Can we be honest with each other? I've been hitting it a little hard recently. From heavy "celebration" on Halloween to eating things covered in cheese, gravy or barbecue sauce (or all three, on special occasions), my body hasn't been feeling the way it should.
It's one thing to cut back on beer and eat a ton of salad, but I don't believe in moderation. So I decided to try a cleanse—you know, one of those programs that's supposed to purge all of the nasty stuff from your system and leave you feeling healthier and more energetic. On the advice of a friend, I reached out to a company called BluePrintCleanse, which let me try one of its programs for free.
It worked like this: For three days, I could consume only six juices (provided by BluePrintCleanse), ranging from a green liquid with about eight veggies to something called "cashew milk" that came in this cryovac "Terminator 2"-looking contraption. The instructions advised me not to eat meat or dairy, or drink booze, coffee or anything that I normally survive on.
Rather than whine about it—after all, it was my idea—I decided to go into the cleanse full-force. These juices would be my only sources of nourishment (other than water and the occasional cup of green tea) for the entire period.
For anyone considering a cleanse, here is what I learned from my experience.
>>You will stink. No, seriously. After a day, my body started getting rid of those buffalo chicken quesadillas and carne asada burritos by any means necessary. My breath was atrocious, I smelled like a sack of wet tennis balls dipped in ranch, and I spent quite a bit of time "meeting the browns," if you smell what I'm cooking (and you should be happy you didn't have to).
>>The Food Network knows when you're on a cleanse. That has to be it. Why else would they schedule a marathon of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the same weekend? I had dreams about walking cheesesteaks being controlled by a 60-foot Guy Fieri.
>>Prepare to get some pep in your step. I woke up at 9 a.m. every day, whether I went to bed at midnight or 3 a.m. My energy was high and I felt awesome.
>>You will gain appreciation for your sober friends. I apologize on behalf of every drunk person ever, you guys. We suck. On Friday, I was about 11 seconds away from unleashing the dragon on this group of wasted kids on the Blue Line.
>>Consideration of what goes into your pie hole will increase. I'm more aware of food now. What's in it? How was it made? Also, I'm now thinking about getting a juicer—if not for the health benefits, then for the mimosas made with fresh OJ.
All in all, my experience felt pretty legit. I lost 6 pounds and feel good, though I probably should tell you to consult with your doctor before you try it at home. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a date with a Baconator ...
ERNEST WILKINS IS CHICAGO'S WINGMAN. @REMIXCHICAGO