Every so often, I realize I’ve eaten mostly carbs and cheese for weeks on end. Cereal for breakfast, pizza for lunch, mac and cheese for dinner. Maybe one of the giant chocolate chip cookies from our cafe at work in the afternoon, which more or less send me into a coma within seconds of the last bite.
I decided to do a juice cleanse as a healthy reset during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Of course extreme diets aren’t sustainable over the long term; I just wanted a reminder that I don’t actually need to eat dessert after every meal. A coworker had recently completed a three day cleanse she’d bought at a SambaFresh location 10 minutes from our office, which sounded easy enough. I went online and ordered the three-day Rainbow Cleanse, which consists of 6 juices per day for $144.
An image from the SambaFresh homepage
So I go to pick up the cleanse that Sunday. And guess what, people. The juices do not look like that picture. They’re just a little bit more separated. And my assortment did not come in a rainbow, because a new guy was working there all alone and no one had explained to him how to prepare my order. I ended up leaving with a day’s worth of random juices and a promise that I could pick up the rest the following evening. Money well spent, right?
But I was still excited to get started the following day, and ended up feeling pretty good! I wasn’t irritable or starving. I think I would have been hungrier if the cleanse required me to spend a lot of time planning meals and preparing food, but with everything I needed already ready to go, I could put food out of my mind. That alone might lead me to consider another juice cleanse.
However, that cleanse may not be from SambaFresh. I stopped by the New Albany store after work for my remaining twelve juices and explained the situation to the girl behind the counter. She got the exact same “oh, shit” look on her face as the guy the day before and disappeared into the back to check the fridge. That’s probably the look I would get too, if I had to deal with people who are making multiple trips to pick up their product and haven’t eaten solid food in days.
Of course they hadn’t prepared the rest of my cleanse, but it was finally ready the next morning. I was too embarrassed to ask if I could leave the bottles I wouldn’t be drinking at work in the store’s fridge for the day because I’d acted sort of obnoxious the night before, so I lugged my big box of juice into the office and snuck half the bottles into a fridge on another floor because the one by my desk is always packed. Yes, I’m sure someone saw me do this.
I felt good on Day 2 as well; alert and focused well into the afternoon whereas most days I drink my morning coffee and it’s downhill from there. (Also – this cleanse and many others advise cutting out caffeine, but I still drank my usual medium coffee all three days). I skipped one juice in the afternoon because it was too spicy — next time you’re whipping up a green smoothie, I wouldn’t recommend adding habanero peppers to your granny smith apple-and-dandelion blend — and had some pretzels instead, but I didn’t crave any other food. I think paying over $100 for the cleanse helped me want to stick to it.
And Day 3 (the day before Thanksgiving)…was a half day. The juices started off tasting okay in the mornings since they incorporated fruits and sweeter vegetables like carrots, but the green juices in the afternoon were hard to take. And I expected the last drink of the day, a protein drink of a thicker consistency that incorporated cacao powder and nuts, to taste like a chocolate shake, but it didn’t. It tasted like liquified dates, because the main ingredient was dates. Oh well. I would have finished it off, but we left the office pretty early, which allowed me to drive back to Michigan and see friends that evening. We capped our night at Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit, which I believe is a fitting end to any juice cleanse.