So, you want to start a cleanse.
My guess is that you’ve either tried every cleanse under the sun (and have not been satisfied with the process or the results, or both), or you’ve never been more than a couple yards away from a kitchen and cannot fathom the pros to anything that doesn’t include food. Rest assured, I have a cleanse for you too, foodie.
Luckily, no matter which category you fall under, I’m here to demystify the world of cleanses and help you best decide which one is right for you. It’s been 15 years since my first cleanse, and about 15 days since my last. With that, I like to believe that I have a bit of wisdom to share in regard to cleanses: how accessible they are, their enjoyability, and worth.
Without further ado, this blog will break down the pros and cons of the most popular cleanse types, and then introduce you to the holy grail of cleanses– The OWL Reset.
To no surprise, the juice cleanse pulls in at the #1 spot in terms of popularity. Juice cleanses are the most common type of cleanse likely because they are readily accessible in most cities, generally palatable, and are like the unspoken initiation of the cleanse world. Still, they come at a price. (A literal price, in some cases.)
The most common complaint with juice cleanses is that you’re going to be very hungry. Even 100% natural juice contains little to no nutritional value to the body, and therefore, will not keep you full or satisfied. Sometimes, a juice cleanse may even set you further from your goals.
This is because most juice cleanses are fruit-based, a.k.a. sugar-based, and once your cleanse is over, your body will continue to crave the same amount of sugar you were binging for days. Leaving you with increased sugar cravings. My overall rating for juice cleanses is a C+. A passing grade, but nothing to celebrate.
- Available in most cities & towns
- Generally delicious
- Often customizable
- Minimal nutritional value
- May lead to increased sugar cravings
- Can cause bloating during and in the days following
I’ll just get to the point with this one. You really have to love soup to start and complete a soup cleanse. Also, make sure you choose one that is highly recommended.
That may seem like an obvious suggestion, but soups often have hidden ingredients that you may have never thought to ask about, such as gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and more. Plus, every soup cleanse will be different. Are they thick soups, are they broth-based, are they meant to be eaten hot or cold? These are all things to consider when doing a soup cleanse, especially if you’ll need to take it on the go.
If you do love soup, however, there are some great reasons to choose to do a soup cleanse. First of all, you won’t be nearly as hungry as you would while doing a juice cleanse. This is because soup is usually vegetable-based, and fiber-rich. Soup (generally) also contains less sugar, so less sugar cravings. The cost, though, is that soup is often chock-full of sodium. This can cause excessive bloat and gas, and increased cravings. If you’re a soup lover, I’d give soup cleanses a B- grading.
- More likely to keep you feeling full
- Often high in fiber
- May be overloaded with bloat-inducing sodium & inflammatory oils
- Not as accessible as other types of cleanses
- Less likely to cater to vegan or vegetarian diets
Food Group Restriction Cleanses
This is a tricky one to touch upon because there are so many variations of food group restriction cleanses. Some people consider “cleansing” the removal of gluten or caffeine from their diet, while others may remove added sugars or certain allergens.
Food group restriction cleanses are best for trying to pinpoint the cause of a breakout (such as removing tree nuts, soy, dairy, etc.) or to reduce a specific type of dependence or craving (think junk foods). The obvious pro to this type of cleanse is that you’re eating whole foods throughout the process. The downside is that removing certain food groups for an extended period of time can sometimes lead to developing an intolerance. For that reason, these types of cleanses are best when paired with an experienced R.D.N. or certified nutritionist.
- Eating whole foods
- May help to pinpoint an intolerance or allergy
- Usually, no additional purchases are necessary
- Potentially intolerance-inducing
- Best when paired with professional guidance ($)
- May take longer to feel desired results
Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never been the target of a “skinny tea” ad. These are a more extreme version of a juice cleanse. Just with a lot less nutrients, and far less benefits.
Much like fad diets, tea cleanses are meant to be done for short term, immediate results. Though, often with some unfortunate side effects.
Tea cleanses have little to no nutritional value, generally make you gain water weight, and can cause indigestion and other gut issues. This is because tea cleanse teas are often packed with fake sugars and other unnatural ingredients (I was bloated for a week straight after the tea cleanse I did). Overall rating is an F in my book.
- Easy to take on the go
- Can adjust the duration to your goals
- Often leads to water weight gain
- May cause indigestion
- Increased cravings
The OWL Reset
You’ve arrived. *Drum roll*
To sum it up, OWL Venice is the ultimate cleanse-setter of the wellness world. They have somehow created a program that addresses the three main pain points of a cleanse: hunger, bloating, and results. The OWL Reset cleanse program is made up of 3 delicious Mylkshakes and 3 Broth Elixirs per day, with the option for a vegan bundle as well. From experience, this is the only cleanse that will make you feel like you’re eating three full meals a day, and feel satisfied.
Based on the ancient practices of Ayurveda, and scientific rhythm testing of Chronobiology, this cleanse is a home-run in every category. The inclusion of whole foods (blended in the Mylkshakes) and gut-restoring bone broth are what help you feel and see almost immediate results. By the second day of the OWL Reset, I was waking up with more energy and sleeping more soundly at night. On day four of the cleanse, my stomach was flatter (goodbye, bloat!), my skin was clearer, and, I kid you not, I called in and asked to extend my cleanse from the four-day to the six-day option. Extra credit for being the only cleanse that I didn’t want to end. With all of the amazing benefits of this program, OWL Venice’s grading is a no brainer: A+.
- Helps reduce bloating
- Increases energy
- Balances circadian rhythms
- Aids in clearing diet-related skin issues
- Keeps you feeling full
- Vegan option available
- None that I can think of!
There you have it. Popular cleanses and their shining star competitor, The OWL Reset, graded by efficacy! I hope this helped clear the air on common cleanse myths, and to decide which cleanse might be right for you. The best way to understand anything is to try for yourself! Always do what’s best for your body, and choose a cleanse that not only matches your goals, but also your lifestyle.
Shelby Torrese splits her time between copywriting, nutrition and movement coaching, and running a cold brew and matcha business Palm Shade Provisions.
From her experience working with brands like Xbox to learning how to pull the perfect espresso shot, she brings a variety of interests and perspectives to her work. When not working (rare), you can catch her hiking, trying to keep her plants alive, or baking.