Tales from a Juice Cleanse

I’m radiant! I’m full of energy! JK, I want a cheeseburger.
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So green. So juicy.

Is there anything more disgustingly cliché than embarking on a juice cleanse in January? Well, if you saw the amount of butter I consumed over the holidays—an alarming quantity, even given the indulgences required by my job—you’d say it was justified.

So last week, I blocked three days out of my normal eating and drinking schedule to dedicate myself to Juicebox. I have never before done anything like this.

Worth noting: Juicebox isn’t the only option, whether you’re looking for a single post-workout green juice or enough for a full cleanse. At $200 for a three-day supply, it’s definitely not the cheapest (by comparison, the Juicy Café is $185, Pressed is on sale right now for $99 from $129, Jars Juice is $108), but I know the produce there is seasonal and organic and I figured if you’re gonna do this… go big? 

Anyway, I started this with a lot of expectations. I expected to feel hungry and headachy, followed by smugly virtuous and refreshed. The reality was something different. Six juices a day is a lot of liquid to put down. In fact, I didn’t make it through all six any of the days, probably due to my own poor planning—I didn’t take them with me when I was out running around. Still, at no point was I desperately hungry. I only had a minor headache once, though I was tired for days one and two.

Did I ever miss food, though. I found myself lusting after my Instagram account—admittedly full of food porn—like Sylvester eyes Tweety. In fact, it became evident about halfway through day one that I was going to have to give up social media completely to successfully complete this mission. The rest of my life couldn’t be put on hold. I was still scrambling eggs for my kids, writing about food for work, watching TV full of sugary cereal commercials (boy do I want some Cinnamon Toast Crunch now). 

The taste of the juice was… totally adequate. I’m not a fan of celery (I know) and was mildly disappointed that the two heartiest green juices had a pretty prominent celery flavor. Still, I made it a goal to get through those each day, since I figured green was the most vital to cleansing my system (I have no scientific reasoning to back this up). I really enjoyed the carrot, orange and turmeric juice, and saved that for each evening. I drank the almond milk with cocoa nibs, cinnamon and cayenne in the afternoon, assuming the protein would help pick me up in that 3 p.m. slump (again, no scientific proof).

At the end of this experiment, I didn’t feel blindingly radiant and joyous, which kind of bummed me out. I lost about 6 pounds, but I’m guessing they’ll be back as I start eating real food again. I think the most valuable thing I got out of it was a recalibration—I realized how little food I actually need to feel full, and that I don’t need such aggressive salty and sweet flavors to be satiated. We could all benefit from not being a slave to our impulses for a few days, right?

Would I do it again? I’d love to do a one-day cleanse more frequently—I think it’s a more reasonable undertaking for my schedule (not to mention cheaper) and a welcome resetting after a spate of gluttony. For now, I’m just real happy to be reacquainted with my morning coffee. 

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