Nashville juice cleanse taking wellness community by storm

As the sun comes up over Nashville Yoga Company in West Meade, dozens of Nashville men and women come to get their fix, Tracy Kornet reports.
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:34 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - As the sun comes up over Nashville Yoga Company in West Meade, dozens of Nashville men and women come to get their fix.

Only this three-day binge is designed to bring a high of a healthy kind.

“I’ve had people lose 150 pounds doing a cleanse and then continuing every month for a year,” Jennifer Masley, a cleanse facilitator for 15 years, said.

The hot yoga teacher, mother of two, and former owner of organic restaurants in Tennessee, Michigan, Arizona, and Florida said the number of clients trying her 800 calorie-a-day cleanse has tripled in the last two years.

“The goal is to give your digestive system a rest,” Masley said. “The idea is that healing in the body stops as the digestive system functions and moves food through the body. Anytime you take the heavier foods out of your diet, your nervous system is going to relax, and your digestive system is going to function at a higher level.”

Masley created Pure Cleanse after researching ways to use nutrition to help her husband through a stem cell transplant. She shops local farmers markets for ingredients, then whips up her smoothies and soups in her kitchen at home: a vegetable smoothie for breakfast; protein smoothie for lunch; plant-based collagen broth for dinner; and juice elixir of turmeric, ginger, broccoli stems, and dandelion greens which she calls “an afternoon pick-me-up.”

“Dandelion is so good for the liver,” she said. “I always tell people the harder it is the more you need it.”

But scientific proof of those claims is hard to find.

Registered dietician, nutritionist, and Vanderbilt professor Jamie Pope said fruits and vegetables in any form is a good thing and do improve one’s gut health. She agreed that for some people, a cleanse can be a re-set or a jump start to improve their eating habits.

“But our bodies are built to detoxify,” Pope said.

“I try not to pooh-pooh everything because that turns people off as much as endorsing them,” Pope said. “There’s something often you can find that’s beneficial. I see so many things come and go, I see people do things short-term that make little difference long-term.”

Yet clients who enjoy the cleansing regimen say it’s all about how they feel.

“My wife and I have done this probably five of the last six months,” Tom O’Connor said. “It’s an incredible re-set for the system, just to get out any impurities and to get some of the real good nutrition in, and then get a baseline to start over.”

“On even day one I feel energized,” Jeanine O’Connor said. “There are a few times a day that I may feel some hunger pains, but it really goes away if I hydrate, drink some water, and go to the next smoothie.”

A 3-day cleanse costs around $300.

Pope recommends people with blood sugar issues or a history of eating disorders see their doctor before trying a cleanse.