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Juiced up 

Lindsay Raining Bird tries out liquid breakfast, lunch and dinner.

click to enlarge juice-cleanse.gif

The day before you start a juice cleanse you think the craziest thoughts, like "this is going to be so easy" in between shovel-bites of spinach and cheese ravioli pesto. Almost everything sounds like a good idea three weeks from having to go through with it, and this was no exception. To be fair, the holidays had left me feeling a little heavier than usual and something had to break the chocolate-cheese cycle so here I was, buying produce by the cartful and hoping for the good skin and energy a good "DIY juice cleanse" Google had promised me.

Day 1

Fresh as a daisy on my first day back from vacation I spent the morning fantasizing about pastry and preparing my first three drinks–two green smoothies of kale, spinach, kiwi, green apple and banana and a ubiquitous beverage simply labelled "special lemonade"–which I can only imagine wasn't named "surprise, bowels!" because that would scare beginners off.

Sucking back water and energy tea between juices ensured the work bathroom was my BFF and I felt mostly jazzed all day until I walked in my apartment door at 5:30pm and fell into a coma. Refreshed from my two hour nap I "drank" (and by that I mean tasted and then poured out) an overly acidic pineapple-apple concoction that I simply couldn't stomach followed quickly by another green smoothie which I could. At 9pm I finished off my "dessert" cashew milk smoothie (delicious!) and went happily to bed. So easy! I could do this cleanse forever!

Day 2

I woke bright and early, full of energy, from the most vivid apocalypse dream ever and proceeded to juice away in anticipation of the day. Not my usual crabby morning troll self, I whistled my way to work while brain-humping thoughts of sprinkled strawberry-filled doughnuts and was mostly OK until I had to drink a beet-carrot-cucumber concoction which wasn't much different from eating root vegetables out of the ground and trying to smile about it.

My co-workers, the sweeties, left a bar of chocolate in the kitchen and I almost murdered them all. I was so alert and full of liquid all day that I skipped my third green smoothie and went straight for the cashew milk after which I happily passed out.

Day 3

Another night of fully rested sleep (and cashew milk-induced dreams) gave way to what beauty bloggers might call radiant skin which could be juice-induced but might just be what happens when you don't stay up until 4am Googling unsolved murders.

Clear skin aside, day three of a juice cleanse is basically purgatory for your stomach, the cravings were OUT OF CONTROL sugar, salt, carbs? Who cares just get in my mouth! But I managed to pull myself through (despite co-worker Munchies-attempted sabotage) out of sheer stubbornness. At one point I started to believe I was developing super powers as I slowly sipped from my juice bottle while being able to individually smell each ingredient of the Party Mix from across the room.

The only casualty that day was my soul.

Day 4

In an effort to fast-forward the last day of juice hell I slept in till noon then chased sleep with green smoothies. Everything was a blur and in a state of giddy no-fucks-giving I terminated my cleanse early the way all good days should end–at Salvatore's with a Miguel pizza and Greek salad in front of you and a delicious frosting-covered doughnut winking your name in the distance.

After weighing myself post-cleanse, I'd lost almost seven pounds and could fit into a jacket that had been too tight only a few weeks ago. Along with clearer, brighter skin, more restful sleep and energy I could almost see myself trying this again someday if I put more research into tastier drinks.

How well do you think cheeseburgers blend?

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