I’ve always been intrigued by juice cleanses. There’s a lot of research out there on them—and a lot of controversy, at that. Some say the body doesn’t need the help of a juice cleanse to rid itself of toxins. Some say cleanses are dangerous because they don’t include adequate amounts of protein and fat. The claims are endless and there’s no way to tell who is right, so I had to trust my own instincts in feeling like this would be a healthy option for me. How could drinking nutritious juices that are packed with veggies + fruits not be? Especially when my body is used to crappy foods. In my opinion, the bad rap juice cleanses have gotten applies more to extended cleanses—those that last a lot longer than three days. That said, I know we all have our own opinions, which makes the decision to do or not do a cleanse a completely personal choice, since some swear by them and some love to rag on them.
Why did I want to do a cleanse? Lately, I’ve felt bloated, tired, dependent on junk food, and sluggish. I knew good and well that a three day cleanse wouldn’t be the simple ticket to long-term wellness, but I wanted to “push my body’s reset button,” so to speak. I kind of just wanted to get my body back on track, become aware of my eating habits and hunger cues, let my digestive system take a nice break for a few days, and get a jumpstart on a better lifestyle.
The options for cleanses are endless, but I’ve tasted the Suja Essentials juices before from Target and loved them, so I started reading a bit about their 3-Day Original Fresh Start Cleanse and decided to give it a try. It’s six juices per day, each one being different than the other (but each day is exactly alike).
Each bottle is 16oz, USDA certified organic, non-GMO project verified, kosher verified, and dairy/soy/gluten free (except the dessert drink, Vanilla Cloud, which contains honey). Here’s the breakdown of the juices included in this cleanse.
You’re supposed to start off your day with warm lemon water, then wait until you feel hungry to start juice #1, so that’s what I did. I enjoyed my first juice on the way to barre bootcamp. Let’s just say this was the only intense exercise I did during the three days (only light exercise is recommended by suja) because I just didn’t feel like I had enough sustenance in me to get through such an intense workout with a great deal of energy.
I wrote this down as a note: “3:00pm: My energy is so low. Thank goodness I’m able to work at home and can arrange to take a midday nap. I woke up in a sweat.” I remember this feeling so well. I was exhausted and decided to take a nap, but woke up about an hour later just drenched in sweat. On a normal, healthy day, I don’t think this has ever happened to me before. I could just be making this up, but I felt like maybe it was my body releasing toxins or something? After my nap, I felt like a new person! But a very, very hungry person. At about 7pm, I was flipping through my Facebook news feed and began to smell the photos of chicken, pineapple, and rosemary potatoes my friend had pictured on the grill. Yeah, not kidding.
By the end of the day, after I had tasted each of the six juices, I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious they were. Some were so good (juice 2, 5, & 6!) that I couldn’t drink them fast enough. However, the other thought I had at the end of the day was that of fear. I was afraid of what the next two days would be like. Sure, I could get through one day of this, but TWO MORE DAYS? For someone like me, who has hardly any discipline in her diet normally, it seemed impossible.
…until it wasn’t.
|Something I never ever thought I would photograph: the inside of our fridge. And yes, we apparently have six different types of beer on our top shelf.|
I woke up feeling completely different than the day before. Instead of being hungry and grumpy, I woke up refreshed and not really hungry at all. Surprising.
I enjoyed my juices throughout the day and kept busy with meetings and work. I didn’t get hangry (hungry + angry) until about 4pm, when I found a mint in my pocket and started salivating. So instead, I waited until it was time for my mid-afternoon juice at about 5pm and took it with me on a walk. When I got back, I had incredible energy and cleaned the whole house! I found that this was the key to making the cleanse easier—staying busy. I don’t know where this energy came from, because I normally want to relax on the sofa in the evenings. I liked this feeling. I went to bed not really feeling too hungry, just feeling healthy and happy.
Day two was worlds different than day one.
Day three was interesting. I was more hungry than I was the day before, but still not as bad as it was on day one. I was busy this day with a home closing, a meeting, and errands, so I packed my juices in a cooler for the day and kept them in my trunk. Honestly, it wasn’t a bad day at all… until about 6pm when it was time for my dinner and dessert juices. I was just so OVER the act of drinking. I wanted to chew! Because of this, I skipped half of my dinner juice—just couldn’t get it down. (Not because of the taste, though—let’s be clear!)
How did the cleanse make me feel?
Let me shoot straight from the very beginning. It’s not like the cleanse made me feel like a brand new person. I did not instantly become a granola eating, no caffeine, tofu-loving woman. So, if you do a cleanse like this, don’t go into it with that expectation because it takes time in altering your lifestyle to change habits. That said, this is a perfect place to jumpstart that change towards wellness.
Now the good stuff—because there’s a lot of it. During these three cleanse days, I had a renewed sense of focus and contentment. The cleanse did more for me mentally than physically. It’s amazing how it made me aware of how I mentally put aside the bad feelings unhealthy food gives me. I had forgotten how it felt to feel good from the inside out, which in turn made me not want to eat any foods that would make me feel blah afterwards (foods I’m shamefully accustomed to, like pizza, milkshakes, etc.). Even though I was consistently pretty hungry, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have any headaches (not even from a lack of caffeine, which I expected). I felt incredibly hydrated and overall, just felt healthy and lighter, almost. Not to mention, I did drop a few pounds (probably water weight), which definitely doesn’t hurt, although this was in no way a reason I wanted to do the cleanse.
Thinking back to my cravings during the cleanse… What’s funny is that I wasn’t craving things like nachos and brownies, the junk food I normally dream about. I craved things like scrambled eggs. Weird, because I don’t even really care for eggs. I think it’s because I was dreaming about what I would eat after the cleanse was over.
I woke up on Thursday, my first day post-cleanse and stood at the refrigerator trying to decide what to eat. I had an early meeting, so there was no time to make the eggs I had built up in my mind. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I really wanted them anyway. Toast or cereal just didn’t sound good to me. So I grabbed a handful of grapes, some warm lemon water, and got ready for the day. This was probably bad, but before I left the house, I HAD to grab some coffee. It was the one thing I honestly missed like crazy during the cleanse. It wasn’t the caffeine I was craving, just the comfort of a warm cup of joe. So, even though I probably shouldn’t have dove right into the caffeine (I didn’t have any de-caff at home), I had a cup with a little cream, but no sugar. For lunch that day, I had a cucumber salad and a little bit of chicken salad made with greek yogurt. I felt great after the cleanse… totally recharged. Later that evening, I started getting a little hungry before dinner and decided to drink the rest of the juice I didn’t finish the night before. Normally, I would have grabbed some sort of processed snack, but I was craving JUICE!
Even now, almost one week post-cleanse, I am still craving juices. I would start this three day cleanse again in a heartbeat—honestly. It just made me feel GOOD. Read Annie’s (one of the founders of Suja!) three day cleanse diary here.
Suja is giving away a 3-Day Original Fresh Start Program to one of you! (Value $162)
You have a few options for entering. Do just one, two of them, or do all three for more chances to win!
- Share this photo on your Instagram with the hashtag #holycitySUJA. Make sure to tag @lovesuja and @holycitychic in your caption!
- Leave a comment on this photo on Instagram telling me why you would like to try this cleanse and be sure to “like” the pic while you’re at it!
- Another option, just for my blog followers or for those of you who don’t have Instagram, is to leave a comment on this post telling me why you would like to do the cleanse!
This giveaway will run today through 4/14 at 11:59pm.
Another tidbit worth mentioning… If you’re searching for a cleanse for weight loss and detoxification without food deprivation, you might love THE SUJA JUICE SOLUTION: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Beat Cravings and Boost Your Energy by Suja Juice Co-Founders Annie Lawless and Jeff Church. It was just released yesterday! Unlike other juicing or weight loss books, this one promotes a healthy and sustainable eating plan that includes a balance of detoxifying juices and antioxidant-rich mini meals (over 75 recipes!). The four-week program is designed for readers to beat sugar cravings, decrease inflammation, boost energy, improve skin and drop pounds.
I was not paid to write this review. Suja did, however, send me the cleanse to try out. All opinions are absolutely, positively my own!