Could you improve your health in three days? Some experts say yes, thanks to cleanses promising everything from increased energy to weight loss. But others say no, citing that your liver, kidneys and colon already do a fine job of cleaning out your system and there are no proven scientific benefits to downing only cold-pressed juices. So we formed a Cleanse Committee of staffers who swore off booze, caffeine and cooked foods to drink pounds of fruits and veggies. To find out if detoxes are worth the dollars, read on for the juicy details.
$58 per day, 3 days
After announcing to my family that I was doing a detox diet, here’s what I heard: “You’re so trendy!” said my charming 10-year-old daughter. “Where’s the medical science?” questioned my skeptical husband. “Will you still cook my dinner?” asked my always-hungry 16-year-old son. The answer: No. For the first time in a long while, I dedicated my Sunday to R&R instead of food shopping and meal prep. Sadly, I had to excuse myself from joining my family at the dinner table but I forged on. Astonishingly, imbibing every two waking hours did not leave me as hungry as I had feared. It was all going down wonderfully except for the evening libations — a too-earthy carrot-and-beet concoction and an overly rich almond milk. I may have been living on fumes — well, Sweet Greens, Young Coconut Water and more — but I was feasting on the payoff. By my last day, I was five pounds lighter. As I began to plan my “reentry” into the solid food world, ironically, all I craved was a big, beautiful salad. Just one that wasn’t pulverized.
— Darcy Jacobs, Executive Editor
Life Juice Cleanse
$180 for 3 days
What do you get when a veggie hater with a raging sweet tooth goes on a cleanse? The longest three days ever. But it wasn’t all a loss. Of the six juices I drank daily, I actually grew fond of Positive Balance. Its spinach and kale were saved by the sweetness of apples and beets. (In fact, I drank it after the cleanse was over.) Still, by 3 p.m. each day my stomach was growling. Though the program discourages eating, it does allow a few items like celery sticks and raw almonds — if you must. But by nighttime, I needed more and swapped the evening Spiced Almond Milk (not a fan) for some broccoli and quinoa (total cheat). The days dragged, but they netted me glowing skin and a weight loss of three pounds. And guess who eats more greens now?
— Kelley Cintra, Assistant Photo Editor