Sometimes during the more gloomy parts of the year, I will partake on a mini-challenge to prevent winter depression and boredom. Usually it lasts a few days until I’m sufficiently challenged-out. I decided to embrace the New Years Resolution common pick and forced myself onto a three-day juice cleanse. Uuuuuggggghhhhhhhh.
Things to expect from a juice cleanse: weight loss, clearer skin, more energy, change in tastebuds. All good things, but at the cost of what? I’ve never been on a cleanse before—I have no idea how much it costs to only buy veggies/fruit then grind them down and drink them all day. Also, what about the opportunity cost? If I’m spending a lot of time creating these juices, what am I missing out on in the rest of the world?
I did a bit of research on which cleanses people try. I don’t have the kind of money to spend on a ship-to-my-house, can’t-use-a-juicer, I’m-a-super-important-person kind of cleanse, but I wanted to get a sense of what people put into their bodies. When I confided my challenge to a friend, he sent me this Huffington Post article about the pros and cons of juicing. Warning: It’s not cheap, it won’t be filling, and it won’t give you all the nutrients that produce would normally give you whole.
The more popular one is the BluePrint Cleanse, that is “…designed for people that would like to give their insides a rest while simultaneously going on about their daily lives.” Sounds pretty good, accept it’s pricey.
It’s $65-$75 for a pack of five juices. I guess it make sense if you’re not eating anything else. There is also the Love Deep Cleanse from Organic Avenue. For a three-day, 14oz bottle, cleanse, it’s $180. For five days: $300. In the most flowery way possible of explaining that you’re not going to shit for a few days, it’s designed to give you a digestive rest. Ah.
If you’re going to venture off the beaten $100 or more ready-to-be-drank cleanse, be ready to spend a bit of money on veggies since it takes a lot to make a full juice. Also, try to go with in-season produce for optimum freshness and cheaper prices. Check out the Season app ($1.99 on iTunes) for some help.
Nevertheless, I picked my challenge and was going to stick with it. Here is my mini-three day diary of only consuming juice from veggies and fruit:
I created my juice last night. It took longer to clean the juicer that it was to create the juice. I bought a bag of kale and a bunch of celery—and had to use most of it to make a juice that would last me a full day (16 oz). My plan is to keep myself busy so that I forget that I’m not eating. Jewelry. I’m going to take up jewelry making. I’ll have a lot of free time if I don’t eat.
Everyone on the train kept noticing my very large green drink, and I even got a “Juicing?” comment from some dude in a business suit. Apparently it’s now an action verb.
I brought my large, mason jar filled kale, celery, and apple juice to work–which got me a lot of “so Brooklyn” comments from my co-workers. It kept me full for most of the day. When I got home at 7:30pm, I, naturally, went into my kitchen for something to eat. I immediately went to my bed and put on Netflix. I can feel myself getting really hungry, so I decided to go to bed really early.
I’m surprisingly not hungry this morning. Today is a carrot and apple juice day. I have energy, I don’t feel like I lost any weight (which seems to be the major drive to do a cleanse), but my skin does look clearer.
I was fine until someone brought pizza into the office, and I started to get headaches and felt really low energy. Am I going into food withdrawals? That’s insane. This is where you need the majority of your will power during a juice cleanse. Just because you stopped eating doesn’t mean the world has as well.
Cheated…had to eat some peanut butter for a quick boost. I can’t believe people do this.
This is really affecting my entire life. Today is a kale and celery juice day. My skin feels sweaty and I can’t concentrate at work. I read online that ‘chewing’ your juice will actually help with the food cravings. I feel like some intern somewhere made that up.
I didn’t start my jewelry making hobby because I can’t concentrate enough to read any of the instructions online.
There are people in and out of this country that don’t have enough food, and here we are boasting about who can survive the longest by only consuming juice. God, we’re such assholes. Also, my tastebuds haven’t reverted to anything…I want a burrito.
My thought: I get why people do juice cleanses, but with the time it takes for you to spend in your kitchen making these drinks and the energy it takes for you to fend off food—you might as well eat something healthy. I ended up having to cancel on two get-togethers because they A) Involved food B) I was too weak to go C) I would eat everything in site. Also, when I finally ate something I hardcore binged on the nearest food to me.
Clearly, I’m not the best candidate for juicing. But if you are considering it, keep a diary and let us know your results @lunalunamag on Twitter.
Images: BlissTree, BluePrint Cleanse, Culinary Cure
. . .
Laura Delarato is the creator of Curvy Candy, and pretty much an all around badass.