Category Archives: detox

Ritual Cleanse – final thoughts

Saturday was my first day back to food after the juice cleanse.  According to the scale, I lost 3 pounds.  If you assume that the scale reading when I started was an anomaly, then I lost 5 pounds.  However, I don’t think my clothes fit any differently.

You’re supposed to have fruit for breakfast and then try and stick to a raw diet for the rest of the day.  The only fruit we had in the house were apples, which seemed a little crunchy to throw at my body first thing in the morning.  I drank some chai and then had some yogurt, instead.  Oh, wait, I also had some hot lemon water before I ate anything.  I drank it through a straw so it didn’t make my teeth all squeaky.  Then I had an appointment with the florist ($140 for all our wedding flowers! Which I’m arranging myself.) and went grocery shopping.  I had a recipe for carrot soup with shredded chicken to try and I wanted to pick up a rotisserie chicken.  I’m sure you know this, but maybe writing it will make me remember. Costco has the best deal for rotisserie chickens.  I bought one a Henry’s, which is still pretty decently priced, because I didn’t think I was going to go to Costco.  But, then I went anyway for canned dog food and a brisket (and veggies, salad, and something else) and saw how inexpensive their chickens are (like, $3).

Let me tell you, the smell of a roast chicken in your car when you haven’t eaten solid food in 3 days is maddening.

For lunch, I was going to make the soup and then eat it, figuring a carrot soup must be food for you, even if it’s not raw.  But I was starving (starving!) so I had the spring rolls I picked up from the special vendor display at Costco. Never ever eat spring rolls that haven’t been freshly prepared when you order them.  They sit out for the briefest amount of time and the wrapper gets hard and chewy.  I ended up eating the insides and giving the wrappers to the chickens.  I also picked up tuna and salmon nigiri because it was super cheap and I love salmon.  It was okay – the tuna was stingy but the salmon was good.  Not as good as Poway Sushi Lounge’s salmon and not as good as Ichizen for the price.

I also ate some chicken skin and the wings as I shredded the meat into a container for later.  Then I made the soup, which is good and will be handy for work lunches this week.

My wedding dress arrived, and they were able to squeeze me in for a fitting.  Well, they said I could come in and just try it on, but it turned into an actual fitting.  The dress fits – it zips up – but it took some wrangling!  The cute little old seamstress told me to drink more hot tea, don’t eat bread or sugar, and lose 3 pounds.  So, that’s the plan.

Dinner with Cami at The Lincoln Room – their happy hour (5-7p m every day) is pretty awesome.  We had some shrimp, deviled eggs, and deconstructed pizza.  Yes, I ate some bread, but it was flat bread.  And really tasty.

And then I came home and ran on the treadmill.

Sunday morning, I was back up 2 pounds, so I think most of the weight I “lost” on the juice cleanse was really more like water weight.  Especially since it didn’t really drop any inches.

I like the idea of cramming a bunch of veggies into your day and it was super easy to just drink the juices all day long.  I never felt sluggish or got a headache, but at the end I didn’t really feel refreshed.  It DID make me think about what I wanted to eat afterwards and it kind of makes you conscious of the food you put in your mouth.  If it had shrunk some inches off, I would do it again if I needed to.  However, I would probably look at doing a modified version where you drink juices all day and then eat a vegan-ish dinner.  That would at least give you some chewing food to look forward to at the end of the day.

In the end, I think I’ll just stick with what I’ve been doing all along: lots of veggies, limited red meat, occasional vegetarian dinners.  Occasional tasty splurges like cookies and cake and animal fries from In-n-Out.  Peking duck. Pork belly.  You know, those kind of things.

After the wedding, that is.  For the next month, I’ll be staying away from bread and sugar and trying to lose 3 pounds. I don’t want an 81-year old Chinese seamstress yelling at me!

Ritual Cleanse – Day 3

Last day of drinking nothing but juice!  It was kind of exciting, although I kept thinking about what I was going to eat tomorrow, which just made me want to eat it today.  But, I kept on going and drank my juices as scheduled.  I’m honestly surprised at how not-hungry I’ve felt during this “cleanse”.  I thought I’d be light-headed, cranky, and shaky from not eating (because, let’s face it, you’re only taking in 800-900 calories here) but I’ve been fine.

I haven’t stepped on a scale yet; I figured I’d wait until it’s all done and then see what the final number is.  Same with trying on the tight pants.  No pictures.

I also worked my half day at home, which made it totally convenient for bathroom breaks, but a little harder to stay focused on work.

Nothing new to report, really… the green juices get easier to drink as the days go by.  I mentioned that I haven’t been hungry during this – there was a moment after the third bottle today where my stomach just kept growling, but if I started on Bottle #4 it would mean I’d finish all the bottles too early.  And then, if I got hungry, what would I do?  So, I ate 1/4 of an avocado.  There was half an avocado in the fridge, but I just ate half of that and it seemed to do the trick.  Let me tell you, though, that sliver of an avocado was like eating the best thing in the world.  Which only made me realize how much I love eating food.

Also, just so I could report back to you, I drank the Pre-Shred (carrot, beet, celery, apple, pear) and then attempted to let Jillian Michaels kick my butt.  Now, I like beets, but this was a beety juice.  Also, very sweet.  Halfway through the workout I got really light-headed and dizzy, which is something that sometimes happens if I try to exercise too soon after eating.  I don’t think it’s a result of the juice cleanse itself.  My theory is that there’s so much sugar in the Pre-Shred (carrots and beets and fruit) I had some sort of sugar high and then the exercise just made me all loopy.  I may have been better off not drinking the Pre-Shred.  and possibly just doing some light cardio instead of an intense workout.  Lessons learned.

Afterwards, I drank the cashew drink, having had the almond Post-Shred yesterday (in place of the cashew one).  Technically, I was supposed to finish the cashew drink for today AND the Post-Shred, but that would have been two cashew drinks, which would have been a bit much for me.  So, I just drank the one.  I think it’ll be okay.

Today was easy because I knew what to expect and knew I could get through it (aside from my avocado sliver moment of weakness).  But, it was also the hardest because I was at home, not doing too much in the afternoon, with all this time to kill.  I didn’t have the motivation to leave the house and run errands, and I really didn’t have the will power to do any baking or try new recipes without eating it.

Tomorrow will be my return to solid food.  I’ll let you know how that goes and wrap up some final thoughts on this whole juice cleanse.

Ritual Cleanse – Day 2

Day 2 has been pretty much the same as Day 1. Which means I didn’t take a detailed timeline of what I was doing. I already knew what juices I’d be drinking, so there was no element of surprise in opening a bottle. At lunch, I almost opened Bottle #5 instead of Bottle #3 – ha ha, what a mix-up that would have been! (For those of you not playing at home, Bottle #3 and #5 are both green juices, i.e. they are the same, although Bottle #3 allegedly has ginger in it.)

It was still a long day of work, interspersed with cups of tea, bouts of productivity, and me wearing a jacket on and off. I slept about the same as always the night before, but I woke up 10 minutes before the alarm was set to go off. I blame the Cone of Shame-wearing dog who has been sleeping on the bed and hogging space as well as the kitty who likes to sit on my chest in the wee hours and “knead” with her pointy claws. I’d like to tell you I bounced out of bed and turned the alarm off before it ever sounded, being all full of cleansing energy and whatnot, but I hit the snooze button three times because I just didn’t want to get up. I wasn’t even sleepy, just slightly protesting the fact that I still have to go to work every day to earn a living.

Note to self: resume buying lotto tickets.

And then I had to take the dog in to the vet to get her bandage re-wrapped and her stitches inspected. She’s fine, but she has one more re-wrapping before the stitches come out, so the Cone of Shame will remain in place and I assume she will be sleeping on the bed until it’s off. I can’t be the only one who has been revolutionized by watching Up and totally wishing my dog had a talking collar, right? Lexi would totally be the bossy one with the squeaky voice.

So, recap: Same as Day 1. Green juices getting easier to drink. Not craving food as much, but do find myself thinking of sandwiches and pasta periodically. No headaches or excess yawning. Haven’t tried on any tight clothes, yet (come on, it’s only been 1 day!) I did get a little extra hungry around 2 pm.  I think my stomach figured out I’m shortchanging it on food.

Oh! I meant to try and get a workout in, but I just wasn’t up for it today.  But, I did switch the almond Post-Shred for the cashew drink and I like it much better.  It’s less chewy and less cashew-y.  Also, drinking all your meals means you have a lot of free time leftover.  I’m almost not sure what to do with myself and all this extra time.

In other news, the boys left for bachelor-party-Vegas in the afternoon, leaving me with an entire evening to myself, which I love. Technically, I have the place to myself ALL WEEKEND, which is going to be awesome. I’d say I’m going to party it up and eat tons of the food that Travis doesn’t like, but then I’d be eating red cabbage and radishes, which doesn’t sound like much of a party. At least tomorrow’s Friday!

Ritual Cleanse – Day 1

Why, yes, I am jumping on the juice cleanse bandwagon! No, I didn’t do it because of Charlie Sheen (I actually don’t even know what he’s been saying on anything). It’s been on my radar for a while, especially with the wedding coming up. I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find a blogger who tried it and then said it didn’t work, it tasted awful, you don’t feel better, etc. But all I can really find are people who are raving about it saying their skin was glowing, they had more energy, the juices tasted fantastic, and did they mention how skinny they turned out? Well, there was one girl who said the green juice tasted awful, she didn’t lose any weight, it impinged on her social schedule, and she really didn’t enjoy it at all. I’m kind of inclined to believe her, especially considering our huge fail of a detox cleanse a couple of years ago.

As it goes for a lot of things, I decided to just do it and see for myself. If it does something, great! If not, well, I’ll definitely tell you so. It seems like the choice is either Ritual Cleanse or BluePrint Cleanse. I went with Ritual Cleanse because they’re based in Irvine and deliver to San Diego (although, the shipping cost is the same as the delivery charge, so…) 3 days of juices – green drinks, fruit juices, and a nut-based “juice” – 6 bottles per day.

You’re supposed to prepare for the cleanse by weaning away from caffeine and staying away from processed foods. I did give up coffee this week (subbing in some chai and almond milk), but then it was Fat Tuesday and we had Cajun food for lunch in the office. Then we had dinner at Solare in Point Loma (their pasta dishes are So Good) and I devoured half a lamb shank, some truffled risotto, and possibly most of the “shared” tiramisu. But, hey! At least I gave up coffee.

All 18 bottles (plus 2 workout drinks) showed up on my doorstep in a cute green cooler bag, along with an insulated lunch bag (which fits 6 bottles just perfectly!) I would have taken a picture but I was in a rush to get them in the fridge and clear the counter and whatever. Suffice to say, it was cute and well-organized. Google it and I’m sure a better blogger has taken a picture.

I’m going to keep this running file all day long and let you know what I think of the juices and the process. Because I love you.

Day 1

8:00 am: No coffee, no chai, just a glass of Emergen-C because I can’t figure out if I have a cold or if I’m suffering from some form of allergies that makes me sneeze and blow my nose a lot. I think chugging the Emergen-C has filled me with liquid and it takes a long time to get through Bottle #1 (kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber, celery, green apple, lemon). I also notice that the label under the #1 label says #3. But the #3 bottle says it has ginger instead of lemon. In 2 bottles, we shall see if there’s any taste difference at all. Bottle #1 is a green juice and it tastes green, but mostly just celery and cucumber. I think there’s a bit of sweetness from the apple, but not much. It’s not awful, but it’s certainly not that fun to drink. I finish it around 9 am in the office.

10:30 am: My stomach is a little growly, so I open Bottle #2 (pomegranate, clementine, coconut water). It’s citrusy and pink and tasty. I go through half the bottle and notice my stomach is not growling any more. Yay? I should note that I did the Seasonal Reset, which subs in a seasonal fruit for their “regular” juice. I think this is the seasonal flavor. Bottle #3 is another green one and I think drinking #2 is going to make it hard to switch back to the green stuff. I sip this one over the next hour.

Note to self: do not browse Chowhound while on a juice cleanse.

11:00 am: I am already craving food that requires chewing. This does not bode well.

12:45 pm: I drank a cup of tea to switch things up and am spending a lot of time taking breaks to walk down the hall to the bathroom (not what you think – this is a lot of liquid I’m taking in!) By now, my stomach is grumbling again, although it probably doesn’t realize Bottle #3 is another green one. Otherwise, it might not be so eager. Nonetheless, I open it up and take a few sips. I think this one does have ginger in it. It tastes a little different from the first one (yay?) but is still pretty much celery and cucumber flavored. Maybe more celery than cucumber. It’s still not that bad.

1:30 pm: Green drink is gone; chasing it with another cup of tea (Teavana’s peach blooming tea – not organic, but pretty to look at!)

2:30 pm: My attention span has gone down to nil. I can’t tell if it’s due to only consuming juice all day or if it’s the staring at this stupid long report for hours on end. I’m going to go ahead and blame the report.

2:37 pm: I have created a spreadsheet that shows when I’ve consumed a juice and how many more hours are left in the day to determine when to drink Bottle #4. I assume Bottle #5 (another green mess) will constitute “dinner” and Bottle #6 (the revered cashew drink people seem to love) will function as dessert? Or maybe they flank “dinner time”, in which case I should drink the green one on my way home and then the cashew one a couple of hours after that. Am I spending too much time thinking about this? You bet I am.

4:15 pm: Actually got focused on a work task and totally forgot about whether I was hungry, thirsty, or bored. If I’m going to get through 3 more bottles, it’s time for Bottle #4 (water, lemon, agave, cayenne)! Ack. It’s like a spicy lemon water! I am suspicious that this bottle sounds like the concoction from the weird Master Cleanse you always see on the internet. It kind of burns my tongue a little, but also in that way where I kind of want to keep drinking more. No substance to this bottle – it’s basically flavored water. And, the more I drink, the more my mouth burns. Bottoms up!

4:30 pm: Hmm… I’ve gotten really cold all of a sudden. Did the office AC kick on or is the cayenne doing something weird to me? I’d put my jacket on, but it’s pretty puffy and I might get odd looks.

5:30 pm: Still working. Trying to decide if I should drink the last green drink or skip it, see how hungry I get, and go straight to the cashew bottle. Determine that I should do the program as it’s designed. I’ll probably drink the stupid green one on the way home. Am I not hungry because I’m not hungry, or because I know what’s coming?

6:30 pm: I’m home and have finished the last green drink on the drive in. It wasn’t so bad. Travis heated up leftovers for his dinner and even though it smells good, I’m not really all that tempted to steal off his plate.

7:30 pm: I open Bottle #6 (water, cashews, agave, cinnamon, vanilla) and take a sip.  It’s, uh, chewy.  Slightly sweet and spiced, but kind of chewy from all the ground up cashews.  It’s probably the most substantial drink of my entire day.  I can see how people look forward to it (it almost requires chewing!) but I don’t think I would start craving it.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll switch it out for the almond Post-Shred drink to see if I like that better.

All in all, I made it through Day 1 without any problems.  When my stomach grumbled, I opened a new bottle.  I drank tea in between.  There were some bouts of solid-food cravings, but I didn’t need to dig into an avocado or anything.  No headache, no sluggishness (aside from the normal long-workday tiredness), no issues.  I’m sure quitting coffee a few days earlier helped with that.  I don’t know what else to say – I don’t feel lousy, but I don’t feel super-fantastic, either.  At least I’m not dreading the next two days..

(I should note that I purchased the Reset Cleanse all by myself and am not being compensated in any way by Ritual Cleanse or any other sponsor.)

Trader Joe’s Complete Cleanse

I get enough hits from people looking for information on Trader Joe’s detox kit that it piqued my curiousity.  So, the next time I found myself in Trader Joe’s, I picked one up.  You get 3 containers of pills – fiber, liver, and a “digestive” formula.  The plus side is that you only have to swallow pills; no drinking of funny powders.  The downside is that you may find yourself swallowing up to 8 pills, twice a day.  This may not be a problem for those of you who can swallow more than one pill at a time, but I found it to be a lot of capsules to gulp down.

Now, I admit that I didn’t alter my diet for this “detox”.  I didn’t give up red meat, dairy, sugar, coffee, etc.  Is this why I didn’t feel “cleansed” and totally energized?  Who knows.  I will say that this must be a pretty gentle detox, which is nice if you don’t want to worry about your bathroom schedule.  ‘Nuff said?  Okay.

I also did a little Googling and found claims that people heard other people lost 10 pounds doing this detox (or any detox) for just a couple of weeks.  I didn’t find too many first-person proclamations.  I’ve also come to the conclusion that if you spend 2 weeks eating only vegetables and water and maybe some bread, it’s not far-fetched to except weight to drop off.  You’re not eating much!  If I did that I could drop pounds even without detox pills.  I’d also be hungry and cranky and not much fun to be around.  I don’t buy the hype that you shouldn’t eat solid food while detoxing to give your system a break.  I think your digestive system works whether you’re eating raw carrots or drinking carrot soup.  I’m also skeptical that all the weight you drop with a “proper detox” wouldn’t just come right back after eating your first real meal.  You know, water weight explanation and all.  You certainly couldn’t exercise while on a detox – you’d pass out from lack of calories!  Of course, what do I know.  I’m no expert

So, I have come to the conclusion that the most practical way to lose weight and be healthy is: eat less and exercise more!  Stunning, isn’t it?  Eat a couple of salads, maybe you don’t indulge in a double cheeseburger at every lunch, have some fish (non-fried) for dinner!  Honestly, I find that when we do eat at home, it’s quite often pretty healthy.  I don’t tend to make a lot of fried foods or heavy cream sauces.  I leave those to the restaurant folk, which is why I tend to order those things when we do go out for dinner.  I also tend not to eat salads when eating out because I find them to be boring and if I’m spending money on a meal I want to really enjoy it.  I think an exception to this is the tri tip salad at Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ.  It’s a salad, so you can feel like you’re eating healthy, but it has a good amount of tasty tri tip on top.  Plus, the beans and corn and whatnot sprinkled throughout make it a really tasty dish.  Would I rather have the brisket plate with mac ‘n cheese?  Yes!  I’m just saying that their salad doesn’t make me sad and wishing I had ordered something else.