The Detox To Try If You Refuse To Juice Cleanse

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Let me start by saying I’ve never actually completed a juice cleanse—the closest I’ve gotten is spontaneously “deciding” to give it a shot every once in a while after a particularly gluttonous streak. Each time, my dedication lasts until lunch, at which point my hanger takes over and I decide I need solid food more than I need to “cleanse.” Sure, this isn’t the most committed way to attempt a detox, but it gives you an idea of how averse I am to the idea of it. I strongly believe that everything in life should be enjoyed in moderation, so a highly restrictive diet is basically against my religion.

That said, I do understand and appreciate the notion of detoxing—ridding the body of any lingering bad guys that may be inhibiting optimal functioning. Recently, I caught wind of a program called DL Revamp that can be as short as three days, promised to have the same positive results as a cleanse and involved food. And chewing. Hallelujah! I was quick to sign up, and when a big cooler landed on my desk with three days worth of plant-based, vegan goodies, I couldn’t wait to get started.

Courtesy of DL Revamp

Allow me to just cut to the chase—despite my excitement, the program was still difficult. Unless you're quarantined from the outside world for the duration of a cleanse, I imagine the process will always be somewhat challenging. Completely altering your daily routine, avoiding social functions to resist the temptation of carbs and sugary drinks, being unsure of how to proceed with your regularly scheduled workouts—there's bound to be life stuff that presents roadblocks. Nonetheless, I completed the program and have lived to tell the tale, one I'm sharing under the assumption that there are others out there like me who've previously considered themselves incapable of "cleansing."

The DL Revamp meal plan included regular eating and drinking, which helped me feel satisfied throughout the day. Select menu items included heirloom seed pudding for breakfast, an Asian noodle bowl for lunch and green garden soup for dinner, with snacks and juices in between. Not bad right? I'll admit, I did have one small coffee each morning—which is strongly discouraged while cleansing—because without caffeine, I turn into a cranky monster. For the sake of my coworkers' sanity, I felt it was okay to cheat just a tiny bit.

Day one was fine, I even worked out that evening and felt great. On day two I woke up with a headache and assumed it was related to muscle tension from the previous night's exercise. Later that evening (when the throbbing endured), I was talking to a woman at an event and, upon learning I was cleansing, she asked, "So have you gotten the headaches yet?" Ohhh. I'm not sure exactly what they should be attributed to (low blood sugar, most likely), but with some top-line Googling it appears headaches are indeed a common side effect of detoxing. I woke up on day three, migraine still festering, and contemplating giving up. But with just one day left, I figured I'd come far enough to finish. So I powered through the day and yes, to celebrate my last soup dinner, I promptly rewarded myself after with a glass of wine—which, as you can imagine, is not recommended in the program, but something I felt I personally deserved for this small victory.

Courtesy of DL Revamp

After all was said and done, I did feel lighter, healthier and a tad more spritely. Honestly! And in the days following, my appetite was noticeably smaller than normal. So would I do a detox again? Sure, a routine reset every once in a blue moon doesn't sound like the worst thing that could happen, especially if it sets the course for a new, healthier track. But moreover, the big takeaway here is that it is possible to feel the positive effects of a cleanse while not eschewing food completely. The New Potato just posted this delicious-sounding three-day cleanse (from the founder of Taylor Swift's gym, no less) which I've bookmarked so I can attempt a detox program on my own.

To my fellow anti-juice-cleansers, my point is: If the inspiration ever strikes, face your fears and give a quick detox a spin. Try one that's rich in plant-based ingredients and allows you to chew, chew, chew to your heart's content. You (maybe, hopefully) will be glad you did, or at the very least, you can say you tried.

Have you tried any food-inclusive cleanses you've enjoyed? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.