You've all heard of the Blueprint Cleanse, or one of its many incarnations, yeah? 3-4 Days, you "detox" and possibly lose weight in the process. It's all over Pinterest, and the last-ditch effort of many hoping for a quick bikini body before vacation. My boss swears by it, and she's done it at least twice that I've seen. So if she, a very active woman who probably needs hordes of energy to do the job she does, is a supporter of the cleanse, it must be legit.
|Picture from blueprintcleanse.com|
However, the Blueprint Cleanse's "beginner" option is a whopping $65 PER DAY. Too rich for my blood. So I got a-Googling and found an XOJane article titled "I'LL TRY ANYTHING ONCE: CHEAP D.I.Y. AT-HOME JUICE CLEANSE EDITION." It appeared to be a follow-up to the Cat Marnell piece, which was a frantic account of the author avoiding drugs for a week to do the actual Blueprint cleanse. It was an... interesting read. But the DIY juice recipes lined up nearly exactly to what was listed on the Blueprint bottles, too. Sounded right up my alley! And the girl had a positive experience. Bonus Points: the local discount store had a $20 juicer! It was fate. I was doing this.
As you know, I'm desperately trying to lose weight. As you also may know, my butt appears to be just as stubborn as my brain, and I've remained at my current weight, 15 pounds and two dress sizes bigger than just last year. A whole drawer of pants that won't budge past my thighs, and not much of a budget (not to mention too much stubbornness) to buy all new jeans. Nothing seemed to be working and I was stressing myself out. Three days of full-veggie juices could only help me, I thought.
|No makeup, ModelFace|
So, I bought the juicer. I bought the veggies. And the cost for the three days was a little more than what one day of the juice cleanse would have cost. Pricey, but a bit more affordable.
Plus I could get a good chunk of the things needed at the Farmer's Market with my Market Share, woo!
|My Market Share, Kitchen Garden. Photo Credit: kitchengardenfarm.com|
You were supposed to drink them in that order. And, for the most part, I did. Here's how it went:
|More delicious than it seems.|
Day 1, Part 1: I guzzled down my first green juice at around 8am and was in heaven. It was delicious! I was happy, if nothing else, I had a new breakfast drink. I would definitely make this again So fruity, with just a slight aftertaste of the leafy greens. I made myself a green tea, which is allowed (as is however much water you want), put my juices for the day in the communal fridge, and settled down at my desk to start my work day. Turns out, this day happened to be the biggest work event of the year, and soon I was rushing around, far from my juices, and I was forced to eat wherever I could from the free event food I was offered. Oops. Guess I was not starting my juice cleanse today.
|It was a lovely dinner.|
|Looks like TruBlood in person.|
And then I went crazy. My brain was buzzing and my stomach was screaming and I began pacing, forgetting why I went into certain rooms, I left my purse at work and had to go all the way back to get it. Then I left the freezer open while I took pictures of ice cream. Once the lightheadedness began to creep in, I knew my first CHEAT was coming. I had made eggplant caponata over quiona last weekend and allowed myself about a half cup of the mixture. I immediately felt fine. The cashew milk was consumed while I was at rehearsal, and it was sadly disappointing. Not as flavorful as I'd hoped.
|Beet mustache, the new Got Milk?|
Day 2: I thought I'd wake up hungry, but I woke up just fine. It wasn't until I consumed my first green juice that my body started being strange. Huge stomach cramp, which ended up simply being a--ahem--a large dump. Apparently, Day 2 is "release" day. BE NEAR A BATHROOM, this is all I can say. Also I'm disappointed that concentrated beets doesn't turn your #1 any fun colors like I'd heard. Oh well. Day 2 was much easier than Day 1, but by mid-afternoon I was sick of the fruit juices. I started fantasizing about spice. So, I swapped my "dinner" juice (the cashew milk) for a homemade V8 type thing. The spiciness was a welcome change. At around 5 the "crazy" started to amp up, so I cheated again and allowed myself a tiny slice of cheese, a bit of avocado, and a tiny tomato. The crazy stayed away.
Results: I lost no real weight--I typically waft around a 2-5 pound difference every time I weigh myself, and while I started at the higher and ended at the lower I assume it was simply water weight. But I FELT a little bit thinner, and a whole lot... cleaner? My stomach wasn't bloaty or weighed-down feeling. My skin felt a bit tighter, and I noticed a little less cellulite and a little less jiggle. I saw the start of cheekbones, though that could be my eyes playing tricks on me. BUT, I did notice that when I had food cravings, I wasn't craving cheeseburgers or pizza--I was craving avocado, salads, quiona, HEALTHY things. So perhaps the influx of raw juices rewired my brain to be more healthy? Who knows.
|The First Meal.|
Overall, I don't know if I'd recommend the cleanse. I decided at the start that I was going to listen to my body, and if my body needed food, I'd give it some food. And I did. I also didn't follow the cleanse completely, adding my own recipe and skipping two of the cashew milks and all of the lemonades. So, maybe the cleanse would have been more effective had I followed it to a T, but maybe I also would have passed out in a puddle of beet juice or ran my car into a pole in a kale-drunk stupor, who knows.
|Not a juice.|
Juices, Inspired by the xojane article. Instructions for all: juice in a juicer, store in fridge, ideally the no longer than the night before you intend on drinking them.
Note: depending on your juicer, you might need more or less of the amounts given.
Green Juice (Juice 1), makes 1 serving
2 kiwi fruits
2 green apples
handful of spinach
handful of kale
1 banana (note: mash banana separately, NOT in juicer, add and shake well)
Red Juice (Juice 2), makes 1 serving
2 medium beets
3 large carrots
2 red apples
Yellow Juice (Juice 3), makes 1 serving
1 small cucumber
Cashew Milk Mixture (Juice 4), makes 1 serving
1 cup cashews in one cup water
cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste
*in a food processor, process cashews and water and slowly add water until it reaches a milk-like consistency.
Ashley's Extra Juice (V8-ish)
2 celery stalks
2-inch section of raw ginger
2 garlic cloves
dash of hot sauce of your choice
*this would make an EXCELLENT bloody mary