The Juice Cleanse: Harmful toxins or common sense?


We’ve all heard the horror stories of what sounds like a torture technique when rolled off the tongue – a “juice cleanse.” I was incredibly curious about these miracle juice cleanses that gorgeous celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Sofia Vergara were touting. I had been a vegan for three years in high school, but decided to take time off from veganism when I entered my freshman year of college. At the end of that first year, I realized it was time for me to return to a healthy lifestyle. However, I found myself so addicted to the foods I had come to love over the course of my time at college that I couldn’t figure out how to get plant-based produce back into my life.

Over the summer, my friend and I found ourselves wanting to clear any toxins and destructive additives found in processed foods from our bodies. We decided to complete a juice cleanse. My friend did his for one week (and I’m pretty sure he cheated somewhere in there) and I completed mine for one month before I returned to school.

We drank juices that consisted of 80% vegetable matter and 20% fruit. I bought a cheap juicer at Walmart and we made all of the drinks ourselves. Whenever we didn’t have time to prepare our health serums, we would run out to Starbucks and pick up an Evolution juice, which is comprised of the same vegetable to fruit ratio.

I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. The first day was bad, but the second and third days were torturous. I felt hungry all the time. Believe me when I say that you have no idea what true hunger is until you go three days without eating. But by the fifth day, the hunger was gone. I wasn’t constantly thinking about grilled cheese. A feeling of serene peace and endless calm enveloped me. I suddenly found myself with so much more time on my hands now that I wasn’t constantly eating. You learn so much about desires when you free yourself from them.

Even when I try to explain what seems like very sound logic for doing something like this to other people, removed from my little bubble of serenity, they think I’m nuts. “Where do you get your protein from?” they ask. Protein is found in large quantities in spinach and nuts, both of which I juice into my drink daily. “Why don’t you just make a smoothie?” Smoothies still have types of fiber in them that slow down your digestive system. There’s no real difference between eating and drinking a smoothie. With juicing, those fibers are removed and your digestive system is free to cleanse. And the most popular response I get is, “Juicing doesn’t sound healthy for you. It sounds like you’re starving yourself.” I understand how people can think that, but it’s actually the opposite. The amount of nutrients from spinach, carrots, cucumbers, and more in one day is actually more vegetables than most people eat in a week. No human could ever eat as much kale raw as I juice in three days, let alone one sitting. I inundated my system with 600-700 percent more nutrients and vitamins each day than the average person eats in one day. It wasn’t my body that was famished, it was my body that was finally thriving.

And the best part about a juice cleanse is this: my friend and I found that after we had gone for extended periods of time only drinking juice, he for one week and I for one month, that it was as if we had hit a “reset” button on our cravings. I used to crave Cookout more than anything at midnight on a Saturday. Your body functions in a more sustainable way that makes living to eat seem ridiculous.

There is a healthy and safe way to juice cleanse; I have found it. So no more scary stories about how people are starving themselves! Of course you should consult a doctor before committing to anything drastic, but know that there are effective ways to hit the reset button on your life when it comes to eating processed foods.

Campus Chronicle
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