The Fruits of Juicing

Have you ever needed to reboot? Not just your slowly running PC, but your entire body? Mmm-hmm, me too.

I don’t always eat indulgently, but lately eating out has far outnumbered cooking at home. Even though sugar and butter make their rounds here often, I keep my morning routine healthy with a Green Superfood & flax-based drink I’ve written about before. The drink offers balance, even when a day ends with wine & cheese. Lately though, I’ve been choosing spaghetti over spinach too often, so I decided it’s time for more vegetables.

I jumped-up, inspired and headed straight for the store (you know, to get some shredded cheese for the tacos I’d make while really thinking this through)! On my way I walked past the new Nekter Juice Bar. I decided to see what they were all about—juices, smoothies, acai bowls, no bacon. They also offer a detoxifying juice cleanse, something I never thought would interest me. A ‘cleanse’ sounds very unexciting—especially for a food site—but I asked some questions, skipped the store, and walked out with day-1 of a 3-Day Juice Cleanse. And so it begins …. 

Nekter has a lot to offer; their ingredients are locally grown, gluten & dairy free, vegan, and they’re all about fruits & vegetables—my one criterion! Usually when I think of juice I picture cranberries or oranges, but to remove accumulated toxins, increase energy, and replenish over-worked systems—you need less sugar & more detoxification. That’s where antioxidant powerhouses—parsley, lemons, spinach, kale—come into play. I opted for their advanced cleanse that also incorporates ginger & beet juices, helping to remove more toxins from the blood & digestive tract.

For the next three days—I would skip the tacos (any solid food for that matter), drink lots of water, and have the same set of six different juices per day. Each prepared mix is a low-calorie, 16.9-oz serving that you keep refrigerated. The blends are formulated to consume in a specific order, one bottle every two hours. That seems easy enough, and it’s only three, measly days … right?

This was going to be great!! I was already lost in a daydream of vegetable-enlightenment & superhuman energy, watching my unhealthy choices just fade away …. Then I looked closer at the ingredients, and began to have trepidation about the days ahead. No caffeine. No dinners. (I love dinner!) What was I getting myself into? 

At least I could rest assured I would be getting all of this goodness each day—even without a technical meal. Here’s the lineup:

Juice 1:   apple, parsley, kale, spinach, mint, lime, cucumber, celery

Juice 2:   lemon, ginger, agave nectar, filtered water

Juice 3:   celery, parsley, kale, spinach, apple, cabbage, lemon

Juice 4:   filtered water, lemon, agave nectar, cayenne pepper

Juice 5:   apple, celery, beet, ginger, parsley, spinach, lemon.

Juice 6:   filtered water, raw cashews, agave nectar, vanilla bean

According to the Nekter powers-that-be, these six juices contain almost 15 lbs of fruits & veggies—and that’s just in one day. Can you imagine trying to juice all of that yourself, much less clean up the mess? I’ll pass. These six blends combined offer an impressive daily value of antioxidants and vitamins— over 500% vitamin A; 7,000% vitamin C; 3,000% vitamin K; and 150% of iron. Looks like I can skip the gummy vitamins.

Day-1 was not too bad! Each drink was unique in flavor, light, with a thin consistency. Most of them were refreshing & tart (I’m a fan of the ginger lemonade & beet blend). The last drink each day was vanilla bean cashew milk with protein and iron, and unexpectedly one of my favorites. I found I wasn’t hungry, but quite the opposite since you consume so much fluid. I did notice by day’s end my head felt extremely clear & alert (probably since I was hydrated better than a camel), but I’ll chalk-it-up to the vegetables. These blends were enough to keep me going through the day.

*If you’re an athlete or working out during the cleanse—and I did—then check out the nutritional info, to make sure you’re getting enough calories. I dialed my workouts back temporarily, and felt just fine.

Day-2 turned into 3, and I was tossing-back bottles with abandon. The 3rd day ended, no juices remained, and I woke up this morning feeling … cleansed! (less than you were expecting?) Well I don’t feel entirely different, but I have no fatigue post-workout, and I slept entirely through the night. (Which never happens!) I am more alert, hydrated & overall my body feels balanced. I might actually grab another juice this afternoon. After 3 eventful days, we now can enjoy the fruits of our labor—quite literally. Even though I didn’t emerge from this cleanse with a sixth sense or major revelation, I did give my body a well-deserved break, and felt good doing it.

Okay, your turn. Are you ready to jump-start summer? You don’t have to live next to a Nekter Juice Bar in Southern, CA to reap these benefits. Their website offers next-day, nationwide shipping. Juice in the mail, who knew? If you have a juicer handy, and a lot of the above ingredients, give these six a whirl at home.

Am I planning to renounce conventional cuisine and live on fluids forever? No way, I run a food blog!  Though, I do recommend a formulated juice cleanse—even for one day—if you’re feeling run-down, want to cut out processed food, want to overhaul your GI tract, clear your liver, or boost overall immunity. I plan to continue mini cleanses a few times per year, but I’m looking forward to being back in my kitchen … and those tacos don’t sound so bad either (veggies included).

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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