A few months ago I completed a 7-day juice cleanse (you can read about it HERE and HERE) and although I loved it overall, I hated the amount of time it took to make & clean up the juices. I enjoyed having everything ready to go when lunch and dinner rolled around but it was still a lot of work to make five juices per day. Fortunately it’s still less work than making breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks but every once in a while it’s nice to not have to do anything in the kitchen.
I was on the lookout for another juice cleanse to try but I wasn’t sure if I should buy an already-done-for-you collection or if I wanted to follow a make-your-own plan. But when I found out Costco had Suja’s Classic 3-day Fresh Start in stock it wasn’t hard to make my decision. A few years ago I tried ordering a box of Suja Juice on their website but they weren’t shipping to the middle of the Pacific Ocean yet. I’m still not sure if they currently ship individual orders to Hawaii but I do know that at least one Costco (Hawaii Kai) on the island carries their Classic 3-Day Fresh Start.
Suja is based and made in San Diego (what up’ home town!) and they pride themselves in providing cold-pressured, organic, never GMO, chemical-free, preservative-free and delicious juices. I’ve purchased individual bottles of Suja juice at Whole Foods and their 49oz Power Greens at Costco so I was very excited to try their 3-day fresh start. Coca-Cola made a minority investment in the company (2015), kind of odd considering some of the products Coca-Cola makes right?, so now Suja has access to resources like a huge distribution system that will allow more stores (like Costco) to carry more of their products. According to Suja this investment will not change their promise to provide only high quality juices (organic & non GMO) and I’m hoping that always remains true.
The 3-Day Original Fresh Start Program includes 18 (16oz) juices and is a great option for first timers, anyone that wants to kick-start a healthy lifestyle and for those who could benefit from a nice break of not having to do anything in the kitchen for three days (raising my hand). Here’s the yummy lineup…
1. GLOW: apple, celery, cucumber, kale, collards, mint tea, spinach. I really enjoyed the sweet freshness of this one and by the third day I was craving to start my day with it. GLOW is definitely an appropriate name for this juice, it tastes like what a green juice should taste like, green, refreshing and healthy (but not gross). There’s a very small hint of bitterness from the kale and collards but the cucumber gives this juice a light and energizing taste while the apples and mint tea add a perfect balance of sweetness. If you’re not used to green juices this is a great one to start with.
2. FUEL: carrot, orange, apple, pineapple, lemon, turmeric. This was my favorite juice from the 3-day collection! The tangy taste of orange and lemon paired with the fullness of carrots and sweetness of pineapple!? So good. I looked forward to drinking this juice everyday and it’s the one I get when I buy Suja at Whole Foods. On their website Suja describes this juice as a “light, refreshing…blend that is sure to put some pep in your step” and I couldn’t agree more.
3. PURIFY: carrot, cucumber, celery, apple, beet, lemon. I’m not a huge fan of juicing beets so this one wasn’t my favorite. The apple, celery and lemon help diffuse the beet flavor so it’s not too strong, just a bit “earthy.” Nonetheless it’s a refreshing juice that acts as a “spring-cleaning for your body and taste buds.”
4. REEF: apple, celery, cucumber, kale, collards, lemon, ginger, spinach. From the three green juices in this bundle I like REEF the best. It’s very similar to GLOW but with more zing, thank you ginger and lemon. The cucumber made this juice a great mid-afternoon snack and the best part is that it didn’t cause any late afternoon energy slumps.
5. GREEN SUPREME: apple, kale, lemon. The simplicity of this juice is what makes it so bold. It’s smooth, sweet, refreshing and has the right amount of kale to make it work. And you can’t really go wrong when combining apples and lemon right?
6. SPARK: strawberries, tart cherry, raspberry, lemon, honey, stevia and cayenne. I really looked forward to this sweet juice every evening. You can definitely taste the tartness from the cherries and raspberries but the strawberries, honey and lemon make it perfectly light and sweet. The cayenne kick is very subtle, just enough to put a little pep in your evening so it’s perfect for dinner. After FUEL this one is my next favorite from the Fresh Start collection.
SUJA JUICE 3-DAY FRESH START PROGRAM REVIEW
MODIFICATIONS: There are always a few things I customize when I try a juice cleanse so that I don’t have to modify too many of my daily activities. For example I like to workout everyday so although Suja’s Fresh Start plan doesn’t include any protein shakes I still drink my post workout protein shake (plant-based) and 1-2 more during the day if needed. I do this so I can get enough calories during the day and stay physically active. Depending on how I’m feeling I also drink a natural pre workout like Vega or green tea in the morning. I drank juice every two hours (7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm), my protein shake at 6am, 11pm and 7pm and about a gallon of water throughout the day which means I also went pee about 47 times every day.
DAY 1: Today was a tough one mainly because I decided to do this cleanse last minute so I don’t think I was prepared for it. I felt a small headache for most of the day and although I didn’t feel hungry I craved everything in my kitchen… dried figs, tea, bananas, honey, pineapple, bread, olives, tempeh, chocolate and veggie burgers. My workout consisted of me gasping for air, taking breaks and stopping twenty minutes before I had planned. Side note: my workout didn’t suffer because of juicing, I workout on an empty stomach every morning and today was no different. My cravings and poor workout were because of the giant burrito, chips and margarita I had the day before. I don’t drink alcohol or eat processed food very often but when I do my workouts and sleep always suffer. The only “bad” thing about Day 1 was the slight headache and low energy I felt throughout the day (but I know that if I would have prepared better and not had processed food or alcohol a few days prior to starting the cleanse the first day would have been a lot easier to get through).
DAY 2: I felt hungry and I had a slight headache in the morning before starting my workout but after I had my second juice of the day I felt much better. I had a very productive morning and it only got better after the PURIFY juice at lunch. I didn’t feel hungry throughout the rest of the day but I did find myself missing the crunch and texture of solid food when the evening rolled around. To get my mind off of trying to convince me I was hungry I went for a walk at the beach and enjoyed my dinner juice (SPARK) at sunset. I felt really light and energetic the rest of the night and found myself feeling bummed that there was only one more day of the juice cleanse (mostly because of the extra time I get to have when I don’t have to worry about cooking).
DAY 3: I felt great in the morning and even had my first juice, GLOW, an hour later than the first two days because I didn’t feel hungry. I woke up feeling refreshed and more well rested than I have in the past week. I felt totally present, focused and energetic during my workout, I love that feeling! Although I felt great during the day I stayed up past my usual bedtime so I began to feel hungry and not in the best mood. Other than that it was the easiest and most enjoyable day from the 3-day cleanse.
SUJA JUICE CLEANSE RESULTS
The main benefit I gained after three days of juicing was better sleep. It normally takes me a long time to fall asleep and it’s even worse if I’m working on a project or when I have a lot of things on my mind (which is usually Monday through Sunday) so I feel like my sleep was reset. Sure it could all be in my head but most likely not because I’ve been falling asleep quickly, sleeping through the whole night and waking up feeling amazing the last two nights. I attribute my energy during my workouts and throughout the day to great sleep and the amazing plant-based goodness I’ve been drinking. It’s about a week before my period and usually I feel bloated around this time but I currently don’t feel the least bit poofy so that’s a big plus. I also noticed the brown spots on my face (which I think I got while riding around in mopeds in Thailand) got lighter and the few pimples that wanted to make their debut disappeared. I weighed myself and measured my waist before and after the cleanse just for kicks and I lost almost four pounds and about a quarter inch off my waist.
Although I love feeling that my immune system got a nice boost, my sleep improved and my skin is glowing the best thing about the past three days is the break I got from my kitchen. Fo’ real. Three days of not having to do ANYTHING cooking or kitchen related was a beautiful thing and I’m sad it’s over. It was a completely different experience than making my own juice everyday and something I’d definitely try again. The one thing I didn’t like too much was that the juices felt a little small compared to the giant ones I made during my last cleanse. That doesn’t mean I felt hungry or “starved” but I think I would have enjoyed more of FUEL and REEF especially during the first day. I also felt really cold during the three days which is something that happened during my last experiment as well. It wasn’t a big inconvenience but just something I noticed.
After doing a juice cleanse or any type of detox it’s recommended that you slowly introduce regular foods (and by regular I mean vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts… not processed junk) into your diet. So the day after Suja’s Fresh Start Program I had a green smoothie for breakfast, almonds and an apple as a snack, another smoothie for lunch and a salad for dinner. I ended up going heavy on the smoothies and salads for a couple days after the cleanse and found that it was the perfect way to transition back to my regularly scheduled programming (which is usually oatmeal for breakfast, giant salads for lunch and soup for dinner).
If there’s anything else that you’d like to know about Suja’s 3-Day Fresh Start Program that I didn’t cover please let me know, I’d love to help. And like I mentioned in my last post about juicing, if you’re curious about trying one of the many cleanses that are out there please do it with love and appreciation for your body and not with a “get skinny, lose weight or not be fat” mentality. Happy juicing!