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Louise McCready Hart

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New Year, New You: Cleanse Comparison

Posted: 12/29/2012 1:00 pm

Holiday season is nearly over and if you've enjoyed yourself, chances are your pants are a little tighter than they were earlier this fall. With dozens of cleanses out there, I conducted a side-by-side comparison of several to start the year on the right foot. As each of the cleanses instruct, be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol while on the cleanses, avoid heavily-processed food for a few days before and after, and if you'd like to try a colonic to "keep things moving," go for it.

For BluePrintCleanse, I eased into the cleanse with one day of Juice 'Til Dinner, followed by the three-day Foundation Cleanse, and ended with an additional day of Juice 'Til Dinner. If you don't like green juice, don't pick the Foundation -- green juice is on the menu three times a day. Compared to the other cleanses, BPC lacked variety and was not as eco-friendly since the plastic bottles are not recycled. I also couldn't help wondering how fresh the juice is since the last day's juice sits in your fridge for three days instead of receiving a delivery daily. Based on the nutritional information, you will consume around 1,200 calories a day, but a lot of those calories are sugar. That all being said, the Juice 'Til Dinner is quite tasty. I tried the marinated kale salad, quinoa tabouli, collard wrap with lemon-herb crudite, and red bell pepper soup. However, my favorite parts of the day were -- not surprisingly -- the yummy chocolate and cinnamon mousses for "dessert" and cashew and apricot "snack" bars.

For Juicy Naam, which has locations on the UES and on Long Island, I did a three-day cleanse. The daily set of three juices and one soup are chosen according to your birth sign. Mine, however, seemed to be relatively similar each day -- two types of green juice and beet juice and either avocado, carrot, or cilantro soup. The bottles are actually glass mason jars, which I've washed in the dishwasher and kept.

Next, I completed a three-day Love Fast from Organic Avenue. The liquid chlorophyll elixir first thing in the morning was a little bizarre to take (and agressively bright green), but the juices are delicious. I appreciated the fact that the juices arrives fresh each morning, they change every day, and the bottles are biodegradable. I loved both smoothies (Blueberry Spirulina and Mint Chip) and the ginger lemonade. As for the food -- it isn't the tastiest, but you never feel hungry. I tried the carrot ginger soup, cauliflower couscous, cauliflower soup, fennel orange salad, gazpacho soup, and kale salad. After finishing the cleanse, I still stop by their shop quite frequently to purchase burrito crudo with chipotle lime dipping sauce, portobello reuban wrap, veggie wrap, zucchini pasta with pesto, creamy dandelion, and kale dulse salad.

For Joulebody On-the-Go three-day cleanse, I received three raw juices daily and two bars (one brownie and one ginger). This cleanse is great for rushing around and I did this right before my wedding. The bars are delicious and quite filling.

With Jill's Cleanse, you get six juices a day. This one was my least favorite, as the juices were not that tasty.

Finally, I completed one day of Raw Cooler's Raw Cooler, immediately followed by the three-day Cooler Cleanse, and one day of the Raw Cooler. I liked the fact that the juices came every day and that there was variety each day, though I wish the bottles were returnable. Most surprising about this cleanse was the fact that I didn't feel hungry. I loved the cashew ravioli, kale and avocado salad, and collard enchiladas. The cacao coconut smoothie tastes like a milkshake. The butternut squash soup, thai coconut curry soup and the greek spinach salad weren't so great. Last, but not least, I also appreciated the fact that Cooler Cleanse provided the nutritional information of the juices.

Next up, a comparison of the classes waging war over ballet barres.

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