My experience with a 3-day juice cleanse

I’m a sucker for freebies, BOGO offers and gifts with purchase. I used to buy things from Sephora just to get the free samples. I love trading Booty Barre® classes for massages, haircuts, acupuncture—if don’t have to pay for it, who cares if I need it or not? I want it!

A perk for enrolling in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition school this spring was a gift certificate for a Pressed Juicery cleanse. Located in California, Pressed Juicery was created by an IIN graduate and is popular with the celebrity set. While I’m no celeb, I’m no stranger to juicing. I’ve owned several juicers and worked at a juice and smoothie stand in high school. Over the last years, the juicer has taken a backseat to my VitaMix as I’ve wanted the benefits of the fiber of the whole vegetable or fruit rather than just the juice (plus it’s so easy to clean). But, since this was essentially free (and a $200 value), I decided to give it a try.

The Pressed Juicery cleanse comes with six juices (well, really five plus one almond milk) and I splurged on the extra chlorophyll and aloe vera waters. Hey, if I’m going to make a commitment, I go for it. I ordered level two, their most popular and balanced cleanse and scheduled delivery for last Tuesday. All 24 bottles were shipped overnight in a big box with a disposable cooler lining and ice packs. The raw, unpasteurized juice can last up to three days refrigerated.

Day one: Not too bad…hungry at times but I get hungry when I eat real food, too. I noticed the juice was very clean tasting with a smooth mouth feel, not gritty like at-home juices I’ve made before. The PJ website talks about the difference between their juicing process and others. I like it.

I had a green juice to start my day, a pineapple-based juice, another green juice (this time with ginger—yum), a beet ginger lemon concoction (tasted like lemonade), a pineapple coconut water and to end the day, a delicious almond milk with dates and vanilla. Throughout the day, I sipped the chlorophyll water and before bed, I drank the aloe vera water. While it’s recommended you listen to your body and ease up on your normal exercise routine if need be, I had energy to teach a few classes and go on a shorter run.

Day two: I miss fat. I crave roasted root vegetables cooked in butter or coconut oil. Or nuts—lots of nuts. The juices, even the green ones, taste so sweet to me. I have energy as I’m still consuming enough calories but I feel as if I’m vibrating at a difference frequency (not sure if that’s a good or bad thing). I think I’m craving foods to ground me.

Day three: My most hungry-feeling, lowest energy day. I tried to scrape every last ounce of almond “paste” at the bottom of the bottle. But my tongue looks so pink and clean! I And while I don’t think I lost any weight my body feels lighter. Giving your digestive system a bit of a break is one of the main benefits of doing a juice cleanse.

I actually miss how I felt after drinking the juice. Was it the sugar rush (although natural—still a lot!) or the flood of nutrients? Surprisingly, I still haven’t eaten meat as I’m more inclined to go for veggies and nuts. I’m even eating less eggs than normal as they don’t sound as good. If you have ever heard me talk about my hard boiled eggs, you know this is a big statement.

Bottom line: although this was quite different to my current way of eating (loosely Paleo-inspired—veggies, limited fruits, healthy fats, eggs and meat) I could almost feel the surge of nutrients from the juice. I’m always open to experimenting as there is no one perfect diet. Plus it was nice not to have to think about my meals or snacks for three days. I want to make this recipe and next time I’m at Studio Blue, the host location of my Pilates teacher training, I’ll try Portland Juice Company. I wonder if they give out free samples.

Vegetable juice, tomato, carrot, cucumber and beetroot

Disclaimer: This is just my personal experience and does not qualify as medical advice. Please discuss any diets with your doctor or healthcare professional.

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Two Words: Oregon Strawberries

After completing just about two weeks of the 21 day sugar detox I dined at the Silver Grille. My original plan was then to start the detox over again from day one. A week later, I attended a birthday celebration, complete with a gluten-free, organic cake. On Mother’s Day, it was a pineapple. I’ll just start over again, I thought.

Today, my son hands me a strawberry and says, “Eat my strawberry, please.” This is a big deal. Strawberries (okay, all berries) are D’s all-time favorite. Sometimes, he’ll bring me food that I just pretend to eat. But a strawberry, a fresh Oregon strawberry? I couldn’t say no and, at this point, I don’t want to.

After the over-indulgences of the holidays, a January detox was exactly what my body needed. With summertime festivities and the availability of fresh and local fruit, 21 days—in a row—of a strict detox might not happen right now.

Biggest accomplishment: going so long without dairy. I don’t drink milk but I like good cheeses (feta is my fav – still waiting on a feta ice cream) and real cream. I feel better, plus going dairy-free deters me from eating the feta crumbles out of the Costco container with a fork (what, it’s not supposed to be eaten that way?) or stealing sips of cream from the carton.

Unless I find that feta ice cream, I’m going to still limited dairy but may have it as an ingredient in a recipe or use a little cream in my coffee once or twice a week (coconut milk is pretty tasty as are my almond milk lattes, but sometimes you just need the real deal). I won’t stress if my banana isn’t green enough.

I still definitely recommend the detox if you have never done it. It changed the way I fuel myself and how food tastes. It sparks an awareness of how your body functions and how you feed it. I’d love to do it again with a group for accountability and support (if you are looking to start – check out this Facebook group!). Fall detox, anyone?

Timing is everything.

Strawberry

Sugar Detox

People who don’t like dessert are like people who have the “pushed six times and then he was out” birth stories or complain pants don’t fit because their booty is too small. I know they exist, but I cannot wrap my mind around any of those concepts as actual reality. I just don’t get it. It’s too far beyond my personal experience and what I know and feel at the very core of my being.

Unfortunately, my sugar addiction really does go so deep that, in a way, it almost defines me. “The Reetz and her treats,” has been my motto, my mantra for so long. I should feel lucky I’ve stayed in my current physical shape with how much sugar (even “healthy” sugar) I’ve consumed on a daily basis, let alone the weekend free-for-all baking extravaganzas. I’m an addict through and through. As a child, I remember feeling anxiety during parties with piñatas or cake because I had a hard time waiting for my sugar fix—I wanted it NOW! I didn’t understand why my brother was fine with having a piece or two of Halloween candy when I wanted to finish the whole bag. At one point my parents found quite the collection of Skittles wrappers under my bed. We lived a few houses down from the corner market and I’d walk there once or twice a day for a treat to eat while I read my Babysitter Club books.

Monday I started another 21-day sugar detox alongside my pal Jessie at www.myselfimprovementkick.com. I first completed the sugar detox in January with great success. It was actually the most in control I have ever felt with sweets. Since then, I have been able to keep my sugar monster somewhat in line with healthier versions of treats and the occasional splurge. With the past holiday/birthday weekend, White Rabbit cinnamon roll, Silver Grille meal and then more White Rabbit cake, I felt the need to check myself.

Just like in January, I’m following Diane Sanfilippo’s plan laid out in her book “The 21 Day Sugar Detox.” She’s also written “Practical Paleo” and both are awesome in explaining how sugar reacts in your body. Her detox program is strict—no sweeteners of any kind (natural or not) and no foods that act like sugar in the body (wheat, other gluten containing grains, legumes). Peanuts and cashews are also out. Fruit is limited to one piece a day of a green banana, green apple or grapefruit. Even sweet potatoes, a paleo staple, aren’t allowed unless you’ve completed a hard workout or are pregnant. Depending on which of the three levels you choose, you may also cut out all grains (gluten containing or not) and dairy. I bit the bullet and committed to Level 3 (no grains of any kind and no dairy). Be mindful that if you decide to keep dairy in the mix, you’ll eat only full fat varieties.

One thing about having a blog, even if I have no readership, is that I feel held accountable for things I write. Even if no one reads or cares, I feel compelled to follow through. I do need to throw this out there, one loophole or clause in my agreement to you: I will only deviate from my detox if J and the in-laws decide to celebrate a special occasion at the Silver Grille at the end of this month. I will splurge, I will have gluten, I will have sugar, and I will enjoy every last bite of the life-changing Strawberry Cheesecake. Because a treat shouldn’t be a pack of Skittles you eat alone and hope no one finds the evidence. It should be something savored and enjoyed with family and friends. I’m learning that there is no “bad” or “good” but rather “balanced” and “unbalanced,” when it comes to food or life. But believe me—if put my detox on pause for that one meal, I’ll back at it, starting the 21 days over again.

Jelly Beans