I marry the love of my life in five days. As many have been here before, this sensational, romantic and thrilling time of our journey is also stress-induced, relationship-taxing and can cause loss of hair and growth of waist band due to chocolate intake. Fortunately, “bridal bootcamps” have been opening up in the Northwest from PureBarre to Pound Rockout Workout, kicking and sculpting the asses of anxious, sleepless brides in attempt to look the greatest they ever have on their big day and those timeless, ever-lasting photographs that their children will inevitably make fun of years later.

photo-22The way to my heart and ambition is through my stomach, so I took the route of juicing to flatten the tummy and boost the confidence. Living in Seattle, I have a variety of options from BluePrintJuice sold retail at Whole Foods Market (who also has their own cold-pressed line at select stores) to a handful of local juicers that have popped up and are growing by the day to keep up with the demand of crazed cleansers.

A friend, who lives gluten, meat and dairy free and blogs about it, panned out the details to juicing for me. According to her research, she says it revitalizes the body, flushes the digestive system and removes evil toxins that tend to retain water, weight and excess gunk in your body that never look good in any dress that is white. She suggests avoiding anything pasteurized or high-pressure processed, the latter being how Starbucks’ Evolution Fresh is made. Although I’m cheap and lazy and Starbucks is a stone’s throw away, she insisted on going cold-pressed, local and organic, recommending Seattle’s JuiceBox.

Owned and operated by chefs Kari Brunson and Brandin Myett, JuiceBox is all about the right stuff—cold-pressed, organic and raw juicing to get the full effect of a cleanse for one of the most important days of your life. JuiceBox advises their consumers to take the cleanse as a jumping point for adjusting to a healthier diet in general.

“A juice cleanse is about resetting and detoxifying your body, an aid to optimizing your health and well being,” says Brunson. “The time cleansing gives your digestive system a rest and floods your system with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, phytochemicals and live enzymes. All of these elements helping facilitate detoxifying, cleaning out and promoting the body and its natural healing capacities.”

Vigorous exercise several days a week is always encouraged when trimming off the extra stuffing, however, Brunson says a juice cleanse can achieve a similar physical and mental effect. “It is simultaneously challenging and invigorating,” Brunson says. “As with an exercise regimen, you will benefit the most from a juice cleanse if you learn a little about it before starting, maintain a positive attitude and keep broader health goals in mind.”

That’s all zen and dandy, but by dinner time on my first day of a three day cleanse, I wanted a damn cheeseburger, like, yesterday. Brunson encourages her juicers to persist and carry through the cravings and urges, saying it will lead cleansers to a clearer and cleaner body and mind. However, if you need to eat, she says to go with a light vegetable or fruit.

The second day was the biggest obstacle, having one day in the belt and knowing there was still one more to go after that felt almost conflicted—like I had already worked so hard and there was still so much more labor to do. My friend and many blogs I read discussing juicing suggested the constant chugging of water and chewing sugar-free gum to subside the hunger-pangs. Per suggestion of both juicers I sourced from, I cut out alcohol and caffeine (take all my vices, why don’t ya?). I also did the cleanse during the workweek, to keep myself busy and from fixating on how frequently I cruise past a Dick’s Drive-In on a daily basis.IMG_0265

So why put yourself through the mental and physical torment of a juice cleanse and why are they so popular?

“There is an outright demand for healthy, lighter food,” says Brunson “Our goal is to provide people with healthier options and our success so far has been based on the demand for this need. Juicing is more popular than ever, as more people understand the direct connection between diet and well being and they subsequently demand healthier options.”

Camille Primous of Seattle’s Strawberry Moon Juice agrees and believes that, as a country, we are lacking in nutrients. “It’s been known for a while now that we are not eating enough real, whole foods and are taking in too many processed foods that are linked to many health-related and chronic diseases,” Primous says. “It’s very important to be flooding the body with nutrient-dense foods and juicing is a great way to accomplish that. Juicing provides a fast, easy and delicious way to take in large quantities of fruits and vegetables, providing the nutrients needed for optimal health.”

For me personally, the immediate benefits were somewhat shocking. I was full of energy on the final day, I felt physically lighter and cleaner. My skin looks brighter and my hair felt fuller. I lost four pounds, which is disgusting to think there was a minimum of four pounds of junk toxins in my body just waiting to be flushed out. Primous says some of their clients see energy increases, reduction in digestive problems, improved skin and sleep patterns, along with weight loss.

For the brides-to-be, Strawberry Moon Juice offers a bridal package tailored to the bride’s specific needs. Discounts are offered when multiple packs are purchased, so the two betrothed can juice fast together or the bride can rope in her bridesmaids to slim and tone with her. Primous suggests fasting before the dress fitting, following the bachelorette party or even after the honeymoon.

Getting married, standing in a bridal party or want to look good at the lake this summer? Try Strawberry Moon Juice’s three-day fast which features four 16 ounce bottles of juice comprised of two green drinks, one fruit/vegetable drink and one nut “mylk” per day for $135. They offer three different styles of fasts, all self-explanatory as “a little bit fruity” for the newbie, “salty sweet” for the immediate palate and “grass fed” for the serious detoxer who says bring on the green.

JuiceBox offers two basic cleanses—one that has five 16 ounce juices of kale, romaine, celery, spinach apple and lemon and one 16 ounce bottle of aloe vera water while the other has four different 16 ounce bottles of vegetable/fruit juices, one 16 ounce almond milk and one 16 ounce aloe vera water. They also offer a rotating seasonal menu at their café in the restaurant La Bete on the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.

Raise a glass of green to life, love and living longer with a healthy diet and your one and only.