A Review of Liquiteria’s Explore and Nourish Cleanse

Do you ever feel that when winter hits, your body goes into hibernation mode, and you start eating everything in sight, even though in modern day times you no longer have to build up layers of fat to survive the bitter winters, just like our caveman ancestors once did?

If this isn’t a problem you struggle with, lucky you. Unfortunately, my vestigial winter survival instincts were kicking in high gear, and I was snacking like a mad woman. I felt like a cleanse was in order to reverse some of the damage, so when Liquiteria offered its Level 1 Explore and Nourish cleanse on Gilt City, I bought one asap.

meet the cast of explore and nourish
meet the cast of explore and nourish

The Level 1 cleanse is designed for beginners and consists of 6 juices. I feel like I’m more of an intermediate cleanser, but the Level 2 cleanse had two All Greens juices in it, whereas the Level 1 only had one, and that was honestly the deciding factor. Also, level 1 cleanses tend to showcase overly fruity and sweet juices to appeal to beginners, but this one was actually light on the fruit basket.

Here’s a rundown of the juices in the cleanse:

All Greens – this is probably one of the more challenging juices on the cleanse. I remember hating it when I was on Juice, Eat & Repeat. It basically tastes like sweet liquid grass and cucumber. Surprisingly I couldn’t really taste the parsley in here, but the cucumber was front and center.

All Greens with Apple – this tastes like apple juice with some celery and parsley, which is awesome, considering you had to drink liquid cucumber right before it. Even though it has apple in it, it isn’t overly sweet and is one of the better sweet green juices that are out there.

Skin Trip – this is the worst juice out of the bunch. It looks like toilet water and tastes like it too. To be fair, it actually tastes like carrot juice, but you eat with your eyes, not your stomach, and I couldn’t get over the sketchy dark brown color. Because it’s so awful, it usually takes me 45 minutes to drink it, whereas I can drink an All Greens with Apple in like 5. It also feels a bit more full bodied than the other juices, maybe it’s because of all the earthy root vegetables like carrot and beet in there.

Beets Me – pretty self explanatory, it’s a sweet beet juice with a lot of ginger. I have to warn you, sometimes the ginger is intense, and it hurts if you drink it too quickly because all these gingery fumes get caught in your sinuses.

Royal Flush – the last juice of the day is this pineapple apple juice with again, lots of ginger. Obviously this juice is very sweet and pleasant, but I was hoping for something more comforting and substantial, like the cashew nut milk on the BluePrint cleanse. Oh well, at least it’s not a Skin Trip or All Greens.

Day 1 – Started out with the All Greens juice at 8:30 am. I was dreading this juice, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I was too distracted by work to realize how hungry I was, and at 12 I quickly finished off my bottle of the All Greens with Apple. I was really hungry throughout the day–I guess my stomach stretched in the winter or something–but I managed to hold out until 3:45 for the 3rd juice, the Skin Trip. Drinking the Skin Trip was by far the most traumatic part of the cleanse, it was horrible. At around the third juice my trips to the bathroom became much more frequent. And my productivity sort of shut down at 4 pm. In addition to the constant hunger, I had a light headache throughout the day, probably because I didn’t have my daily cup of caffeinated tea. After the horrible Skin Trip, the All Greens with Apple tasted especially heavenly and I finished it in 5 minutes. When I came home from work, I finished the Beets Me juice, which was extra gingery. I couldn’t drink it too quickly because of the kick from the ginger. 2 hours later I had the Royal Flush and went to sleep soon after.

Day 2 – Wow, I had the best sleep ever last night. I felt so well rested. This is the best part of cleansing, the quality of your sleep definitely improves. I was surprisingly less hungry today than yesterday. Maybe my winter stomach was shrinking back to its normal state. My slight caffeine withdrawal headache also went away. Normally on the second day of the cleanse my mind gets a little foggy and I get fatigued very easily. I did almost pass out in a group meeting but my mind stayed pretty sharp in the early part of the day. After 3 pm I was starting to struggle and became very uncoordinated, and at the market, I had such a hard time getting a bunch of kale into a plastic bag. I also noticed that this cleanse really gets the digestion moving, like really moving. That’s something I didn’t experience on other cleanses. The worst drink of the day was still The Skin Trip, although I’m beginning to feel it’s the reason why my digestion has improved…so I won’t write it off completely. It’s a little TMI, but it felt liberating knowing things were moving out of my gut.

Day 3 – again, another great night of sleep. There weren’t that many differences between Day 2 and 3, except I was starting to get bored, and all I kept thinking about was my solid meal the next day. I was less tired and could concentrate better today, although that was offset by me getting really cold and having blue fingernails at times. I loved getting good sleep and having great digestion, and the 4 pounds of weight loss are nice (but temporary), but nothing beats solid foods. They say you should ease into meats and dairy, but I’m probably going to ignore that suggestion…

Clean Eating 2014: A Review of Liquiteria’s Juice, Eat & Repeat Cleanse

People get really ambitious with their New Year’s resolutions–no dessert or alcohol for a month, go workout everyday, go vegan, etc, etc. But these goals are pretty restrictive, and it’s easy to go astray after 2 weeks of denying yourself. And, before you know it, one slip-up turns into a day-long binge of eating away your failures.

But here’s a New Year’s resolution you can actually keep–going on a juice cleanse for 3 days! After indulging in a pork, spam and rice diet in Hawaii, I felt like i needed to hit the reset button on my eating habits asap with a juice cleanse. I’ve done the BluePrint Excavation cleanse before, which I really liked, but I wanted to try something different. The most difficult part about a juice cleanse isn’t necessarily the hunger but the monotony of drinking the same thing for several days straight, and the thought of drinking 15 bottles of green juices wasn’t that appealing. Luckily, Liquiteria’s 3-day Juice, Eat & Repeat cleanse package was on sale at Gilt City, and not only was it economical, but it provided more flexibility by allowing for solid foods at the end of the day, so I decided to move forward with it.

liquiteria - juice eat repeat
liquiteria’s juice, eat repeat cleanse program

The Juice, Eat & Repeat program consists of 4 juices–coconut water, all greens, all greens with apple and beets me. You start off with the coconut water, and then drink the other juices spaced 2-3 hours apart. The sensible dinner option is pretty open-ended, although they recommend that it be at least 50% raw. Here’s an overview of what to expect from each juice:

Coconut Water – This is the first drink of the day. The coconut water is sweet, refreshing and pleasant. Getting that shot of coconut water in the morning really makes you feel like you’re clarifying yourself internally.

All Greens – This is the worst drink in the rotation. Most green juices have a little fruit in them to make them more palatable, but Liquiteria’s is straight up greens. No spoonful of apple to make the medicine go down. I felt like I was eating fresh grass and cucumber milk–not very pleasant. This all greens juice was the most painful part of the cleanse.

All Greens with Apple – This is such an improvement from the all greens. Much more in line with the sweeter green juices that I’ve become accustomed to. Every sip is so salubrious and refreshing. Plus, you’re so grateful to have something that tastes good after that awful All Greens predecessor, that it tastes even more amazing.

Beets Me – This is earthy and spicy, which I really liked. This juice feels more substantial than the other ones, probably because of the beets and the heat from the ginger. It certainly helped me get through that mid-afternoon low I always get at around 3-4 pm.

You probably want to know, did it make a difference? It most certainly did. Short term benefits included losing 3 pounds of water weight and getting a self-esteem boost from stepping on the scale, although of course, I gained a pound after resuming a more normal diet. My skin noticeably improved and my stomach was also flatter. The most important change is that I now consciously make healthier choices when it comes to eating, since I don’t want to undo all the hard work that went into cleansing my system. I’ve stuck to a diet of fish, fruits and vegetables, and I haven’t had the same cravings for sweets and refined carbs.

In terms of clarity of mind and energy, though, I certainly did not get any of that. There were days when I almost fell asleep in the afternoon because my body probably wasn’t used to running on just liquid calories. And sometimes I found myself very inarticulate and unproductive during work meetings, which is not so great! As for workouts, there was no way I could exercise during those 3 days, and my run the day after the cleanse was pretty sad. But the pros outweigh the cons, so if you want to kickstart your goals to eat better, than juicing can help promote that. 

if you want to learn about liquiteria’s other cleanses, such as explore and nourish, click here

Chill Out with Frozen Fruits

It’s been pretty muggy the past couple of days. The sort of humidity that reduces flat-ironed hair to frizz and requires multiple showers in a day. There’s only one way to beat this heat–crank up the A/C full blast, pull your hair up in a bun, and snack on an ice, cold treat!

Some people like to eat ice cream or sip iced coffee, but I’m more of a frozen fruit type of girl. Ice cream makes me really thirsty, and iced coffee doesn’t quite satiate my sweet tooth. Plus, frozen fruit is easier on the waistline (it’s swimsuit season!), but equally as tough on the heat. Frozen fruit is pretty self-explanatory–take some fresh fruit puree, sweeten it with some cane sugar if necessary, and serve in soft serve, popsicle or smoothie form. Here’s a list of some frozen fruit spots worth trekking 10 blocks in the heat for.

Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. (25 E. 17th St., between Broadway and 5th Ave.)

I can’t believe it took me two years to finally try Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. in Union Square. I think all the healthy advertising about how its soft serve was so healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan turned me off. I’m all for health, but not when it comes to soft serve–I want something closer to the real thing. Chloe’s banana soft serve comes pretty close. The dense swirls of sweet, creamy banana puree mimic the texture and flavors in an ice cream soft serve quite convincingly. (Ruoxi, a soft serve purist, begs to differ. “This only makes you want the real thing!” is his take.) The other fruit flavors like blood orange, tangerine, raspberry and strawberry are more tart and sorbet-like in taste.

chloe's - raspberry banana
raspberry banana 2-in-1
chloe's - banana
banana soft serve – my healthy obsession

Juicy Lucy’s Juice Stand (72 E. 1st St., between 1st and 2nd Ave.)

Juicy Lucy’s is literally a hole-in-the-wall juice stand that’s really easy to miss. But it would be a shame to overlook the reasonably priced fresh pressed juices and smoothies that are being made in this tiny little place. Its flashy next-door neighbor Juice Press nearly threatens its survival, but it manages to hold its own against its corporate competitor. I personally don’t think Juice Press is very good, and the customer service is so lacking, so heading a couple steps over to Juicy Lucy’s is a no-brainer for me. I’m a big fan of their frozen smoothies–the strawberry and banana smoothie is one of the best!  

juicy lucy's - stand
the cutest little juice stand ever
juicy lucy's strawberry banana smoothie
strawberry banana smoothie

Liquiteria (170 2nd Ave., at 11th St.)

This is the best juice shop in the city, and unfortunately one of the most expensive. I’ve spent probably a good 25% of my disposable income on buying these incredible, high margin juices. One bottle of pressed juice can cost $8.50. That’s literally more than the cost of a meal at some places. But if you think about what goes into a juice, basically a whole salad, then the pricing doesn’t seem too unreasonable. I usually get the All Greens juice with apple, or the Beets Me juice. Liquiteria’s green juice is the best I’ve had in the city–the proportions of the different green vegetable ingredients are just right, and it doesn’t have little chunks of kale leaves or celery foam floating around offensively. For something that’s a little more filling, I’ll get the Mean Green smoothie, an amazing blend of kale, spinach, pineapple, mango, banana and fresh pineapple juice.

liquiteria timeout

courtesy of timeout.com

People’s Pops (various locations, High Line, Chelsea Market, 118 1st Ave. at 7th St. in East Village)

During the summer months, I always get a hankering for a popsicle, but buying a pack of 10 from the grocery store is kind of embarrassing. Sort of like going to Olive Garden in a city with Il Buco or Locanda Verde. Luckily, People’s Pops sells popsicles in artisanal fruit flavor blends such as strawberry rhubarb, raspberry basil and peach blueberry so that you can indulge your childhood cravings in a more refined way. People’s Pops stays true to its mission of showcasing “the best local fruit we can get our hands on.” You can literally taste chunks of fresh fruit and see the berry seeds in your popsicle.

adult popsicles! courtesy of whrtny.com
adult popsicles! courtesy of whrtny.com