Juice cleansing has been all the rage for some time. And I used the word 'rage' advisedly; one must push a violent flood of liquidised vegetables and fruit through one's system for at least three days in order to perform a 'cleanse'.
I am on the wrong side of America – ie, not California – to publicly undergo a juice cleanse. In New York, if you weigh under 200 pounds and decline so much as a cookie at a co-worker's party, women will flock to your side, assuring you of your appealing physique. This is how skittish we are about the dangers of anorexia and the pressures of body image.
A moderately intelligent woman, who fits easily through the average hallway, announces she is going on a juice cleanse? I don't think so. And after viewing YouTube videos of people with crazy eyes who had undergone a 40-day Master Cleanse (cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon), the whole idea seemed unrealistic and unhealthy to me as well. So I opted for the most sane option I could find: the Blueprint Cleanse. In this plan, the cleansee drinks six different kinds of juice in an assigned order throughout the day. Really, I chose Blueprint because the company had the most appealing language on its website. Instead of encouraging me to graduate from a vegan to wheatgrass-only diet, it recognised the good chance that I'd been consuming pasta and martinis the night before. And as turned off as I was by beet juice, what really sold me was the inclusion of cashew milk, already a favourite of mine.
The results? It was fantastically hard, I was hungry at night, I thought I was going to fall down on the first day and was at once delighted and disturbed by my own euphoria on the second and third. As most doctors will tell you, cleansing is ridiculous. You know what's been around longer than that state-of-the-art juicer? Your kidneys. And your liver. Still, the cleanse has recalibrated my definition of a splurge. When you're used to the dietary equivalent of a studio apartment, a one-bedroom is a thrill. I still eat those cookies – just oatmeal raisin instead of chocolate chip. Raisins are fruit too, right?
Sloane Crosley is the author of 'How Did You Get This Number' (Portobello)