Our white jeans were starting to feel a little snug after a few months of margaritas and guacamole, so someone in the office (not naming names — though she outs herself here) had the idea to try a group juice cleanse. Style Director Andrea Lavinthal (who had done a three-day juice cleanse before), style news editor Alex Apatoff (who thought cleanses of any kind were stupid) and associate editor Brittany Talarico (a cleanse newbie but with some Goop-approved experience) embarked on the cleanse together. The juice cleanse of choice: Suja, which is based out of San Diego and sold online and at Whole Foods. Below, read their diaries — and tell us your own cleanse experiences in the comments!
Andrea: I got off to a rocky start since I hadn’t slept the night before and was desperate for a cup of (strictly forbidden) coffee. After a few guilty sips, I swapped it in favor of the first juice, the awesome-tasting green blend Glow. I had barely finished the bottle when it was time for the second juice. By lunchtime I was so distracted by my constant need to pee that I didn’t feel hungry. That changed at 4 p.m. when I started hallucinating candy bars. At 8 p.m. I chugged the milkshake-like Vanilla Cloud flavor and felt totally satiated. Cheats: Half an avocado (technically allowed!), a few flax crackers (not allowed) and some watermelon (probably not allowed)
Alex: Suja advises you to ease into the cleanse with clean eating a few days before. I spent all weekend housing fried food and beer in Nashville, so I was already failing big time. Though I felt okay all day, by dinner I knew I couldn’t consume one more sweet liquid, so I had half the green juice and then got my favorite kale salad. I still needed to chew more, so I got a carrot too. Cheats: Kale salad, carrot
Brittany: In the spirit of being honest, I did not prep my body for this cleanse, spending the weekend at Jersey Shore indulging in a lobster feast and tons of barbecue. So by my second juice of the day (the carrot-based Fuel), I felt ravenous. Luckily, I had Alex and Andrea for moral support and finished out the day at work without a slip-up (despite the cupcakes eyeing me from the giveaway table). Cheats: Nada, though I was in bed by 9 p.m. to avoid eating a whole bag of Stacy’s pita chips.
Andrea: While Brittany and Alex seemed to have adapted to their liquid-only diets, I’m hate-drinking my umpteenth bottle of green juice while staring at the avocado I brought to work in case of an emergency. I made it through the day with just a few small cheats, but then I had to go to my BFF’s birthday dinner. I had planned to stick to just juice, but then I remembered I have no willpower and after that first bite of bread I was a goner. Cheats: Half an avocado, a mini blueberry granola bar and oh yeah, dinner with two glasses of wine.
Alex: This was my hardest day. I woke up headache-y (and cursed my inability to drink coffee) and felt sluggish and irritable all day. The juices are seriously delicious so I looked forward to each one, but I still wanted something savory to break it up. I caved and got miso soup (horror!) but that wasn’t enough to pick me up. I left dinner early and was completely unconscious by 9:30. Cheats: Miso soup, raw vegetables
Brittany: Maybe it’s because I got 10 hours of sleep the night before, but I even had energy to hit the gym before work! (Okay, that’s a white lie, but I did contemplate it before hitting my snooze button.) My high-on-juice buzz lasted until about 4 p.m. when it was time for the Fiji green juice. But I managed to get it down while the rest of my coworkers were drinking champagne and eating crumpets in honor of the royal baby. It also didn’t help that the guy sitting next to me on the subway had McDonald’s French fries. Cheats: I wanted to inhale an avocado, but the one I had at home went bad. So I snacked on some watermelon (bold, I know!) and than happily imbibed my Vanilla Cloud before passing out once around 9 again.
Andrea: I woke up bloated and ashamed. I didn’t feel like I deserved the beautiful bottles of juices waiting for me in the fridge. But didn’t want the cleanse to be a total wash so decided to drink them instead of snacking on pretzels, candy and other unhealthy treats the rest of the week. Cheats: N/A
Alex: I don’t know if it was the 10 hours of sleep or what, but I woke up feeling awesome. I had plenty of energy, didn’t feel as hungry as the two days before and didn’t crave anything unhealthy. But I had plans to meet a friend at a Korean restaurant for dinner, so I figured “What the hell,” and got bibimbap. This morning I’m definitely paying for it — lesson learned. Cheats: Bibimbap. Fine, and a beer.
Brittany: By this point, the juices started to feel like a normal routine. But as the day progressed, I started craving a salad with all the fixings and my Green Supreme was hard to finish, but I managed. When I got home, my boyfriend was chowing down on a BLT, and the apartment filled with the glorious aroma. I knew I was almost there, and he was very supportive in my efforts to not cheat. So I sipped away on my Vanilla Cloud and distracted my hunger pains with some reality TV. Cheats: A few cubes of watermelon.
Andrea: The absolutely delicious Vanilla Cloud blend which I will happily have in place of dessert any night.
Alex: All the juices taste awesome (my favorite is probably Fiji) and it truly did motivate me to eat more virtuously. I lost a few lbs too, but may have anyway after that Nashville binge.
Brittany: I lost about five pounds, and I’m not gonna lie, it feels good. But not as good as carbs taste.
Least favorite part?
Andrea: The hunger and the constant bathroom trips.
Alex: How sluggish and exhausted I felt by 4:00 p.m.
Brittany: I’m with Andrea — getting up from my desk to use the bathroom every five seconds was a drag. And I felt colder than usual in our offices.
Would you do it again?
Andrea: Not a full cleanse, but drink Suja juices? Yes! In fact, I’m sipping on one right now!
Alex: Only if I was peer pressured again. I missed food textures. But I’d happily drink any of these juices as a meal substitute if I was looking to shape up.
Brittany: To prep for a big event, like my wedding one day, yes. Other than that, I don’t think I’ll be joining any “Juice Cleanse of the Month” clubs. But I’ll definitely incorporate some of these tasty Suja flavors (Purify’s a fave) into my diet!