3 Juice Cleanses That Won’t Drive You Bananas

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juice_mainUpdate: A summer cleanse is a great way to kick off your work week! This story was originally published on March 15, 2012.

News flash: The average American is still carrying four to six unwanted pounds (or two to three, if you're metric) somewhere around the waistline. Which might explain why spring is the most popular season for juice cleansing — it's like rinsing your body and giving it a "spring cleaning" of its own.

There’s a lot of discussion over the efficacy of a juice cleanse, but that hasn’t stopped millions of folks from turning to a week of bottled produce. Until recently, one result was virtually guaranteed: crankiness. For most folks, a day without solid food is like a day without, well, food. That’s why we checked out these programs, which offer more than just bottles of green and the vague promise of health. We can’t guarantee you’ll turn into Gisele, but you’ll sure be less likely to get in a screaming fight with your roommate’s cat. That’s not a good look on anyone.

Photography by Kelsey Miller
cleanse_ritualRitual Cleanse

The Ritual Cleanse is a simple, straightforward cleanse with a little extra oomph. While the juices use a base of produce power players, they’re also infused with spices and supplemented with nuts. Cashew, vanilla, and nutmeg? That sounds more like a cheat day than a detox. While most juice cleanses involve a lot of midday dozes and early bedtimes, the Ritual Cleanse regime includes the necessary fats and proteins to sustain you throughout the day. If your workout routine has kept you from cleansing, Ritual offers a more tailor-made option, like the Shred for athletes or the straightforward three-day program. Another perk is group discounts. Cleansing isn’t cheap, but neither is a juicer – nor the time you’ll spend scraping bits of kale out of its byzantine mechanism. Ritual Cleanse offers 10-15% off if you sign up with friends. Call up your three closest pals, and remind them of the cash you’ve dropped on brunch & cocktails in the last few months. Maybe they’re up for a different kind of happy hour.

Bottom line: For a busy gal, this is the best bet. The staff is great in terms of remote support, and all the juices come at once, so you're not waiting around for a shipment every morning. Ordering on a specific day might mean you’ll miss your window, but once you figure out logistics, it’s a snap.

Cost: $80 a day

Photo: Courtesy of Ritual
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Dr. Etti’s Sexi Juicing

Miami’s own juice guru (juguru?), Dr. Etti Ben-Zion, developed this plan with more than just physical health in mind. “It’s a gateway,” she says. Juicing is meant to “clear away the fog, so you can see…” what is and isn’t working in your dietary life. We’ll admit, the name conjures something between a tantric retreat and an overly tropical cocktail, but the results cannot be argued with. This program includes serious support from Dr. E and her staff, so it’s not just you and a cooler full of kale. If you’re hoping to work on more than just your bod, this local favorite is for you.

Bottom Line: This is ideal for a So Flo local who's looking for serious amenities in addition to her cleanse. It's not just juices — it's a full program built around them. For instance, consider supplementing your weekly workout routine for a week of sessions at Dr. Etti's studio — she even does an at-home program. However, busy juicers be wary; Dr. Etti stressed that if you want the full benefit, you should do the in-studio cleanse.

Cost: $65/day to $70/day (or you can splurge on private sessions in Dr. Etti’s studio)

Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Etti
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The LIV Cleanse

The gang behind the LIV Cleanse knows that we all want to be healthy, fit, and post-juice glowy, but they recognize that we all have different lifestyles and health goals. Maybe your skin just needs a pick-me-up, or maybe you’re going for a body and mind detox. Whatever needs juicing, LIV has a program for you. There’s even an option that includes dinner — that you chew! Plus, we’ll admit to being charmed by the packaging — everything’s better in a pretty glass jar.

Bottom Line: While this company has excellent options in terms of different cleanses, and is very accommodating of dietary preferences, it is not for beginners. The staff was unresponsive, and the programs require a level of self-sufficiency and knowledge of juicing. It's certainly a flexible and intensive program, but not one for the novice.

Cost: $69/day to $100/day

Photo: Courtesy of Gilt Groupe