Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gettin' Juiced Up

Clearly, since I'm writing this, I survived 3 days of living on nothing but juices. My inner daredevil is over-the-moon ecstatic. Yes, I did it, but it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped it would be. OK, maybe it was. 

DAY 1: My unbridled enthusiasm was mostly responsible for getting me through the first day. Every juice bottle I opened was met with a little squee of excitement. It tastes so much better than I thought it would! I never knew liquid salad was this heavenly! Beet juice? YAY!  I have to admit, I felt great. I wasn't overly hungry. Late afternoon I felt my stomach subtly suggest a hamburger, but I promptly squashed that. By the time I had my last juice of the day, a glorious, sweet delight known as Cashew Milk, I was convinced I'd discovered the equivalent to a red velvet cupcake in liquid form. (Minus the red velvet, obviously)  By 9pm I was fighting to stay awake, so I went to bed early for the first time in decades.

DAY 2:  When I woke up Saturday morning I was immediately struck by how good I felt. I didn't have any cravings for my usual morning coffee. I was more than happy grabbing a bottle of water and wake my insides up. Who knew? The juices were just as tasty the second day. Although, part of me started to rebel against the Spicy Lemonade and the Beet Juice. Fortunately, I didn't have any massive headaches or other signs of uncomfortable detox. That was good. I will say that I spent ALOT of time reacquainting myself with the bathroom. Hey man, I'm drinking nothing but liquids, what do you expect? Anyway, by the time I got to my favorite moment of the day, the Cashew Milk, I drank it with such reverence that I kept giggling like a child. Seriously, it's that good. Oh, and I went to bed early again. Definitely odd for a night owl like myself.

DAY 3: Final day! The allure of solid food was SO close, I could almost taste the roast beef sandwich I woke up craving. But I soldiered on and knocked back my first three juices of the day, pacing myself as I went along. I also paced my water intake to stave off the hunger pangs that were getting louder. By late afternoon, as I was nursing the Spicy Lemonade, my inner daredevil faltered. I was legit hungry. And that drink was making me angry. So I chugged it. And then had a bottle of water. An hour later I begrudgingly grabbed the Beet Juice. I eyeballed it with wariness because it really is vile the third time around. But like a good girl, I drank it. As fast as I could. At 6pm on the dot, I enjoyed my final Cashew Milk. I'd grown so fond of that drink, I didn't want it to go away, ever. 
This drink deserves a standing ovation. By far the best of the six. As I drank it, that old Vanessa Williams song (Save the Best for Last) kept playing in my head. After I finished it, I held the bottle above my head like it was a major trophy and announced rather excitedly that I was DONE!!! The Dane managed a small "that's good" as he was playing something on the PS3. Thanks Dane, you're aces.

Overall, I did feel much better doing this cleanse. My insides felt lighter and I had more energy. I've completely lost my craving for caffeine, chocolate and coffee. A moment of silence for Dunkin Donuts, please. When I woke up yesterday I found myself wanting the green juices, the pineapple juice and, most of all, the Cashew Milk. I had to settle for vegetable broth and cucumber slices. Make no mistake, I'm glad to be eating solid foods again. I made a lovely chicken breast stuffed with spinach, sun-dried tomatos and cheese for dinner last night. But I certainly wouldn't turn away the juices if they're offered to me. Well, except for the Spicy Lemonade and Beet Juice.


Green Juice (2 bottles):
Surprisingly tasty. Definitely "greeny," but I liked it.
Ingredients: Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Apple, Spinach, Kale, Parsley, Lemon

P.A.M. (1 bottle):
Amazing. I loved it. Sweet, refreshing and would be GREAT with Bacardi. But it's fabulous on it's own too. Yum. 
Ingredients: Pineapple, Apple, Mint

Spicy Lemonade (1 bottle):
Tart and spicy. I actually enjoyed it on the first day. But the 2nd and 3rd time I had it, not so much.
Ingredients: Water, Lemon, Cayenne, Agave Nectar

C.A.M. (1 bottle):
Much like the Spicy Lemonade, I liked it at first blush. It had a very earthy flavor. However, by the 2nd and 3rd day, I would have rather drank gasoline.
Ingredients: Apple, Carrot, Beet, Lemon, Ginger

Cashew Milk (1 bottle): 
Nectar of the gods. It was sweet, rich, vanilla-y, delicious, yummy.....and so many other adjectives that I don't possibly have time to write down. It's considered the "dinner" of the drinks. I called it my special dessert. Must. Have. More. Immediately. 
Ingredients: Filtered Water, Raw Cashews, Agave Nectar, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon

So that's it. My experience doing the BluePrint Cleanse. I really, honestly enjoyed it (Spicy Lemonade and Beet Juice aside). My goal is to try and do it once a month. Maybe I'll even buy a juicer to make it myself. If you've been thinking about trying a juice cleanse and have been a nervous nelly, definitely try this one. And that's coming from the girl who was convinced she'd quit after an hour. =)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Just saying this out loud makes me roll my eyes at myself - "I'm doing a juice cleanse." Seriously? Who am I? But really, I'm doing a juice cleanse.

Apparently the BluePrint Cleanse (BPC) is all the rage with healthy-type people. Or at least with those who like to banish solid foods for several days in a row on purpose. I've always been curious about what it would be like to drink freshly juiced veggies all day. Totally not kidding. The thought of someone doing this on purpose has always fascinated me. It seemed like a challenge that I would ultimately fail in the first, oh let's say, hour. 

Back in the day, like in 2008, some crazy urge took over and I attempted the Lemon Detox Diet. Why? I don't know. I spent a particularly nice Saturday traipsing around the state of Rhode Island looking for all the right organic ingredients for the drink. Once I found everything I mixed the drink and took a sip. And promptly threw it down the sink. There was no way I'd be drinking that swill for a week. A WEEK! That was end of that. Back to actual food for me.

But you know when you keep reading about something, or hearing about people who fasted  and drank nothing but water for a month, some insane part of your brain starts to take over the rational side of your brain. 

I kept hearing how great it was to 'cleanse out your body.' How people felt rejuvenated, energetic and all the other adjectives that make you want to drop everything you're doing and join in on the fun. But, I kept ignoring the insane part of my brain. That is, until this week. 

If you were to ask me how I even found out about the BPC, I'd be fumbling to give you an answer. I just happened upon it a few months ago and sort of filed it away under 'crazy ideas.' For whatever reason, the insane part of my brain was obnoxiously active earlier this week and felt the need to convince my rational side that I needed to do the BluePrint Cleanse. 

I mean, look at the logo. It's so serene and pretty. Why wouldn't I want to? 

The website is very informative. I always enjoy a good marketing strategy and the group behind this does it very well. There are 3 different levels for cleansing. Seeing how successful I was with the lemon disaster, I opted to choose Level 1, Renovator. See? I'm renovating myself. You know, like an old house or something. 

Renovator Type:

"I know what whole foods are, and I've seen people buying them. I would too, but I'm too busy to be choosy – my vegetable intake comes in the form of: Ketchup – "tomatoes" and French Fries – "potatoes." Salad is found in EVERY cheeseburger I eat: it's that green-ish color in the middle of the burger. Fruit? Easy, it's the garnish on my cocktail, (usually an orange). I have cut back on red meat... and know I should only buy organic, free range, hand massaged meats and vegetables raised by people who smell like patchouli oil, but where do they even sell that stuff?"

Now, I don't rely on ketchup & potatoes to be my only source of vegetable intake. I do love a good salad, steamed broccoli, etc. But since this is the first time I'm actually going to commit to a cleanse, I figured beginner was the way to go. The two other levels are Foundation and Excavation. 

The nice FedEx man dropped off my freshly pressed 3-day supply of juices this morning at 10:30. Mind you, I'd been up since 7:30, with no coffee, no breakfast, no anything. I tore into that box like it was filled with red velvet cupcakes. 

The bottles are all numbered, so you don't have to wonder which one to drink when. If it were any easier, a rock could do it. 

The drinks are 2 green juices (kale, romaine, cucumber), a pineapple, apple & mint drink, a spicy lemonade, an apple, carrot & beet drink and finally a cashew milk with vanilla & cinnamon. So far, I've had the first green juice (not bad, honestly) and am currently nursing the pineapple one. That one is REALLY good. Very refreshing. All it needs is a splash of Bacardi.......

My adventure has begun. If I make it through to Sunday I'll give an honest review of what it's been like. Drink up!