Photo courtesy Melanie Zelnick Photo.
Lately it seems that every time I log into Instagram, someone I follow is promoting a health craze. From teatoxes to the 22 day vegan challenge (thanks, Beyoncé), there’s always a new fad to keep up with. But of all the methods of the moment, juicing has managed to maintain its popularity, amassing a following that includes the overly health-conscious, countless celebrities and everyone in between. Let’s face it, being healthy is in again — and if I have one guilty pleasure, it’s latching on to a trend.
After all of the words I read about it, I felt obligated to see if juicing really lived up to the hype. So, I decided to go all in and do a juice cleanse. I’ve dabbled with green juices here and there, but my extreme love for food has made it tough to fully commit to any type of cleanse, let alone one that requires me to forgo food for juice. After convincing myself that my body would thank me for this later, I turned to Vim + Vigor, a Dallas-based organic, cold-pressed juice company to help me embark on my first cleanse. The following tells the tale of a foodie abandoning all of life’s delicious pleasures for a three-day juice cleanse.
Vim + Vigor offers three types of cleanses: beginner, intermediate and expert, with a one-day, three-day or five-day option. This was one thing in my life that I had no desire to overachieve in, so I opted for the three-day beginner cleanse. With all of the cleanses, Vim + Vigor encourages you to remove meat and dairy from your diet the week before and after the cleanse to obtain the best detox results. Translation: I couldn’t pig out the night before I began cleansing. The cleanse came with four juices: one for the morning, mid-morning, lunch and mid-afternoon, and at night, I was able to eat a green salad. The salad was the silver lining to the whole no-food thing. Then I continued reading the instructions and realized that I wouldn’t be able to add dressing to the salad, only lemon/lime juice, salt and pepper. I don’t usually use store-bought dressings, but I love oil and vinegar, and those items were strictly forbidden from the salad. Nevertheless, I was determined to complete the challenge. You’re also encouraged to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and help curb hunger.
Vim + Vigor made everything easy from start to finish. They shipped the juices straight to my office, along with a tote bag to carry them in. They even include a card with tips and tricks on how to curb hunger, what to eat if you get hungry and how much physical activity is appropriate for your level of cleansing. You can also download a PDF from the company’s website containing a salad recipe guide for the three- and five-day cleanses.
NO. 1 DETOXIFY + ALKALIZE
kale, spinach, romaine, celery, cucumber, apple and lemon
NO. 7 CELLULAR + LIVER REPAIR
carrot, beet and apple
NO. 9 MUSCLE RECOVERY
kale, spinach, romaine, celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger
NO. 10 TISSUE REPAIR
carrot, celery, lemon and tumeric
I originally planned to include a review of the pros and cons of each juice, but surprisingly I enjoyed every single one. I don’t like overly sweet flavors, so I was worried that the fruitier selections would be too sweet and that the green selections would make me want to vomit. However, each juice was balanced and pleasing to the palate. I like that the juice was of a thicker consistency, since it was essentially a meal substitute. Some of the juices I’ve tried tend to be too watery, but in this case the texture was spot-on. They were also a good size. Some days I felt like I was never going to finish the bottle, which was a plus, because I was always full.
9:32 AM: Finished my first juice of the day, and I’m still not hungry. This won’t be too bad.
12:00 PM: Of course, today is the day that the office orders lunch for everyone, and I can’t eat it because I’m on a juice cleanse! Now I must watch everyone eat. I’m very jealous, but surprisingly I’m still not hungry.
1:03 PM: Okay, now I’m hungry, or maybe I just want to chew food. Note to self: drinking your food and chewing your food are definitely not the same thing!
3:30 PM: Finally on my third juice, and what feels like my 100th cup of water, which is probably why I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited the ladies’ room.
4:02 PM: Back to the question from earlier today. I am definitely hungry. Would it be cheating if I had a bite of some nuts? At this point, I don’t care if it’s cheating or not — I’M HAVING SOME ALMONDS!
5:26 PM: Jumps for joy! I made it to my final juice of the day. Now, how fast can I get to a salad?
6:30 PM: My no-dressing salad wasn’t that bad, or maybe i was just so hungry that I didn’t notice the taste. Who cares, it was a lifesaver. Now, I have to go to indoor skydiving for my friend’s birthday. The instructions say that I should stick to minimal physical activity. Does this count as exercise? Hopefully, I don’t fly away at skydiving. I feel so weak and feeble.
10:06 PM: I wish I had flown away in that skydiving chamber. Then I wouldn’t have to deal with my hunger.
8:10 AM: Another note to self: indoor skydiving is definitely physical activity. I am so sore, and my body is so tired. That was a dumb decision on my part — duly noted. Also, I have a headache, which I’m pretty sure is from starvation. A lot of questions are running through my mind right now, such as: How do people willingly starve themselves to be skinny? How do people who lack sufficient food survive? This is not okay!
8:45 AM: On the plus side, I did notice that last night I had some of the best sleep of my life. I usually wake up at least three times throughout the night, and last night I didn’t wake up once. I feel extremely well rested. Now, if I could only get rid of this annoying headache.
9:01 AM: Somehow I was able to pick out a decent outfit and make it to my car, even though I can barely focus because I am so freaking hungry. Now I must drive. Help!
9:20 AM: Having my first juice of the day. I clearly shouldn’t have waited so long. I’ll set an alarm reminder tomorrow.
10:00 AM: Just like magic, my headache is gone. These juices are elixirs of wizardry. I suddenly have all this energy. Dance party, anyone?
2:00 PM: I’m still not hungry, but I do feel myself getting annoyed more easily. Is it rude to stop all human interaction for the next two days? I’m switching my iPhone to the “Do Not Disturb” feature ASAP.
5:43 PM: I still have a ton of energy. I feel as if I could run a mile, but I know that will end with me in an ambulance suffering from exhaustion, so I guess I’ll pass on that. I’ll just eat my salad instead.
9:23 AM: I’ve realized I don’t bloat anymore. Maybe I will continue this liquid diet for the rest of my life — or at least until my trip to Vegas.
11:00 AM: I am in a great mood, partly because of this magical juice and also because I will be able to eat tomorrow.
12:30 PM: I’ve never swallowed so much water in my life. My body will hate me next week when I abandon my good-hydration streak.
4:00 PM: I’m already on my final juice. Clearly I was too excited because it was my last day.
5:07 PM: This may be wrong, but I am having a piece of salmon with my no-dressing salad tonight…
I would definitely do another juice cleanse. Sure, during some hours, I was hungry and miserable, but the effect that juicing had on my mind and body was worth the hunger. This cleanse affirmed for me that what we put into our bodies truly matters. It took only three days of ingesting the proper nutrients for certain bodily functions (such as my sleeping) to do a complete turnaround. I also had more energy in those three days than I’ve ever had through drinking a cup of coffee. My body grew sore from strenuous activity, such as when I did the indoor skydiving (which I should not have done), but I never felt sluggish or sleepy during the workday. Of all the lessons, the most important thing I learned about myself is that sometimes I eat just to eat, instead of eating only when I’m hungry. Most of the time when I feel hungry, I either just want the sensation of tasting something or I’m actually thirsty because I haven’t been drinking enough water. I’ll be placing another order at Vim + Vigor very soon.