You’ve all heard of juice cleansing by now, yes? I first came across the notion a few years ago when my husband was looking for new ways to heal his gut. Not long afterward, I started hearing about all different juice cleanses from all different sources: entrepreneurs, stay-at-home-moms, office workers — everyone was doing the juice. So when New York City-based company Love Grace asked if I wanted to try their juice cleanse, I was totally game.
First, let’s lay down some info just in case you’re still not sure what juice cleansing is or what it’s good for.
The biggest thing juice cleansing does is help flush toxins out of the body, giving your liver and guts a much-needed respite while pumping rejuvenating nutrients to your cells. According to Florida juice master Heather Rampolla, “Juice cleansing is a fantastic way to detox and provides a break for your digestive system, which translates into more energy.”
Basically, what you’re doing is fasting and only drinking freshly-pressed juices made from pure, organic vegetables and fruits — no added sugar, preservatives, or other junk. (So, no, your Sunday brunch mimosa and Bloody Mary habit does not count as a juice cleanse.) Some folks do them once a month, once a year, once a week.
Feel the Love
The day my three-day Love Grace juice cleanse showed up on the doorstep, it was kind of like Christmas. It was the middle of the day and I’d already eaten, so I reluctantly put the juices in the fridge so I could start the next day… but let me tell you, it was hard not to open and sample each one right then and there.
The thing that got me so excited about Love Grace is their dedication to quality. All of their offerings are organic, raw, 100% vegan, Kosher, and gluten-, dairy-, and chemical-free. They are also super nutrient-packed thanks to a special high pressure processing technique that extracts up to five times more goodness than a regular at-home juicer can while reducing harmful bacteria and lengthening shelf life. As a person who is actively conscious about what goes into my body, this is a big deal.
So, here’s how the cleanse itself worked: There were six juices per day, five 16-ouncers and one 4-ounce (for those doing the math, yes, that’s over half a gallon of just juice a day). Each day included a Purify, a Ginger Bomb, a Green Sunshine, and a Restore, but there were three different smoothies to choose from, and the Super Cider and Longevity Tonic were interchangeable. So, choice and different flavor combinations kept things from becoming too dull. Juices were to be consumed every two hours or so, supplemented by lots of fresh water (and many trips to the bathroom).
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m not new to juicing. I have a pretty nice at-home juicer and I’ve had quite a few, um… adventures in combining various veggies and trying new flavor profiles. So when I say that Love Grace’s juices are delicious, I really do mean that. The Super Cider was by far my favorite; I could have consumed gallons of its apple-carrot yumminess. The smoothies were also great and helped provide a “full” feeling. And, wow, that Ginger Bomb. Total gingery realness.
My biggest complaint was that I was unbearably hungry the first two days of the cleanse; really, I wish there had been two smoothies per day instead of one. So it was a relief that the literature I received from Love Grace along with my juices accounted for this. “If you feel you need to eat,” it said, “we advise organic fruits and vegetables or a light salad.” So my spinach salad with chickpeas was NOT cheating (and kept me from attempting to eat various members of my household).
By the third day my body had regulated a bit more and I was no longer ravenous. In fact, I felt like I could have gone two more days! As a whole, the experience was not unpleasant, and I definitely felt “cleaner” by the end of it. My appetite got reset, too, and I didn’t find myself craving sugar as much as I had before. And, oh, was my skin glowing just a bit?
Alright, so maybe this all sounds great but it’s still a little too intense for you. That’s ok — fasting and drinking nothing but green juice for three days straight isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But you can still add some of that cleansing power into your routine; juicing is a great way to enjoy a quick breakfast or afternoon snack.
Rampolla offers two easy juice recipes you can whip up at home with a juicer or blender: Limeade and Sangria (sorry, no wine in this sangria). And if you’re really strapped for time, you can order juices from Love Grace online and have them delivered to your door, or check out the produce department of your local grocery store to see what commercially available juices they have to offer.
Cleansing Dos and Don’ts
DON’T cleanse during a time of high stress or when your schedule is packed. DO pick a day or three or five when you can slow down a little and focus on doing something good for yourself.
DO drink plenty of water along with your juices. It’s just good practice anyway.
DON’T get overly ambitious. If you’ve never tried green juices or a juice cleanse before, keep it low-key by starting with a one-day cleanse — not a five-day marathon.
DO pay attention to what your body tells you. If your blood sugar is majorly dropping and you need “real food” stat, by all means go eat some fruit or nuts or something. The point is to do something nice for your body, not to pass out.
Photo Credits: author, author, and Elana’s Pantry.
The author was provided with products from Love Grace for purposes of this article. All opinions are her own.