Two years ago, I decided to do a three day JRINK cold pressed juice cleanse and since I survived it, I wrote about it for BYT. It is still a pretty fun read, and sort of a prequel to this story, so click on that link.
Fast forward to 2017 and all sorts of things have changed in my life: not only do I not live alone anymore in a set up where I can lock the door and exclude the world while I cleanse my system, I live with someone, and I am going to marry that someone this spring, and as if we didn’t have enough on our plates, I decided it would be FUN to have us both do a pre-wedding juice cleanse and bond over it. Or something.
(don’t worry, NO ONE dies during this, we promise)
Now, unlike the extremely controlled environment I created for myself during the first time I did it – all bets were off here.
By process of elimination we landed on a weekday cleanse vs a weekend one, and as is customary with any January in my life, my schedule was PACKED with meetings. To add to that, my fiance is a good born-n-bred (bread!) Midwesterner, with a manly 6’3″/200+ pound frame and a dietary attitude thats primary principle is “a meal that doesn’t include a carb or a meat is simply not a meal.”
As I told many before we started: “I know I will survive, but please keep Jason in your thoughts.”
First up, we had to make some decisions as to WHAT kind of cleanse we’d do, and we landed on this:
- Me, feeling maybe a little cocky and lulled by the success of my previous intermediate choice, went with the professional level (calling myself an “experience juicer” was maybe a little cocky, as the next three days would show).
- Jason, feeling a little more realistic (but not willing to stoop to the “weakling” level of Soup + Juice option) chose the beginners level.
What is the main difference? Well, the beginner level does involve ending the day with essentially a nut/almond milk shake which seemed very decadent compared to the professional level selection, which was not only purely juice driven, but relied very limitedly on anything that may bring fun to the juices in question. Once you go professional, it is a full commitment.
So, how did it go? Hang on, we’re getting there!
You are supposed to pre-cleanse! Cut out caffeine and alcohol and fatty, processed food (you know, actually eat like a real human being and not a college student). We tried our best but the weekend before the cleanse began we had a big, shiny BYT event at Hirshhorn, and my brother was in town, and and and…
Having said that, the most important thing during the pre-cleanse days is to warn your immediate surroundings that you will be doing a cleanse so they don’t ask you out to office happy hours, Bachelor trash talking wine sessions, restaurant press dinners or whatever else. It WILL raise a lot of “why are you doing this?” and may provoke some people to send you emails about how juice cleanses don’t work, but in the end, this is what I say and I think it makes sense as a cleanse motivation: I am not doing it to lose weight, but after certain times of the year (holiday seasons, etc) it is nice to just purge your system of all the sediments of sugar and sodium and fat in it, and start a fresh. As a body reset, it really does work.
Our juices got delivered the morning of (I highly recommend opting for delivery, if you can) and the first thought in my head was: GOD, WHERE ARE WE GOING TO PUT ALL THIS JUICE? Because, you know, between two cleanses that is 36 bottles of juice. Were we supposed to empty the fridge or something?
Somehow, we FIT the juice in, and off we went.
And, let me tell you – the first day was a breeze. Jason really loved the first juice, which happened to be my first juice too (Fuel Me Up I – a nice balance of kale, romaine, cucumber, pear, ginger and lemon) and despite having to trek my juices around most of the day to meetings, I felt good about what was going on. The handy little fridge bag also serves as kind of a conversation starter.
Another mutual fave was the mid-afternoon Pick Me Up 1 (beet, carrot, apple, orange and lemon) and much like my previous cleanse excursion the mid-day one (for me a very ALL GREEN AND NOTHING BUT GREEN combo of kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber, celery and parsley in Fuel Me Up III and for him the cleansing Clean Me Up I, which had both cayenne and grapefruit, which according to him “hit my tastebuds as a mix of hot citrus with a pepper finish”) were the hardest. Whether it is the realization that you are skipping the second meal of the day or the flavors – but the third one is the one that truly feels like a hump every day.
Still, the whole day felt pretty victorious. We both felt good, and not hungry and hydrated and well, maybe a little cocky. As we settle into our supper of Build Me Up (organic raw almonds, cinnamon, vanilla bean, dates, filtered h20) for him and Black Magic (a really super delicious combo of activated charcoal (what’s that?), aloe vera water, grape, apple, lemon) for me, we feel like, you know WE GOT THIS. Some vintage Office episodes instead of the dessert act like a total cherry on top of the first day.
I post a photo on my Instagram and as is always the case with any self-improvements one takes on, the likes and positive encouragement just put a little extra pep in my step.
Everyone tells you Day II is the hardest. No one necessarily tells you why. For me, it is because it’s the day that you realize you haven’t used your teeth AT ALL for over 24 hours. What IS the point of even having teeth on Day 2? Those are the kind of questions you find yourself asking.
Also, through a stroke of pure scheduling (mad?) genius I have five meetings back to back today, which means that I am toting juices (and asking for fridge access) from a SXSW kick off meeting at RFK to a Peace Ball social media powwow to a Dine-n-Dash partnership coordination meeting to a internship review to a National Museum of American History event walk-through, all of which somehow involve extensive conversations about food and drink and using teeth in general. I am not saying that it may be a little easier to do this cleanse if you didn’t have my job, but it MAY BE a little easier to do this cleanse if you didn’t have my job.
The girls in the office are very supportive though. They are essentially the Woody to my Katniss (making YA references is a sad side effect of Day 2)
In the meantime, Jason, who primarily works from home and has no distractions or built-in-female-coworkers-support system texts me to inform me that all he is doing is peeing.
He lets me know that SEVERAL times that day.
He also shares that yes, Day 2 must be the worst because well, it feels the worst.
(Side note from Jason: It’s preferable, in my experience, to do the cleanse during the work week. It’s one thing to be hungry at work where you’re busy and the day’s events can distract. It’s quite another to hungry and sitting 10-feet away from your refrigerator.)
Once I am home we decide to treat our slightly delirious selves to a shitty but fun movie. Sadly we choose Suicide Squad. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it is BAD. Like, even if you were not running to the bathroom every five min, dreaming of raw almonds as if they were pizza, it’s bad. We make it through maybe 30 min of the complete nonsense on screen (it doesn’t even feel like a movie!), and then sort of collapse to bed, right after I cancel my next morning SoulCycle class. There is no chance in hell I am waking up while it is still dark.
The reality of a professional level cleanse has set in. The reality being that I am decidedly NOT a professional.
However, I wake up and while not a happy camper, I do feel delightfully de-bloated and my face skin is smoother. I address this positive development with Jason who just peeks under his pillow with a: “That’s nice. I just feel hungry”
(Side note from Jason: “Not gonna lie, I was hungry … Day one. Day two. Day three.”)
That kind of sums up the day. About every two-three hours (as the next juice is due) he texts me he is hungry. I am too but I do try and think of the general de-bloatedness as I myself start peeing like a racehorse (when you are hungry, you do find yourself drinking A WHOLE lot of water, since you can actually trick yourself into thinking it is filling you up). I have a coffee meeting during which I drink more water.
That evening, we clink our final two juices (I pour my black magic into a wine glass) and sleep for 10 hours straight.
The first morning after, Jason wakes up, hugs me and says: You know what I’m going to do today?
Him: Get a coffee!
I let him cherish that little victory (I blisfully feel completely ok without a touch of caffeine). That evening, we go to sweetgreen which feels like a super treat, and have some of JRINK’s raw super food macadamia nut coconut nibbles (at this point in time as wonderful as a chocolate covered almond claw, but without the chocolate or the claw involved) and then pour ourselves a nice glass of wine and watch Almodovar’s latest, Julieta. I laugh, I cry, I LOVE this evening. We sleep like BABIES.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Don’t think of it as a crash diet, think of it as a reset. Weeks later, I am still completely off caffeine (I ordered a small vanilla latte the other day and could barely consume 1/4 of it, there was just no need for it), my body craves less sugar (Jason’s still craves all the meat, so no worries there), and for the first time in the history of our relationship NO ONE asks for bread at any point. Once these things are out of your system, it is surprisingly easy to keep
(Side note from Jason: A benefit following the cleanse is the overpowering sugary and salty taste of nearly everything you ingest. This is an awakening to what you’ve been consuming and certainly affects your food choices in a positive. Your body, if not your mind, will instinctively want to continue a healthier diet.)
If you want to try a cleanse (or just a juice), JRINK has kindly provided us with a code: BYTXJRINK which gives you 10% off through the end of the month. Use it. Stock up on some Black Magic for the weekend. It really is the best.