The things we do for love (of food)…

IMG_8254September 2013

Cleansing. A necessary evil.

I usually work out three to four times a week. I eat organic and/or pasture-raised foods as much as possible and drink 8-10 glasses of water daily without exception. On the weekends all hell breaks loose. That’s when I eat, and I drink like there’s no tomorrow. Once in a while, I feel like I just can’t do it anymore and then, the next day happens. More invitations, more reservations and what feels like “once in a lifetime” affairs. That is, until the next “once in a lifetime event” happens.

A cleanse has always been on my to-do list, but I had not gotten around to trying one yet. On a whim, I dove into the Blueprint Cleanse website and read every word. The products are all organic, raw and cold pressed. I placed my order for the Renovation- Level 1 cleanse and I was on my way to detoxland. Don’t binge the day before, the website says. I didn’t. I behaved. The shipment was overnighted from New York City. I ran my usual morning errands, had some green tea and by 10:00 a.m., FedEx was at my doorstep. It was like Christmas morning, except not really. Ha! I opened the box and found a large metallic bag sealed with a giant sticker concealing the goods. Upon opening it, I was happy to find my six juices perfectly chilled and ready to go. Numbered 1-6, this was foolproof. I put everything away and opened #1 which was the GREEN juice: Romaine, celery, cucumber, apple, parsley, kale, lemon, and spinach. Sounds delicious right? OK, not exactly what I was thinking either.

IMG_9343Right away I tasted the cucumber, lemon, and parsley. It was refreshing and filling. You know what? I didn’t hate it. I happily drank away and went on with my usual routine. Two and half hours later I started Juice #2. Sweet, I thought. I like this. Oh, wait, this is too sweet. I have to drink 16 ounces of this? Yikes. Not as easy as I thought given how full I still was from the first one. I did it. Well, maybe 13 ounces of it is all I drank. Then, the heartburn began. The drink contained pineapple, apple, and mint (P.A.M.).

By 2:30 p.m. it was time for Juice #3, and it was the green juice once again. Drinking it was easy and I was still not hungry. Actually, I was still full from Juice #1 and #2. I remained that way for the rest of the day. The spicy lemonade was Juice #4. The website states you can switch up the drink order. But, it is preferred that you keep the numerical order that is predetermined for you. I have to agree. Each drink was perfectly spaced and timed. All I could think of, naturally, was that this spicy lemonade would make a mean vodka lemonade. What? No judging. I didn’t say I added it. I just suggested it.

IMG_9344Juice #5 was the hardest one for me. I was still full and I also absolutely detest beets. This one contained apples, carrots, beets, lemon, and ginger. It’s red and that only helps to remind me just how much I hate them. I struggled through it and barely drank half of it. I stared at it hoping I could drink it by osmosis, but sadly, it didn’t work. I was mostly looking forward to the highly acclaimed cashew milk which was Juice #6 and the last one of the day. You are supposed to consume it no later than to hours before bedtime. The first five juices contain exactly zero fat. The milk though has 19 grams of fat! I don’t understand the timing of the milk being right before bedtime (when you will be at your most sedentary). There must be a reason for it, however, so drink it I did.  As it turns out, it’s a tasty cloud sent to you straight from heaven to save the day. This one contained cashews, agave nectar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and vanilla specks. As much as I loved it, I just could not finish it. I left a good two ounces. Thankfully, I was still not hungry and felt content. Besides the initial heartburn that drink Juice #2 gave me (P.A.M.), I had no other side effects.

IMG_9348By the next morning, I was a pro; I did my usual daily routine and carried my drinks with me everywhere I went using the very convenient, small, insulated bag they had shipped with my order. I found that I now craved the green juice over my coffee. Strange! Everyone knows I am addicted to my coffee every morning. When it was time for P.A.M, I once again confirmed that this was the cause for my heartburn. When it was time for the “hard to drink” beets juice, I drank it like there was a prize attached to it.  By 5 p.m. on this second day,  I started to feel hungry for the first time. H  a  n  g  r  y.  What to do, what to do? The Blueprint Cleanse allows some cheat items: a few celery stalks or cucumber pieces, a quarter of an avocado, a half cup of coffee, a pinch of Celtic sea salt to any drink or some warm low sodium vegetable broth. I did not give in though. I held steady and just went to sleep a little earlier to resist temptation. I did it! My two day cleanse was now over!

IMG_9347When I woke up on Day 3, I had a slight headache, but oddly enough, the hunger had subsided. Instead of diving into my coffee, I chose a green tea instead. The idea is that once the cleanse is completed, you have to ease back into food and not eat anything crazy (like say three slices of pizza and beer). I spent the day eating fruits and salads solely. I was satisfied and was actually surprised I was not craving anything decadent. In the process, I lost 5lbs. That was perhaps the best side effect. I started to feel a little more comfortable being adventurous with my food by Day 4. I will spare you the gory details, but I will just say that pasta, wine, and a decadent dessert was not the right choice. Needless to say, I went back to taking it easy on Day 5 and slowly worked up to eating regular food again.

Overall, I highly recommend the Blueprint Cleanse. I can see myself doing weekly, one day cleanses before or after a weekend of indulging to get myself back on track. Since then, I have found that my local Whole Foods carries the juices too! This is a great way to save on shipping and not have to wait long to get started.  I have already stopped in twice to pick up some of the Green Juices to start my day. Next time though, I will make sure to pick up a spicy lemonade as well and revisit that vodka lemonade idea. Oh, what’s that? There is a Culinary Masters’ Dinner coming up? Yes, I will be there. Oh and SOBEWFF? There too! Note to self: Run to Whole Foods…..NOW!