Adventures in juicing

I am competitive. I want more energy. I like a challenge. That cake could be pureed, right? These are the phrases I keep repeating to myself as I hit the halfway point of my week-long juice cleanse. Yes I signed up for a juice cleanse. I know I’m sooo trendy.

In reality, my yoga studio was offering a 7-day cleanse this week and I signed up a while back thinking it would be a good way to reset my body after a brief vacation and before the summer got into full swing. What can I say I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch. Plus, if all goes as planned I’d have more energy, sleep better and have shinier hair and nails than all of you within a week. I said I was competitive, remember?

Only problem was I flew in late Sunday evening and wasn’t exactly prepared to start juicing that next morning. And like Jose Conseco claimed, I didn’t really know what this juice plan involved.

I soon learned there were two options: juice or trio. I opted for the trio plan because 1) I am training for a half marathon (timing has never been my thing) 2) It offered a little more variety with a juice, soup and salad option 3) I like to chew things.

What I didn’t realize was that I was missing a few nearly all of the ingredients that said juice cleanse called for. Off to a great start, Sarah.

I don’t have a juicer. And I refuse to buy one seeing as how I hardly have enough room in my kitchen for my kitchenaid, blender, food processor and immersion blender as it is. The cleanse is only 7 days so surely I could experiment with each of these appliances and make it work. Surely.

ok so I didn’t use the crock pot. Not yet anyway

Day 1-7 a.m.–I suck at juicing. Not only do I not have the key ingredient for my morning juice (oranges-derr) but I tried to substitute any other fruit I had on hand in the hopes that it would taste similar. It didn’t. I drank it anyway.

Day 1-noon–At least I’ve got my salad that I carefully prepared this morning. I love salads so this round should be easy. Raw stir fry chopped salad with basil, tons of veggies and a soy sauce dressing. Easy. If I hadn’t have left it sitting in the fridge at home. This cleanse is supposed to help me think more clearly, right? Lord knows I need it.

Day 1-workout–I went to my hot power yoga class and tried to catch up on the things I missed in the pre-cleanse meeting this weekend while I was fighting 6 year-olds for pizza in Minnesota. I found out several people were going juice-only all week long. I suddenly felt better about my choice and was pleasantly surprised at how much energy I had throughout the class, despite dripping enough sweat to fill a PolarPop onto my mat. You can thank me for that mental picture later.

Day 1-8 p.m.–My puppy is sick. Shocker, I know. I feed him some pumpkin. Then I decide to feed myself some too, adding a little cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, honey and cinnamon. It’s not the same as the hot version, but with a broken AC I just pretend I’m dining al fresco and it’s a lovely gazpacho. Despite the fails, I’m only one day in and I already notice a change in my taste buds.

Day 1-sleep–Like a baby. Probably a combo of exhaustion from the weekend, the yoga and the clean eating. Chatted with Ben Affleck in my dream. He was scouting for a movie nearby. I suggested a few restaurants to try, naturally.

Day 2-6:30 a.m.–I really suck at juicing. I just attempted a cucumber ginger juice and proceeded to spray it over my entire kitchen. I had been to the store twice since Sunday (it’s Tuesday) but forgot to buy fresh mint. I stare at the peppermint extract in my cabinet for a good 3 minutes before I place 2 single drops into the juice. Don’t try this at home folks. It’s nothing like fresh mint. Nothing. So long cucumber ginger. Round two was a repeat of the orange julius from the day prior only this time, with oranges.

Day 2-noonish–Oh look, there’s actually a raw stir fry chopped salad in my lunch bag today. Lovely. I can’t get too comfortable though because I’m about to face an afternoon baby shower where there’s an abundance of cake, cake pops, macaroons and chocolate chip cookies. All of which I  visualize being juiced so I can justify eating them. Dear diary: Don’t attend baby showers while on a cleanse.

Day 2-workout-4 mile run. Not too shabby. Any further and I might have run out of gas, but pleasantly surprised at energy level and muscle strength. Digging my new heart rate monitor. I’m looking at you Polar.


Day 2-8 p.m.– I went to the store again. Surely I should have everything I need by now. Made a blackberry and walnut salad with lime zest, honey and ginger. Took a stab at a raw borscht soup. Kitchen actually looked like I stabbed someone once complete. I love beets but the texture was just off. Salad was delicious.

Day 2-sleep–Out like a light until my sick puppy woke me up around 2 a.m. to go outside. Normally I’d feel lethargic and groggy but instead I felt ready for another run. I went back to sleep instead and had a dream that Ray Allen was in my kitchen. Are crazy dreams a side effect?

So here we are at Day 3 and I’m proud to say I don’t suck at juicing. At least not today. I sliced up a fridge full of watermelon, made my juice ahead of time and strained out some of the solids. I’m sure I lost significant nutritional value doing so but my Day 3 morning juice of watermelon, honey, lime and arugula was very light and refreshing.

I repeated the blackberry walnut salad today for lunch and am hoping not to completely ruin my streak with a successful soup for dinner.

I know it seems completely out of line for me to take you through this entire saga without at least offering you a recipe. Bottom line is If I can’t have scones, neither can you. Kidding. Sort of. And while I don’t have any sugary, buttery, carb-centric baked goods to share with you this week (although that sounds just delicious right about now), I do have my only successful juice of the cleanse thus far to offer you. Why not give it a try the next time you are looking to mix things up. Just make sure your nails aren’t shinier than mine or we might have a problem.

just like Jose Conseco

Watermelon (wish it was Jungle) Juice 

  • 4-6 C chopped seedless watermelon (I used less, feel free to use more)
  • 1 C arugula
  • 1/2 lime (peeled)
  • 1 TBL raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Peel the lime. I know it’s weird. I did a double take too. Who peels a lime? It’s always sliced lime or juiced lime or zest? Don’t try and juice that peel. Not that I originally though that was a possibility or anything.

Put all ingredients into a juicer. It’s probably much easier. Otherwise use your food processor and try to learn from the splash marks of yesterday.

If consistency isn’t to your liking, use a sieve to strain off some of the solids. Refrigerate and add vodka enjoy!

Hopefully I’ll have more observations to share for days 4-7. Until then, eat some cake for me.

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