Catalyst Juice Cleanse Review

It came, we drank, and we conquered! Saturday morning arrived, and I actually didn’t begin drinking my juices until close to 11am. Since I’m training for an unhealthy amount of full spring marathons, I had to get in a 16 mile run that morning. I was afraid of what the green juice would do to my sensitive stomach, so I woke up and drank my hot lemon water and some coffee (yes, I still drank coffee…bad cleanser) and headed out. I usually don’t eat much before running anyway, but I can’t remember ever doing a long run on a completely empty stomach.

Much to my surprise, I felt great on my run. I had to do a “Fartlek + Progression Run” – I ran the first six miles at an easy pace, and then did five miles of intervals (fartleks). The sprints were 90 second sprints followed by a 90 second recovery over a five mile duration. After the five miles were complete, I ran two miles at an easy pace, and then three miles at a hard pace. I had some friends to run with to make it more interesting and we spent the morning on the Bethlehem Towpath. Probably not the best way to kick off a juice cleanse, but Boston is in less than a month. It needed to happen.

The Juices

So getting back to the cleanse and how the juices tasted. The day started with a green juice, and I’d been incorporating green juice in the morning before the cleanse began to prepare. Although Catalyst makes a decent blend, I prefer my own green juice recipe. They use similar ingredients to mine: cucumber, celery, apple, parsley, spinach, lemon, lime, and ginger. For some reason, mine seems to be more flavorful. It almost seemed as though their juice tasted a bit watered down, which was not the case for the rest of their juices. Overall, I didn’t mind drinking the green juice throughout the cleanse. It’s the only juice of the bunch that we drank twice per day – juice # 1 and juice #5.

Next up was the spicy lemonade, which is just  lemon, agave, and cayanne. That one was pretty spectacular and much tastier than my own concoction. I looked forward to this juice each day and tried my best not to chug it when it was time to drink it. Mmmmm. I already miss it.

I enjoyed the third drink of the day, which came as a surprise. It was a sweet carrot juice consisting of carrot, apple, celery, lemon, and lime. I’m not a huge fan of raw carrots by themselves.  I eat them, but they aren’t my first choice raw veggie. However, I’d absolutely try recreating this juice in my juicer and looked forward to it.

The carrot juice was followed up by a beet juice, complete with beet, apple, lemon, and lime. It tasted like any other beet juice I’ve experienced from other cleanses or from my own juicer, but it had an aftertaste. Not a bad aftertaste…just a noticeable taste. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t my number one most favorite juice ever in the whole entire world. It was followed up by a second green juice, identical to juice #1.

The grand finale to each day was well worth the wait. Creamy vanilla cashew milk, made with cashews, agave, and cinnamon. It tasted like melted ice cream and I wished I could have an unlimited supply of it! Absolutely another drink I’ll be working to re-create in my kitchen. I’d actually like to try creating it and replacing the agave with dates, since I have a slight obsession with those.

Thoughts/Reactions

On the start day of the cleanse, I ran 16 miles and attended a surprise 30th birthday party. After getting through that day, the rest of the cleanse seemed like a walk in the park. First of all, I usually couple my long run days as my day to eat some junk food. I don’t go over the top, but it’s the one day where I don’t feel guilty if I have a few fries, visit my favorite restaurant (yep, the dumpling house!) or bake some kind of decadent dessert (which is why long run day often occurs on same day as my Pinterest recipe creations…how sneaky). The cleanse wasn’t too challenging until the birthday party on Saturday night. There was food. Good food. Everywhere. If I hadn’t run 16 miles that morning, I probably wouldn’t have minded so much. But I stuck with it.

Saturday’s long run caught up with me physically on Sunday. Though I was never actually hungry throughout the day, I was freezing cold and exhausted. I was out all day and actually heated up some organic veggie broth when I got home just to warm up. It tasted like it was prepared by a gourmet chef. I could have done some hot lemon water, but I just needed something different. I had plans to go for a run that afternoon but bagged it since I was pretty beat. Other than the fatigue, I felt pretty good. Sunday is also my day to go to the market, which I still did so I could be prepared to come off of the cleanse successfully.

I slept like a rock on Sunday night and woke up feeling refreshed on Monday. Looking back on the experience, I feel as though Monday was the easiest day. After work, I squeezed in the five mile run that I skipped on Sunday and a nice yoga practice. After all of that, I came home and prepped some foods for the next morning, and didn’t even feel the urge to taste them. I was ready to eat solid foods again, but I was feeling pretty good about the experience.

This was the fourth time I’ve done a juice cleanse. Each time, I was never actually hungry throughout the duration. I’ve created a short list of things NOT to do while cleansing:  1.) Run long distances. 2.) Attend a party where you’ll be surrounded by food and people stuffing their faces. 3.) Go food shopping…at The Fresh Market, nonetheless. Like I don’t want to eat everything there on a normal basis.

The only aspect of the experience that was different with my body this time was the feeling of exhaustion on Sunday. Usually, I feel clear and energized. This was the first time that I ran a long distance while completing a cleanse, so I know that had a lot to do with it. With less than a month until the Boston Marathon, I’m happy with the timing of this experience. I came away from this with exactly what I’d hoped for: to kick off my 30’s and spring clean my system, get some vegetables back into my diet, and come up with some new recipes for the work week. Success!

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