Foodie Friday: Juice for All

I’m a juice-aholic. By now, this is a well-known fact among my friends, and I receive requests for juice cleanse recommendations on the regular – I’d say about once per month.

Even if it doesn’t feel like it, Spring has sprung, and Summer is JUST around the corner! I noticed today that there are a ton of juice cleanse sales on all of our favorite daily deal sites, so I thought I’d do all you healthy-minded New Yorkers a favor and put the top ones all in one place:

Cleanses I’ve Tried

1. Cleanse:Jus By Julie

jus by julie cleanse

The deets:

  •          $99 ($200 value) for a 3-day juice cleanse + meal plan
  •          $175 ($350 value) for a 3-day juice cleanse for you and a friend + meal plans

Where to buy: Get it on LivingSocial

Thoughts: This is my favorite juice cleanse. I had a customer service snafu once, but they reached out and compensated with a free 1-day cleanse. The juices are so tasty, and they have puree in them, so you’re still getting some fiber and protein, and you don’t feel as hungry (or in some cases hungry at all) while cleansing.

2. Cleanse: Liquiteria

Liquiteria

The deets:

  •          “Juice, Eat, Repeat” $79 ($99 value): Four cold-pressed juices per day for three days (12 juices total)
  •          Level One Cleanse: “Explore & Nourish” $118 ($147 value): Six cold-pressed juices per day for three days (18 juices total)
  •          Level Two Cleanse: “Restore & Energize” $118 ($147 value): Six cold-pressed juices per day for three days (18 juices total) – same deal as level one, but different juices
  •          Level Three Cleanse: “Deep Dive & Heal” $160 ($200 value): Seven cold-pressed juices per day for three days (21 juices total); One coconut water per day (three total)
  •          All cleanses come with One-on-one coaching session with an expert cleanse coach. They basically walk you through the cleanse and answer any questions when you pick up your juices

Where to buy: Get it on Gilt City

Thoughts: The “Juice, Eat, Repeat” is awesome for juicing rookies! Juice all day and have a nice raw dinner – it leaves you feeling so refreshed! I really like Liquiteria, but you have to pick this cleanse up in person, so it takes a little extra prepping. They have three locations: Liquiteria Chelsea, Liquiteria East Village, or Union Square

Other Available Cleanses

1. Cleanse: The Squeeze

The Squeeze New York City Deal of the Day   Groupon New York City

The deets:

  •          $119 for a three-day juice cleanse ($177 value)
  •          $235 for a six-day juice cleanse ($354 value)

Where to buy: Get it on GroupOn

Thoughts: I haven’t tried The Squeeze yet, but maybe I will!  This is another ‘pick-up only’ cleanse. There are three locations: Battery Park City, Hell’s Kitchen, and Union Square

2. Cleanse: beQu Juice

bequ juices

The deets:

Where to buy: Get it on GroupOn

Thoughts: I haven’t tried beQu yet either, but here are some additional details from GroupOn: Recipients receive a supply of six bottles for each day of their cleanse, which includes three lemonade and three sweet greens juices that can be alternated throughout the day. Shipping is not included in this deal; beQu Juice will confirm delivery dates by email. Based on this, I would look up cost of shipping before buying!

Awkward and Awkward Thursday: Where’s the Juice?

This week has been an especially frustrating one, and all of my frustrations revolve around juice.

Think I’m crazy? Don’t worry, I do too. Let’s start with awkward part one, from the beginning. I arrived at work Wednesday completely pumped to start a Jus by Julie three-day cleanse. I LOVE juicing, and my friend had said this was her favorite one.

When I realized at 8 a.m. that Jus by Julie had sent me an order confirmation but no tracking information (which they had referenced would follow), I immediately sent an email and also gave their receptionist a call. I won’t bore you with the play-by-play, but essential I reached out by phone, email, Twitter, carrier pigeon, you name it, and judging by their latest tweet, the company was indeed on vacation.

Christina Marcus  christinamarcus  on Twitter (1)

I tried to reach Jus by Julie all day.

Christina Marcus  christinamarcus  on TwitterAfter 4 p.m. I finally sent an outraged email outlining all of the reasons it was inconsiderate and poor service for the company not to get back to me. The email in itself was awkward. I do not get angry. It’s not something I do. But here I am, very angry, and feeling completely outside of my skin because of it.

I received a phone call immediately. The person on the other end sounded a bit annoyed and  explained that something was wrong with their delivery tracking, and I would get my juice the next day. Seriously? Was that five-minute phone call so difficult? This tells me two things:

  1. There is not reward in being a calm and collected, friendly customer, which is so disappointing. Hours of this approach got me absolutely nowhere, but when I got angry I got answers.
  2. The FedEx issue was, as I suspected, a widespread problem yesterday. In this case, a blast email or even a tweet to explain the issue and tell customers to be patient might have been a good, considerate idea. I mean, one thing I loved about the idea of this cleanse is that it is delivered early enough to start on the same day. I literally ate nothing the first half of the day thinking they’d get back to me before lunch on my delivery ETA.

After the awful 8 hours of lack of customer service, I thought surely they would apologize in a genuine way and even offer something extra, or an added incentive for a follow-up order. I’m not a freebie-hound, but this was the first time ever that I really felt it was something I deserved. You shouldn’t upset people who are giving up solid food to enjoy your product, it is just unkind, and disappointment coupled with extreme hunger should be compensated.

Today I received my juices “on time,” and was happily drinking through my cleanse until awkward part two happened.  I got to juice 4 and realized that my juice 5 was missing from the fridge at work. Almond Breeze. I was actually excited to drink it and have been anticipating it all day. I considered blast emailing my coworkers to call a search for the missing juice. Other people are cleansing this week as well, I saw a ton of BluePrint bottles in the fridge, surely my juice was taken in error and could be returned. This sounds silly, but understand that i am consuming six juices for the day – that is all the nourishment that I get, and one is missing! And it’s my favorite one! Juice #5 on days 2 and 3 is a different  juice. A petty thing to complain about in a life where I feel all-around blessed, but it felt tragic. It still does. Go ahead, laugh at me.

The Jus by Julie juices are awesome, and I’m really enjoying them, but I feel like I will forever associate this cleanse with feelings of stress and frustration. And lots of awkward.

Foodie Friday: Falling Off the Wagon

Raise your hand if you fell off of the healthy-eating wagon this week.

I know I did, and if you did too, you are not alone. Something about a natural disaster makes people binge. I think that it’s partially a testament that eating can easily become an emotional outlet. I think another part dates back to our hunter-gatherer instincts. I watched a documentary during Sandy, which said that humans used to be conditioned to eat food when they could, in preparation to survive for long bouts without it. Maybe knowing that access to food could potentially be cut off makes us load up a little extra? Whatever the case, I know I was guilty of baking brownies instead of making salads during the dreadful week indoors.

Image courtesy of boyfriend’s instagram

The New York Times reported Wednesday on the “Sandy Five,” and the Associated Press also reported on New Yorkers finding comfort in junk food. So just when I was starting to feel down in the dumps for gaining back what I lost with my BluePrint Cleanse, Linda Wagner, one of my favorite bloggers, reminded me that it’s ok. We can’t be perfect all the time, but we can be positive.

Image courtesy of Linda Wagner

So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve fallen down a bit. Get back up, wipe off the dust and start over. Ask for help where you need it, and get back on track.

I’ve had a lot of stress this week, and I know that is another reason that I fell off. But knowing how to identify this, and eating a piece of fruit or drinking a juice instead of going for coffee and cookies is something I am trying to do moving forward. It feels great to scarf down some junk food to feel better, but it never feels great afterwards.

What triggers your unhealthy eating habits? What do you do to avoid turning to junk in times of stress? 

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The BluePrint Cleanse in review

Two weeks ago, I embarked on my first ever juice cleanse. Being the food-lover that I am, this was not an easy decision. I am also a big fan of juice, so after about a year of contemplation and hearing different friends’ experiences, I decided to take the plunge. I chose a three-day BluePrint Cleanse. This cleanse came highly recommended from friends, and there happened to be a promotion for a discount on GILT when I ordered.

First, some background

The BluePrint Cleanse includes six juices per day. There are three cleanse levels to choose from based on your normal dieting habits. I’m a fairly healthy eater, so I chose the second level, referred to as “Foundation.”  These are the six juices that I drank each day:

  • Juices one, three and five are a green juice that contains romaine, apple, celery spinach, cucumber, kale, parsley and lemon.
  • Juice two is pineapple, apple and mint.
  • Juice number four is spicy lemonade with lemon, agave nectar and cayenne extract.
  • Juice six is cashew milk with agave nectar, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Day One

The first day was not easy. I woke up with a headache before even drinking my first juice, and that headache lasted until I went to bed. I’m not sure what caused it, since I hadn’t started the cleanse yet. It may have been caffeine withdrawal, or possibly a result of eating very light the previous day.

A lot of people complain about the taste of the green juice, but I personally love it. It is recommended that you wait at least an hour in between juices, and I tried to leave two or three hours in between mine. Juice two was delicious, and I wound up looking forward to it the most on days two and three. Throughout the day I felt fine besides the headache. I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t crave food. When I came home from work the headache quickly turned into a migraine, and I had trouble getting the cashew milk down. Warning: that stuff is CHUNKY if you don’t shake it up a lot.

Day Two

Day two was phenomenal. No hunger. No headache. Tons of energy. I was as happy as a slinky on an escalator.

Day Three

Day three was torture. I was starving all day. By 5 p.m. I had to leave work because I had a migraine. I came home and slept from 6 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. When I woke up I still had the migraine but couldn’t get back to sleep until 4:30 a.m., only to wake up two hours later for work. The rough night meant that day four, (now off the cleanse and back to real food), was also pretty miserable, and I was left wondering why I spent so much time and money torturing myself.

Was the juice worth the squeeze?

I waited so long to post about my cleanse because I wanted time to reflect on it. After a good night’s sleep on day four, I felt good again. I lost four pounds, and my stomach looked nice and flat. I felt healthy and didn’t have a huge appetite. Healthier food decisions came easy. I posted a few pictures on instagram and Facebook in the process, and received a great amount of interest and support from friends. I would do the cleanse again, but probably the six day option. I felt that the three days I did were only enough time for my body to withdrawal, and not enough time to go through a full cleansing process. If anyone is interested in trying a cleanse, I recommend either taking time off from your normal responsibilities or starting on the weekend so that your body can adjust appropriately, and considering extending the experience beyond three days.

Juicing is not a “lose weight fast” fad diet, although you WILL lose weight while doing it. If you’re interested in a juice cleanse, it should be because you’re looking to incorporate healthy eating habits into your lifestyle. The juice cleanse will provide your system with a nice ‘reboot,’ but once it’s over it will be your responsibility to continue on a healthy path.