If you follow me @thisisgrounded, you already know that juice cleansing is not part of my regular wellness routine. Until last week, I had never even done a juice cleanse. Strange, I know, given I make my living in the wellness space. As a holistic health coach, passionate about wellness, I generally eat whole and clean, know how to hit the reset button if I overindulge and believe in a sustainable lifestyle over radical diets and extreme food trends. I also really like to eat and don’t see much virtue in feeling hungry or deprived. But then I met Darleen Gross, Culinary Director at Organic Pharmer and former personal chef to Gwyneth Paltrow. DArleen and her husband Lee Gross were also part of the team that brought M Cafe , LA's award-winning macrobiotic restaurant to life. After getting to know Darleen, and learning more about Organic pharmer and her thoughts on cleansing, I decided to give juicing a try.
Why? Because the Organic Pharmer Juice Cleanses were created by Darleen under the guidance of Dr. Susan Blum, a leader in the field of functional medicine and the founder of The Blum Center, a functional medical practice in Rye Brook, NY. This is a big plus in my book because it means that each cleanse adheres to the highest standards of functional medicine. All the ingredients are certified organic or locally sourced organic and Darleen has also added botanical infusions, increasing the efficacy and functionality of each juice. I like that each cleanse includes two protein shakes and an infused almond milk to deliver the protein, fiber and healthy fats your body needs to feel it’s best, keep blood sugar steady and quell hunger.
So - with all this in mind, I signed on for Organic Pharmer’s 3 Day Cleanse which actually consists of three discrete one-day cleanses, each one designed with a different function in mind.
First up, Beauty, a cleanse jam packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients to fight free radical damage, stress and signs of aging. I believe that healthy, glowing skin begins on the inside, so this cleanse really spoke to me. The jewel-toned juices, nut milk and protein shakes were as beautiful as they were delicious and they helped keep me fueled and satisfied throughout the day and evening.
Second in line, Liver Love, a cleanse designed to support liver health and aid in the detoxification process by delivering a powerful mixture of liver loving nutrients and antioxidants. This day of the cleanse was notable for an additional green juice and ginger shot, both said to aid in the liver’s detoxification process. Since the liver is the main detox organ in our body, responsible for metabolizing environmental toxins, pesticides and even heavy metals, I felt this cleanse could be helpful as it’s impossible to avoid all the toxins lurking in our environment.
Last, but not least was the Reboot cleanse, designed to help press the reset button, eat better and set you up for more mindful food decisions going forward. I found this cleanse to be the easiest and most satisfying, maybe because my body had adjusted to a liquid diet by Day 3 or maybe because it included a protein shake that tasted suspiciously like a rich and creamy chocolate milkshake. Whatever it was, I felt fueled, satisfied and relaxed on this cleanse. No headaches. No unmanageable hunger. No fatigue. No cravings.
Once it ended – I was glad I tried the 3 Day Juice Cleanse. I gave my body and digestive system a break, taking all the inflammatory foods out of my diet for a full 72 hours. My skin is clear and hydrated. I feel lighter in my body. And the best part? I flooded my system with a ton of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Now that I have had a successful experience, I do believe there is a time and place for a juice cleanse. To start - you should ask yourself why you want to do one in the first place? Just like any overly restrictive diet or food trend, cleansing for the wrong reasons or as part of a binge/reset cycle can lead to disordered, unhealthy eating. As a health coach, I want to help you ditch the drama around food and dieting and replace it with a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that empowers you to make strong food/health choices that support and enhance your overall well-being. I believe cleanses work best when done within this framework and can be an important part of a holistic lifestyle approach to health.