A DAILY DETOX FOR THOSE ON-THE-GO
Story by Odessa Paloma Parker
Now that the holidays are a mere memory recounted through discarded gift receipts and excessive amounts of chocolate stashed in cupboards, most of us are ready to get back on track; our resolutions are set, we’re back at work and ready to push on through 2012 with fresh expectations.
I heard about the Total Cleanse just before Christmas and immediately my interest was piqued because, quite frankly, I find cleanses intriguing. To reset, recharge and simplify – all things my life could definitely use – are what most cleanse and detox programs promise. But to me, the challenge of resisting food (to me an unrelenting temptation on most days) and replacing it with juicy concoctions instead is just an interesting notion. A cleanse is a test of willpower, and since I usually have none, I’m always curious to see how I’ll ultimately fare.
I signed up for a 2-day “Energizing Cleanse”, comprised of 12 pre-packaged bottles (at 6 bottles a day) meant to “provide you with an efficient balance of nutrients which will detoxify your body making you feel energized all day”, according to their website. Marketed as their “gateway” cleanse, I figured I could manage two days without blessed burgers and pasta and cheese.
My bottles arrived late in the evening and were dropped at my door – two camera bag-sized packs filled with my daily brews. Since I work from home the cute packaging was just a bonus, but for those who trek to a job each day, the ability to grab-and-go heightens the convenience (and in my opinion, incentive to continue the cleanse). The packs are picked up on a designated day, which is communicated to you in the Total Cleanse Guide which you receive as an email after ordering your cleanse.
The convenience factor, I feel, is important to highlight. I once attempted the “Master Cleanse” which ended on the fourth day, when, found on a Sunday without the distraction of work, I had a complete breakdown watching the movie The Hours and ate a box of cereal while crying. Having to mix together the ingredients every day was a chore I came to resent, on top of the underlying resentment of not being able to eat what I wanted, when I wanted. The pre-packaged Total Cleanse bottles were ready to go, and their individual portion sizing was also helpful in keeping my cravings at bay. Having the power to segment when I consumed was extremely helpful, where with the “Master Cleanse”, having just a giant jug to drink from was not.
So, how did it all go? Pretty well, I’d say. My energy level didn’t lag at any point, even though I’m usually craving a nap around 3PM regardless of what I’ve done that day. I generally felt better – a little lighter in my step and my head felt clearer. I only felt hungry when I saw or smelled food, which indicates to me an interesting premise that perhaps our eating habits are like many of our other ones – urgent only when the opportunity is around.
Another benefit to the cleanse was my willingness to drink water throughout the day – something my husband will attest to as anomalous. My dislike of water has unknown roots, but, wanting to adhere to the guidelines of the cleanse (during which I was allowed to consume water and herbal teas along with my daily juices) I forged ahead, and eventually found it kind of pleasant.
I’m a very thin person, so my attempt at this cleanse was not as one to lose weight, and after two days I didn’t really notice a difference around my waist. That’s not to say it wouldn’t happen (results vary for everyone, like with most things in life) but I’m ultimately glad I didn’t have that expectation. I did, however, notice a difference in my mood, and in the days following the cleanse I’ve continued to feel upbeat and also not entirely interested in the junky foods that usually linger in my mind when I’m watching television, eating in a restaurant, etc. There are other cleanse programs offered (the “Purify Cleanse”, for example) which would be better suited to those trying to manage their weight.
Each cleanse program comes with designated juices to consume, but ultimately the Total Cleanse offers the following flavours of which I had all but one: Green Energy (which consists of cucumber, celery, kale, lettuces, parsley, lemon, apple, romaine lettuce); Lemonade (which consists of lemon, cayenne, maple syrup, filtered water and tasted identical to the mixture for the “Master Cleanse”); Very Berry (strawberry, pineapple, blueberry, apple, lemon); Creamy Cashew Milk (Cashew nuts, vanilla, honey, filtered water); and Coconut Water (Coconut fruit, filtered water). I can say for all but the Coconut Water, which wasn’t included in my cleanse, that the tastes were pleasant and not overpowering, and the schedule with which I drank them suited how I was feeling at those particular times (Green Energy in the morning gave me a boost, while Very Berry in the afternoon was like a sweet treat). You can also order your own mixture of flavours outside of packaged cleanses, if you so desire.
The price of the cleanse I did, considering how much juices cost at various places around the city, is pretty fair – for two days the cost is $100 and considering everything you need is given directly to you, you’re paying that little extra for extreme convenience. (Full disclosure: I was given the samples for free to try them out – the perks of being an editor). And because I didn’t expect to have any drastic changes occur aside from re-setting my food cravings and a general improvement in my mood and how I felt, it was a successful outcome. Given the description of the “Energize Cleanse” on their website, the Total Cleanse definitely delivered (pun intended).
I’d like to try the cleanse again, maybe in 6 months or a year, as another challenge to my willpower and adjustment to my energy. If you’re interested in doing the same, trying out the “Energize Cleanse” would be a good place to start.