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Maliha Shah works out late at Pottruck. Credit: Becca Starr

Some Penn students go beyond the standard Pottruck workout to stay healthy.

“Juicing and alternative exercise classes — such as [cycling programs] Soul Cycle, Flywheel and [pilates program] SLT — are becoming quite the trend,” Student Health Services nutritionist Debbie Westerling said. 

Wharton sophomore Julie Shanus used to be on the track team, but after quitting, she said, "I needed to find another form of exercise.” Her friends recommended she try Flywheel, which she says she prefers over SoulCycle because it is more competitive. Julie has also dabbled in juice cleansing.

While some are still skeptical of the diet, Westerling said there are ways to use it effectively.

“There are extremes that often get taken that aren’t the standard in juice cleansing," she said. "They can be the gateway to more excessive dieting or exercise, because all senses are heightened in many ways.” 

For example, college sophomore Emma got into juicing with her mom in New York, but she does not rely solely on the liquid diet.

“I juice more in Philadelphia than I do in New York, but I’m not doing straight juice cleanses,” she said. Emma maintains a Paleo diet — based on basic food found in hunter-gatherer times — and supplements it with juices.

She warned other juicers to be mindful about when they choose to diet.

“I tried a juice cleanse two weeks before Fling, but it wasn’t that successful,” she said.

Julie said that she did a juice cleanse to feel healthier and isn’t concerned by the negative press that juice cleanses have received. The effectiveness of a juice cleanse depends on the person, she said.

"It’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing — and having willpower,” she added.

Shanus and Emma both agree that there are a range of options for healthy food around Philadelphia, both stating Pure Fare and Hip City Veg as some of their favorites. Shanus recommends the udon noodle salad — no noodles, extra chick’n.

Danielle, a College junior, began juicing for medical reasons.

“I did a juice cleanse from Pressed Juicery over one winter break because my sister was drinking a lot of juice. I was also getting extremely bad migraines for two weeks which wouldn’t go away,” she said.

After doing a three day cleanse, Danielle was cured of her migraines. She believes that as a college student, the access to fruit and vegetables may be limited, and it is easier to consume them through juicing. She currently drinks juices in addition to her regular meals.

“I was skeptical about juicing in the beginning, but I’ve had a pleasant experience,” she said. 

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