4 Juice Cleanses to Start 2015
Juice cleanses (sometimes called juice fasts) are a popular way to jump-start a healthy lifestyle and get nutritious fruits and vegetables into your diet. While many brands, like Organic Avenue and Blueprint Cleanse, were once offered exclusively via delivery in the local New York market, juice cleanses are more accessible than ever. Several brands are now distributed at grocery chains like Whole Foods and natural markets, ship overnight and have spawned their own full-on juice cafes. If you're thinking of starting a cleanse in the new year, keep in mind that these natural juices should not be used as a long-term meal replacement. Rather, treat them as a way to kick-start your new routine and complement your diet. Here are a few ways to get your cleanse on.
Where: Overnight delivery in continental United States and Canada or pickup at locations such as Whole Foods and Exhale.
What You Get: Blueprint Cleanse may be able to lay claim to this trend that caught fire after celebrities professed juicing as the way to get red-carpet ready. For us regular people just starting out, Blueprint offers the “Renovation” cleanse. Considered a gateway cleanse for those who have never done a detox program, the Renovation includes two green juices; pineapple-apple-mint juice; cashew milk; carrot-apple-beet juice; and spicy lemonade, which gets its kick from Mexican habanero, jalapeno, African, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese peppers. In January, Blueprint will also introduce two new green-juice blends, one featuring arugula and kale, and the other a blend of chard, basil and collard greens. If you’re feeling unmotivated, Blueprint is on call 24/7 via their app, which sets up reminders for when it’s mealtime, and offers supportive messages as well as recipes for when you’re back to preparing your own food.
What You Get: Founded in 2013, Mother Juice first offered their nutrient-rich juices, which “detoxify and regenerate cells,” from their roving juice truck. After much success, this past summer owners Laura Baldini and Ellen Fitzgerald opened their first brick-and-mortar location in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. There customers feast on vegan snacks, salads, smoothies and raw, cold-pressed juices. Those who sign up for the cleanse follow a guide outlining each juice’s ingredients and the order in which to drink the juices. The menu constantly changes, but expect a green juice like Kale Yea (liquefied kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, mint, pineapple and ginger); carrot juice (blended with watermelon, tomato, pineapple and ginger); and beet- and lemon-based juices. Ingredients are locally and seasonally sourced, and occasionally supplemented with organic produce not native to Massachusetts, like citrus. Their partnership with Freight Farms and their hydroponic kale program allow Mother Juice to have locally sourced kale year-round.
What You Get: Feel Food provides natural, organic juices using fruits, vegetables and nuts with an emphasis on Latin American produce. Cleanses come in 1-, 3- 5- or 7-day programs and are available for pickup in their West Village shop. When you’re feeling the midwinter blues, the Spring Breaker cleanse will brighten you up. It includes two cold-pressed green juices (provide vitamins A, C, K and folate); a Green Almond Gazpacho (bolsters immunity); and a Bloody Mary, which is more like a virgin Mary full of antioxidants and is said to “brighten skin and eyes.” Also included in the plan is a Wake Up shot of spirulina, ginger and lemon. All of the ingredients in the juices and various soups, stews and sandwiches offered at the shop are sourced from organic farms and producers that share Feel Food’s passion for sustainability.
What You Get: Detoxification benefits that juice cleanses purport are often debated by nutritionists, but there’s no denying that Truce’s cacao juice, a combination of almonds, dates, maple syrup, sea salt, cacao and filtered water, will cure any hankering for a chocolate in a healthful way. Another favorite on their cleansing program is the Vacay. Reminiscent of lazy days on the beach, the Vacay is a zippy blend of carrot juice, lime juice and coconut milk that is said to replenish the body. If you want a customizable and comprehensive one-day cleanse, try Truce’s Complete Cleanse, which offers a choice of three green juices, one Roots, Vacay or Immunity and solid food (!) — a vegan salad (dressing included) and a creamy housemade almond milk. You can be sure that all juices at Truce are freshly pressed on-site within 24 hours of pickup.
Note: Please consult your health care provider before beginning a cleanse.
Kiri Tannenbaum is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and holds an M.A. in food studies from New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor. When her schedule allows, she leads culinary walking tours in New York City and is currently at work on her first book.