Perhaps in reading this post you’re seeking a credible nutrition professional to dispense dietetic advice. After all, I have a couple of nutrition degrees, maintain my continuing education and have a reputable practice now into its ninth year. While that’s all very nice, I’ll tell you who I really am. I’m a guinea pig here to test-drive any new food trend, wacky workout or interesting idea if it pertains to nutrition. After all, how can I encourage or discourage clients from doing something if I haven’t read about or tried it? This week was no different. There are a number of cleanses that have gained popularity here in NYC. Having tried a few I learned quickly, that while I love experimenting (some things never change), I hate starving. All liquid regimens don’t work that well for me or my exercise routine.

I have heard great things about Organic Avenue; I have been to their Stanton Street store and sampled some of their soups and smoothies. They offer an array of cleanses. What stimulated my interest was that, although raw and vegan, on some of their regimes you can eat. I like to eat and called and spoke to Peter at Organic Avenue and signed up for the L.O.V.E. (stands for live organic vegan experience) Easy cleanse for 4 days. I was excited and a little nervous. Sunday night I received an email confirming not the LOVE easy but the LOVE fast cleanse, a mostly liquid “experience.” I emailed back alerting them of their error but was delivered the wrong package the next morning.

I decided to give it a try. On Monday, I worked my way through a nasty chlorophyll shot, sour grapefruit juice and an average greens juice. In the afternoon I popped open a Goji Berry smoothie and loved it. It had fruit and Gojis and coconut (an ingredient which figures prominently on this cleanse). This beverage was my favorite of the day and lifted my spirits a smidge. I arrived home from work famished and a little foggy. Dinner was a dandelion salad the size of a supermarket container of hummus or a cream cheese tub (not large). My husband asked for a bite and I almost killed him. Did I mention I was also PMSing? I cannot imagine how unpleasant I was but I’m sure you can. I went to bed hungry and exhausted at 8:45pm.

The next morning my delivery was corrected and my “easy” cleanse arrived. There was falafel for lunch (3 the size of cherry tomatoes that I ended up having at 1045am) and another salad for dinner and dessert. After the previous day I was encouraged by the quantity but a little disappointed. One of the reasons for trying the daily deliveries was to sample new things. Many of the items repeated from the previous day and as someone who juices I wasn’t bowled over by the taste of the drinks. I emailed Organic Avenue to tell them I wanted to cancel the cleanse. They emailed back their cancellation policy which basically stated you cannot cancel. They did throw me a bone (a raw vegan bone) and said they would credit me for their mistake Monday and I could use the credit to try some other items on Friday. I wasn’t overjoyed, I was hungry and missing caffeine and did I mention my PMS? I tweeted about my frustration with it all.

On Wednesday morning things changed, I woke up feeling AMAZING. I am not an exaggerator by nature and trust me; I had decided I was done with this experiment. I slept more soundly than ever, my normally dryish skin wasn’t dry and I popped out of bed. I was a little nervous as I had an 8-mile run on my training schedule. I actually thought when I started the run how pathetic it would be “nutritionist passes out in park running 8 miles during a cleanse.” My run was great, I felt strong and energized even as I finished. I worked until 730 that night without tea or coffee or anything. I came home and had my dinner and actually forgot I still had one of the pretty glass bottles of coconut milk waiting for me to drink. I wasn’t as hungry.

Thursday was a breeze. I was enjoying having everything planned out for me. I wasn’t craving anything. I still ate my raw burrito lunch on the early side but I was sated and I felt guilty. I felt badly for criticizing Organic Avenue, I felt guilty that I was tempted to stop early on and I felt guilty for my frustration tweets. For someone who “tries it all” it’s hard to surprise me with a food experience. I swear it’s not some cleanse-induced euphoria talking but I feel different. I lost 4 pounds (I know not the point but I’m psyched); I am accustom to smaller portions and really have never felt better. If you are a guinea pig like me, I would highly recommend Organic Avenue and hope they accept my apology.

Have you done any cleanses? Have they been difficult? Have you had any food-related epiphanies?

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