Living in New York, I had become accustomed to fresh-pressed concoctions of every colour popping up at the office, the gym, the subway and just about everywhere else. Sometimes a detox, sometimes a diet, sometimes a remedy for endless partying or excess stress (or both), I considered the practice of juice cleansing your regular, run-of-the-mill routine.
Boosting the trend were the sparkling juice bars that surfaced on almost every corner – vibrant Cafes brimming with the freshest fruits and veggies, offering everything from wheat grass shots to dandelion root elixirs. Not only had pressed juice become part of my diet, I had made a habit of ordering my daily blend of oh-so-lovely green and leafy goodness right to my desk! If you’re reading this with a raised eyebrow, I’ll admit, you never quite get used to the taste of parsley first thing in the morning. But the compliments to my complexion – they can “just tell” you’ve been juicing – were encouraging, at the very least.
All that being said, you can imagine my disappointment (shock and horror!) when, upon moving back to Montreal, I found myself utterly juiceless. Not only are juice bars impossible to come by in this city, the few that do exist serve up drinks that are a mere sugar cube away from a chocolate cupcake. (You might want to put that down). I soon relinquished my fresh juice fixation, relegating it to a trend that, like Gaga wedges, was better suited to the streets of NYC.
It was after a weekend visit to that juicy Big Apple, and a morning-after juice run (the ultimate hangover cure), that I decided enough was enough; I would quench my juice quest in Montreal, or I would simply have to move (just kidding, not really). It was during this search that I discovered JUS Cleanse, a Montreal-based company offering the real deal: living juices, crushed on a cold-press juicer and delivered right to your door. Hallelujah.
Keen as I was to cleanse, my lack of aversion to kale, cucumber and beet blends made me a less than ideal candidate to give JUS Cleanse an objective sampling. What I needed were juice rookies – people who had never attempted an all-liquid regime, but whose eating habits were wholesome enough to handle it. (You have to ease into a cleanse). After St. Paddy’s Day debauchery and Easter/Passover extravagance, it wasn’t difficult to enlist Kristina Andersen (co-worker extraordinaire), and Alfee Kaufman (Bonnie to my Clyde). Both were perfect contenders: young, successful professionals, bona fide foodies, and slightly skeptical of the benefits of cleansing (ok, entirely skeptical). What I really wanted to know was, had I been drinking the Kool-Aid with the rest of New York City, or was there real value to the vegethon?
Cleanse Duration: 1 Day
Typical Diet: Breakfast: Coffee and either fruit or a protein bar. Lunch: Always different since I’m on the run. I’ll usually pick up salad or sushi. Dinner: I go out or pick up ready-made meals…I’m not a cook!
Favorite JUS: Green Pur, surprisingly enough! I thought this would be my least favorite but it was unexpectedly refreshing.
Fresh Insight: I didn’t feel hungry! This was more than shocking to me. I was even thinking how I would incorporate this into my life, do one day of juicing a week to detox after the weekend… and then 5pm kicked in. Old habits die hard!
Hardest Part: Like I said, the evenings. I’m out and about all day so I barely have time for food, but at night I tend to snack. Not being able to grab anything was tough!
Worth the squeeze? It’s harder than I expected – but worth it. I had so much energy – like I could run a marathon!
Cleanse Duration: 2 Days
Typical Diet: Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with feta and coffee. Lunch: Salad (exciting, I know). Dinner: Veggie burger, vegetable omelet or whatever I’m served (my friends treat me well) – and there’s also usually some alcohol involved.
Favorite JUS: It’s a tossup between Lemon Zing and Rouge. I have a bit of a sweet tooth so the beet juice helped with any cravings. The lemon one was refreshing.
Fresh Insight: This cleanse made me very aware of my bad habits, like how I (almost) subconsciously dip my hand into the chocolate bowl every time I visit the office kitchen for coffee.
Hardest Part: Not drinking coffee. I keep mentioning coffee…I think I may have a problem.
Worth the squeeze? Totally! It encourages you to evaluate what you are putting in your mouth. I think many of us have a tendency to head to the coffee machine or grab something sweet to help fight our afternoon lull. The Cleanse helped me learn the difference between being hungry and craving food.
Cleanse Duration: 3 Days
Typical Diet: Breakfast: Grapefruit and coffee, or just coffee. Lunch: Healthy – usually chicken or fish with veggies. Dinner: Something seafood. But I have a serious midnight weakness for pistachio ice cream. And licorice.
Favorite JUS: Green Pur. I use almost the same ingredients, but mine always have a slight lawnmower after-taste.
Fresh Insight: As soon as I cut out the coffee, I got piercing headaches. The idea that my body had gotten so caffeine crazed led to keep away, even after the cleanse was over. It took a week for the headaches to finally stop!
Hardest Part: Everyone in my office stared at me like I was sipping jet fuel.
Worth the squeeze? You know it.
Is the juice movement ready to make its way North? Juicing is so trendy because these bizarre looking brews are an inevitable conversation-starter. Both Kristina and Alfee were amazed at how often people asked about their juice, tasted it, talked about it, and eventually decided to try it out for themselves. “It’s like they couldn’t help themselves,” explains Alfee, who was accosted with questions at her hair salon. “They had to know what it was, how I could possibly put it in my mouth, and then where to get it! Watching people’s expressions was one of the most fun parts!” So before you shake your head at those New York health nuts, you may want to consider the challenge. Whether you’re looking to overwhelm your body with nutrients, shed a few winter pounds, or just want raise a few eyebrows, JUS Cleanse is definitely worth the squeeze.
For informartion contact Alysia Yip at 514.447.1854 and visit their page here