Written by Anyi Cheng
When I was a kid, I was told to stay away from juice. I knew that if I drank too much juice, my teeth would fall apart and I would suffer extreme organ damage—at least, that’s how my teachers and parents made it sound. But then juice cleanses came along. As part of a new wave of crazy—sometimes mind-boggling—fad diets, the trend of eating nothing and drinking juices for an extended period of time took the health-nut world by storm with its seemingly overnight results.
Now, I took AP Biology and therefore consider myself a reasonably educated girl; it was pretty hard for me to believe that juice cleanses were the miracle they were touted to be. But health bloggers raved about the almost-instantaneous results, how they felt invigorated and that the abundant “toxins” in their bodies had been flushed out. To achieve this bodily nirvana, all I had to do was drink juice? Count me in. Of course, we weren’t talking about drinking a gallon of orange or cranberry juice in one day. Turns out, the juices I needed were full of green leafy things with big names like “spirulina” and “kale.” Well, so be it. Beauty is pain! I headed to the grocery store, loaded up on Odwalla bottles and pre- pared myself for a day of eating nothing and drinking juice. By noon, I felt like I was starving. I was in a bad mood, I felt unbearably hollow and I was having the biggest cravings for non-juice things, like pumpkin pie and chicken alfredo. Suddenly, I was counting my lucky stars that I had planned to only do one day of the cleanse. It sure didn’t feel like toxins were flushing out of my body, even though I was hitting the bathroom a lot more frequently than I usually did. How was I going to make it to dinner—excuse me, I meant my evening bottle of apple-flavored spinach puree—without giving up?
Well, I’ll spare you the gory details, but I made it through the rest of the day without breaking down, and I consider that a testament to my iron-hard will. The next morning I woke up groggy and as far from refreshed as possible. If anything, I felt normal, albeit very hungry. I didn’t feel like I had been purged of any toxins at all.
As they say, all mistakes are learning experiences, and trying just one day of a juice cleanse was definitely a mistake. Not only had I drained (literally) half my cat-sitting income, I also lost out on an entire day of food-induced bliss. Lesson learned: don’t skip out on solid food!