I feel like I need to preface this post by first saying I’m not the type of girl who relies on juice cleanses/even does a juice cleanse. Honestly I think most of them are a waste of money, time, and energy! Juice cleanses are trendy and even endearing; they usually promise detoxing of the body and even weightloss. What’s not to like? Well for starters, the price. If you do a quick search of the top juice cleanses for sale, you’ll likely see BluePrint, Pressed Juicery, or the Cooler Cleanse. Most run upwards of $200 for 3-5 days of juice. I can’t really justify paying someone $200 to not eat for a few days…it does not seem right to me!
However, I was at Costco recently and saw Suja’s 3-Day Fresh Start for a little over $30. It came with three days worth of juices (three per day, so nine total) and a recommended meal plan to go along with it. Immediately I was intrigued by the price and also the fact I could EAT while doing this! After a little more research at home, I decided to try it for myself and share my thoughts on it. I have been in a health rut lately so shaking things up a bit would be fun!
My 3-Day Fresh Start came with this meal plan and nine juices. If you follow the plan, it winds up being around 1,200 calories a day, including both the calories from the juice and the recommended food. 1,200 is a little low for me, especially on days I exercise but I decided to follow the guidelines exactly! You can click the meal plan link above to read it for yourself, but the meals consist mostly of fresh produce, healthy fats, and a little bit of lean protein. Nothing unreasonable here. I loved the no bake almond granola bars and the white bean salad!
Timing wise, here is what Suja recommends:
Morning- Drink the Spicy Lemonade, wait 30 minutes for meal 1
Afternoon- Drink the Green Greatness, wait 30 minutes for meal 2
Evening- Drink the Vanilla Nutz, wait 30 minutes for meal 3
-Finish meal 3 three hours before bed
-Drink plenty of water
-Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day
And here is my experience:
Day 1: Friday
I was excited to start an eagerly cracked opened my Spicy Lemonade. It has cayenne, lemon, and maple syrup (Master Cleanse, anyone?) so I was nervous, but it ended up being delicious and refreshing! I had Justin try a sip and he hated it though, ha. A little bit later I ate my overnight oats while dreaming of coffee. No work for me that day so I was mostly running errands, but I had plenty of energy. I drank my second juice around noon, and wasn’t initially in love with the Green Greatness. 30 minutes later I had the white bean salad and felt pretty satisfied. I started to get a caffeine headache after lunch, so I just chugged water in hopes it would go away before I went to the gym. Dinner time came and I drank my Vanilla Nutz juice, which was shockingly thick and filling. I couldn’t even finish the whole thing and had to wait a bit for dinner. I chose to make the salmon, greens, and tomatoes so I could get some protein in and it was exactly what I was craving. Day 1= great success and I went to bed satisfied and proud of myself!
Day 2: Saturday
I woke up STARVING and drank my Spicy Lemonade as soon as my feet hit the floor! (Note to self: don’t chug anything with cayenne pepper in it ever again.) Meal 1 was a no bake almond granola bar, which was amazing. At this point I craved protein, but I resisted the eggs + Trader Joes bacon that were calling my name from the fridge. Drank my Green Greatness around 11 and I ate lunch early, around 11:30am, and I had the tuna, avocado, salad option. I’ve made this before and it is always super satisfying. Caffeine headache came back with a vengeance so I drank more water and tried to ignore it. I then went for a 3 mile power walk and felt even more energized afterwards! Had my Vanilla Nutz around 5 and made the kale salad (with a tiny bit of leftover salmon) for dinner. Overall, I felt great but it really was a mental battle to not eat more food/bigger portion sizes. I wasn’t hungry but I was so used to eating more food than that!
Day 3: Sunday
I woke up glad that it was the last day, simply because I was craving coffee…signs I have an addiction, perhaps? I had my Spicy Lemonade and decided to recreate it at home next week. So good! I grabbed an apple and almonds to eat in the car before church. When I drank my Green Greatness that day, I realized the taste was finally growing on me and I actually enjoyed it. I had chicken, avocado, tomato, and hummus for lunch (I am not a fan of turkey deli slices). I didn’t have crazy amounts of energy at the gym, so I kept it light with body weight exercises and an incline walk on the treadmill. I drank my Vanilla Nutz juice (which tasted like dessert at this point, haha) and had a sweet potato with cinnamon and almond butter for dinner. (Obviously could not do that dinner every day…I need more protein!) I had some chamomile tea before bed, and went to sleep early.
Results: I felt light and energetic the full three days, and Monday morning I woke up weighing 2.8lbs less than I did Friday morning. The weight loss was probably mostly water weight, but I definitely looked leaner in the mirror so I was happy. The only negative result I had was my daily caffeine headache and let’s be honest, it is my own fault for drinking so much coffee.
Overall impression: I still don’t think I’d ever do/want to do a full cleanse. I was super content eating three small meals and three juices, but the amount of calories was not sustainable long term. Obviously Suja knows that, and it is why it is only a Fresh Start, not a recommendation for everyday life! I would definitely do it again if I needed a “fresh start” and if I can ever find it at Costco again. I haven’t seen it there since, but you can use this store locator to see if there is one near you.
The founder, Annie Lawless, is an inspirational woman/blogger/entrepreneur that you should definitely check out!
My final tips:
Drink PLENTY of water through out the three days
Try to exercise when you have the most energy (for me, that’s after breakfast)
Sleep more than usual (I aimed for 9 hours those three days)
Don’t plan anything intense or rigorous for those three days
Pay attention to your hunger cues- are you really hungry or just bored, nervous, etc.?
Go grocery shopping the day before you start so everything is FRESH
Don’t weigh yourself at all, and if you do, wait till the end!