Juiced Up: Gut Check's Spring Cleaning Cleanse, Day One
Gut Check is constantly sampling the best, worst and most confusing foods floating around the St. Louis area, but sometimes -- especially when it's 75 degrees Fahrenheit in March and feels like summer -- it can begin to weigh us down. We began to think: Is there such a thing as spring cleaning for the body? Enter Blue Print Cleanse (BPC), a New York-based company that specializes in cold-pressed, raw, unpasteurized juice cleanses. The process is simple: After choosing your cleanse level, BPC delivers the bottled juice, numbered one through six, and provides a diet plan.
Evan C. Jones
Since Gut Check is new to the cleansing scene, and the green-juice-heavy "Excavation" cleanse sounds painful, the introductory three-day "Renovation" cleanse is the one for us. Leading up to the cleanse required some preparation, such as phasing out solid food for maximum results and to insure one's body is adjusted for a detoxifying juice cleanse. Until the delivery happens, water with lemon is the drink suggested by BPC to start alkalizing the body. On an unrelated note, it's 8:34 a.m. on day one, and a giant stack of pancakes sounds amazing.
FedEx delivers the cleanse, tightly packed into a refrigeration bag filled with ice packs. A card filled with cheat foods falls out, causing seconds of joy. Alas, the cheat options are miniscule: small portions of vegetables such as cucumber and avocado are a few of the only options. After refrigerating the bulk of the bottles, it's time to break into the first juice.
The workhorse of the cleanse is the green juice, made up of greens (romaine, spinach and kale), celery, cucumber, apple, parsley and lemon. According to Blue Print Cleanse's website, the green juice we first sipped has six pounds of leafy greens and is full of Vitamin A. Thankfully there is some other food in the juice besides greens; for a green-juice newbie, this drink is slightly bitter, but sweetness from the apple helps us finish the glass. A sense of dread begins to creep over us, repeatedly asking ourselves that little question: "Are you sure you want to do this?"
After running errands and enjoying a much-needed nap (meals sans solid food are new to us), hunger begins to creep in. The second juice, or "gold" juice, is simpler than the green juice's complex list of greens, only containing pineapple, apple and mint. BPC describes this juice as an anti-inflammatory that aids digestion and helps the immune system. It's just the kick needed to continue the day.
Signs of the toll this cleanse is having on us begin to grow stronger. Bathroom breaks are becoming commonplace. We quickly realize that BPC's warning to stay properly hydrated is no joke; it is, in fact, key to help pushing out all the toxins we've accumulated -- which, for candy-gulping, deep-dish pizza romancing Gut Check, is an excessive amount.
Great, it's time for another green juice. How did Jack LaLanne do it? Is it delirium or renewed health that's telling us to swim the English Channel?
In a shocking turn of events, a bike ride spontaneously happens. Where is this energy coming from?! We're unstoppable!
A nice bike ride on a lovely spring day calls for lemonade, and surprisingly we're in luck: Blue Print Cleanse's Spicy Lemonade hits the spot. Cayenne adds an extra kick and, according to BPC, helps stimulate our metabolism and blood flow, while the lemons are full of antioxidants and help alkalize our body (you know you're jealous of all the alkalizing we're doing).
If the juice cleanse had a hearty dinner, this would be it. Apples, beets, carrots, lemon and ginger make up the red juice (read: our dinner...still jealous?). Although the juice at first tastes great, the beet flavor is pronounced on the back end, causing us, to our dismay, to crave the green juice. What are we becoming?
The final juice of the day is health's version of dessert and worth the wait. Cashew milk, cinnamon, agave nectar and vanilla all blended together to make a smooth, sweet sipper full of antioxidants. On a less mouthwatering note, BPC says this drink helps aid in "waste elimination." Still, hands down, this is our favorite of the day. We expected the end of day one to feel more like withdrawal than rejuvenation, and we're a little sad we didn't opt for a longer cleanse package. Will we feel the same way at the end of day two? Only time and many more juices to come will tell.