Hands up for anyone who’s tried 2019’s latest food craze: the celery juice diet? I tried it, and I’m calling bulls**t on it.
Diet “experts” and celebrities alike are touting celery as the cure for many things: chronic illness, inflammation, infertility, gut and skin issues, mental health problems… the claim being that if you drink a 16oz glass of celery juice every morning on an empty stomach within 10 minutes of waking up, that you’ll reap all sorts of benefits to help whatever it is that ails you and basically become Gwyneth Paltrow. Eyeroll already, amiright?
If you’re not in the know on this, this CNN article is a great round up of just some of the internet coverage on the craze and all its supposed benefits, and of course the arguments supporting the clap-backs to the fad.
You may or may not know that I’ve been struggling for over two years now with skin issues that flared up since going off the birth control pill when I turned 30. I wrote about it extensively here (an update on this is coming soon), and obviously I am into experimenting and torturing myself with new and exciting ways to fix my face. So, of course when I kept reading the stories of this “miracle cure”, I figured I had nothing to lose. It’s celery – there is no way at least that this can be bad for me. Let’s see if it’s worth the Goop-hype.
So, on this newfound mission to attack inflammation via one of the most overlooked veggies in veggie land, once I got back from NYC I headed to the grocery store, stocked up on the goods, and thanked god for the Vitamix I got for Christmas this year.
Verdict: not worth the hype. Since I stuck with it for 30 days, I guess what I did could be considered a detox/cleanse of sorts. Obviously it didn’t hurt me to to be drinking it, but in terms of it noticeably helping with skin issues, it fell short. It was expensive, time-consuming, and I didn’t notice a single difference during the 30 day trial – not in my skin, my gut, or my energy.
First of all, celery is not cheap. And the second a craze like this comes around and it’s flying off the shelves, expect to see that cost skyrocket. Remember when the world was super into cauliflower and the price rose from $2.99/head to $5.99/head thanks to consumer demand? Yep.
Considering celery is basically water sticks, paying $4.99+/bunch feels like robbery. They also say it needs to be organic for this to work, so there’s that. If you’re blending and then manually straining the celery like I was (see more on this below), typically one bunch of celery would get me two days’ worth of juice (and that’s erring on the smaller side of the recommended 16oz portion).
This is obviously a way more cost-effective way to do it than to buy the pre-fab juices from your local juice shop, but it still adds up – costing you anywhere from $15-20/week. That’s not chump change in the long term scheme of things.
This was such a high maintenance task. I don’t have a juicer, so I was blending the celery in my Vitamix and then manually straining the juice out. The fresher it is, supposedly, the more you reap its benefits. The internet recommends you make the juice right before you drink it, but I knew this wasn’t realistic for me. Typically, I’d prep two bunches in one night which would make about four days’ worth of juice. I did this so that I wasn’t spending every. single. evening prepping the damn juice.
This process was always messy, time consuming, and, frankly, just plain annoying. Thanks to my current elimination diet, I’m already cooking way more than I used to with the majority of my evenings now spent in the kitchen. So, to add this in to the routine was exhausting. That may sound dramatic, but in my teeny-tiny galley kitchen, the drama was real between transferring the juice to the pitcher, and the strained pulp to the tupperware, and trying to maximize the pulp to get every last drop out of it (which sometimes meant squeezing it with my hands)… all the while trying to not turn my limited counter space into a complete disaster. Yep, it was a messy process which my OCD tendencies don’t miss.
Not wanting to add to the food waste problem, I froze all the celery pulp I went through so eventually my freezer was overflowing with tupperware. I was also eating a lot of celery soup, eventually turning to fritters in an effort to get creative with how to use the pulp. Needless to say, I won’t crave celery for a while.
Nothing. Nada. I saw no change during the 30 days I was drinking it. When I decided to call it at 30 days, I thought to myself, “Hmm, maybe there is a difference but I just don’t realize it, and once I stop my skin will absolutely blow up or I’ll have a stomach ache every day!” Not the case. I didn’t notice a retroactive difference once I stopped drinking it, either.
I’m not trying to take away from what benefits celery does offer. As the CNN article states, “there are beneficial flavonoids that have been discovered in celery that have been shown to perhaps play a role in reducing inflammation in the brain or reducing age-related memory decline.” Which I am sure, if you’re going to see those results are thanks to a very long term intake of the juice. It’s also a low calorie, high-fibre source of Vitamins C and K, and Potassium – so, keep snacking on that celery!
But when it came to my specific goal of reducing inflammation, and hopefully feeling better in the gut and seeing changes in my skin, it didn’t deliver in that time period.
Who knows, maybe I needed to keep it up longer to really see any changes. MAYBE. I know in most health-related quests, you need to do it for at least 30 days, if not more, to really see a change. In all my reading, it was hard to find any recommended length of time before you are meant to see benefits. But in my opinion, keeping this up FOR LIFE just wasn’t an option.
Overall, I give it a C+. The taste was fine, it had a nice placebo effect on my psyche thinking I was doing this really great thing to kick start my body every day, and it forced me to be creative in cooking with celery. But, I probably won’t do it again. And when I see people on social media who, after only a few weeks, say how much of a difference they see/feel, I call bulls**t. They were probably paid to say that.
Now, friends, tell me your thoughts on bone broth, please…