The Seven Stages of a Seven-Day Cleanse

by Lucas Witherspoon


As I’ve gotten older and can no longer put my body through the hell I could when I was 21, I’ve come to rely on juice cleanses. Usually after a particularly boozy, debauched weekend, I’ll go on a one or two day juice cleanse as a quick fix, but I’ve started making a seven-day juice cleanse a part of my monthly routine, just to flush out all of my bodily toxins and for physical rejuvenation. Downing blended fruits and vegetables for a few days sounds simple enough, but the reality is that it can be painstaking, not only to stick to the diet, but also to refrain from slapping the first person who gives you a dubiously shifty look (or at least what you perceive to be one in your malnourished state of mind). What I’ve found is that during any week-long juice cleanse, you’ll inevitably find yourself going through seven different phases.

Day One: Optimism
As with any diet, the first day is the easiest. You’re in a rose-colored haze and looking forward to seeing the results of your hard work. You’ve got your juice-comprised “meals” mapped out for the day, you’re in a chipper mood at the prospect of feeling healthier, and, to top it all off, you’ll drop a few pounds in the process.

Day Two: Coasting
Your idealistic assuredness is still in tact, though mild hunger pangs may begin to set it.

Day Three: Bitterness
The first two days were easy, but you’ve now reached the point where even seeing the people around you eating elicits an innate scowl. “Look at these people with their solid foods,” you’ll bitingly think to yourself. Alas, with the prospect of a lustrated and slimmer body, you press on.

Day Four: Temptation
Now you’ve hit a plateau and suddenly your body is channeling Oprah at the Texas state fair, where everything slathered in butter and deep-fried sounds delicious. But, you reason, the entire reason for the cleanse is to purge your body of unhealthy outside provisions and you’ve already made it this far, so you may as well keep at it.

Day Five: White-Knuckling It
Imagine you’re a heroin addict who’s been forced into detox after years of heavy use. Now envision what day five of withdrawal is like for them. Further conceptualize what resisting heroin would be like for them if they couldn’t drive more than a mile or two without seeing visually enticing establishments with drive-throughs where they could conveniently purchase and indulge in their vice. That’s what it’s going to be like every time you drive past a fast food restaurant. Resist!

Day Six: The Final Stretch
By now you’ve regained your senses and stopped breaking into a cold sweat at the sight of a heating bin full of 7-Eleven Taquitos, food (I use that term loosely) usually reserved for the drunkest and most THC-laden among us. A few more liquid meals and you’re done–solids are within sight.

Day Seven: Success!
You’ve accomplished your goal! You feel a sense of elation you mustered through it, feel better internally, and have the external results to show for it. Now if you can just limit yourself to be an alcoholic shitshow maybe three days a week instead of all seven (by far the hardest part for me) and keep yourself on a decent diet, you’ll find that not only will your unforgiving hangovers be a thing of the past, but you’ll feel better overall.