3 Days Cleaner: Juice from the Raw Review

Do you ever get the urge to just not eat for three days? To drink oddly colored vegetable liquid and practically forget what it's like to chew? To act out verbs that usually don't apply to your body, like "cleanse" and "purify" and "health-ify"? 

Cool, me too. Glad we're on the same page here. 

I joke, I joke. More often than you'd expect, though, I do find myself doing juice cleanses. I've done some of the well known ones, like BluePrint, Organic Avenue, and Liquiteria, and I've also  made my own (this Breville 800JEXL juicer is a whiz kid). Now, I know what you're thinking: you have you own juicer and you still bought a cleanse? You lazy little... But! Before you jump to judge, hear me out: buying, cleaning, peeling, chopping, juicing, storing, and transporting your homemade cleanse is a tough task for the work week! So when I saw a Juice from the Raw cleanse on Gilt, I made the impulse click and had it sent my way. 

photo: Juice from the Raw

photo: Juice from the Raw

Since this isn't my first rodeo, I went with the Believer AKA middle of the road cleanse. The juices + my honest opinion on each are:

  1. Detox Greens (apple, cucumber, celery, wheatgrass, dandelion, watercress, wild arugula, lemon, ginger) - spicy from the arugula and a bit strong from the wheatgrass, but I love the ingredients included. Wheatgrass is a powerful detoxifier, watercress is big on Vit K, cucumber and celery are diuretics, dandelion cleanses the liver, and arugula is full of antioxidants. 
  2. Sweet Greens (apple, cucumber, celery, green kale, Swiss chard, romaine, spinach, lemon, ginger) - BOOM greens! it's like a salad mixed with apple and ginger, complete with little pieces of lettuce pulp <-- not my favorite texture, but at least you know it's there?
  3. Pineapple Mint (pineapple, apple, mint) - I will use this as a mixer. Not even kidding, a jigger of white rum, some ice, and a blender = poolside in Vegas drink. In reality, I'll probably just make one and smuggle it into Central Park once it's warm again in like June.
  4. Cayenne Lemonade (water, cayenne, lemon, agave) - tasty! The cayenne was weak sauce, so it was just a really tart lemonade. Supposedly my metabolism was being kicked into high gear with this because cayenne is thermogenic.
  5. Coconut Fusion (coconut water and coconut meat) - this was my absolute least favorite, and I usually love coconut. The slimy thick texture made me want to barf. Just shuddered thinking about it. It was so bad that I spent $12 on a Blueprint Cashew Milk Day 2 instead of drinking this and completely skipped it on Day 3. 

One thing I have to say bugged me is that none of these juices were straight vegetable juice. Detox Greens almost felt like cheating, because the cucumber/celery/wheatgrass was cut with apple  (which is actually listed as the first ingredient, even worse). When I've been labeled A Believer, I want to be treated like one. Hit me with the spinach and skip the coconut, ya dig?

Close up on The Nemesis

Close up on The Nemesis

Juice from the Raw cold presses all of their juices. This is super awesome because the vegetables' nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and good earthy feelings aren't being blasted by the heat of a typical juicer. They flash freeze their raw juices immediately after processing so that the nutrients are maintained. This is different from BluePrint, who changed its methods after the Hain Celestial acquisition and now has cold pressed juices that somehow stay fresh for 2-3 weeks refrigerated... I'm not saying hidden preservatives or pasteurization, but hidden preservatives or pasteurization (end hippie conspiracy theory).

Now that we have the basics, on to the actual day-to-day!

My desk for three days

My desk for three days

Day 0: Defrost 6 juices for the next day. Note, this will take 4-5 hours and leave water all over your desk. Once largely liquid, stick them in the fridge for the morning. 

Day 1: Hungry all damn day. Recommended juice timing was one per 2-3 hours, and I was drinking at the 2:01 mark. I was also freezing (a trend that would continue through the entire cleanse), so layering proved essential. Besides one short light-headed spell in the afternoon, no other physical symptoms like nausea or headache  that I usually deal with on cleanses.

Day 2: Down 0.6 pounds, which is less than usual, so I upped my water intake during the day. As I mentioned earlier, I also could not stand the idea of another Coconut Fusion so I subbed in a BluePrint Cashew Milk (amazing and delicious, like a cinnamon vegan milkshake). My only other note from Day 2? "The really gross part about the juices that is unique to this cleanse is the large pieces of pulp (i.e. kale and spinach) that remain in the juice. It all settles at the bottom, so I end up take that last swig like a shot." Pretty much sums it up! 

Day 3: Down 2.6 pounds. I unfortunately forgot to get the juices out of the freezer until late in the afternoon on Day 2 - maybe add spaciness to the list of side effects - so none of them were defrosted until noon. I drank Detox and Pineapple at the same time because the hangery was real. I also spent much of Day 3 counting down until the morning of Day 4; this is not normal for me on a juice fast, and had me a little concerned about the nutritional values of the juices. I think it's important to listen to your body, and I was worried that I was still getting such clear hunger signals 3 days in? Still, I was so close that I decided to tough it out.

Day 4: Down 1.2 pounds. No caffeine, no alcohol, but return to clean, single ingredients foods!

If you made it through that long-winded monologue, I'm impressed and you get a gold, scratch-and-sniff-smells-like-green-juice star. To sum it all up, 

Weight: -4.4 pounds

Cost: Regular $195, $89 with promo code 89DOLL, plus $29 shipping

Rating: 3/5

Bottom line: While I would say that I feel cleaner, defrosting the juices for 4-5 hours is a pain, and I want more vegetable juices in the lineup. Great nutritional benefits, though, and the cold pressed raw juice is high quality.

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Reading List: November/December

I am a huge fan of the New York Public Library. With 87 branches and more than 53 million items, its the second largest in the country behind the Library of Congress. I can borrow physical books as well as ebooks, which really helps me cover my literary bases and access titles quickly. There are also frequent events - book groups, author talks, exhibitions, activities for kiddos - at various locations that are open to the public. 

My favorite part of the system, as unsexy as it is, is the efficiency. I request a book online to a specific library location, confirm the request, and receive an email as soon as it's at the desk. If using a tablet or phone, I simply request the download and have it automatically delivered to my device. Ta dah! Efficient amazingness!

It will come as no surprise, then, that I have checked out all* of this month's books from the library. Looking forward to starting in on the stack!

* Honesty note: all but one. Critical Conversations is part of my work's Book Club and is now a permanent part of my library.

November 2014 Book List

1. Tell the Wolves I'm Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt

Amazon Rating: 4.4/5

Genre: Fiction

Set in the midst of the late 1980s AIDS epidemic, the story is of a girl dealing with the loss of her uncle to the disease. As she drifts apart from her family, she finds understanding and friendship in her uncle's partner as they begin to navigate life without their common key player. 

2. Casebook, by Mona Simpson

Amazon Rating: 3.7/5

Genre: Fiction

A family drama, as told through the perspective of a boy intent on discovering his mother's personal life. He ends up learning more than he had originally planned, and finds deeper insight on his parents and himself in the process.  

3. The Fever, by Megan Abbott

Amazon Rating: 3.3/5

Genre: Fiction

Teenage girls are getting sick in a small town, and no one has an explanation. Honestly, I picked this one up because I like Megan Abbott (not because the plot line seems especially compelling), and am regretting the decision having read through some of the reviews. Oh well!

4. Blindness, by José Saramago

Amazon Rating: 3.9/5

Genre: Fiction

A 1998 Noble prize winner, Blindness is regarded as one of the preeminent explorations into epidemics and the devolution of man in times of hardship. After a mysterious white blindness spreads among a city, a doctor, his wife, and a small crew they've assembled navigate the new world of basic human instinct to which their city has been reduced.

I consider white blindness to be ebola-adaptable.

5. Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler, and Roppe

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Nonfiction - Interpersonal Relations

As I mentioned earlier, this book is a part of my work book club. I'm excited about this pick! Persuasion and negotiation is a critical part of any business deal, and tips I can glean from this highly regarded text will be helpful for both professional and personal use.