30 August 2012

DIY Juice Detox

It's what everyone needs after a steady diet of pork, french fries, bread, and vegetable oil through a straw (not literally, but it may as well have been).  7 weeks of Romanian food is enough to make any young, healthy, robust human being feel like death warmed over, fried in pig fat, freeze-dried, reheated on High, sprinkled with lard and salt, and slathered over white bread.

I started planning a detox before I even left the country. My research led me to a juice cleanse.  Nothing sounded more appealing than fruits and veggies at the time. So as soon as I deplaned in California, I laid out my plan for a 5-day juice detox regime. My kitchen looked like it had been overrun with those ever-growing  devil vines from Jumanji that take over Kirsten Dunst's house.

My plan (based on professional juicing programs from Blue Print and Ritual Cleanse, for which I was not about to pay loads of money) was as follows: 6 juices a day (3 green drinks, 1 red-ish drink, 1 lemonade, and 1 cashew milk for protein). I borrowed my aunt's $200 juicer. Clearly it's a very high quality product, but why the hell a contraption for sucking juice out of seemingly juice-less things must cost that much is unfathomable. But the thing works like magic, that's for sure. I don't doubt that I could put in Ritz crackers and it would somehow give me cracker juice.

Here are the recipes, should you choose to not read-on and follow this exact cleanse. It's effective, I'm sure, or all those juice companies would be out of business. But do yourself a favor and read on past the recipes for a dose of non-sugar-coated reality.

Green Drink (each recipe makes one bottle, sometimes a little more)
Big handful of kale
Big handful of spinach
1 kiwi
2 Granny Smith apples, cored
1 banana

(Warning: Put all the ingredients through the juicer EXCEPT the banana. Puree the juice with the banana in a regular blender.)

 Red-ish Drinks (take your pick)
1 beet
1 large carrot
2 red apples (any type)
1 lemon


1/3 of a large pineapple
2 red apples
1 cucumber

Spicy Lemonade
Juice from one lemon
1 tbsp. honey
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Filtered water

Put a little hot water in a bottle and use it to dissolve the honey. Then add the lemon juice and cayenne. Fill the remainder of the bottle with filtered water and shake it up. 

Cashew Milk
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for a few hours in water
1 cup water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg

Blend all ingredient in a blender. Don't use the juicer for this one. 

There you have it. Now go off and buy all the ingredients and make all the above drinks and SUFFER. OR, read on.

Day 1: I woke up, SO excited to try all my juice concoctions (I made enough for one day. Don't make them too far in advance, as they're not very tasty after a couple days). I had a Green for breakfast.  DELICIOUS!  Doesn't taste like garden weeds, I promise. I then dashed off to the temple. About half-way through any temple sesh, I usually get ravenously hungry and my stomach starts making the sounds of a pig who hasn't been slopped in months. Surprisingly, however, the Green held me over for at least 4 hours. When I exited the temple, it was grotesquely hot. I was stoked to throw back a refreshing lemonade, which I packed with me in a little cooler. A nearly choked and died and then died again. A similar reaction to Glozell's when she did the cinnamon challenge. I used to think nothing was more disappointing than hot water from a bottle left in the sun after a run. I was wrong. It is burning spicy "lemonade" in 110-degree weather after a temple sesh. MISERY. I think it was my own fault, though, as my "pinch" of cayenne pepper was 1/4 tsp. Bad mistake.

And then there was the beet juice. Not bad, but not good either. It tasted like cold borsch and I love borsch, but I wasn't prepared for that, mentally. It'd probably be great if you eat it from a bowl, with a spoon, instead of drinking it from a bottle.

I admit I was most excited for the cashew milk. It looked so creamy and pleasant and smelled so cinnamonny and delicious. WRONG. This was harder to get down than the lemonade!  It tasted like my dog had been chewing on pieces of a cardboard box, then spit them into a blender and added water. I kid you not. Another disappointment.

Day 2:  I was nevertheless determined to stick to a juice cleanse, but needless to say, I altered the recipes or made up completely new ones. I knew what vegetables and spices are key for detox, so I still stuck with those. I did chuck out the cashew milk recipe, however. So for a few days I wasn't getting any protein which probably isn't great, but I'm still alive.

I kept the Green drink, as it is delectable. I replaced the lemonade with THIS:

Sarah's Lemonade
2 lemons (just pop out the seeds so they don't ruin the juicer, but keep the peel and everything)
2-3 red apples
2 large carrots
Pinch of cayenne

It's sweet and tangy and tastes how lemonade should taste. I fell in love with this stuff. And just a pinch of cayenne gives it the tiniest zing. 

I replaced the beet juice with this:

Sarah's Pineapple-Strawberry Delight
1/3-1/2 of a pineapple
Large handful of strawberries
1 large cucumber
A pinch or two of ginger

This drink is frothy and heavenly and refreshing. 

Day 3: I quickly discovered on Day 1 that 6 drinks is kind of overdoing it, as they really are quite filling. By Day 3 I was down to 4 drinks a day--2 Greens, 1 Red-ish, and 1 Lemonade. I never felt hungry and I'm no pansy eater. I didn't feel all that more energized, like a lot of juice-fasters say. The whites of my eyes weren't whiter, my thoughts weren't more profound, etc. My skin did look healthier and glow-ier, but I can't decide if that's because of the juice, the lighting in my house, or the microderm treatments I had just had. Maybe all three.

Day 4: I watched 2 full episodes of Bizarre Foods of America because I am a sick masochist. One may not think that watching some dude chow down on sheep brains and chicken hearts is torture by any means, but when your only craving is something "chewable", anything looks good. I ain't no quitter, but I was ready to toss in the proverbial juice towel and call it success.  I wasn't doing this cleanse to lose weight. I was doing it to detox, and I'm pretty sure that 4 days of a pure liquid diet rid me of all Romanian nastiness in my system.  I frickin peed every hour. I'm pretty sure that there alone worked wonders.

Day 5: Cereal! Chicken! Pasta! Ironically, I was craving juice...



  1. Did you make the drinks the day of or the night before? I have a busy work schedule so cant make the drink right before i am going to consume (with exception to the almond one)

  2. I made them the night before.

  3. I don't have a juicer,can I just use a blender instead?

  4. Ideally, you should use a juicer so that you get pure juice and no fiber. That will give you the purest detox. Using a blender will probably make the drinks chunkier and thicker, but if that doesn't bother you than go ahead!

  5. Awesome post! I'll be trying those juice recipes. My only other comment is that cashew milk CAN be delicious (and incredibly nutritious) when made correctly. I soak my cashews in water overnight, drain, then blend with fresh water, vanilla extract, and just a hint of agave or maple syrup. Use more water for the consistency of milk or less water for a thicker "cashew cream" that isn't half bad either! :)