On Tuesday of this week I decided to try an all-day juice cleanse. For one, I was going to be home all day awaiting a plumber and a fix to an oven I (and everyone in my building) hasn't been able to use for most of the month of October. Which meant no subways, no walking up & down hills to my office, no having to smell co-workers lunches while I pursued an a one day liquid diet of sorts. Bring it.
I'm an acolyte of Pressed Juicery since their first store opened up last year near my office. Their juices are tasty, all natural, and they have good freezes from said juices that are cheaper than the Pinkberry nearby. All healthy(!) or at least that's what I tell myself. Are they a bit pricey? The $8 ones are indeed and many times I forget 1 bottle is actually 2 servings so I have to double those calories. But as a meal replacement or a source of steady hydration or a frozen treat on a humid day Pressed Juicery has been a good find for me.
Because I've been a patron more times than I could count I got half price on a one-day cleanse. I went with the first-timer option which laid out some of the tastier juices (not too hard on the stomach or too earthy in taste) as an introduction. Along with 6 juices you receive two H20s, one Chlorophyll (yes, Chlorophyll like algae and plants if you recall high school earth science) the other Aloe Vera. In addition to the 8 bottles you're to consume over the day you should still be drinking lots of water. And if you must eat a solid, I was told, make sure it's plant based. Cucumbers were recommended to me and I got plums also, just in case.
The day of the cleanse you should not have alcohol in your system (I did have mulled wine the evening before but what can you do, it's fall and it was on the menu, no turning back). And there's no prohibiting how active or not you are. Because I was unsure how I'd react to a full day of no food done willingly, not due to illness or nausea, I figured doing this at home would be the best and safest bet.
Bottle 1: Wake up from an 8 hour rest and take my multivitamins and probiotics along with the first drink of the day which was the protein heavier "juice" aka smooth Vanilla Almond (120 calories per serving/about 2 servings per bottle). (Note if you're allergic to nuts this may make a juice cleanse with this particular store harder.) The Vanilla Almond is a good flavor with vanilla bean, not too heavy, also a good way to start off your day, and slightly sweet thanks to the dates. All of PJ's juices have the most simple of ingredients with no additives, so what you see (on the label) is what you get.
Throughout the day I'm also drinking the Chlorophyll water so after finishing my Vanilla Almond I take a couple sips of this. It's not bad but does have plant essence in it.
So far so good and not dizzy or anything. I have a bottle of water that I sip for a couple hours and time myself that every 2 hours I'll drink a full juice bottle.
Bottle 2: By this time it's a bit after noon and I had woken up around 9:30am. I'm not hungry, a good thing, and feel more hydrated already. Greens 2 (70 calories per serving/about 2 servings per bottle) is one of the sweeter juices since it has apples in it along with kale, spinach, romaine, cucumbers, parsley, celery, and lemon. Juices from PJ come in a couple categories (Almonds, Root, Greens, Citrus, and other pressed juices that aren't as hearty, as well as their variety of waters). For this you get juices in each of the heartier categories.
Still feeling okay and it's afternoon. I haven't exerted too much energy beyond walking around my apartment and sitting down to respond to emails, set up social media posts, and edit essays.
Bottle 3: By now I'm missing food, meat in particular, but I'm not starving and am fairly alert. I've had probably 2 bottles of water along with the juices I've been downing. Up next is Roots 2 (80 calories per serving/about 2 servings per bottle) which is also the sweeter of the roots that also has apples to set off the taste of carrot, kale, ginger (not as potent as in previous recipes), romaine, spinach, and lemon. I'm noticing that many of the juices for the first timers package are on the tastier side and easier to go down to make it a bit more pliable than if you simply had something that tasted like root veggies.
Feeling awake and alert still. Not watching regular TV so I'm able to avoid food commercials which don't incite my hunger, but really do have a craving for meat.
Bottle 4: Citrus 2 (120 calories per serving/about 2 servings per bottle) is my favorite of the lot and one I get often. It has apple, lemon, mint, pineapple and a crapload of Vitamin C! Warding off germs friends! I guzzle that down pretty easily and am not feeling unfulfilled as much as I'm noticing how fast the day is going in some respects and that I have 4 hours before I go to bed (10:30) and 2 more juices to go.
Still sipping down that planty water and it's going down fine. The mixing of juices isn't messing up my stomach and I'm still feeling very awake which is very surprising because I'm usually fairly tired midday. I don't know if this is mainly the juice cleanse or a mix of the fact that I did not have to take NYC Transit, had a good night's rest with no alarm, and am staying very hydrated. Could be all 3 but I'm noticing for a day of no food I'm not feeling sluggish or tired.
Bottle 5: By now it's around 7:30 or so and I'm just getting to the 5th bottle so wondering if I may even need the 6th one. This bottle is Greens 3 (70 calories a serving/about 2 servings per bottle) and the only difference between this and Greens 2 that I had earlier is the addition of ginger, again not as potent. When I had the ginger laden juices months ago the ginger was SO strong it burned my stomach. Not in a horrible way but one that made it difficult to finish. So the fact that they've turned the volume down on this helped loads.
I finished the Chlorophyll water! Huzzah!
Bottle 6: I ended up tearing into this because around 8pm the hunger is palpable. Again, I'm not weak but my stomach is noticeably empty and I need something hearty. Chocolate Almond (210 calories per serving/about 2 servings a bottle) is just the thing to set that off and a good reason it's the last of the juices. I figure they recognize by now you're body is aching to eat and to have one of the heavier ones that is not quite a smoothie but definitely not a juice, on par with a "healthy" chocolate milk, really does make you feel full. It's also the highest caloried option that PJ offers. So I felt full after this one.
And the last last bottle I had was the Aloe Vera H20 that you're instructed to drink in full before bed.
My total count was 1,340 calories of pure liquid and I think I had 3-4 bottles of water in addition to the 8 bottles from PJ. When I did go to bed at 10:40 I was wired and not ready to sleep and had a hard time actually sleeping.
The Following Day: So that means I woke up very tired and yes quite hungry. Easing back into food I could've been more responsible. Because I do not have an oven it's a bit harder for me so I had to microwave items and I delved into my desire for meat with Thai food which wracked my stomach. Essentially I took my stomach on a trip to a salad bar and then brought it to a BBQ. Not smart. So next time I do pursue a juice cleanse I'll hopefully get more sleep the next day as well as have options for healthier items to eat bit by bit rather than submit to cravings.