5 Stages of a Juice Cleanse

18 Nov

I know it’s hard to believe, but there was a time in my life when I cared about what I looked like. I wore nice clothes, carefully painted my face with makeup, and even managed to brush my hair daily. Obviously those days are long gone.

bad hair day, fluffy hair

100% real picture of me from this morning

There was also a time when I did juice cleanses because I cared about health or something like that. A juice cleanse is when you only drink liquids for a certain period of time as a way to kickstart an eating disorder remove toxins from your body. It’s also a great test to see how long  you can go without eating before seriously considering robbing someone at gunpoint for a piece of pizza.

While the cleanses themselves were often different, the outcomes of them were always the same.

Stage 1: Denial

People on their first day of a cleanse are the biggest tools you’ll ever encounter. They’ll walk around saying things like, “I’m feeling really great. I have lots of energy! This cleanse has already changed my life.” As they’re talking, you’ll smell the stench of the lemon juice/cayenne pepper/maple syrup/paint thinner concoction they’ve been ingesting. Feel free to punch these people in the face.

juice cleanse, master cleanse, juice fast, meme

Photo credit: Greg Riegler Photography

Stage 2: Anger

There will be a moment in every juice cleanse when you’ll snap. Maybe it’s when Phyllis from Accounting is passing out donuts. Maybe it’s when you see your neighbor bringing home Chinese takeout. It could even be when you see those sneaky Girl Scouts loitering in front of your grocery store, pushing their cookie agenda on you. You will have a complete meltdown, and begin ranting about your slow metabolism, and how your ex-boyfriend never appreciated the strip teases you gave him to “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins.image

Stage 3: Bargaining

“God, if you allow me to make it through this without shitting my pants in front of everyone, I’ll go to church every single day.” This is something I actually said to myself in the middle of a company meeting on the fourth day of a cleanse. When experts (read: cleanse-pushing sadists) say the juice will flush out your system, what they mean is that stagnant turds inside of you will suddenly want to come shooting out of your body at the most inopportune times. Even the most staunch atheists will be praying that their butt puckers don’t lose their clenching power.

buddy jesus, buddy christ, shart

Stage 4: Depression

Gone are the days of crying while watching Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercial, and in are the days of weeping as you watch Food Network. Tears will stain your cheeks as you reminisce about being able to go to dinner with friends, and not have to order water with a side of soul crushing lemon wedges. At night you’ll toss and turn, thinking about Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish you can’t pronounce, couldn’t identify if it was in front of you, and don’t even know if you’ve ever had. It doesn’t matter, you already miss it.

crying dawson, juice fast, juice cleanse

Stage 5: Acceptance

You come to accept that juice cleanses are only for people who don’t care if their vital organs work properly 25 years from now, who are masochists, and who are most likely Scientologists. You then consume a week’s worth of calories in one sitting, rendering you immobile for a month.

eating too much, eating meme, stuffing myself

Credit: memeblender

I don’t do cleanses anymore, and I don’t advise anyone to do them either. I’ve learned of this radical new diet called “eating healthier” and “exercising regularly” which seems to be doing a lot more for people than drinking 300,000 glasses of beet juice ever did.

Still don’t believe me? By all means, go ahead and try it. But when you’re crying at the mere mention of a cheeseburger, and contemplating gluing your butt cheeks together to avoid crapping your pantaloons, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

97 Responses to “5 Stages of a Juice Cleanse”

  1. unpackedwriter 11/18/2013 at 5:18 am #

    Been there. You riff well on this topic. I laughed and chortled till snot flew out my nose! -renee

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Better stuff flying out of your nose than flying out of your ass.

  2. javaj240 11/18/2013 at 5:33 am #

    I cannot even imagine participating in anything with “cleanse” in the title.

    I have had chicken tikka masala, I love it, I crave it ALL the time — so much so that I learned how to make my own version (because, really, who has a clay pot?)

    Love the pic! You should use it on match.com. I say this for purely selfish reasons. I would love to know the kind of responses you would get if you did. I think that I would thoroughly enjoy reading the post that would come from using this picture in an online dating experiment.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Tikka Masala is delicious. I just had some when I was in Austin, TX and it was a religious experience.

      You bring up an interesting point. I think I’ll post a craigslist ad using that picture, and then write about the responses I get.

  3. MakeWayForLindaJ 11/18/2013 at 5:51 am #

    Unless they figure out a way to classify burritos as a “juice”, there’s no way I’d ever try anything like this. Which is why my colon hates me.

  4. michellestodden 11/18/2013 at 6:29 am #

    Is vodka allowed in the juice? If so, I might have to consider a juice cleanse, despite your warnings. Of course, by consuming that much vodka, it’s unlikely that I would care about any consequences…

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:53 pm #

      I like the idea of a Screwdriver cleanse. It may not be good for your body, but all of that forgetting would be good for the mind.

  5. SAT Girl 11/18/2013 at 6:34 am #

    Juice cleanses are for pussies who have not mastered bulimia.
    If you attend a local OA meeting, you will learn every possible way to throw up everything you every ate.
    I’ve heard.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Oh god, is that true? Either way, something is coming out of one end of you, and it’s not pleasant.

  6. jeandayfriday 11/18/2013 at 6:36 am #

    Too funny – and so true! I tried one. Once. I will never do that to myself again. I think I was in a perpetual state of #4 Depression. With that expression on my face the entire time. ;)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:55 pm #

      The depression is THE WORST. Feeling sad pretty much the entire day, especially when it is within your control to change it, is not a way to live life.

  7. donofalltrades 11/18/2013 at 6:38 am #

    Wait until you’re in your 40’s, Jen. Every time you fart you’ll stop and think about it first just to make sure that the chances are over 75% that it’ll just be gas. No juicing required and gross. lol. You looked quite lovely this morning. Did somebody run over your cat or what??

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:56 pm #

      It looked like someone ran over my head.

      Also, I like the idea of being able to fart without knowing the consequences. Keeps life interesting.

  8. EuphonicCharity 11/18/2013 at 6:44 am #

    I’ve always wished I had the fortitude to make it more than half a day through any kind of cleanse/detox regime.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:56 pm #

      Punch yourself in the head repeatedly. That disoriented, confused and painful feeling you’re experiencing? That is what it is like to make it through one whole day of a juice cleanse.

  9. jessicagartlandn 11/18/2013 at 6:49 am #

    bahahahahhaaha. all I can say about this post is THANK YOU!!!

  10. girlseule 11/18/2013 at 7:10 am #

    I remember doing the lemon juice cayene pepper thing for 5 days. On about day three I got off the bus and just became mesmerised by a bilboard poster of mince pies.

  11. MissFourEyes 11/18/2013 at 7:34 am #

    I have never tried a juice cleanse. And I don’t want to either. I just know that at the end of it I won’t ever be able to look at juice the same way again and I’d miss chewing too much.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 1:58 pm #

      No, you’ll always look at juice as the enemy. Truthfully, it’s not even juice. It’s just a recipe of odds and ends you’d find in most kitchens.

  12. ninasusan 11/18/2013 at 7:46 am #

    You have convinced me

  13. amandadance1234 11/18/2013 at 7:50 am #

    I let a friend talk me into a cleanse a few months ago, but it was these super healthy smoothies instead of juice. I could eat all the veggies I wanted, and have one meal with a serving of fish or chicken. Sounded reasonable…and then the “smoothies” turned out to be water and powder which did not have NEARLY the protein content I was used to consuming. Needless to say, I was starving, weak, and angry. I made it two and a half days out of the three-day cleanse, and had nothing to show for it but a greater appreciation for solid food.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:01 pm #

      “…had nothing to show for it but a greater appreciation for solid food.” THIS. I had no idea how much I loved cooking, cutting, and chewing my food until I couldn’t do it anymore.

  14. julesagray 11/18/2013 at 7:55 am #

    Hon, that picture of you? Yeah, it’s like looking in the mirror–every damn day.

    you’re gonna have the cleanest colon EVER. Rock on.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:02 pm #

      I’m putting that on my LinkedIn profile: “Skills- cleanest colon you’ve ever seen”

  15. Ann Catherine 11/18/2013 at 8:17 am #

    Hilarious! Thank you for brightening my day with your candid (and honest!) humor. I know the cleanse you refer to well (and the mountain of salt sprinkled with a bit of water slammer, too). Never again, LOL!! =)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:03 pm #

      Solidarity. The cleanse sucks, and I feel like it may be the reason I now have terrible taste in television.

  16. JWo 11/18/2013 at 8:20 am #

    I laughed out loud at work when I read this. Thank you for making my Monday morning a little more bearable with thoughts of your shitting yourself with stagnant turds!! HAHAHA…

    I give you Two Thumbs Up!! It’d only be one thumb up if I was juicing though. The other would be plugging. ;)

  17. Fat Bottom Girl 11/18/2013 at 8:31 am #

    Never did a juice cleanse–for the fear of shitting myself. Also because really, why torture myself? I can find other more rewarding means of self-flagellation. lol This was a most-excellent post though!! :)

  18. Soul Walker 11/18/2013 at 8:45 am #

    Kenny Loggins has the most amazing head of hair. Even now that it is shorter it still takes my breath away… although your hair in the first picture is pretty amazing as well. Hot mess is still hot, I’m just sayn’.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Actually, I asked my hairdresser to give me “The Kenny Loggins” which is why my hair looks so amazing.

      • Soul Walker 11/18/2013 at 8:33 pm #

        You may have the best hairdresser in the western hemisphere.

  19. Samantha 11/18/2013 at 8:46 am #

    One of my friends used to do that. I wanted to smack her for it. It does sound appealing to flush out toxins, but I could only do that for a day. It’s bad enough just eating fruit, it does weird things to your body.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:09 pm #

      An abundance of fruit will definitely get things moving in ways you didn’t know you could move.

  20. daniheart21 11/18/2013 at 9:02 am #

    Wow! I have no intention of traumatizing myself in any such manner. LOL But it was very funny hearing about your trauma as usual Jen. giggles… :)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Don’t. If you even remotely care about yourself you never will.

  21. Katie 11/18/2013 at 9:19 am #

    When I was getting serious about being healthy (which sadly went beyond removing McDonald’s from my food pyramid), I read what about these and seriously thought: “Fuck that.” I’d rather add some veggies into my diet than make a concoction whose recipe resembles some shit I’d have made when I was playing in the kitchen as a kid.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Pretty much. Fruits or veggies are always best. Also, too much wine also helps. Don’t ask me how I know that.

  22. omtatjuan 11/18/2013 at 9:20 am #

    What’s wrong with you Jen? You don’t like the earthy teeth staining taste of beet juice with the leafy taste of freshly mowed Kale. Then for days later with out deodorant you smell like grandma’s vegetable soup.. Isn’t there a juice cleanser that included those coconut and carmel cookie things the Girl Scouts sell?

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:16 pm #

      If there was, I’d be doing that cleanse all the time.

      • omtatjuan 11/18/2013 at 2:18 pm #

        Why can’t they make a cleanse using See’s candy..?

  23. Carrie Rubin 11/18/2013 at 9:56 am #

    I’ve never understood the allure of juice fasts, especially since there’s no good evidence they’re helpful. And your #3 sure sounds like a ‘crap load’ of fun. I would be intolerably grumpy if I went without solid food for that long. After 4 or 5 hours I can already feel the irritation rise…

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:25 pm #

      What’s even more interesting is that if we got lost in the wilderness and had to go without food for hours, we’d claim that we were starving to death. Yet, when you do it from the comfort of your own home, it’s a health thing.

  24. Melanie 11/18/2013 at 10:18 am #

    Why waste five days on juice when you can get the same results after one night of binge eating Mango Habanero hot wings.

  25. Claire 11/18/2013 at 10:45 am #

    Are there 5 stages of having an enema? I feel this should be a follow up.

  26. talesfromthemotherland 11/18/2013 at 11:36 am #

    Standing at the abyss of a diet… I’m so grateful to you for pulling me back!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:27 pm #


      • talesfromthemotherland 11/18/2013 at 2:30 pm #

        I’m eating chips right now, to reassure myself that all is right in the world. But, I’m still in my work out clothes from this morning. It’s a razor’s edge.

        • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:31 pm #

          I think this is what they call “a balanced diet” – eating junk food in yoga pants.

          • talesfromthemotherland 11/18/2013 at 2:35 pm #

            cycling shorts… it was a kick ass, hard work out. Just sayin’.

  27. Vanessa-Jane Chapman 11/18/2013 at 11:54 am #

    I’m pretty sure there’s no evidence that juice cleanses actually work, and if there is such evidence then I choose to deny its existence. My body, my choice. I choose bacon.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:27 pm #

      Choosing bacon is always the right thing. Even when it means choosing it over your children, your job, etc.

  28. The Cutter 11/18/2013 at 11:57 am #

    My wife did a cleanse once. She was so miserable that I made her stop.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Misery is the perfect word to describe what going on one of these things is like. Good for you for pulling her back in.

  29. speaker7 11/18/2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I see now that I’m not the only one who does a strip tease to Danger Zone.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 2:29 pm #

      I saw that video of you on the internet, and was inspired.

  30. SocietyRed 11/18/2013 at 3:02 pm #

    I have experience with juice cleansing. My consumption of a weeks worth of calories only took 8 minutes after that.
    A juice cleanse is like a confessional booth; both claim redemption, both contain snake oil.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 3:21 pm #

      “A juice cleanse is like a confessional booth; both claim redemption, both contain snake oil.” Have I ever told you that you’re much better with words than I am?

      • SocietyRed 11/18/2013 at 3:26 pm #

        Negative Jen,
        I’m just twice as old as you.

  31. biancacmarais 11/18/2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Literally laughed out loud – took me back to my youth and the desperate measures I’d go to. Tried snorting juice once in desperation. That didn’t go as well as you might think.

    • Maggie O'C 11/18/2013 at 3:48 pm #

      You did NOT! What?! How? were you? what?

      • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 3:55 pm #

        Pretty much my reaction.

      • biancacmarais 11/18/2013 at 3:58 pm #

        What can I say? I was half-starved and hallucinating. A little voice in my head said “everything works better and faster if you put it up your nose or your bum”. I went with the safer option. You’d think!

        • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 4:01 pm #

          DELIRIUM. How could I have missed that step in the juice cleanse phases?!

          • biancacmarais 11/18/2013 at 4:02 pm #

            Yes! I found it came just before acceptance. Probably because acceptance was a form of delirium!

          • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 4:13 pm #


    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Snorting juice?! Is there some extra benefit, or was it so you didn’t have to taste it?

  32. Maggie O'C 11/18/2013 at 3:47 pm #

    You are on fire this November! Added to the long line of my fave posts from you.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Thanks, Maggie! Once this NaBloPoMo craziness is done, hoping to get some Portland bloggers together.

  33. brainsnorts 11/18/2013 at 5:05 pm #

    if you want to “cleanse,” eat an apple. a salad. something with fiber. going with just liquids or juice does not cleanse anything. to get stuff out – you have to put stuff in to carry out the stuff you want to carry out. water will cleanse your blood vessels, if that’s what you’re trying to cleanse. out. ness. but juice will do that too. the real toxins are in your small intestine, and they don’t leave easily unless something acts like a brillo pad and scrubs them out. that’s what fiber does. lettuce, apples, oatmeal, ruffage.

    don’t forget to share pics of the results.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Agreed. I’ve juiced (with veggies and fruits as opposed to random mixes of spices and water) and within an hour that system is MOVING. I guess juicing and juice cleanses aren’t that different because it all ends with you shitting your pants.

  34. PinotNinja 11/18/2013 at 6:40 pm #

    One time I tried a juice cleanse. I made it approximately 32 hours when I found myself, in a stupor of hunger delirium, standing over a garbage can on the corner of Madison and 24th Street in NYC staring at a half-eaten slice of pizza and fervently looking around to see if anyone would see me take the pizza out of the garbage can and eat it.


    Luckily I snapped out of it before giving myself hepatitis via pizza, marched myself to the nearest pizzeria, and shelled out $2.50 for my own pristine slice. Cleanse over.

    Also, what kind of douchebag would not appreciate a Danger Zone striptease?

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:39 pm #

      It makes you do crazy things, right? I get wanting to pick the pizza up out of the trash can because you’re just that desperate and hungry. I’m glad you were able to get yourself a new slice though.


  35. Edee Lemonier 11/18/2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Oh sweet Jesus #3!!!! BAAAAHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:39 pm #

      It’s a true story. I should probably tell it sometime on this blog.

  36. rarasaur 11/18/2013 at 10:35 pm #

    I don’t like juice so it never struck me as a good idea to commit to it for even as long as a day. I’m glad I now have all these other reasons to refer to, since “I don’t like juice” doesn’t usually fly. … I do, however, love chicken tikka masala. :)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:40 pm #

      Tikka Masala is a gift to your taste buds from the heavens above.

  37. Viciously Sweet 11/18/2013 at 11:44 pm #

    The whole idea of a cleanse sends my stomach to the danger zone.
    I like eating food that is not gross colored water.
    And now the thoughts of my inner old food bursting out of me like a creature in “Alien” is something that will haunt my dreams tonight.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:40 pm #

      It is A LOT like that, only I’d rather see an alien than what came out of me.

  38. Courtney Pool (@CourtneyPool) 11/19/2013 at 8:15 am #

    Very funny!! As a Juice Cleansing Coach I definitely see a lot of these feelings come up frequently for folks. ;)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:41 pm #

      You are juice cleansing coach?! How does this work?! How do you deal with the hoards of moody, hungry people?!

  39. Madame Weebles 11/19/2013 at 3:25 pm #

    This post is Comedy Platinum. Not gold, platinum. What’s more valuable than platinum? There must be something. Whatever it is, it’s Comedy Most-Valuable-Metal.

    On the plus side, after doing a juice cleanse, you can work this sick pick-up line: “I’m so clean that you can’t even give me a Dirty Sanchez.”

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:41 pm #

      “I’m so clean that you can’t even give me a Dirty Sanchez.” Sweet jesus that made me laugh.

  40. writerwendyreid 11/21/2013 at 6:25 pm #

    I have a friend who does these on a regular basis. I don’t eat a lot, but I couldn’t go for days without any food. That’s just crazy talk.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/24/2013 at 1:36 pm #

      It IS crazy talk. Trust me, I was OUT OF MY MIND when I did them.

  41. Gunmetal Geisha 03/06/2014 at 10:16 pm #

    I did the cayenne pepper / paint thinner cleanse you speak of. Once. A long time ago. All these years, I thought I lasted for three or four days, but I was gently reminded I broke my fast not thirty hours into it. It was at a matinée, with a troth of movie popcorn bathing in the fake-butter poison I had never allowed myself before.


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