I read a bunch of websites, spoke to my most lunatic diet friends and decided that they only way to lose weight is to stop eating. I don't believe that exercise makes you skinny, the same way I don’t believe in global warming, and so to help me interrupt my eating habits – if only for two days – I decided I wanted to try a juice cleanse. I think I'm going to try a couple this summer but my first choice based on cost and location was TOTAL CLEANSE.
What is it?
6 bottles of cold-pressed fresh juice blends to be consumed over the course of the day. Each bottle has a number on its lid so you know what order to drink it. Not sure the "science" behind this, but I like to be organized and follow the rules. You can choose the pre-sorted series or invent your own juice order. No one is going to know what order you drank your juice. Go crazy.
$57 (including tax) per day
The theory behind it?
None. No physician licensed in the province of Ontario will tell you to do this. But it will reduce your calories and shrink your stomach if you stick to it. For longer periods of time, improved skin and hair is reported. But it can also cause you to feel faint and in extreme cases (I'm looking at you Gwyneth Paltrow) it can cause one to hallucinate. Proceed with caution.
I called ahead on a Thursday to confirm a pick-up for Sunday morning. The woman sounded far away, busy, like she couldn't hear me and could not be bothered. I put in my order for 2 days of juice and confirmed that I would be there for 11am on Sunday morning when the they opened to pick it up. She was practically hanging up the phone on me.
Not the greatest customer service, but then again, how smart do you have to be to bottle juice and sell it at a massive premium to high-strung white women with too much money? Criminal genius, is the correct answer.
Sunday dawned without out a cloud in the sky. I drove over to the location and I was 30 minutes late. I requested my order. The sales girl went into the back and asked for it, advising me that it would be 5 – 7 minutes.
This was news!
I was double-parked and late for a Jays game. Could they swap out a different juice? Yes, they could swap cashew milk (which takes 7 minutes to… something… squeeze the cashews?... no one was kind enough to tell me what the wait was for) for citrus juice. Okay, I said.
The little girl in the front said, as a means of explanation, "It's usually all ready by noon".
IS IT, YOU TRAINWRECK BITCH? EVEN WHEN I SAY I'LL BE THERE AT 11am TO GIVE CASH MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR IT? … is what I said inside my head…
"Gosh, I wish I had known!" was what I said out loud.
Because I am a money witch, let me take a moment to review the tenants of capitalism: I give you money and you immediately give me the required product. I've noticed that lately, things like Apple iPhones, expensive purses and now fucking juice cleanses have wait times.
Welcome to Communist Russia, comrade, we've been expecting you.
I imagine it creates a certain mystique to "wait" for something. But then again I was born in the West and I've never had to wait for a goddamn thing a single day in my life. The experience is foreign and uncomfortable and I am certainly not going to start waiting for some fucking pressed juice in the post-gentrified Junction. Please remember that if you are making people wait for something, it better be fucking unique, OR THEY WILL GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
There was a lot of noise in the back and despite the decision to swap for whatever was available, I was still waiting for … something … the numbers to be put on the bottles? Dunno, because again, no one told me. The little girl in the front just frantically clicked around on her computer trying to pretend I wasn't there.
You took my money, kid, so I'm here for the duration.
Finally a woman comes out with two paper bags each filled with six bottles – a very heavy load – and says "Are you sure you didn't want to wait for 5 more minutes?"
Well, no. I didn't want to wait for ANY minutes, you pair of buffoons. How can that not be clear to you? The website does not indicate that the juice is pressed while-U-wait like a dry cleaners, although I admit it makes sense, but if I call ahead two days prior to request an order to be ready, you should have it ready. No issue.
Day One: Revitalize Cleanse
Monday morning is a terrible time to try anything new for breakfast and this was no exception. However, after the first couple of swallows of 'Green Energy' it was actually pretty good. It's fresh and light and very very green. So green that it needs to be shaken. M said that it smelled like a freshly cut lawn. The day progressed in much the same way. You really have to concentrate on drinking because time flies and before you know it you are already a couple of bottles behind…
The other flavours I try are the 'Citrus' (great), and the pre-mixed diet lemonade made with cayenne pepper and maple syrup (excellent) but mostly it's the damn green one.
I did not once feel hungry but I peed a lot, which is to be expected. Eating clean is encouraged and so I ate two pieces of Ryvita (dry flat bread made with rye, not wheat and no yeast) at lunch (total calories: 150).
I noticed two things within 8 hours of doing it: First, a juice cleanse is incredibly calming. I felt a relief of anxiety and all things that bothered me.
Two, I began to perspire the worst smell I have ever smelled in my life. I thought I had forgotten to put on deodorant, except I had a clear memory of doing it that morning. (Don't ask)
By 5 o'clock I was a mess and grateful to be at home and change, but only a few short (food-free!) hours later was a smelly again. Is this detoxing? Unknown because the Internet is not specific. I ate some light broth and a few almonds that night and slept very calmly, waking seven hours later – well before my alarm – fully rested and ready for my day.
Day Two: Purify Cleanse
When I awoke on Tuesday, my tongue was coated and I felt like I had a sore throat. For safety, I wanted to drink a protein shake with half a banana just to get some fibre and protein. So I did.
Wicked. No ill effect.
I had read on the Internet that it is recommended to take a laxative in the evenings. I did not do this. No ill effects… but I think it would be a good idea. Even though was I never hungry, my body certainly figured out pretty quick that I had reduced my calories and was holding onto every last thing. My stomach felt by turns rumbly and sloshy or bloated and hard. During the morning of the second day, my only real complaint is how acidic my urine was. It was very acidic and caused chaffing, but then it goes away, or I get used to it. Again, I am not hungry. I do not eat my Ryvita, but I do eat a green apple.
The the most noticeable change was my gym work-out. Remember how I said I was calm? My heart rate on the elliptical dropped to 134, from the normal 174. Furthermore, I ran 5min30s – and enjoyed it! – at 4m/hour without a break; which for me, who is only learning to run farther than the subway platform, is a breakthrough.
Dinner was a light broth and a house salad but it was clear that my stomach was smaller because I was not interested in either. I slept the sleep of the dead for 7.5 hours and had trouble waking up at my alarm.
Weight loss: None, but a significant reduction in general inflation and waist is smaller in clothes.
Energy: Somewhat improved, reduced general anxiety, fantastic clarity from calmness
Hair and Skin: the cleanse was too short to affect these
Hunger Level: Zero. I never once felt hungry, nor do I have cravings afterwards. It completely interrupted my eating/craving pattern which was the goal.
Here's the real punchline: While I was at the gym I received a voice mail from someone named Daniel of Total Cleanse. He indicated that he had 'just received a message from a colleague that [I] wanted to pick up some cleanse on Sunday' and that he "would love to make that happen for [me]". So, this means that messages take 5 days to reach their intended person within this organization. I have to advise Total Cleanse that they are behaving like Total Trainwrecks:
You are functionally unprepared/unwilling/unable to execute even the most basic orders. It's embarrassing.
I would recommend this cleanse, but I couldn't trust the customer service. I would write them an email or return their call but I know how these places work. They will be entitled and privileged which makes them structurally unable to admit a mistake, apologize for rudeness or change their behavior. I would be 'wasting' my time. (lol get it?)