A Food Person's Guide to Juice Cleansing
I decided to kick off the summer with a juice cleanse. Given the Food Person that I am, the most common reaction I received when I told people this was laughter, especially the part about how I'd chosen Memorial Day weekend as my detox window. The thinking behind this was not being sure I could focus at work with no food. The holiday weekend gave me three days with absolutely nothing to do that would require brain power.
Memorial Day weekend for me is usually spent in Maryland, where I grew up, and involves barbecues, trying new restaurants in neighboring D.C., and a drive out to the Eastern Shore for a crab feast. I still did all those things... I just didn’t eat anything — only juice.
So why would a Food Person like me submit herself to this? I’m getting married in three months — the dress is purchased; now I just need to feel awesome in it. The three-day “ Foundation” cleanse I ordered from BluePrintCleanse purports to “trigger your body to cleanse, gently detox and lose some serious baggage in the process.” There are no weird chemicals involved, just fresh-pressed juice made from raw foods.
My juice supply arrived via FedEx in a big, insulated box with tons of ice packs and 18 pretty bottles of juice to be consumed over three days. Each day would include three green juices (basically a liquid salad), one pineapple-apple-mint, one spicy lemonade and a cashew milk for protein. There was also a little card that outlined foods I could cheat on if I couldn't handle juice alone: celery sticks, a few slices of cucumber, warm vegetable broth. None of them sounded particularly enticing.
So how did it go? Honestly, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The green juices were a little tough to swallow, as cleanse veterans warned me they’d be. But by day two, I really didn’t mind them. They’re not bad when you keep them super-cold. And is it just me, or is cashew milk incredibly tasty? I’d drink it on a regular basis. Pineapple-mint was a close second.
The inevitable next question: Did it “work”? At the end of day three, proud of myself for having barely cheated at all —only a few cucumbers, one of the “approved” cheats — I did feel pretty good. I don’t know if I believe my body is now rid of toxins, but it did make me feel a little lighter (the scale said so, too) and I was certainly not craving rich food. Even mid-cleanse, as my family enjoyed soft-serve ice cream by the bay — normally one of my favorite things on Earth — I was strangely not even in the mood.
The day I “broke” the cleanse, I had a banana-almond milk smoothie from a raw food café for lunch. It may have been the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. Leafy green salads have been satisfying dinners like never before... the cleanse I did was created by a raw foodist, after all. So while I’ll never subscribe to the lifestyle completely, I’m working more raw foods into my summer diet.
If you want to get on board with eating more raw produce this summer, here are some fresh, tasty recipes to try: