Metro’s Tina Chadha went three days with no solid food — and no cocktails — and lived to tell about it.
I’ve decided to do a juice cleanse. It’s not because I’m overweight and want to lose a few pounds (though who wouldn’t love that?) but because lately I’ve been feeling like crap. I’m sluggish and bloated. And whether I eat breakfast or not, by the time I switch on my computer at work I’m starving. It’s the kind of maddening hunger that drives you to the vending machine for a bag of salty chips at 10 a.m. — and after-hours aren’t much better.
To detox, I signed up with BluePrintCleanse. I chose level one of their three-day plan. The six juices per day — delivered to my door — provide about 1,200 calories.
Day one: Thursday
10 a.m.: I walk into the office and staring me right in the face is a spread of bagels, scones and various flavored cream cheeses. Ugh! It’s “Bagel Thursday.” I rush past.
10:05 a.m.: I crack open my first juice — the dreaded green kind. My first sip is surprisingly refreshing.
10:45 a.m.: I’m a slow drinker and the juice is now kind of warm and not as yummy. You really gotta throw this one back cold.
Noon: Juice two is a pineapple, apple, mint concoction. One sip and I’m in love. Instant thought: This would be amazing with some vodka.
2 p.m.: The office smells like Thai food. I hate everyone.
4 p.m.: I’m a little light-headed and my mouth is dry. I chug more water. You’re supposed to drink tons of it and green or herbal tea to flush out the toxins that the juices are helping your body release. I realize I never drink enough water in the day.
6:30 p.m.: Some co-workers decide to go for drinks. Will I even have fun without a vodka tonic? I give it a shot. Our orders go like this: “vodka gimlet,” “Maker’s on the rocks,” “water no ice.”
7 p.m.: The no-drinking thing isn’t bothering me as much as the smell of french fries. But I feel a little high; I’m laughing and even bopping to the bad ’90s club hits playing.
9:30 p.m.: Home at last. My fiance comments on how surprisingly non-“hangry” and pleasant I’m being. (He was obviously scared!)
10:30 p.m.: Milk grosses me out but I go for the final drink of the day, a cashew milk with vanilla extract and cinnamon. It tastes like a melted dessert. I’m in heaven. Time to watch a movie and go to bed.
The next two days:
I fought off my mom’s pleas to “ have just one bite,” counted all the restaurants I want to visit, felt like an energized cheerleader and cursed all my neighbors for simultaneously deciding to grill out on Saturday. Though I will never give up fries, wine or sweets, the cleanse has motivated me eat healthier. I may even do another one down the road.
Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss, founders of BluePrintCleanse on their program:
Sakoutis: “There are a lot contributing factors as to why we feel overrun or tied on a day-to-day basic. The average American diet is not the greatest and it’s not just what we’re eating, but the amounts we’re eating, so our body becomes overloaded and quite toxic. This is an easy way to give your body a break to catch up with itself, which is why people are surprised that they have energy when they’re doing a cleanse. They typically think ‘food is energy,’ but it takes quite a bit of work by your body to break that food down and that’s why people feel exhausted after a meal.”
Huss: “By giving your digestive system a chance to rest you’re able to actually clean house. Your body, which normally does function as a self-cleansing machine, isn’t capable of doing that when we eat things that we were never designed to consume in the first place, like a lot of dairy and processed food.
How long do the effects of a cleanse last?
Sakoutis: “I think a lot of times people go into a cleanse wanting to lose weight, but what they come out with is a greater sense of the food that they’re eating and their choices. They’re little more conscious of their diet and what makes them feel good and what makes them feel bad. Depending on the person, the effects that you felt will hopefully be maintained through this newfound way of eating that hopefully you’ve adopted.”
Are we starving our bodies during a cleanse?
Huss: “You’re feeding your body. You’re consuming calories [from the juices] that your body turns into energy. So you’re not starving, you’re not depriving yourself of anything. You’re feeding your body as opposed to stuffing your belly.”