Illustration by Jane Leung
Since we all want to lose a few extra pounds to fit into our sexy Halloween costumes (or because well, don’t we just always want to lose an extra few?) juice cleanses have been a hot topic as of late. I will be the first to admit that giving up food is not my forte which is why instead, I had three of my editors test out a few chosen cleanses for me so that I could find out if they work without having to put myself through the process. A bit selfish, yes but all in the name of journalism. The girls, Emily Finkbinder, Kerry Pieri and Michelle Halpern, tested iZO Cleanze, Organic Avenue and the Cooler Cleanse respectively for either 3 or 5 days and kept a diary to track their experiences.
If you’re not familiar iZO is an organic, vegan detox cleanse beloved by Erin Wasson and Daisy Fuentes. Cooler Cleanse is made up of detoxifying juices and calls gorgeous Salma Hayek a fan and Organic Avenue’s glass bottles are filled with raw vegan juices. Keep reading for detailed results from all three!
DAY 1: Emily Finkbinder, Creative Director, iZO Cleanze
9 AM: Giant insulated white packages arrive at the office with 12 juices for me to imbibe per day. Given the fact that I usually dont consume beverages (Im not kidding I really dont have more than 2 drinks in a day) this is going to be a challenge.
I get started with the mineral water and Super Green juice. Hmmmy palate definitely wasnt ready for this. Im hoping by day 3 I just cant wait to get my hands on this stuff. Im looking forward to noon and my Pro (almond protein drink).
2 PM: This is getting to be a challenge. The office is full of treats from PR people. Why do people send fashion and beauty editors food? This is fashion, people!
3 PM: Im a little behind on the schedule. If you follow it exactly, youre nearly drinking a beverage every hour. This can be hard to do with a day full of meetings.
9 PM: I still have 3 drinks left, and I feel like I cant fit anything else in my body. I try, but can only make it half way through the last lemonade drink. The boyfriend is eating a giant bowl of pasta by my side. This is going to be hard.
DAY 1: Michelle Halpern, Content Manger, Cooler Cleanse
9 AM: Arrive at the office where Emily our Creative Director, Kerry Pieri and I are nervously anticipating the arrival of our cleanses. Ive checked mine out online and compared to what Ive heard about some cleanses, I have to say it looks pretty delicious…OK, that might be a strong term, but my main concerns are with the 5 day length of the program.
10:30 AM: My first three days worth of juices get delivered to the office and I whip out the directions which tell me to start off with a warm glass of water. The first juice Im supposed to drink every morning is the essential green juice which contains a mix of cucumber, celery, parsley, spinach, kale, dandelion greens (yes, dandelion greens), watercress, pear, lemon and ginger. The directions read to enjoy it slowly. I mean, I dont exactly picture myself wanting to chug this thing.
12:30 PM: The second juice for the day is a grapefruit and mint blend! Refreshing! Thinking I can do this.
3:30 PM: And its back to the green juice. I already want to quit and my head hurts. All I can think about is having a cappuccino and its cold and rainy outside not helping!
5:45 PM: Dinnertime! Bring on the young coconut waterdelish! My favorite part is that it actually says young on the bottle. But I guess thats better than drinking old coconut water. The other girls are jealous of my drink right now.
8 PM: By 8 PM, Im just starting my last drink which is an almond nut milk with dates and vanilla bean. Just as Im drinking it, I start to feel physically ill, but it passes after an hour. Im actually finding that Im not even hungry and cant finish the last of the nut milk before bedtime.
DAY 1: Kerry Pieri, Features Director, Organic Avenue
10:30 AM: My cleanse still isnt here because we sent a JTM (read: StyleCaster intern) and then my good friend and fashion assistant Dee told her she could stop by KCD before bringing me my food. I eat half a banana because Im really hungry already…uh oh.
11 AM: The beverages arrive! Maybe waiting makes it more palatable? I start with a shot of chlorophyll, which I keep referring to as chloroform (Freudian slip perhaps?) Its weirdly tangy, but if I can shoot tequila, this is nothing.
11:15 AM: Youre supposed to wait an hour before the next drink, but Im starved and caffeine free I go for the apple juice and its delightful. Ive eschewed juice for the calories and I forgot how good it could be!
12:15 AM: I usually dont eat lunch until after 2pm, so Im doing fine. I was also supposed to Write a list of intentions of what you would like to release from your life. I forgot to do this, but I promise food was not one of those things!
1:30 PM: I am meant to repeat, ‘I am Happy, I am Joyous, I am Free’ all day. This is erroneous. I drink a Young Love, a green juice that tastes sort of fresh and light…not bad.
4 PM: Oh man, Im getting really hungry. I try more water, its a joke. Time for the beet and ginger drink (Veggie Vibe); tastes kind of like salad dressing… keep thinking it might be delightful on soba noodles.
6 PM: That was also a lot to swallow, apologies for the pun. I am not in a good place. Im so hungry I cant concentrate and its only the first day. I dont deal well with low blood sugar. Its a problem.
7 PM: Another green juice (Young Love, not so much). It also tastes fresh just like liquid spinach juice or something; it is not making me happy. Around 8 PM, I head home, coconut water in hand. I walk through a food fair outdoors… life is cruel.
8:30 PM: BF says I look cracked out. I drink the coconut and 2 green teas. I am such a baby, but I am SO hungry.
11 PM: Tried to go to bed post Gossip Girl. Eat a piece of whole wheat toast. Ive failed, but at least Im able to go to bed happy.
DAY 2: Emily Finkbinder, Creative Director, iZO Cleanze
7 AM: Down 2 lbs exactly not sleeping for part of the night due to hunger is totally worth it.
9 AM: Arrive at work and set up my juices. Im much more motivated after weighing myself.
12 PM: Lunches start entering the office, but Im okay this time. I think my stomach is getting used to the idea of liquids for 5 days.
3 PM: Looking forward to the Red juice. This ends up being my tastiest juice all week. I get to have it twice a day.
5 PM: Again, Ive fallen behind. I still have 7 juices to drink! I feel full, but I try to get them down.
9 PM: I still have 3 drinks left. I give my boyfriend half of each of the final three drinks.
DAY 2: Michelle Halpern, Content Manager, Cooler Cleanse
8 AM: My first juice is waiting for me at the office, so I decide to finish my last nut milk from the night before while Im getting ready for work. Surprisingly not feeling too hungry yet, but in all fairness Im not a big breakfast eater so eating excuse me drinking is not so normal for my typical 8 AM.
10 AM- 12 PM: Ive decided its not so easy starting the morning off with what is essentially a salad. But I do like that by the third drink the worst is behind me.
12:20 PM: Headache central. Blaming it on the coffee withdrawal. Excited to be saving so much money on coffee this week, but lets be real. When youve started every morning for the last year off with a large Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, going one day without it is like going to work naked.
1:05 PM: Surprised to find that the sweetness of the pineapple ginger is a little too much for me after all those healthy greens.
5:30 PM: THRILLED to be onto my young coconut water! Im basically skipping through the office by drink #4 each day. Smooth sailing from here!
9 PM: Get through the red juice smoothly on my commute home from work but cant even finish my almond nut milk because Im so full. And after all this no coffee business, Im shocked at how awake I am. Almost half way there!
DAY 2: Kerry Pieri, Features Director, Organic Avenue
8 AM: Wake up feeling fine. So glad Im not a hungry when I wake up kind of girl.
9 AM: Work, juices waiting, thankfully. Chlorophyll followed by delightful pear juice. My thing to think about for the day: “Every thought you have contributes to truth or illusion. It either extends the truth or multiplies illusions.” Am I supposed to ignore the truth that I dont get to eat for three days?
11 AM: Im slow, and for some reason going to the fridge, taking the box of juice out and swapping bottles takes SO much energy.
12 PM: Finally start on the Young Love: Spinach, Cucumber, Celery… its nothing like turkey on whole wheat.
3 PM: I feel like my body is shutting down. I realize that this is not a cleanse so much as a fast. 600 calories in one day is NOT sufficient. Drink master tonic, its cool.
5 PM: A little behind. I hit up the beet juice (1 Veggie Vibe: Lemon, Carrot, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Beet). Im not as bad as yesterday but still hungry. At about 400 calories for day so far. Isnt that what, like, newborns eat?
7 PM: Green Love drink. Sorry, not into it, but I drink it all. Coconut water for the road. Drink it at home; feel like life is sad without dinner. Make it through with no toast!
DAY 3: Emily Finkbinder, Creative Director, iZO Cleanze
9 AM: I can feel the water weight coming off. My face is definitely slimmer!
10 AM: Im not hungry at all. This is the easiest day of all the only challenge is finishing all the drinks. At this point the hunger isnt the hard part. My palate is growing tired of the monotony.
1 PM: Feeling good, and my energy level is high. Co-workers were worried with an office-wide cleanse, but I think us girls are holding it together (except of course for the 2 times daily mini breakdowns).
3 PM: A day full of meetings is keeping my mind off of solid food. I must admit I struggle with the teas that pop up 4 times daily within the schedule. I hold my nose and take big gulps to get them down.
6 PM: Wishing I could go home and order sushi, which I usually do 2 times during the work week. I bet my favorite delivery girl is wondering if Im okay.
9 PM: Self-control is fading fast. I eat 2.5 saltines. I couldnt help myself.
DAY 3: Michelle Halpern, Content Manager, Cooler Cleanse
10:30 AM: At this point, really hating starting the day with the green juice. Its taking me longer and longer to get through it each morning.
1 PM: Very appreciative that the fruit juice option changes every day. To be honest, Im starting to get slightly sick of repeating the same flavors over and over, so when I see whats on the menu for today Im super relieved: watermelon and lime! Its like a summer cocktail!
5:40 PM: Its almost dinnertime and Ive only gotten through three juices so far. Its slowly taking longer and longer to get through each one. One of our JTMs (Junior Team Member = intern) forgets that Im not allowed caffeine and asks if I want anything from Dunkin Donuts. Is she trying to torture me? Tempted to give in but resist.
7 PM: My friend invites me to a kickoff party for the Food & Wine Festival. Great. Bobby Flay, Giada and co are all supposed to be there. Convinced I have the will power to do this without giving in.
9:30 PM: It turns out I dont. Allow myself a glass and a half of wine and a couple summer roll appetizers that some cocktail waitresses are passing around. Wine has important nutrients, right? As long as I dont go all out for a pizza I figure Im not a terrible person.
DAY 3: Kerry Pieri, Features Director, Organic Avenue – FINAL DAY!
9 AM: I feel pretty energized, actually. Drink chlorophyll, its tanginess almost feels like flavor.
10:30 AM: Out of orange juice, so I get grapefruit instead. I hate grapefruit. It takes me almost 2.5 hours to drink.
12:30 PM: Apparently I would rather starve than drink more juices.
2 PM: Onto the Young Love (they make it sound so pretty)… ugh, drink it soooo slow.
4 PM: Um, Im being juice cleanse irresponsible. Stare down Michelles smoothie creations, feel jealous.
6 PM: Cant wait to eat real food, but that urgent hunger is gone. My head, however, is killing me. Maybe 3 days without coffee?
7 PM: Drink Veggie Vibe beet juice fast like really fast kind of feel sick (apparently drinking these like a keg stand is frowned upon). Skip second green love and coconut water.
Next day, I feel lighter, my skin looks good and unlike what I thought Monday, I dont want pizza or a chicken quesadilla. Coffee is delish, but I get a veggie salad for lunch and tuna roll for dinner. New leaf? As long as I dont have to drink it!
DAY 4: Emily Finkbinder, Creative Director, iZO Cleanze
7 AM: Damn those saltines! No weight loss. Must stick to cleanse today.
12 PM: My Style/Market Editor and I have 3 shoots today, so Im not worried about cravings. Im so busy it doesnt even cross my mind. I bring the iZO Cleanse cooler and ice packs to the changing room. The drinks stay cool and fresh all day.
4 PM: Ive been a bad cleanse kid today. Ive only had 4 of the 8 drinks I should have taken down by now. Its really hard to stick to when youre busy. Plus the drinks are more difficult to swallow each day. I thought Id get used to them.
7 PM: I still have 6 drinks left! I finish 3 more, its all I can handle.
9 PM: I go to sleep to avoid hunger
DAY 4: Michelle Halpern, Content Manager, Cooler Cleanse
10 AM: Feeling bad that I cheated a little bit last night, but OK, not that bad. I mean, it was basically bird food. Promise myself I will be good today.
11 AM: By mid-morning my coworkers are starting to complain that I look like Im wasting away. To be fair, I am wearing all black and am channeling Mary-Kate Olsen in an over-sized sweater, so maybe that has something to do with it? According to the scale Ive only lost maybe 2 or 3 pounds.
1:30 PM: Coworkers comments are starting to get to me. Feeling like my legs arent holding me up properly. Everything else is going well though. Im getting used to drinking the juices and I havent been having any extreme hunger pangs, but Im really starting the miss the basic act of crunching and chewing.
6 PM: The red juice and I are becoming more friendly. Beets arent so bad I guess, especially when theyre mixed with apples.
1 AM: Get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and literally run into a wall and hit my head. This isnt the first time Ive been feeling a little unstable on my feet and decide maybe thats a sign that four days is enough?
DAY 5 FINAL DAY! Emily Finkbinder, Creative Director, iZO Cleanze
7 AM: I wake up with a huge smile on my face. Fully aware that today is the last day of the cleanse.
9 AM: I start planning Saturdays brunch. Where should I go? The world is my oyster! Yumoysters
12 PM: I feel great, and I cant wait to start going to the gym again. I took this week off because of the cleanse.
3 PM: I think knowing that there is an end in sight makes this the easiest day yet.
7 PM: Uh oh, I still have 5 drinks left.
9 PM: Brainstorm about brunch again… the boyfriend and I decide that its going to be an early brunch, and Frankies 457 is the winner. I go to sleep early so the time will pass.
DAY 5 FINAL DAY! Michelle Halpern, Content Manager, Cooler Cleanse
10 AM: The last day of the cleanse! To be honest, Im not even feeling that hungry anymore, and combined with the fact that Im getting super sick of drinking the same tasting juices anymore, I choose the starving route.
11 AM: Until 11 AM, that is. Force myself to drink the green juice but cant get the whole thing down before it gets too warm to stomach. My trash can starts to fill up with half empty juices.
4 PM: By the afternoon, I havent touched my red juice yet and start daydreaming about what my first meal off the cleanse will be. Im not even trying to make it to Saturday at this point. Blaming this on the fact that I need to recover my mental health.
5 PM: Click over to Seamless Web one crunchy salmon roll, one edamame, coming up please! I figure if Im going to cheat, I can at least do it with something light and relatively healthy.
iZO Cleanze, Emily Finkbinder:
End Result: -5.5 lbs
Hunger Level: Manageable
Energy Level During: Manageable
Energy Level After: High
Taste: Varied from hard to swallow to tasty
Changes Noticed: Clearer skin, higher energy once completed, weight loss
Organic Avenue, Kerry Pieri:
End Result: -3 lbs
Hunger Level: High to manageable
Energy Level During: Low
Energy Level After: High
Taste: Not awful
Changes Noticed: A more toned look, a desire to eat healthier
Recommend: Maybe, depending on your self control
Cooler Cleanse, Michelle Halpern:
End Result: -4 lbs
Hunger Level: Manageable
Energy Level During: Manageable…but felt a bit weak towards the end
Energy Level After: Decent
Taste: Varied by drink from extremely tasty to hard to get down
Changes Noticed: Weight loss, definite overall feeling of health, desire to eat better in general