I am anti-juice cleansing. This is not me passing judgement on those who juice. I am anti-juicing because I do not think I can survive that long without solid food. I’d rather cut off my left pinkie toe than juice for multiple days.
So why did I juice? Was it for weight loss? Glowing skin? An extra boost of energy? No, no, and no. Trust me, I would not give up solid food for any of those reasons. To spare you of any graphic details, I was having digestion and stomach issues. It actually got better before my juice cleanse, but I decided to move forward and commit to a 3-day cleanse anyways.
There are a few juicing options in Shanghai and I did my research. I chose Lizzy’s All-Natural for a few reasons. One was the price because each day is 188 kuai, which is cheaper than other competitors. The second reason was that it seemed like her juice cleanse had less fruit-based blends. I had heard feedback from others who tried juice cleanses from other companies and they told me that they felt like there was just too much sugar and didn’t make them feel good. Also, I compared Lizzy’s to other juicing cleanses and it seemed like there was less juice to drink per day (so also less sugar/day). You can also only order delivery through the online grocer, Kate & Kimi, which has much more flexible delivery times. Other places only delivered from 6-9 p.m. Finally, I chose Lizzy’s because she has a “cheat sheet” of food you can eat in case you feel like you really can’t survive. As a first time juice cleanser, I liked having this safety net and flexibility.
As advised, I drink a glass of hot water and lemon and then move on to my first drink of the day, “The Refresher.” This juice has coconut water, cucumber, watermelon, lime, mint, kale and chia seeds. Drinking green juice in the morning doesn’t seem like a huge sacrifice. I notice that it’s not very sweet, which is good and I mostly taste mint. I try and follow their advice of “chewing” as much as possible so I liked having the chia seeds to chew on.
My second drink is the “Youth & Beauty” with avocado, kale, pineapple, banana, mint and coconut water. Having the avocado gives it a thicker texture, which also helps for chewing. I was expecting it to be creamier with the avocado. I taste mostly banana in this drink and it’s less sweet than I anticipated.
I try the elixir shot, “Lemon Detoxifier.” and my mouth is on fire. Literally on fire. I take a much larger gulp than I realize that I’m suppose to and it was WAY spicier than I expected. Is this how you stave off hunger by burning off all the taste buds in my mouth? How can something so small be so spicy? Besides the taste of chili, this elixir tastes like fermented dried plums to me, kind of like Chinese-style dried plums (话梅). My co-workers have microwaved their lunches and are eating at their desks. Wafts of soy sauce and garlic fill the air. I take another gulp of my spicy elixir and my lips tingle slightly. Am I supposed to mix the elixir with water because I’m drinking it straight?*
“The Skinny” is matcha green tea, cranberries, apple, pear, cucumber, raw honey and lemon. Since this is the only fruit smoothie, I’m expecting it to be sweeter. Surprisingly, it’s not very sweet either and I taste mostly cucumber. There’s a sandy texture thanks to the pear and it also helps make the smoothie chewable.
I start feeling hunger pangs and decide to try the “Coco Chia” elixir. I’m hoping the fiber and protein in the seeds will hold me over. It’s a refreshing shot that tastes of mint and a hint of lemon. It doesn’t burn my mouth with the heat of a thousand suns like the last spicy elixir. I chase my elixir with a cup of hot tea, secretly hoping it’ll help expand the chia seeds in my belly and make me feel more full.
I’m feeling “hungry.” I don’t know if I’m actually hungry or my brain is psychologically tricking itself that it’s hungry because I haven’t had solid food all day. I’m drinking “Green Elixir” which has romaine, kale, celery, apple, pear, banana, spirulina, lemon and filtered water. My first reaction is: “Ew, this is salty.” I take a second sip and all I can taste is spirulina. It tastes mostly like celery and seaweed. Kind of wishing that the banana flavor would overpower everything, but it’s not. For some reason, the aftertaste in my mouth taste like Chinese-style dried plums again (话梅). I guess there are worse aftertastes in life.
This is my least favorite juice. This is probably the healthiest juice, which is probably why it’s my least favorite. Why do they make this juice number 4? It seems slightly tortuous to have this juice toward the later half of the day. I’ve noticed that all of these juices are thick and can now understand why Lizzy’s calls them “smoothies.” You get a straw for each smoothie and it’s needed.
I take a quick shot of my last elixir, “Goji Tang.” Yes, it definitely has a tang and a more sour taste.
I’m feeling tired and looking forward to my last juice of the day, “Sweet Vanilla Cashew Milk.” Based on the description of raw cashew milk, vanilla, Himalayan pink salt and medjool dates, I’m expecting this to be the most satisfying one. I’m expecting it to be sweet and thick like the other smoothies. I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed because this was the most thin and watery drink and it’s not very sweet at all. I guess I really shouldn’t complain because the reason why I picked Lizzy’s was for less sugar. Since it’s thinner, I drink it quickly and am left wanting more.
I’m seriously hungry and my stomach is growling. I drink hot water with lemon juice and hope I can sleep.
*I emailed Kate & Kimi and their customer service recommended drinking the elixirs directly or mixing with warm water. However, “if you can handle drinking it alone, it is more efficient.”