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Week after week of life on the road can wreck havoc on my body. Eating can become one of those exercises where I am left with few choices – eat what’s on the plane or available at the airport or whatever my client has put out. Even when I get time to choose, sometimes after a stressful day, eating healthy is not what I want to do. After a long period of these eating habits, I can notice it – I feel sluggish, my skin and hair looks dull, and my digestive system feels a bit *uncooperative*. And sooner or later I hit the point where I have to do something about it and that’s where Blue Print Cleanse comes in.
I read about juice cleanses but searched to find an unbiased Blue Print Cleanse review before I undertook my first one a year ago. It was hard to find anything neutral – everyone either raved about how “life-changing” the cleanse was or grumbled that it did nothing. I was curious enough that the only way to find out was to try it myself.
The cleanse I just finished yesterday was my fifth one of three days or longer. I’ve done close to a dozen of them in the last year ranging from one to six days – and have a goal of doing a nine to twelve day one if my travel/social calendar ever allows me that grace. I’m obviously a fan, but I’m also realistic about what cleansing does (and does not) do for my body.
I did a three day cleanse for this review using the company’s Renovation Level.
The cleanse comes in three levels from Renovation to Excavation – the difference between them is the number of green juices you drink each day versus variety juices. All cleanses include six bottles of juices with the constants being two green juices, a spicy lemonade, and an end-of-day cashew milk drink. On the Renovation level, you also get a carrot/beet/apple juice and a pineapple/apple/mint juice. On the Foundation level, the carrot/beet/apple is substituted for a third green juice. On the Excavation level you get two green juices in lieu of the fruit varietals.
As it turns out, the green juice is my favorite so Excavation is my favorite of the three cleanses although when doing longer cleanses, I like to do Foundation just for a bit of variety.
The cleanses are available via mail-order from the Blue Print Cleanse website. There are also local pickup options in select larger cities (generally only on specific days when they receive a larger shipment of pre-ordered cleanses for clients). Some retail outlets also carry the cleanses although that seems to be hit-or-miss. This past spring/summer I was able to purchase them at my local HEB Central Market but they have since stopped stocking them. I’ve also seen them at some Whole Foods locations although again, my local location no longer carries them.
If you order via mail-order, your juices come in a refrigerated pack in numbered ready-to-drink bottles.
I unpacked my juices and dug into day one immediately.
The hardest part of day 1 is curtailing normal snacking. I’m working from home and I’m surprised how often I have to curtail the urge to walk to the refrigerator or pantry. Twice I stopped myself, keys in hand, from driving to Starbucks. It’s not that I was even hungry… it was just reflexive.
I’m really NOT hungry at all – in fact, it’s a lot of juice. By bottles four and five, I’m forcing myself to drink because I feel full. I’ve gone to the bathroom a LOT. Not in an unpleasant colonoscopy-prep kind of way… just in a “I really need to stop drinking so much water because I have to pee AGAIN” kind of way.
My teeth feel fuzzy. I keep brushing them between juices but the fuzz returns. I’m told this is a normal part of detoxing the body.
I go to bed early – when my evening doesn’t involve cooking, eating, or drinking I get a lot more done. And it feels like bedtime much earlier.
When I get up on the morning of day two, I feel like I’ve slept about twenty hours. Super refreshed, despite waking up to go to the bathroom at least twice in the middle of the night. I am down 3.0 pounds on the scale and my skin feels less dry. I’m also noticing that the nagging gastrointestinal symptoms I’d had for a couple of weeks are totally gone.
Day two is an easier day as I’m at work. I watch the Food Network all day in my office and nothing on there even looks appealing to me. The only food I’m craving is – strangely – oatmeal. I have a strong desire to chew on something so I decide to have some sliced avocado (one of a handful of “safe” foods on the cleanse).
Still, I’m not hungry at all. The juice is satisfying and there is just SO much of it.
On day three, I have to be up at 5:30 am for a conference call. I wake up at 5 with a high level of energy… I feel bouncy. I’m also down another 1.7 pounds (a total of 4.7 pounds).
I stop at Starbucks to pick up some herbal tea on the way to work and run into a friend who asks if I just had a facial. Yes, my skin is actually glowing. I feel radiant. I’m actually sad on day three that I’m almost out of juice as I drink them in sequence.
The first juice is the Green Juice. This stuff is amazing – it tastes like drinking a delicious salad. I like it enough that I used to pick it up from the local store to drink for breakfast. I’ve not found another green juice that tastes this smooth as most have a bit of an aftertaste to me.
The second juice on Foundation/Renovation cleanses is the Pineapple Apple Mint juice. This one is sweet with a bit of a tropical flavor. I think it would taste great with rum as a cocktail. Its easy to drink although a bit sweet for me early in the morning.
The third juice comes around lunchtime with another Green Juice. The second one always tastes a bit different after the sweeter juice earlier. I sometimes add a pinch of sea salt to it for kick.
The fourth juice is always the Spicy Lemonade. I’m not nuts about this blend – maybe because I tried the Master Cleanse diet several years ago and this reminds me a bit too much of that. I find it’s best to just drink it. I hear from others that they *love* this juice though so I think it’s subjective as I’m not a big lemonade fan in general.
On the Renovation cleanse, the Beet/Apple/Carrot Juice is the fifth juice. This one is just too sweet for me. I like beets but the additives to this one make it too sugary for me. For first time cleansers, however, the additional sugar is helpful. On Foundation/Excavation level cleanses this would be subbed out with another Green Juice.
The last juice of the day is my very favorite – Cashew Milk. The Blue Print Cleanse variety is sweetened with agave, cinnamon, and vanilla. It reminds me of a delicious rice pudding or tapioca. My favorite part of every cleanse day is getting to drink this in the evening.
I go to bed at the end of day three a bit sad – no more juices in the refrigerator for me.
This morning I woke up and got on the scale for the final assessment. I am down 5.4 pounds, my skin looks healthy, and the circles under my eyes are gone.
One of the reported benefits of a juice cleanse is giving the body a break from digestion. Allowing energy to go to other places means you sleep better and other systems can get blood flow and restoration.
Now the caveats – based on my body fat scale, I lost more water weight than anything. That’s also evident in the belly bloat that is gone from my torso. It’s also not something I can keep up for long periods of time because I miss socializing with friends, having my evening glass of wine, and puttering in my kitchen.
Still, the short-term benefits are good – improved sleep, rejuvenated skin, rested digestive system.
For me, there have been long-term benefits as well. My last six day cleanse in May was a signal that something was seriously wrong with my body’s reaction to food. I felt great through day six and then in the week after the cleanse, started having severe reactions to food. That actually prompted me to get food allergy testing and I discovered that several things in my diet were actually causing inflammatory reactions in my body (wheat, corn, cow’s milk, coffee… just to name a few). Cutting those out has improved my health dramatically.
Want to try Blue Print Cleanse? You can order direct online from them. (No, I’m not an affiliate, just a raving fan!)
The cleanse is also on sale with GiltCity for the next 24 hours. You can purchase a certificate there that is good for 3, 6, 9, or 12 day of cleansing. They can be redeemed in 3 day increments between now and December 15, 2014. (If you do decide to order from Gilt and are not yet a member, I’d love it if you used my referral link to sign up – I do get $25 in credit if you decide to do that!)