Sunday, May 6
As promised, the cleanse is delivered to my apartment Sunday evening. Despite encouragement from Cooler Cleanse literature to eat clean prior to starting the program ("Avoid processed foods, red meat, bread, pasta and other wheat products, dairy products, and sugar."), I decide it’s is my last supper. My dinner feast breaks nearly every rule and includes greasy crab Rangoon, roast pork lo mein, and Sprite.
Monday, May 7: Raw Cooler: Three juices, a snack, dinner, and dessert.
9:00 a.m.: Juice #1: The first juice is Apple Lemon Ginger. I crack it open and can smell the ginger. It’s delicious. Heavy on the fruit with a light, spicy ginger kick. I could drink a bucket of it.
1:52 p.m.: Juice #2: Grapefruit and Mint. Crazy fresh. Certainly has the tartness of a grapefruit. Feel like I just ate the rind of one. Not in love, but very easy to drink.
4:49 p.m.: Snack: Cauliflower couscous. Genuinely yummy. Has a tasty garlic flavor. (Ingredients: cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes, carrot, parsley, lemon, dates, cilantro, oregano, hemp seeds, coriander seed, garlic, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, sea salt.) I’d happily eat this any day. The portion is small, and I want more. Like really want more.
6:30 p.m.: Juice #3: Spicy Lemonade. Basically the Master Cleanse. Wish it were sweeter, or just more intensely flavored. Tastes watered-down. Perhaps I’m just used to artificially flavored beverages.
7:15 p.m.: Dinner: Sunflower falafel with sauce. First bite, not thrilled. Wait a bit, feel sick to my stomach. Actually vomit. Wait a bit. It passes.
7:48 p.m.: Dessert! Young Coconut Cream Pie. Amazing. Creamy, coconut-meaty goodness with just the right amount of sweet. Worth the wait.
Tuesday, May 8
9:07 a.m.: Juice #1: Sweet Greens, a mix of kale, spinach, parsley, watercress, and apple. The juice has separated, as it does when fresh. It looks nasty. After a vigorous shake or three, I open and taste. Actually tastes like grass clippings. Wait, it smells like grass and tastes like parsley.
9:15 a.m.: The taste has grown on me.
11:31 a.m.: Juice #2: Pineapple and Ginger. More like sweet and perfect. It’s fantastic. An equal balance of sweetness and spice; it is phenomenal.
1:28 p.m.: Juice #3: Essential Green, made up of cucumber, celery, dandelion greens, watercress, spinach, parsley, kale, pear, lemon, and ginger. Taste like grass — for real. Not a hint of sweetness. The celery is prominent. I literally cannot wait for my next one. Blech.
1:42 p.m.: Stomach just rumbled for the first time. Thinking I should chug the essential green concoction to get it over with. Worried that would make me sick. Decide not to. Literally only make it through a quarter-cup of it.
3:20 p.m.: Juice #4: Young Coconut Water. It’s awesome. Light and refreshing. Kind of tastes like the glue on a drugstore-bought birthday card envelope — but in a really good way, if that makes sense. I’m trying not to chug the entire bottle.
4:27 p.m.: I’m beginning to see how often I eat, just to eat. Scary. Excited to try the beet cocktail waiting for me in my fridge. Yep, excited for beet juice.
6:43 p.m.: Juice #5: Essential Red, made up of carrot, beet, apple, lemon. Tastes good. Fruity, easy to drink.
7:30 p.m.: I invent tasks to keep from drinking the next juice right away. I wash, blow-dry, and flatiron my hair to keep busy. I give myself a manicure and a pedicure. The waiting is no fun at all.
8:51 p.m.: Juice #6: Almond Nut Milk. Has raw almonds, vanilla bean, dates, and filtered water. Smells good and seems thicker than the other drinks, almost milkshake-like. I taste. Delicious… until you get to the aftertaste, which tastes like Band-Aids. It actually has a medical aftertaste. Like your mouth is full of dental gauze because you are getting a cavity filled. Ew. I smell it again, and take a few more gulps. How can this smell so good, but have that aftertaste?! Trickery.
Wednesday, May 9
9:09 a.m.: Drink #1: Sweet Greens. Actually excited for it, especially now that I have Essential Greens to compare it to.
11:45 a.m.: Drink #2: Watermelon Lime. A new one! Hallelujah. Not a fan, but I also don’t like watermelon. Very drinkable though. Feeling really great so far.
2:23 p.m.: Drink #3: Essential Green. It ain’t happening today. I open and sip, but really just can’t drink it. I move right on to Drink #4.
2:24 p.m.: Drink #4: Spicy Lemonade. Nice. Refreshing. Tastes stronger than I remember. Good stuff.
4:03 p.m.: Still nursing Drink #4.
4:30 p.m.: Drink #5: Essential Red — the beet one.
7:30 p.m.: Drink #6: Brazil Nut Milk. Has raw Brazil nuts, dates, and filtered water. It’s good. I can’t really describe the taste — other than to say nutty. No weird aftertaste. After I finish it, my mouth tastes like I ate peanuts.
Thursday, May 10
The last day of the cleanse. Feel awesome. Less tired this past week than usual, with several moments of pure, raw energy, P90X-type energy where I feel like I need to get it out of my body or I’ll explode.
10:03 a.m.: Juice #1: Sweet Greens. I won’t miss this one, but I take it like a champ.
1:48 p.m.: Drink #2: Grapefruit and Mint. Better than I remember. Really enjoying it, especially after nursing my Sweet Greens for three hours. Actually cannot wait until my Young Coconut Water, which I have been daydreaming about it since I had it last.
4:15 p.m.: Don’t even open Drink #3, Essential Greens. Move to #4: Young Coconut Water. Heaven.
7:30-something-p.m.: Drink #5: Beet juice. Drink slowly over ice while out with co-workers. Watch a friend slice through steak, and feel insanely jealous — but not actually hungry. Our table gets a free Bloomin’ Onion, and I actually feel ill at the thought of digesting something like that.
I skip Drink #6: Almond Nut Milk, as I’m just not into it.
9:30 p.m.: I go grocery shopping for tomorrow. I debate setting my alarm for 5 a.m. just so I can eat and then go back to sleep for two hours.
Friday, May 11
I’ve lost exactly seven pounds, and found hip bones I haven’t seen since middle school. Also, I actually miss the juice…
It was awesome. Yes, I was freezing cold the entire time. Yes, I was cranky at times, especially when looking at the incredible food porn on our site. But that said, I was crazy energized and learned a lot about my eating habits. Would I do it again? Absolutely.
Check out our interview with Eric Helms, founder of Cooler Cleanse, here.