Blueprint Cleanse: A Foodie Goes on the Juice(s)

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Photo by Riki Altman
One day's worth of pleasure or pain?
​It all started with some kale salad at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Why I wanted a sample of the stuff when I had spent the last hour engorging on steak, Jelly Bellys, vodka samples, and brownies still remains a mystery. Perhaps my gluttony became blinding and my search became more about quantity than desirability.

Combined with tahini, raw apple cider vinegar, wheat-free tamari and some other totally healthful ingredients, the marinated kale from the Blueprint Cleanse table really didn't taste too bad. And it got me thinking about just how bad my eating has been recently. I had been on a "see-food" diet for way too long and my body needed to be purified. So I took info from the table about the company's three-day juice cleanse...

...and promptly forgot about it.

But when I saw company reps again at a grand opening party last month for Exhale, the spa at Epic, guilt set in. And so did the curiosity. Would a cleanse work for me? Can a hypoglycemic foodie go without dining on animal flesh for three solid days?

As I decided to embark on the journey, a nutritionist I know went on the company's website and remarked, "Ah. They're taking away protein. You're going to be getting some minerals, but not a lot of nutrition. I call this a depletion. Hmm. I don't know about this one." My chiropractor told me I'd probably get the flu shortly afterward, stating that I'd be cleaning out too much of the good stuff in my system and leaving myself unprotected. Not exactly the way I wanted to go about becoming a less toxic, slimmer, sexier Riki.

But for the sake of science, and since I felt a little break from my eating obsession wouldn't hurt, I decided to go for it. The company promptly sent me an e-mail describing how I had to prep for the experience. Prep? Yep. For three days prior, I had to wean myself off red meat, alcohol, dairy products, breads, and sugar. What did that leave? Leafy greens, vegetable broth, poached fish here and there, the occasional fruit, and four tablespoons of brown rice if I was really starving and desperate. And lots of water with lemon and green tea. Yuck.

So it was a relief when those three packs of juices arrived at Exhale yesterday (the only pickup location in the entire state, unless folks want to pay extra and have it delivered to their door). They came in a FedEx shipment tucked in insulated purple lunch bags, six bottles per, ranging in color. No more shopping, cooking, or doing dishes for the next three days. Woo hoo! 

The system I'm trying, the three-day Renovation cleanse, typically costs $225. The company justifies the price by explaining that one day's worth of juices comprises 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables, put through a hydraulic press. Plus there's the whole shipping and time-savings thing factored in. I was offered the cleanse gratis, along with unlimited aerobic and yoga classes at Exhale for all three days and a one-hour consultation with a nutritionist. 

A one-hour long phone call with Exhale's certified holistic health coach Autumn Raab, left me with the following highlights:
  • This experience will teach me the importance of food, and will leave me with better blood circulation and more energy
  • I shouldn't feel hungry at any time. Instead, I'll feel so energized that I might want to continue the cleanse for a few days longer. (Yeah, we'll see about that!)
  • Cleanses are great for people with digestive problems and emotional issues. (What's she suggesting, huh?)
  • I should try to exercise all three days. (I'll fill you in on each class I took as I go along.)
  • Springtime is perfect for a cleanse since it's a time for evolution. Agreed.
  • I can get the flu, lose muscle, and have reactions caused by withdrawal. Fingers crossed I don't experience any of the aforementioned.
I plan to begin sipping my breakfast for the first time in just a few minutes. Stay tuned for tomorrow's report to hear how those juices taste and how I survived the day. If I do survive.
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