The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Liquid Gold: Juice Cleansing

The end of finals marks the start of bliss: summer. But what it also marks is the self-realization of how much weight you may or may not have gained from the stresses of finals.

I flew back home, relieved and ready to relax, when I walked by the bathroom mirror. I paused to look in closer and saw not only an exhausted looking freshman, but one who had also gained an unwanted amount of fat on her not-bikini-ready body.

While I usually am strict with my diet and exercise, when a whirlwind of finals hits there is no escaping its wrath.

I sought a quick fix. A possible diet fad, perse that would help ease my way back into my healthier habits. I typed “summer diets” into Google, and the words “juice cleanse” were bolded in seven of the 12 websites I visited.

As I read on, the beneficial effects from juice cleanses piqued my interest.

According to the Huffington Post, author and M.D. Woodson Merrell attributed juice cleanses to providing a “dozen significant health enhancements” such as allowing for the “detoxification of saturated fats, refined carbs and antibiotics and for the restoration of balance in the microbiome (gut flora and fauna).”

After a month of nonstop studying, emotional eating and 24-hour energies, who wouldn’t want to purify their organs?

And as every other diet promises, juice cleansing swore to make me feel like I would have “much more energy and clarity” through its organic nutrient goodness.

The more I saw juicing on social media sites like Instagram and Tumblr, the more I was persuaded to drive to Nektar and buy their 3-day cleanse to get my “new-and-improved” body. Celebrities, fitness gurus and even my own peers were posting a plethora of photos of their fitness journeys – all of which attributed drinking this ambrosia.

That is, until, one fateful Tumblr search unveiled the dirty truth to this organic cleanse.

I typed “juice cleanse” in hopes of finding the right brand of cleanse to start. While endless photos of juices with bold labels filled my screen, underneath one eye-catching photo, a daily log of juice cleanses were outlined.

While there were positive posts regarding how full of energy or healthy people felt after taking the juice cleanse, the overwhelming negativity that went on during the actual 3-7 day cleanses left me uneasy.

Posts from fitness-related blogs like Foodie Fit and a Healthy Wonderland commented on their juices, saying how the Master Cleanse and BluePrint Cleanses tasted merely “meh” despite the flavorful fruits and vegetables that were extracted at a costly price.

However, Shy, the blogger of Foodie Fit, finished her 7-day juice cleanse with optimal results. Her goal of “ridding of her belatedness and toxins” was reached and she felt “happier and rejuvenated.”

After reading opposing articles and threads from other bloggers, I started feeling ambivalent. Are juicing benefits really worth the emotional and physical frustration?

Time Magazine author Kelsey Miller wrote that there’s no need for juice cleanses due to the liver and kidneys being the body’s detoxification system.

Miller also pointed out juicing by itself is dangerous. “There are some obvious drawbacks of juicing; juices are inadequate in protein, fat, essential fatty acids, and fiber. These nutrients are crucial for satiety and vital components for a balanced meal.”

I contemplated the consequences of juicing one last time before I made my journey over to Nektar. Chugging a not-so-delectable lemon and cayenne pepper drink in between the other decent pressed juices didn’t seem so bad. A slightly aggravated Olivia for three days? Doable.

I prayed for the best and made my purchase. Over the span of three days, I went through a roller coaster of emotions (hunger, anger, elatedness) as I slowly purified my innards.

I felt refreshed and lost my post-finals weight. The cleanse was doable, but not as my only means of caloric intake. Juicing motivated me to start up my workout regimen and eat healthy again, but it also allowed me to see how important eating and sleeping right are to functioning properly.

I learned living a sustainable and balanced lifestyle can’t be supplemented with a crash diet like juicing. There were many moments throughout that cleanse that I craved protein or carbs and only had a juice bottle at hand. Although the juices were technically providing me with the essential nutrients and vitamins I needed, it didn’t feel like enough.

And that’s because solely juicing isn’t enough.

Jennifer Nelson, director of clinic dietetics and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic said, “You want your diet to be balanced and healthy and to include protein, dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fats,” Nelson says. “Some foods don’t juice properly – like fish or whole wheat bread.”

While juicing can help your consumption of key nutrients, it is not recommended as a diet. A balance of unjuiced fruits, vegetables, carbs, protein and fat is needed to sustain a healthy life. But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to enjoy a juiced or green drink. Let yourself indulge – just in moderation.

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