Two weeks ago we were spending some time with our cousin Amanda when she mentioned her love of The 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. I have done a cleanse or two before, but never something this hardcore. 10 days? That is a significant commitment. I had been eating all the food lately, though, and I do always love a good challenge for both my mind and my body. Why not? I thought. I even convinced my dear husband to do it with me. Fortunately, his boss, whom he admires greatly, is a big fan of juicing so it didn’t take much pressure. Below is my comprehensive review. The good, the bad, the green.
One thing I really like about this cleanse is the specifics outlined in the book. It is actually super easy to follow. We took the grocery list you are given to the store and I have to say, I felt pretty superior while pushing my cart around. Oh this? Just my usual weekly groceries. Yes, I always eat kale I love it.
We got to the checkout stand and the very interested checker asked me “if I was doing some sort of smoothies or something.” I was immediately mortified. What a loser am I? I don’t know what I’m doing! I’ve never juiced spinach in my life! However, there was no turning back now, since I had already told a dozen people I was doing this, so I swiped my credit card and kept on going. While James was a little shocked at the price tag, I was actually pleasantly surprised. For the full five days for two people it was only $112. Considering how much a pre-made cleanse costs, and how much we spend on groceries in a week anyway, I was feeling pretty good about this.
I’m fired up. I literally cannot wait. I follow the directions to a T and blend up breakfast for both of us. It starts as a beautiful bright green color. When I add the strawberries it goes turns into a bit of a greenish brown and I’m a little worried. “I can do this,” I keep repeating. I actually had to work at the Barre studio this morning, so I made the smoothie to go, left one for James in the fridge, and hit the road. It took me three blocks to work up the nerve to actually take a sip. It wasn’t bad! Actually, it wasn’t bad at all! I became focused on walking, not drinking, though, so by the time I got to the studio, and was ready to actually enjoy it, the smoothie had warmed to room temperature. As a huge texture person, I suddenly became aware of the flax seed that was in it. This definitely needs to be downed FAST and ICE COLD.
The caffeine withdrawal hits me HARD. I had a wee bit of a headache the day before, but nothing like this. Suddenly I become very embarrassed of how hard this is impacting me. I must be an actual addict. This is terrible. Thank goodness I am doing this. This is the best thing I’ve ever done for my body. I am the healthiest woman alive.
At about 1 pm I grab the one hard boiled egg the cleanse allows you per day and cut it into very small bites. It is quite possibly the greatest thing I have ever tasted. I think back on the nutrition class I took in college where my professor shared that the best food we can eat is eggs because they have all 7 (?) 9(?) essential amino acids. This is totally true I think to myself. I can feel the amino acids. Work your magic, amino acids! I am so in tune with my body. Everybody should be this in tune.
Alternate theory: I am not that in tune, I am just delirious because I haven’t had coffee in two days. Nobody let me drive a car, k?
I still have a caffeine headache, but it is slowly receding. The really hard part of today is the fact that I was in charge of catering lunch for the whole office. As everyone grabs the delicious sandwiches on ciabatta and pretzel rolls I’m sitting over here with my plate of lettuce. Just…lettuce. Starting to regret this a lot.
I woke up with a newfound energy. The fact that tomorrow is day 5, and I will be halfway done, is oddly comforting. Further, I realized what was wrong with the smoothies. The book asks you to put multiple apples into them. While this does help the taste, it also gives the smoothie a weird, applesauce-like texture. As previously mentioned, I am super sensitive to texture, so this was killing me. This morning I substituted the two apples for 1.5 cups of mixed berries. Since the berries have twice the vitamin C and half the sugar of apples, I feel like I’m in the clear. Finally this smoothie is actual smoothie consistency, and I’m genuinely looking forward to all of these.
Today is the first day that I’m really hungry. I have gotten used to the taste and texture, even enjoying my breakfast and lunch. I gulp down dinner, and fortunately we are too busy running errands for our move for me to notice how hungry I actually am. It doesn’t hit me until bed time. I lay awake thinking “I could just go make a real quick piece of toast and then….no! Just go to sleep!”
Today I wake up early to go work at the Barre studio. I make my smoothie, down it fast, and then have two hours to sit at the desk. Someone left a box of cookies, the kind with the really good icing on them from grocery stores, here for the taking. I look at them and realize that they are not at all what I am craving. That truly doesn’t sound good at all. This cleanse might be on to something!
Today is a jam packed day because we are moving this weekend and this is our last night we have any time to pack or run errands. We make our dinner smoothies to go before running to Target and HomeGoods. I am starting to love the ease of smoothie making, but I am getting so bored.
I’m working from home today, which I thought would make it easier. Turns out, this just makes it harder. When James comes home and we put in 10,000 steps just moving boxes and more, we decide to call it and switch to the modified version of the cleanse, which allows you to have a salad for dinner if you have a smoothie for breakfast and lunch. We go to Sweet Green and both get a salad. If you’ve been there, you know how enormous the salads are. We practically inhaled them in under 10 minutes. We didn’t say a word. It was the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted.
Today is moving day, so we wake up at 6, make a green smoothie, and get started. Needless to say, it doesn’t hold us. When the heavy stuff is in the apartment and our friends are enjoying the pulled pork and cookies I made them, James and I didn’t even talk about it. We both knew: we were done.
The Moral of the Story:
10 Days is just too long for a cleanse like this. The smoothies themselves actually taste fine, but 10 days is just way too long. I thought that doing this while moving would make it easier, but it actually made it harder. Would I do it again, though? Absolutely! Once I got over the caffeine withdrawal I actually felt amazing. I had an insane amount of energy, my fingers were no longer swollen when I woke up, and I just love a good challenge! Just know, this is not for the faint of heart.