The Lazy* Person Who Loves Carbs’ Guide to Juice Cleanses

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Let’s get one thing straight: I don’t hate fruits and vegetables, but my favorite foods are the kind that consist of bread and cheese (usually both.) I try and incorporate lots of vegetables into dinner and have been making spinach and fruit smoothies in the morning, but when I decided to join my friend on a weekend getaway to Miami, I decided to give myself a little kick-in-the-butt to feel less shame wearing a bathing suit in January, also the most popular month for everyone ever to work out and eat right because HELLO, RESOLUTIONS.

*I shouldn’t say “lazy” because I went to the gym and occasionally attend fitness classes that can be fun, but in general my preferred winter activities are eating and not moving.

Note: juice cleanses are not cheap. But sites like Gilt City (which I use for EVERYTHING, sign up here) and Groupon usually have offers on these sorts of things, and I found a 3-day option at Liquiteria for $79 that allowed me to still eat dinner during the cleanse called “Juice, Eat, Repeat.” I have tried other cleanses before: Master Cleanse in 2010, made it 4 days before realizing it was stupid and probably not healthy and BluePrint in 2012, where I could not finish all 6 juices for the 3 days that I did it because their green ones are too intense. This one was definitely the best-tasting and went the most smoothly as I didn’t want to barf or collapse.

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I pick up the first two days of juice on a Thursday morning at Liquiteria’s Union Square location. They hand me 8 bottles in a cute little blue reusable tote, and I check the order. Of course, the green juice with no fruit in it is the one you must drink first. Aka, the one that normally tastes like garbage water. I break the rules and have a sip of coconut water (4) first, because f authority. IT IS THE BEST COCONUT WATER I HAVE EVER TASTED THAT IS NOT DIRECTLY BEING SIPPED FROM AN ACTUAL COCONUT. Then I suck it up and go for “All Greens” and to my surprise, it’s fine. WAIT- there’s an aftertaste, I’m assuming from the parsley and celery, two things I don’t want in my juice. But it’s manageable, and I finish the rest of the juice and go to work.IMG_1158

I start on the next juice, another All Greens but this time, with apple. The apple eliminates the weird aftertaste and I’m very grateful because it’s the best tasting green juice I have ever had at this point. I’m a little hungry, but I try to ignore it and just drink a lot of water.

To cope with the sadness of not going to lunch with my coworkers, I go to the gym for a little bit on lunch break. I’m not famished or anything, so I do a pretty normal 30-minute workout and then go back to my office.

Back at my desk, I try the “Beets Me” juice, a pretty standard mix of beet, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger. Sweet, spicy, I’m fine with it, but as soon as it’s over I am ELATED to finish that coconut water. Then I get to go home and eat!

It’s recommended that one eats raw and clean when still juicing, but I make little chicken tacos before heading out to DJ at some bar. It’s also recommended you don’t drink alcohol while juicing, but I have a beer and half a whiskey ginger because having to be at a bar for hours sober and play music for drunk people is insufferable when completely sober.

The next morning I can definitely FEEL that I drank, although it was close to NOTHING. So the cleanse is working, but again: you’re not supposed to drink. Don’t drink. I had to. The end. You’re also not supposed to drink coffee, which was hard, but I did it.

The next day flies by, although I want to eat warm food because the heat in my office is broken. The holy coconut water gets me through the struggle.

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I take the day off from the gym and make seared scallops with cauliflower puree, roasted bacon and brussels sprouts which again, not raw, but again, I DON’T LIKE RULES. But I drink lots of water instead of beer and lay in bed all night. I start noticing that my nose is running, and no, I cannot go and catch it. Then I start sneezing a lot. Turns out getting cold symptoms while juicing is normal and has to do with your body withdrawing from whatever you put into it (in my case, caffeine) and is affected by the toxins that live inside you getting moved up and out. This is debated between many sources, but for the most part, I can definitely confirm the caffeine withdrawal being real, and get up early the next day to pick up the last juices.

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We meet again, friend. I shop around Union Square, then bring my juices home and go to the gym. Nose is still runny. I see a truck with a Carvel Ice Cream Cake on it that I stare at for my entire workout. Again, I have a lot of energy, but we’re in the home stretch and food is so close yet so far. I go home and finish the Beets Me juice before chugging the glorious coconut water and running around my house screaming “I’M DONE I MADE IT!” I consider making steak to celebrate, but then I go out and end up eating piergois. Not raw, not clean, but let a girl eat a boiled potato dumpling, alright?

The next day, my nose isn’t incredibly runny anymore. Science?

Things that suck about juicing:
-the food other people are eating smells better than anything you have ever experienced in your lifetime
-you don’t get to go to lunch with your coworkers, unless you are a masochist
-on the second day, you notice yourself sniffling and sneezing, which is supposed to be a good thing
-sometimes things that shouldn’t be in drinks are in drinks: PARSLEY
-you can’t (shouldn’t) drink
-you can’t eat pizza

Things that are great about juicing:
-you have a lot of energy, surprisingly enough
-you become more aware of what you put in your body and are more inclined to eat healthier and incorporate juices into your diet going forward
-you don’t have to buy/make that much food for however long you’re juicing
-most of the juices taste pretty good and you are getting nutrients from sources you may not normally eat (they’re good for you but who eats beets that often, honestly?)

So, for all the people who have successfully completed cleanses and did everything you were supposed to: great job, it’s not easy. For the rest of us who like to *modify* things to work with our schedules and lifestyles, you can still reap the benefits if you try hard enough. Hard enough means don’t eat a whole pizza to yourself and try to eat more vegetable based meals instead, even if they aren’t raw/vegan because most of us can’t be bothered with that (though it will allegedly make the cleanse more effective. ALLEGEDLY.)

Shouts to Liquiteria for making yummy juices that I hope to consume regularly, cleanse or not ❤

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The Lazy* Person Who Loves Carbs’ Guide to Juice Cleanses

Proper Etiquette for Disappointing Dining Experiences (and Other Horror Stories)

Last week was incredibly difficult for many reasons, but one common theme of each day was how bad the outcome of every single meal I had was. If you pay for something and you don’t like it, what do you do? Six-year old me had one solution: cry. Every time I went to McDonald’s and they forgot to take the fucking pickles and onions off their nasty little cheeseburgers, I cried because I was too scared to go back up to the register and tell them that I had asked for it plain because I didn’t want them to feel bad or awkward and I was just sad they didn’t listen to me in the first place. Sixteen-year old me, aka the vegetarian years, ran into a new set of problems. I cannot explain how many times I had ordered vegetable based dishes that were made incorrectly, and sometimes I’d be angry and other times I’d just feel helpless, like I had clearly specified and no one was listening to me, again. Twenty-three year old me is a little different, because now I’m at the point where I am spending my own money on meals and if I am shelling out the bucks for it, it better not make me miserable during and after the experience. I like going to different restaurants but am definitely a frequent fast-foodie, so I can handle almost anything. ALMOST.

My friends planned a group dinner at chain establishment Outback Steakhouse last Thursday, which on paper sounds absurd but honestly, are you really trying to bring ten people to Peter Luger’s and get wasted at the same time? C’mon. I was very excited to finally see everyone all at the same time, and we even titled the event “Baby Got Outback”, but mostly I was excited because I got to drink giant beers for $5 and watch some people be on their phones.

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The future of the night looked bright, as I thought I had the upper hand on my friends ordering cocktails that weren’t made to their liking. “I AM QUEEN OF THE BUDWEISERS!” I thought to myself. There were happy hour snacks for $4. We were getting progressively louder as the rest of the group arrived, and didn’t have to worry about getting kicked out. Everything seemed so promising. Even the coasters were inspirational.

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“No Rules, Just Right.” The validation from a line of copy that I probably wrote in college and some d-bag got paid for was real and effective. The main premise of excitement was how badly everyone wanted to try the “Bloomin’ Onion.” Expectation: a crispy, peel-away treat for all to be shared. Reality: crispy oil sponge. Fuck that. I should have taken a photo of it but instead I was chugging down another Big Bloke, which is what they called the big mugs of Bud. Sexist? Well, you can’t exactly call a drink a Big Bitch at a family establishment, so we’ll let this one slide. But I can say with confidence that I ingested more Big Blokes than the other blokes at the table, so there.

So, chain restaurants. You spend more money than you’d like on a portion that is usually more than you would ever desire to eat. But you usually have an expectation that isn’t ever too far from the mark, so even non-tourists in urban areas may have found themselves in one at some time or another, ironically or not. My roommate and I decide to both order the Filet Mignon & Lobster Tail special, because it costs 7 more dollars than the regular meal and we’re already going to be bitter about the money so, as a wise Canadian once said, YOLO. After the food arrives and I eat about half the plate, I feel sick. Now, there are several factors that should be considered:

A). I ate a stupid oily fried onion.

B). I drank a decently large volume of beer.

C). I ordered seafood at a chain restaurant.

D). I took antibiotics at some point earlier, which I don’t really know if that matters if this was a scientific experiment, you bet it would count.

Five minutes later, while everyone still has like, 20% of their meal left, I am in the bathroom shaking and saying goodbye to the dinner I haven’t even paid for yet. I come back to the table and my friend asks me if I have sent the lobster back to the ocean. Oh, yes. Yes I have. Now that the entire contents of my stomach are gone, reality sinks in and we get the bill. So, now I have to pay for a meal that stayed in my body for about 10 minutes before I involuntarily rejected ALL OF IT. Can I say it made me want to die?  How much can you call the restaurant responsible for, and how much is your own damn fault? Shortly after, another one of my roommates gets sick too, and she barely drank at all, so I come to the conclusion that we both have more sensitive stomachs than everyone else and that I should have been more cautious about ordering things that were more than a plate of hot garbage. I start getting really anxious, and then think about how our waiter was super nice and dealt with a group of loud 20-somethings and dejectedly put my credit card down. Here is a guide so you don’t hate your life every time you go out to dinner.

PRO TIPS:

  • Don’t cry like six-year old me. Mistakes happen, restaurants are usually more than happy to fix your plate. If they don’t, then they will fear you revenge-Yelping or decreasing tips. But don’t be a shithead and eat half of it before you decide it’s not what you want.
  • If you have a food allergy or sensitivity, dietary lifestyle, etc. ask for more info beforehand or be super specific. Also, some wait staff will be completely bullshitting, so if it’s serious, drive that point home or make them go talk to the chefs.
  • If you get food poisoning, you should notify the establishment, just so they can remind their people about food safety, you could be helping someone else. And maybe they’ll feel bad for you and send some free stuff your way.
  • If you just made dumb order choices and none of the above apply, suck it up and deal with it. Better luck next time.
  • Have to throw up? GO. Immediately. Some people think it’s rude, but it’s more rude to hold it in and then projectile your mistakes at the table or on the way out.
  • Choose wisely between drinks and food: one has to be your main bitch and the other is your side piece. Any snack is awesome when you’ve had a few drinks and usually cheaper and a well-paired drink should compliment a meal rather than be in a marathon race with it.
  • Don’t eat a Bloomin’ Onion. LIKE, EVER. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL FRIED ONIONS, PROMISE ME YOU WON’T.
Proper Etiquette for Disappointing Dining Experiences (and Other Horror Stories)