In the past year an alarming number of my fellow 30-something friends have picked up two peculiar habits: running (for fun!) and juicing. While I have followed one of these trends (I ran my first half marathon in May), I have yet to purchase a juicer. Always one to follow semi-blindly, I decided I should do a juice cleanse to understand the trend better. I have previously done multi-day cleanses and I again wanted a way to evaluate my eating patterns and quit some bad habits learned while figuring out the best ways to handle the stresses that come with being a new attorney. I also wanted to test whether juicing would make me feel an all-around physical euphoria as many juice cleanses claim to do. I also thought it would be nice not to have to worry about what to cook on some of the hottest days of the summer for at least a few days.
I selected the Terri Three-Day Juice Cleanse because it’s convenient and at $175.00, one of the cheaper cleanses available in New York City. After providing Terri with the required two-days notice, I was able to pick up on a recent Saturday morning the 18 bottles of juice that would sustain me for the next three days. There was very little I needed to do to prepare for the cleanse. Terri suggests cleanse participants limit their intake of animal products, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the days leading up to the cleanse. That was no big deal for me, a non-smoking vegan who just occasionally drinks coffee and alcohol.
Terri recommends that you pick up your juices the day that you will begin your cleanse because they have a limited shelf life. There are zero preservatives in the cold-pressed juices. Luckily, Terri is open early in the morning during the week and on the weekends, so you need not go long without ingesting calories on the day your cleanse begins. Terri will deliver the cleanse to your door if you live within its delivery area. If you need to pick up the cleanse yourself, bring your own cooler bag if you have one, or pay a $20 deposit and borrow one of Terri’s cooler bags.
How does this work? You’ll get your calories and vitamins each day from six bottles of fruits and vegetables. The bottles are numbered one through six, so drink one through six in order, sipping them throughout the day. Easy, right? Pace yourself so you don’t get hungry by the end of the day! Drink water. Go about your usual routine (except for the eating part). And, if you need coaching during the cleanse, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cleanse provides about 1,200 calories per day, which I found surprising since I was not hungry at all. I felt anything but fatigued and spent the first day on a three-hour bike tour followed by standing in the sun at the South Street Seaport waiting for Archers of Loaf to play. I even found myself in a bar that night, watching my friend drink beer while I nursed some water. Remarkably, I felt satiated and didn’t want to claw my eyes out over not being able to partake in an adult beverage.
Although I didn’t feel hungry on the Terri cleanse, I did, of course, experience my regular cravings. Who doesn’t think about devouring an order of scallion pancakes every day? But, the Terri cleanse truly was very different from the other cleanses I’ve done, namely the Master cleanse, which was a chore to drink. The nice thing about a proper juice cleanse is that you WANT to drink the juice, because it tastes great. It’s all of your favorite veggies and fruits, and, if you’re lucky, someone else does the juicing for you!
The remaining two days of the cleanse were spent watching far too many episodes of Game of Thrones while cleaning and doing laundry and a very busy Monday in the office. I never felt lethargic. I never wanted to punch my coworkers for eating around me. The biggest inconvenience of the Terri cleanse was how it tricked my digestive track. Like many vegans, you can set a clock by my bowel movements. The cleanse messed up my morning constitutionals, but after I properly came off the cleanse, things went back to normal.
Terri’s cleanse guru, Sarah Hill, insists there’s no one-size-fits-all way to break a cleanse. There’s no reason to drink a certain type of juice or drink bland vegetable broth if you can handle more solid food. And, that’s indicative of the Terri cleanse mantra, which advises you to listen to your body. If you can’t drink only the juice for three days, it’s okay to supplement the cleanse with small amounts of solid foods. (Terri explains all of this in the directions it sends out in advance of your cleanse start date.) On the first day after my cleanse, I started the day with a smoothie, ate a salad for lunch and a combination of black beans and steamed broccoli for dinner. My body reacted just fine.
Overall, the Terri cleanse experience was far more enjoyable than I had anticipated. I looked forward to opening each bottle of juice. I especially enjoyed ingesting bottle #3, which contained only young Thai coconut, each day. A perfect afternoon treat. As Sarah told me, “Our approach to cleansing is not a militant one. We think that folks are more likely to enjoy the cleanse with juices that aren’t a chore to drink and we also wanted to provide a cleanse that is as uncomplicated as possible and allows for personal variation for getting into and out of it.”
Did I lose a lot of weight or find a completely new way of eating? Of course not. What I learned is that I’m capable of eating well and treating my body right and not falling prey to the Seamless.com vultures every day. I have a renewed interest in carving out time to cook, one of my favorite activities before I changed careers and headed to law school at age 30. I also really, really, REALLY want a juicer of my own!
Terri is located at 60 West 23rd Street in Manhattan. To order your cleanse, visit terrinyc.com/cleanse.html. Earn a $20 Terri gift card for each friend you refer who also orders a juice cleanse.