With the start of the new year, we’re all looking for ways to detox and press reset. Whether it’s to drop some holiday weight or break unhealthy habits, a juice cleanse is a great place to start. In the spirit of healthy resolutions, the Fabletics social media team traded solid food for a three-day juice cleanse courtesy of our friends at Suja Juice. Here’s what we experienced:
We chose the 3-day juice cleanse, but 1-, 3-, or 5-day programs are also available. They all include six 16-ounce bottles per day, as well as frozen gel packs for easy portability. We even received preparation guidelines.
To make your transition smoother, we recommended easing in to the juice cleanse by phasing out meat, dairy, wheat and sugar a few days before the cleanse. A few of us skipped this part and paid for it (more on that later).
Abby: I had a hard time scheduling the juices. I brought 4 juices to work (9:00 AM-6:00 PM) and after returning home from my workout at 8:30 PM, I felt it was too late to drink the remaining juices to give myself time to fully digest. I only drank a little bit of the final juice. I also found it difficult to do the 12 Essentials juices twice in a row because of the filling nature of the juice. It was also a somewhat cold day, which made it harder to keep drinking them when all I wanted was something warm. I signed up for an evening workout class and completing the class was not as hard as I thought it would be without eating during the day. When the workout ended, I felt more exhausted than I normally do after a class (this could also be mental/blaming the juice for being tired). Hunger level: I ate a ¼ of an avocado around 5:00 PM to have some added energy for my workout. I also ate a bag of baby carrots once I got home.
Aimee: It’s Day 1 and I’m thinking I CAN do this for 3 days: it’s only a small amount of time in the grand scheme things. Just like I CAN stay in a hot yoga class for an hour and a half or force myself to run rather than walk for a few extra minutes. It feels like a fun little game of competition with myself, and proof that I’m able to achieve what I put my mind to.
Fallon: I started on a Sunday, which in hindsight may have not been the best day. With not much else (other than a little holiday shopping) to occupy my mind, all I could think about all day was that I was depriving myself of food… and coffee! Although I had been skeptical/dreading starting the cleanse, I was pleasantly surprised how good the juices tasted and that they actually did make me feel full. It was also nice that I didn’t have to worry about cooking or going to the grocery store (win)! I felt a bit weak in the evening hours, so I went to bed early to save some energy for work the next day. Day one wasn’t so bad after all, despite a constant case of hiccups!
Melina: I didn’t ease into this cleanse. I don’t eat wheat, meat and limit dairy and sugar, so I thought this would be easy. Not really. Day 1 was rough, but it was all mental. I missed chewing. I snacked on raw cauliflower in between juices. I enjoyed the juices, a few were too sweet for my liking. I started to feel week and lightheaded the last half of the day and decided to skip my PM workout. I was full of liquids and didn’t make it to juice #5 or #6.
Abby: I woke up really hungry, which made me regret not finishing the final juice. However, the juices during the day were very filling, so I was not hungry, but just craving real food. My muscles felt relatively sore despite a normal workout the night before. I found it really hard to concentrate and became somewhat impatient with tedious work. I tried to schedule the juices in a more organized way after learning from the previous day, but I still felt like I was rushing to finish them by the end of the day. By the end of the day, I was very tired and had a headache all day/night. I loved that I didn’t have to worry about planning meals though!
Aimee: While I feel like my food intake is usually in moderation (perhaps with some exceptions for cocktails on the weekends), I started to become hyper aware of what I actually wanted and needed. Is that plate of fudge sitting on my co-worker’s desk really necessary to eat? What’s the point in pouring a glass of wine when I get home from work? Is it just a habit? There were so many temptations, but luckily I had friends who acted as the Juice Cleanse Police and stopped me from cheating.
Fallon: Day 2 was the toughest. I woke up a bit nauseous, however after my first juice, everything seemed to be OK. Later on, I started getting a not-so-pleasant headache that lasted throughout the evening. I wasn’t drinking as much water since I was filling up on juice (which may have been the culprit). Despite my best efforts, I gave in and ate a sweet potato for dinner. BEST SWEET POTATO EVER! I was feeling a little slimmer already, so decided to weight myself (which I hardly ever do). 3lbs down in just two days! This gave me the willpower to go on for one more day.
Melina: I felt rested first thing in the morning and strangely woke up way before my alarm. I was determined to make it through my “bewitching hour” without major cravings. I relied on raw veggies to distract me from my cravings. I too found it difficult to have back-to-back green juices. This was a slower day at work and I spent an unnecessary amount of time wishing this cleanse was over. I actually had energy to work out that evening, I went to yoga and felt great.
Abby: I woke up feeling rested from being so tired the day before; I didn’t feel groggy in the morning and my headache went away. I tried yoga in the morning and felt fine during the class. I don’t usually do yoga, but I felt like I needed to do something active without being too hard on my body. I found it hard to complete the final day on a weekend because I had a lot of social plans which were geared towards food/drinks. It was also hard not having a structured day to keep me distracted.
Aimee: I miss chewing! I want wine! But, I made it to Day 3. The Juice Cleanse Police stopped me from eating the delicious-looking quesadillas, champagne and cake during the myriad office celebrations.
Fallon: With my co-workers’ encouragement “You are glowing!”, I mustered up the strength to get through the morning. I felt much better today, my headache was gone and the countdown was on. With my mind focused on work, the day passed quickly. I did choose to eat an avocado in place of my last juice… because who can resist an avocado, right? I was encouraged by my weight loss the day prior, so I figured I’d weigh myself one more time. YOU GUYS, I lost 5lbs over the three days!
Melina: I felt great on day 3. I was full most of the day, again, so I didn’t make it to the final juice. I was proud that I wasn’t tempted to cheat at a team celebration with yummy quesadillas and champagne! I felt energized and empowered.
Abby: I wish I had planned ahead and prepared myself for the cleanse by slowly cutting out things like caffeine as well as finding a better time of the week to do the cleanse. Don’t do the cleanse on a weekend or when you will be socializing. I liked the idea of eating just raw ingredients, it was nice to be mindful of everything I was putting in my body and helped me remember the importance of healthy food. In general, I did not feel drastically different. I noticed I felt fuller than usual, but that did not stop me from craving any type of solid meal.
The difficulties I had: Concentration (shorter attention span), feeling slightly sluggish and feeling really cold/muscle tightness. I enjoyed knowing all of the ingredients I was consuming; the bottles clearly listed the benefits/components of each juice.
Aimee: Overall, I just felt full of liquid and hungry, but I did come to the realization that the juice cleanse made me more mindful. I couldn’t believe how much I think about food and the pleasure of chewing! While I didn’t experience any moments of euphoria, blissful sleep or extra trips to the ladies’ room, my ultimate conclusion of the juice cleanse was that it taught me about willpower and short-term goal setting. I’m going to use this as motivation to approach 2017 – and bigger goals in life!
Fallon: Overall, despite my complaining (sorry co-workers!), it was a good experience and have found it really did help me form healthier habits. I’ve broken my two-cups-a-day coffee addiction, started going to bed a little earlier, and began to be more mindful about what and how much I’m eating. It really puts your willpower to the test and I learned that it’s not the end of the world if I get a little “hangry” once in a while.
Melina: Overall, I loved the cleanse and the timing—just before the holidays. The juices were great; I enjoyed the green juices the most, the others were too sweet for my liking. Completing the cleanse before the holidays allowed me to go into the season with a mindful approach to holiday party eating. It also helped me identify bad habits and my “bewitching hour.” I’m not a breakfast or dinner person, lunch is when I thrive. I could eat nonstop from noon-3:00 PM, so now I have a plan to keep me from mindless eating during that time frame: lean protein, healthy fats and fiber! I encourage you to try Suja’s cleanse, but be sure to have plenty going on in your life to distract you from your desire for solid foods.