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Juice bars, cleanses, raw food EVERYWHERE! How do you choose?

May 9th, 2013 1 Comment

Green Juice from dtox juice bar atlanta

When I was living in The South – aka the part of the country that is always 5 years behind – I was hard pressed to find fresh pressed juice (terrible joke intended).  Coffee culture is infiltrating quite nicely, but juice not so much.  Whole Foods finally capitulated and started selling an unpasteurized** juice with a green tint, but it’s mostly derived from apples.

Since I’ve moved back to LA (and NYC for a New York minute – I can’t help myself), I see now there is a juice bar on EVERY corner. Literally, there are so many I don’t have time to try them all!

So that leaves us with several questions:

  • How do you determine which hot spot  serves “the best” juice?
  • What do I do if I don’t like all of the ingredients?
  • How much is too much to spend on juice?
  • Do I NEED to do a cleanse?
  • Which cleanse is right for me?

Thankfully I think I have come up with an easy answer for you.  My solution is actually in sync with most answers in the food industry: GO LOCAL!

The BluePrint Cleanse was a pioneer in the juice biz and for that we paid good money and still give mad respect to Erica and Zoe. But you have so many other options now, take them.

Mary Rambin and Shannon from dtox juice

This lesson was driven home for me in Atlanta when I discovered Shannon Sliger’s dtox juice bar tucked away off Roswell Road in Buckhead.  After all of the cleanse brands I’ve tried, hers has been my favorite thus far.  I got to customize the ingredients (no ginger please!) and quantity of each kind of juice (I added a cranberry grapefruit).  Plus, the fresh pressed juice over a cold pressed juice is so much more flavorful and satisfying.  She also includes a wheat grass shot and an aloe elixer (to help with digestion).  On the menu there is also a 7 day liver cleanse people rave about and my favorite coffee substitute, the Puerh Latte with fresh frothed almond milk.

Did you hear what I said: ENJOY the juice!

There are so many things you have to tolerate or “do for your own good.”  Green juice is delicious once you get over the stigma of it. And if you don’t like, try another brand or shop.  All green juices are not created equal.  You don’t want to be paying upwards of $8 for something you’re sucking down.

Just beware of the added sugar please.  There is usually something in green juice that makes it sweet and “tolerable” like green apple.  You want to make sure the juice isn’t all apple and only a little green.  The only thing that will do for you is send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.  Consider adding beets or carrots to your juice to make it sweeter instead of apples or citrus.  Both are high in vitamins!

I digress, but you know I don’t go on rants often, so this must be important.


1.  There is no doubt it’s fresh.  They make it to sell out daily.
2.  They don’t have to cold press the juice to last for days so you get more bang for your buck.
3.  Cold pressed juice is great for keeping in your fridge and a cooler in your car.
3.  Often you can customize the juice’s ingredients (I like extra greens) AND your cleanse.
4.  It’s cheaper in general and no shipping costs!
5.  Locals compete so they’re more creative with their recipes.
6.  You can get an education from the owner about what their recipes and what your body needs.
7.  Whole Foods fresh juice bars suck. They don’t care about the “recipe.”
8.  Juice is good for you.  It allows your body to absorb all of the nutrients of veggies without having to work too hard.  Feel free to drink it with nuts, eggs, or chicken so you’re digestive system has time to absorb all the goodness and your tummy is full.

You know I travel a lot, and I’ve been able to find a fresh juice bar and raw food restaurant in EVERY city I’ve been to. NO EXCUSES. One of my readers/followers actually called the juice bar I posted on Instagram in El Paso to say hello! (Made my day :)  The El Paso guy was surprisingly legit with his recipes.

Bottom line: Vegetable Juice – UNPASTEURIZED** juice (read the label) – is good for you.  Drink it alongside eating a protein and a little fat like a “does-a-body-good” meal.  Cleanse for 3-5 days as a way to hit your sugar-addict reset button.

**When fresh fructose is pasteurized it’s properties change to be like that of sugar like you see in a bag in the grocery store.  Put the Tropicana down (even for your kids) and pay the money for the real, fresh deal.  Your body will thank you.

If you’re considering a cleanse, click here for a post that includes links to all of my tips and cleanse reviews.

(Full disclosure: 3 day dtox cleanse was provided for free in exchange for a review.  However, I don’t want to check my bank statement to see how much money I spent there while in Atlanta.  Obsessed with her green smoothie and kale salad is an understatement!)

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Looking to cleanse before summer?

April 19th, 2012 No Comments

Hi Beth, here’s my post which will tell you and link you to all you need to know about cleansing!  I also suggest this post which answers reader concerns.

The biggest thing you need to know is NOT to freak out when you feel hungry.  Just drink more juice and you’ll find it’s more filling than you expect.

Start easting vegetarian two days before the cleanse.  Schedule a colonic for day 3 (Libbe or gravity machines are the best).  After the cleanse, try to eat raw and vegan for the first day, and then vegetarian for two days afterwards.  And stay away from processed sugars!

BluePrintCleanse is generally the best for new cleansers.  If you’re in NYC, I also love Organic Avenue because it’s a lot more hearty.  Those in LA have the pleasure of the RedCarpetCleanse which has the best juices in my opinion.  Read here for more on each.  Recently, local cleanses are popping up.  In Atlanta, you can try Arden’s Garden, which is amazingly cheap for the good quality of the juice.  Houstonians can try Snap Kitchen, but I don’t like their juice line up (too much fruit, not enough veg.)

Let me know if you have any more questions!

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This 3 Day BluePrint Cleanse will be a breeze!

January 17th, 2012 3 Comments


I can’t remember the last I did an actual BluePrint Cleanse.  Over the last few years, I’ve been testing their competition.  On my last cleanse, I tried to DIY it with juice from an expert juicer, but that was a struggle. (Click here for a post with all of my notes on cleansing.)

One sip of the BPC green juice this morning and I realize these next 3 days will be a breeze!  The green juice tastes sweet, like apple juice, as opposed to the bitter veggie blend I’ve been buying at Central Market and the broccoli crap they started pressing at Whole Foods.

Yay!  I was nervous for a second….seriously.  Cleansing is always a mental challenge for me.

Well, I’m off.  Juice in tow.  Next is the Pineapple Mint, sooooo good.

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Finally a discount code for the BluePrint Cleanse! Use it by Friday for any order.

December 21st, 2011 No Comments


So many of you have written recently about a BluePrint Cleanse code and for two days I have one to offer you!

Use discount code TWICEGIFTED at checkout and get 20% off future cleanse and “juice ’til dinner” orders if you purchase by Friday 11:59pm EST. Some states have reduced shipping as well.

CLICK HERE for a better understanding of cleansing and why I believe it’s important to purchase it.  You’ll also find tips on how to prepare and come off a cleanse.  And of course, the importance of a colonic :)

I don’t need to tell you a juice cleanse is the perfect way to start the new year off healthy :)

Happy juicing!

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Can I do a cleanse myself or do I have to buy it?

June 9th, 2011 2 Comments

I get asked this question all the time.  My answer has always been “BUY IT” for five reasons.

  • Amassing all of the organic ingredients can be tedious and expensive.
  • You can’t get the same consistency in the juice unless you have a quality juicer.
  • Buying a cleanse guarantees you will get all all of the nutrients you need to sustain the duration.
  • The availability and schedule with the juices delivered daily makes the process so much easier.
  • Almond milk is not fun or easy to make.

On Tuesday I completed my second homemade cleanse. And my answer is emphatically the same.

This post is going to be long, but it will be the most informative article I’ve written on cleansing to date.


Three years ago, I attempted my first cleanse by myself on mostly fruit juice.  Big mistake.  I obviously had no idea what I was doing.  This time around, after completing many “professional” cleanses (see my reviews below), I took the middle road and bought juice but not a whole cleanse for 3 days.

  • My Set Up

Per my request, Susan, a friend of mine who juices regularly and teaches about juicing, supplied me with the two key juices in a regular cleanse (pictured above): the green juice packed with vitamins and nutrients and cayenne lemonade that energizes you. Her blend of green juice has both ginger and garlic which most don’t usually include, but have great benefits.  (See “Why you should juice” below for a list of ingredients and benefits).

  • My Diet

On day one I decided because I’m active I would have to eat as well as juice.  I allotted:

  • 1/4 cup of raw almonds 3 times a day
  • 1 apple around 1pm
  • 1 small bowl of spinach when I felt hungry

Herbal teas are also nice to incorporate during the day to break up the monotony of flavor.

  • My Experience

There are definite pros to making your own juice for a cleanse, but in my opinion, there are more cons unless you are a seasoned juicer.

The good part is that I got to tweak the juice recipes.  For example, I couldn’t stand the garlic for more than one day so I had Susan omit that and add more kale.  On day 3 I asked to incorporate a beet juice because the green alone wasn’t proving to be enough.   I have to say, her green juice was one of the best I’ve ever had in terms of taste and hunger satisfaction.  Surprisingly enough I wasn’t starving until the end of day 3.

On all of my purchased cleanses I felt devastatingly hungry at one point or another.  However, while I wasn’t hungry drinking these juices, I still experienced significant loss in muscle mass and energy unlike I ever have before.  That’s a big deal for me.  I wasn’t ingesting enough calories or protein.  I feel like in a self-cleanse, it’s hard to gauge what you are feeling versus what you should be feeling.  The process isn’t supposed to be easy or enjoyable; it’s supposed to detox your organs and give your digestive system a rest.

At the end of day 3, I decided my body needed fuel asap.  I ate a meal of steamed broccoli, raw almond butter, and dried pineapple to bring myself back to life.  On day 4, I integrated back into a full diet with quinoa and pineapple.

As always after a cleanse, I got a colonic to fully detox and pull out materials that weren’t able to move during the cleanse. See more on this at the end of the post.

  • Final Thought

My conclusion on amateurs (myself included) constructing your own cleanse: don’t do it.  Unless you fully educate yourself or are under the guidance of a nutritionist, I would advise to not attempt a cleanse on your own.  Absolutely incorporate fresh juice into your diet (you’ll read why below), but don’t attempt to cut out food altogether without guidance.  You’ll end up starving, constipated, and frustrated.  Not fun.


Juicing means extracting the juice from a fruit or vegetable.  When you hear people say,” I juice,” it means they incorporating fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juice into a normal diet.  Cleansing means actively changing your diet to detoxify your body using an alternative system that may involve fresh juice.


Even if you don’t want to cleanse, I highly recommend incorporating fresh raw juice into your diet.   This means drinking juice that has not been pasteurized or altered in any way.  Naked juices or others you find bottled that say “flash pasteurized” are not fresh.

When you juice fruits and vegetables, the vitamins and minerals are released from the indigestible fiber so your body can absorb them instantly. Your body absorbs the nutrients almost instantly when unencumbered by dressings and other fruits.  According to Susan, “fresh live juice promotes the alkalinity of body fluids which may in turn enhance metabolic function and strengthen your immune system.”

Buy a quality juicer or Vitamix blender and reap the rewards. You’ll feel energized in a totally new way!  Plus then you can get on to eating the things you actually enjoy instead of forcing down a salad.


Eating vegan is advised before and after a cleanse and also as part of a healthy diet. Click here to read Nutritionista’s reasoning why you should consider going vegan, even if only for a week.  I love this book of raw recipes if you’re game.


Let’s be honest, for the most part, we aren’t kind to our bodies drinking and eating almost everything we want and crave.  So for three to five days at least once a year, you should consider taking the time to detox.  As you learned above, your body absorbs the nutrients from juice quickly so your organs don’t have to work to digest the fiber.  “Because the fiber is removed, raw juice has a natural laxative effect potentially enhancing the cleansing process,” says Susan.

With all of the ingredients that goes into juices – kale, spinach, parsley, celery, apple, carrots, beets, ginger, garlic, etc – your body is being strengthened on so many levels.  Besides extracting the toxins, the juice provides vitamins and nutrients to strengthen your immune system, prevent diseases, ease anxiety, engage your heart, etc.  I could go on for days.

After a cleanse, you’ll see benefits in your normal diet and lifestyle.  You can experience:

  • Decrease in craving for sugar and starch
  • Appreciation for the natural sweetness in foods
  • Satisfaction for normal portions of foods

Click here for my guide to cleansing.

I’ve answered of your questions quickly!  Should you decide to move forward, click here for a list on how to prepare for a cleanse.

Click here to see what the experts have to say about fasting and cleansing.


In total I will have spent $70 on juices for three days from Susan.  That price is LESS than what you’ll spend on juices for one day in cleanse you’ll purchase.  But I do believe buying a complete cleanse with the nutrition value you know ahead of time and a schedule is the way to go for first time cleansers or people who aren’t at home all day.  Here is a list of the ones I’ve tried and why I like them:

BluePrint Cleanse – 3-5 days. The universal cleanse that tastes good and ships nationwide. (Reader review)

Cooler Cleanse – A less expensive version of BluePrint. I’ve never tried this one.

Organic Avenue – 5 days. Only in NYC. Very hearty. Provides more fat and calories than I eat normally. (Video review)

Red Carpet Cleanses – 3-5 days. My absolute favorite because the juices are SO delicious. Pictured above w/amazing lemondade. (My review)

IzoCleanze – For the pro cleanser who is looking to truly detox their organs individually. (My review)

Click here to read a comparison of BPC, RCC, and OA.


Colonics are controversial, but so is everything these days.    I always do one after day 3 and day 5 of a cleanse to get the full benefit of the detox.

You can also do the procedure during a normal diet, but it is always recommended to clean up your diet before and after.

Click here for my experience and videos from past procedures (don’t worry, they’re not graphic).

Here is a list of the clinics I have been to and can attest the technicians are experienced and educated.  They use different methods, but all have proven to be gentle and non-addictive for me.


In my experience with cleansing, I haven’t used many herbal teas and oils (ex: flax seed) to help with bowel movements.  But they are recommended if you get constipated.  Other herbal teas can aid in the cleanse in other ways.  I just haven’t been exposed to that yet.

Many people ask me about the Master Cleanse.  I’ve never tried it and don’t plan to.  Juice cleansing is challenging and beneficial enough for me.  I can’t imagine going days without nourishment.

If you still have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.  I’ll be more than happy to answer them.  And if I can’t, I’ll pass your questions on to Susan or a nutritionist.

(Full disclosure: I received media discounts or comped cleanses for all cleanses mentioned in the “buying” section as well as the colonics, with the exception of American Wellness.)


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Could you cleanse during the holiday and still be cheerful??

November 26th, 2010

As predicted! 25% BluePrint Cleanse until December 2 – click the pic to take the survey.

For more info on the cleanse:


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June 17th, 2010 No Comments

New BluePrint Cleanse Code for MTM Readers Only!!

Due to popular demand, I’ve been able to secure a new discount code for MoreThanMary readers who are trying BPC for the first time!

If you’re wanting to try it, email me and I’ll ask you a couple questions to verify you read the blog and then will shoot you the code.

For more on the cleanse: www.blueprintcleanse.com

Happy juicing!

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Nonsense Cleanse: IzoCleanse

May 28th, 2010 No Comments

No Nonsense Cleanse: IzoCleanse

A couple of weeks ago I embarked on the fifth cleanse of my lifetime.  As you all know I’m a huge fan of The BluePrint CleanseThe Redcarpet Cleanse(LA only), and Organic Avenue (NYC only).  But this time I thought I would try out the celeb favorite, IzoCleanse.  If I’m going to be a resource/guinea pig for cleanses I need to try out many different programs.

The IzoCleanse offers a combination of 12 juices and teas per day along with herbal cleansing supplements for your liver and spleen.  All of the juices are freshly squeezed from raw veggies and delivered to your doorstep (wherever in the US that may be) daily.

In terms of nutrition and cleansing properties, this is the most well-rounded juice menu and actually overwhelming. I didn’t even come close to drinking all of it because the juices are truly filling.  Every hour of the day, your body is nourished with vitamins and minerals while not distracted by agave and green apple which are used as sweeteners.  You get the full benefit of a true organic, raw, cleansing so that after three days you can appreciate the natural sweetness of fruits and veggies, no longer crave processed sugars, and have a smaller appetite and can control over-indulgence.

On the other hand, the first day and a half you have to suffer through the juices.  Or I did anyway.  Just like with any cleanse, while your body is actually full, you feel starved of processed sugars and experience a little withdrawal.

The final consideration is price. Izo is the most expensive, starting at $100 per day. With the supplements, the plan is $150. I didn’t drink ALL of the juices and teas, so I would highly suggest contacting the company directly and having them create an a la carte menu for you. That way you can still get the benefits of the juices working together and staying within your financial comfort zone.

Bottom line: The IzoCleanse is for those of you who are dedicated to taking control of your health (please understand me, not your weight).  You will be more nourished on this cleanse than you would eating, but it’s still a challenge, just like all cleanses.  I might say it’s not for beginners, but I think if you’re new to cleansing this might be the best way to start.

(Full disclosure: IzoCleanse was provided for free in exchange for an honest review of the program.)

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