Juice cleanse: two words I never imagined would be in my personal vocabulary. I always thought juice cleanses were unhealthy (and expensive) shortcuts to temporary weight loss. So you can imagine my dismay when I found myself staring at the assortment of overpriced, jelly bean–colored cold–pressed juices at Sip–n–Glo Juicery in Rittenhouse. I really like food; I get anxiety if it's been too long since my last meal. I literally pack a lunchbox for my Tuesday evening seminar every week. But after eating my body weight in quesadillas over spring break and taking too much medication for an ulcer and Strep throat, my body needed some real TLC, something that went beyond just another hot yoga class. So I reluctantly coughed up $50 for the six juices included in a one–day cleanse. Here's how my day went:
12:00 a.m.: Reluctantly stop rapidly consuming everything in my kitchen. My reasoning is: eat everything in sight because I'll be only drinking liquids tomorrow. Pretty rational, if you ask me.
7:00 a.m.–8:30 a.m.: Repeatedly hit snooze and already violate Sip–n–Glo's suggestion to "awaken my digestive system" with a cup of hot lemon water.
8:37 a.m.: Remember that I signed up for a barre class (light exercise is condoned on the cleanse, as long as the juices are re–ordered). Make a to–go–cup of hot green tea and hop in a cab downtown.
10:47 a.m.: En route back to my house with my first juice of the day: a replacement for the vanilla chia pump–up that came in the package (I realized it had almond milk, which I'm allergic to, so the nice dude at Sip–n–Glo replicated the drink (almond milk, vanilla protein, cinnamon, chia seeds) but substituted coconut water for almond milk. It's delicious, refreshing and–I cannot believe I'm saying this–honestly filling. I need to savor this one.
11:40 a.m.: I leave for my four classes armed with a giant bag filled with bottles of water, a lunchbox full of juice and healthy snacks (cashews: s/o for being the only nut I'm not allergic to) in case I throw in the towel.
12:15 p.m.: I make it to my mind–numbingly boring Geology lecture. Stomach starting to rumble.
12:23 p.m: The pamphlet orders one glass of water to be consumed per juice. Really really really need to pee.
12:30 p.m.: Time for my second juice of day, the Green Beast: cucumber, apple, spinach, kale, celery, lemon and ginger. It tastes nice.
1:32 p.m.: Still working on the Green Beast. Feeling a little nauseous, especially after running to get to class on time.
2:36 p.m.: Next up is a bright orange juice called the Radiant Glo: carrot, orange, peach hibiscus tea, pineapple, turmeric and lemon. I want to mix this with tequila and lay on a beach.
2:38 p.m.: This juice has a slight carrot aftertaste. Kind of okay with it, maybe will substitute Malibu for the aforementioned tequila to mask it. V serious about beach plan.
4:01 p.m.: Talking about animal slaughterhouses and looking at graphic images of animal carcasses in class briefly quiets my growling stomach.
4:33 p.m.: I made it through four–and–a–half hours of class without coffee! I’m kind of hungry but don’t feel too weak. My mental clarity isn’t too bad, either. Feeling on top of the world.
4:35 p.m.: Three juices down, three to go. I crack open número cuatro, the One Love: cucumber, apple, pineapple, spinach and ginger. Good, but by the end of it I kind of had enough of the ginger flavor (strongest ginger yet).
8:43 p.m.: Juice number five was the scariest–looking of the bunch: Pineapple–Goji Lemon–Aid (pineapple, lemon, Goji, water and charcoal. Yes. Actually charcoal. The drink was blacker than night). It tasted like tart lemonade with a hint of Manischewitz. The charcoal made my mouth and nose black and no one told me, which was unfortunate but also typical.
9:00 p.m.: Clean Green is the last (wo)man standing: cucumber, kale, dandelion greens, swiss chard, parsley and chlorophyll.
9:01 p.m.: Very glad they decided to list this shit last or else I would have called it quits long ago. This tastes like the earth in the worst way possible.
9:37 p.m.: I'm hungry and a little tired. Satisfied, though, not starving. My stomach has ceased its cries. I feel good. I could easily eat now but I’m also okay.
To summarize: Despite some moments of hunger and resentment for the liquid form of matter, this juice cleanse definitely served its purpose. My fatigue, prolonged stomachaches and sluggishness were pretty much gone the next day. I did return to eating cheese almost immediately, though. Everything in moderation!
If you're considering a juice cleanse:
– Do some research to avoid the whole running–downtown–to–exchange–juices–because–you–realize–you're–allergic–to–one scenario I got myself into.
– Make sure you're well–rested: no coffee for 24 hours is debatably more difficult than the whole no solid foods thing
– EAT if you feel like you need something!
– Know your body! Attempting a three–day cleanse is something I knew I was not down for.
– Understand why you're doing this. Any resulting weight loss is likely water weight, which will come back on when you resume a normal diet. In my (unprofessional) opinion, a juice cleanse can be used more effectively to flush out toxins if you've been feeling kind of bleh for a while.
– Make sure you plan your celebratory post–cleanse meals. If you live under a rock and haven't already, check out our Spring 2016 Dining Guide. It's drool–worthy.