Apprentice Juice Cleanse | A Cynic’s Road Test

By Clare Achison

As resident aficionado of all things booze and fat-laden here at The Urban List, nominating myself for a Green Press juice cleanse was never my intention when I replied to the call-out that landed in my inbox. Thinking I was being extra-witty (as all writers unfortunately do), I sent what I though was a hilariously sarcastic reply to our editor and thought nothing of it, until I got a note back saying, ‘Great, I’ve passed on your details to their team :) ’.

Being a complete novice, but game for trying anything once, I signed up for the apprentice juice cleanse with literally no idea what to expect. Except kale. Lots and lots of kale.

The Arrival

When the cleanse pack arrived, I’ll have to admit, I had a good lol about the Kanye reference on the box. While everything I knew about juice cleanses to date was about a dismissive, healthier-than-thou attitude, knowing that the guys who would be feeding me for 3 days had a sense of humour immediately made me feel like they were my kind of people.

Opening up the box, I was relieved to see that there was actual FOOD in it, and not just a million bottles of green juice. Along with 5 juices for each day, I had a salad, a chia and granola pot, and a bag of nuts and seeds—all things that I’d normally eat but wouldn’t go out of my way to track down if there was a cheeseburger to hand, if you get my drift.

The text I’d received earlier that morning said to follow the numbers. What numbers? At first I couldn’t see any numbers and went into a mild panic about having already been defeated by a health kick, but after thinking more laterally about the idea of numbers, I realized that the domino stickers on each bottle top all had different totals on them. Problem solved. Now, onto the cleansing…

green press juice pudding for juice cleanse

Day 1

Tucking into the chia breakfast pot and Mint Condition (cashews, kale, spinach, mint, chocolate vegan protein powder and almond milk), I started feeling really smug. Health factor aside, this was an epic breakfast that tasted great and set me up for the day without any hunger pangs. I did what I could to finish the juice but ended up leaving a quarter as I simply couldn’t cram any more goodness into my stomach. So far, so good.

For lunch I had the zucchini and calamata olive salad with a Cayenne West juice, packed full of cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginger, carrot, orange and lemon. The salad itself was fresh and, given my schedule that day, it was gone in a matter of minutes. The juice, on the other hand, took a little bit of getting used to and I couldn’t help think that all that spice made it taste like a hard-kicking Bloody Mary. Would I drink this at any given lunchtime? Probably not. Would I recommend it as a Sunday session mixer? Most definitely.

After a hectic day of meetings, pulling together publishing schedules, arranging photography of some of Melbourne’s latest venues, and generally manning the good ship Urban List, I took an afternoon break to have a kale juice, Kaling In The Name Of. Heh. I was surprised to find that I wasn’t really dying for the juice out of hunger, and I didn’t feel tired or sapped of energy, even though I hadn’t had a coffee.

Having had a longer day than usual, I headed home for a dinner of trail mix and a warm Wholly Cacao milk, which was ultimately the winner of the day. This stuff is INCREDIBLE, especially when heated up and sipped on with a handful of dates and pumpkin seeds from the trial mix. I went to bed full and contented, wondering what was happening to my inner cynic.

Day 2

The first thing I realized was that I’d forgotten to squeeze in a beetroot juice on day one. Bummer. Regardless, I had a very similar routine to day 1—meetings, cracking out a few breaking-news stories on The Urban List’s Melbourne site, putting together the video treatment for our next Mini Edition video, and generally being hella busy.

The changes to today’s menu included a seasonal pickled apple, beetroot and buckwheat salad, which everyone at The Urban List HQ thought was a potato salad and immediately declared as cheating. The salad was filling, if a little acidic for my system, but tasted like it was doing my good so I finished as much as I could.

After work, I headed to catch up with the team behind Many Hands, a social enterprise that I’m part of (we’re all about promoting and selling art as a means of supporting causes and charities that do good here in Melbourne). I felt like a bit of a geek slurping down a kale juice while we caught up on the design of our website, which will be launched here in September, but I immediately won cool points because ‘Kaling In The Name Of’ is a legit name for a health juice. Punny stuff, Green Press.

Day 3

On the third day, I’d been given a mix of juices, a buckwheat, beetroot and pickled apple salad, and a chipotle pumpkin and peanut butter soup. Hands down the winner of this lot was the soup, which came with a tiny bag of fresh veggies (red onion, tomato, parsley) to add to it. The only other new treat was the Firestarter juice instead of the Cayenne West (ginger, grapefruit and apple—I love ginger, so this was totally drinkable), making for a fairly non-challenging cleanse day.

Disclaimer: I did have a glass of merlot and a handful of chips on this day with The Urban List team as one of our interns was wrapping up. They didn’t make me feel wonderful.

Pros of Pressed Juice Cleanse

  • Having all of my meals and snacks sorted for the day made the three-day cleanse, and my life, incredibly easy.
  • Eating healthily for three days, including no caffeine or alcohol, did actually make me feel better, especially waking up in the mornings.
  • The Wholly Cacao blend. Seriously, this stuff tastes epic, and was such a treat on a rainy winter night.

Cons of Pressed Juice Cleanse

  • I did have to turn down an evening event where there would have been delicious meaty food and beers, but hey, there’ll be others!

Would I Do It Again?

Honestly, yes. I felt amazing after three days off carbs and meat proteins, and I would definitely opt for a cleanse in the future, as long as I didn’t have too many foodie events in my diary. Also I’d actually buy the cacao nut milk and the Beets By J juice again to drink regardless of the health properties, which is a pretty crazy thing given that I usually opt for a Manhattan or a stout.

Have I Given Up My Cynical Ways?

You know what? I think I have. While this wasn’t a hardcore juice cleanse, I do feel like I’ve changed my attitudes to juice cleanses in general. It wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be—I didn’t feel exhausted or lack-lustre—and I discovered some new things I’ll try to integrate into my day-to-day diet. Thanks, team Green Press, you’ll be seeing me soon no doubt!

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