I’ve always been skeptical of the whole juice detox trend – mostly because it is a trend, and as such it’s become a highly marketable process that utilizes increasingly exotic, sometimes pseudo, super foods, and charges a small fortune for the opportunity to have a miraculous full body rejuvenation. It’s not the actual nutritional quality of these drinks that has me on the fence, it’s the detox via juicing. Want is the actual benefits of juicing food over just eating it? My main question: Wouldn’t I have the same benefits if I just ate these foods in a salad or prepared in some other manner other than juicing/blending? Seems to me the juicing aspects of these cleanses is meant to merely to exoticize already nutrient-dense foods to increase their market value.
A few weekends ago I was eating brunch at Fresh and I noticed their Cold Pressed Juice List. Fresh offers a couple differ options cleanse options with various combinations of their juices. They are not outrageous overpriced ($68/day) considering the high quality and source of the ingredients – but still expensive. I was intrigued. Aside from my skepticism about cleanses, I love juices. I drink smoothies all the time. It’s a convenient way to package a breakfast on the go, and though I often include things like kale, spinach and celery, I also add bananas and peanut butter to enhance the flavour. That’s why Fresh juice list intrigued me. There’s nothing particularly appetizing about a juice made from kale, spinach, parsley, romaine, chard, green apple, lemon, ginger and cayenne. As much as I enjoy and celebrate food, and recognize the pleasure of it, I’m also interested in dietary simplicity – and if it has the ability to keep us grounded, and reaffirm an innate tie to an organic, earthy system. I decided to replicate some of Fresh juices with intention of doing a 3 day juice cleanse. It was a food challenge, to see if I could consume something purely for its nutrients and not for its taste. I lasted until 2pm the first day before I had to eat something. I had a terrible headache, probably just because of the caffeine withdrawal, and thought I was going to pass out from hunger. The juices effectively jump start your metabolism, but also are not particularly dense in calories. As I had already purchased about $100 worth of produce, I continued on with the juices, but as a supplement to regular meals, which I think is a better and healthier way to consume these beverages. I did, in fact, feel infinitely healthier, sharper, and more energetic after about a week of regularly drinking these juices, when they were paired with food.
I used a blender instead of a juicer, so there was also lots of pulp, and I even drank some of it. I deserve bonus points for that.
Kale, spinach, parlsey, romaine, chard (I left out the chard), green apple, lemon, ginger, cayenne
This is the most intense of the drinks. It takes a while to get use to the taste, which although faint, is predominantly that of the kale and parsley but after a few days of drinking it, I actually started to enjoy it. It has a slightly salty taste. I also add a fair amount of water to blend it properly, so that diluted the taste quite a bit. If you leave the veggies to soak in the water for a bit after blending, the nice and mild saltiness has time to circulate into the water.
Kale, spinach, cucumber, mint, cilantro, green apple, pineapple. Also added almond milk to blend.
A more easily drinkable and lighter version of the urban detox, that’s flavoured by the pineapple. I actually preferred the Urban Detox. The pineapple leaves a little bit of a pungent aftertaste
Spinach, Parsley, celery, romaine, dandelion (I omitted this), cucumber, lemon, ginger. Also added water to blend.
This was probably my least favourite of the drinks. Without the kale, it loses that little bit of zest and saltiness.
VITAMIN C ELIXIR
Carrot, orange, lemon, green apple, cayenne. I added water to blend.
This one tastes predominantly of carrots, and although I love carrots, I’ve never been able to drink carrot juice. The orange and apple makes it easier to digest and it is pretty pleasant as a cold drink.
Cacao, maca, mesquite (I omitted this), dates, goji berries, raw almonds, hemp hearts.
This, unsurprisingly, was my favorite of the drinks I tried. You get a good mix of the flavours – one ingredient doesn’t overpower the others. The crunch of the hemp hearts is a nice touch. I did get a huge energy boost from this drink (FYI, don’t drink Maca before going to bed – lesson learned the hard way)