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Food & Drink


What to Know Before You Go On A Cleanse

Photo: Jessica Elizarraras, License: N/A

Jessica Elizarraras

When it comes to juice, your choices are plenty

It’s been a year since I’ve taken up this gig of eating and drinking across San Antonio. Since then, no fewer than seven juice shops have opened in the area. And this gaggle of juicers is of a slightly different breed than, say, Jamba Juice. Urth Juice, One Lucky Duck and two Juice Central locations have all opened in the last year; Raw Happiness inside the Wong Grocery building will open in the next few weeks, while the juicers that started it all, Juicer Heroes, have opened two more locations across the city’s North Side. Elizabeth Johnson, chef and former Culinary Institute of America instructor launched Crave Market, and introduced a line of eight-ounce juices to SA. Revolucion Coffee + Juice, which opened in 2012, continues to add to its juicy lineup.

Aside from reporting any new openings and the occasional fruit- and veg-filled purchase, I stayed away from really diving into this topic. As a food writer, the idea of juicing and—gulp—a cleanse was entirely too foreign, especially given the range of health mantras being tossed around: ditch the sugar, ditch the grain, gluten-free is the way to go, moderation is key, the list goes on.

But these shops are out there, and the deluge of juice isn’t stopping any time soon. I decided to cast my fears aside and try out a juice cleanse, hoping to dispel any personal myths about the process along the way. Here’s how my trip through juiceville went down.

Drowning in Options

For starters, the exact definition of “juice cleanse” seems to vary. Most juice shops will offer some kind of juice cleanse (with the exception of Crave Market) made up of a variety of juices, while cleanses at Juice Central and One Lucky Duck include a variety of small meals or salads. Cleanses at Revolucion, on the other hand, include a selection of dairy-free nut milks, which help supplement protein. My options were wildly varied.

How long I wanted to put myself through this journalistic endeavor was also a caveat—as a food writer and general lover of all things meaty, I had to figure out how long I could feasibly last. Again, options abound. There are one- and two-day cleanses available at Juice Central, while three- and five-day cleanses are available at Juicer Heroes, Farm to Juice, One Lucky Duck and Revolucion. Those brave enough can try seven-day cleanses available through Urth Juice and Juicer Heroes. Angie Carral, owner of Revolucion, shared a tip.

“We recommend you do it when you’re most busy. That way you’re not having to think about what you’ll have for lunch or dinner, there won’t be any distractions,” Carral said. On the flipside, Noah Melngailis, owner of One Lucky Duck, recommends setting yourself up for success by clearing your schedule or making sure you’re not halfway through a cleanse before realizing you’ve previously made dinner plans.

Because my schedule often revolves around restaurant and bar reviews, along with media previews and occasional tastings, I chose to go with a three-day cleanse. I cleared my schedule of any weekend outings, and stayed away from activities that revolved around food.

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