Since college, when I used Laffy Taffy and Blow Pops to fuel late-night studying, I have been a slave to sugar cravings. Given this tendency, I have done cleanses before to detox—and I do always feel better afterward and am able to stay on the wagon for five or six months at a time. But it's been almost nine months since my last cleanse, and I descended into full-blown sugar addiction over the holidays. As More's beauty director, I know the sugar is terrible for my teeth and skin—but it also puts me on this annoying energy roller coaster and affects my ability to digest efficiently. My stomach always vaguely aches. So I am hoping to wean myself off of rainbow-colored pellets, get back on track and gain sustained energy all day long.
This morning was tough. Skipping my two cups of tea left me groggy—not unlike being doped up on cold medicine. And I've had a dull headache all day. I was hoping the trace amounts of green tea in my matcha bowl (a delicious pudding-like snack made with pumpkin, coconut meat, matcha and other raw ingredients) would have some effect on the headache. But so far, nada. The good news is the juices are surprisingly satiating. So much so, I haven't been tempted to dive into my candy stash. In fact, sweets don't even sound good. What I do want? Spaghetti and spicy marinara. Because most of the juices are on the sweet side, it's the savory thing that I'm missing most. To keep me from falling off the wagon, Juice Press has added a few savory raw foods to my regimen for tomorrow. Kale salad's never sounded so good.
I had two green juices, an energy boosting shot, a sweet smoothie and three raw food meals. I woke up today STARVING! So I was glad I'd incorporated some raw foods into the day's plan. For breakfast I had an energy shot, aptly named Ginger Fireball, to jumpstart me sans caffeine. The cocktail of OJ, lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper went down like Tabasco sauce. Yowee! But it was oddly satisfying and did help clear some of the caffeine-withdrawal fog. About an hour later, I devoured the Chia Pudding. Delicious. The first real food I'd had in 24 hours and I savored every bite.
The rest of the day was surprisingly easy: I bookended a kale salad with two green juices, all spaced about two hours apart. And at around 3:30, when Bluestone Coffee was screaming my name, I downed a sweet smoothie called Black Label. Ridiculously good. I do believe cleansing heightens your taste buds and makes you more mindful of what you are putting into your body. Everything I ate or drank today, I really tasted. And relished. In the evening, I had a raw ravioli dish made with turnips and cashew "cheese" over a bed of arugula. I OD'd on the scallion dressing this came with, so it was more vinegary than I would have liked. But the act of chewing was bliss. I went to bed feeling full and only mildly headache-y from another day without tea or coffee.
So I caved this morning and had half a bottle of Juice Press's Almond Latte, a blend of almond milk and low-acid coffee. Why? I woke in the middle of last night with a raging headache, which I attribute to major caffeine withdrawal. But sipping a half bottle this morning at 6 a.m. (plus one ibuprofin) did the trick. The rest of the day was smooth sailing. In fact it was the easiest day of all. I was satisfied, not foggy and actually struggled to fit in all the juices and food. It felt like too much!
The real test, of course, will be tomorrow when I have to make food choices on my own. My plan for the next two to three days is to to juice for most of the day, then have a healthy dinner. Having juices at the ready in my office mini fridge has really prevented me from making panicky, poor choices when I've hungry or too swamped to make time for lunch. Plus I feel so good I want to keep eating—and drinking—clean. My body (and stomach) is thanking me for it.
It has been almost two weeks since I ended the Juice Press Cleanse, and I am sipping a green juice as I type. Daily green juices have become habitual, and I am convinced they are helping with my digestion—as well as ensuring that I get PLENTY of veggies every day. I am back to drinking some caffeine almost every day (and I do give in to an occasional 3 p.m. candy fix). But I am no longer a slave to either vice, which was my primary goal. All in all, this was a very successful endeavor, and I've become a loyal Juice Press customer. (They really do have the best-tasting juices around!) I also take comfort in the fact that if (okay, when) I become too dependent on sugar and caffeine again, following a simple three-day juice cleanse will help me get back on track.