Drinking more fresh-pressed, veggie-filled juice (ideally using organic and locally grown produce) is a great way to get lots of nutrients and help your body clear out built-up toxins—if done correctly.
Overindulgence has become synonymous with the holidays, and after this excess, the next step is naturally to want to get healthier. We wine, we dine, we feast, and now we cleanse.
The juice cleansing craze stretches from daily home use kits to juice bars, raw food stops, and professionally-monitored cleansing clinics. With so much hype and different products out there, it’s important to be informed before you decide to commit to a cleanse.
So Why Juice?
Juicing is a great way to infuse your body with a large amount of nutrients while simultaneously giving it a break from all the hard work of the digestive process. And by juicing we don’t mean store bought cranberry or orange juice. We’re talking greens-based drinks loaded with tons of vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli with carrot, pineapple or apple to sweeten them. The liquid nutrients you’ll find in these juices are a treat for your body; unlike those received from most meals, they are easily absorbed and quickly broken down.
OK, Then How Do I Juice?
There are many ways to introduce juice into your diet, such as simply adding a juice in as a snack a few times a week, making it a daily meal replacement or doing a full-juice cleanse/fast. However, it is important to understand that a juice fast is not for everyone. If this turns out to be you, don’t fret! You can introduce better nutrients into your body and allow yourself a chance to cleanse by eliminating certain foods such as gluten, sugar, dairy and meats and replacing them with “cleaner” foods with higher density nutrients such as vegetables, fruits, beans and, of course, fresh-pressed veggie juices.
I’m Ready To Do A Juice Fast. What Happens Next?
The benefit of doing a full fast is that you give your body a break from digesting whole foods, and you eliminate the toxins that are part of the modern day diet so that the body can relax, restore and heal. A typical juice fast/cleanse lasts between three to ten days, but before you choose from the various juice cleansing/fasting options, you may need to consult with a medical professional, doctor or nutritionist (our own founder of Clean Plates, resident nutritionist Jared Koch, is happy to help). Please understand that juice cleansing/fasting is only effective and safe when done correctly and according to your individual needs.
There are a few key things to think about when embarking on a juice fast. Before the cleanse you will need to reduce (or even better, eliminate) certain foods from your diet including wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and meat. During the fast you should rest and relax so that your body optimizes the energy necessary to cleanse. Post-cleanse you will want to slowly ease back into a very clean food plan limiting harder to digest and processed foods at first and, ideally, never returning to poor quality fare.
Below you will find some great options in and around Manhattan to satisfy your juice fix and kick start your New Year’s Reso’Juicin.
Juice Stops in Manhattan:
Liquiteria (East Village) (212) 358-0300
Pick up some juice, kick-back and relax at this staple East Village juice bar catering to locals, NYU students and celebrities alike. Liquiteria offers pressed juices, smoothies, liquid remedies and fresh squeezed juice, as well as some light nibbles: breakfast options, sandwiches, wraps and soups. They deliver locally (between Houston and 23rd and Avenue D and Fourth Avenue) and also ship nationally. In addition, Liquiteria is now offering a cleanse at home program, uniquely tailored to fit your lifestyle. Call for details.
FreeFoods (Midtown West/Times Square) (212) 302-7195
Offering organic and market-driven food crafted for vegans and carnivores alike, this Midtown West outpost caters to the bustling streets of business people and shoppers during the day and late-workers and locals at night. Stop in for juice or a smoothie, take home some organic bakery goods, including vegan and gluten free-items, or munch on an organic burrito or free-range chicken Caesar salad. You’ll be sure to leave happy and your body will thank you.
One Lucky Duck (Gramercy) (212) 477-7151
A takeaway spot located next to their sister restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, One Lucky Duck is a great stop in Gramercy for all things juice and raw food. From taco salad and lasagna to ice cream and moon pies, each dish is made with clean, organic, vegan ingredients, raw and never cooked beyond 118 degrees. If you happen to find yourself on the West side instead, One Lucky Duck recently opened a new Chelsea location in the Chelsea Market. Also, One Lucky Duck just debuted the Not-Just-Juice Cleanse, allowing for anyone from juice fasting pro’s to particularly gluttonous eaters to give their bodies a rest and get some clean nutrients through juices and raw food. Each cleanse starts on Mondays, so call for the particulars.
The Juice Press (East Village) (212) 777-0034
The Juice Press is committed to clean eating and is a one stop shop for this mantra, offering everything organic including juice, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, raw foods and dessert. With a wide variety and a wealth of knowledge on clean foods, you’ll be sure to leave The Juice Press satisfied. They also offer an at-home cleanse consisting of three different levels, based on your ailments and experience with juice cleansing. Stop in or call for more information.
B.Y.O.J. – Cleanse at Home:
Blue Print Cleanse (212) 414-5741
Rated the “best juice cleanse” by New York Magazine and “the cleanse for foodies” by Food and Wine, the Blue Print Cleanse is a user-friendly cleanse that allows each client to choose their fast based on their individual needs and history. Whether it’s just juice or juice and food, call BPC to consult on what is best for you. The cleanse can be picked up from various locations around the city or simply have it delivered straight to your door in no time.
Cooler Cleanse (212) 531-1110
Backed by Salma Hayek, who specifically requested a cleanse that would be “as effective and enjoyable as possible,” this cleanse “is so good, you’ll never know it’s Vegan,” according to the Daily Candy. Offering a variety of cleanses including three-day, five-day, custom cleanses or juice and food delivered nation-wide, this organic cleanse is sure to fit your criteria for taste, ease and squeaky-clean feeling insides.
Organic Avenue (212) 358-0500
The food of “LOVE”: Live Organic Vegan Experience. All the food and juice contained in these cleanses are raw and unheated, have no added chemicals, and contain no animal by-products. The idea is to “nourish the body and spirit” and Organic Avenue has five programs available that do just that. Stop in to one of their three locations in Manhattan or call them on the phone and find out what is best for you.
Escape to a Juicy Retreat:
American Yogini (866) 964-4649
The Hohm juice cleanse retreat and the Hohm juice cleanse delivered are the signature detox rituals American Yogini offers. They have a variety of cleansing options to best suit your needs; whether it’s a few days stay on the East End of Long Island where you can escape the bustling city streets, practice yoga from 9:30-10:30 a.m. daily and cleanse on your own time or attend a workshop weekend of cleansing and yoga. Or you can opt to Hohm at home with their juice cleanse delivery program. American Yogini offers private raw food coaching and raw juice fasting for individuals or groups.
The Juicy Naam (212) 876-6000
Begun by a worn-out Wall Street Yogi turned wellness-guru, The Juicy Naam is a juice bar and healing center that, along with using local organic produce from neighboring farms, provides an outlet for cleansing, yoga and healing bodywork treatments from June-October. In addition to two Long Island locations, The Juicy Naam has a store in The Hotel Wales in Manhattan.