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The Best Juice Fast: Camila Alves’ Post-Baby Body Detox – Ritual Cleanse

Posted Aug 25 2011 5:09pm
Camila Alves by Real TV Films
Camila Alves , a photo by Real TV Films on Flickr.

Camila Alves, the 29-year-old model stunner, host of Shear Genius, and fiancée of Matthew McConaughey, reportedly lost all of her baby weight using Ritual Cleanse ($80 for six bottles, RitualCleanse.com). Her five-day cleanse “helped kick-start my body back into shape,” she says. “I worked out with my trainer, Gunnar Peterson, starting with easy exercises. I also did yoga and the Tracy Anderson Method while pregnant.” (New Beauty, Summer/Fall 2011).

I’ve concluded Ritual Cleanse is the best fast I’ve reviewed so far, on the blog or otherwise. Here’s why:

Ritual Cleanse affirms that they use over 15 pounds of organic fruit and vegetables to prepare enough juice for one day of the fast (six bottles of juice)! That’s a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. The ingredients in the Classic Reset Fast include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Romaine
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Apple
  • Cashews
  • Agave
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla

What I love here is there is a natural source of fiber, with the high concentration of spinach and kale. Many other juice fasts contain psyllium seed husk, which requires a lot of water to ingest properly. Psyllium seeds can hold eight to fourteen times their weight in water, and it can be hard to consume the 240 mL of water per 5 g psyllium seed required to prevent obstructions ( MedLine Plus , 2011). With Ritual Cleanse , a separate laxative (psyllium seed or otherwise) is not required, which is an idea I love.

There’s a reason Hollywood actresses use Ritual Cleanse : Each day of Ritual Cleanse is prepared the day before your fast begins. In fact, to guarantee freshness, Ritual Cleanse even has a mandatory overnight shipping policy if you’re not able to pick up your products in the Los Angeles area.

There’s another reason why Ritual Cleanse is Hollywood-esque: Each day costs $80, plus another $20 for the overnight shipping, so it’s pricey for a juice fast.

As with anything else, there are proponents and detractors regarding juice fasting. As a disclaimer, you must always speak to your doctor before beginning this or any other diet plan.

I, for one, am a fan of anything that can break the cycle of mindless eating. Sometimes life gets so busy and we’re eating because we’re bored, tired, stressed, upset, angry, even happy or socializing. Having a three-to-five day period where I take a break from my usual habits makes me cognizant of all the crazy times I want to eat when I’m not even hungry. Furthermore, even though it is common belief rapid weight loss is not sustainable, there are still benefits: A 2004 study in The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that a “quick” 8-pound weight loss over 4-6 weeks resulted in desirable changes in glucose, insulin, leptin, and triglycerides. Further, during the extreme fast of Ramadan, in which no food, fluid, tobacco or caffeine is consumed from sunrise to sunset, “no detrimental health effects have been attributed to negative water balance…though patients do become more irritable” ( European Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 2003) Of course I am not citing this study to encourage such eating patterns in my non-Ramadan-celebrating readers, only to demonstrate fasting does not typically harm otherwise healthy individuals.

On the other hand, fasting and quick weight loss have a downside as well. Hunger when you’re on a diet is not all in your head: Rapid weight loss induces release of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone ( Clinical Endocrinology , 2002). Although ghrelin levels subside once you eat again, their initial surge makes it hard to keep losing weight. Additionally, rapid weight loss can cause you to lose more muscle than fat, slowing your metabolism somewhat, though it has been found your metabolism will likely return to normal within six months to one year of normal eating ( American Society for Clinical Nutrition , 2000).

My rationale for the Ritual Cleanse is this:

  • It costs $100 per day after shipping costs, $80 if you are local.
  • It would take approximately 1 hour each day of devoted cleaning, cutting, blending, and bottling to make juice as fresh as it is in the Ritual Cleanse .
  • Assuming each day of the Ritual Cleanse contains about $30 worth of fresh organic produce, if your time is worth $50-70 or more per hour and you have a comfortable disposable income, then the Ritual Cleanse is within your price range.

On the other hand, there are certainly less pricey ways to fast than the Ritual Cleanse . My favorite guidebook is Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing For Life by nutritionist Cherie Calbom, M.S. Although I adore the book, I must warn Ms. Calbom’s advice runs the gamut from scientific to holistic/alternative medicine, and she says some things I know some doctors would not like, such as the suggestion that you should detoxify your liver. (Most physicians believe the liver detoxifies itself, and some believe such cleanses could only do more harm than good). I will go off the record and say as a beauty blogger, not a medical student or scientist, that I felt absolutely amazing when I did a three-day juice fast using the suggestions in Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing For Life . My energy was improved, my mood was better (though not on day 1, definitely by day 3), and I even looked fresher. I can’t wait to do it again!

Now there are some caveats when juice fasting. First, you speak to your doctor. Second, you should consider fasting if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Terminal illness
  • Extreme weakness
  • Anorexia/bulimia/history of eating disorder
  • Pregnant/nursing
Any questions about fasting should be directed toward your medical professional.
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