What if I tried doing it this way?
What if I take this road instead of that road?
What if I trade XYZ ingredient for ABC ingredient?
Yeah, that's how I roll.
Suja Juice offered a three-day juice cleanse to attendees at this year's International Food Bloggers Conference. I was definitely curious. We had a chance to try some of the Suja Juice flavors during the Amazon Marketplace presentation - the flavor I tried during the session was a little intense, but I grabbed a couple of bottles to try later and found that I actually liked them.
My interest in juicing started several years ago. My sister was going through chemotherapy at the time and was adapting a more whole foods based approach to her diet - of which juicing was a part. I started playing around with different juicing/ blending combinations at that time, but I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to manage a full-out juice on my own.
You know how they say that one should "know thyself"? Yeah, I know myself well enough to know that there was no way in Paducah that I was going to juice 85 pounds of produce a day for a week. Not happening. It shames me to admit that ugly truth about myself, but that's real talk.
There is something very appealing about having someone else do all that work for you already. (Hello, Universe - that means if you want to send a housekeeper or something my way, I won't be offended... Just saying...)
Before I went into this, I really wasn't sure what to expect, so I did what anyone would do... I Googled it. The accounts I read were all over the place. There were the glossy "oh it was all rainbows and butterflies" posts and then there were the "this stuff almost killed me" posts.
Disclaimer: This is a post about my personal experience - it is not intended to give medical advice. Each person should work with their health care provider to determine whether or not juicing is an option for them.
My normal belief is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle, so I ignored the postings at both end of the spectrum and dug a little deeper to find the ones that seemed like they were written by rational (i.e. reasonable), glass-half full kind of folks. My key take-aways were this: 1) start to moving to a more whole foods based diet a couple of days ahead of time; 2) limit caffeine/ alcohol, etc. prior to the cleanse; 3) expect the first day or two to be rough.
Here's how it went down... I half listened and ate carefully the day before I expected to start my juice cleanse - I even gave up my morning cup of coffee (which oddly, I didn't miss as much as I thought I would).
My Suja Juice cleanse arrived on a Friday (Don't even get me started on the packaging - all I can say is the logistics nerd in me was impressed. That stuff shipped from California and arrived in Upstate NY the next day still ice cold.)
I woke up Saturday morning ready to go - except for the fact that I wasn't ready to go because that was the morning a raging migraine decided to take up residence in my body. Stubborn Cher figured that since I was already battling a migraine, I might as well add misery to company and get the worst of it over while I was already feeling crappy. (It sounds way worse on paper than it did in my head - it seemed like a totally pragmatic idea at the time).
To make a long story short: Day 1 was really, really rough. Did I mention it was tough? There may or may not have been a scene that mirrored something out of The Exorcist. It was in those moments (that may or may not have occurred) that I learned that my daughter has a few saint-like qualities tucked away in there somewhere.
I woke up on Day 2 feeling myself again (much to Culinary Kid's relief) and cautiously started back up. I wasn't sure if my reaction the day prior was migraine related or juice related, so I was a little nervous about how things were going to go. Either way, what ever was bothering me the day before decided to go away and things started looking up - I even managed a trip to the gym for a light workout. I didn't find that I was hungry at any point during the day.
Day 3 was back to work. This is where the real test came in - would I be hangry (hungry-angry) all day? Also, I wasn't sure what it would be like being around the cafeteria and sticking to the juices while everyone else was chowing down. About half way through the day I realized 1) I wasn't hungry (or angry) at all and 2) I was feeling so good that being around food really didn't phase me.
Was the cleanse tough? The first day was really rough, but the second and third day I felt great. Other than missing the whole "chewing" thing, I really didn't miss eating solid foods. Between the juices, water and herbal tea I felt full the whole time.
What about after the cleanse? Since I only made it through a couple of the bottles on the first day, I used the juices as a substitute for one meal a day the first few days after the cleanse. I kept things as whole foods as possible (fruits, vegetables, whole grains).
What about the juices? The juices are raw/ cold pressed. Organic. Dairy-free. Soy-free. They are all vegan except for the Vanilla Cloud which has honey in it. They are also non-GMO certified.
How did they taste? I liked most of them. There were a couple that were rough (I am looking at you, Purify) It helps if you like kale and collard greens.
- Glow: apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, collard greens, kale, mint
- Fuel: carrots, orange, apple, pineapple, lemon, turmeric (one of my favorites)
- Purify: carrots, apple, celery, cucumber, beet, lemon (my nemesis)
- Fiji: apples, celery, cucumber, spinach, collard greens, kale, lemon, ginger
- Green Supreme: apples, kale, lemon (one of my favorites)
- Vanilla Cloud: coconut, honey, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg (a welcome relief at the end of the day)
Weight loss? (This is the question people ask me the most when they found out I was on a cleanse). Yes, I lost about 6-7 pounds over three days and have been able to keep it off in the three weeks since my cleanse.
Would I do it again? Yes, I would - I really felt great at the end of the three days and it seemed to be a good dietary reset. I liked the sense of mindfulness that came from working my way through the cleanse and paying attention to my body's response to change in diet.
Okay, so here is the really good part. As a part of their blogger program, Suja Juice is offering one free three-day cleanse (no purchase required) - delivered right to your door - to one reader. Seriously...
One winner will be chosen at random via Random.org. All you have to do is leave a comment saying why you would like to try a Suja Juice cleanse. For a bonus entry, tweet the following "I just entered to win a @SujaJuice three-day cleanse from @CherTheDabbler on http://crazyworldofcher.blogspot.com/" and come back and leave a comment saying that you did!
Giveaway closes Tuesday, November 6th.
Due to shipping restrictions, give-away is open to US residents only.
If you want to learn more about Suja Juice, you can check them out at any of the following:
Disclosure: Suja Juice provided me a complimentary three-day cleanse + one cleanse to give away in exchange for writing about my experience. All opinions expressed are my own.