Update, 2017: Please read my review of Cafe by Juicy Diary and call before you try to order their cleanse sets online; many of their juices are sadly no longer in stock.
Coming off of a very toxic Taipei weekend, I was glad to hear that Juicy Diary, a cold-press juice company based in Taipei, was coming to the rescue with their three-day juice cleanse set – which includes 18 juices in all.
A WORD ON JUICE CLEANSES
there has been a copious amount of controversy surrounding juice cleanses, given their recent surge in popularity, as well as an accompanying slew of thought-pieces, with features editors all around the globe trying juice cleanses – to hilarious effect. I wouldn’t go so far as to say juice cleanses as “useless” – but I will venture that it certainly is not a magic cure-all, or a quick way to flush out toxins. (Hint: The body already naturally rids itself of toxins.) Also: it does not help you lose weight: anything you lose is pure water weight and you will be worse off in the long run. Juice cleanses can definitely be harmful if the participant lacks basic nutritional knowledge.The necessary knowledge is this: to simply go on a liquid diet for three days is starving yourself, which is not good for your body or your mind (I’m sure this goes without saying, but you will be very miserable.)
I corresponded with Mark and Anita of Juicy Diary and they were extremely supportive during the whole process, fielding all my questions and concerns within minutes. I voiced my concerns about doing the full juice cleanse, and they suggested that I eat raw foods – preferably ingredients that are already used in the juices. They specifically warned my against eating fruit, which would add additional sugars to the copious amount I was already consuming through the juices, which were categorised by type: ROOTS, GREENS, CITRUS and NUTS. Individually, I enjoyed the ROOTS juices the most (obviously, as they contained sweet ingredients carrots and beets) but the GREENS juices were definitely “dirty” – meaning, “plant-heavy”. These make you rethink the definition of what a “juice’ is: romaine, celery, cucumber, lemon and chia seeds: seriously healthy – unlike other “health” drink chains that have recently made forays into the Taipei market; pumped full of sugars and super unhealthy, but marketed under the guise as a healthy “smoothies”.
MY MODIFIED JUICE CLEANSE
Eating solid foods enabled me to keep on my daily workouts – I’ve heard horror stories of people fainting while attempting their regular exercise routines while doing an all-liquid diet. Here’s what I chose to eat along with my cleanses (it basically amounted to a raw diet):
• almonds & cashews
• romaine lettuce
• almond butter
• lemon & olive oil (dressing)
I usually mixed all the ingredients in a salad and divided it into lunch and dinner. Also – admittedly – I also ate a cheeky egg or two.
The greatest part of doing the cleanse was discovering that I could do without coffee – having coffee and tea was strongly discouraged. I woke up each morning, chugged two bottles of water (I just took the juice bottles from the previous day and filled them with water) and my morning juice. Because I chose to eat a limited amount of solid foods, I didn’t feel weak or “clear” (I can’t explain the feeling – just stop eating any foods for three days and you can experience it for yourself) at all. None of the juices (except for the beet juice and carrot juice) were very sweet, which made downing six bottles a day a whole lot easier.
A CHAT WITH JUICY DIARY FOUNDERS MARK & ANITA
So the juices were ace, but the fancy terms on the bottles: “Cold-Pressed” and “HPP” were a mystery to me – did they actually mean something, or was it some fancy BS to make me feel like it was worth the money? I turned to founders Mark & Anita to clear up a few thangs:
What’s the story behind the Juicy Diary name? Does it have something to do with your mission?
There isn’t really any special reason why we named it “Juicy Diary” – we just liked the name! I mean – the entire Juicy Diary concept is really about crafting a healthier life style, and creating new healthy habits by drinking our juices – and of course, working out regularly, as you mentioned. That’s why, instead of spending tons of money to create and promote our brand or hire celebs to tout our products, we chose to partner-up with different vendors and fitness centers. Each brand and partner we work with are all carefully selected – we only want to work with the brands that share the same vision as we do.
Okay – so what exactly does it mean for a juice to be cold-pressed? and HPP?
Our cold-pressed machine extracts juice by first crushing and then pressing fruit and vegetables for the highest juice yield. Because they don’t produce as much heat as other methods, p more of the fresh ingredients’ nutrients are kept intact.
HPP/Cold Pressured refers to the process by which fresh food products, such as juice, are preserved using High Pressure Processing (HPP) as opposed to heat.HPP also known as Pascalization, is a method of preserving packaged food products using extremely high pressure. The process leads to the elimination of harmful bacteria while maintaining a higher yield of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and preserving a fresher taste.
IN THE END
Doing the juice cleanse wasn’t about a “reset” or to “make up” for the sins of this past weekend (one bottle of cold-pressed juice doesn’t not negate two glasses of champagne, unfortunately). Rather, I would recommend doing the modified cleanse it as a way to increase awareness of what you’re eating, and how often. When you’re on the juice cleanse, you will become very, very aware of mealtimes, and the direct link between nutrition and a feeling of well-being. Taipei food culture is so oriented around food and frequent snacking that it’s often a gastronomical free for all: night markets, copious carbs, late-night food runs.
I had a certain foodie friend that recently complained about feeling tired and lethargic all the time, even when she was downing coffee by the gallon. I just scrolled through her Instagram and pointed out: steak Monday, yakitori Tuesday, night-market treats Wednesday: It’s the food. At the risk of sounding like those annoying-as-hell self-actualised health gurus, what you put in your body is crucial: both for energy levels, and also for weight loss. There’s really only one way to effectively lose weight in a safe and sustainable way: a healthy diet, and exercise. From my experience, the diet (which includes not only what you eat, but how much you eat of it) is way more of a factor in it than hitting the gym. Alright – sermon’s over, thanks for listening.
If you want to try Juicy Diary for yourself, you can visit their brick-and-mortar store in 東區 or order individual bottles online, as well as a three, five, or seven-day cleanse online to be delivered to your place directly.