Nekter juicing jump start on the New Year
A juice cleanse from Nekter Juice Bar features different juices like this one, a spicy lemonade-style drink that gets a pleasant kick from cayenne and turmeric.
Article and photos by Lisa Crockett
Like many Americans, I take a break from healthy eating in December. Endless parties and goodie platters mean all the things I love are available all the time. Christmas cookies, in particular, are my downfall. There also seems to be no end to the smorgasbord of things that are gooey and melty, two qualities I am powerless to resist.
Come January, however, I can usually feel the effects of a month-long indulgence fest and am eager to get back on track. Some years I try a new routine at the gym. Other years I’ve tried omitting certain foods like red meat or sugar from my diet for a specified period. This year, though, I felt like I just needed a little tune up to give me a clean slate, so I decided to try something different.
Nekter Juice Bar, a chain out of Southern California, recently opened a new store in Greenwood Village. In addition to a full menu of smoothies and bowls, they offer fresh squeezed juices, including “cleansing” systems designed to be consumed for one, two, three, or five days to give your digestion a little break in the action.
Nekter recently provided me with a two-day cleanse*, which I happily drank rather than eating food. I picked up the 12 bottles of juice, which were conveniently packed in pretty cooler bags, at the store with instructions to drink plenty of water and eat “clean” healthy food the day before and the day after cleansing. I was also instructed to keep the juice in the fridge and consume it within just a few days of picking it up – it’s juiced fresh and has a limited lifespan. After days of fatty, sweet, decadent food, the juices provided a welcome change of pace and helped me quickly drop a few pounds. The juices are designed to provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A day’s worth of cold-pressed juice is made from about 15 pounds of produce but contains just shy of 1,000 calories.
Most of the day’s offerings in both the “classic” and “advanced” cleanse (I did one day of each) feature vegetable juice with just enough fruit juice to sweeten them pleasantly. Kale features prominently in the juice throughout the day. Lemon, cucumber and parsley also give the juices a fresh flavor with just enough tartness to wake taste buds lulled to sleep by the heavy, overindulgent flavors of all the holiday treats I had been consuming.
Each day’s series of drinks are numbered and meant to be consumed in order. The drinks that serve as breakfast, lunch and dinner replacements are heavy on greens, while morning, afternoon and evening “snack” juices are sweeter and include a lemonade-type drink with a dash of cayenne that gives it a tasty kick. The advanced cleanse also featured a beet juice drink which I loved for its earthy, full-bodied flavor and bold red color.
I didn’t feel especially hungry during the cleanse, though I did eat a handful of raw almonds on both days when I felt a little peckish. The final juice of each day featured blended cashews giving it a creamy texture, along with a little fat and protein. It was satisfying and seemed a bit like a dessert.
At the end of the two days, my jeans fit better, my skin was clearer, and I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the busy days ahead. And while cleansing with juice wouldn’t be something I would do all the time, I can easily see it being something I do every month or two to get back on track.
Nekter Juice Bar also makes delicious smoothies and acai bowls which feature fruits and vegetables alongside specialty ingredients like cashew milk and coconut water. Nekter Juice Bar is located in Greenwood Village at 2500 East Orchard Road, Suite B. Juice cleansing systems are available on-site, or can be ordered for home delivery. For more information on juice cleansing, visit www.nekterjuicebar.com.
*Nekter Juice Bar provided a two-day juice cleanse free of charge. Nekter Juice Bar had no say in the content of this article and all opinions are that of the author.