To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?
By Caroline Silveira
I’ve wanted to know for a while what all this juice cleansing craze is all about. I didn’t want to do some crazy Beyonce-style one, but a cleanse of fresh juices. So, I was directed to one in this healthy lifestyle newsletter I subscribe to on the web, and just decided to trust them and order it up. They offered various durations, and the newsletter suggested the 3-day, but it was expensive and I didn’t think I could go 3 days. So, I opted for the 2-day Ritual Cleanse, Classic Reset, of six 100% organic juices per day delivered to your doorstep from Irvine, CA.
Here’s my story (the good and the not so good):
It arrived on time or even early today. It was delivered in a large box with “Ritual CLEANSE” tape on every edge of the box! Very discreet – NOT.
I opened the box up and inside was a big, shiny silver insulated soft pack. Inside that was a re-usable bag filled with my juices, a few small “ice” packs, a to-go carry bag, insulated and a small laminated sheet with a few instructions on it. All the bags have “ritual cleanse” stamped on them, so again, not discreet.
I really didn’t know what was in the six juices so I was eager to read the ingredients. I was very disappointed that four of them are virtually the same, one of the juices looks awful, and one is an almond-y drink that provides all the fat you need for the day (25g).
So, I did what they suggested and drank a hot cup of water with (organic) lemon squeezed into it. Gross. Then, I drank the first 17-ounce juice of spinach, romaine, kale, celery, cucumber, green apple, and lemon. If you’ve ever had any kind of “green juice,” you sort of know the flavor of the juice. That flavor is PROMINENT. It is barely sweet at all – and only thanks to a tart green apple listed as the 6th of the 7 ingredients. The flavors of celery and cucumber were strong. So, overall, not too good! And, by now I knew – most of them are going to taste just like this – awesome.
A couple hours later, and after drinking about 33 ounces of water, I’m ready for juice #2. It’s ingredients are spinach, romaine, kale, celery, cucumber, and green apple. So, let me do the comparison for ya – same juice minus the lemon. Without the lemon, it was slightly better, but I’m starting to wonder if I have a “friend” who I can give my 2nd day juices to! This is lame and I’m not believing in it.
My sister is absolutely ridiculing me for trying this out and calling me every two hours to cackle, ask how the next juice was, and “what’s happening.” Well, nothing is “happening”, except that I’m planning out what I’m going to eat on Thursday when I return to chewing my calories. And I’m not dreaming of eating salads and raw vegetables, and gradually adding back in meat and dairy products. No, I’m planning to eat my favorite cheeseburger, pizza and tacos. I think this is just simply too restrictive for me that I’ll undo any good by binging afterward. But, we’ll see. I spent a lot of money and am continuing with this human experiment and sharing it with you!
Ugh – I’m drinking juice #4 right now, and it is awful! (Juice #3 was more of the same green juice, with the added ingredient ginger. The ginger did make it my favorite of the green juices, but only by a little.) Juice #4 ingredients are Alkaline water, lemon, agave, and cayenne. I dreaded it the moment I saw it. But NOW? My lips are burning, it burns my throat as it goes down, and I find myself asking the juicing gods for more agave and less cayenne! This is really feeling ridiculous. All I have to look forward to is juice #6 which I refer to as my “almond milk fat bomb”.
I’m sitting down with my final and 6th juice of the day, and I’m so excited it’s not green, but rather, milky. It has 25 grams of fat! Yay! Oh, but it’s not my almond milk fat bomb, it my “cashew milk fat bomb” – cashews, alkaline water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and agave. It’s pretty tasty! Although the tiny bits of cashew going down my throat kind of choke me but overall it actually tastes good.
So, that’s it for day one. Day two is a repeat. Thank goodness I’m busy at work so can’t focus on the fact that I don’t get to chew food for another day.
At the end of the first day, I don’t really feel any different. Mentally, I miss food. I feel like I worked hard all day and deserved a hot meal. This cleanse definitely did not have those “detox” side-effects people fear. I experienced virtually no side effects. I’ll let you know how I feel after tomorrow.
OMG. I’m so sick of green juice. While I’m the type of person who does a double-shot of wheatgrass every now and then but this is ridiculous. This morning I did my regular workout that I normally do 2-3 days per week. I was concerned I wouldn’t have the energy to get through it. I drank my first lemony green juice of the day to get some calories in me right before I went. I’d say my energy was ok – but it was a little lower than usual when I eat something before I go. At one point, it did feel like it was going to come back up a little (I shared this with my small group and I’m sure they loved it). After the work out, I drink juice 2 down and I’m feeling a little low on energy. And, by the way, I didn’t sleep amazingly, like the website claims you will. My sleep was the same. Anyway, I won’t walk you through juices 3 through 6, but will just let you know how I feel at the end of the day.
I’m going to bed feeling a little like “yay I did it” but I feel like some kind of martyr and I see myself looking forward to an Eggs Benny in the morning.
The Day After
I wanted to fold last night – so bad. Coming home to green juice #5 and cashew fat bomb #6 was depressing. I had to keep my wheel straight down H Street and avoid veering off to one of my favorite East Sac eateries. But I forced myself to stay committed just so I could get my money’s worth and be able to report to you that I did it and what it was like.
I really don’t think I could have done a third day. I didn’t feel “euphoria” or “increased energy” from “live” organic juices. I started to feel tired and deprived. Instructions came via email this morning on how to come off your cleanse. They recommend eating only raw vegetables the first day or as long as you can; they tell you to avoid adding meat or dairy back in for as long as you can, and to notice how you feel once you eat them and decide for yourself. Well, with a busy morning, I’ve only made it to oatmeal this morning. But, I will tell you, all this carnivore is craving is MEAT and DAIRY! How ’bout a meat and cheese pizza from One Speed or Chicago Fire with a dark and creamy beer? Oh yes.
I never felt all that starved as one might venture to guess. There were times I had some hunger pangs, but for the most part you are full of juice (which ranged from about 135 calories to 330 calories a bottle) and water. I just missed eating food and tasting more flavors. I miss fruit and also crave stuff like tomato-based foods – like pasta sauce and salsa. I didn’t have a coffee/caffeine withdrawal. I simply missed enjoying food, which I do very much.
Another side-effect I didn’t care for was that I felt like I was on a social lock-down! I had to turn down social events and gatherings because I knew I had to drink my juices and not be tempted. I also didn’t know how I was going to feel – so I didn’t want to put myself in social situations. That is just not for me! I’m a social person, and I didn’t like that feeling of restriction.
I will simply go back to trying to eat a fairly healthy diet with all types of foods and continue with my exercise program. I would try juice again as a way to feel like I’m giving my liver a little bath – but I will probably do that with one drink – or maybe even a one-day juice cleanse. Or, perhaps I would try a different type of juice cleanse that I found in the same newsletter’s annual best that came out after I ordered this cleanse – it gives you juices to drink all day until you have a healthy, sensible dinner at night. If you’re interested, it is called Blueprint Cleanse.
So, tonight, I head to 58 Degrees and Holding with a few friends and sip on some great 3-ounce tastes and small bites full of flavor. I can’t wait!