4725mag eats: or drinks... a food lovers guide to mastering a juice cleanse
We are SO not the juice cleanse types. Our steaks usually come with a side of G&T and they come often - taking in our favorite Oakland eateries is a treat we revel in, unabashedly, as often as a few times a week.
However, even we like to take a little break sometimes and cut down on the consumption of all of our favorite things - we understand that life is a delicate balancing act.
You name the dietary restriction - low fat, low carb, low calorie, no dairy, no meat, no sugar - we've tried 'em all. Somehow imagining it'd transform our cocktail slinging, burger munching ways forever.
Though it wasn't until trying a juice cleanse for the first time last year, that a true shift in lifestyle and attitude to food and drink occurred, one that we can live with longterm. (Well, one that has at least "worked" for us during this past year)
Upon researching which cleanse we'd like to try, we had a couple of asks:
1) It has to be local - we didn't want this hyper-fresh, unpasteurized product schlepping thousands of miles before reaching us, so that cut out the well known east coast juiceries, e.g. Blueprint.
A myriad of options exist in the Bay Area and since we have become juicing advocates, Oakland has really added to the mix with the Uptown Juice Company and Oakland Juice & Co. I have to thank my friends at the Oakland Vision Center for the Uptown tip!
2) They had to offer a range of cleanses - one to cater to the beginner, like us, and ones we could grow into as our juicing prowess developed. This process of elimination led me to Urban Remedy, based in Marin.
After juicing - which entails 6 different juices drank every 2 hours with LOTS of water, low caffeine green tea or caffeine free herbal teas - every month or two for a year, we are comfortable doing their least calorific and most green 3 day cleanse entitled "The Super Green", shown above. We find a 3 day cleanse is short enough to feel manageable, but long enough to notice real results - glowing skin, better fitting pants and you experience a real clarity of mind.
One of our favorite "side effects" of a cleanse is that when you operate on approximately 1000 calories a day, your more limited resources allow you to only take care of what really matters. Cleansing is not only an effective way of refining what you eat and drink, it refines what projects you take on at work, what social engagements you commit to and allows you to step back, look at your responsibilities and prioritize.
The other thing we love about cleansing is that it is not cheap - if we're making a $200+ commitment to anything, we're doing it right!
The point of this process is to not get hammered the night before and suffer through day 1, with a body so deeply in shock and craving everything you're trying to rid it of on days 2 and 3 that you jump into eating a hotdog and fries the second the cleanse is over.
This is where the lifestyle shift comes in. To truly get the benefit out of this process, we're sorry, but you have to ween off all the good stuff for 5-3 days before the cleanse and then ween yourself back into the world of delicious, chewable, solid foods for 3-5 days after.
Trust us, after you've dedicated all that time to your health, that cheesesteak doesn't even sound that good any more. More tips for success and things to prepare for...
Before the cleanse:
- Eat raw for 5-3 days - your body will not miss that grilled cheese, can of beer and bag of chips (yep, that can be dinner for us sometimes) half as much if you've already rid your system of all those craveables.
During the cleanse:
- Avoid stress and any taxing social engagements - again, this goes back to only doing what really matters and dedicating these few days to yourself and your immediate priorities.
- Spaciness can occur - you may find yourself having to pause for a second to track down a really obvious word in your brain. If you have an occasion coming up where you need/want to be hyper sharp and on your game, do the the cleanse the week after.
- Exfoliate and cleanse - we love an Epsom Salt bath at the end of our cleanse to help move along any residual toxins and before that a good daily scrub courtesy of a pair of lathered up exfoliating gloves to aid your skin cell renewal. You'll look sparkly and awesome, we promise.
After the cleanse:
- Ween yourself back into regular eating - we cannot stress this enough. We hear you, you are starving - but we have learned from experience that now is the time to dig deep and find the will to break your cleanse properly by eating right. Besides, we don't want to undo all that hard work, and you definitely do not want to end up like us that time we broke our cleanse by heading to a BBQ and going buck' on the grilled meats and potato salad and were unable to, ahem, use the bathroom for a solid week.
Moral of this story? If we can juice cleanse, SO CAN YOU. We wish you nothing but good luck. Tell us how you get on.