Today, in the name of journalism, health and vanity, I embarked upon my first-ever juice cleanse, and if all goes well, in three days I will be a glowing, detoxed, squeaky-clean beam of energy.
I'm really hoping for that, because my last cleansing experience ("The Master Cleanse") ended after 24 disoriented hours with a shameful late-night visit to a greasy sandwich joint in Queens.
On Monday, Rebecca Ferrel, the force behind Boston’s The Ripe Stuff, stopped by Metro to deliver a box of 18 colorful 16-oz juices. The plan is simple: Knock down three days of a juice-only diet, and fill in my Metro readers on what to expect if they decide to jump on this national health trend.
After the hand off, I immediately asked, “Will I be hungry?”
“You will miss chewing,” she said, but hunger shouldn’t be an obstacle considering the amount of juice – 20 pounds worth of produce – I’ll guzzle each day.
“It’s definitely a lot of liquid; you’re going to be full,” she said.
Here’s how it works
Juices are put through a hydraulic press, which extracts between 30 and 50 percent more juice than other juicers. A juicer removes all fiber from the fruit and vegetables, allowing nutrients to go directly into the bloodstream, feeding the body’s cells immediately. That means the body does not need to digest or assimilate, and therefore the effects are speedy.
I opted for The Ripe Stuff's Cocktail Cleanse. Here's the breakdown:
1. Mojito (8:30 a.m.): Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Lemon, Green Apple, Ginger
2. Pina Colada (11 a.m.): Pineapple, Mint
3. Green Apple Martini (1:30 p.m.): Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Lemon, Green Apple, Ginger
4. Sangria (3 p.m.): Carrots and Oranges
5. Margarita (5:30 p.m.): Kale, Spinach, Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Lemon, Green Apple, Ginger
6. White Russian (8 p.m.): Almond, Water, Agave, Cinnamon
The health benefits are alluring
The cleanse is an opportunity for your digestive system to relax; giving your body a rest from digestion allows it to focus entirely on detoxification. If it’s weight loss you’re interested in (raises hand), the cleanse offers a diet-friendly 1,200 calories per day. Ferrel said most clients notice a weight loss of about 3 to 10 pounds with each cleanse.
So here we go.
It’s mid-afternoon Tuesday, and I’m four juices in. I was skeptical about the idea that I wouldn’t be hungry, but so far Ferrel was right. I had fears of thick, stinky smoothies, but to my delight, the juices are light and refreshing, and offer unique flavors I've never experienced.
Here’s a breakdown of how it’s going:
Am I hungry? Not really.
How is my energy level? I feel a little tired.
Does my head hurt? A bit, but I was warned about caffeine withdrawal.
Any nausea? None.
What do I miss the most? Coffee.
What’s the most noticeable thing so far? It’s always time to drink more juice!