Just a few days into the Raw Food Cleanse, Sarah was already sick of produce. And she didn't lose any weight.
Before: 148 pounds
After: 148 pounds
What Worked: "Smoothies -- a pint of strawberries, half a pint each of blueberries and raspberries, and coconut water -- were filling and easy to make for breakfast."
What Didn't: "I've never thought so much about food -- planning, chopping, and blending -- yet I was always starving by the end of the day. You really need a juicer, but I wasn't willing to spend the money, and the recipes call for pricey exotic ingredients, like crystal manna flakes. I quit after four days, because I didn't like the lunch and dinner options -- for instance, juice made with spinach, celery, and apples. My social life was nonexistent. You try nibbling avocado and tomato while your friend downs margaritas and fish tacos!"
The Pro's Take: Upping your produce intake is a good thing, but a balance of raw and cooked is best. Cooking makes it easier for your body to absorb certain nutrients, like lycopene in tomatoes and carotenoids in carrots. "To make this cleanse healthier, you need to add a substantial lunch of lean protein, cooked veggies, and whole grains, like a tofu and veggie stir-fry with brown rice," Giancoli says. As for the claim that a raw diet resets your digestive tract? "It doesn't need resetting. With a diet of juices, it becomes a couch potato," she explains.
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