Cold pressed juice is one of the biggest trends to be hitting the health food market lately, we’ve got scores of juice places popping up all over Vancouver! While nobody can deny that unpasteurized vegetable juice is bad for you, juice cleansing is a pretty controversial subject. Some claim that it is a fad diet that could do more harm than good, and others claim that it gives your digestive system a rest from all the bad food you ingest on a regular basis and can actually be healing for your body. So which is it? Is it bad for your kidneys or great for your liver?
I did my first juice cleanse, from The People’s Juicery in Yaletown last summer, right before I noticed the giant backlash against juice cleansing. I actually felt pretty good about it at the end, and while I don’t really believe the claims that it cures cancer like some people say it can, I definitely found some benefits to it. So when Vitae Juice offered a 50% off Spring sale I decided to give it another go and really try to take note of any changes I felt.
Of course, you should never attempt any sort of drastic change in diet if you have underlying health issues to begin with, I had consulted with my doctor prior to my first juice cleanse and she gave me a clean bill of health and the go ahead (though she too was doubtful of any benefits I would reap, so that’s something to think about!) Juice cleansing may not be right for everyone, and I am certainly not endorsing endangering yourself as an experiment so please please please check in with your doctor before doing any sort of cleanse!
Onto the fun: the actual cleanse. I decided to go with the Restart cleanse from Vitae Juice (pictured above), it’s their beginners cleanse and as I was going through a particularly stressful semester I decided to just take it easy. Turns out it was actually great for a busy week! I could just wake up, grab a juice and go! I would throw them into a mini cooler bag with an icepack, keep that in my backpack and I wouldn’t have to stress out about meal prep at all. (+1 for the pro-juice team!)
The first time I did a cleanse, I was told to just chug the juice back as quickly as possible but I found this really difficult because the sugars would just hit my system so fast and I would crash and burn pretty quickly. This time around, I sipped on my juices over the course of an hour and I found that this helped stave off the feelings of hunger and exhaustion. A lot of people have bad side effects from the detox such as headaches and lethargy, which I definitely had on the first day (kicking that sugar addiction is harrrrd) but after that I found that the only side effect was irritability. I would get super cranky right before it was time for my next juice, and sitting through some of my classmates questions in my law class got my blood boiling sometimes when I am usually a pretty passive person. (-1 :()
At the end of the three days, I actually felt amazing. It’s important to note that this isn’t something you do to lose weight, because you’ll put it all back on when you go back to eating food, but it helped me kick refined sugars which I have been trying to do for AGES. (+1!) I also found that by some miracle, my normally horrible hay fever had lessened (+1) which upon further googling, may have been due to cutting out all diary during the three days. As well, my skin looked amazing after, though during the pre-cleanse and first day my skin was broke out. Just to note, we were not talking a normal three-four pimples on my cheek break out here, it was like a Shawshank Redemption break out ALL OVER MY FACE. (+/- 1) So maybe if you have some big event to go to soon I wouldn’t start a juice cleanse right before. As well, after ending the three days my poor stomach could not handle solid food outside of leafy greens, so that yummy margherita flatbread I had been dreaming about for days had to wait. (-1, I get hangry.)
Overall, I think it’s a decent way to kickstart some healthy eating habits and it was definitely what I needed after eating a lot of junk while cramming for school. Maybe the health benefits are just a placebo effect but hey, positives are positives right? I am actually considering doing another one in May, possibly a 5 day cleanse just to really kick things up a notch! I’m looking at Vitae Juice’s Revamp cleanse, but the only thing I really did not enjoy was the monotony of the menu! It was kind of a bummer to drink the same juices every single day, it would have been nice to switch things up a little once in a while, which was a huge plus of The People’s Juicery. Their menu changes on a daily basis and you never know what you’re going to get that day! However, it should be noted that Vitae Juice does have a very diverse menu that can be ordered a la carte, it’s just their juice cleanses that are set for each day!