I first heard about juice cleanses a few months ago — both online and on shows like Dr. Oz. At first, I thought it sounded completely absurd — how could drinking just juice for three days do any good?! But after a little bit more research (and trying some of the juices outside of the cleanse), I decided to try the 3-day BluePrint cleanse.
The juices can either be purchased at your local Whole Foods or ordered online. If you decide to do the cleanse, I would recommend buying them at Whole Foods — because a case discount is offered, and even without the case discount is usually a bit cheaper than shipping the juices. There are three levels to the cleanse: Renovation, Foundation, and Excavation. The levels differ in that the first contains only two green juices and four fruit juices, while the second and third levels contain three and four, respectively. The juices are to be eaten in a specific order (check out the BluePrint website for this information).
Although the green juice seemed the most daunting to me out of all of the juices (made of kale, apple, ginger, romaine, spinach, cucumber, etc.), I decided to go for the level two cleanse (Foundation).
The juices in the Foundation cleanse were as follows:
Green Juice – A mild and sweet taste. Did not taste over vegetable-y. I actually quite like the green juice, and I drink it regularly outside the cleanse. However, some of my friends and relatives have tried it and hated it. It depends on your regular diet and food preferences as to whether this juice will appeal to you.
Gold Juice – MY FAVORITE JUICE. Sooooo good. Made of pineapple, apple, and mint, it has a perfect sweet taste. I like drinking it with salads and other meals occasionally outside of the cleanse.
Yellow Juice – Made of lemon, cayenne, and agave, this juice is a “spicy lemonade”. It took some getting used to with the hint of spice — but the sweet flavors are quite appealing. I actually prefer the green juice, but many who try the Blueprint cleanse like the lemonade better.
White Juice – From the reviews of the cleanse that I had read online before starting the cleanse, the white juice (“cashew milk” – made with cashews, vanilla, cinnamon, and agave) was supposed to be the “treat” at the end of the day and great-tasting. I, however, did not LOVE the cashew milk. It was okay, with sweet flavor and thick consistency, but I found it to be a bit too sweet and “heavy” after a few sips.
Although outside of the Foundation cleanse, BluePrint’s beet juice is probably tied for my favorite with the pineapple. Soooooo good. The beet juice is called “Red“, and is made of beets, apples, carrots, lemon, and ginger. As gross as it may sound to drink beet juice, from a blind taste test it would definitely taste more like a sweet fruit-type drink.
There are myriad ways in which you can approach a BluePrint cleanse — there are instructions on the website for what you’re ‘supposed’ to do before and after a cleanse, and so on and so forth. Before I started the three-day program, I ate a bit lighter for two days. This meant less frequent snacks and more salads. Nothing too crazy. Come start time for the cleanse, it made me a lot less hungry than if I had feasted prior to juicing.
I didn’t find the cleanse overall too difficult. I drank all six of the juices in order each day (except only about half of the cashew milk), and drank a lot of water to help keep my mind off of the fact that I wouldn’t be eating solid food for a few days. The most difficult parts for me were the constant headaches, dizziness and lightheadedness after exercising on the cleanse, and spacing out drinking the juices properly.
You’re not technically encouraged to work out while cleansing (since you’re basically consuming under 1,000 calories and no solid food), but I didn’t listen to this rule and biked 22 miles the first day, and ran 3.5 one of the others (one of the days I took off). I felt reaaaaaally out of it during/after these workouts since I stupidly did them at full pressure with nothing in my system. If you do decide to cleanse and work out, be careful and make sure you have a juice before and after the workout!
My other complaint with the cleanse would have to be that I got quite a few headaches. This probably comes with the territory of not eating solid food for three days, but it was still irritating… haha. But this problem was almost completely rid of with a few Advil and/or naps here and there.
Be sure to plan out (roughly) when you will drink each juice during the day so that you don’t finish too early or forget to drink some of the juices.
Overall, the cleanse was a bit challenging, but my hunger decreased a great deal by the end of the second and third days and I definitely felt a bit “refreshed” by the end of it.
After the cleanse, I lost 6 pounds (this was in three days). But I also felt really great — a bit more energized and not sluggish at all. However, I went a little bit crazy after the cleanse and ate a lot over the next few days. In retrospect, I would have done a bit more of a structured “post-cleanse” program and eased back into food a little more instead of diving right back into meals and snacks.
If you’re looking for a challenge and a bit of a “system restart”, I’d recommend the BluePrint cleanse. Check out the BluePrint website beforehand to choose the level that’s right for you, or go to a local juicing store (we have one in Glen Rock!) and buy similar juices there. You can also always try making your own if you have a juicer and are looking to save some money (the BluePrint juices are quite pricey — $7-10 depending on your location)!
Have you tried a cleanse? Do you plan to? What are your thoughts on the juicing craze?