Juicing is so hot right now. Especially here in Los Angeles – you can’t walk more than 5 feet without seeing someone toting a container full of green liquid, chock full of vegetables and fruits and all sorts of nutrient goodness. While there is no doubt that incorporating (real) juice into your diet has some serious health benefits, some people have taken to drinking ONLY unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices for days, weeks, even months at a time. This is what is called a juice cleanse.
Followers of the juice cleanse movement claim that consuming only juice for a set period of time will cleanse your body of all the toxins that are built up, give your digestion system a break, help to eliminate unhealthy cravings, kick start weight loss, give you more energy, boost your immune system… the list is endless. From the Pressed Juicery website:
Think of your cleanse with us as the finest tune‐up you can get. Expect to complete your cleanse feeling clear, optimistic and rejuvenated on the inside, and radiant and lean on the outside.
Sounds great right? But juice cleanses are an extremely polarizing issue, with a lot of nutritionists taking the stance that juice cleanses don’t really do ANYTHING that they claim to do, that your digestion system doesn’t NEED a break and that, depending on the length of time a person commits to them, can actually be dangerous.
I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to find out what all the hoopla was about and share my experience with you. So here, from beginning to end, is what it’s like to do a juice cleanse.
Choosing a Cleanse
I was shocked with how many options there were out there. You can go the at home route and use a juicer to make all your own juices (I don’t have a juicer, but my juice obsessed friend swears by her Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor and you can find a ton of juice fast recipes online), or you can purchase a pre-packaged, ready to go cleanse from one of the many (at least in LA) juicing companies that have popped up. I decided to go with Juice Crafters because it is a) near my house and b) was a solid $50 cheaper than the other options that I looked at. (And at $149, it still wasn’t cheap).
The first day of my cleanse also coincided with my first day on crutches after hurting my knee (man, I have great timing), so I hobbled into Juice Crafters and the barista (juice-ista?) was kind enough to carry my juices to the car for me.
I chose the 3 Day Master Cleanse, which is geared towards people inexperienced with juicing (perfect for a first timer like myself).
The cleanse came with 8 bottles per day:
- Greenest #3 – Kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber and celery
- Cleaner #10 – Pineapple, apple and mint
- Rootier #6 – Beet, apple, lemon and ginger
- Alkaline Tonic #13 – Apple, lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper
- Cleaner #10 – Pineapple, apple and mint
- Cleanse Guru #12 – Cucumber, pineapple and coconut H20
- Almond Nut Milk #15 – Almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt and filtered H20
- Aloe Vera H20
The bar/juice-ista instructed me to drink them 2 hours apart to ward off hunger and other negative side effects.
Here’s what I have to say about my juice cleanse:
- Most of the juices were pretty tasty, especially Greenest #3 and Cleaner #10.
- I didn’t feel AS hungry as I anticipated (Note: I didn’t say not hungry at all, just not as hungry as I imagined I’d be going without food for 3 days)
- I had plenty of energy to get through the day
- I lost 2 lbs by the end of the cleanse
- While most of the juices were tasty, a few were not. Rootier #6 was hard to swallow, plus it stained my mouth an ugly shade of red (seriously, I looked like a character on True Blood). And the Almond Nut Milk #15 was AWFUL – granted, I’m not a huge fan of milk, but this was on another level.
- It was 3 days…. without food. ‘Nuff said.
- At the end, I didn’t feel “cleansed”… in fact, I didn’t feel much at all, except hungry. I didn’t experience any of the health benefits promised, which was kind of disappointing.
The Final Verdict
The juice cleanse wasn’t terrible – in fact, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And I can definitely see incorporating juicing into my diet. However, I would definitely NOT do a juice cleanse again. It just wasn’t worth it. Save yourself the money (and the unnecessary hunger) and skip this fad.
So that’s my experience of what it’s like to do a juice cleanse. How about you – has anyone out there tried this? What did you think?