I Tried the 7-Day Cleanse Bella Hadid Swears By. Here's What Happened.

bella hadid at the victorias secret fashion show

Bella Hadid and I are both women, we were both born in the ‘90s and we both have two siblings. That is pretty much where the similarities end.

Unless you’ve been living beneath an Instagram-deprived rock for the last couple of years, you know Bella Hadid is a supermodel. As such, she has the body of a supermodel. I—spoiler alert—do not.

But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to look more like her. Which is why, when I was offered the chance to try Pure Change, a weeklong cleanse dreamed up by her nutritionist, Dr. Charles Passler, I jumped at the opportunity.

Would I last the seven days? Would I become a hangry monster who wreaked havoc on anyone who dared to be in my vicinity with a cookie or glass of Sauvignon Blanc? Would I end up looking like Bella Hadid? Yes, maybe and—shocker—no. Here’s what did happen.

Reading the cleanse guidelines, I was cautiously optimistic. I’ve done juice cleanses before, the longest lasting five days. I’ve since soured on juice cleanses, and would not recommend trying one. Pure Change, though, allows for much more variety—and solid food. I also practice intermittent fasting, of which Dr. Passler is a huge fan. (It factors into the program as well.)

A little background: Dr. Charles Passler is a nutritionist who has worked with the likes of Bella, Adriana Lima and Amber Valletta. His goal? “Reinforcing impactful changes as the first step to achieving a sustainable, healthier lifestyle.” The Pure Change program is meant to detoxify the body while improving energy levels, promoting better sleep, resetting your relationship with food and promoting long-term health habits. Sounds good to me.

The seven-day program (there’s a 21-day option for the truly committed) costs $200 and includes protein powder (and a shaker bottle), 14 protein bars, Detox Support Packets (with fish oil and other supplements), magnesium, probiotics and a program guide. 

A typical day on the cleanse goes like this: At 7 a.m. you have one Lean Body protein shake. At 9:30 you eat half of a protein bar. At noon, it’s time for lunch: 100 calories of raw or steamed vegetables or soup, one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and a supplement pack. At 2:30 you drink another protein shake, followed by the remaining half of the protein bar at 5:00. Dinner is at 7:00, and is exactly the same as lunch. Finally, at 10:00, you take magnesium and a probiotic.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it—though I would’ve killed for some sugar during the cleanse—Pure Change was hard.

Day one, on the other hand, was a breeze. Since my preferred method of intermittent fast is a 24-hour fast, once a week, I’m used to going a full day with little-to-no food. And besides, the protein shake is surprisingly delicious. I opted for the chocolate version, which I’d happily drink post-cleanse. The protein bars are also pretty satisfying, as were my lunch and dinner (a simple salad with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms and vegetable broth with carrots and celery, respectively). By the end of the first day, I thought I had this thing in the bag.

I was wrong. Days two through four were a different story. As a self-professed caffeine addict (I drink between three and five cups a day—sue me), the measly half-cup allotted by the program—coupled with the paucity of food—meant withdrawal headaches and overall grumpiness. I’m not really a lunch person, so I start every day with a pretty substantial breakfast of oats with nut butter and a banana or some kind of eggs. The shake, while tasty, left me wanting more.

Since I’ve done juice cleanses before, I’m familiar with the highs and lows of a program like this, which is how I powered through the rough middle patch: I knew a blissful upswing was just around the corner.

And I was right. Days five and six, I felt like a new woman. Maybe I could look like Bella Hadid someday, I mused to myself. (In hindsight, I might’ve been delirious.) Regardless, I felt great. My energy was sky-high, and I almost forgot how great carbs and chocolate were.

By day seven, I was still feeling good, but by that point I was more than ready to dive back into my normal eating habits. I’ll note here that my social life took a real hit during this week. I’m OK with skipping post-spin class bagels, but sipping water during happy hour in the middle of a stressful week is not really my thing.

I’m well aware that cleanses like Pure Change have plenty of critics, who say that all of the “weight” you lose will come back—and then some—once you go back to your normal eating pattern. In my experience, though, cleanses are less a quick fix to fit into a bridesmaid dress and more about inspiring you to make healthier choices moving forward. That’s just what happened for me after Pure Change. Did I lose a couple of pounds? Sure, but my biggest takeaway was the reminder of how much better my body feels when I’m fueling it with whole foods and limiting the amount of processed crap I eat (and drink).

So no, Pure Change didn’t magically turn me into a Hadid sister, but, cost permitting, I would recommend it as a reset to turn over a new, health-eating leaf. Post New Year’s, perhaps?  

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...