As frequent readers of this blog know, I am no stranger to cleanses whether they’re home juiced, purchased, made from powder or simply made up. The truth is, as an um “juice junkie” I’ve tried almost everything on the market and in my year of going a few days without food every other month I’ve come to learn quite a bit about these cleanses. I’ve become a little suspicious that juicing has put me on an addictive cycle- and not in a good way.
Let me explain. I used to do a cleanse, get off and almost immediately fall back into my old eating habits. Eat crap for a few weeks, feel bad, crave juice, and get back on another cleanse only to have the vicious cycle start all over again. This turned out to be very ineffective for both my wallet and my body.
Nonetheless, when I learned that iZO Cleanze, a popular cleansing company based out of LA, was starting nationwide delivery, I was the first to jump on the bandwagon. I signed up for a 5 day juice feast expecting another few days of yummy tasting fruit and vegetable juices. The juices are flown in fresh from LA every morning and delievered to you before 10:30 am, anywhere in the US. Like many other juicing companies, the anchor of the program are their green juices, followed by a red juice, a Master Cleanse type lemonade juice, and a heartier “nut” juice. But this is where I found the similarities ended. The iZo Cleanze also comes with four teas, a few nutritional supplements and half a jar of “hyper-mineralized oxygenated alkaline water.” What it should also come with is a warning label- “For serious cleansers only!”
As a frequent drinker of Blueprint Green Juice, Liquertia green juice and homemade “green juice,” I was pretty sure I knew what to expect. But within the first sip of iZO green juice, I discovered that I was onto something very, very different. iZo green juice is formulated without fruits. No fruits = no sugar. No sugar= good for your body, bad for your taste-buds. I downed a few gulps, set it aside and looked what what else I was in for that day. Next, I grabbed the spicy lemonade, also another staple for frequent juicers like myself. I took a big swig welcoming that sweet, spicy, tart taste I was so used to only to find out that spicy..yes, tart..yes, sweet..definitely not. I set that one down and continued foraging through my cooler. Long story short, out of the eleven pints of liquid I had for the day only two tasted even slightly sweet to me- the Red Juice which contains apple, and the Protein Drink which contains a bit of agave syrup. Everything else was full of stuff that was actually good for my body, though good, as you know, doesn’t always equate to tasty. I felt like I was in for a long 5 days.
By Day 2, I was starting to get the hang of things and had gotten used to the taste of the juices a bit more. I worked my way through them (in order this time) but discovered that it took only about half a jar to make me full. Some of the juices were still harder to down than others but I really began to appreciate the sugar-free nature of many of the drinks. I felt like the lack of sugar in my system helped keep my hunger in check since my insulin level wasn’t spiking all over the place.
By Day 3, I noticed something really great. I was a lot less bloated than I’ve felt in years. Despite having lost short term water weight on other cleanses, I never really lost that bloated feeling. It’s because most cleanses are formulated with a lot of sugar (fruits are natural sugar yes, but sugar nonetheless and fresh-pressed fruit juice can contain more than 50 grams of sugar for 16 oz!). This causes your body to retain water and puff up. On iZO, drinks contain such low amounts of sugar that for the first time in years, my body started responding to a drastic cut in sugar consumption. I was starting to see some real benefits that I hadn’t seen before on other cleanses.
I had to end my cleanse a day early but even in just four days, I realized that the iZO Cleanze is the real deal for someone who is really looking for something to help them make drastic changes in their approach to their health and lifestyle. There are a lot of “cleaning agents” in the program that do great work to help balance you out and scrub away toxins in your body but the life changer for me was that the program had successfully taken me off my sugar addiction. When I was Master Cleansing with maple syrup, I told my friend it was so i could “stop my sugar cravings.” He responded: “How? By drinking sugar?” Point.
Following the cleanse, I lost a lot of my cravings for sweet things and when I do eat a cookie or cupcake now, I’m satisfied with a lot less. Since I finished the program about a month ago, I haven’t fallen off the “healthy eating” bandwagon and I fully credit the change in my eating habits to the few days I spent on iZO (though, consequently I’ve also broken the juicing cycle).
iZO Cleanze does not ring up cheap. 3 days on the signature cleanse will set you back $450 but there were so many drinks that I could not finish my daily quota. I would recommend that you build your own custom program which starts at $300, making it comparably priced to other companies. The custom program contains the core of the cleanse and you can feel free to add on as you see fit.
I would recommend iZO Cleanze to people who have taste buds tolerant to trying out flavors you may never have experienced before. But most importantly, this is the right cleanse for you if you’re trying to make a committment to cutting sugar out of your life and really re-booting your system.