Blueprint Cleanse: My Experience
I’ve been wanting to do a juice cleanse for a while, and I’d read good things about Blueprint Cleanse, so when I got an e-mail with a 20% off promo code after Thanksgiving, I decided to give it a whirl. There are 3 levels available, with 1 being for beginners and 3 being the most intense/”greenest”: I opted for the Level 2 cleanse since I already enjoy organic foods and wheatgrass shots, green shakes, stuff like that – I also chose to do 3-days since it was my first time and 5-days seemed a bit daunting.
BPC is very good about sending lots of informative e-mails before and after the cleanse. They recommend going vegetarian and ideally vegan three days before the cleanse to make the transition easier, and they also advocate adding in “denser” foods gradually post-cleanse. Here’s a brief overview of what I did for the three days leading in to my first cleanse day:
Pre-Cleanse Menu: Apples, pears, avocado/tomato salads, sprouted grain “cookies,” boiled eggs, Amazing Greens shakes (made with almond milk), seaweed salad, cucumber slices with hummus, roasted asparagus – this is much healthier than I usually eat; I do feel guilty for not going totally vegan (I also had a little shrimp salad at one point) but I’m really missing breads/pastas/sweets
so I forgive myself.
My juices arrive on Thursday but I’m at work (they come in at 11 AM and my roommate is gracious enough to sign for them). I’m super excited to start Friday morning! Part of me is feeling like, “Let’s get this over with already.” while another part of me feels like I should be looking to this as some sort of a life-changing experience. I download the sample for the book “In Defense of Food” for my Kindle in a fit of inspiration and plan to read later Maybe I can finally get rid of those 10 pounds that never seem to go anywhere – although I’ve pretty much always been a size 6, I think I’d just feel a lot better overall if I could do that. I’ve lost 3 pounds since I started running a month ago, but it’s proved very difficult for me to break my addiction to comfort food on the weekends.
The Juices: My Initial Thoughts
*Note: BPC uses organic whenever possible.
Juice 1: Green Juice: Romaine, Celery, Apple, Cucumber, Spinach, Kale, Parsley, Lemon
Don’t smell this one before you try it; the smell will completely turn you off. I read a lot of bad things about this juice but it was surprisingly non-offensive (maybe that’s because I don’t mind green juices, though). A bit of a sweet, cucumber-ish aftertaste that I found to be pretty refreshing. I’m initially relieved that it’s not going to be a struggle to choke every bottle of green juice down.
Juice 2: PAM: Pineapple, Apple, Mint
Very sweet and tangy. I’m not the best with distinguishing subtle tastes so forgive my descriptions – as my ex would say, I have ‘trailer trash taste buds,’ but this one was good.
Juice 3: Green Juice
Juice 4: Spicy Lemonade: Lemon, Cayenne Pepper, Agave Nectar
Without reading the bottle, I open it and smell it – nothing. I take a sip. The cayenne pepper in this one gives it an interesting “kick” that hits your throat after each sip. I take another
sip and think to myself, “It’s just like a spicy lemonade!” and then glance at the bottle. Duh. That’s why it’s called Spicy Lemonade. I’m sure for some it will be reminiscent of the Master Cleanse drink.
Juice 5: Green Juice
Juice 6: Cashew milk: Cashews, Agave Nectar, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract & Vanilla Specks
I’ve been looking forward to this one all day because it looks so creamy and nourishing, and I’ve also read good things about it … Oh. My. I try it after my evening shower and I’m feeling like the
organic vanilla specks alone are worth every penny I paid for this cleanse. This one’s got fats and protein going on, and I instantly feel better than I have all day. Maybe I can do this, after all.
Day 1: I wake up feeling motivated and virtuous, but sitting across from my coworker at lunch while she eats a turkey and cheese melt and fresh made potato chips is pretty depressing. I
fantasize about digging her leftovers out of the trash after she leaves and eating them. I feel utterly exhausted when I get home from work, but I force myself to attend barre class and actually make it through an entire set of push-ups (I usually can only do about 80%). I weigh myself after barre and I’ve lost 5 pounds. I’m high on endorphins for the rest of the night.
Day 2: All I can think about is food. Obsessively. The chicken caesar wraps I used to eat in college. The time we deep-fried that turkey for Thanksgiving. Also, why is everyone on TV eating all the freaking time? Someone tells a story and mentions a time they went to lunch with someone, and all I can do is wonder where they went and what they ordered. I spend at least an hour looking at Christmas Day menus at fancy restaurants in New Orleans and force one of my best friends into making a reservation with me. At times, though, I feel transcendent. I push myself through an hour-long morning yoga class (I feel sort of dizzy, I’ll admit) and I also manage to complete my final workout of Week 4 in the Couch to 5K program. Hey, this is more working out than I do when I’m actually eating! The green juice tastes even better than yesterday and I can drink it pretty much like water at this point. I start to realize just how much I absentmindedly snack or reward myself with food when I’m not even hungry.
Day 3: I’m now feeling like I can go on for another month. I’m fine unless I’m actually looking at food or reading about it. I wander the aisles at Whole Foods and the smells alone make me feel simultaneously nauseous and giddy. I feel clean and light – I think I’ve lost another 3-5 pounds because I’ve gone down a shirt size. I feel pretty heroic and accomplished and I make healthier choices at the grocery store. We’ll see how long this lasts. I’m also feeling so jazzed that I forego my last green juice of the day and decide to “save” it for my first post-cleanse
I’m now 2 days post-cleanse and I’ve been making better, although not perfect, choices. I feel more in tune with my body and I’m glad that I completed the program without cheating – it’s been a boost to my self-esteem and really gratifying, overall. My clothes fit better and I’m also much more aware of when I’m approaching feeling “full.”
And, finally: My Skinny Jeans Litmus Test
Maybe I’m the only person holding on to something in her wardrobe that hasn’t fit for a while, but somehow I doubt that. It’s been a long time since I had a personal trainer, but back in 2007 I did and I managed to get down to a size 2-4. Don’t believe me? I’ve got the jeans to prove it.
Here they are, before my cleanse (I can’t button
them, I tried. Really hard.)
And on the last day of my cleanse – still too tight, but buttoned! It
kind of makes it all worthwhile.
Would I cleanse again? Maybe. Probably. I definitely wouldn’t change the timing of the way I did it – doing the majority of my cleanse over the weekend allowed me to avoid most temptation and rest when I needed to. I could see it as a good jump-start/segue into a more restrictive diet, like South Beach Phase 1, or maybe to prep for a special occasion. It is pretty expensive – you folks that live in pickup locations for BPC save quite a bit by not paying for overnight delivery, so I could see doing it more often in that case (although the overnight delivery did leave me with a freezer full of nifty individual-sized ice packs for Mardi Gras 2013!).
Anyhow, I would love to hear about your experience and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask! xoxo