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Juicin’

I did it! I survived a 3 day juice cleanse and I lived to tell the tale! Honestly though, it wasn’t that bad. I went into this expecting the worst and by the end of it all, it was a total breeze. So I wouldn’t really say that I survived, but that I thrived


So, why do a juice cleanse, you ask? Am I crazy? Maybe a little bit, but I’m pretty sure that was a pre-existing condition. When I saw a Living Social deal a few weeks ago for the Catalyst Cleanse at Jar Bar, I said, “Why not!?” There are lots of benefits to doing a juice cleanse. For me, it was kind of a motivator to stop eating a lot of junk all the time (which is what I’ve been trying to cut back on doing leading up to this Seattle/Portland trip where I will probably be gorging myself on anything I can find for a week). Also, just to do something different! My life has been feeling stagnant lately, and by giving myself a challenge, it kind of gave me a little boost of “Hey, if you can do this – you can do anything!” 


Here’s how the juice cleanse worked: For three days you drink nothing but 16 oz of six different juices. No coffee or alcohol; just water and decaf tea. Each juice is blended with enough elements that they are supposed to provide you a 1,200 calorie a day diet. You drink them roughly every two hours or so, with it being suggested that you drink the last juice 2 hours before bedtime.


Breakdown:
8 AM – Green Juice #1: Cucumber, celery, parsley, apple, lemon, lime, spinach & ginger
10 AM – Spicy Lemonade: Lemon, agave, cayenne
12 PM – Carrot Juice: Carrot, apple, celery, lemon, lime
2 PM – Watermelon lime
4 PM – Green Juice #2: Repeat of breakfast
~7-8 PM (I tend to go to bed late & was treating this juice more like dessert) Cashew milk: Cashew, vanilla, cinnamon, agave

Mmm… Juices!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Day 1 was kind of brutal just because it made me realize how much of my life revolves around food. I couldn’t escape it! I follow so many restaurant and food blogs on Twitter, everyone is always eating, there were all kinds of awesome smells everywhere – I was being tempted by foods that I don’t even like! (like the empty bag of Cheez-its in the trash at work) After drinking pureed produce all day, Juice #6 was such a treat. 


Day 2 I woke up and wasn’t even hungry at all. I would see food and go, “Oh hey, that looks cool. I’d like to eat that when I can have food again.” It certainly wasn’t as torturous and I was actually starting to enjoy the juices. Admittedly, I loved the Green juice. I know it sounds gross, but it was actually really good. I’d recommend leaving it out a little bit to get warm because it did taste bitter straight out of the fridge. Once it got to almost room temp, it wasn’t half bad.


Day 3 was more of the same. I wasn’t hungry and was feeling great! I kept thinking about what to eat after the cleanse as my “celebration”, but to be honest, I wasn’t even craving food. I was doing the cleanse with a friend and he was ready to eat a slice of pizza at 12:01 AM. We toasted with our final juices and then fantasized about a delicious brunch the next day.

Final juice: Complete.



Post cleanse, Day 4: I still wasn’t hungry. In fact, I kind of wished I’d done the 5 day cleanse. (More of that crazy right here) I felt skinny and awesome – even though I didn’t really lose any weight.  I definitely had more energy; I wanted to be more energetic on the cleanse and work out, but the weather had been unbearably hot and humid and I didn’t want my lack of solid food to make me sick. (The only time I ever felt sick at all was when drinking the carrot juice. It made me dizzy. This was also my least favorite juice.) We had brunch and it was nice to eat and feel like I was enjoying it and not just shoveling it into my face.


Post cleanse, Day 5: Still feeling good and not ravenously hungry. After a week with no coffee (I stopped drinking it  leading up to the cleanse), I didn’t even feel like I needed coffee today. Could I have finally rid myself of my daily caffeine crutch?? Now I just feel like I want this awesome feeling to continue, to not “gum up” my system with gross stuff, to really go overboard with the junk food sometimes, to make a conscious effort to incorporate a healthier eating lifestyle into my everyday routine. 


Would I do it again? Absolutely! I am definitely looking to incorporate more fresh juices into my life on a regular basis along with solid food. 


But you don’t have to do a juice cleanse all the time just to feel better about yourself. It doesn’t have to be about the physical aspect; it’s about your mental mood as well. During the cleanse I reflected on a lot of the things I do and how much I made food a part of my life. At one point, I even contemplated for a split second going Vegetarian!! (Let’s not get crazy.) So many of the things I had been doing on a weekly basis were so centered around food and drink that it was starting to consume me. (What’s for X meal? Where are we eating tomorrow? etc.) Don’t get me wrong, I love food, but maybe it’s easier to appreciate it when it’s not always the constant in your life.



That being said, I’m ready to go on my trip and enjoy every bite a little more thoroughly instead of blindly ingesting something because it’s in front of my face.

Vegging out!

So, I’m preparing to go on a monster eating tour of the Pacific Northwest in a few weeks, hitting up Seattle again (which feels like my West Coast “home away from home”) and Portland for the first time (which I am super excited about since everyone touts it as a ‘Foodie Paradise’). As part of that preparation, I’ve decided not to over-indulge in all the delicious foods of Philadelphia so that I can make room for all the delectable goodness that will surely cause me to tip the scales upon my return. So no burgers, no pizza, no pasta, no rice, no junk food, NO BEER (!!) – and other treats in limited quantities, until August 9th!

So far on my “Snack Sabatacle”, I’ve managed to be pretty good. We took a little trip to Elevation Burger and it was soooooo hard not to order something with meat. (Guys, dead animals are delicious; don’t trick yourselves into thinking they’re not.) But I showed tremendous restraint and ordered a veggie burger #2, while my dining partner ordered veggie burger #1 and we split both of them as well as a side of fries. (That was also hard because I hate sharing fries!) 

Veggie Burger #2 is supposed to be the totally vegan, all veggie burger. It has a little bit of  visible corn in it as well as some other veggies. I obviously am not a vegan because I put cheese on it. (Another thing I am trying to limit, but I was worried it would taste like cardboard if I didn’t put cheese on it.) And I was pleasantly surprised! It was totally tasty. I wanted to eat it all but remembered we were splitting them.

As for Veggie Burger #1, it was supposed to have a “fire roasted taste”; maybe if it was fire roasted BLAH! It had absolutely no taste at all, the cheese didn’t help, and I wanted to cry about how bland it was after I finished eating it.

So, survey says: Veggie #2 > Veggie #1. (But obviously in my world, Meat > Veggie, period.)

I also took a raw foods adventure at Jar Bar Philly, ordering a delicious Asian Kale salad. I mean, I guess that’s not really jumping head-first into the raw food movement since salad is already raw, but I dipped my toe in the pool. 

 This + Asian Ginger Dressing = soooo yummy! Kale ❤

I also got a Strawberry Kale Lemonade elixir, which was totally delicious and surprisingly filling. And we split a chocolate mousse pie for dessert, which did not taste like cardboard or like it was some lo-cal diet gross thing. It was super yummy and now I wanna make it forever and ever.

Photo courtesy of http://www.bridgesburgersbeer.com/
I can’t believe it’s vegan!

The trip to Jar Bar was basically just to get an idea of what exactly raw food is since we are planning on doing the 3-Day Catalyst Juice Cleanse right before our trip. (In case all the trying to be good about eating and stepping it up with the exercising isn’t working out well enough.) I’ve never done a cleanse before, but I read up on a friend’s experience with the same cleanse and it seemed not to be soooo bad. I’m still a little bit nervous about it, but another friend is also doing a FIVE day cleanse right now and he seems to be doing alright. I’m sure a lot of it is easy if you have good willpower and self-control. I think maybe if I was eating fast food and other junk stuff all the time already prior to this, it would be difficult to go cold turkey and just drink juice six times a day for three days. 

The part I’m most worried about is not being able to drink coffee! You are restricted to water and decaf tea as the only other beverages other than the juices during the cleanse; reason being that since you are detoxing your body of the gross stuff, you will have more energy and not need coffee.(We’ll see about that…)

The countdown is ON! 

Days until the cleanse begins: 8
Days until Seattle:14
Days until Portland: 18
Days until I bring all my pants back to the tailor to have them let out: 23

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