Or… “How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Juice” (with a big THANK YOU to JRINK for doing a sweet giveaway to go with this. Which you can find out abut if you scroll to the bottom of this post. But don’t scroll. READ FIRST.)
I don’t know if you noticed this year, but people are ALL.ABOUT.THAT.JUICE. these days. All about it. There are photo spreads, hashtags, articles ahoy and I don’t know what else. My brother has done it, my friends have done, people I stalk on instagram have done it, and so I figured, hey, maybe I should do it too? God knows I have sediments and sediments of crap accumulated inside of me that I could use purging.
Now, however, If you were to walk into a room and were asked to pick a person LEAST LIKELY to do a juice cleanse, I’d be a pretty safe bet. Some fun facts about me and my eating habits:
- I eat out A LOT. For work, for fun, for just because.
- I am the exact opposite of those people who freak out about food texture: I love it. I love things that are crunchy and things that are slimy and things that are in between. To me, it is a big part of what makes food fun.
- I think food is really fun.
- I also think alcohol is really fun.
- I measure my state of fitness by how my jeans fit – I have not measured myself or owned a scale since I was 18 and had a bathroom that didn’t belong to my Mother. And my jeans mostly fit, so I don’t really think about my state of fitness ever.
- I get pretty goddamn grumpy if I have not had three square meals a day. And I am the kind of person that doesn’t like being mean to people, so I do try to stick to that old fashioned eating regimen.
- Did I mention I think I think food and alcohol are really fun?
Having said that, I do like testing my willpower (in the immortal words of Matthew Perry in Studio 60 from the Sunset Strip: There’s not an ounce of quit in me.) and I am one of the more curious people on the planet so I figured: WHY NOT?
I also figured if I was going to do this I may as well do it with a cool, hyper-local Juice operation, and JRINK Juicery just opened a sweet temporary shop on 14th street a mere few blocks from my apartment and I stopped by there a few times, grabbed some juices and liked what I was tasting so I called and inquired about their cleanse reboot package options.
Which is the first step. You gotta decide what you wanna do. Here’s what was on offer:
- 1. A beginners cleanse which involves the “less scary” sounding juices (aka only one of your daily juices is green): stuff with raw almonds and agave sweeteners and so on
- 2. An intermediate cleanse with more greens and no creaminess whatsoever
- 3. The Warm Reboot which is a combination of juice and 100% organic soups from Soupergirl
I decided to go big or go home and go with Option 2. (in the immortal words of Matthew Perry in Studio 60 from the Sunset Strip: There’s not an ounce of quit in me.)
I also needed a good time to do it and I decided that the right time for this was right in between Christmas and New Year. December 27, 28, 29. Two days were the weekend where I could hide and not be grumpy around people, and the third day was a Monday when, lets face it, everyone is grumpy anyway, hungry or not. Plus, it being holiday season and DC a ghost town, I figured I could avoid lunch meetings, work happy hours, restaurant opening dinners and whatnot.
Plus, I’m not looking for a quick fix or a weight change or anything. I am pretty happy with how things are, they could just be, well, a little cleaner. I just sort of want to try it. I think you should never try anything new when you’re desperate for it to change EVERYTHING so I think the time is right to do this in that sense too.
So, here is how that went. Lets start at the beginning.
2 Days Before The Reboot
The one thing people sometimes don’t tell you is that you should prep your body for the reboot (there tends to be an instructional PDF, ask for it from your juice place as you’re thinking of doing the reboot). A few days beforehand you should slowly cut out processed sugars, sodium, fats, excess of alcohol and caffeine etc. So, you know, your body doesn’t go into shock. Well, 2 days before the Reboot was Christmas. Here are some things I had that day: 3 cups of cappuccino (and I don’t even really drink coffee), eggs, mushrooms and chorizo, 2 glasses of eggnog, 3 pounds of cheese, 3 glasses of wine, 2 pounds of cured meats, many, many, many pieces of bread, crackers, and whatnot, 2 glasses of champagne, roast beef, potatoes au gratin, a warm spinach salad, a gin and tonic, waffles made out of cinnamon buns, frosting, a martini, some more cappuccino, other stuff. Hey, it was a long day. And I am a fan of Christmas. Shut up.
1 Day Before The Reboot
I wake up feeling like I consumed everything I just mentioned and proceed to shrink my giant, extended, holiday stomach: I drink water, kefir and no caffeine. I have a Shophouse vegan bowl for lunch and some almonds for snacks. That evening I swing by my friends’ post-holiday party and have some white wine but I feel good overall. Friends text and say things like: call if you need reinforcements tomorrow. I go to sleep and the only thing I worry about is that I won’t be able to sleep for three days because I will be hungry and then I will be EXTRA cranky, because I will be both hungry AND tired. I perish the thought.
Day 1 of Reboot
Wake up. Feeling very “YOU CAN DO THIS”. So, I walk to JRINK and pick up my reboot. It comes in 18 half liter glass bottles (You recycle 10 and they give you a free juice) and it is satisfyingly heavy to carry home. Here’s the scoop: you get six bottles a day, and you’re supposed to drink them in the order they’re labeled per day. You consume them every 2-3 hours, drink a lot of water in between and in case of crisis are allowed an almond or two (raw), a few slices of cucumber and/or a slice or two of an apple.
I post this photo on my instagram (@svetlanabyt) with a hashtag #HellHasOfficiallyFrozenOver
The comments range from encouragement to my ex interns telling me they couldn’t do it, to Cale being typically skeptical, to JRINK giving me an emoji fistbump. Social media is such a massive part of one’s reboot support system and I both love it and hate myself for admitting to it. Now, for the actual cleanse part.
The first juice (FUEL ME UP II) is delicious: spinach, cucumber, parsley, apple, broccoli and ginger. Some people are afraid of the green, but I love it. And it is just tangy and sort of sweet enough. Bring it on.
I decided I need solid distractions all day so I dive into AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN, which I have somehow (against all odds) managed to save for this occasion. It is a great choice: over the top, campy, funny, distracting in all the right ways. Plus, everyone looks great in their clothes and that’s, you know, very motivational.
Juice two (CLEAN ME UP II) is delicious too: Apple, lemon, ginger & tumeric. I could do this all day.
COVEN is still great. STEVIE NICKS SHOWS UP. EVERYTHING IS BETTER THAN GREAT.
Juice three (FRESHEN ME UP) is an issue: it is just Chlorophyl and H2O and it somehow lands right in the middle of the day as I am ready for lunch and it tastes vaguely of organic cleaning products. I swallow it but I don’t enjoy it. I text a photo to my coworkers and one of them replies: “You’re basically a plant” (I remind myself of the immortal words of Matthew Perry in “Studio 60 from the Sunset Strip”: There’s not an ounce of quit in me. And then have 2 slices of cucumber)
A friend shows up to keep me company (I offer to come over and he says he will since “I am probably on life support by now”. Everyone is obviously VERY confident of me surviving. We watch 2 Days in Paris and Dan In Real Life. I have a theory that Steve Carrell can pretty much help you get through anything and this proves it mostly true.
Juice four (PICK ME UP 1): beet, orange, apple and ginger lands in between the two movies and completely in fact does pick me up. It has been 7 hours of this and the one thing I notice is that I am not hungry. At all. I do miss chewing, but I am not hungry.
Juice five (FUEL ME UP I) is pear, kale, romaine, cucumber and lemon and pretty great. I actually think the green juices are my favorite.
I watch more COVEN. I have not moved from the couch all day (aside from that one time to hide all my back issues of Bon Appetit in a closet). Mainly because of this picture:
My Mother texts and says: I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Juice six (HULK) is spinach, kale and something called “build me up” and is ok – I would want more zest but it does feel very satisfying.
I go to sleep at 10:30pm and sleep like a champion. Not a stomach grumble in sight. This is going JUST FINE. JUST FINE.
Day 2 of Reboot
Now, the first thing everyone tells you when you tell them you’re doing a juice cleanse is that DAY 2 IS THE HARDEST. I wake up to a text message from my Brother (who lives in Miami, and therefore has OBVIOUSLY done a 1000 juice reboots already) who informs me of that same fact.
I personally feel ok. I tell myself AND my brother that.
JRINK reposts my cleanse kick off photo on their instagram and I feel another mental fistbump. Those people are pros. Could there have been a juice movement WITHOUT INSTAGRAM? DO I EVEN WANT TO ASK THAT QUESTION?
I make it through the first two juices and the COVEN finale like a breeze.
I go for a walk. I buy myself the Sunday papers and two sweaters (fair warning: COVEN does make you want to shop).
I come home, and consume the dreaded Chlorophyl + H20 Juice three and it is actually better than yesterday, maybe because I was able to mentally steel myself for it.
Having said that, now that COVEN is over and it is all of a sudden raining outside, I am at a wits end what to do. I read the papers and then somehow, inexplicably, take a deep, dark plunge into the depths of my tearjerker soul: Heartburn then Terms of Endearment then The Hours. I stop myself right before I push play on Sophie’s Choice and tell everyone who texts me to check in (Which is increasing amounts of humans at this point, because the word has spread and clearly, the universal opinion is that there is no chance I am going to make it through three days of not eating pizza at Ghibellina) that “while I am physically doing ok, there may be some unfortunate emotional side effects”. One of them responds “As long as you call me before The Way We Were territory, I promise I’ll come and save you from yourself”. I pinky promise to do so. Still, I spend most of my day like this AND order The Most of Nora Ephron from Amazon (leaving the house to walk to Kramerbooks seems like too much):
(I remind myself of the immortal words of Matthew Perry in “Studio 60 from the Sunset Strip”: There’s not an ounce of quit in me. And then have 2 slices of cucumber)
That night, I feel a little dizzy in the shower. I am 6’1″ in my bare feet, consume upwards of 3000 calories a day (estimate), have a metabolism that somehow still allows me to not be a whale and used to be kind of a fainter as a kid (since I reached that height at the age of 13 and it took a few years for the weight to catch up) and so I quickly sit down and eat 3 almonds and 2 cucumber slices before bed and somehow, despite feeling like a crazy person for thinking something so minute would help, it helps.
I go to sleep at 9pm and sleep like a goddamn champion.
Day 3 of Reboot
I wake up at the very crack of dawn (spontaneously) and feel AWESOME. I put on my jeans and they fit amazingly. I am completely debloated. I have been peeing like a racehorse for the last three days (several gallons of nothing but liquid) but, and I know this is maybe TMI, not really pooping all that much. Everyone tells you you’ll be pooping ahoy during this. Still D E B L O A T E D. In fact, I feel SO DEBLOATED I only now start to realize how BLOATED I have secretly been up until now.
I load my bag with my juices and head to work.
Where… I proceed to crush it. I am focused, not hungry, not thirsty, not distracted by anything.
The day flies by.
I feel like I can do pretty much anything.
Then, I drink my last juice of the reboot and INSTANTLY I am dizzy again. It is as if my body steeled itself to survive through the last juice but then instantly wanted more. I am on the street as this happens, so I run into Whole Foods, and guzzle a bottle of water and then pay for it (no, I couldn’t wait) and am feeling a little better.
(I remind myself of the immortal words of Matthew Perry in “Studio 60 from the Sunset Strip”: There’s not an ounce of quit in me. And then have 2 slices of cucumber)
I get home and feel almost a little wistful. Like I almost wish it wasn’t over.
I go to sleep at 10pm and sleep like 2 goddamn champions put togehter.
Day 1 After Reboot
Now, just as you’re supposed to ease INTO the reboot. You’re supposed to ease OUT of the reboot too. I start the day right: a juice, an apple and a smile.
I go to work.
I feel my hair is shiny, my skin is slightly less adolescent pimply, and I have some photos taken for a story another blog is doing on me/BYT. I look like this (Thanks Jeff Martin!)
I follow that brief moment of victory by: a. having half an Astro donut which is suprise delivered to our office after Caviar saw Wetherbee on Fox Morning show talking about Hangover cures (typical) and b. going to the movies with a coworker, watching “Into the Woods” and eating popcorn and a having a sip of diet Coke every time someone does something awkward. Which is often. I blame Johnny Depp’s pedophile wolf for it all.
The caffeine and sodium shock is palpable and I drink some juice en route home and seemingly a gallon of water. Feeling a little better but in need of sustenance. I am going to a show that night and I grab a pizza at Ghibellina (typical) and dance a lot and have some vodka sodas which is maybe no ideal but I do say no to “New Year’s Eve Eve is the New New Year’s Eve” shots my friends are doing and definitely don’t late night snack when I get home.
I am not necessarily easing out of the reboot but I am also being honest with myself about it (which is important) AND am noticing I am satisfied with way less unlike my usual “overdoing everything all the time” life strategy.
Day 2 After Reboot
Happy New Year’s Eve Day! Everyone is wildly hungover from the day before but I feel good. It must be all the water I keep guzzling. And my new, non toxin sedimented body. Or something. I once again start the day right with a pumpernickel breakfast sandwich (avocado, and radishes and a little egg and sriracha on top) but slowly spiral into a cheeseburger (from Hank’s) and then have NYE dinner at Bombay club which is typically spicy and rich and amazing, and then go to a party and drink champagne and my Dad’s plum brandy, and some things in between.
I do resist pizza and cookies that people put out and save myself for a grilled cheese sandwich which I make while Moonstruck plays in the background at 2AM. (I guess the emotional side-effects are still there)
Day 3 After Reboot
Feel like shit the morning after. Vow to never drink my Father’s moonshine plum brandy 2 days after a reboot again. My Mother hosts a New Year’s Brunch every year and every year she tells me I should take better care of myself. This year she tells me “My Skin Looks Really Good” which is as high of a compliment as it is gonna get on January 1st. I am also wearing leggings which is universally considered something “anyone over the age of 17 is too old to wear in public” in my parents household (I am twice as old) and my Mother not only doesn’t complain but says that “those look great” and asks me where I got them.
Hell HAS IN FACT frozen over.
Week After Reboot
Still feeling good. Now that my body is not so accustomed to a permanent state of sodium abuse and dehydration that it was in before this makes me drink more water, and cucumbers and apples and raw almonds have become a completely legitimate snack. I sneak a juice in about once a day and my whole being person up. I have not had any coffee FOR DAYS.
I host a going away brunch for a friend and make ALL THE toasts in that Bon Appetit photo. I post this photo on my instagram and Bon Appetit likes it and I end up with 835 likes on it somehow. I feel oddly vindicated for I don’t know what.
I talk about the reboot to anyone who will listen. It is a great conversation starter, a great conversation ender, a great conversation in-betweener. My Brother calls and tells me it is weirdly addictive because you DO feel good and that “Watch out, now you’re going to want to do it every few months”. I can totally see that.
Oh, and also, The Most of Nora Ephorn is amazing. Everyone should read all of it.
Bonus: A JRINK GIVEAWAY
Did all of this make you want to try a juice? Or six? (they go really great with that The Most of Nora Ephorn purchase you’re making as we speak) Well, you’re in luck (or at least three of you are).
Over the next 3 days (TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY/THURDAY) BYT + JRINK will giveaway a six pack of their juices AND a sweet t-shirt to one lucky instagram winner a day.
Here is what you need to do:
- 1. Follow @JRINKJuicery and @BrightestYoungThings on Instagram
- 2. Take a fun photo of yourself/something healthy/yourself and something healthy and use the #FreshToDeath @jrinkjuicery @brightestyoungthings to tag it
- 3. Keep an eye out for a message from JRINK
- or you know, just go there and pick some up.