Here's something I've been wondering: Is cold-pressed juicing a 'thing' where you live? You'd think that something so crunchy and hippie-sounding couldn't have ventured so far out of California, but juice cleansing has a huge following in Beijing. Bizarre, I know. When Matt and I started noticing signs for "Juice by Melissa, Coming Soon" in the strip of shops next to our apartment complex, we used to joke about it right up to the brewery next door, where we were inevitably heading for lunch. But a few weeks ago, we were walking by and poof! There it was. Juice by Melissa in all its glory, open to the public at last. I was pretty enthusiastic about a healthy option opening up so close to where we live, so I wrangled Matt into going in with me to check it out. We came out with a tiny RMB 30 / $5 "Pineapple Glow" juice to share. Matt was not particularly amused.
Last week, I grabbed four of my best girl colleagues and we headed to Juice by Melissa's for ladies night . . . Oh yes, have I mentioned yet that pineapple glow + tequila is a wickedly good combination? (Note: Tequila is not part of the cleanse, unfortunately.) We got some homemade hummus, roasted brussel sprouts and guacamole to go with our half-price drinks, and argued about the merits of juice cleanses and who among us has the stamina to withstand three days of nothing-but-juice. Valerie (pictured middle below) and I came out the 'winners' and, perhaps partially motivated by the 22 year-old vegan waitress with an ungodly figure, decided right then and there that we'd begin a juice cleanse the following week.
Today is my 'Day 0,' where I'm trying to eat mostly fruits and vegetables in preparation for the next three days. That part is fine, but have I mentioned yet that apparently, coffee is not on the menu?! Cleansing the caffeine out of my body is going to be the toughest part of these three days, that much is already woefully clear. It's also obvious now that even though I've been telling myself that "I can quit any time," I have developed a coffee habit since moving to Beijing. Not much--just one cup a day, in the mornings--but enough that I am definitely feeling the effects of not drinking it at 4:31 pm on Monday. The feeling, dear readers, is not a pleasant one. The former Mormon in me is laughing/crying maniacally while shouting, "Told you so!" And the rest of me is still in a decaffeinated haze, so I'll let you know my stance on coffee at the end of the week. But I have a feeling that the benefits of my cup-a-day habit (and I hear that there are health benefits to a limited consumption of coffee even beyond my sharpened ability to focus at work) are going to outweigh the twinge of guilt I feel at realizing I have become one of those people that NEEDS to have their coffee in the mornings.
Join me in spirit as I embark on this juicy journey, and expect a lot of alliteration and potentially some juice puns along the way. I am curious to see how YY and I fare--will we be miserable for 72 hours straight? Will we emerge feeling lighter and healthier? Will our skin be glowing like Melissa promises? Will my caffeine headache ever end? Find out on Juice Cleanse Day 1, coming soon.