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Welcome to We Did It For Science, a newly-revived, semi-regular feature in which we offer ourselves up as retail, beauty, or health guinea pigs—all for your benefit.
Admittedly, our willpower totally sucks when it comes to liquid-only cleanses, so when a little box called the Bikini Cleanse arrived at our doorstep, we were a little wary, but intrigued nonetheless. Was it a guide on ridding out closets of teensy-weensy two-pieces, or a starve-for-a-beach-bod kind of deal? Then we discovered that it was created by our shopping pal and LA stylist Nicole Pollard, therefore giving the cleanse some real street cred and convincing us to give it a shot.
Pollard tells us that the Bikini Cleanse was born poolside during a trip to Hawaii with her then-boyfriend, now-husband. "I had created my own cleanse before the trip: a smoothie my friend recommended, some fat burning supplements that I picked up at a health food store, and a laxative tea I had found online. I left for this trip 10 pounds lighter than before and ready to rock my teeny bikinis," she tells us. "While on my trip I picked up Tim Ferris' book, The Four Hour Work Week. Little did I know the combination of this how-to-build-your-product guide and my skinny regimen [would lead to] the Bikini Cleanse."
Upon opening the white and gold box, we're greeted by a tasty, sweet scent and a week's worth of Bikini Smoothie meal replacement mixes, fat-burning Bikini Sticks, and detoxifying Bikini Tea, plus the Bikini Passport, a 24-page how-to guide complete with daily affirmations and a grocery list of cleanse-approved foods. We're stoked that this cleanse involves solid foods, like chicken, fish, veggies, and eggs. The cleanse will cost you $189, plus ingredients for all your meals. Not on the OK list: carbs, butter, dairy, salt, and sugars (which also includes fruit). There's no turning back now.
Day One: We start on a Monday and begin the day by weighing ourselves. We're pretty happy with our weight, but would be totally okay with losing a little poundage. As recommended by the Bikini Passport, we start off at 8am with the smoothie, a fruity whey protein concoction that satisfies our sweet tooth. We blend it with 8 ounces of almond milk and a couple of ice cubes and BAM: we've got breakfast. It's pretty tasty and we feel pretty optimistic.
At 10am, it's time for the Bikini Sticks, a super-sweet packet of fairy dust packed with "fat-burning, super-ingredient raspberry ketone" that's added to a glass of water. Mmmm, it tastes like stevia on crack!
Pretty hungry by noon, so we crack open the fridge and are greeted by pretty much everything on that no-eat list. We have failed to "eliminate temptation" and properly prepare for this endeavor as instructed by the Bikini Passport. We stare longingly at the butter and cheese, and instead opt to gulp down more water and eat spoonfuls of hummus and unsalted almond butter.
The rest of the afternoon is spent in a hangry blur that we have brought upon ourselves, so we ditch the recommended 45-minute workout. We pledge to stock our fridge right and head to Costco that evening with the significant other, who practically drags us away from the glorious stacks of La Brea Bakery bread (instead, we take the above photo in hopes that it will stave off our carb cravings later; it does not). We grab enough broccoli, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and greens to feed a family of five for a week. Meat-eating, food truck-obsessed S.O. is not happy about this.
All of a sudden, the delightful smell of delicious, delicious pizza wafts through the air. Is it because we're replaying that Olsen twins song in our heads? No, it's the pizza window outside of the Costco exit. We run as fast as we can in the car lest the cheese and carbs win this round. Oh god, what have we done to ourselves?
For dinner, we grill up some free-range organic chicken with garlic, olive oil, and pepper. It tastes amazing because at this point, we've pretty much been running on Bikini Sticks, water, hummus, and almond butter. We drink the Bikini Tea and hit the haystack around midnight, two hours past the cleanse's suggested bed time.
Day Two: We feel great! Day two goes off without a hitch and we stick to the plan: Smoothie, Bikini Stick, lunch (a salad with cherry tomatoes and balsamic/olive oil dressing, delish!), Bikini Stick and a snack (slices of red bell peppers with hummus, yum!) dinner, 45 minutes of Pilates, Bikini Tea. We. Can. Do. This. Also, things are a little, uh, interesting (but tolerable) in the bathroom.
Day Three: SO. HANGRY. Really, really want a grilled cheese from In-N-Out right about now and this day is by far the toughest of them all. We head off to an event, where there are mini quesadillas, lobster rolls, and sliders. We're allergic to seafood and don't eat beef. However, we are not allergic to tortillas and cheese, and our grumbling stomach forces us to grab a quesadilla. Oops.
Day Four: Guilty after the previous night's lack of willpower (SHAME), we're back on track with the cleanse schedule, except we ditch the workout because we suck at time management and also, we have an appointment to hang out with our BFF Alexa. She spots us staring at the churros on the dessert table and orders us to eat one and we feel like the ultimate health douche as we mumble that we're on a cleanse. Girl with the toothpick legs says something that sounds like, "Oh, fuck that." Sigh.
On the plus side, we feel much less bloated than our non-cleansed selves, along with more trips to the loo.
Day Five: So close, yet so far! We're getting more creative with our meals and we whip up a pretty mean broccoli and mushroom stir-fry with some garlic and EVOO. Also, we discover that we really like baked brussels sprouts doused in olive oil.
Day Six: Pretty sick of red bell pepper and we want broccoli to just die. Also over those damn Bikini Sticks. Kicking ourselves for not stocking up on more snackable greens. We could also use a freakin' red velvet cupcake.
Day Seven: We did it! After all's said and done, we weigh in at five pounds lighter, our intestines feel much cleaner, and we notice a slightly leaner figure when we model our bikini for the mirror. Conclusion: would we do it again? Yes, but a serious Costco prepping spree will be the first step next time around for sure.
Interested? You can try it out for yourself right here.
· Bikini Cleanse [Official Site]
· All We Did It For Science Posts [Racked]
· Celebrity Favorite Ritual Cleanse Put to the Test [Racked]
· Back-To-School Cleaning: Paleta Food-Delivery Cleanse [Racked]