinnamon like another reader suggested and see if that helps any. When I first tasted the dinner shake last night, I didn't think I was going to like it, but the more I drank, the more it grew on me. I washed each drink of this shake down with a sip of water which seemed to help. I love, love the bath. I've done detox baths before so I added a tablespoon of Ginger to the water. It makes you sweat more and helps rid you of more toxins. I too am wondering about when the "movements" will kick in. I was under the assumption that this was the way the toxins left your body during a cleanse, but so far it hasn't affected me in that way. I'm hoping I can finish the cleanse but I REALLY REALLY miss real food! :)

    1. On Day 2 and just finished the other half of my lunch smoothie as a snack. Haven't been hungry enough to have the snack smoothie so I just split my lunch into 2. Today I removed the celery from the recipe and just ate it raw before I drank the smoothie. Not as much difference in the smoothie taste but felt great to chew food! Lost 2 1/2 lbs so far! One more day to go!

  15. I am in the middle of Day 2 - and that darn lunch shake is just gross. Today I put in 1/2 the cucumber and omitted the celery completely from the "smoothie". (How they can call this one a "smoothie" is beyond me - it's chunky!!!!!) Even with the changes, I almost yakked it up 3 times. So - I abandoned this one, and down the sink it went. I ate the celery and cucumber and a couple pieces of pineapple and called it good. (It was nice to chew on something crunchy!) I found that I was too full to have the snack yesterday and at this point I will just drink some water and power thru until dinner. I like the dinner shake, cayenne pepper and all! As of this morning, I already lost 2.5 lbs (water, I'm sure) and feel lighter. I had a headache yesterday afternoon around 2pm and today, the headache is back around 2pm too. Strange. I am determined to power thru - only one more day to go!

  16. I am on day 2 and after reading the posts about the lunch smoothie, feel more normal hearing that others have had the same experience. The lunch smoothie is awful and I had to gag it down. I love the breakfast shake and the dinner one is fine too, just seems to be a lot of trouble preparing. I have not cheated but am glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Ready for some coffee but otherwise have not been hungry or craved anything.

  17. Thank you for sharing your experience. My husband and I just completed Day 2. He had a cup of coffee on Days 1 and 2, I had coffee on Day 2. We'll have coffee tomorrow morning, too (it has anti-oxidants and some detoxifying properties... or at least enough for me to rationalize drinking it). Otherwise, no changes to the plan. Day 1 was very hard for me--I felt like I had the flu with lots of body aches and fatigue, but by 5pm (and a snack of half of an avocado with lime and black pepper) I was in better shape. Today (Day 2) was great, especially with snacks of apples and almond butter (didn't want to snack on a fourth shake). Looking forward to finishing this thing up tomorrow. Biggest challenge: I still have to prepare regular meals for our children (ages 8 and 5). Gave them some pesto and pasta tonight as if they were carbo loading for a marathon tomorrow... I was hoping to eat vicariously through them, I guess. :) Thanks again for your post!

  18. We just finished our first green tea, my husband and my teen daughter and I are day one, here we go! My six year old thinks its weird we are drinking our food for the next three days. I think I am going to be very busy prepping smoothies four times a day for three people,lol. Wish us luck!

  19. Glad I found your review! I have been toying with the idea of trying a cleanse to help me get over my weightloss plateau and curb my sweets cravings...I think this might be worth a try for me.

  20. I am on Day 2 and like others did not like the lunch smoothie. What i have done is remove the celery (eat on it's own) and remove the kale (nothing can make that taste good). As for the dinner, i just remove the kale and it is great. I found if i added water to each of the smoothies - it more smooth then chunky. I cheated yesterday with a bite of chicken i served my child. Hate having to make food for others. Good news is the coffee and sweet cravings are gone. Half way there. Hoping this will get me over my weight plateau and help the cravings.

  21. could I use watermelon instead of some other fruit

  22. What is the consensus .... do you feel better/less bloated/a new start?

  23. Hi you guys. I'm in California and just finished the cleanse this evening. There were a few surprises, I can tell you that. The Lunch Smoothie tasted like lawn and I had a terrible time getting it down, but did. The headaches the first two days were epic - I'm assuming from the toxins leaving my body. The steam room and sauna at the gym helped with that on Day 2. Day 3 brought some clarity and energy and a ray of hope that the end was near...I stuck to the ingredients and regimen as much as I could and realize substitutions are OK, as long as they make nutritional sense.

    These shakes are hard to take, so I slam them down as fast as possible and chase them with filtered water. For me at least, drinking as much water as tolerated is pretty important since I'm literally flushing the system. I got on the scale this morning and had lost three pounds, so figure by tomorrow I will have topped out probably around that or at four. I had a horrible bloat throughout all three days, especially after meals, so I'm kinda surprised I lost any weight. Ingesting this much fiber - more than I'm used to - has shocked my body.

    I'm glad it'll all be over in the morning. I keep staring at those homemade brownies in the fridge. ;) I lost a ton of weight before a major surgery three years ago and have since fallen a bit of of shape and have gained some of the weight back. Looking to get back on track.

  24. Just finished last night and all and all, not so bad... I don't know if the whole thing was worth it as I think two weeks from now I will be back to the same ol same ol. I did lose 5 lbs however.

  25. So far surprised I'm not craving meat, beer, creamy sauces and such. Instead wanting eggs, almond butter (may be due to licking spoon after breakfast smoothie) and avocado (which I normally don't like but looking so yummy as I put it into the dinner drink). So healthy fats and protein are what I want, which is a surprise since I'm such a carb fiend. Been headachy, HUNGRY, with intermittent lightheadedness. But keeping at it. Hoping it will break some habits and help jump start body into losing weight

    I skipped the cayenne in dinner drink. After the warnings about the lunch drink I very finely chopped the veggies and used less celery. Was still a bit chunky. Today will split into two batches and add more water as I saw recommended on another blog. And maybe add some spice of some kind.

  26. Just finished day 2 and my two cents: I wouldn't omit anything, there's a reason for each ingredient. Breakfast was nice! For the lunch smoothie, my pineapple was nice and ripe, my green apple was very big (def tasted it), I used baby kale and tossed in 2-3 strawberries that were near over ripe (a few icecubes) and it was great! I have a vitamix blender so I blended it extra long and it was nice and smooth. Made a lot!! Just finished the day 2 dinner smoothie a while ago and liked that one too!! I made it according to directions as I know the cayenne has a vital cleanse purpose. I liked the after affects of the pepper, didn't change the flavor (couldn't taste 1/4 tsp), just a little surprise afterward. (Epsom salt bath important too!)

    Can't say I feel any different yet. I don't have a particular goal, just a kickstart to cutting back and somewhat of a challenge to myself.

    I just wanted to add my comments so readers weren't discouraged.

  27. Starting the cleanse today. Bought everything yesterday. Question: is it essential to blend the stuff in a smoothie or can i just measure out the portions and eat it, and drink the liquid?

  28. It's important that you blend everything, if you eat it, your body cannot break all the nutrients down. That's what they said at the Dr Oz show.

  29. Day 1 for me. Loved the tea but didn't add the stevia. Breakfast smoothie was could. After reading the reviews I was worried about lunch. Added 1 stalk of celery and ate the other 3. Tomorrow will add two stalks. I didn't think it was bad at all. Will not have a snack smoothie just wait for dinner. Looking forward to the bath and I will add ginger. I have drank them with a straw so the texture isn't bad.

  30. Today is my first day on the 3 day cleanse. LOVED the tea, I drink warm green tea just about every morning as it is with Xylitol. This however with the lemon and the Stevia was wonderful.. Gave a nice kick with the lemon and the Stevia was a perfect sweetness. I really liked the breakfast smoothie except I didn't get flax seed and used chocolate whey protein instead. Before the whey however my smoothie was a pale green not red as I saw in your pictures. Not sure why, after whey it was a brownish pale green.

    The lunch smoothie I COULD NOT finish!! OMG!! so very nasty to me, I had substituted 1% milk over almond milk.. maybe I should have used my coconut milk instead. I plan on substituting the ingredients as you did, as the Kale and Celery seemed to over power the entire smoothie. Especially the Kale.

    I haven't gotten to dinner smoothie as of yet, but am looking forward to it. If it tastes the same as Arik described I think it will be quite enjoyable.

    I did get Ortho-Biotic and plan to start taking it this evening once of work. I have also have been taking green coffee bean capsules for the last couple of days along with chewy adult vitamins ( I have always hated swallowing the vitamins)

    I need to get some lavender oil and Epson Salt for my detox bath tonight.

    I did get a Sonic Rt.44 unsweet green tea today. I felt is was a healthy alternative to all the water as well as giving some additional flavor.

    I am just coming off a 48 stomach bug that reaked havoc on my body.. Plus I have lost 13lbs via good diet and some exercise (need custom orthopedics to ensure no pain while walking)