I've heard more about celery juice in the last month than I ever have in my whole entire life. Actually, until recently, I've never heard anyone mutter the words "celery juice." But after "nutritionist to the stars" Kimberly Snyder was quoted in an article on Vogue claiming that celery juice will give you better skin, I thought, "Why the hell not?" I've suffered through outbreaks of hormonal cystic acne on my chin since the day I turned 25 (just when you think your pimply teenage years are over) and am always looking for the new miracle cure.
1. Celery juice is 95 percent water, therefore it's super hydrating, which is the key to good skin. (Hmm, you know what else is super hydrating? Water. Water is 100 percent water. But let's keep going.)
2. Its naturally high sodium content increases stomach acid "which helps break down food—improving gut health and, in turn, lowering stress levels and brightening skin." [Editor's note: Most of us don't need more sodium to produce stomach acid to digest our food. Increasing sodium in your diet is not a good way to improve gut health, lower stress or brighten your skin.]
3. And finally, the "magical drink" has lots of vitamin A to help nourish your hair and encourage growth. (Well I have heard that vitamin A is good for clearing acne, so this seems like it could help my skin too.)
According to Snyder, I should drink 2 cups (that's just a pint, I drink a pint at the bar, this should be easy!) of freshly "squeezed" celery juice every morning, on an empty stomach. She provided the recipe she uses in the Vogue article and I decided to use it for this experiment—celery, pineapple and fresh mint. I stocked up at the grocery store and was ready for day one.
Snyder says she "passes [celery and other fruits and veggies] ... through a Vitamix" I have a Blendtec, but it's still a high-speed blender. This should work fine. I throw the ingredients in and blend. Everything gets stuck so I add a little water to help things along. I pour out my bright green sludge into a cup and it's the thickest juice I've ever seen. Thicker than a milkshake. It's basically just cellulose fiber in my boyfriend's favorite beer-drinking glass. I eat it with a spoon. My mouth starts to tingle and I toss it down the garbage disposal. I can't do this.
I've stolen the juicer from our test kitchen; this will save my experiment. I start juicing and 20 minutes later almost an entire bunch of celery has turned to juice. My potion is ready for consumption. The little bit of pineapple Snyder suggests adding is so sweet but it masks the taste of the celery and makes the drink quite palatable. Now I'm soaring on a sugar high and by the time lunch rolls around I'm crashing so hard I almost fall asleep on my noontime walk. I'm shaking too; I need more sugar. I've already pooped three times today. Celery juice may also help me lose some serious pounds at this rate.
I chug celery juice in the car before going into a volunteer event. I look like an addict getting my fix. I'm hopeful the sugar won't affect me as much today since instead of going to sit at a desk, I'll be doing manual labor. I was wrong.
It's been three days since I've juiced. I need to start from scratch. I decide to add a small apple to my juice and skip the pineapple. It's the best decision I've made. The celery flavor is way more prominent, but it's still palatable and I don't feel like I want to die in the afternoon.
I decide I can and will do this for an entire week. You have to juice everything fresh every morning, but no one said I couldn't pre-chop my ingredients. I prep containers of my cut-to-juicer-size produce, and each morning for the next week all I have to do is dump them in the juicer and chug it all.
My meal prep worked and I'm on the final day. I've already decided this is the last glass of celery juice I will ever drink. Even though I have noticed some changes, this "magical drink" did not completely revolutionize my life.
Related: Healthy Juice Recipes
• I still have cystic acne on my chin (shocking, I know). My hair also looks the same, for the record. And the rest of my body, for that matter.
• I feel less groggy in the morning. Which could be a direct result of the celery juice, but it could just be the result of drinking more water (in the form of celery juice) each morning. I wonder if drinking a pint glass of water first thing when I wake up would have the same effect. Or it could be the fact that because I've added 20 minutes of juicing to my morning routine, I have to wake up to the first alarm instead of snoozing twice and half-sleeping for that extra 20 minutes.
• I am much more regular. I literally pooped at the same time every single day of this experiment. But again, maybe water would do the trick?
• Celery juice made me thirsty, I found myself drinking a lot more water throughout the day, which is never a bad thing.
So, all in all, I don't think that celery juice is a miracle drink that's going to change your life. But I do think I'll start drinking a pint of water every morning before I dive into my daily vat of coffee to see if it gives me the same "wake up and go" factor I was getting from the celery juice.
Want to try it yourself? Here's my recipe, and please, for the love of all things, use a juicer.
Related: How to Juice with a Juicer
3 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped apple
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Run celery, apple and mint through a juicer; discard the fibrous pulp. Drink the juice immediately.
Makes: 2 cups juice