Confession: I’m really not a health nut, but I enjoy juiced fruits and veggies. When I moved to Charleston, I tried my first cup of real vegetable juice at Earth Fare, and I was hooked. Fresh juice tastes great and is good to replace a meal, or when you feel like you just need some extra veggies in your diet. It fills you up and it’s the same price as Starbucks, but much better for you!
I love the juice bar at Earth Fare, but since I’m almost 10 miles away in the boonies, it’s not always the best option. I bought a juicer at a garage sale this summer, but it’s not the best quality so I don’t use it much.
When in Charlotte, I didn’t eat the healthiest options, and even though I train a lot, it’s easy to put on weight by over compensating what you eat and overestimating the amount of calories you actually burn in a workout. I love running and training for races, and when you log a lot of miles, it’s perfectly okay to have a treat once a week. No amount of training makes up for a poor diet, and it is very possible to gain weight as a runner, even when training for a marathon.
Recently, Skinny Limits contacted me about testing and reviewing one of their juice cleanses. At first, I was a little skeptical. I like to eat relatively healthy, but I don’t want to deprive myself. I’m not overweight, but felt like with my less-than-stellar eating habits (including a scoop of frozen yogurt each night), I could stand to… reset my system. I’ve experienced cravings for sugary, carb-y foods like breads and candy, and my tummy occasionally frequently goes berserk.
I agreed to try the 3-day standard cleanse, knowing that I would curtail my physical activity during those three days and also eat a little. I didn’t want to go 3 days without solid food, and I didn’t have to. I ate simple foods during the cleanse, like fruits and veggies, but no dairy or seafood (I don’t eat meat). In fact, Skinny Limits has a list of approved foods you can eat while on the cleanse.
If I couldn’t eat during the cleanse, I would have turned it down. The caloric content of the day’s worth of juices is less than 1,000, and as an athlete, I need more calories than that even if I’m not working out. I made sure to get enough calories by supplementing, of course.
My juices arrived at my doorstep at about 10:30 AM on the first day of my cleanse, so I did eat a small breakfast earlier that day. They were packed well, complete with ice packs inside, and everything was intact- they arrived very cold and I refrigerated them immediately.
I started the cleanse on a Tuesday and ended it on a Thursday night. For three days, I drank 6 bottles of juice per day- 3 Pure and Simple juices, 1 balance juice, 1 scorpion lemonade, and 1 crescent moon. Here are the juices I was sent and my thoughts:
- Pure and Simple: I drank three of these per day. It’s a basic green juice that contains Kale, Cucumber, Spinach, Apple, Parsley, Celery, and Lemon.
- Balance: This juice contains Kale, Cucumber, Spinach, Apple, Parsley, Celery, Lemon, and Ginger. I could definitely taste the ginger in the first bottle, but by day 3, it didn’t bother me and I rather liked this juice.
- Scorpion Lemonade: This juice contains Lemons, Agave Nectar, Cayenne, and Filtered Water. It was my least favorite and my palate NEVER liked it! It was almost too spicy for me to drink. I actually only drank half the bottle on Day 1 (the other two days, I held my nose and guzzled).
- Crescent Moon: This was by far my favorite juice and a nice way to end the day. It contains Raw cashews, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Agave Nectar, and Filtered Water.
I thought I’d be starving while juicing, but I never was. The juices, water, and small foods filled me up. After the first day, I was enjoying most of the juices (not the scorpion lemonade) and really didn’t crave any foods. In fact, my cravings stayed away the entire time.
Here are my post-cleanse thoughts:
- I don’t weigh frequently, so I don’t know that I lost weight on the cleanse. After all, it was only 3 days. I noticed after the cleanse, I was a bit “leaned out” and I felt a lot lighter.
- I had plenty of energy while drinking the juice. I never felt run down; granted, I did very easy workouts and mostly stayed home- so nothing too strenuous.
- My digestive system has worked well since the cleanse. Maybe giving my stomach a break from digesting tons of solid and sometimes junky foods really helped (TMI, I know!).
- I noticed just how much I eat out of habit rather than hunger. I work a desk job at my house, and it’s super easy to walk downstairs, grab a box of crackers, and just munch for a few hours while working. Even if I keep my laptop computer near the kitchen, I tend to eat more because well… the food is right there.
- Eating can be emotional just as much as physical- and I want to practice mindfulness and eat what I need, when I need it, and preferably not “stand in the kitchen and munch”.
- If you do a cleanse, juice during the week! I was busy with a big upgrade at work, so I knew I wouldn’t have to turn down any invitations to go out to eat lunch or dinner. Clay and I go on dates on weekends, and I go to group runs on Saturday mornings and obviously need good nutrition for those workouts.
Would I do the cleanse again? Probably not.
First I thought the juices were a bit pricey. The 3-day cleanse retails for $150, but the juices are fresh and shipped to your door. Since I own a juicer, I could purchase fresh vegetables and juice them myself. I work at home and can easily take a 10 minute break to juice whenever I feel like it. I like juice occasionally, so I usually just buy from a juice bar- it’s not something I drink every day.
Second, I don’t think I’m the target consumer for a cleanse. I’m not trying to lose weight, and while my diet can improve, I do eat fairly healthy 80-90% of the time. In addition, I need more calories per day than what the juices provide since I’m active. If you’re training for a goal race, changing your diet is not ideal.
Would I recommend the cleanse? Yes.
If you have a busy schedule, you’re always on the go, you don’t own a juicer, or you’re not close to a juice bar, the convenient bottles are a great option. It was also nice to know what I’d be eating (err, drinking) and not have the constant question of “What’s for lunch?”.
If you truly need a major diet overhaul, I think a cleanse is a good option. I noticed while on the cleanse, my palate adapted to the juice. I liked green juice anyway, but by Day 3, I thought they tasted better than on Day 1. Juices could help you adapt to a healthier diet in general.
Once I finished the cleanse, I thought I’d crave ice cream, bread, and other foods I couldn’t have… but I didn’t. My first meal post-cleanse was a salad, and I still find myself craving healthier options more than simple sugars- so the cleanse worked pretty well.
If you’d like to check out Skinny Limits, you can view their available juice cleanse options here. Cleanses range from one to ten days, with three being recommended for beginners. You can also check out their Facebook to learn more and read testimonials on their website.
I was not paid or compensated for this review; however, I received a complimentary 3-day standard juice cleanse from Skinny Limits in exchange for my opinions. All opinions in this post are my own.