The promises–”detox” and weight loss–are intriguing, so I decided to try a cleanse in an attempt to stop the downward bodily spiral that usually occurs over the holidays. I chose Ritual Cleanse, which is a one-year-old LA-based brand (they’ll ship anywhere).
They don’t really promise anything–which to my skeptical mind is a good thing–but rather offer you the benefits that past cleansers SAID they got from doing the program: weight loss, mental clarity, better digestion, happier mood, decreased desire for salt and sugar, glowing skin, increased sex drive. Less salt and more sex? OK!
My main goal was to jump start a little bit of weight loss and to see if I could get rid of my mental “must have one sugary treat a day” edict. My first pass at research was not encouraging. In November’s Allure, Harley Pasternak, who has trained Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, Megan Fox and Katy Perry, told the beauty mag, “Don’t do juice fasts or cleanses–they’re not effective, sustainable, or healthy. I had a client who lost seven pounds in a few days, but when she stopped, she gained it all back plus another two pounds. It’s yo-yo dieting.” Oh. But I did it anyway.
I went with the standard three-day juice-all-day option, because I wanted to be a purist. Plus Ritual Cleanse offers something they call a “Shred” option, which is extra juice for before and after a workout to give you a little extra oomph (and presumably so you won’t pass out) while you’re working out and cleansing. And I lost six pounds in two and a half days (I had to stop on the third day because of horrid gastrointestinal distress, possibly caused by ginger, a large amount of which was used in one of the juices. Ginger, while it’s often used for curing symptoms of nausea, also can cause GI symptoms. I’ll leave it at that.)
A few surprising things happened on the cleanse: I wasn’t hungry at all per se–yes, I wanted a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich more than anything, but it wasn’t out of hunger. As a matter of fact, it took me almost two hours to get through each of the six bottles. So I was constantly drinking and filling my belly. Some days I couldn’t even finish all the juices. When I noticed the deficit was when I attempted a workout–I wussed out half way through and had no energy (and I couldn’t bear to drink the “Shred” juices). Unlike some people, I didn’t feel particularly energetic or glowy during or after my cleanse. And I felt bloated throughout the whole thing, so it’s not like I would have felt good about walking a red carpet in a Herve Leger bandage dress, either. Plus the six pounds came back within a week. But was my experience the norm or an anomaly?