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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Juice Cleansing For Dummies

The do's and don't's of juice cleansing. Photo by flinkr user skampy.
The do’s and don’t’s of juice cleansing. Photo by flinkr user skampy.

“Just make sure you don’t die, okay?”

This was the advice I got from my mother the night before I embarked on a three-day test of will, also known as a juice cleanse. Juice cleansing, which involves replacing all solid foods with juice for a set amount of time, has become an overnight sensation amongst the yoga-doing and organic cotton-wearing locavores that populate our fine city. Technically, a juice cleanse is supposed to rid the blood and body of toxins and give the digestive system a break, but I think it’s really just an excuse for already pin-thin celebutantes to shed pounds in the days leading up to red carpet events.

Someone on a juice cleanse will typically drink four to six juices a day (depending on the program) for anywhere from three to seven days. While not designed for weight loss, a juice cleanse does frequently result in the loss of a few pounds, because that’s kind of what happens when you don’t eat for a few days.

This seems like an opportune moment to disclose, dear reader, that I hate juice. Really, I never drink it. I think juice pretty much always tastes inferior to the solid versions of the fruits and vegetables it contains. Why, you might ask, would I agree to do a juice cleanse? I honestly don’t know.

But after reading about all the positive effects of juice cleansing (Radiant skin! Mental clarity! Toxin-free blood!) in a pamphlet I got at the Los Angeles Times’ Taste food festival, I decided to give it a shot. I went online and ordered Pressed Juicery’s three-day basic cleanse, which costs basically as much as anyone can charge you for squished fruit without it being illegal ($270 for three days of juice, what?!).

All of my juices arrived in a cooler the day I started my cleanse, and I realized with horror that I was supposed to drink six juices every day plus one bottle of “Chlorophyll Water,” (poison green in color and plant-y in taste) and another of “Aloe Vera  Water” to “snack on” throughout the day. That was already way more liquid than I had bargained for. As I said earlier, I don’t like juice. Starvation I can handle—I was basically planning to fast for three days—but consuming eight bottles of liquid every day? I knew I was in too deep.

I also learned that I had to drink the juice in a highly specific order (to maximize cleansing benefit). This means every morning I would wake up and try not to vomit while drinking my greens (kale-spinach water), then my roots (beet-ginger water), and then envy my real-food eating classmates during lunch while I had another greens and a citrus (lemon-cayenne pepper water). After School, I’d have another roots for dinner and then “indulge” in a “dessert” (coconut-almond water).

Juice cleansing is hard. I thought it wouldn’t be, since I eat pretty healthily in general, but I have to be real with y’all: I was counting the minutes until it was over. Day one wasn’t too bad because I was still in the honeymoon phase and truly believed that I was experiencing mental clarity, but it all went downhill from there. Day two I started to get really, really lightheaded, and evidently looked “faint and pale,” “emaciated,” and “like hell.” My friends and parents were really careful around me while I was cleansing, as if I would pass out at any given moment. I am pleased to report that I did not, in fact, faint. Other things I didn’t exactly do while cleansing include: my homework, drive the speed limit or stop at stop signs, and generally just be nice to people. Being on a juice cleanse is like getting a free pass to be a psycho biznitch, because girls typically understand that you can’t possibly be nice if you LITERALLY HAVEN’T EATEN SOLID FOOD IN THREE DAYS.

Overall, the cleanse is an experience I would never repeat or recommend to anyone I don’t hate. Beverly Hills physician Robert Huizenga, who is known as “Dr. H” on The Biggest Loser, also warns against misinformation about cleansing.

“Juice, with little to no fiber, is not a health food. A glass of juice is essentially identical to a regular can of cola in its proclivity to cause obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver,” Huizinga said, adding, “There is not one scintilla of scientific evidence that the digestive tract needs a break from digesting solid foods.”

So next time you’re considering cleansing, allow me to offer some preferable options: pulling out your eyelashes one by one, sliding down a banister of razor blades into a pool of lemon juice or eating your siblings.

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