Last week, Boston juicer Rebecca Ferrel stopped by Metro to hand-deliver a box of 18 colorful 16-ounce juices - 60 pounds worth of fresh produce.
“You will miss chewing, but you shouldn't be hungry. It’s definitely a lot of liquid; you’re going to be full,” she said, handing this reporter her first-ever three-day juice cleanse.
The 26-year-old Massachusetts native spent a few years in New York City before moving back to the Bay State. While living in the Big Apple Ferrel had no shortage of juice, but as she settled into her new Boston life she noticed something was missing.
"I thought, 'Where is the juice scene?' It's huge in New York." So in 2011, she opened The Ripe Stuff, a Boston-based juice cleanse company.
"I'd say more people around Boston are realizing the health benefits. After we were open six months business really started to pick up," she said.
A raw juice cleanse gives the digestive system a chance to relax, which lets the body focus entirely on detoxification. Since juicers remove all fiber from the fruit and vegetables, nutrients go directly into the bloodstream, feeding the body’s cells immediately.
Ferrel's juice company offers one, two and three-day cleanses for $60, $120 and $170 consecutively. Each day, cleansers are required to drink six of the 16-ounce bottles, along with a good amount of water.
Some popular raw juicing ingredients include kale, spinach, romaine, celery, cucumber, lemon, green apple, ginger, pineapple, mint, carrots, oranges, beets and, a nutritional powerhouse, wheat grass.
Those interested in weight loss can also benefit from a juice cleanse. Ferrel said most of her clients notice a weight loss of about 3 to 10 pounds with each cleanse; I lost a total of 7.
While some die-hard juice lovers take on cleanses that last up to 60-days, Boston nutritionist Dr. Judith Mabel recommends shorter cleanses.
"If you go along with it for too long your body's going to say, 'Where's the protein? Its in your muscles. Go get some,' and will start drawing protein out of your muscles," Mabel said.
My first two days were a blend of horrid withdrawal headaches, spurts of wild energy, sudden fatigue, excellent sleep and, to my delight, very little hunger. The third day was the smoothest - my body felt still, my skin was glowing and my mind was clear.
One thing is certain - I can't wait to juice myself again, and it seems I'm not alone.
"We have a lot of repeat clients, and I do four or five cleanses per year," Ferrel said. "It really brings awareness to your dietary habits."
Bostonians can also pick up raw juice à la carte at the following locations:
Juice (Backbay) $4.95-$8.95 per juice
Bee's Knees Supply Co. (Fort Point) $4.50 for a beet/carrot juice.
E.t.c Juicery (North End) $65 for a 6-pack of 16 oz. juices
Trident Books Café (Newbury Street) $4.75
570 Market (South End) $4.95 - $6.95
Mother Juice, new a mobile truck (Boston Public Library, Milk and Kilby Streets) $5.95-$6.95