(This story was originally published on Raleigh & Company)
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine, Kate, decided that she was going to do a cleanse. In typical drug dealer fashion, she sold me on the idea of its rejuvenating power. Actually, that’s not 100% true. Kate is an enabler. I’m the kind of person who likes to try ridiculous things, and Kate enticed me to do this. I’m not expecting it to go well.
You see, I’m what can be described as a food addict. I love it. All of it. Steak, carbs, seafood, Arabic food, Japanese food, Indian food, everything. This is self-inflicted torture, because for some reason, I hate myself and like to do awful things for your amusement.
When starting a cleanse, you’re given a few options. You can either choose between pre-made juice companies, or make your own concoctions. I’m a relatively lazy human being, so I opted for the store-bought package. I decided on trying Blueprint’s “Renovation Cleanse,” which is their beginner model, and runs around $190 for three days. The thought process is that a three day cleanse will flush all of the bad toxins out of your body, and leave you feeling new. I’m skeptical, but stupid, so I spent my paycheck on a set of high priced bourgeois juices and set off to it.
Much like Chance the Rapper, I got the juice. 1040 calories of it per day, to be exact.
I’m not going to write this like a normal piece. Instead, I’ll treat it like a journal, giving you an unedited, honest look at my discomfort and disdain for these juices and the experience.
Like all crazy diet plans, the cleanse requires you to do some prep work to make life easier during your abstinence from solid food. Basically, in the three days before, you’re supposed to wean yourself off of meat, fish, and eventually all foods. No caffeine or alcohol either. In theory, this process allows you to successfully complete a full cleanse.
I did not prep.
I am an idiot.
11:39 am — Juice One
My first drink of this three day hell is Blueprint’s “Green Juice,” made up of romaine, celery, cucumber, apple, spinach, kale, parsley, and lemon. I have never tasted kale in my life. The juice looks like the paint on the wall. It actually doesn’t smell too awful, though. Kind of like a salad, which, the more I think about it, is disgusting. I’m afraid to take the first sip, but I’m in a time crunch so I’m going to have to chug it. Just in case I feel like I’m going to vomit, I have a bottle of water next to me to chase it down, like it’s vodka. The first sip is a struggle, but isn’t horrible. It has a weird after taste, though. Maybe that’s the kale? Is kale disgusting? Because if so, that’s it. The subsequent sips are all worse than the previous ones. I gagged through the end of the bottle, but I finished it. I feel like “sun-charred grass you find laying on the side of the road,” is the best description of this juice’s flavor.
1:16 pm — Juice Two
I have this insatiable craving for a buffalo chicken sandwich. Instead of having that, I get drink number two: “P.A.M.,” which is short for pineapple, apple, mint. This one is the one I’m most excited for (though that’s not saying much). I feel like it won’t be as awful as the Green Juice. Turns out, it isn’t. P.A.M. is actually pretty solid. It’s very minty though. I probably wouldn’t drink it if given the choice, but I didn’t have to chase this one like I did last time. I’m only a few hours into this thing, but I feel like I can handle everything it’s going to throw at me, especially if the rest is this good.
4:13 pm — Juice Three
Alright. Juice three. Morale is still high, for some unknown reason. I’ve gone to the bathroom at least 12 times since I started. This is odd. The third juice, like the first, is a Green Juice.
It tastes like vomit on fire.
Real question for the people that do this voluntarily: Why? Why do you submit yourself to this kind of taste-bud torture. They wouldn’t pull this shit at Abu-Ghraib because even those guys would find it inhumane. I get that it’s supposed to make you feel fresh, and new, but goddamn this is horrible. I was a Muslim for most of my life, so it’s not the fasting part that gets me. I’d rather be fasting, if I’m being honest. It’s far less painful.
6:02 pm — Juice Four
This is the one I’ve been dreading most of all. Blueprint thought it would be cute if they did that thing that little kids do when they cook, and mix two flavors that shouldn’t be mixed. WELL IT’S NOT FUNNY, JUICE COMPANY. WHAT HELL HAST THOU WROUGHT IN CREATING A DRINK NAMED “SPICY LEMONADE.” When would those two tastes ever be put together in a natural context. Why would anyone ever pour a concoction of lemon juice, agave nectar, and cayenne down their throats?
It tastes like a diabetic cat peed on a chili pepper. It burns just like you’d think it would. Here’s the thing though — it smells like normal lemonade. Blueprint’s evil scientists purposely masked this disgusting liquid to fool me into thinking it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought.
The hunger pains are starting. It’s less than a third of the way over.
8:13 pm — Juice Five
Hey! Another one that’s supposed to taste good. Time for “C.A.B.,” which is apple, carrot, beet, lemon, ginger combination. I think it smells like carrots? And ginger too? I dunno. I’m bad at this. This thing tastes like the love child of a handful of carrots and some ginger. I’m sorry for officially making this post NSFW. It was a bridge that had to be crossed in the name of science.
Also, there isn’t any protein in these drinks. Is muscle atrophy something I should be afraid of? Like, it’s only three days, but still.
10:23 pm — Juice Six
Last juice of the day! “Cashew Milk,” which is made of cashew, agave nectar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
This is amazing. Like actually delicious. I would drink this all the time, if I could. I haven’t been legitimately hungry all day, which is weird. I have, however, had cravings, such as the aforementioned buffalo chicken sandwich. I feel like a pregnant woman. Or at the very least, how I think a pregnant woman feels. I don’t know what carrying a living thing inside of you is like, but I’m like 78% sure it’s comparable to drinking a bunch of juice and wanting some grub.
11:58 am — Juice One
Day Two! I survived a whole day living on this poison. I lost a pound and a half, which makes sense, seeing as I went to the bathroom 26 times. We start today’s level of hell with the Green Juice, yet again. Tell my family I love them.
I’m really beginning to hate this.
1:31 pm — Juice Two
PAAAAAAAAM. Thank God, it’s P.A.M. time. I can stomach this one without a chaser. The minty aftertaste reminds me of a mint lemonade I used to have in Syria when I was a kid. I don’t want to call it good, but it’s definitely not bad. It’s actually the highlight of my day, which says way more than I wish it did.
3:07 pm — Juice Three
Green Juice. Death can’t come fast enough. I’m hoping for the house to cave in on me so I can avoid this mucus colored idiot juice. It smells like regret, genocide, and rabbit blood. It tastes worse than that.
5:03 pm — Juice Four
There is no life. There is no death. There is only juice.
6:22 — Juice Five
My mom took a sip of C.A.B. for fun and cringed. Like legitimately cringed. I, on the other hand, gave my best Animal House impression, and chugged that thing in a manner that would make John Blutarsky proud.
I’m weirdly still not hungry. The juices, as awful as they may be, are pretty filling. I miss food though. A lot. I would do some really questionable things for a burger right about now.
8:20 pm — Juice Six
ONE MORE DAAAAAAWN. ONE MORE DAYYYYY. ONNNNEEEE DAYYYY MOREEEE.
1:45 pm — Juice One
I’m playing the final countdown as I drink my second-to-last Green Juice. Every single one of Lucifer’s fallen angels had a part in making this drink. There is nothing non-evil about it. At this point, I’ve kind of given up on hating it, and I just drink it without cringing. I do not hate it. I do not like it. I nothing it. It isn’t even worth my emotions. Scum of the goddamn earth.
2:58 pm — Juice Two
The last day is like the final mile of a marathon. I want to cry, but men don’t cry. Luckily, I am a child, and I am sobbing uncontrollably.
4:17 pm — Juice Three
MY LAST GREEN JUICE. PRAIZE YEEZUS.
Seriously though, I can’t begin to explain how great it is that I’m done with this moss-colored trash. I want to completely wipe this taste out of my mind. I’m considering a self-inflicted fugue.
5:41 pm — Juice Four
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m sprinting towards it, and I trip, because out of nowhere comes a bottle of spicy lemonade because life is sadness and sadness is life. I try to drink it as fast as I can, which makes the burning after-taste even worse.
7:19 pm — Juice Five
9:04 pm — Juice Six
I HAVE BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP. IT’S OVER. IT’S FINALLY OVER.
Alright so that’s it. I finished the fourth hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.¹ All said and done, I lost 5.5 pounds. Also missing: my self-esteem, my appetite, my sanity.
Here’s the thing though — I wouldn’t recommend that anyone do this. I’m not saying this because it was gross, or wasn’t any fun, but there’s absolutely no way that any part of this was healthy. I don’t buy into the “removal of toxins and bacteria” because those bacteria serve a purpose, and aide digestion. I spent the better part of the last three days bloated, and had to resort to using purgatives to ease the pain. Yes, I did feel like a had an extra hop in my step, but that can be chalked up to the fact that I was walking around with a half dozen less pounds tacked on to my gut. While that may seem enticing to some, I strongly warn against it. The human body shouldn’t lose that much weight that quickly. On top of that, most of it was water weight that came back the next day.
The bottom line is this: if you’re looking to feel revitalized, go for a run. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, pick up some weights. If you’re looking for a miserable couple of days, and a sizable hole in your wallet, go to Whole Foods and buy Blueprint’s Juice Cleanse.
- Top three: make awkward small talk in elevators, saw Benjamin Button in theaters, I was in a play once.