Approximately 95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need are found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables.
I am not a huge fruit fan, and there is only so much kale I can eat per day, so when 16 ounces of raw juice is equivalent to eating 2 pounds of carrots, 10-12 apples, or 8 pounds of spinach—juicing seems like such a no-brainer when it comes to a speedy, efficient way to support my body with the vital vitamins, minerals and enzymes that it needs, while providing a mini-vacation for my digestive system.
Whether it’s to lose weight, jump-start a healthier diet, boost digestion, detox, break unhealthy eating patterns or reset your metabolism, millions are jumping on the $100 million annual juice cleanse wagon.
There are multiple pros and cons to a juice cleanse and being well informed about all of them will assist in your decision to chew or not!
These days, the juices that are getting all the hype are cold-pressed. According to Wikipedia the definition of cold-pressed is:
Cold-pressed juice refers to juice that uses a hydraulic press to extract juice from fruit and vegetables, as opposed to other methods such as centrifugal or single auger. The process of high pressure processing (HPP) allows the juice to be stored for about 30 days.
The old conventional pasteurized juices are processed at a very high temperature then cooled down. In addition to the heat, chemicals are added to the fruits and vegetables to combat any bacteria that might form.
Cold-pressed juices supposedly preserve the vitamins and enzymes better due to the more-involved processing and extraction. As a result of the “non-chemical freshness,” the juice’s shelf life are 3-5 days.
Cold-pressed juices have been around for decades but were popularized in early 2000 by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian. The hip, New York City, healthy social event the “Juice Crawl” beckons all “juice junkies” to workout and drink samples of cold-pressed juice from participating juice bars/pubs. The next event is the summer solstice crawl on June 26, 2016.
Ten years ago, I started doing the “Master Cleanse”— a cleansing program developed by Stanley Burroughs. The MC (Master Cleanse) involves four ingredients: lemon or lime juice, pure maple syrup, cayenne pepper and purified or spring water. Lightly based on Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast, one can also do the Master Cleanse for the same length of time.
The first time I did the MC, it was for the most popular reasons. However, my main goal was to break an unhealthy eating habit. “Hi my name is Mandy and I’m addicted to cacao-dusted almonds.” I was consuming a bag a day, and on out of control days, sometimes two bags.
When I introduced my friend Diana to my seductive nemesis, she bought two bags and ate an entire bag during the 15-minute drive home.
Having had issues with food, particularly not having enough, the night before my walk down the starvation plank, I consumed three day’s worth of food. Food can take up to 24 – 72 hours to digest and work through your digestive system, so the first two days were a piece of cake, probably because I had stored up like a bear for the winter.
The third day was a little tougher. I got tired of the nonstop peeing and I really missed the physical sensation of chewing. Every night during the tortuous dinner hour, I watched my husband Eric shovel food into his mouth, while I painstakingly slowly sipped on my spicy lemonade cocktail. It took a lot of mental willpower to get through that first MC. I actually lasted 7 days. I truly appreciated how much energy I had and how physically and energetically lighter I felt.
Of course on the exact minute my 168 hours was up…instead of the customary fast-breaking protocol of orange juice, I ate everything in sight—from smoked ahi dip to (wait for it) cacao-covered almonds. Alas, I would give myself a failing grade of D-.
These are the things I have learned from my master cleanses:
- I realized how very little food my body needs to function.
- I realized how much I overeat.
- I realized how much I unnecessarily snack out of habit or boredom.
- I had more energy because I was not expending a lot of it on digestion.
- If your diet includes caffeine, sugar or alcohol, you may experience withdrawal symptoms (i.e., headache, nausea or fatigue).
- I did not realize how much of my social life revolved around food.
- I had a lot of extra time because there was no food shopping, preparation of meals or dishes.
- I did not need as much sleep.
- I realized my hunger pains sometimes meant I was just thirsty.
Getting right back on that MC bandwagon, I regularly cleanse four times a year for 5-10 days. I am finally able to watch food commercials without pulling my hair out, subdue my monkey mind’s recurring mental visions of me starring in Shindler’s List, easily attend social functions with juice in hand and eventually experienced all the positive benefits of cleansing.
The only negative incident I had was on day eight of a ten-day MC. My friend needed to go to the ER, so I rushed out of the house and ended up being at emergency for six hours without any juice. When I got home, I lay down on the couch to read a book. Remembering to drink some juice and jumping up like I always do, I blacked out and fell back flat onto our wood floor hitting my head. That was a lesson well learned.
I enjoy master cleansing because it is so simple—make 64 ounces a day and drink. When Vibrant Health came out with their organically certified pre-mixed MC powder, I thought Christmas had come early! I was over the moon with the MC-for-dummies solution, and the ease and efficiency of scooping and mixing the powder with water was sheer genius. The portable 15-gram packets made drinking on the road a breeze.
Tips for Master Cleansing:
- Wean yourself from caffeine, sugar and alcohol prior to the cleanse.
- Drink lots of water or herbal tea with the MC drink.
- Work out with 20-25% less intensity.
- For hunger pains, drink water and breathe deeply.
- If you feel light-headed, drink more than the recommended 64 oz.
- If three days seem too hard, just try one.
I have to secretly admit my most successful MC or juice cleanses have been after pigging out at a buffet the day before. I know, totally crazy, right? But all I have to say is, “do whatever it takes.”
I was visiting my friend Ani in Santa Monica three years ago when she took me to Pressed Juicery after a class at Yoga Works. I fell in love with the delicious greens #1.
Six months later, I was thrilled to discover a tiny Pressed Juicery kiosk next to Yoga Works in the Larkspur Country Mart and drank their juices every day. When it was Ani’s turn to visit me in Sausalito, we decided to create a four-day health retreat, inclusive of yoga, meditation, shopping and juicing.
As soon as I picked her up from the airport, we went straight to Pressed Juicery and purchased a four-day supply. We called Susie and Jeff Turner, our Ayurvedic doctors, to run the juice cleanse by them. Their main advice was to drink lots of fresh ginger tea because the cold liquids would douse our agni (digestive fire). They also instructed us to closely monitor how we felt and honor our bodies.
The way in which Ani and I each processed the juices turned out to be a cool scientific experiment. I immediately got constipated, which is a common side effect due to lack of fiber in the diet, and Ani was the exact opposite—she had never had so many bowel movements in her life.
After Ani went home, the constant rule breaker…yours truly…continued for the next six days. Please note, only 1-5 days is recommended for juice cleanses.
On the tenth day, Eric and I went down for a check-up with Susie and Jeff, and when Susie tested my pulses, she had four words for me, “You need to EAT!”
I knew she was going to say that and had an energy bar in my bag.
Eric and I still do regular cleanses with Pressed Juicery when we are in Sausalito and Master Cleanses between times. When I have indulged in too much sugar, I will do a MC for 1-3 days. Last November, when I saw the sign at Honolulu’s Ala Moana Shopping Center “Pressed Juicery coming soon!,” I was ecstatic! It is 10 times easier to do a juice cleanse over a master cleanse because you can trick your mind into thinking you’re not starving. I adore Pressed Juicery’s juice cleanse because they have a huge variety of cold-pressed juices.
According to a UCLA study on the benefits of a PRESSED JUICERY three-day cleanse, some of the rewards were:
- Encourages a healthy balance of flora in your belly.
- Better well-being.
- Helps digestion.
- Increases vitamins, fiber, phenolic compounds and antioxidants.
- Helps reduce cell damage.
- Is less stressful on the heart and promotes weight loss.
If you decide to brave the cold-pressed juice cleansing frontier, I highly suggest you take the juice-cleansing quiz on Pressed Juicery’s site. Some of the questions are: how many green vegetables a day do you eat, how much alcohol and caffeine do you consume and do you smoke?
Your answers formulate a template of your current lifestyle and how health oriented it is. Pressed Juicery has three levels of cleanses and if you are not very healthy, they recommend the first tier and if you are a seasoned juice cleanser, they recommend level 3. The higher the level, the less fruit and complex carbohydrates will be in the juices. My dear friend decided to go on a juice cleanse and purchased her juices from Jugo Life on King street. The sales person did not offer any advice or guidance, and she chose juices only containing fruit. After 5 days, she gained 5 lbs. This is a perfect example of needing to put some thought into what combination of juices to drink. The easiest, simplest way to decide your juice line-up is to know how many calories you want to intake per day, calculate the calories of your choices and group and drink accordingly.
My favorite Pressed Juicery daily cleanse is:
- (4) greens: a selection from greens 1.5, 2 & 3. (There are 6 different juices in the Greens division and they range from 60 – 200 calories).
- (2) vanilla almond shakes
- lemon H20
- (1) chlorophyll H20
- *Total calorie count is 1330
Pricing: Most of the seasonal, greens, roots and citrus juices are $6.50, signature blend drinks are $8.00, coffee drinks $5.50, cleansing waters are $2.50 – $6.50, refreshers $6.50 and the classics $3.50.
*NOTE: These are California prices.
The California Pressed Juicery’s offer a daily-cleanse package for $40. It includes: 4 juices, 2 signature blend juices and 2 cleansing waters. Or the choice of 6 juices and 2 cleansing waters. Without the special daily cleanse package price of $40, the juices would cost $47.00.
Pressed Juicery does not have a target date but it should be open by the end of June. It is located in on the bottom Mauka Ewa (northwest) level of Ala Moana. They are squeezed between Japan Travel Bureau and Bloomingdale’s lower entrance. Guess who will be first in line?
Other options to start your cold-pressed juice cleanse would be Honolulu’s Lanikai Juice and Shaka Juice. You can also easily purchase cold-pressed juices at Whole Foods, Down to Earth, Blue Tree Cafe and Kokua Market.
The three largest cold-pressed juice companies are: Suja, Blueprint and Evolution Press.
Suja has a decent beginner three-day cleanse called “Classic Start.” It’s available at Costco for $76.99. That is a really good price at $4.27 a bottle. Kahala Mall Whole Foods sells Suja for $9.99 a bottle.