Try: The Can Can Cleanse
The San Francisco–based juice cleanse claims to give your digestive system time to rest and relax. But does it work?
The idea behind San Francisco’s Can Can Cleanse is fairly simple: three days of just liquids, swapping out food for fresh-made juices. Are you still reading? I swear it isn’t as crazy as it sounds. According to the website, the cleanse lets your digestive system “rest and relax.” I figured that made sense. When did I last give my digestive system some R & R? Never?
Before I can begin the cleanse, I am advised to start with the pre-cleanse warm-up to ease into the three days of a just liquids. Two days before the cleanse, I eliminate all alcohol, caffeine, dairy, red meat, processed foods, and white powders (sugar, flour, etc). Not terrible, but not great. This cleanse is going to be rough.
I picked up all of my juices for the three days from San Francisco, and that is a lot of mason jars. You drink eight juices a day, and I feel pretty smug stocking my fridge full of 24 jars. “Look how healthy I’m being,” I tell my cat. That smugness is short-lived.
I wake up with a lemon ginger juice, which I am a huge fan of. I could drink one of those every morning. I probably should. An hour later comes the green juice. Although thick, I did not warm up to this juice like I did my morning lemon ginger. It tastes strongly of whatever vegetables it’s hiding inside its murky depths, and the thick consistency doesn’t really help things much. But luckily, it’s filling, since I’m starving at this point. Bad news? I’ve got another one of these waiting for me in the afternoon.
After gagging my way through a green juice, I am pretty excited to warm up the next “juice,” a hibiscus tea, 90-minutes later. It’s not filling, but it reminds me of coffee, which I am sorely missing after three days (remember the pre-cleanse elimination?). Then it’s lunchtime, and the sweet sweet relief of my next “juice” (the term seems to be used loosely): a split pea soup. It’s the only thing I actually get to eat over the three days, and even though it’s just a slightly thicker consistency than the green juice, it’s infinitely better.
At this point, I am cranky and hate everything and everyone, specifically my coworkers eating their delicious, carb-filled lunches. I was warned that the first day is difficult, since your body is experiencing withdrawal from addicting sources of calories such as sugar and caffeine, but like an addict I am plotting the first meal I’ll have once I’m done with the cleanse. Pizza? Pizza, chased with chocolate chip cookies, chased with red wine? My mind is apparently not on board with the cleanse.
The afternoon brings a thin watermelon juice that’s light and refreshing, but once again far from what my body thinks it needs to be full. And don’t forget that second green juice. It’s definitely back. It goes down easier with water, but I’m already looking ahead to the evening nut milk. Thick and slightly sweet, it tastes like dessert in a glass, and my growling stomach is temporarily satisfied. But by the time I crack into the final jar for the day, an Echinacea lemongrass tea, I hear those familiar rumbles. I go to bed hungry.
Surprisingly, I sleep really well. And day two is easier. I’m no less hungry, but I take the empty feeling inside as a sign that my body has an opportunity to take a break and relax. By day three, all thoughts of pizza and red wine have subsided. I’m not entirely ready to let the cleanse go, which is good, since the Can Can team suggests slowly reintroducing certain foods back into your diet over the following few days.
Overall, I’d recommend the cleanse for anyone with serious willpower and a generally cheery disposition. I also felt like my insides were finally working properly, and generally had less cravings for bad-for-me foods. As for the Can Can suggestion of one cleanse for every season? I think I’ll just up my kale and leave the seasonal reboots for the strong willed.
On the plus side? I now have 24 mason jars.
Details: You currently have the option of starting the cleanse on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, and Friday starts will be added in January. Pickup the cleanse at 1890 Bryant Street in San Francisco the night before (you can also have it delivered for $30 to Oakland and Berkeley, or for $45 to the outer Bay Area). $185 for the three day cleanse, $65 for a one day cleanse. For more information, go to cancancleanse.com.