When someone publicly says they are doing an cold-pressed juice cleanse the following questions are guaranteed:
“Do you have enough toilet paper?”
“You mean, no solid foods for how many days?”
“But, really, are you good on toilet paper?”
When Garden of Flavor approached me to review their juices and 1-day juice cleanse I figured I owed it to you loyal readers to take one for the team to see about all the hullabaloo. We will get to the answers to all the above questions in a minute.
First, there are a few items worth discussing about juicing. Juice used to be 100% juice. Companies started mixing juices with other cheaper juices, water and corn syrup. As some companies shifted toward more processing, a new market was created that focused on real juice, often coupled with organic, cold, raw and pressed prefixes. If you have ever stepped in a Whole Foods, you have seen the new world of juicing. I had a hard enough time selecting juice before there were 40 more options. Garden of Flavor are cold-pressed, organic, never heated and made from fresh vegetables, fruits and nut. Think of them as the gatherer-made juice from hunter-gatherer societies.
Juicing became synonymous with dieting or meal replacement and it is big business. In 2012, it was a $5 billion industry. A few reports show the juice bubble is starting to come down. Almost every grocery now has single serve bottles of premium juice, some costing as much as $10 a bottle. I grew up thinking of juice as a source of vitamins and something to wash down my cereal. (This podcast from NPR is a good listen to explain what happened during the futures trading in Trading Places.)
This is an entire world with which I am not familiar. So here we go. All the cold-pressed juices. One cleanse.
Juice Cleanse is a GO!
My goal was to make it through the one-day cleanse. How hard could it be? The biggest hurdle to doing your first juice cleanse is getting by the notion that you need solid foods for sustenance. Fluids are great, but not having to chew my food confused my brain and stomach. I started on a Saturday and made it until mid-afternoon.
The second biggest hurdle: friends/tacos. Unless your friends have dieted or done cleanses, they will be like I was to my friends, asking questions, inviting you out to eat, dangling burritos in front of you. Maybe that last one was a hallucination after juice #3 (Twisted Roots). It’s similar to distant family members appearing when someone wins the lottery except this time the prize is carnitas instead of cash.
My will was weak. I am a bad cleanser. I consumed three and a half of the drinks on the first day before going out to eat with friends. I drank the other juices through out the rest of the weekend and shared them with friends so they could taste what nature is supposed to taste like.
The process, as short lasted as it was, gave me a new respect for my friends who embark on these things. Dieting is difficult. To avoid caving like I did, dieting/cleansing can isolate you from your friends. Even if you are doing a juice cleanse to give your body a break from digesting processed foods, it’s still difficult. That’s right. I just said basic eating is a chore.
Quick flavor rundown:
- Goji Pineapple – This had a ton of flavors and was my entry to the cold-pressed juice world. The ginger packed a wallop once I cracked this open.
- Green Harmony – Think of this as a liquid salad. If it’s green, it’s in the bottle. The apple gave a bit of sweetness, but overall it tasted like lettuce.
- Mean Green – Have you ever had celery salt on a Chicago-style hot dog? Add in cucumbers and lettuce and you have the Mean Green.
- Twisted Roots – This one was funky. I love beets but have never had beet juice. The vibrant color matches this zesty drank which contains carrot, beet and lemon.
- White Knight – This was my favorite. It’s a nut milk and made me really want horchata. If only I had rum in my house…
- Turmeric Tonic – This was intense and my least favorite of the bunch. Tumeric isn’t in a lot of foods I eat so this spicy concoction overwhelmed my mouth. Tumeric has tons of benefits for digestion.
- Appleade – Apple plus lemonade = refreshing. Appleade was my runner up for favorite juice.
Cold-Pressed Juice Cleanse Recap
The juice cleanse made me want all the foods. The Garden of Flavor juices taste like all their ingredients, as real juice should. When you read the label as you drink, your brain recognizes all the individual components. Almost all of the juices had fresh ginger. Ginger is great for increasing circulation, but was overwhelming in some of the drinks since I don’t consume a lot of it. As a novice (juice) drinker, I consume juices largely based on taste with nutrition being a secondary concern and benefit. The juices didn’t destroy my digestive track. Regretfully, I didn’t notice any significant difference. So, yes, I had plenty of toilet paper. The trip to the warehouse was a waste.
Know what did clean me out? The cocktails I had later in the week at a Hendrick’s gin tasting.
Any juicers out there want to share their experiences? Should I give juicing another chance, maybe without a taco pit stop?