Man vs. Cleanse

The Knife & Fork Project extends a warm welcome to our guest blogger, The Vegan Roadie. This post is the second in a series that Dustin Harder will be contributing as he creates a road map across America for the vegan and veg-curious. Check out his website and his videos at


Often when you travel for a living, your eating habits, schedule and rituals can get a little mucked up from time to time. I’m constantly trying new restaurants and food for my blog at and I often let my brain convince me that because I am doing this it’s okay to order that appetizer AND dessert along with my entrée. Amazing how your brain can hijack you like that, isn’t it? Being on the road is an extreme circumstance put on your life; you are away from your circle of friends, your loved ones, your pets and your schedule is ever-changing. Nothing is stable; you have to create your stability. Some people do it, though it’s a difficult task. When you are faced with these extreme circumstances, for many people food and alcohol become a comfort. This is not something that only happens to working travelers, I’m aware. But believe me when I tell you the cravings are intensified when you are on the road, and all too often we gypsies give in and order that pizza at 11:00 PM because we just did a show, we feel lonely, we feel an intense desire for comfort, everybody else is doing it and gosh darn it…we’re just HUNGRY.

For reasons like this it was of the utmost importance that I do a three-day juice cleanse to adjust my eating habits. I had only successfully completed one previously. I had attempted four, but only completed one. And that one I completed was with a group of co-workers. I decided that in order for this to be successful and beneficial, I needed to do that exact same thing. So I did. I got 10 co-workers on board to do a juice cleanse with me while we were in Detroit. Our cleanse came from Organico Juice Bar and was crafted to our specific Dosha as indicated by the Ayurveda forms we filled out. I had never done a cleanse like this and was quite interested to see the outcome!

Everyone within the group had a different reason for doing this cleanse. Some were avid cleansers, for others it was their first time, some were trying it just because they liked to try “healthy” things and some were just like me…wanting to reset their system after a tough few weeks of work where we had turned to unclean food for comfort. Whatever the individual reason, I was enthusiastic about this cleanse because I felt we would all be such a great support for each other.

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “juice cleanse”? Torture, right? I mean, that’s what I think of. No actual eating for three days!?!? That’s torture!! But I did it during both cleanses. People often argue that it’s unhealthy to take such an extreme measure, but the beautiful thing about a cleanse, when done right, is that you are getting every nutrient you need to fuel you throughout the day. The nutrients are broken down for you to digest and leave little work for your system to do. Bottom line, you get the nutrients you need, your body gets a rest from the everyday toxins and working them out of your system. It’s like pressing the reset button on your health life.

It’s so useful, as a matter of fact, that I did it twice: once with my group of cohorts, and again later when I had another fantastic opportunity through filming The Vegan Roadie. So which was easier, the group cleanse or solo?


Detroit Cleanse: October 2-4

Organico Juice Bar

I will say that during the group cleanse I felt like the Captain of the group because I organized the cleanse. I picked everyone’s juices up every morning and delivered them. For this reason, whenever I was having a low moment and wanted to cave, I didn’t. I felt a responsibility to the group. At times it was very difficult in the group because people who were struggling with the cleanse were quick to talk negatively about it and obsess about quitting and what they would eat when they go off the cleanse. Then there were the strong people in the group you knew you could turn to and say “I’m really struggling today, how are you?” and their answer was usually “I am too, but think of how great you will feel when this is done, and it’s only three days” which gave you that little extra push you needed. I completed the group cleanse, as did a few other people. The success rate was 50/50. Some people gave up day two and a couple gave up day three. Some people noticed when they were hungry, had a small nosh and stayed on the cleanse, which I found admirable because once that train goes off the track it’s all too easy to completely derail. I was proud of our group but struggled with the negativity that came along with it. I did, however, revel in the positive moments and the fact that it was a group effort for those committed to sticking to it.


Boston Cleanse: November 14-16


I filmed an episode for my webseries, The Vegan Roadie, at an amazing place in Boston called Cocobeet in mid-November. Cocobeet offers an array of Organic Raw Cold Pressed Juice Cleanses. I decided to give their cleanse a try, but this time I would go it alone. I was curious to see if I could make it through on my own and what the difference would be in doing it solo now that I have grown into eating more consciously.

I was slightly terrified. But it was an amazing cold press cleanse that I absolutely could not say no to, and I knew my body needed it, oh so badly. I have to say, this cleanse from Cocobeet was the best and easiest cleanse I have ever done, my only regret is that I didn’t do a 5-day cleanse with them! Only twice did I feel a little hungry or that I might give up, and the feeling was short and fleeting. Beyond that I felt like Superman! I felt revived, full of energy and felt very proud about my accomplishment. As I the cleanse progressed, I could feel the benefits my body was receiving due to my determination to complete this cleanse alone. When the cleanse was over, I transitioned back to solid food with smoothies and broth. The outcome was a clear mind, a light feeling and a massive sense of achievement. I was also very grateful to Cocobeet for creating a cleanse that I never felt deprived during, ever.

Organico vs. Cocobeet

The main difference between the two juice cleanses was the way that the juice was made. Organico designs your juice cleanse using your individual Ayurveda information. Cocobeet focuses on a cold-pressed juice method, using thousands of pounds to squeeze the juice from their produce. Less heat is involved and more nutrients stay intact. Cocobeet also prescribed one additional 16 oz portion per day than Organico, which helped me to stay energized and keep up with the cleanse. Since I was doing the Cocobeet cleanse solo, I also appreciated the fact that they had clearly labeled bottles with suggested drinking times, which made it easy to keep up with the system. I also was allowed to have their “health shots” which are terrific for the immune system and deliver a little boost of energy – heaven for a coffee drinker who can’t have their coffee! Moving forward, I intend to look for cleanses from places like Cocobeet: cold-pressed, plenty of nutrients, easy to follow juice cleanses.

Different people’s energy can affect what you do everyday and how you’re feeling. When venturing into something like a group juice cleanse it is imperative for everyone to be 110% positive–you are committing to the cleanse with like-minded people who will be your support group, but you have to also be aware that it’s possible that not everyone will be on the same page. For this reason, I found the solo cleanse to be the winner for me this time around, which was the complete opposite of how I imagined it would be! I felt positive and refreshed the entire time with a sense of major accomplishment on the horizon. I think the cleanse was also easier due in part to the type of cleanse it was, all of my nutrients were in full swing and because of this my system did not feel lacking for anything.

I urge you to give a cleanse a try if you are curious. Be cautious, do your research and prepare yourself accordingly. It is crucial to your success. If you follow the guidelines, I venture to say you will come out three days later feeling like a brand new you – with a clear mind and extra pep in your step!

- Dustin Harder

Join The Vegan Roadie as he travels the country in search of delicious vegan eats, hotel room cooking solutions and other culinary adventures.

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