Just Juice Me
How a foodie rediscovered a zest for veg with a rejuvenating 4-day juice cleanse
After months of getting this website off the ground and a gluttonous holiday season, my eating habits had, shall we say, deteriorated. I was making poor food choices, so I was tired all the time. Even worse, I simply didn’t feel good.
After reading our roundup of Dallas juice bars, I was inspired to do a cleanse — to reset my system so I would start craving good-for-me fruits and vegetables and boost my energy level. I fretted over the decision, mainly because I live to eat. But, to be honest, I wasn’t even enjoying food anymore, no matter how delicious.
I chose Roots Juices mainly out of convenience, because the Dallas-based online juicer provides free delivery to certain area codes, including mine. Roots offers cleanses ranging from one to five days, for $50 a day. (Roots also does an 11-day program, which includes mostly raw foods in addition to juices.) A five-day juice cleanse is recommended, but I decided on four, simply because I didn’t think I could hang for a full work week.
I had done a three-day juice cleanse once before (with BluePrint Cleanse), and it made me feel alert and energized. So I knew this was just the jumpstart I needed to get back on track with my health and wellness routine. I placed the order and within hours a representative called me to schedule delivery for the next day, as well as a second delivery two days later.
The program includes six daily juices, plus chlorophyll- and aloe-infused waters for added hydration. I also downloaded some information about how to prepare for the cleanse — hydrate, don’t eat heavy proteins (oops) or highly processed foods, give up alcohol (double oops) — and how to ease yourself back into your regular routine. Eating raw foods for a couple of days following the cleanse is encouraged.
The juice assortment includes the following, to be consumed in this order:
- Wake Up, with carrot, apple, ginger and watermelon
- Refresh, with cucumber, lime, mint, apple and ginger
- Lean & Fit, with watermelon and mint
- Go Green, with celery, kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber and lemon
- Restore, with beet, carrot, apple, aloe and ginger
- Health Nut Almond Milk, with filtered water, almonds, dates, vanilla bean and sea salt
Every juice fulfilled my needs for taste, nutrients and satiation. Day one was fairly easy, because I was eager to start craving something fresh and green. I was hungry, yes, but I didn’t fantasize about cheating with a cheeseburger. In fact, I declared to my co-workers that I was dreaming about eating half an avocado — an acceptable supplement from my previous cleanse. (Full disclosure: That night I did.)
Day two was a little different. I didn’t wake up with a headache, which I feared — not only because it was among the listed side effects, but also because I am prone to them. Instead I spent most of the day rather lightheaded and loopy, wondering how I would survive another 48 hours or do my job effectively.
To get my mind off eating, that night I treated myself to a mani/pedi, but I did stop at Whole Foods on the way home. If I was going to cave, I figured I better have suitable backup sustenance. I filled my basket with raw foods such as Larabars, Hail Merry macaroons and Go Raw “real live food” bars. I also loaded up on fresh kale, broccoli and cauliflower at the salad bar.
When I got home, convinced I needed to eat solid food, I dove into my box o’ veg. Interestingly, I had about four bites and decided I was done. So I popped the top on the vanilla-infused almond milk — a delightfully decadent nightly treat — and headed for bed.
Day three was no big deal, and I figured day four would be smooth sailing as well. I admit to eating a Larabar on days three and four, if only to give my blood sugar a boost as I dove into my editing duties. I had stopped thinking about what I wanted to eat, because I was elated to be feeling better.
But the real revelation came in how alert and awake I was every day. I had no trouble getting out of bed, I tackled my work with enthusiasm and I didn’t hit a wall come mid-afternoon. In fact, on Friday night (the day after I completed the cleanse) — when I’m normally half-comatose on my couch, fondling the remote control and wondering how I’ll find the strength to walk the few steps to my bed — I was energized enough to clean my bathroom, do a few loads of laundry and write this story.
(Hey, do not judge me for my Friday-night activities.)
In the end, this four-day “sacrifice” felt like a small price to pay for what I gained. Aside from a little lightheadedness on day two, I experienced no real side effects; the only downside, if you can call it that, was that I had to pee every 30 minutes. Instead, just as I’d hoped, I had a real desire for whole, fresh foods, and I couldn’t wait to “indulge” in the raw vegan “pizza” I had ready and waiting for me my first day back to eating in the real world.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will I still eat cheeseburgers? Absolutely. But, for now, I’d rather have the raw zucchini pasta and fresh fruit salad that currently sit in my fridge.