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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Food changes everything: feel full, fueled and fulfilled

I need to write a fitness-related post—it’s coming I promise. Yes, physical activity is extremely important to overall health and well-being, but lately I’ve been compelled to focus on those other areas that nourish us. Food profoundly affects everything we do. Our energy, mood, feelings, how we interact with other people. So many people think nothing of what’s being put into their bodies. But food changes everything.

I’m currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach with an emphasis in holistic nutrition. Not only will I be learning over 100 dietary theories to help people choose the foods that compliment individual biochemistry for a vibrant life, I’ll also be learning how to holistically incorporate other important factors (say hello, physical activity and positive relationships!) in my own life and in the life of others.

Most of my life I subscribed to the notion of calories in versus calories out. If I exercised long enough or hard enough, it didn’t matter what foods I ate (good for the fitness industry, not always good for achieving optimum health). Not all calories are created equal. We have access to some of the best food in the world, especially the fresh and local produce and meat grown and raised right here in our own backyard. When we get the nutrients we need from real, whole foods we feel satisfied, we feel full. When we eat processed, packaged “food” not fit for human consumption our bodies are still crave nourishment. That’s one reason we can keep eating even after consuming more than enough calories—our bodies are seeking nutrients. You can eat to the point of over-fullness but still not feel fulfilled. You can, in fact, be overweight AND malnourished.

My challenge: take note of what foods make you feel amazing (full, fueled and fulfilled) and what foods make you tired, irritable and down-right crappy. Think about the most nourishing and nutrient-dense food you’ve eaten today. What was it and how did it make you feel afterwards?

Fresh farmers market fruit and vegetable from above with copy space