Friday, June 6, 2014

SpotlightOn - Jugos Boston & my first Juice cleanse!

So I fell down a few stairs two weeks ago and sprained my ankle meaning I needed to back off my workouts. Given I am going down to Miami next week, I decided this would be the perfect time to try a juice cleanse, since you are supposed to take it easy workout-wise while doing one. It was something I had wanted to try but never felt it was the right time to forgo food...I mean I really love food, but what I don't love is seeing those pounds creep on, feeling heavy, and simply not on top of my game. With that in mind I reached out to Jugos in Back Bay and ordered their Cleanse Clasico for pickup on Tuesday morning (right after Memorial weekend's last hurrah!).
Jugos Boston Cleanse Clasico!

I prepped by reading as much as I could on what to expect during a cleanse and ate light the day before the fast by making my new favorite kale, quinoa and shrimp salad, as well as abstained from alcohol.  On Tuesday I felt pumped and ready as I walked home with my juices for day 1. Having only tried one of the juices before I inspected the six juices included in The Cleanse Clasico:

1. Kale, Cucumber, Green Apple, Lemon, Ginger - I felt pretty good with all three green juices, usually I have thought green juice tastes rancid but the mixes here work.
8. Lemon, Lime, Alkaline Water, Organic Agave, Cayenne - imagine a super sour lemonade (I actually believe it would be awesome for a margarita!)
4. Kale, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Green Apple, Parsley - Like #1 it is a green juice with a lighter feel, probably given the cucumber, yet a bit fuller and richer in taste than the former.
7. Pear, Pineapple, Green Apple, Lime, Mint - the most amazing and light fruit juice I have ever had, usually fruit juices are way to sweet and sugar for me but I looked forward to this one each day!
6. Spinach, Kale, Apple, Celery, Lemon, Ginger - This is probably the healthiest tasting (and my favorite) of the three green juices, like a super food cocktail you know is good for you.
LA LECHE. Cashew Milk, Organic Agave, Organic Vanilla, Sea Salt, Cinnamon - tastes like vanilla bean ice cream! It did feel heavy and I could not finish it the first day but it is good!

*The cleanse can be ordered in cold pressed or old school form. I opted for the cold pressed form since it retains nutrients better over time, in this form the cleanse costs $50 dollars per day, which seemed great to me since the BluePrint 3 day cleanse I was looking at would cost me $225 total. 

So how did my days go? I picked up my juices after having a small espresso, since, I read you could have up to half a cup of coffee if caffeine withdrawal was a concern, this amount is far less than the three big mugs of Honduran coffee I have on the daily. After the initial excitement of doing something new wore off I noticed feeling a slight headache, dizzy and craving everything under the sun but not hungry. Very odd. I continued the day and drank tons of water happy when not sipping on one of the juices, becoming ecstatic when I tried the pineapple juice as it felt like the first treat all day! By evening the slight headache remained but there was something new, my legs were in pain, and I mean horrible muscle pain that felt like I could not move them (it was possibly related to caffeine withdrawal). I decided to do a 40 minutes of gentle yoga to release the tension in my legs and it helped but was still present. By bed time I noticed I wasn't hungry and had developed a stronger sense of smell! And by this I mean I thought my sister had a new perfume on when it was just her regular shampoo/body wash after shower smell. I succumbed and took an aleve as the muscle pain in my legs was not letting me sleep (probably not in tune to the whole cleanse mindset but this was not about torturing myself).

On day 2 I woke up feeling completely fine and not hungry although a faint headache remained and decided I'd up my coffee intake if need be. However, I was headache free all day and never felt weak or dizzy thus remained at my small espresso dose of caffeine. By morning I noticed my tongue was now a weird white color and felt like there was stuff on my teeth, which, is a sign of detox, so I just kept brushing my teeth, confident the cleanse was working! Did some 30 min Core Pilates at home (thank God for AppleTV) and headed to the gym for 10 min in the steam room and a nice hot shower. Remember that heightened sense of smell? Well the eucalyptus steam room was intoxicating, not in a good way, it felt like I had swallowed Vick's vapor rub - gross! So I quickly wrapped up at the gym and walked around since I had all this time and felt great. This was the best of all three days as I had an odd sense of peace, meaning, I wasn't stressed and had good thoughts to share with others. I wasn't even upset as the scent of onion rings, which I love, wafted into my living room (the benefits of living amidst many a restaurant in the Copley area!) knowing I could not go out and get some. 

Then came day 3 - I woke up early, meaning 2 hours before my juice pickup time, annoyed at myself for making the pickup time so late... I was tired and a little sore from the Pilates the previous day but feeling pretty on par to how I usually wakeup hungry and in need of a boost. Had my juices and ran more errands before settling in for a phone interview. It was after the interview I noticed I was drained and sensitive. If your a girl you know that pms feeling where your sad or annoyed for no reason at all? That is how i felt. I was not hungry or desperate for a decadent meal, I was just done...and not pleasant to be around even after an hour of yoga at the gym which usually chills me out! (However, I did notice my balance in yoga was far better than it usually is!) But the end was near and I was sticking to my challenge. 

And just like that it was over! On day 1 post cleanse I headed to the gym for a Pilates reformer class sans coffee because I woke up too late and felt awesome! After my workout I went for my Starbucks espresso and decided to splurge on a Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich and hash browns because I deserved it right!? Wrong they say to ease food back in and they are right, the prize of breakfast went back up the way it went in! So what is my take on the juice cleanse? Well for starters I actually liked how these juices taste and was mostly surprised how I was not hungry throughout the cleanse. The sensitivity to smells and life resonated with how cluttered our minds and body get in consequence of what we eat. Most importantly, I succeeded and conquered my appetite willpower weaknesses for three days. It has now been a week since I ended the cleanse and though I did loose a few pounds during the cleanse and felt in top form it was not a lasting effect. I guess the biggest lesson is listening to your body and understanding that urge to eat most likely is not hunger and thus gaining control over cravings. That alone is a winning effect as this period of unemployment had led me to overindulge or just nibble when bored.

Would I do it again? Possibly, maybe I would stick to a one day cleanse as day 3 was emotionally horrible day (though I did not take my allergy meds on day 3 because I read that the fast clears allergies - so that might be a factor in my irritability and crankiness), or, maybe I will forget how painful some of the cleanse was and focus on the clarity, balance and light feeling which lingers after the cleanse!

All said and done I definitely do not regret doing the cleanse and realized juices are yummy and definitely make for great meal replacements or snacks on-the-go. So if you live in Boston and are thinking of a cleanse to kick off your summer days or just want to add juicing to your daily life stop by Jugos (means juice in Spanish) in the Back Bay T station and give any of their juices a try. Seriously, you will love their juices! I know I did and I am not a tofu loving, kale chips eating health nut! They also have a summer pop up shop at The Clubs at Charles River Park making for a perfect food stop if you are hungry and in or around Massachusetts General Hospital! (You need not be a member to access the restaurant) I loved hitting them up last Monday pre-volunteering at MGH.

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