Juice cleanses fall in the category of fad diets that involve starvation to “lose weight.” Weight that mysteriously reappears – usually with a few extra kgs – in half the time it took you to battle internally over whether to break your diet and just eat that damn piece of chocolate.
Yet, some nutritionists swear by them as a solid body reset, or to kickstart a more maintainable diet. I decided to venture outside of my normal mass consumption comfort zone – I write about food all day; I’m used to eating disgustingly more than someone who is five feet tall should – and instead, consume nothing but Lizzy’s All-Natural smoothies for three consecutive days.
Cool, kill me.
Lizzy’s All-Natural was founded seven years ago by health coach Elizabeth Schieffelin, whose mission is to make healthy living as simple and delicious as possible. Sounds like sunshine and rainbows. So I decided to put it to the test to gauge just how healthy, simple and delicious their juice cleanse really is.
The Cleanse Details
Lizzy’s offers five cleanse sets – Signature Energy Detox, Beauty Cleanse, Intensive Pollution Detox, Slim & Cut and Active Cleanse – available in one-, three- and five-day cleanse options for RMB218, RMB605 and RMB927, respectively.
The most common option is the Signature Energy Detox for three days – a juice cleanse designed for those feeling sluggish and drained due to high stress or poor lifestyle choices. (Ah, poor lifestyle choices – this sounds like me).
The program is designed to bring energy and vitality back to the body through a balanced mix of green smoothies, elixir shots, nut milks and teas. Lizzy’s mini program states that those completing the cleanse can expect improved digestion, better mental clarity and enhanced sleep quality.
Each day of the cleanse, Lizzy’s delivers a freezer-bag between 7.30-9.30am filled with six labeled 300ml jars, plus two elixir shots chock-full of what they deem to be exactly what your body needs. Cleansers should plan to drink one bottle every two-three hours, according to the suggested order number.
We did a rough calculation of how many calories are in a day’s worth of a cleanse, and it clocks in around 1,000 – most of which is from carbohydrates, with only one, maybe two jars containing any notable quantity of vegan protein. For those that have been living under a rock and do not understand how calorie counting and basic macros work, this means you can expect to be pretty, pretty, pretty hungry.
I would like to say that I would not starve myself for the superficial sake of fitting in with the hetero-normative stereotypes of what society deems as attractive. But, hey, in reality I’m shallow AF when it comes to looks; 99% of people are. So yes, I clearly will, especially when masked under the pretense that it’s for content creation fodder. Order up dem smoothies, it’s swimsuit season, baby!
Saturday, May 22; 7.38am: Juices arrive bright and early… probably shouldn’t have gone out last night; I hope I never see that delivery man again since I answered the door looking like a miniature atom bomb was detonated on my head, with tangled bed hair and remnants of crusty mascara in places that they shouldn’t be. (Spoiler alert: I did see that delivery man again; same delivery man each day). These are going in the fridge, and back to bed for me.
Saturday, May 22; 9.50am: I’m hungry, what’s for breakfast? (Opens fridge and sees Lizzy’s-branded freezer bag). Oh yeah, let’s see what we got.
First up is All Hail the Kale – a veggie smoothie made with kale, apples, romaine lettuce, celery, pear, banana and lemon. All cleanse days start with a green smoothie, and this one is... kind of gritty, like a mealy apple. But, I’ve only got six jars to last me all day, so down the hatch.
Saturday, May 22; 11.50am: Finished F45, and I’m starving. Vanilla Cashew Milk is jar #2, made with medjool dates and Himalayan pink salt. It’s creamy and rich, but gone in three seconds flat. Def snuck a sip of jar #3 – Raspberry Avocado Kiss – and it’s yum.
Ok, fine, I had more than a sip...
Saturday, May 22; 1.48pm: I’m not even halfway through day one, and while the smoothies are tasty, this is clearly going to be a struggle to rival the 12 Trials of Hercules.
Saturday, May 22; 5.17pm: Have you ever tried to write about food while doing a juice cleanse. Yeah, doesn’t go so well. I cried. It happened; now let’s all just move on with our lives.
Saturday, May 22; 6:46pm: The fifth jar is a damn bottle of water mixed with activated charcoal and lemon. What is activated charcoal? It’s essentially the same charcoal you use to light up your grill, but ground into a powder that has a negative charge so toxins in your body bind to it and are flushed out of the system.
That’s all hunky dory, but WTF?! I’ve been holding out two hours for some metallic-tasting lemon water that makes my mouth look like the gateway to hell, like I’m the starring role playing a psychotic succubus in the next campy horror film… this is some bullsh…
Ok, remember Soph, this is all in the name of getting healthy and fit: do it for the swimsuit. Fuck, I only have one jar left. And to answer the question on everyone’s mind – yes, activated charcoal makes your poop black, like jet black.
Sunday, May 23; 8.30am: Delivery number two. What up same delivery man, this makes two days in a row you get to see me in my stylish pajamas aka an old t-shirt and ripped basketball shorts.
Sunday May 23; 11.15am: First smoothie down. Surprisingly, wasn’t starving this morning, even though I went to bed with a hunger growling in my belly that had the power of a thousand burning suns.
Sunday May 23; 12.02pm: Okay, okay, I’m hungry. And while the Pink Punk smoothie is delicious with all of its berries, maca, coconut oil and banana blend, the Vegan Pea Protein is on the chalkier side. But I’ll take it however I can get it. Protein and fat make you feel full, and that is what I need right now.
Sunday, May 23; 2.24pm: Just finished working out, and I definitely had more energy even though my calorie intake is lower. Was I sweating more than usual though? The brochure mentioned that with toxins leaving the body, you may sweat more or have skin breakouts. Maybe I’m just being more aware of it after reading it? The chicken and the egg.
Sunday, May 23; 5.18pm: Wheatgrass is nasty. I know it can eliminate toxins, aid in digestion, boost metabolism, blah, blah, blah... But it tastes like bitter, moldy leaves sprinkled with fake sugar. On the other hand, the second elixir shot, a ginger drink with lemon and maple syrup was fantastic. Mix that with some whisky and we’ve got something to talk about. Shit, focus on the diet, Soph. No alcohol.
Sunday, May 23; 8.19pm: Don’t mind me, I’m just over here chugging water by the gallon to feel full. Where’s a damn catheter when you need one.
Monday, May 24: 8.15am: Last delivery. Good, I’m over this. I may or may not have spent a solid hour scrolling dianping food porn photos in bed last night. Don’t judge my porn choices.
Monday, May 24: 10.23am: Smoothie selection is the same as Day 1. A little more variety would be nice (especially when you consider they also have a five-day option) but all the smoothie flavors are really just blending together at this point any way.
Monday, May 24: 12.08pm: Avocado! Finally some fat! Makes me want to avo-cuddle whatever godsend put this in my juice cleanse pack this morning.
Monday, May 24; 4.19pm: I cheated. I was so close to making it, but I cheated on the juice cleanse. With a damn cucumber. In my defense, the instructions of the cleanse say you can consume raw vegetables or nuts if you’re hungry. But I wanted to go full in. He just looked so tasty and big, glistening with beads of sweat in my refrigerator. Once a cheater, always a cheater.
Monday, May 24: 7.49pm: Last smoothie of the day, and surprise, it has banana as one the listed ingredients. A lot of the smoothies use bananas as a base. Bananas are technically one of the worst fruits for you when you balance micronutrients against calories. But, everything’s fine in moderation, and at 1,000 calories a day, the bananas should be the least of my worries.
Yet, they aren’t.
And here's why – fun fact – bananas attract mosquitoes. The average person wouldn’t know this, but I’ve got Don Perignon blood – so while most people get two mosquito bites while sitting outside, I get 27. Bananas double that. So yeah, the three mosquitoes that somehow snuck their ass into my apartment had a feeding frenzy, vampire style.
Tuesday, May 25; 9.45am: No delivery today because, bitches, I’m free! Now, who serves brunch on a Tuesday?
The juice cleanse was harder than expected, but that may be because I’ve got the self-control of a four-year old. In total, I dropped about 1.5KG in three days, about half of which has proven to be water weight, the other half of which has surprisingly stayed off.
But weight loss isn’t the goal of this cleanse (okay, so I confessed to the contrary above, but for the sake of the article...) it’s to feel more energetic, sleep better and have more mental clarity. So how did I do?
I crushed my workouts during the last week, including while doing the cleanse.
I slept like a dead person, which is rare for me; I’m a person who regularly abuses both prescription and non-prescription sleep aids.
I fully caught up on work.
So yeah, I’d say it accomplished what it promised. Whether or not that was a placebo effect, I’ll take it.
Would I suggest this juice cleanse? Yes, but with an asterisk. The cleanse is great for loading up on all the vitamins and minerals we usually don’t get enough of during our daily lives and acts as a good mental and physical restart for eating right and making healthy choices.
I do think the cleanse should offer a few higher protein and fat options to balance out the macros better, while still staying within the same calorie threshold – and this is coming from someone smaller than your average size human being. (I was ready to eat my arm off by the beginning of Day 2).
Overall, the cleanse couldn’t be easier. No cooking, no meal planning, no wasted time debating where to order waimai from; just grab a jar and put it in your face.
The smoothies use only fresh produce provided by Gusto Fine Foods, a high-end fruit and vegetable wholesaler that sources from trusted growers around the world. And, at roughly RMB200 a day, it’s pretty easy on the wallet too.
After completing the cleanse, if you aren’t sick of those green smoothies, you can trade 20 of your empties to the Lizzy’s All-Natural store at 758 Julu Lu, and receive a free green smoothie in return. Good for your body and good for Mother Earth, now that’s a win-win.
Lizzy’s All Natural offers over 70 different fruit smoothies, green smoothies, shakes and yogurts, along with easy meals and energy snacks. In addition to juice cleanses, they also offer meal planning services, healthy catering options and a supportive community of health-conscious individuals that assist in spearheading the health movement in Shanghai.
For more info about Lizzy’s All-Natural, visit www.lizzys.cn or scan the QR code to follow their Official WeChat account.
If you are interested in embarking on your own juice cleanse journey, or you just want to peruse some healthy foods, scan the QR code to enter the Lizzy’s All-Natural Mini Program.
See a listing for Lizzy's All-Natural.
[All images by Sophie Steiner/That's]