Gorgonzola. Gruyère. Stilton. Visions of cheese are dancing through my head, and it’s only the first afternoon of my three-day juice cleanse. I sigh, sip green tea, and glower at my computer screen. T-minus one hour until my squeezed-carrot-and-orange “snack.” Yes, juice fasts, which are already hot in New York and Los Angeles and endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek, have landed in Boston. Nourish Your Soul juice bar opened in West Medford earlier this summer, and the famed BluePrintCleanse is now available at area Whole Foods. And since January, Institute for Integrative Nutrition alum Rebecca Ferrel has been using a hydraulic press in Weymouth to turn fresh fruits and veggies into liquid meals for the Ripe Stuff, her new line of juice blends.
As a lifestyle editor, I’m especially prone to overindulgence (see: our recent beer and burger issues). But it was two ale-and-barbecue-filled weekends — Figawi in Nantucket and my 30th birthday — that sent me scrambling for Ferrel’s wares. She claims that a liquid diet lets your digestive system rest and your body focus on fighting toxins — something it’s already designed to do — and will deliver a daily regimen of six juices, amounting to about 1,200 calories, to your door.
Dr. Donald Levy of Brigham and Women’s tells me that, in general, short cleanses and fasts that provide appropriate nutrition are a safe and healthy way to jump-start a long-term shift in eating habits. Ferrel makes a similar point: When you overload your system with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and vital nutrients for three days, that’s what you start to crave.
I know I’ll never jones for green juice in the morning. All kale and no coffee makes me a very cranky girl. Yet aside from the caffeine withdrawal and having to pass up Sam Adams at a Sox game, I enjoyed the experiment. I don’t often pause during the workday, but on the cleanse, I was constantly gauging my hunger level. I was more satisfied than I thought I’d be. (I did cheat with a celery stick and looked forward to the allowed-for late-night almond milk, if only for the nut flecks.) And although I’ve already gained back two of the four pounds I lost from the reduced caloric intake, I’m now more mindful of what I consume at mealtime. Just don’t expect me to part ways with Parmesan again anytime soon.
$170 for a three-day cleanse delivery; The Ripe Stuff, theripestuffcleanse.com.