Let’s get one thing straight: I don’t hate fruits and vegetables, but my favorite foods are the kind that consist of bread and cheese (usually both.) I try and incorporate lots of vegetables into dinner and have been making spinach and fruit smoothies in the morning, but when I decided to join my friend on a weekend getaway to Miami, I decided to give myself a little kick-in-the-butt to feel less shame wearing a bathing suit in January, also the most popular month for everyone ever to work out and eat right because HELLO, RESOLUTIONS.
*I shouldn’t say “lazy” because I went to the gym and occasionally attend fitness classes that can be fun, but in general my preferred winter activities are eating and not moving.
Note: juice cleanses are not cheap. But sites like Gilt City (which I use for EVERYTHING, sign up here) and Groupon usually have offers on these sorts of things, and I found a 3-day option at Liquiteria for $79 that allowed me to still eat dinner during the cleanse called “Juice, Eat, Repeat.” I have tried other cleanses before: Master Cleanse in 2010, made it 4 days before realizing it was stupid and probably not healthy and BluePrint in 2012, where I could not finish all 6 juices for the 3 days that I did it because their green ones are too intense. This one was definitely the best-tasting and went the most smoothly as I didn’t want to barf or collapse.
I pick up the first two days of juice on a Thursday morning at Liquiteria’s Union Square location. They hand me 8 bottles in a cute little blue reusable tote, and I check the order. Of course, the green juice with no fruit in it is the one you must drink first. Aka, the one that normally tastes like garbage water. I break the rules and have a sip of coconut water (4) first, because f authority. IT IS THE BEST COCONUT WATER I HAVE EVER TASTED THAT IS NOT DIRECTLY BEING SIPPED FROM AN ACTUAL COCONUT. Then I suck it up and go for “All Greens” and to my surprise, it’s fine. WAIT- there’s an aftertaste, I’m assuming from the parsley and celery, two things I don’t want in my juice. But it’s manageable, and I finish the rest of the juice and go to work.
I start on the next juice, another All Greens but this time, with apple. The apple eliminates the weird aftertaste and I’m very grateful because it’s the best tasting green juice I have ever had at this point. I’m a little hungry, but I try to ignore it and just drink a lot of water.
To cope with the sadness of not going to lunch with my coworkers, I go to the gym for a little bit on lunch break. I’m not famished or anything, so I do a pretty normal 30-minute workout and then go back to my office.
Back at my desk, I try the “Beets Me” juice, a pretty standard mix of beet, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger. Sweet, spicy, I’m fine with it, but as soon as it’s over I am ELATED to finish that coconut water. Then I get to go home and eat!
It’s recommended that one eats raw and clean when still juicing, but I make little chicken tacos before heading out to DJ at some bar. It’s also recommended you don’t drink alcohol while juicing, but I have a beer and half a whiskey ginger because having to be at a bar for hours sober and play music for drunk people is insufferable when completely sober.
The next morning I can definitely FEEL that I drank, although it was close to NOTHING. So the cleanse is working, but again: you’re not supposed to drink. Don’t drink. I had to. The end. You’re also not supposed to drink coffee, which was hard, but I did it.
The next day flies by, although I want to eat warm food because the heat in my office is broken. The holy coconut water gets me through the struggle.
I take the day off from the gym and make seared scallops with cauliflower puree, roasted bacon and brussels sprouts which again, not raw, but again, I DON’T LIKE RULES. But I drink lots of water instead of beer and lay in bed all night. I start noticing that my nose is running, and no, I cannot go and catch it. Then I start sneezing a lot. Turns out getting cold symptoms while juicing is normal and has to do with your body withdrawing from whatever you put into it (in my case, caffeine) and is affected by the toxins that live inside you getting moved up and out. This is debated between many sources, but for the most part, I can definitely confirm the caffeine withdrawal being real, and get up early the next day to pick up the last juices.
We meet again, friend. I shop around Union Square, then bring my juices home and go to the gym. Nose is still runny. I see a truck with a Carvel Ice Cream Cake on it that I stare at for my entire workout. Again, I have a lot of energy, but we’re in the home stretch and food is so close yet so far. I go home and finish the Beets Me juice before chugging the glorious coconut water and running around my house screaming “I’M DONE I MADE IT!” I consider making steak to celebrate, but then I go out and end up eating piergois. Not raw, not clean, but let a girl eat a boiled potato dumpling, alright?
The next day, my nose isn’t incredibly runny anymore. Science?
Things that suck about juicing:
-the food other people are eating smells better than anything you have ever experienced in your lifetime
-you don’t get to go to lunch with your coworkers, unless you are a masochist
-on the second day, you notice yourself sniffling and sneezing, which is supposed to be a good thing
-sometimes things that shouldn’t be in drinks are in drinks: PARSLEY
-you can’t (shouldn’t) drink
-you can’t eat pizza
Things that are great about juicing:
-you have a lot of energy, surprisingly enough
-you become more aware of what you put in your body and are more inclined to eat healthier and incorporate juices into your diet going forward
-you don’t have to buy/make that much food for however long you’re juicing
-most of the juices taste pretty good and you are getting nutrients from sources you may not normally eat (they’re good for you but who eats beets that often, honestly?)
So, for all the people who have successfully completed cleanses and did everything you were supposed to: great job, it’s not easy. For the rest of us who like to *modify* things to work with our schedules and lifestyles, you can still reap the benefits if you try hard enough. Hard enough means don’t eat a whole pizza to yourself and try to eat more vegetable based meals instead, even if they aren’t raw/vegan because most of us can’t be bothered with that (though it will allegedly make the cleanse more effective. ALLEGEDLY.)
Shouts to Liquiteria for making yummy juices that I hope to consume regularly, cleanse or not <3