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Kai Braden
c/o Asians On Film
8564 Hillside Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90069

“To Juice or Not to Juice?”

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After 72 straight hours of dancing in the desert sun of the Coachella Music Festival, my body needed some serious hydration. My interest and curiosity in juicing has increased after years of working in both fashion and fitness, and because of the simple fact that I live in a culture where people crave kale and coconut water as their “drunk food.” As a model, I have an open mind to any diet that can improve appearance. As a CrossFit coach and athlete, I seek out diets that can keep me healthy and heighten my performance. And as a local Angelino, I can’t help but see the countless cold-pressed juice shops poppin’ up on every corner like a Starbucks chain.

Out of ease and convenience, I decide to walk down to the closest juice store I know, Pressed Juicery. They have three juice cleanse options, depending on what you want, need, and based on your juicing experience. The cleanse I choose to do is “Cleanse 3,” lasting a full three days (https://www.pressedjuicery.com/products/juice-cleanses). This cleanse is considered the most intense and lowest calorie. I figure I’d “Go big or go home,” similar to my mentality in my CrossFit workouts, and especially since I wasn’t sure if I’d ever do this again.

Day 1: I am definitely feeling the vibes of #MotivationMonday as I begin to drink my first juice. I learn how much I keep my mouth busy with food on a daily basis as I find myself continuously sipping my seven juices throughout the day. I think I also have some “food insecurity,” as I am well aware that I am not going to eat food for the next three days. By the end of the day, I feel quite empowered yet ready to crash.

Day 2: I wake up feeling light as a feather, lift up my bed sheets and smile seeing my abs chiseled like a Ken doll. Come noon, I start to feel low energy, so I take that as a sign to keep drinking the fluids. This second night is the first time I begin to really question my decision to do this juice cleanse, but I had already stocked my refrigerator with all 21 juices and wasn’t about to bail now! Thank Jesus for the last juice of the day, which is the tastiest and heartiest of the other six during the day.

Day 3: Now my juice cleanse begins to consume my thoughts as I start having a heated conversation in my head of how this is all pointless versus how I should really be doing this for five days and not three. While I am now sleeping more soundly, I have a brain fog which makes it harder to think clearly. Regardless, I do “feel” cleaner and at this point, I am so close to the finish line. I end up going to sleep this third night dreaming about all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ, so I suppose I subconsciously am ready to go back to a life where I eat food.

Looking back, my overall pros are that the juice cleanse helped to reset my sleep schedule, kept me hydrated, and got rid of a nasty post-Coachella cough. My overall cons are that juicing is not for athletes. I exert so much energy in my CrossFit training, especially during competition season. I was always hungry, had a brain fog, and could not find my mental clarity.

Some argue that a longer cleanse would have been more effective instead of my three-day cleanse. However, I do not regret my decision to juice as it was a great way to hydrate after dancing in the desert for three days straight. I do believe it had positive effects on my physical well-being and was a great way to kick off my carb-cycling diet for the following few months. Would I do it again? Yes… just not for awhile.

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