As an early adopter of cleansing trends, I got on the juicing bandwagon before it was even called juicing. Back in 2005, I skipped food for a week in favor of a homemade Master Cleanse concoction that I carried around in a travel coffee mug and took to restaurants and parties inviting odd looks and requiring long explanations. And it turned out, the week of social suicide wasn’t even worth it: I lost a lot of muscle mass (but no fat) and there was no evidence that anything that happened to my body was the least bit good for me.
Fast-forward a decade (and all the life and beauty editor education since), and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about how I take my lemon drinks. Dirty Lemon Detox ($65 for one week) is now my weapon of choice. For one, gone are food-less days that leave my stomach—and sanity—craving normality. This detox is meant to supplement the food you eat—and is, in fact, best for when you’re having a cheat day. The drink comprises alkalizing lemon juice that stimulates the digestive tract and supports healthy weight loss, and pharmaceutical-grade activated charcoal that helps get those indulgences out of your system a little faster. Charcoal is a powerful absorptive ingredient (commonly used in poison control centers to remove toxins from the stomach), and the black liquid gives the drink its “dirty” appeal. The simple concoction rounds out with dandelion root and ginger to help your body’s natural digestive and detox processes.
The juice has a tart flavor that can make you pucker at first, but after a while it takes on this cleansing, refreshing quality that makes you crave it after a particularly greasy meal. Of course, we’ll be the first to note that a diet of pizza and charcoal-lemon water is not exactly cleasning, but the odd thing is, after a few days of consuming the beverage, I felt a lot less bloated and stopped craving sugar and salt.
Oh, and thankfully, I also upgraded that to-go mug. Thanks to Dirty Lemon’s cool branding, I don’t mind whipping it out of my handbag at a restaurant, and I am actually happy to explain this time around.