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!

Foodie Friday: My New Year’s Grocery List

So it’s that time of year again – time to start fresh with a clean slate, and new goals and ambitions for the next 12 months. I didn’t think that I had a New Year’s resolution for 2013, but today I started to remember a few healthy foods I wanted to try, and it quickly turned into a “New Year’s Grocery List,” of sorts.

I’ve decided that my resolution is the same one I land on every year: to incorporate more healthy eating and living habits into my daily life. I don’t like the idea of crash diets or putting my workout schedule into overdrive for one month – those things just don’t work for me (and I don’t think they work long-term for anyone,actually). I’m beginning my healthy habits with a shopping list of a few items I’d like to try, and possibly keep stocked, in my kitchen this year.

Photo Jan 04, 2 28 48 PM

 

Here are a few items that make the cut:

Hemp seeds – Just two tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 400 milligrams of gamma-linoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory, two grams of Omega-3 fats and nine essential amino acids. You can put hemp seeds on just about everything, but I’m especially excited to mix them into some post-workout smoothies to help maximize muscle recovery.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes – Nutritional yeast flakes are a complete protein, containing 18 amino acids and 15 minerals, and they are rich in vitamin B. Nutritional yeast can be used as a condiment, and the flavor is described as nutty and cheesy. I’ve also seen them used as a cheese substitute in plenty of vegan recipes around the blogosphere. While I’m not even close to being vegan, I’d like to try my hand at vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, just for kicks.

Jicama – Jicama, also referred to as a “Mexican yam” or “Mexican turnip,” is a scary looking root vegetable. But again, this guy pops up in recipes for all of my favorite blogs, so I’d like to face my fears and give it a whirl. Jicama is low in calories, but high in fiber and anti-oxidants.

In addition to the above items which I have not tried, I’d also like to incorporate more of the healthy foods I love into my daily diet. I need to get back on my kale kick, and I’d like to try to replace regular potatoes with sweet potatoes when possible. I want to get back to juicing at least a few times per week, especially juicing beets.

Do you have any food goals for 2013? I know that sounds like an odd question, hopefully some of you can relate!

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.