The truth behind the juice: Exclusive interview with Melissa Dolan

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Hi Melissa! Congratulations on finishing your first juice cleanse! How do you feel today?

I feel great – the juice cleanse really accomplished my goal of feeling less full / over-fed after the holidays. When I walked in to Organic Avenue this morning, I felt very accomplished and gave the man at the front counter a peace sign as I walked out. I had Chobani yogurt for breakfast and skipped my usual morning coffee that I have now gone four days without. I get really hungry pretty frequently, but I also get really full really fast. At lunch I decided to forgo my usual Coke Zero and had water instead. So far, I have really been making better decisions post-cleanse.

What were you most nervous about when you started the juice cleanse?

I was really nervous about the hours I work and being able to do that without any real food or caffeine. As I mentioned in my blog, I left on average around 11PM each night, so it wasn’t a terrible week (sometimes I work much later). I did find it hard to concentrate at certain times (such as on day one when my stomach hurt and on day two when I was really hungry) but all in all I had enough energy each day.

How did you decide on Organic Ave? Were you happy with the quality of the juices?

I had been going to Organic Avenue for several months before starting the cleanse and love their juices. One of my coworkers did an Organic Avenue cleanse and felt really great afterwards, so I also had that as a point of reference. Also, Organic Avenue is only a few blocks from my work, so I could pick up my juices rather than having them delivered (I don’t have a doorman and the delivery fee is $20 per day, or $100 per day if you live in Greenwich, CT – is anyone else appalled that people up in Greenwich are willing to pay $100 / day in delivery fees?).

I really loved the juices (except Green LOVE, as you all know I hated that one) and miss them now that my cleanse is over. One of my roommates is starting an Organic Avenue cleanse on Sunday and I will likely be jealous of all of her juices. I’m thinking about stopping by O.A. next week to pick up some of my favorites. Actually, our catering was cancelled at work next week, so perhaps I’ll use my meal allowance to buy a delicious juice lunch.

How well did OA communicate with you about what to expect during your cleanse. Did they have any literature or resources for you?

Organic Avenue communicates through email. They sent emails before telling me what to expect and how to prepare, during to communicate the next day’s menu, and after to congratulate me.  The emails were great and contained inspirational messages as well as nutritional information. As I mentioned previously in my blog, I really looked forward to receiving O.A.’s emails each night. The staff at Organic Avenue was also really helpful and would check in with me for about five minutes every day when I went to the store to drop off my bottles and pick up my juices for the day.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during the last three days?

There were two – working really late (but I already talked about that one) and resisting the food in the kitchen at work. We have all three meals catered as well as special catering for different meetings occurring in our office. At all three meal times there is a big spread of food in our kitchen as well as goodies like cupcakes left over from meetings throughout the day. We also have giant jars filled with sweet and savory snacks, two refrigerators, and two pantries filled with snacks. As you can see, I am surrounded by good food at work. Generally when I walk into the kitchen to refill my water, I swipe a snack off the counter. So it was a big challenge to resist all that food, especially on day two when I was really hungry.

Did you feel that your friends and co-workers were supportive, or wary?

Everyone was extremely supportive, so thanks! Since so many of my co-workers had done juice cleanses, they were really supportive and would offer tips and advice, as well as ask me how things were going throughout the whole thing. Which brings me to my next point – if you try a juice cleanse, don’t be one of those people that hides the cooler at your desk and doesn’t tell anyone about your cleanse. I put all of my juices in our main fridge and would sit and talk with people while I had my first juice during breakfast time. However, if your office is like mine and loves food, do put your name on your juices, or someone will swipe one. My friends and family were also very supportive – even more so because of this blog!

Did you notice a big change in your energy levels/the way you felt during the 3 days?

I was definitely very in tune with my energy levels since I was working so much. I felt a bit of a lag the second day and wanted a caffeinated drink pretty bad, but overall I had a decent amount of energy. Low points were late afternoon on day two as well as my one mile run on day two. I can generally run a mile without thinking twice about it, but I definitely felt tired and ran a bit slower when I ran on the cleanse. As a side note, Organic Avenue does not recommend heavy exercise, but being a pretty intense person, I ignored that. O.A. recommends light stretching and yoga (not thermal) followed by a relaxed session in a steam room. Oh well.

By day three and when I woke up following the cleanse, I felt awesome. My cleanse definitely got rid of the sluggish and overly full feeling I had after the holidays.

Do you think you’ll do another cleanse in the future? If so, will you choose OA again?

Quite honestly, probably not. I was contemplating doing another one before I spend a week in a bikini on a yacht in Greece this summer, but I really struggled eating normal foods again / drinking after the cleanse. Christina and I are finishing this interview up on Monday given I had to switch my attention to work on Friday right up until my pasta dinner, and let me tell you, the weekend did not go well. First of all, I couldn’t eat a lot. This is to be expected, but when I am in Greece, I want plenty of room for lamb gyros and stuffed grape leaves. Second, I haven’t been as hungover as I was on Sunday in years. The four years in college I spent conditioning my stomach to handle a hefty intake of alcohol went out the window with this juice cleanse. Lesson learned: do not do a juice cleanse and then have 3 margaritas two days later.

What advice would you give to someone interested in doing a cleanse whose not sure they could handle it?

If this food lover can handle it, you can too. Beyond that, really research the juices and get recommendations from other people. I knew I would be able to handle Organic Avenue’s cleanse because I had already had their juices and knew I really enjoyed them. The other piece of advice I gave my roommate (who didn’t exactly follow it to a T) was don’t drink alcohol the night before you start a cleanse. Everyone knows grease is the only thing that cures hangovers, and juices don’t contain grease.

Do you think this has changed the way you feel about eating/your feelings towards food?

Well, I still love food, but I have found in the few days since that I have been hesitant to make completely terrible food choices. I had my morning coffee today (Monday), but I skipped my afternoon Coke Zero. I definitely think I am on track to making healthier choices.

What are you most excited to eat today?

My pasta dinner with my roommates! As an after note, I followed that pasta dinner up with a Pop Tart, which I haven’t had since my srat house days.

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