Lately, there's been a whole lot of fuss about juice cleansing -- we've even featured a bunch of articles on the subject.
Proponents claim by giving your digestive tract a break, the body is able to efficiently relieve itself of the massive amounts of toxins we consume on a daily basis.
From chemicals in the water to pesticides and herbicides on produce to the saturated fats in animal products, it's no doubt that the average American ingest his or her fair-share of unhealthy waste.
With the excess and indulgence of the holidays behind us, I decided it was time to try out a juice cleanse myself.
For someone who makes a living by eating incessantly, it's going to be a challenge -- and probably hilarious.
While juicing and cleansing have become a Hollywood trend over recent years, opponents claim the body is perfectly capable of ridding itself of undesirables on its own, and cleansing can potentially cause more harm than good.
Fasters report a range of feelings and side effects from headaches, weakness, low blood sugar, muscle aches, dizziness and lethargy to increased energy, weight-loss, increased digestion, improved skin, increased mental clarity, and a whole range of benefits.
I wanted to find out for myself.
Somehow in this process I was able to wrangle a few girlfriends into the cleanse with me advertising professional Emily Alvarez, teacher Lisa Wray, and marketing manager Gilcelia Dos Santos.
Together we make up a hodgepodge of diets and fitness routines: Alvarez is a part-time spin instructor and is currently training for a marathon, Dos Santos runs regularly and does pilates twice a week, Wray partakes in a few hours of exercise per week, and I walk my dogs -- don't judge.
All four of us eat relatively healthy diets (minus, my binge eating for work dinners a couple times a week), but we do like to drink -- we had to plan out the cleanse dates around jazz brunch.
Last week, Clean Plate Charlie food blogger Nicole Danna wrote a piece on how to do a juice cleanse.
According to her, it's important to try a one-day cleanse before jumping into a three-day, and one should take a day to ease into a cleanse as well as a day to ease out.
"Eating too much sugar, cooked food, meat, and processed crap too close to the start of your cleanse could cause extreme abdominal pain once you begin," said Danna. "You'll also want to refrain from any wheat, alcohol, nicotine, coffee, and dairy at least two days before you begin juice fasting or the cleanse will not be able to do its work."
With Danna's directions in mind and help from the internet, I decided to try to wean myself off of coffee two days prior to starting -- I had half-caff one day and decaf the next -- and I tried to eat mostly plant based; although, I did have yogurt and a huge Korean dinner with tons of seafood the day before starting.
The plan is to prepare a combination of fresh-pressed juices and nut milks at home while foregoing my beloved coffee -- some cleanse practitioners say green tea is okay, so I'm going with that even though part of this cleanse is to attempt to get over my caffeine addiction -- for three days.
We'll see if anyone drops out over the next few days. Stay tuned for details.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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