Friday, June 28, 2013


a day's worth of JuiceBox juice
breakfast, lunch, and dinner, baby
I can't believe I'm talking about this. But I've always been one to overshare...
A while back my pal Reba asked me if I was interested in doing a juice cleanse. I laughed. I had done a ridiculous 10-day "cleanse" (a.k.a. FAST) 10 years ago, which I weirdly enjoyed, but largely because I liked the weird feeling of control and power over my body. (I've been told that's one of the things that makes eating disorders "popular" -- young people who feel powerless gain a type of power.)
Anyway, I really wasn't into it. The one Reba wanted to do was through JuiceBox Seattle -- and, well, it was a bit spendy. And I'm a bit tight. How spendy? $60/day for three days.
But I read more about it -- about the organic fruits and vegetables, the cold-pressed raw juices -- and, well, decided to give it a try. Wil -- also vaguely interested -- decided to do it with us, which made things much, much easier for me.
The first challenge -- find three days on which to do the cleanse. I didn't want to do it right before a half marathon (duh), I didn't want to do it over a weekend, and Reba needed to find a quiet time in her schedule. In the end, we settled on Tuesday - Thursday, June 25-27.
juice from JuiceBox Seattle
that's a lot of juice!
We ordered up the juice, arranged to have it delivered to the Pantry at Delancey (just up the street), and then I promptly put it out of my mind.
At some point during the half marathon on Saturday, I suddenly remembered that we were doing a juice cleanse starting in a couple of days. Oof. Yeah, I put it back out of my mind. I wanted to enjoy my post-race mimosa! Besides, we were going over to Alan & Don's for dinner on Saturday afternoon, so I knew there would be tons of tasty food. (And I might have eaten my weight in spinach dip. With Fritos. Heck, did I mention I had just run a half marathon?!?)
I also ignored the little thought at the back of my mind on Sunday, when Wil and I sat in the garden on our sweet new cushions, enjoying a fresquourbon or two. Possibly three. Until then I remembered -- and decided that, apparently, we were in our "pre-tox".
Monday we ate pretty cleanly -- and there was no booze, other than a half glass of cider each. We had to make room in the fridge, you see, for all of the JUICE.
Sunny's juice in the fridge
Sunny's juice in the fridge
Here follows a typed up version of my notes from the three days:
DAY ONE, BOTTLE ONE: Okay, here goes. I vaguely remembered that I'm supposed to start with a green juice, so I started with the kale, romaine, apple, cucumber, spinach, celery, lemon one. And realized that, well, it's hard to drink 16 ounces of juice quickly. It tastes exactly like drinking a salad would taste -- I can even almost taste a ranch dressing flavor, though clearly I'm making that up. It's an odd flavor, but not unpleasant. I end up chugging it so I can leave for work. That feels slightly unpleasant. After all, it's 2.5 pounds of vegetables. I pack up three other flavors that seem tasty and head to work, picking up four liters of fizzy water on the way.
DAY ONE, LUNCHTIME: Partway through the morning I had the cucumber lemon water (which was supposed to be aloe vera water, but was substituted unexpectedly -- and, to be honest, a little to my relief). Then for lunch I decided to have the apple, lemon, extra ginger -- SO GOOD. It's one of the nicest juices I've ever had. I would drink this any time. For reals. I have confessed to Carrie what I'm doing, but trying to keep it mum around my other workmates. Why Carrie? Because I knew she'd think it was interesting.
DAY ONE, AFTERNOON: HUNGRY. OMG HUNGRY. I sip the fennel, apple, cucumber, mint juice and think of crunchy food. Can't wait to go home. Have also recently discovered that we are "allowed" tea. And that there's a recommended order for the juices. Reba has also not known this until now. We both decide to do the cleanse in the "right order" tomorrow.
DAY ONE, BEDTIME: The carrot, orange, turmeric root is weirdly filling. So I have to almost force myself to finish the almond milk, honey, cacao nib, and mint bottle. After 3 liters of water and 96 ounces of juice, I feel bloated. I also "broke down" and ate about 1/4 of a cucumber. I needed crunch.
DAY TWO: I weighed myself yesterday at the start of the cleanse, and again this morning. Down 2.2 pounds, which seems extreme, but I also figured I was pretty "heavy" yesterday. I start with some water (though not the recommended hot water with lemon), and then open up a bottle of fennel, apple, cucumber, and mint, trying to sip it while I'm getting ready, so I don't have to chug it. This juice is surprisingly pleasant; I often don't like fennel (or anything with a licorice taste), but it tastes really fresh and light.
DAY TWO, BOTTLE TWO: The carrot, orange, turmeric root is "snack #1". I didn't know that I would like the carrot juice, but it's lovely and sweet and makes me feel a little buzzy. That said, it might just be the lack of food. My work buddy keeps offering me treats. Sigh.
DAY TWO, LUNCH: The almond milk, honey, cacao nib, and mint is the "heartiest" of the juices, and is recommended for lunch. It's also the only one with protein, which I have found myself craving. I'm not really hungry anymore, though I do miss having something to chew. Chewing is awesome. Bring back chewing.
DAY TWO, BOTTLE FOUR: Cucumber water. Which seems like a copout and a disappointment. I paid TEN DOLLARS for this bottle of water? Sigh.
DAY TWO, WALKING HOME: I've got weird cramps in my calves walking up the hill. Am I getting enough electrolytes? Good thing I'm not running.
DAY TWO, BEDTIME: The kale, romaine, etc. juice is more pleasant when not chugged. There's something about "chewing your juice" -- swishing it around in your mouth and drinking it with plenty of water -- and, yeah, I feel pretty satisfied. And ending the day with the delicious apple / ginger -- well, it feels like a real dessert. And I've earned it.
DAY THREE: Today may be a bit weird -- I'm working at a photo shoot all day, so I'll be on my feet and working with relative strangers. But I figure that the girls in the studio will be interested and totally supportive. Right? I don't finish my juice in time, however, and have to keep drinking it in the car. I also pick up three more liters of fizzy water to get me through the day. I weigh myself this morning and am down an additional 3.6 pounds. That's just stupid. It can't be healthy.
DAY THREE, BOTTLE TWO: I feel really self conscious swigging bright orange juice while the others are working. I try to be low-key about it. Why does this feel so weird? No hunger. Just feeling tired.
DAY THREE, LUNCH: First I try to delay going to the kitchen -- I'm making first-round selects, after all -- but then worry that they'll all be waiting for me if I don't show up. (They were.) So I grab my almond milk and sit down, telling them I have a confession. Everyone is Very Interested. They love it. They want to know all about it. Even the men. Most of them have a story about when they did a cleanse. Interesting.
DAY THREE, AFTERNOON: I'm tired. Really tired. Did I mention how nice their lunches looked. So. Tired. I keep thinking about bourbon. And things that are crunchy. I drink the unsatisfactory cucumber lemon water, worrying a little that I am drinking the bottle too early.
DAY THREE, DINNER: Fennel. It's okay. Wil packs lovely lunches for Friday. I cannot believe how excited I am to eat a salad for lunch on Friday.
DAY THREE, BEDTIME: I'm happy to have finished this. It will take willpower not to get up in the night and eat something -- anything. Actually, it won't be that hard. I'm not hungry at all, just bored. Which I know fuels a lot of eating. Reba sent a text: "I have consumed the final juice! Now what? Bed? Enlightenment?"
It's now the day after the cleanse. I weighed myself and was down another .7 pounds -- 6.6 pounds overall. Wil is down a whopping 7.1. Weird. Do I feel... different? Not really. I guess that -- well, other than the junk carbs -- I eat pretty cleanly most of the time. I don't feel very strong, or extra clean. I do feel weirdly dehydrated today. I kept having to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. But I guess I did drink a lot of extra water in the studio yesterday.
Was it interesting? Yeah, as an experiment in willpower if nothing else. We've even started talking about getting our own juicer and drinking more juice.
In reading more about the cleanse, it's not recommended for people who are lean (well, not really me) or athletic (me). I have definitely had lower energy than usual, and I'm really glad I don't have a long run this weekend. But maybe juice for breakfasts? Or juice one day a week? Who knows.
Have you ever done a juice cleanse? How did it make you feel?


  1. I've done a juice cleanse before and you're so right about just wanting to chew something! Good job on making it all the way through b/c it's not easy.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! Loved the read...still think I'll wait on trying a cleanse. I'm so non-committal with food willpower.