Try this at home: Nekter Juice Cleanse

Above: Photo by Kaleigh Shufeldt Health & fitness | 7 Aug, 2014 |

Lying across my living room floor, I began to question my sanity. I could no longer remember why I decided to do a juice cleanse. It was only 1 p.m., and I already felt weak. I was not necessarily hungry, but I had no energy. My joie de vivre had been drained out of me. My mind raced; confused and befuddled thoughts swam through my head. Why do people put themselves through this torture? What is the point? I want to chew something!

Over the past couple of years, juicing has become a well-known and practiced form of getting in those daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Juice cleanses became an ever popular experiment for people trying to lose some weight, cleanse their bodies of toxins, increase energy, cut out harmful foods – the list goes on.

I have always liked the idea of a juice cleanse but was too afraid to start one. The thought of not eating, just drinking nutrients all day sounded horrible. Don’t get me wrong; I love vegetables and fruits in all forms, but this seemed to be taking it a step too far.

This was my mind set until Nekter Juice Bar opened in Scottsdale. The juice bar serves fresh-pressed juices, smoothies and acai bowls, and they are all delicious. Along with its normal menu, Nekter also sells juice cleanses. The cleanses can last from one to five days – each day there are six drinks, numbered and ready to go.

This was my opportunity, I didn’t have to make my own juice and the nutrients and benefits were right there for me to see. Score!

Since this was my first time taking on the challenge, I decided to do the one-day cleanse. I had spent the past two days mentally preparing myself and on Thursday morning I woke up ready to begin.

The first drink was comprised of apple, parsley, kale, spinach, mint, cucumber and celery. I poured the drink into a large mason jar full of ice, because, let’s face it, everything is better in a mason jar. My first sip of the dark green liquid reminded me of V8 juice without the tomato. The tart and vegetable-heavy drink was a little off-putting for first thing in the morning, but I was able to get it down.

Between my first and second drink I decided to workout and go for a swim, which probably wasn’t the best idea. By the time I finished at 10 a.m., I felt exhausted. When people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they aren’t kidding. Without that initial meal in the morning, I was already dragging.

The second drink was a refreshing blend of coconut water, cucumber and pineapple juice. Cucumber dominated the drink, though the sweetness from the juice and the electrolytes from the coconut water gave me a short boost of energy.

By noon, I decided to get out of the house and run some errands. I poured the third drink, what could be called “lunch,” into a tumbler to drink on the way. I also packed the fourth drink, pretty much lemonade with a kick of cayenne pepper, into an insulated case with ice – ready to drink by the late afternoon, when I was out of motivation to keep going.

In between my fourth and fifth drinks, I gratefully took a short nap. By evening, I couldn’t look at another green drink but somehow slurped down the fifth juice. Much like the first, this one had cucumber, parsley and spinach along with a touch of ginger.

The last drink I sipped while at the movies. It was the perfect chance to get out of my head and focus on something else. The drink was made of filtered water, raw cashews, agave nectar and vanilla bean. Not what you would call a juice, but it did manage to fill me up.

I have never been so happy to go to bed. During my twenty-four hour cleanse, I realized that a diet of juice just isn’t for me. However, I did wake up the following day feeling refreshed and oddly energized.

At the end of my ordeal, all I can say is more power to the people who can last three days or more. I was happy to just get through one.

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