After a month of endless cheese and wine, and a lifetime of considering tomato sauce on pizza a vegetable, I decided to kick myself in the ass with a juice cleanse. My original thought was that I’d buy all the veggies and do it myself. However, as I stared at my blender which I only use to occasionally make exotic alcoholic beverages and homemade pesto, I realized that it wouldn’t exactly cut it. Instead I decided to go the professional route.
My knowledge about juice cleanses and detox programs is fairly minimum. I’ve had many friends who have tried The Master Cleanse so they could lose weight, and also saw these many friends give up after one day. Then of course there are celebrities who do such things, and each time I read about one and their ridiculous cleanse, I scoff, roll my eyes then say something very anti-Hollywood. Perhaps “very” is an exaggeration; it actually just involves a boring adjective like “lame.” I’ve always put juice cleanses in the category with those people who are so obsessed with yoga and constantly say shit about their chakras and open hips. Since each yoga class proves to me that my chakras are fucked and I hit up the bar on the way home from them, I’m not exactly the type to do a juice cleanse. But the “new” me wanted to change a bit.
First I’ve quit drinking — for the moment. Next I did some research about juice cleanse options. As we already covered, making my own juice was out of the question so I looked into packages that I could buy online. I came across way too many cleanses that included powdery mixtures with ingredients I couldn’t understand, so that seemed to defeat the purpose. So I focused my search on more local-based programs and found Blue Print Cleanse. I looked over the site, which included a bunch of testimonials from actors whom I’ve never cared for, and read the write-ups in such publications as New York Magazine and a whole slew of others.
My reason for the cleanse wasn’t to lose weight, although that would be welcomed, but to flush my system and get my eating to a healthy place where I’d actually adhere to moderation as opposed to mocking it then disregarding it. I wondered if a juice cleanse could help or if I was giving in to a scam, so I did what I usually do and stared at the website obsessively trying to justify all the reasons I should try it. I do the same thing when I’m going to buy clothes: I stare at the cart I’ve filled up and wonder if I really do need that same dress but in a different color. After a couple days of compulsive staring, I decided to give it a whirl and ordered the five day “Renovation” cleanse. I completely expected to fail.
In preparation for the cleanse, the few days before I had to switch over to raw veggies and fruit, and cut out dairy, meat and caffeine. Outside of an occasional turkey sandwich or lobster, I’m not really a meat-eater, so that was no trouble; and considering the amount of cheese I consume on a regular basis, going without for a few days wouldn’t be too bad. I knew caffeine would be difficult, but the very kind woman at BPC explained that I could have all the green tea I wanted during the cleanse, so I just stocked up on green tea bags and planned to always have three pitchers of iced green tea to drink. I figured I’d get my caffeine from drowning myself in tea. When it came to food what I was really giving up was the fact that I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Sure giving up bread, dairy and meat isn’t the problem, but it’s just the idea that it’s off limits that makes it so difficult. If you tell me I can’t have something, I want it even more.
Three days before the cleanse I started eating raw kale, carrots and devouring mass amount of homemade guacamole with a spoon. Although I wasn’t hungry, I couldn’t stop thinking about everything else, and I know it was simply because I couldn’t have it. Have I mentioned my favorite pizza spot in NYC is just a block away from me?
The night before my cleanse, the juice was delivered to my door for the first three days and as someone who avoids all green drinks (there were other colors, too) at all costs, I was horrified to have them in my hand as I took them from the box and put them in the fridge. Each day consisted of six juices with, as I said, as much green and herbal tea as I wanted, and of course, water, too. I was actually quite proud as I stood looking into my fridge at the juice, iced tea and shelves of nothing but veggies. I was so proud in fact, I took a photo and debated tweeting it but realized I’m obnoxious enough on Twitter, so I just sent it to my sister.
I went into day one with gusto. I was about to be the new me and the new me was going to be awesome. Research told me that detox could help with aches, pains, depression and overall moods. After my first juice, I fully expected to feel the cleansing take hold and assumed by the end of the day I’d be a super nice person who looked exactly like Audrey Hepburn. Much to my disappointment, this didn’t happen.
I made my way through my juices and did my best not to think about other food. By the time the evening rolled around of day one and I had finished my cashew milk, I thought I’d look at menus of places where I would go to eat if I could. I wasn’t trying to torture myself, but feed my eyes. It didn’t work so I drank an entire pitcher of green tea which resulted in getting up every 30 minutes to pee during the night. When the second day rolled around I was still feeling hungry and somewhat cranky. What I really wanted was a bottle of red wine and some risotto (of all things), but of course that was off limits. I got all my writing out of the way, then took to the couch with a movie marathon and my juice. I stayed there until I fell asleep.
On the third day things began to change. I was feeling giddy and my energy level was far more up than it had been the day before. I went to yoga and even spent the day dancing around like a lunatic in my underwear as if I was Axel Rose — a moment I did choose to tweet. Feeling badass and able to take on the world, I went in for my last two days like a super hero. I was actually going to pull this thing off, I wasn’t going to bail halfway through and I was feeling so great that I considered going for ten days of the juice cleanse! This latter thought stemming from my inability to understand the concept of moderation and why the color grey exists; I only see extremes in black and white, I can’t comprehend a middle ground. My idea to keep going was crushed by my sister who pointed out that five days was enough for this round and there was no sense in setting up a situation that might end up in me bailing. If I could I actually finish the challenge in one piece without having thrown the juice against the wall in some dramatic attempt to prove something pointless, then I would have succeeded in my mission to start fresh.
I completed the last two days with little to no complaining, and celebrated my first day of being able to eat solids again by going to dinner with our sister site Blisstree‘s editor Briana Rognlin. Not only because I love her, but because the girl knows a thing or two about being healthy and all that. We went to One Lucky Duck and had a raw, vegan dinner of salad and lasagna — it was amazing! Even before we were done, I was already thinking how I wanted to get it for dinner on the way home again tonight, because I need to ease my way back into other foods slowly. Yes, raw, vegan lasagna can be that good.
So here I am all detoxified. I feel lighter and happier. My complexion looks fantastic and I feel like I can take on the world. I got my hair cut pixie short again yesterday (think Anne Hathaway‘s new ‘do), and between that and the cleanse, I have this sensation as though I’ve peeled off the unnecessary shit, both literally and metaphorically, that was plaguing my life. I honestly feel renewed and if I knew what the hell my chakra is and where it hangs out, I’d probably tell you it’s all aligned thanks to these positive changes. My hips, I think, are open, damn it!
Although I would like to believe I’ll stick to this for a bit, I can’t make any promises to myself. I like my pizza and wine, and a life without them is a life I don’t want to live. Since that’s the case, it’s safe to assume I won’t be turning into a raw-only groupie. But I’m really glad I did it, and honestly, I plan to do it again and for longer next time. If I feel this great after five days, how great will I feel after ten? Asked the girl who doesn’t “get” moderation.
One things is for sure, I do feel something and it’s a good something. I may not be able to define it, and it may be in my head (as a few friends suggested), but the fact remains that it’s definitely there. If it took a juice cleanse to feel at peace and renewed, then it was worth it. I’m not sure I’ll be tossing away my anti-depressant pills anytime soon or running up to idiots to give them hugs, but it’s fun to think that might be in the future if I stick to this whole healthy thing. Idiots love me after all, and it would be nice to eventually give that love back.