I’ll come clean straight away – I’m undecided on the subject of juice cleanses. For every success story, documentary or glossy magazine interview with an equally glossy slender celebrity who swears by gyrotonics and green juice, I’ve seen a friend or colleague invest a lot of time and money on something that seems to only make them hungrier, poorer and grumpier but not thinner than they were before.
A few months ago I would have said that my own disastrous Master Cleanse experience was enough to turn me off the idea of a liquid-only diet for good, but after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and reading the success story of fellow Run With An Idea blogger Neil, I’m starting to come round to the idea again.
So what’s the point of a juice cleanse? All the juice cleanses I have researched state that it a chance for the body to detox and cleanse itself – Joe Cross, author of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead describes it as a ‘reboot’. Juice cleanse diets are always big news in January, when everyone is feeling repulsed after an orgy of gluttony during December. I can completely relate to this, I decided to do the Master Cleanse because I was feeling sleazy and bloated after a few weeks of pre-Christmas party excesses and wanted a chance to re-set before the main event at Christmas and New Year. However, unlike the Master Cleanse experience, a juice cleanse should still provide the fuel and nutrients that the body needs to function properly.
The other time juice cleanses are big news is at the start of the summer, when people are searching for an emergency solution to the unwanted roll of fat hanging over the top of their swimsuit, and the idea of two weeks without solid food seems like a quick fix. Personally, I wouldn’t follow a juice cleanse in order to lose weight – as Becca says, I think there are more sustainable diets to follow to achieve this.
My own feeling is that a short juice cleanse could be an effective detox but I don’t know if I could follow it long enough or well enough to see the benefits. I would have to keep it short because in order to get the most from juicing, I think you need to be incredibly dedicated – sitting down to a glass of juice while everyone else is eating a full meal is as LilB says, not a pleasant experience and I just don’t think that I could keep it up for longer than a few days.
I can imagine that I would also need to be very organised in order to ensure that I got all the nutrients needed for the day and had enough variety to stop me getting bored. I’d have to make sure that I had prepared juice to consume throughout the day in advance, unless I bought juices which would be rather expensive. Again, these factors wouldn’t stop me doing a cleanse but I don’t think I could keep up this level of organisation long-term.
I was quite skeptical about having the energy to keep exercising while I was juicing, but since I read about running while following a juice cleanse in Neil’s post I think it might be possible to keep up my normal activities.
So, like Carrie, I’m undecided – I’m still skeptical but I think I might be swayed into taking part in a juice cleanse, but I’d like to see some first-hand evidence of how well they work first.
What do you think – are juice cleanses healthy or is this craze just hype? Let me know in the comments below and you could win a copy of the Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book in the Run With An Idea star comment competition. To see what the rest of the RWAI bloggers thought visit our linkup post here.