Does the juice diet work? And other questions about my 14-day detox

A couple weeks ago, I inked a column in SN&R about my own personal new year’s cliché diet: I stopped eating solid food and kicked off 14 days of drinking only house-made juice:

“Not sure what inspired me to hop on the resolution bandwagon. Perhaps it was a feeling of being left out, what with all the David Blaine weight-loss sorcery and rigmarole embraced this time of year. Or maybe it’s because, just weeks after the holidays, I already can’t fit into that new pair of work pants.

“Whatever: The juice Reboot diet is a craze, and I got sucked in. Don’t blame me—or America. It began on the other side of the equator, with an Australian named Joe Cross. A few years ago, Cross was 300-plus pounds, sick, depressed, lethargic. So, he did what any confused, overweight Aussie might do: He came to the USA and filmed a reality TV series.

Actually, he made a documentary: He quit chiliburgers and nacho fries and started juicing his own vegetables and fruits every day. For 60 days. The guy lost nearly 90 pounds during the making of his 2010 film, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and now he runs his own website,, which advises others on how to undertake juice Reboots.”

Today is my final day on the juice. And, since I’m not the most introverted guy in Sacramento, a lot of people found out I was only drinking veggies and fruit as meals. There’s been a flood of questions. To recap:

“Oh my god, aren’t you tired all the time?”

No. Not at all. Not even at 3 o’clock work, or when I get home after a long day. I fall asleep at a reasonable hour and wake up earlier than ever. There’s a newfound sense of clarity—when people talk, when I’m typing, my focus is ridiculous. Thoughts formulate and crystallize more readily. I feel attentive, sharp—more on the game than I’ve felt in years.

“You must be starving!?”

The first 72 hours challenged. My sense of smell aggressively tuned in to whatever was being microwaved in the work break room, or whatever my girlfriend was eating. Cravings were noticeable, pronounced, borderline undeniable. As the kids say, it pretty much sucked.

Now, not only have all those symptoms vanished, but I also feel sated all day long, even before meals normal meal times.

What I did was this: Every other day, I’d make a big batch of juice. Mostly veggie-based—kale, rainbow chard, cucumber, cabbage, bell pepper, mint and spearmint, ginger, lemon, lime, carrots, beets, plus some apples to sweeten things up. I also purchased pre-made juice at the Co-op sometimes, since the worst part about the juice diet is juicing all the damn time.

I also cheated: I bought two packs of raw trail mix, and sneaked a couple handfuls in the afternoons at work. Whatever.

“That must be so hard. I could never do that.”

Not true. Actually, the most challenging part is, again, the inordinate amount of time one must spend physically cleaning and juicing fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m so damn sick of filling up mason jars and hearing that motor spin on my juicer; over the past two weeks, I easily drank nearly 1,000 ounces of juice!

“Your poops must be disgusting?”

A woman I know told me she did a juice diet, and was crapping mucus for weeks. Well, I’m happy to report that did not happen. At all. Let’s just say shit was normal.

Actually, the only horror story I’ve heard about the detox had to do with what went down afterward: I woman I know detoxed, then went to a party, ate a ton of appetizers, drank a six back of beer, “took about eight shots”—then woke up the next day covered in hives.

“Oh my gosh, how much weight did you lose?”

I didn’t go on the juice reboot solely to lose weight, but I didn’t mind shedding some tub, for sure. And I know that, once I get back on solids, I invariably will gain back some of those lost pounds. At least in the short term (I hope). Anyway: over 14 days, I went from 209 pounds to 196.


So, yeah, it’s now my last day. Tomorrow, I can drink a beer and eat whatever I want. No rules. 

I know now that the hardest part of this challenge is the days, weeks, months, years ahead. I don’t want to revert back to careless eating of fatty, processed and unhealthy foods, and my obsessive drinking of craft beer. I embrace this healthiness. Sure, part of me wants to go to Bacon & Butter in Midtown on Saturday morning and put down two breakfast cheeseburgers. And, for sure, that would feel awesome.

I hope I don’t do that.

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