The pint of coconut water was hard to take, but I totally stalled out at bottle #5, a thick red juice called Justbeetit. All organic, made from carrots, beets, apples, lemon and ginger, it tasted mostly like sweet carrots with a little earthy after-tone of beets.
It tasted good, in fact.
But this was the fifth pint bottle of juice I'd faced since I woke up and basically, I wasn't thirsty any more.
I'm talking about Day One of my first attempt at something our kids in LA do all the time: a cleanse. Just Organic Juices, a company here in Salt Lake, squeezes all their organic juices and delivers them cold with instructions on how much and how often to drink them.
By the end of the first evening, I felt like the instructions could be boiled down to "all of it, all the time."
I started the day with Green Envy, a blend of spinach, cucumber, parsley, celery, dandelion, apple, pear, lemon and ginger, all organic. I drank a bottle of cayenne-spiked Lemonaid for elevenses and downed a bottle of Chlorofeelgood (spinach, romaine, parsley, kale and green apple) for lunch.
I had opted for the 3-day "hard boot" cleanse. I realize now I should have been less ambitious and settled for the 24-hour "soft boot" cleanse.
It's not that I was hungry. I wasn't. And the juices were all surprisingly (to me, not normally a juice drinker except for my morning grapefruit juice and the occasional mimosa, which I order in separate glasses-one of orange juice, one of champagne) delicious. They tasted just-squeezed, the balance of flavors was excellent with just the right amount of agave or cayenne or ginger or whatever as seasoning.
I was just so tired of drinking juice. After the beet juice came almond milk. I couldn't force down anymore.
A failed first day of my cleanse.
Just Organic Juices has another program called "Drink Until Dusk" in which you drink juices all day and then eat a light supper. That would probably be best for me.
I still wasn't hungry–I sailed through the day on the first three pints of juice, but then I hit a wall, and finally ate a slice of dry whole wheat toast.
Not because I was hungry. No, my biggest problem sticking to the juice cleanse is the same problem I had in my college numismatics class, the same one I have with television cooking shows, the same one I have with Adam Sandler movies: boredom.
As a restaurant critic, I probably eat a more varied diet than most people. One night it's tofu, the next it's prime beef, the next it's pizza or roast chicken or something. And as good as the juices taste, they are all liquids. Obviously. Subsisting on a single texture for days drove me a little nuts.
After the toast break, I returned to my beet juice, skipped the coconut water, and finished the day with half of my almond juice.
Despite the toast, I felt pretty good about it.
Day Three, Which Happened to be the Fourth of July
Strangely, when I woke up this morning, I didn't even think about coffee. I was kinda in the mood for a slug of Green Envy. And I had a surprising amount of energy. Like, I decided to spend the Fourth of July painting the guest room.
Which I did, with nothing but juice to drink.
However, about 4 in the afternoon, my husband cracked a bottle of Saintsbury rose that I had reserved in my mind for my first post-cleanse toast, and I cracked. First I had a little tantrum, then I called Log Haven to make a reservation for their steak and lobster special, then I had a glass of the rose.
So that was that.
What seemed weird is that the next day, I felt a big energy boost. And my jeans are definitely baggier, although I didn't weigh myself before or after juicing. (I got rid of my scales a long time ago.)
I can't in good conscience, attribute the energy or the loose pants to Just Organic Juices, because I spoiled the experiment.
But I can say that 3 days on a juice regimen, followed by a small lobster tail, a little steak and a glass of good wine, definitely gave me a rejuvenated bounce in my step.
I might even try it again.