I’m not going to lie. After three days of just drinking my meals, I thought I was in for a more transformative experience. I thought my world would be rocked. Indeed, this all-raw, vegan cleanse has been intense—and quite a conversation piece with friends. But earth shattering? No. Maybe I’m just not badass enough.
I spoke with Organic Avenue CEO, and original angel investor, Doug Evans, and he put things in perspective. Evans completes a three-day juice cleanse once a month and, once a year, he does a cool 21 days on the program. He has earned his stripes—enough to be dubbed a “super-cool guy” by progressive foodie and cutie actress Alicia Silverstone. Evans gently informs me that perhaps one three-day cleanse might not be enough to achieve the sort of leap I was hoping for. I get it.
I am in the severe minority when it comes to doing the cleanse for the spiritual-mind trip of it all. Evans says that most guys, who make up about a third of his customers, do it to lose weight or to be less lethargic. Many guys also go to the boutiques just for shots of wheatgrass as a replacement for vitamin or prescription pills.
Evans expounds on how one of his green drinks is the end result of two pounds of produce—which a lot of people need in their diet. It’s all condensed into that drink, and the company somehow makes it all pretty palatable. He reminds me of all of the healthy benefits of a vegan diet. But where he really has me is how the Organic Avenue cleanse “makes people present to food.”
It’s true. After three days I am so much more aware of my relationship to eating: How I eat as a way to satisfy a tic. I really appreciate it, though I am not sure I am going to commit myself to what he calls the “cleansing lifestyle,” but I’d recommend it to anyone who’s interested to try it. It ain’t cheap, but it’s worth the splurge. Here’s a timeline of how I felt during Day 3 of my Organic Avenue cleanse:
6:36 AM – There’s a tight pit in my stomach. It feels a little bit like hunger.
8:50 AM – On the train to work, I think that doing this cleanse is like running a marathon in place: the entire endurance test is within me. So, even sitting on the train, there’s a sensation that I’m in motion while everyone else is still.
9:31 AM – Oh, man, that’s nasty! My first bottle of the morning is a 1oz. vial of Aloe Elixir that is, indeed, vile. It tastes like what I imagine nail polish might taste like. The funny thing is, I don’t really mind. I’m just happy to be ingesting something. I guess Organic Avenue waited for day three to give me the rough stuff.
10:28 AM – More coconut water. Still not a fan of this stuff. I’m kind of bored of it, really.
12:05 PM – Pear Juice. I thought this might be too sweet or gross, but I really like it. And when I drink it, I feel sparks in my brain, like a turbine starting to go. My vision feels sharper, once again.
1:25 PM – I go for another walk and find myself entranced by the jet stream traces in the blue sky over Manhattan while I listen to Handel’s “Messiah” on my iPhone. This is not a normal occurrence for me. Although I enjoy my own personal Koyaanisqatsi moment, I resolve to not take life too seriously. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to appreciate nachos and Chinese food.
2:08 PM – Yowza. My fourth drink of the day is Master Tonic, a blend of lemon juice, coconut sugar and cayenne. It’s strong stuff. I like it. But I’m flagging. Not exactly tired, but a little woozy.
2:35 PM – You know what sucks? Being a writer for a food website while doing a cleanse. Every time I check out Food Republic, I have to see potato skins and cocktails. All I can say is that no member of the Food Republic staff could survive a cleanse while on the job. Edit: Care to wager, Mr. Roston? We’re not down with the 21-day, but we’ll see your three days and raise you two.
3:45 PM – Veggie Vibrance. I need some of that. It includes carrot, celery, beet and spinach, among other vegetables. It tastes OK. But, really, I’m longing for some noodles or something to sink my teeth into. I am not sure what I was expecting, but being mildly hungry and tired in the afternoon is not the step closer to nirvana I’d been hoping for.
6:10 PM – Green Love is the name of my dinner drink. Swiss chard never tasted so good. I am so ready for this to be over, but I have to admit the earlier restless edge I was feeling has been replaced by a more focused edge. I like that.
8:20PM – The last meal of the cleanse! Coconut milk. It’s good. It’s satisfying. But I am done with this. As focused and good as I feel, I want to be free of this cleanse. I guess I am just kind of bored with it. Time to move on.
Epilogue – Although I have a regular breakfast of eggs the next morning, I actually feel like I could keep the cleanse going. But without any Organic Avenue bottles in my fridge to sustain me, I reach for some solid food, and return to my everyday existence.
Final Stats – I’m over 6’4” and my weight changed as follows: 209 pounds before the cleanse, 205 pounds after day one, 203.2 pounds after day two, 201.8 pounds after day three; 205.8 pounds today.