To kick off 2012, I tried a juice cleanse — not a store-bought juice cleanse, but a make-it-yourself juice cleanse. After watching Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, a film in which a guy is able to reboot his health by going on a 90-day juice-fast, I was inspired. So, I bought a juicer, stocked up on fresh fruit and vegetables, and committed myself to a seemingly more manageable 30 days. I only lasted 12 days (with cheating). There were about three days I was successful and felt a difference, but thanks to intense food cravings, the good feeling didn't last. Now, I realize what went wrong:

1. I didn't ease myself into the cleanse. I started cold turkey. The night before, I stuffed my face with all types of finger food from a New Year's Eve party. "I'm starting a cleanse tomorrow, so I can eat all I want," I told my friends. The next day, food was all I could think about.

2. I didn't drink enough water. Even though I was guzzling nutrient-rich juice, I forgot to chug tons of water. Water not only fills you up, but it also helps flush impurities out of the body. Because I wasn't drinking enough water, I frequently succumbed to feelings of hunger.

3. I didn't drink enough juice. Fruits and vegetables are very expensive. I would spend $60 at the grocery store for two days worth of juice supplies. So, to weaken the financial blow, I would sip two juices a day instead of the suggested three to five — about 40 ounces instead of 120. Combined with too little water, this was a recipe for disaster.

I still have my juicer and make fresh juice every now and then (no more concentrate anything for me!). But, I will take note of my mistakes when and if I commit to another juice cleanse.

Dara Adeeyo is a nail polish junkie who blogs her beauty diary on Dark Berry Beauty.

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