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By Joel Beers
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You’ve heard of the Master Cleanse Diet, in which otherwise-sane people choose to chug nothing but a mixture of lemon, water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for a minimum of 10 days. You lose weight, you supposedly rid your system of toxins, and, yes, weird things come out of your butt.
Though the Master Cleanse has been around since the ’70s, it really sparked the cleanse-diet fad: There’s now the açaí cleanse, the baby-food cleanse, the raw cleanse . . . and the Blueprint Cleanse.
The latter ruled Manhattan starting in 2007: As far as cleanses go, it’s the least-offensive-sounding. It promises to gently rid your body of impurities, “regaining an alkaline balance and normalizing digestion and metabolism.” For one, three or five days, you drink freshly squeezed, unpasteurized juice delivered right to your door. There are six bottles per day, and you can even choose the intensity level of the cleanse. They make it as easy as an all-liquid diet can be.
The reviews have been rolling in, covering the pages of major magazines, and people raved about having seemingly near-spiritual experiences, feeling a sort of clarity and mental and physical lightness.
But we’ve also heard of the potential pitfalls of an extreme cleanse: It’s unhealthy; our body naturally detoxes. It’ll mess with your metabolism. Any weight lost is gained back once you’re on real food again.
“Skeptical” would be only lightly describing my feelings toward trend cleanses—“bullshit” would be more spot-on.
I tried the Blueprint Cleanse anyway.
Surprisingly, I didn’t hate it, but I also don’t have much to share. Oh, I took notes during my 72-hour “journey”; they’re just not very intriguing.
My experience was underwhelming: While I never really underwent any kind of spiritual awakening that many raved about, nothing all that interesting happened. I was never starving, weak or (debatable) irritable. I had none of the detox symptoms most have, such as headaches or nausea. It wasn’t really until around 4:30 p.m. on my final day of the cleanse that I experienced any kind of hunger pangs. And, actually, if it weren’t for the boyfriend inhaling his Chipotle in front of me, I probably would have been fine with the juice.
Which, by the way, was pretty tasty. The majority of complaints revolve around the green juices, which contain a delish mixture of kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, spinach and lemon. The pineapple/apple/mint? Even better. And the cashew-nut/vanilla/cinnamon each day ends with? Like a hearty dessert.
But one stood out. From the notepad: “Juice five consisted of beets/ginger/lemon/apple and tasted like the blood of Satan.” And later: “Never drinking beet juice—especially when paired with ginger—ever again. Fuck you, beet juice.”
Four days after the conclusion of my Cleanse, I’m 4 pounds lighter, but I feel the same. Boyfriend notes my skin looks good—I notice nothing. Not sure if he’s being a boyfriend or telling the truth, but I’ll take it. I had a fat breakfast burrito this morning and enjoyed it. A lot.
Would I do it again? Maybe—if someone else were paying. Three days of the Blueprint Cleanse is a whopping $255, including delivery.
For more info or to try the Blueprint Cleanse, visit blueprintcleanse.com.
This column appeared in print as "The Cleanse That Can’t Be Beet."