Food + Drink + Life + Health

Juice, a love story.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you probably already know that for the past few months I’ve been drinking an awful lot of juice. Green juice, beet juice, carrot juice, pear juice, pineapple juice…JUICE. Not the stuff you buy in a bottle, but freshly pressed, nutrient and mineral-rich whole, raw, unpasteurized juice. I can’t get enough of it.

Beyond just drinking an occasional glass of juice here and there, I’ve actually gone as far as doing two juice “cleanses,” each three days in duration. If you’re not familiar with the world of juice cleansing, the most basic premise is that for a specific length of time you consume nothing but freshly pressed juices—no solid foods at all. (Note: This is not the same thing as Master Cleanse or any of the other lemon-water cleanses. With a juice cleanse you are typically consuming between 1000 and 1500 calories per day—it’s not a starvation diet.)

I’m not sure exactly what initially put the thought of doing a juice cleanse in my head, but the first time I did it I was coming off a run of eating really, really poorly and drinking more coffee every day than I really care to admit. I desperately felt like I needed to “reset” my eating habits, rid myself of cravings for things my body doesn’t want or need, and put myself on a generally healthy path of eating well.

I can only speak for myself here, but I know that when I stop consuming something for several days at a time, generally no longer crave it anymore. This was certainly true when I gave up dairy a couple of years ago, and when I gave up all artificial sweeteners a year before that. I basically don’t have a sweet tooth anymore. My hope with doing a juice cleanse was that I’d rid myself of the constant cravings for fries, bagels, coffee…all of the things I love that are fine in moderation, but bad news when consumed excessively. If you’ve hit a point where you’re consuming three bagels, a large order of tater tots, and a couple of gigantic iced coffees on a typical Saturday, there’s a problem. (Hello, myths of veganism!)

Rather than run out and buy a juicer right away, I decided to see what kind of options are available locally for fresh juice cleanses. The answer is A LOT, at least in New York City. After much Googling, Yelping, Twittering and speaking to actual live humans, I decided to go with BluePrintCleanse. They deliver for free in NYC, and their prices are pretty much in line with the rest of the juicing companies in this area.

I chose the mid-level cleanse, Foundation, and ordered a three-day supply. I scheduled the delivery a few days in advance so I’d have time to prepare (basically limiting my diet primarily to raw fruits and veggies and cutting out caffeine—since I already have a vegan diet, it was really just a matter of eliminating the processed foods, since meat and dairy obviously aren’t a part of my life), and had everything delivered to my office. The fresh juices BluePrintCleanse sells are raw and unpasteurized, so they have a very short shelf life—they’ll only delivery three days’ worth at a time, and it all needs to be refrigerated immediately. They arrived in a cardboard box with tons of ice packs and a free cooler bag sized for transporting a few bottles at a time.

And so I was off! Honestly, it wasn’t that big of a deal for me in terms of self-control. I already love green juice so the taste wasn’t an issue (if anything, I found the pineapple-based juice a little too sweet, but I’m definitely in the minority), and it’s such a large volume of fluids that I really wasn’t hungry at all. A lot of people say they feel a desperate need to chew while cleansing, but that didn’t happen to me. My digestion was fine as well. The only really torturous part was giving up coffee, but even that was only horrible (headaches, exhaustion, moodiness) for the first two days when I was preparing for the cleanse. By the time I was on day three of drinking juice, I wasn’t even thinking about coffee. I wasn’t even really thinking about food, frankly—I kind of wanted to just keep drinking juice forever.

How did I feel during the cleanse? The first day I felt a little tired, but I suspect that was lingering caffeine withdrawal. Generally speaking, I felt GREAT. I slept really well, I didn’t feel bloated or “stuffed,” and more than anything, I had a sense of control. That might sound a little weird, but I don’t like feeling like I have no self-control when it comes to food. Either you understand where I’m coming from with that or you don’t, I guess. At any rate, I like being disciplined about what I put into my body. Moderation is hard for me when it comes to eating.

Then day four arrived, the morning after my last juice. Time to break the cleanse! The first thing I ate was some cut mango with sea salt, and it was delicious. It tasted so flavorful and satisfying. I also had a tiny cup of coffee, and let me tell you—if you stop consuming all caffeine for a week, that first cup is an AMAZING thing. I wanted to crawl inside of that cup and live there forever. How nice to actually LOVE a cup of coffee again and not just feel compelled to drink it out of necessity or routine!

How have things been post-cleanse? Pretty great, actually. My diet is incredible now! I eat really, really well—tons of veggies, fresh fruits and whole grains. I constantly crave raw vegetables. Sometimes I lie in bed and fantasize about kale. Really. On the few occasions when I’ve eaten poorly, I don’t feel good afterward. Not sick, but not good. I find myself thinking a lot about what the foods I eat can do for me nutritionally rather than how they’ll make me feel emotionally—and that’s a good place to be. I’ve lost about 20 pounds in the past three months (!) without even trying; a nice side benefit for sure, even though that wasn’t my goal.

I know there’s a lot of pseudo-science out there are about the benefits of fasting and cleansing and “detoxing,” and while I don’t know how much I buy into some of the more wild claims, I do know what juice cleansing has done for me, and I plan to make it a regular part of my life. I’m thinking maybe once every season? I’m also going to buy a juicer now that I’m confident it won’t just sit around gathering dust.

If you have ANY questions about my experience with juice cleansing, please feel free to ask. I hadn’t planned to blog about it when I started, but after getting so many questions on Twitter and Instagram, I figured there must be some more interested people out there! I’m definitely not an expert, but I’m happy to share what I do know. I’d also love to hear from others who have done juice cleanses, or even those of you who are just fellow juice fanatics!

BluePrintCleanse is actually having a 21% off sale on Fab this week, so if you’re interested in trying it out at a discount, this is a good opportunity. If you don’t already have a membership, this link will function as an invitation to join.

On a related note, have you seen Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead yet? It’s basically a documentary about the wonders of juicing. It’s a little bit overly-inspirational (what can I say, I’m a born cynic), but sometimes that’s a good thing. If nothing else, it’ll make you feel like you can have some control over your physical health and well-being by taking very simple and direct measures. It’s a good movie, and you can watch it for free. Worth the hour and a half.

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  • Reply Josephine August 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Respect. I read this while drinking my ritual morning coffee 😉 Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m inspired to give it a go!

    Also, welcome back to the blog! I’ve been visiting this awesome space for a few years now, and love to read about what you’ve been working on, etc. I’m a book designer in Sydney and I don’t ‘meet’ many others 😉

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Cheers, Josephine! 🙂

  • Reply brianne August 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I ordered this off Fab based on your tweets and the review of tracy from shutterbean. I’m going to schedule it for early next week and I’m SO excited about it! Thanks for the tweet about Fab, I’m not sure I would have seen it otherwise.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Cool, Brianne, let me know how it goes!!

  • Reply Kat August 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I have been juicing for a while now and I love it. I started after watching the film but with a less gung ho attitude. Like you, I just like to be in a bit more control. I’m in Raleigh and there aren’t that many fresh juice options so a lot of what I’ve had has been through trial and error. My absolute favorite: kale – maybe 4-5 cups, 1 medium cucumber, 1 stalk of celery, 1-2 granny smiths depending on size, and a thumb of ginger. So so good!

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      That sounds great!! I love ginger.

    • Kat August 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Just saw the juicer you are considering. I have that very one and it is great. Really easy to clean and it’s small enough to be portable.

    • Jen August 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Which juicer is it, can I ask?

      I’ve done two cleanses as well with a local Bay Area company and I LOVED them. I did two because after day 2 of the first cleanse I just wanted it to keep going. So I decided I’d save money I usually spend on other food treats and save up for a cleanse every 3 months or so.

      That said, after doing two @ ~200/each, buying a juicer is the more economical choice.

  • Reply Trondheim August 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    It’s definitely nice reading someone else’s experience. I’ve been seriously considering doing a cleanse with a friend (who introduced me to the concept and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead) for a while now, but neither of us have decided to take the plunge. I think I just might go ahead with it with that Fab offer.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Three days is a nice way to start, I think. F, S & ND is a little overwhelming because it’s just for SO long!

  • Reply Bridget August 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    “I find myself thinking a lot about what the foods I eat can do for me nutritionally rather than how they’ll make me feel emotionally—and that’s a good place to be.” That right there is a powerful sentence! The struggle of my life.

  • Reply Dori August 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    You make juice sound SO refreshing and appetizing. When you do buy a juicer, I’d love to see some of your favorite juice recipes! Not sure if you’ve gotten this question already but do you ever worry about any fiber and other good stuff that might not make it into the juice? I’ve heard some people saying this is a reason they prefer to blend rather than juice. I’d be interested in hearing your two cents.

    Have an awesome day.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Dori, part of the purpose of doing a juice cleanse is to actually NOT have any fiber in the juice, since it’s less work for your digestive tract. When doing a cleanse, you’re letting your body take a break. Blending fruits and veggies (like in a smoothie) is also a great way to ingest more whole foods, but it’s not in keeping with the purpose of a “detox” cleanse.

      I get plenty of fiber in my diet when I’m not doing a juice cleanse. I don’t have a problem giving it up every now and then. 🙂

  • Reply Emma August 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have been going back and forth about getting a real juicer for at least a year (they are expensive, and expensive kitchen equipment gathering dust is a major no-no for a poor Swede). When you do buy yours, please write about it.

  • Reply Krysta August 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the post! “I don’t like feeling like I have no self-control when it comes to food.” I know exactly where you are coming from! In fact that is currently how I’ve been feeling… too much coffee and diet coke, not enough leafy greens.

    I’m a big fan of green juice, and actually ate a pretty high raw diet a couple of years ago and felt pretty wonderful and satisfied while doing so. But as things sometimes go, I have slowly moved away from that way of eating one bite at a time, but still love green juice and green smoothies. I’ve never done a juice cleanse but have been toying with the idea.

    Liquiteria in NYC is awsome and delivers individual juices. And as for at home juicers, I have a Breville and have been very happy with it. Really enjoyed reading about your experience!

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Yeah, everyone seems to love the Breville! I think that’s probably what I’ll wind up buying.

  • Reply alis August 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    As a person who is not actually a vegetarian but avoids factory-meat for both ethical and health reasons, I wonder what vegetarians and vegans think about soy and corn products. I think eating genetically modified food is even worse than eating meat. Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). I think you would find this little documentary called “The World According to Monsanto” very interesting.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Alis, I have a lot of opinions about this, actually, but I’d prefer to keep the discussion on-topic (juice!) if possible. Maybe I’ll get into this subject in a future post, though. In the mean time, there are a TON of other resources online if you’re interested in reading more about soy consumption and genetically modified foods. Personally, I eat very little of either, which I suspect is the case for a vast number of vegans and other health and environmentally conscious people.

    • alis August 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks for replying and sorry for going off-topic (I thought general topic:food), I read about this subject a lot and try to keep up with any new developments but I would love to read your views about it in a future post.

      As for juice; just today I read that vegetable (not fruit, zero sugar is key) juice cleanses are very beneficial for people who battle with candida. I would love to try an organic juice cleanse but unfortunately we don’t have such services where I live. Still, I’ll see what I can do to make this happen while it’s still summer and there is lots of fresh produce available (I’m a bit lucky since my parents are organic farmers). I was a bit skeptical about the whole juice cleanse thing but after your post I’m convinced, so, thanks!

  • Reply Annelies August 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Love this post.

    Question: Do you always drink juices with vegetables in them or do you also drink juices with only fruits?

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Both! 🙂 Usually a combination of the two, with a heavier emphasis on vegetables. A lot of fruits are just too sweet for my taste.

  • Reply lindsay August 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    fresh direct also delivers blueprint juices to your door and its cheaper. i love these! not diet drinks, no weight loss, but certainly ends cravings. i did blueprint for 6 days this spring. it really does change your cravings.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      I think it’s the same price in NYC, actually, since delivery is free here! 🙂

  • Reply Dusa August 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Your description of that first post-juice cup of coffee made me crave a lovely frothy latte with a sprinkle of freshly ground nutmeg. I ‘get’ the crawl-in-and-stay imagery.

    And totally off topic: so cute with Mr. Linus 😉

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Isn’t Linus adorable?!

  • Reply Alyssa August 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    “I had a sense of control. That might sound a little weird, but I don’t like feeling like I have no self-control when it comes to food.”

    Oh man, I know that feeling and I’ve finally gained control over my eating habits via carefully tracking my food intake and macronutrients with an app. I’ve also incorporated quite a bit of fitness into my routine and I feel stronger and leaner and better than ever. I dunno if you’re taking up any forms of deliberate exercise along with diet overhaul, (though I suspect you might judging by a tweet I vaguely remember about sneakers? Maybe?) but I seriously feel accomplished and just very zen about myself lately, especially post-exercise time.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Haha, yes, I have been vaguely tweeting about sneakers! I’ve started sort of half-heartedly using the gym in my building a few times a week. I know I should be doing more, but…but…I have no excuses.

  • Reply Jess August 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Hey Anna,
    I work with the dietitian who does “Reboot” which is the program that the guy from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead started. I need to get a juicer! I find myself hungry way too often between meals and making bad choices, and as a soon to be dietitian, I want to try out some juicing to see (and I’m sure it will) if that is a good option.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Yup, length of time between meals and the resulting hunger is a HUGE trigger for me to start eating poorly. And the frustrating part is that I know better…

  • Reply MadlyClumsily August 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    After reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet, I tried a juice fast. My first time, I didn’t know what I was doing, and used pasteurized juices. I felt horrible the whole time because I wasn’t getting enough nutrients. Since then I bought a juicer, and I love weekends when I can stay home and do a juice fast. Sometimes my mix of fruits and veggies is so filling, that I’ll only drink 3-4 16oz glasses a day. I’ve never tried to check the caloric intake, but I can say that after juicing, I feel lighter, and I sleep so much better. When I slip back into my poor eating habits, I find myself consistently waking up in the middle of the night, but when I juice, I can sleep a beautiful uninterrupted eight hours.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Yikes! Yeah, it really needs to be raw, fresh juice. But I guess you figured that out. 😉

      Yeah, I don’t really ever think about calories either. As long as you’re not hungry and your body is functioning the way that is should, you’re probably getting plenty. I do think it would be an issue if you were expending a lot of energy, though (strenuous exercise, etc.), or if you were going to be cleansing for a very long period of time. When we listen to our bodies, I think we generally do alright!

  • Reply Lorie August 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    This whole post fascinates me. And I completely, totally get where you are coming from. It is so weird to me that the more I don’t want to be obsessed with food, the more I become obsessed with food. I think instead of your crawling into your coffee cup, you crawled into my brain. Which is a very scary place indeed…

    Have you bought a juicer yet? And I have read before that we actually shouldn’t have as much fiber in our diet as “they” say we are supposed to have b/c then our bodies become dependent on needing the fiber to, um, “move”.

    P.S. You had me at the offer of a free cooler bag. What can I say? I am a JUNKIE when it comes to bags…

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      “It is so weird to me that the more I don’t want to be obsessed with food, the more I become obsessed with food.”

      YES. This exactly. I am really trying to get to a point where I’m not freaking out about food (in either direction of extremes) all the time and am just naturally eating healthily. I think I’m heading toward that point now, at least when I’m on my own. I still have trouble when I’m “eating socially,” though, and I don’t want to be the weirdo that orders a kale salad while everyone else is eating deep-fried seitan…even though I really WANT the salad. (I need to get over this, clearly!! I seriously doubt anyone actually cares!)

      I haven’t bought a juicer yet, because I really haven’t figured out how to best fit juicing into my life since my time is divided between two homes. I’m also still learning about the different kinds of juicers and oxidation and all that kind of stuff…it’s so complicated!

      I actually don’t really think about fiber much as long as I’m eating healthily. I certainly don’t take any supplements, but I also don’t worry about possibly eating too much. The only time I DO become aware of fiber is when I’ve slipped into one of my carb comas/bagel weekends, and that’s because I’m not getting enough of it. As far as juicing goes, though, I do understand the reasoning behind it being fiber-free, especially in the context of a cleanse.

  • Reply Francine August 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I’ve heard so many good things about juice fasts, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I consider myself a really healthy eater anyway, but after being raised on a bowl of pasta on Sundays in homemade sauce, I just can’t give that up! haha

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      I don’t think anyone should have to give that up! 🙂

      I’m definitely NOT about deprivation or going to dietary extremes. I think for people like me, though, who tend to sway wildly between eating REALLY well and eating REALLY poorly, something like a regimented cleanse is a great way to get back on track. Not everyone needs that…I wish I didn’t!

      (Three days is pretty easy, though. I’m not sure I could make it through more than a couple of weeks, but I’d be up for trying…)

  • Reply Lorie August 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Oh and one more question… 🙂 How do you find this is impacting your food budget? I have talked with friends before that have juiced and they have scared me off b/c of the cost of all the fruits/vegs that it takes for one drink. And I would feel guilty doing this for me and not my kiddos but I don’t think I could buy enough to fill my growing boys! lol Then I just get overwhelmed and give up before I even start.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Well, let me preface this with the following statement: NEW YORK CITY IS REALLY EXPENSIVE. That includes food. My perspective on any kind of budget is always going to be tainted by the fact that I have lived in and around this crazily expensive city for my entire life, and a big part of living in NYC is going out to eat (or getting delivery). Do you know how many New Yorkers use their ovens as extra storage space because they never turn them on?

      That said, yes, juicing is expensive—especially if you go the organic route. I’m sure it helps if you’re part of a food coop or a CSA, though! Also, since you can use up more of a food that might otherwise be discarded (hello, kale stems!), you may find that your veggies are going farther than they did before. It’s definitely much cheaper to juice yourself than to buy from a service like I did, but I was a little afraid to make the leap on my own (I also can’t see to figure out the logistics, since I work in an office all day!).

      It’s important to remember that it’s not an all-or-none thing, though. Maybe you and the kids could enjoy juice once a day to start, and see how it goes. I’ve personally found that I spent LESS money on food now, actually, since I’m less likely to impulsively buy snacks or have second helpings—I just don’t have as big of an appetite, and I really only crave stuff that I can make myself.

      No need to get overwhelmed! You can do as much or as little as you like. Go for it! 🙂

    • Lorie August 2, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Thanks Anna.

  • Reply Trish August 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I love this space, but I have to say reading this post it felt disingenuous. I didn’t think you were down with advertising on here, but the link to sign up to fab and the promo on a currently running special has me questioning that.

    • Anna @ D16 August 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Sorry you feel that way, Trish. I addressed the Fab signup in a previous post. This isn’t any different. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been talking about juicing and doing the BPC for months now. It definitely wasn’t all some kind of lead up to a Fab promo! Heh. I suppose you could consider it “advertising” any time I mention a product that’s for sale or link to an Etsy shop, though, right?

      If you’re wondering why this post coincides with the sale, it’s pretty simple: I wasn’t even aware of the sale until a number of people tweeted and emailed me about it asking for my opinion about BPC before they placed their orders. They knew I’d done it twice, and they wanted to know if it was worth it. Hundreds of people have asked me about juicing on Twitter and Instagram, so I figured a post was in order.

      I will never, ever represent myself as anything other than exactly who and what I am on this blog. You can either choose to believe or disbelieve, but there’s nothing I can offer you as proof other than continuing to live my life and speak honestly. If you don’t find my voice genuine, then you probably don’t want to read my blog…and that’s OK.

      (By the way, this is the second time in SEVEN MONTHS that I’ve included a Fab link in a blog post. Yup, I’m really raking in the bucks…)

  • Reply Simone August 2, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Good for you to write about food and eating!!! It is so important and there is so much confusing information floating around in the world about food.
    We saw a documentary a month ago on the BBC called: “The people who made us fat”. Interestingly enough 50 years ago people did not work out or do a lot of sports and most of them were -in general- not fat. At a certain point research showed that food companies and fastfood restaurants with disproportionate food portions (and the distortion of the perception of food that this lead to) with unhealthy ingredients were responsible for the general increase in weight among the population. The government (UK) then had talks with the food companies and the result of these talks was that the government would promote that people should do more “sports” and be more active but not mention the food people ate. The research lost it’s government-funding and this area is no longer being researched (you can’t really find funding for this kind of reasearch).
    After seeing this I really believe that “working out” as a health tool has become a myth that has been implanted in our thinking as a neccesity. I have a neighbour who can’t run since she was 42 because het knees are completely wrecked from running several times a week.
    A great website for vegan recepies (a lot are also gluten-free and sugarfree) and more and better understanding of what is healthy in food and why is Sarah Britton’s blog: A real eye-opener.
    Sorry I wrote such a long story (I left a lot out believe me), it is just such a very important subject.
    Have a wonderful day!!!

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Great comment, Simone, thank you. Obviously the fact that we lead more sedentary lives these days is a contributing factor along with the dietary changes—we just move around less in our daily activities than we used to. Even small things like not having to get up to answer the phone, etc…it all adds up. I sit at a desk in an office ALL DAY, and while I do walk a lot (as people who live in pedestrian-friendly, walkable cities tend to!), I’m not very strong…and I’d like to change that. The whole idea of “working out” is indeed overblown, though, and sadly I think it’s made a lot of less-active people feel like they cannot ever achieve fitness or a state of healthy well-being because it’s just too hard.

      I have never, ever had a doctor mention diet to me or ask me how I eat. Isn’t that shocking? And when I offer the information on my own, it’s basically disregarded. My suspicion is that it’s only a concern once it becomes a problem in the form of illness, or if the patient is obese.

  • Reply FIona August 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Gah, you’ve described the relationship with food so well and some great comments. I’m so grateful I never got into substance abuse because being so pathetically in love with sugar and caffeine, fresh cake and olive oil drenching everything else, I really don’t know how people with more serious addictions find the strength of will to pull themselves out of it.

    Did your skin change at all? I used to do 30 day detoxes but again, they weren’t calorie restricted. It was a vegan diet without sugar, alcohol, caffeine, wheat, processed or white rice either so basically it was fruit, erg, nuts, seeds, tofu, and carbs like quinoa, brown rice, good oils, lots of water etc. After the first horrible couple of days without caffeine – and they really are horrible. It’s not just the headache, I feel like a lost and frightened child for the first dew days without coffee – my skin felt really different to the touch and after a week or so would be visibly much improved. Can’t put my finger on it because I don’t get spots but it just looked really WELL. People would guess triumphantly and erroneously that I was pregnant.

    And yes, the weight loss, WOOHOO. It’s ALL about the weight loss and nice skin vanity for me. But the last number of years I just haven’t been able to motivate myself to get really stuck in. I keep caving after the first few days and my weight is 15 pounds over where I’d like it to be, so I borrowed my Mum’s weight watcher books since coming back from Bikiniworld (Portugal, heh). Should’ve done it ages ago. Have lost 8 pounds in two weeks, delighted. But there’s no change at all to my skin. Definitely something special seems to happen when wheat, sugar and caffeine is cut out and the body gets floods with fresh vitamins and minerals instead.

    I saw you post this last night on twitter and I didn’t comment then because someone close to me used to keep going on juice cleanses but her ‘healthy’ philosophy was actually enabling a serious eating disorder. Very difficult. I know this isn’t what you (or any commenters) are about at all, you’ve explained it really well. But I just thought it was worth mentioning around the detox culture, hope you don’t mind.

    If you do get a juicer, Thirst by Nigel Slater is a great book of really delicious juice recipes. My juicer was trucking along just fine till it was left to gather dust for a couple of years. Must try to figure out what’s wrong with it. Think you might’ve got me motivated Anna…

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Yes, vanity and weight are absolutely VERY good motivators for me, too…I won’t dent that!

      Diet-wise, the only thing I can really identify as having a negative impact on my skin’s condition is eating too much refined sugar or not enough healthy fats. After a lot of experimentation over the years, I’ve concluded that the majority of my skin issues are related directly to stress (though of course stress levels can be impacted by diet!). Going to a vegan diet didn’t really change my skin on its own, but it DID make me more aware of how quickly my complexion is affected when I’m not living well or taking care of myself.

      And I’m really glad you brought up the subject of eating disorders, actually. I’ve known several people over the years who have self-identified as vegan or GF or raw foodists (or whatever) as a means of masking what was actually disordered eating. Restricted diets can certainly be abused in social settings, since they provide a very simple excuse for not eating—and that’s very scary. I definitely don’t want to encourage anyone to do that!

  • Reply Imogen August 2, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Wonderful post. Fantastic comments. First let me say that I appreciate your direct tone, your humor, your curiosity and your generosity in your blog. Question: Which Breville are you leaning towards? (There are too many to choose from, no?) I read “Diet for a Small Planet” when I was 17 (that was, um, about 35+ years ago!). From that moment forward I thought about food in terms of what it could do for my body. (The idea of counting calories or thinking about food in caloric terms is somewhat foreign to me.) I would ask myself: will this take away energy or provide me with more. (The word “energy” can sound a little flakey. In truth I would think about whether the food I was eating was going to tax my system or contribute to my health.) Thinking about food as an energy equation has been the foundation of my food decisions all these years. It enhances the instincts I already had and helps me not to veer far from what my body needs. I’m not a purist by any means but moderation is definitely something I know about. I haven’t done juice fasting in several years. Your post is vey inspirational though and you have me remembering just how satisfying those juice fasts were. Thank you and sorry for being so verbose!

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:27 am

      No, not flaky at all, I really think putting food into those kinds of terms is a very healthy way to approach making choices about what to eat! I don’t think about calories either, but I do think about what the overall benefit will be of what I eat—and yes, that does account for pleasure.

      This Breville has been recommended to me by lots of people, and that’s the one I’m leaning toward. I wish I could afford to buy a hydraulic juicer so I could prepare juice in advance, but that’s not in the budget at the moment! I think juicing in the mornings and weekends is a pretty good start, though. 🙂

  • Reply Justine August 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Hey Anna,

    I’ve been reading this blog for years and kind of dipped off the internet for a while. This was a great post to come back to. Being vegan and busy as hell I consume way too much coffee for what’s good for me and also have found myself on a bagel and potatoes binge the last couple of weeks.

    You’ve really encouraged me to try on a juicing cleanse. Being from Columbus, Ohio, there aren’t these kinds of juicing delivery services but we have a ton of organic food markets in the summer (hello farmland of the rest of Ohio!) I’m seriously thinking about getting a juicer and replicating these juices on my own!

    I always appreciate these in-depth posts about your thought process and experiences and helpful links. You do a lot of leg work and I don’t think all of your readers necessarily appreciate you’ve pretty much researched everything and are nice enough to share it with the rest of us.

  • Reply laura August 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

    my only reservations about juice fasting is the lack of protein. the average person needs about 50 grams a day, and as far as i can see this diet only provides about 14 grams.

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Laura, I understand your concern, but I don’t think anyone is advocating a short-term juice cleanse as a “diet.” A 3-day break from protein isn’t going to lead to a deficiency. Furthermore, if an individual chooses to cleanse for a longer period of time, there are loads of protein-rich vegetables (there’s a pretty good list here) that can be incorporated into a juice menu.

      To be honest, as a vegetarian/vegan for about 23 years of my life, I cannot count the number of times I’ve been told I’m “not getting enough protein” (not be doctors, but by well-meaning friends, family member, and complete strangers). I’ve never had any kind of deficiencies at all, though—and the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Americans consume far too much protein. Generally speaking, if a person is consuming enough plant-based material to meet the body’s daily caloric needs, they are getting plenty of protein.

      (I highly recommend the film Forks Over Knives, by the way! It dispels quite a few myths about protein…)

  • Reply Sherry August 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I typically cringe when I see the word cleanse because usually these things seem to be super calorie restricted and devoid of nutritional content but the BP seems great. If I had the spare cash for it I would love to give it a try. Making my own feels like a daunting task though. Wish grocery stores would stock this kind of stuff, instead of the “fresh” juices which still have sugar added the last time I checked. Then I could just get one once or twice a week.

    I think it’s a great way to kick start healthy eating. I usually purge my house of everything terrible and then eat only fresh fruit, veggies, hummus, raw nuts, that sort of thing until my craving for processed, overly sweet and salty foods dissipate. Usually a week or so. It’s really amazing how addicting those things are and how easy it is to fall into bad eating habits again. Kudos to you though for making it work! Now I”m off to track down the documentary. Sounds interesting!

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Sherry, the documentary is actually embedded in its entirety (via Hulu) within the post! 🙂 It’s also available to watch for free on the docu website (and for instant viewing on Netflix if you’re a subscriber).

      And yeah, I kind of hate the word “cleanse,” too, but at least it’s better than “fast” or “detox.” I think all of those words give a false impression of what’s actually going on—it makes the whole thing seem so much more extreme and unattainable, you know?

    • Sherry August 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Ah thanks. I didn’t notice because for some reason I had scripts turned off. I’ll definitely be watching on Netflix tonight!

  • Reply Simone August 2, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Laura; people with western diets eat too much protein. You don’t need a daily dose of protein either. Eating protein (I was taught that amino-acids (combination of whole wheats and beans) are actually healthier to digest, your body uses these to build protein) two or three times a week is actually more than enough.

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Thanks for chiming in on that, Simone! The American obsession with protein in particular stems largely from times of food shortages and rationing, and while I really do understand the cultural/societal/economic/emotional/political forces at work, protein overload really has gotten much of the west into a lot of trouble health-wise…

  • Reply Mamma Biscuit August 2, 2012 at 11:25 am

    It’s only a matter of time before I follow suit! In the meanwhile, I am loving this documentary!
    Sighhh, Bagels are my weakness! Thanks for posting this!

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Juicing is perfect for a lady with limited tooth function, Mamma Biscuit!! 😉

  • Reply Celina August 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you for mentioning the sale on FAB! I did the BPC and have been waiting for a sale. I felt so great after.

  • Reply Simone August 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    An idea for a protein richbut light anything (lunch/ snack?) whole wheat rice waffles with a nice layer of hummus some slices of avocado, maybe some alfalfa and sprinkeled with gomasio (lightly toasted sesame seeds crushed with seasalt, delicious). Probably low in calories as well (although I really make it my business not to know about that at all).
    Last year I read that 20% of the people in hospital (over here in Holland) take more time with recovery after surgery because they have mal-nutrition and their bodies are not able to properly recover because of that. It is really important (in my mind that childeren (and adults) are well educated about food. There are so many misperceptions and fears about food. And the food industry feeds and exists on that (it’s a shame). Sometimes I tend to think it should be absolutely forbidden to make money on things like food and housing.Because the foodindustry would add sawdust to certain foods if they were allowed to and could make a buck on that (a few weeks ago I saw a program where they showed that cheap showergels had small pieces of plastic in them as a filler to be able to produce them cheaper, and all that junk is washed down into the sea and ends up in our fish -well you don’t eat that). A good rule of thumb: don’t eat anything your grandmother would not eat (or know). I also try to stay away from foods that probably needed a “productmanager”. We had a fosterchild for 18 months and she came afraid of vegetables, after a month she loved all the foods here. Healthy food is not scary or difficult.

    GOOD FOOD IS A SOURCE OF HEALING (and delicious)!!!

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Rice waffles! I’ve never heard of those. I’m really bad about afternoon snacks since I don’t work from home. Almonds are so convenient, but not very exciting! I like your suggestions…

      Some thought-provoking comments about the food industry as well! The entire system in the US is completely corrupt. The Department of Agriculture is a joke, and the EPA isn’t much better.

      I love what you said about your foster daughter, too. I have a friend who adopted a little girl through the foster system, and she’s having a very similar experience with her food-wise—quite moving, actually.

  • Reply Martha August 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    This post comes at a time that I have been thinking about doing another cleanse. I am the worst about eating everything I want and I did this at the beginning of the year and have been needing to do it again. A cleanse is definitely a great way to check your behavior. If people are scared about doing an all juice cleanse they should try the 7-day detox by the Bitchin’ Dietitian. You start your day with liquids only and the rest of the day gluten-free and vegan. Which was a great introduction for me into juices.
    And you are so right about everything tasting amazing after doing a cleanse, everything tastes so intense and delicious! I think many Americans need to learn how to actually appreciate and be grateful for the food that we have. Great Post!

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      I think 1/2-day juicing with solid dinners is probably the direction I’m headed in, actually!

  • Reply lau August 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    yay! hello skull!

    since i’ve been doing my no gluten / grain / dairy thing i have notice SUCH a change any time i go off my path — my doctor calls it the energy/food connection, being able to notice the direct relation between how you feel when you eat something good for you and how you feel when you eat something bad. with the obvious thing being: if it makes you feel sad/bloated/crappy, don’t eat it — i don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out.

    and yeah, sometimes its worth it to feel bloated and crappy if i am *really* craving something bad, but what you said about looking at food from a nutritional standpoint instead of an emotional standpoint is so awesome. another thing that i found helped me was not making such a big deal out of every meal i ate, and instead looking at it as fuel. its amazing how linked food can be to emotions, reward systems, etc.

    great post! super tempted by that fab sale…..

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      “if it makes you feel sad/bloated/crappy, don’t eat it ”

      TOTALLY. That’s probably the best food advice ever. You’d think we’d learn… :\

      And yeah, I know what you mean about not making such a big deal about every meal. I really have a tendency to over-complicate, and then I get overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s just food!

  • Reply Juliet August 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, Anna! Eating good, whole foods, fasting a bit, avoiding processed crap – thank you for reminding us to take care of body and health. If you come upon any good home-made recipes for juice cleanses please do share. Thanks again!!

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      Juliet, I will definitely post about recipes and such when I do eventually get going with my own juicing. 🙂

    • Juliet August 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you also for the link to Forks Over Knives! I can’t wait to watch that this weekend. I did a search for some recipes and found a three day juice cleanse regime with recipes that could be tweaked slightly to be similar to the BPC:

      I can’t tell you how much appreciate you sharing this info.

      “It is so weird to me that the more I don’t want to be obsessed with food, the more I become obsessed with food.”

      It’s not about being obsessed with food, but it is about being MINDFUL about food. Being present with that plate of sauteed cabbage and really savoring it, appreciating it and feeling sustained with something simple, fresh and unadulterated, instead of cramming fries into your mouth as you try to respond to e-mails at work.

      I work in an office 10 to 12 hours a day. I burn very few calories a day, and yet I consume the typical American diet (sandwiches, bagels, etc.). It’s not a sustainable approach to life or health. You’ve gotten me excited about taking back my health and being mindful about what I eat and going back to preparing food to eat. I actually made Irish oatmeal this morning, with cinnamon, maple syrup and almond extract. We had a small head of cabbage in our CSA box leftover and I asked my husband if he could sautee it with garlic and season it with salt and pepper. Last week, that would not have seemed like enough to satisfy me. But being mindful about food, it’s like a delicious feast today. Thank you for sharing and inspiring Anna!! Thank you!!

  • Reply audrey August 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Anna –

    I did the excavation cleanse, and I’ve got to say it did amazing things for me. I was never hungry and had SO much more energy than I normally do. But the thing that surprised me the most was how the arthritis pain I’ve had in my knees for most of my adult life was completely gone for the duration of juicing and a few days following. I think the thing I took away from the experience, was that I need to increase my vegetable intake by about 10 times. I can’t wait to do it again.

    • Anna @ D16 August 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Glad to hear you say that, Audrey. I have an autoimmune disease that’s similar to arthritis in some ways, and I am totally symptom-free when I’m juicing.

  • Reply Liz August 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Anna – thanks for posting about this…I hoped you would.

    After your initial BPC (the instagram made it look so interesting!) I looked for something similar in the London. Just as in NY, there are lots of options and I’m happy with the one I tried and I’m looking forward to doing another one soon. I think I had a less positive experience than you. I’d not got my caffeine consumption down much before I started day one and the effect was grim. I know if I give up coffee quickly it has a terrible effect and no amount of healthy juice compensated for this. But this wasn’t the cleanse’s fault; it was mine.

    I struggled to drink all the juices (I suspect partly because I had such a bad headache and an overwhelming need to sleep) and I found some of them too sweet. I eat a predominately vegetable based diet and I’ve heard from others who eat processed food and meat that the switch is harder but for me it was fine. I wasn’t hungry but I suspect my calorie intake was too low on day one and possibly day two as I wasn’t getting anywhere near drinking all the juices.

    For me the biggest benefit was breaking my coffee addiction. I still have coffee but I’m having less than one a day and never late in the day. I do miss some of the coffees – that post dinner one that stretches to two or three… – but I’m sleeping so much better and when I do have a coffee I really really appreciate it.
    Some of the claims for juicing alarm the skeptical scientist in me but I am a convert. I’m someone who needs a jolt to make the changes I want to my food as I get lazy when I’m too busy.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and I hope, if you do buy a juicer, you’ll tell all. (I keep looking but I feel daunted by the options, the benefits, the size and – possibly most of all – the cleaning.)

    • Anna @ D16 August 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Liz, yeah, the coffee/caffeine withdrawal thing is a BIG DEAL if you’re addicted. I don’t think I realized just how dependent I was on caffeine until I completely stopped. It was pretty horrible for a few days. Now that I only drink coffee 3-4 times a week, though, I had no trouble at all starting my second cleanse without any caffeine in my system. It’s a relief, honestly.

      I agree with you that the BPC juices are too sweet, but I think we’re in the minority. If I do it again, I’ll probably go with the Excavation level since it’s primarily green juice—or I’ll make it myself and hold back a bit on the apple/pineapple content.

  • Reply Louize August 3, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Complete juice addict here – I have had a juicer for years, I go through phases of using it daily, or not so often, but it never collects dust – and it is perfect for using up those random fruit and vegetables left in the fridge, or consuming huge amounts of fruit and vegetables when you have to travel at short notice after a trip to the market!
    And the stories a juicer takes a lot time cleaning are a complete myth – as long as you rinse it immediately, it takes no time at all.
    I tried a juice cleanse recently, but I don’t think there are any companies that deliver/do the hard work for you in Belgium, so I spent the better part of 3 days making my own juice – and felt so good for it… I will be repeating again soon!

  • Reply jja August 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I love the idea! It for sure makes you more aware what you put in yourself. But only if I would make those juices by myself. With green star machine it goest pritty fast and I can see every single thing I put inside ;-).
    This way with package, plastic and delivery it is not the best thing for the enivorment.

    • Anna @ D16 August 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

      I definitely agree with you about the packaging, JJA. I will say, though, that buying a pre-made cleanse initially is a great way to find out if juicing is for you. I know wayyyyy too many people who have bought expensive juicers, only to have them sit in a cabinet, unused. The environmental impact of manufacturing (and packaging and delivering and disposing of) appliances is perhaps greater than that of the bottled juices, after all. It’s only worth buying a juicer if you’re actually going to USE it. I wanted to make sure juicing is something I can commit to doing on a regular basis before I decided to actually buying a juicer for home. 🙂

  • Reply Ana August 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    You might have addressed this in one of the 70+ comments, but I must ask:

    What’s the difference between a juice cleanse and eating just raw fruit/vegetables while drinking healthy amounts of water?

    Nothing is added to the juices, right (say, sugar)?
    And nothing is taken away (pulp or peel and nutrients stored in them)?

    If that’s the case… What’s the thing that makes juice cleansing the thing (the thing the thing 😀 ) for that extra step/expense of ordering them or buying a juicer?

    • Anna @ D16 August 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Ana, the difference with juicing is that you’re removing ALL of the pulp/peel—essentially all of the fiber. That’s what allows your digestive tract to “rest” and your body to use that energy for (at least in theory) healing itself internally.

      If you really want to know more about juicing and its benefits, you should watch the movie I mentioned in the post! 🙂

  • Reply jja August 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    “will say, though, that buying a pre-made cleanse initially is a great way to find out if juicing is for you. I know wayyyyy too many people who have bought expensive juicers, only to have them sit in a cabinet, unused”

    I agree.
    My friends even asked if some of my jucies are foul…since they don’t look or taste like juices they buy in a supermarkt (they were made that same morning). This just means some people don’t like theoriginal taste without anything and expensive juicer would be a wrong buy.

  • Reply Jen August 5, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Thank you for this inspiring post! I just watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with my husband and we were so motivated that we went ahead and bought a juicer from Amazon while watching the movie. I can’t wait to try a “reboot” and see how I feel. I am already in decent shape, but I would love to modify my eating habits to include more fruits and vegetables and far fewer sweets and carbs.

    Anna, I did not feel that this post came across as “disingenuous” or as an advertisement for a particular product as one commenter said. I don’t know you, but I always feel that you have carefully considered and researched any products that you mention on this blog and it seems that you only mention them to us to share your positive experiences, not to get any monetary gain. Thank you for sharing yourself with us through your beautiful blog.

  • Reply Louise August 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Not that I really have anything to say that hasn’t been said, but dude. We bought a refub Brevil juicer on Amazon after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. We have a great coffee shop that makes juice to order and we’d been doing that occasionaly, but we needed to get our own so it was awesome to finally do that.

    Neither me or my husband were coming from the place of serious health issues like the guys in the documentary were. But my husband is a chef, and when you hang out with restaurant people, there can be a lot of pork and booze in one’s life. Blerg.

    Plus, I do tend to have portion control issues at times. Or think about food constantly. And like you, I do like to know and have a grasp on what I am putting into my body. Thus, I love juice. Love how I feel when I am drinking it regularly. I just think better.

    Glad you’ve had a good experience too!

  • Reply Karen August 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks for this great post on juicing and cleansing. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and you have inspired me. We have owned a Vitamix for years and have enjoyed healthful veggie and fruit smoothies, homemade soups and fresh “ice cream” (frozen fruits with almond milk), in addition to making our own fresh nut butters. I know that pure juicing is a better alternative for your GI tract and wish I had the $$ and (especially) space for one, so to cleanse once per season seems to be a a logical thing to start. Thanks again! Your posts are always so honest and insightful.

  • Reply Karen August 20, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Just a quick (and very late) question: is there any difference to the blueprint cleanse juices you show in your photo and the blueprint juices that are now showing up in Whole Foods? Picked up a bottle of the green juice today (looks to be about the same size with prices ranging from $6.00 – $9.00 a bottle). It’s only delivered twice a week, but it seems like a BIG price difference in whole food’s favor.

    • Anna @ D16 August 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      I have no idea, Karen! I’d suggest contacting BPC—I don’t know anything about Whole Foods.

  • Reply Tania August 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks Anna, for getting me onto the Blueprint juice fast/feast. I’d been wanting to do a juice cleanse for ages. My first solo attempt was a disaster, so I was excited about doing one that was recommended to me.

    I must admit I did feel a little hungry at times but I told myself “it’s only 3 days, it’s only 2 days, it’s only till tomorrow morning”…. and I made it and felt like such a superstar.

    I certainly did not feel energised like other people did but the effects have been long lasting. I’ve only had one sugary thing (some frozen yogurt) since finishing the fast on August 11 (and I blame that on a sudden thunderstorm and the need to find cover – Pinkberry beckoned me). That’s a big deal for someone who was having at least one chocolate bar a day.

    I wasn’t hoping or expecting it to cure my sugar addiction… but it seems to have done that for the time being. I can resist it. Before the fast I couldn’t resist it.

    I wanted the fast to reset my taste buds and push me along a healthy eating path… and it has done that!
    So thank you once again.

  • Reply Julia August 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Anna,
    according to fresh juices, could you recomend me some best places, bars, restaurants with fresh juices in NY?
    I’m also big fan of fresh juice cleanses and Im comming to NY in September. It would be great to taste. 🙂
    Cheers Julia

  • Reply kylie November 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    thanks for this post, i’ve been wanting to try it but didn’t want to spend the money for the blueprint cleanse so these recipes will come in so handy!

  • Reply romi August 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    This is my day 8 on juicing…WOW! The first day was really really hard: headaches, and my body felt so strange! I guess I was withdrawing from junk food. The energy I feel, is insane! I can’t describe it…is like I can feel my real me, without any fake energizers or caffeine.
    I lost 8 pounds so far…I am not starving and I do want to continue doing it, but I wasn’t sure if it could be not idea to keep doing it for a long period of time.
    I do want to add a sensible dinner sometime next week….any thoughts?
    Congrats on your succes!

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