Or should I say "I DRINK: Blueprint Juice Cleanse"? As those of you who follow me on Instagram know, I decided to jump aboard the juice cleanse bandwagon and give up solid foods for three days. I've had a lot of questions about my experience so I thought I'd dedicate a post to it.
First things first, selection. When I was asking around for recommendations, the three brands that kept popping up were BluePrint, Cooler Cleanse, and Organic Avenue. There are so many articles out there comparing the three with regards to delivery logistics, flavor variety, calorie count, etc., but my personal priority was taste. Prior to this cleanse, I wasn't a fan of green juices; in my opinion, they all tasted like grass. So when I heard BluePrint had found a way to make "grass" delectable, the choice was clear. BluePrint has three different cleanses: the Renovation/Beginner, Foundation/Intermediate, and Excavation/Expert. The difficulty levels correspond to the amount of green juices in the regimen; the idea is that beginners might want to ease their way into juicing by chosing a regimen with more tasty fruit juices than green juices (all/mostly vegetable and thus containing less sugar). I decided to be daring and selected the Foundation/Intermediate Cleanse.
Second, logistics. BluePrint stresses the importance of fresh juices, so upon delivery, you get three days' worth. My cleanse lasted for three days so that worked perfectly, but if you chose a longer duration, you'll have to schedule multiple deliveries. Once you get them, stick them in the fridge to keep them cool! And if they aren't evenly-colored or the solid bits fall to the bottom, don't get too grossed out; they're fresh juices so that's natural. Each cleanse consists of six juices per day, to be consumed in regular intervals throughout the day, the last two hours before heading to bed.
Third, flavors. The daily Foundation cleanse menu consists of the same green juice three times a day, two different fruit juices, and a protein "juice" to round the day off. The green juice is a cocktail of salad ingredients- romaine, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, and parsley- sweetened with apple and lemon. It wasn't love at first sip, but a quarter of the way through my first bottle, I found myself warming up to it. It tasted refreshing, light, and downright healthy without the expected unsettling grassy flavor. If green juices aren't exactly up your alley, try gulping it down when its fresh out of the fridge; for some reason, I find the cold helps with the taste. The two fruit juices are masterpieces. I sincerely wish BluePrint would stock them at Duane Reades throughout the city. The first is pineapple, apple, and mint. The second is my ultimate favorite- lemonade with a cayenne pepper kick. The last juice in the regimen is actually a milk, cashew milk with vanilla and cinnamon. Many of my friends that did the BluePrint Cleanse fell madly in love with the cashew milk, but I found it overwhelmingly sweet. Matter of personal preference.
Last notes. The thought of giving up solid food for days may seem daunting, but six juices a day ended up being more than enough to keep me full. That said, you can still unknowingly trick yourself into thinking you're hungry. For people like myself, who regularly snack, the feeling of hunger is connected to the physical act of eating; so during the cleanse, I found myself craving food more than usual because I was restraining myself from an essentially reflexive act. But that's part of the benefit of going on a juice cleanse. It can break bad habits, re-training you to listen to your body, to know when to fuel up and when to lay off the unnecessary binge-eating. Which, in turn, is a sustainable way to make one's diet more amenable to weight loss and an infinitely more reasonable approach than expecting to drop a pant size after three days of juicing. Slow and steady, people.
Annnndddd, I think that's it. Hope that was helpful for anyone considering starting a juice cleanse of their own. Enjoy the pictures after the jump!