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Crushing It

Taking the juice cleanse challenge . . . and failing: Detoxifying is tougher than you think

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Crush cleanse, juice, January 2013
Crush Cleanse is part of the juicing/detoxing trend. Photo courtesy of Crush Cleanse
Crush cleanse, juice, January 2013
Crush Cleanse launched in Houston in October 2012. Photo courtesy of Crush Cleanse
Crush cleanse, juice, January 2013
Crush cleanse, juice, January 2013
News_Jayme Lamm_head shot_column mug_with mic

With the New Year comes a lot of promises to ourselves. Like evading the mall and lowering credit card bills. Or bringing your A-Game to work everyday.

Working out more. Eating less. Washing your hair on a daily basis. Cutting back on your superfluous champagne consumption.

OK, maybe those last few were just mine, but still, the New Year brings about a time where we all want to make positive changes.

 I couldn't go on any dates, couldn't meet the girls for happy hour, couldn't drive past Arby's without wanting to crash my Tahoe into the brick building. 

The fad of juicing/fasting/detoxing has been around for some time, but I decided the start of a new year was the perfect time to jump on that liquid train and see for myself. I decided to forego those cryptic recipes on the interwebs which required a food processor, ground up pig feet, splashes of cayenne pepper and other garb and instead try a local company: Crush Cleanse.

Crush Cleanse launched in October 2012 as Houston's first premier juice cleanser. This particular cleanse focuses on a feeling of a cleansed body and mind — more than a weight loss tactic. The goal is to reset and reboot your body in hopes to help reinvent healthy habits and rid your body of post party toxins (i.e. the Veuve Clicquot mentioned above).

The cleanse comes in a one day, three day, five day and 10 day formats and can be purchased at various retailers throughout Houston or delivered straight to your door. I opted for the three day cleanse — which turned into 48 grueling hours of no food or champagne.

Yes, if you do the math, you'll notice I didn't make it.

What started out as an actual challenge to see if I could go without food for three entire days, ended up exactly that — a challenge. It was tough for a multitude of reasons. I couldn't go on any dates, couldn't meet the girls for happy hour, couldn't drive past Arby's without wanting to crash my Tahoe into the brick building and start gorging on fatty food. I don't even like Arby's.

While results vary for each person, it just wasn't something I could finish. It did give me bursts of energy and made me eat less when I finally reacclimated to the wonderful world of food. Not only did my stomach feel smaller, I got full quicker and I wanted to put less bad stuff in my body.

Those first two nights I slept like a baby, which was also a pleasant surprise.

The Clean Truth

Crush Cleanse is comprised of cold pressed, unpasteurized, raw, vegan, gluten free and dairy-free juices. Made with an abundance of vegetables, fruits and nuts, it is not a cleanse where you are starved or guaranteed to lose weight — you're still consuming approximately 1,200 calories per day.

 "We don't believe in depriving the body but rather in reviving it back to an all natural, toxin free state." 

Juices No. 1 and No. 3 each have six pounds of vegetables (including kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber and celery), so you'll definitely get your fill of important nutrients and vitamins to try and ward off excessive fatigue or grouchiness. Each day of the cleanse you are flooding your bloodstream with all natural, live juices packed with vitamins, enzymes and essential nutrients.

"We don't believe in depriving the body but rather in reviving it back to an all natural, toxin free state," says Elena Dunn, principal owner and founder of Crush Cleanse. After time we all accumulate built up toxins from processed foods, alcohol, nicotine and even air pollution.

"Crush Cleanse is an all natural way to not only flush the body of these impurities but to balance and alkalize your PH — disease cannot thrive in a PH balanced system!"

The cleanse consists of six juices consumed throughout the day and there are different cleanse levels: First Crush (recommended for first time cleansers), Crushing Hard and Major Crush.

First Crush consists of a variety of all six juices (two green, pineapple, carrot, spicy lemonade & cashew), Crushing Hard replaces the carrot juice with a signature green juice and Major Crush consists of four greens, a spicy lemonade and cashew milk. These cleanse systems were specifically formulated to gently detox your system while still delivering an abundance of essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.

 Keep a bathroom nearby, at all times, under all circumstances. 

Preparing for your cleanse is an integral part of easing into an all-juice diet. Things like slowly cutting out meats, sugars and starches three days before beginning your cleanse will help your body adjust and minimize symptoms. Some symptoms during your cleanse can include a headache, skin irritation, upset stomach, and a feeling of hunger.

All of these symptoms are normal as it is just a sign of toxins slowly making their way out of your body. As the days go, you can aim to look forward to: More energy, clearer thinking, no feeling of hunger, possible weight loss, glowing/radiant skin, and an overall feeling of healthiness inside and out.

If a cleanse is something you've never tried, it's definitely an experience worth trying. You may not have ground-breaking results like others, but you're likely to notice even a few small changes after you've completed it.

Plus, challenges are good. Toxins are bad.

The Quick and Dirty

- Juices are typically spaced out two to three hours between one another (depending on individual needs).
- You MUST drink water while cleansing, the only juices with a little water are No. 4 Spicy Lemonade and No. 6 Cashew Milk, so even though you're consuming liquids, you still need aqua.
- The numbers on the bottles (one to six) are a suggested order to drink, but feel free to move them around (for me, I didn't want or need them all, I just drank when I needed a pick me up or a boost of energy).
- You can workout while cleansing, but be sure to listen to your body and not push it too hard especially the first day since your body is ridding itself of all the built up toxins and impurities. With that being said you may feel slightly fatigued and headache. (I can testify to this — I did have enough energy to work out, but headaches and fatigue did start to take over on day two).
- Drinks MUST be refrigerated at all times and before you drink them make sure to shake them up (I thought it'd be easier to drink them out of a huge wine glass for the fun factor, but it's hard to reshake the juice when you have half left, so keep it in the original bottle).
- The juices MUST be consumed upon delivery, the shelf life is five to seven days but best consumed right away.
- Pregnant, nursing, the elderly and children are not recommended to cleanse due to the unpasturized nature of the juices.
- Keep a bathroom nearby, at all times, under all circumstances.

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