I'm dying. That's what my friend Kay told me, head slumped on her walnut veneer office desk. It's true, she didn't look good. Tired. A little jaundice. Generally unhappy. She complained of headaches and low energy. She had dreams of roasted little chickens, stuffed with pears, and dressed with oyster stuffing.
Kay was on day 5 of this homemade cleanse. A normal sized, normal person, she had lost her mind while preparing for a Caribbean cruise. (Let's blame this loss of sanity on the media and celebrities. She wanted to follow in Beyonce's footsteps and shed pounds fast).
She lost about 8 pounds, but gained it back quickly after she ate a few non-liquid meals, like a grain of rice and two almonds. And that euphoric rush of purity that many people report feeling on the 4th or 5th day of a juice cleanse did not happen for her. She just felt miserable the whole time.
I too want to look like Beyonce, but her experience made it clear to me that these crazy juice cleanses are not my scene. Mostly because I don't find zen in hunger headaches, I like my kale in stir-fry not a blender, and, well, let's be honest, I don't have the will power.
But every now in then the question of the juice cleanse rears its liquid head and I consider it. The question to cleanse or not to cleanse? continues unresolved.
A recent article in the New York Times reports on "cleanse team building" at work. Total. Torture. How can you work if you are super hungry?
Just days after I read the article, my sister, an intermittent raw food enthusiast, sent me an email encouraging me to buy a bottle of Blue Print Juice. A bottle costs the same as a rib-eye steak. Literally. A three day Blue Print Juice fast could feed a family of four for one or two weeks.
For fun I played along. I plunked down my ten bucks for the bottle. Yes, you read that right, $10 for 130 calories. You think I should be ashamed of myself? Don't worry, the cashiers totally laughed at me after the tiny bottle beeped through the scanner. I didn't really have a quick response because anyone who spends $10 on one bottle of juice deserves to be laughed right out the door.
Back at home, I clicked open the baby blue cap, took a small sip, bracing myself for mud to wash into my mouth. It wasn't that bad! It didn't taste muddy. It was light, a little lemony, and I could taste the ginger. Immediately, I started thinking, hey, maybe I should do a juice fast? My pregnancy weight is so far winning my ongoing weight loss war.
I took another sip. Maybe a juice fast is the answer. (I know it's not, but that's what my brain starts to think, mostly because my brain and body are in cahoots to avoid the elliptical machine).
Another sip. The ginger flavor was definitely coming through. Hey, I could add rum and this would be a healthy dark and stormy!
And that was how long my commitment to doing a juice cleanse lasted. About two minutes.
So tell me, guys, are you a juice cleanser? If so, what's your protocol? Do you have spend a gazillion dollars? Did you experience exhilaration a few days in? Do you look like Beyonce?