I Tried It: Juice Cleanse
By Bethany Odell, 37, Encinitas
I’d had enough of my over-indulging of pizza and sweets. I wanted to ditch the three o’clock food coma and the morning-after wine haze. I wanted mental clarity. I wanted to see where all my energy was hiding and understand why Saturday mornings with my kids were exhausting.
I chose a down week for the juice cleanse—no work events or power lunches. My husband was traveling, so no wine-opening trickery or possible tri-tip grilling. No birthdays or parties. Just four days of cleansing.
Staffers at the bright white Del Mar Beaming boutique packed everything for a four-day cleanse in a convenient cooler bag. They explained that it was important to consume something every two to two-and-a-half hours to avoid fatigue and crashing, and start off each morning with warm water and lemon to alkalize the body. There were five 16-oz. bottles to drink throughout the course of the day and a salad for the evening, plus little containers of fun (milk thistle, vitamin C, green algae) sprinkled throughout the schedule.
Day one began with a green cold-pressed juice. The drinks really did taste good. They were not chalky or bland. Each juice had a lot packed into it, including things I’d never heard of, like Irish moss and Himalayan pink salt. I wasn’t hungry; I felt nourished and satisfied.
Still, avoiding office temptations was tough. My co-workers were writing about pizza, so one pie after another was delivered to the office—URG! I walked around the block. Sat in the bathroom for a while. Even closed my office door.
You Try It
DON'T GO COLD TURKEY. For a few days before the cleanse, ease yourself into what you might expect while on the program. Up your greens, limit your alcohol.
GET THE RIGHT MINDSET. Don’t think of it as starving yourself, which is not healthy. You are detoxing and cleaning out your body.
START A NEW HABIT. Implement one new healthy habit during this timeframe and keep it going. Momentum!
The 4-Day Total Rejuvenation Cleanse is $350 at Beaming, livebeaming.com. Bloom Natural Health, skinnyshots.com.
Day two kicked off with an alkalizing elixir and a Superfood Strawberry smoothie. On this day, I am pretty sure I was somehow stoned. I showed up at Bloom Natural Health in Encinitas to get my free skinny shot that comes with the cleanse. Three people there were also doing the cleanse and, like me, felt lightheaded and spaced-out. Were the toxins moving; was the detox working?
It was easy to feel determined and dedicated before I started. It got harder, though, as the days progressed and my body and mind were releasing addictions to sugar and carbs. What helped was Beaming’s variety in textures and tastes.
With this cleanse, each day is different. If you change the order of the bottles, or add in something healthy, it’s okay. But I think one of the biggest benefits of the cleanse was to take the guesswork out. I didn’t have to pack my own lunch, think about dinner, or wonder what to grab after my workout.
Day three: Zing! I felt excellent, clear, focused, not hungry, and in the groove. One hiccup: Raw soup. It was gazpacho time but gulping thick soup from a bottle made me feel grossed-out and I was too lazy to find a bowl.
A lot of the juices had cayenne, making me burn up. Cayenne and jalapeño are nutrient powerhouses. They fight inflammation, can increase metabolism, warm the body, and add flavor. They also have cardiovascular benefits and boost immunity. Funnily enough, I slept cool. I usually sleep hot, kicking covers off, but during these few days, my body temperature felt cool.
I didn’t need to run to the bathroom, as one would think, but the Beaming folks assured me my body was detoxing.
Day four, I nailed it. I never even thought of a midmorning or afternoon coffee or chocolate. And no afternoon siesta.
The day after I completed the cleanse, my husband returned from his business trip and we went to dinner at Le Papagayo in Leucadia, where mojitos are a must. I also ate sautéed local white sea bass, and for dessert they brought us a sticky, airy pink cotton candy ball. Probably not natural or organic.
Post-cleanse, I can feel when my energy dips and when it is linked to food, which means I am more careful with my selections. Most Saturday mornings now are kicked off with Pilates or yoga. I didn’t exactly reform my naughty habits, but I recognize the journey as the reward. I am continuing with one raw meal a day and looking forward to my next seasonal cleanse. Consider it my spring cleaning!