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The 3-Day Cleanse: Your BluePrint for Fresh Juice, Real Food, and a Total Body Reset Paperback – Mar 25 2010
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About the Author
Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss are the founders of the Blueprint Cleanse. Huss has a background in Public Relations, and Sakoutis is an accredited Nutritional Consultant.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The first third of the book (or so) is all good information, but highly repetitive and if you are health savvy enough to be attempting a juice cleanse, it is probably all repeat information to you. Really, an entire page on bisphenol-A?? Contaminants in drinking water? The importance of eating organic produce etc? Honestly, it felt like journalistic filler that could have been popped into any random magazine or newspaper article and unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, it's nothing new or proprietary to cleansing or juicing. A little background is fine but it is too big a chunk of the text to be relevant to the topic advertised.
The middle third of the book is probably the section that ended up being most useful to me. It gave an overview of cleansing, tools etc needed, detox symptoms, what is normal and what's not, benefits, methods, etc. There are a couple charts and quizzes to assess yourself in various areas.
The last third of the book is recipes. This was a major disappointment to me. Some of the dressings and salads are okay but not worth the price of this book as a raw vegan cookbook. The juice recipes, however, are TERRIBLE. They are almost entirely comprised of fruit and rice milk beverages. I call them beverages because that's not fresh juice- Drinking fruit and processed rice milk is NOT A JUICE CLEANSE. There are exactly three 'green' juice recipes and they ALL contain fruit. Juice cleansing is amazing, but a juice cleanse following these recipes will NOT be. I bought this book almost solely for the cashew milk recipe and, having had Blueprint Cleanse cashew milk, I knew it lacked the cinnamon and simply added it back in. I've done the actual Blueprint Cleanse and it in no way resembles the juice regimen outlined in this book. To be honest, most of the fruit juices looked gross to me and I would also say most contained rice milk. A real cleanse should consist mostly to nearly entirely of the green juice. I do have a Norwalk and I use it regularly, so it wasn't hard to figure out the 'real' recipes for a cleanse like this. my approximation of the green juice would be:
a third to one half a bunch of kale
one small head of (dark green!) romaine or half a large head
handful or two of spinach leaves
dense handful of parsley
one bunch of celery
3 lemons, peeled
5 apples, fuji are great for juicing (fewer if you don't mind the taste of the green juice)
one piece of peeled fresh ginger (I don't add this because I'm not a fan)
This makes 2-3 mason jars or about 1.5-2 days' worth if you are cleansing, and occasionally drinking another juice or two. You'd probably want more if you are only drinking the green juice. NOTHING like this recipe appears in the book. I guess the purchase was worth it for the cashew milk recipe, which is very good (with added cinnamon). I have been drinking one quart jar of green juice daily, with small glasses of other fresh juices like apple-carrot-orange (also nothing like this in this book, more of a Gerson recipe with added orange) and pineapple-apple-mint, a Blueprint favorite of mine that is SO EASY to make but again does not appear in any form in this book. Perhaps because pineapple is hard to juice in a centrifugal juicer, I don't know. I plan to branch out a bit more into beet juices and other vegetable juices but again this book was no help in that regard. There were next to no vegetable juice recipes included, and those are the ones with the major health benefits. While there is no added sugar in the fruit juices, they DO contain a good amount of sugar and if that is all you are consuming, you are not reaping the same health benefits. Maybe at some point they will write a book with better quality of information but unless you have other sources for the recipes or you know how to make your own green juices, this book is minimally helpful in following through on a cleanse.
I originally wanted to do the actual 3-day Blue Print Cleanse which delivers the juices daily to your house but it would have cost $250, which seems too pricey for me, so I figured I could just buy the book and a juicer and do the cleanse myself. I bought a Factory-Reconditioned Breville XXJE95XL Two Speed Juice Fountain Plus (which I love)from Best Buy for $75 and began reading the book and experimenting with the juice recipes.
I think this book is great. I discovered juice cleanses through my best friend who had success with both of her cleanses, but this book gave me a lot more information. For instance, drinking water with lemon in the morning and then having a green juice is best to help clean out your system from the night before.
I've been drinking juices every other day as a replacement for breakfast and lunch for over a month and I have noticed a remarkable difference. I no longer crave a lot of junk food and when I did give in and have a chicken nuggets meal from McDonalds, the food tasted so gross to me. I've also noticed the flavored sodas I used to love (orange, grape, etc.) now have a chemically taste and I can only drink Pepsi and ginger soda. My tolerance for refined sugar has also decreased. When I decided to treat myself to a slushy I got the first sugar rush headache I've ever had in my life. I don't crave sweets anymore, and when I get a little craving for chocolate I only need one piece to be satisfied instead of the whole bar.
And I can fit into skinny jeans again!
There are many great things about this book aside from the reasonable price tag. First, they give a thorough explanation of why a juice cleanse might be better for you than other cleanses. They explain about the nutrients contained in the juice ingredients and they give you fairly straight-forward (and mostly yummy) recipes to make your own juices.
The authors are also honest with you. They admit that you will be fantasizing about food during the cleanse. (At the end of day 1, I was craving a nice, juicy hamburger...or a slice of pizza...or just about anything to chew!) They also give a list of some of the negative side-effects you may feel as toxins leave your body.
I have only three minor complaints in this book. First, there is a lot of pseudo-science. Really, there is little experimental data to show that expunging toxins via fasting really is healthful; there is mostly anecdotal evidence. My second complaint is that they assume you can pony up big bucks for a top of the line juicer. While they say you can use a $200-$300 juicer (which is still a bit pricey for most people), they really want you to buy a $2400 Norwalk juicer. Hey, I really want to buy one too, but I have a car payment to make. They acknowledge that less expensive juicers will have lower juice yields, but they provide no suggestions for how to make up for that. Common sense tells me to just throw another stalk of kale in the juicer, but is that okay? They don't let you know. My final complaint is that they want you to buy fresh, organic berries and other fruits anytime you want to do the cleanse. If you like to buy food in season at the farmers' market, this is just not possible. I ended up buying lots of frozen berries as I did my first cleanse in January...not an ideal time for fresh, organic fruit.
The bottom line is that this is a good book if you are interested in doing a cleanse but not willing to pony up $200. The juices are mostly palatable and the book is upbeat and easy to read.
The first thing I loved about this book is that the program offers three levels of cleanse (think beginner, intermediate, advanced) and a quiz to determine which level is right for you. After taking the quiz included in the book, I decided to try Cleanse Level 2. I grew up eating tons of leafy green veggies, so even though I've strayed in the past few years, I knew I could handle a cleanse which included more green juices. Though my quiz suggested I try level 3, because of my last few years of bad habits, I decided that might be too hardcore for a first time cleanser like myself. I really enjoyed all of the juices (fruit and green.)As long as I went no more than 2 hours without a juice, I never felt hungry. And the nut milk at the end of the day is a delicious treat! I also appreciated the fact that I was able to find all of the ingredients needed for the juices and nut milks at my regular grocery story (which has an organic/natural foods section).
Though the book recommends fancy, expensive juicers and blenders, I used a juicer and blender purchased for about $75 total, and they worked just fine.
I love the meal recipes included for building up to the cleanse and transitioning back to solid foods after the cleanse. Each recipe is numerically coded to let you know how far before or after the cleanse the meal should be eaten. It's been three days since my cleanse, so I'm now eating level three meals. I've enjoyed all of the food immensely, and have been pleased that there's really no requirement to add odd and expensive supplements (like some cleanses I've researched) to your diet. If your grocery store has a health food section, or you have something like a Whole Foods in your neighborhood, you can find everything you need quite easily and at an affordable price. Also, if you get tired of the recipes, there are suggested "ways of eating" to help you continue your new healthy habits.
Finally, the results: From the very first day of my cleanse I started to notice my complexion looked amazing. Some of the tiny lines around my eyes have even disappeared. Even on that first day, I never once craved a cigarette (no crankiness either). Tomorrow it will be a full week since my last cigarette. I'm suddenly drinking water instead of soda on a regular basis (was shamefully not much of a water drinker before), and I've replaced my quad-shot lattes with once cup of green tea and had no discernible side effects. I'm sleeping better, I don't feel dead at the end of the work day, and yes! I am enjoying food again. I've also noticed my tastes in food have changed...when I think of my next meal I crave crunch veggies. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the skinny jeans claim in the title, so far I've lost 6 lbs.
The BPC is actually promoted through Exhale Spa, which I have been a member of since 2004. My reasons for cleansing were more for hitting the diet "reset" button after periods of time where I am being more social (i.e. drinking) and eating not as healthfully as I would like. I got the book to read further into the philosophy of the women who started the BPC as well as to get some healthy recipes, and the book definitely was great for both of those things.
After watching "Food Inc" and "King Corn", reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and realizing how industrial our food system is (and not liking it), I started to buy into the "eating natural and clean" philosophy - which is actually really hard in today's world of processed everything and oversized portions. This book is a great way to jumpstart that lifestyle - with super easy recipes and tips, as well as the logic behind the Blueprint Cleanse juice fast.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for quick, easy, healthy recipes or just interested in finding out more about eating cleaner.