My daughter has a knack for making me do things I wouldn’t choose to do myself. Perhaps it’s because she was unexpected at birth (I came from a family of five boys and already had two sons of my own). Perhaps because as a kid, she could scrunch up her face and use her best sweet-little-girl voice whenever she wanted something. Maybe it really began by relenting to little Girl Scouts and their boxes of cookies at my front door. Whatever the reason, my daughter still finds a way, even as an adult in her mid-twenties. And that is why I’m commencing a three-day juice cleanse tomorrow morning.
Cleanse. The word scares me a little. I think of those whirly scrubbing-bubble characters on TV, dashing around the bathtub disinfecting away soap scum. Or I think about SOS pads and their steel-wool grittiness. Is this simply a short-term liquid diet, or am I on the verge of a full-on purge?
My box-o-cleanse arrived last night; a liquid-brick wrapped carefully inside a foil space blanket. I opened the container to find twenty-four intimidating 16 oz. bottles staring up at me. I swear they were grinning. They looked like they couldn’t wait to get out of their box, sprout their scouring brushes, and commence the cleaning. Each bottle contains a different colored concoction, labeled rather impersonally. Greens 3. Roots 1. Citrus 2. I’ll drink one of these little guys every two hours in the waking hours of the next three days, chasing their green goop with a similarly-sized bottle of “Chlorophyll” water or “Aloe-Vera” water. Chlorophyll? Aloe Vera? I feel like a plant already.
I can’t claim to be surprised by the contents of my box-o-cleanse. Just last week I visited one of the labs – er, retail outlets – for a sample of these products. Pressed Juicery, with locations close to the coasts and Hawaii, sells cold-pressed, 100% fruit & vegetable concoctions; all ingredients non-GMO. I tried one of their delicious coconut-cinnamon drinks… and that was my mistake. P.J. lures you in with mild, decent-tasting options like coconut and cinnamon. Then they gently suggest you consider a cleanse. My daughter wanted to try one, and I was only too happy to foot the bill (these drinks ain’t cheap). I figured Colorado was a safe distance from the cleansing craze, so my only involvement would be with my wallet. Wrong-o. P.J. is happy to overnight their products to just about anywhere. Thus my twenty-four cleanse bottles mock at me today, anticipating tomorrow’s cleaning kick-off.
If I stepped back and gave Pressed Juicery a hard look, I might have used my better judgement, turned, and fled. The retail outlets abound with stark-white surfaces and plate glass. The employees dress in uniforms intimidating enough to double as lab coats. The products emerge from a dark, back wall refrigerator, pre-assembled and ready to consume. For some reason “drinking the Kool-Aid” just came to mind. Gulp.
P.J. describes their juice cleanses with a selection of unnerving words. Reboot. Fresh Start. Body Do-Over. Cue a bout of mild nausea. Am I going to be more intimidated by a) the taste of “four pounds of fresh produce in every juice” or b) what those four pounds will do to my insides? Will my body a) turn green and sprout shirt-ripping muscles like “The Incredible Hulk”, or b) reduce to a puddle (think “Wicked Witch of the West”) through non-stop visits to the toilet?
My daughter is already halfway through her own three-day P.J. cleanse. She claims she’s never hungry, feels really healthy, and only misses “the act of chewing”. But she also admits to gagging trying to get a bottle of “Roots 2” down (she recommends shot-glassfuls).
If I’m still around next week, you can count on a post-cleanse blog report. If I’m not, Lord help me for never saying no to my daughter’s ideas.