Akemi is in Osaka, visiting family, until Wednesday which has given me the opportunity to do things I wouldn’t normally do when she’s around. Clubbing? Boozing? Gambling? More like watching four movies in a single day, reading five books simultaneously, and doing a 1-day juice cleanse. Life on the edge, right?
And, yes, you read that correctly: a 1-day juice cleanse. What, pray tell, would lead me to do this? Well, chalk it up to curiosity, a desire to test the purported health benefits, and a masochistic streak that had me testing the limits of my endurance. Others might climb a mountain or run a marathon. I chose to go without solid food for a day.
I went to my local juicery (and there are A LOT of them in Vancouver) and picked up a handy 1-day cleanse: 6 bottles of liquid nutrients to be imbibed over the course of the day – in my case, starting at 10 a.m., progressing at two hour intervals, and concluding with an 8 p.m. night cap. I was good to go!
10 a.m.: Bottle #1 was a “green juice” containing apple, cucumber, celery, parsley, ginger and lemon. Oh, and black kale. You could really taste the kale! I was actually starting to get hungry just reading the ingredients – and imagining how wonderful they would be as accompaniments to actual dishes: apple pie a la mode, a nice chicken salad, a parsley-rich chimmichurri topping a grilled ribeye.
12 p.m..: Bottle #2 was a fruitier selection. I was heartened by its bright orange coloring. And disheartened by the inclusion of turmeric as an ingredient alongside orange, carrot, cantaloupe, and ginger. I made sure to shake this one up good before opening. After all, there’s nothing worse than knocking back a nice cold summer beverage only to discover all of the turmeric has settled on the bottom. Overall, however, this one was preferable to the initial green juice. It was almost like being served an amateur mimosa – by a waiter who had inadvertently dipped his fingers into your drink after dropping off the next table’s aloo gobi.
Notes: While not hungry, I was beginning to feel a little peckish. I could have eaten. Specifically, I could have eaten a crispy pork belly sandwich.
2 p.m.: Bottle #3 and we doubled down on the black kale, this time serving it up with collards, watercress, cucumber, celery, cilantro, apple, dandelion green, lemon and ginger. This one, not surprisingly, tasted like the first green juice. But worse.
Notes: This one killed my appetite. And not in a delightfully sated kind of way. I was also starting to feel a little dizzy. And tired.
4 p.m. Bottle #4 – carrot, apple, lemon, red and golden beets – was actually pretty good. Normally, probably not, but that afternoon, in comparison to the others, not bad at all. I think I preferred it because it came closest to reminding me of real honest-to-goodness food. Such happy memories!
Notes: My hunger abated but I was downright exhausted. Also, my stomach was feeling a tad…gurglesome.
6 p.m. Bottle #5 was dinner and comprised of brazil nuts, sea salt, vanilla beans, romaine, and spinach – a combination unseen since that time Popeye got food poisoning. It actually wasn’t bad – relatively speaking – although the pudding-like lumps of coagulated nut milk were a bit of a turn-off.
Notes: I actually felt more energetic and mentally alert after finishing this one, perhaps because it was the only bottle to contain actual protein. My stomach too was on high alert.
8 p.m. Bottle #6 was an acidic one-two punch of lemon, cayenne, ginger, alkaline water, and apple. It was like sipping sweetened battery acid.
Notes: I was tired yet feeling satisfied, not with the juices but the sense of accomplishment that I’d survived the single day ordeal that had stripped me of all physical energy, my mental faculties, and all common sense. Also, it turned out, some of the enamel on my teeth. Apparently, some people even do 3-day juice cleanses – however I’ve heard these handy packs are usually reserved for cults looking to indoctrinate new recruits.
Overall: I’m not sure about the science behind these cleanses. I’ve read about the health benefits, heard from friends who found the experience revitalizing. I felt no difference. No, scratch that. I felt slightly worse. My stomach was in knots. Also, my teeth and gums were alarmingly sensitive when it came time to brush my teeth, the citric acid from those juices no doubt doing a number on them.
One day later, and I feel much better. Is it the detoxifying effects of the cleanse? Or the pork belly on rice topped with a soft boiled egg, crispy kimchee rice squares, fried veggie salad, and dark chocolate I had for lunch? Who knows? My energy’s back, my teeth are slightly less sensitive, and my stomach has settled. Although, after a day of nothing but liquid, I’m wondering if I may have overdone it with my first meal.
On a completely unrelated note: