Is it symbolic that I’m bringing Nomadic Foodie back from its dormant summer sleep by blogging about a juice cleanse? Clearing cobwebs, getting ready for a fresh start? Maybe.
For now though, I’m going to talk about detoxing.
Urban Remedy is a nutrition delivery service that offers organic, raw and gluten-free juice cleanse plans, meal drinks and snacks. They asked me to try and review one of their juice cleanses, and I am so all about that.
Now, this isn’t my first rodeo. I did a 5-day juice cleanse late last winter, and loved it. Juice is my favorite hangover cure, since apples + strawberries are magical hangover-curing fruits. (For those keeping track, my other hangover cures are the sausage breakfast sandwich from Bunk Sandwiches, followed by a giant bowl of pho for dinner).
That being said, this is a perfect time in my life for a short detox. Summer ended and fall’s begun. I’m home for a little while. Some of my food choices were getting a little out of hand. Last time I detoxed, the results were really positive – I lost a little weight, felt really light and energetic, learned some things about food and meal-planning, and made some healthy changes to my diet afterwards.
Here’s a little bit about Urban Remedy: the juices are made from 100% organic fruits and vegetables, with no added sugars (a few of the juices are sweetened with Stevia), and are totally raw, vegan, and gluten-free (I mean, that makes sense. It’s plant juice).
In addition to these six (six!) juices each day for theses three days, I’m drank a LOT of water and a lot of [herbal, caffeine-free] tea. I found this loose-leaf tea I bought a couple of years ago that has a lot of plants and herbs that are represented in these juices (burdock, dandelion greens, berries, and fennel), so I’m enjoying that.
Ok, that’s enough for now. Here’s how the whole thing went down, juice by juice.
Juice 1 | Clean
First of all, I had to Google “burdock,” since I didn’t know what that was, and turns out, it’s a weed. Apparently, it’s been used for centuries as a blood purifier and antioxidant in general, so its presence in this juice makes sense. I’ve had some combination of all of the others in green juice before, but never without the addition of something sweet like a half an apple or something. Because of that, it totally tastes like weeds and grass. To a first-time juicer, this might be a bit of a shock, since it’s just SO GREEN. But I kind of liked it.
Juice 2 | Boost
Yeah, I like this one a lot. I can definitely taste the sweetness from the Stevia, which is fine, even though I never use it myself. It makes this otherwise tart beverage taste like a really lovely lemonade. I mean, that’s basically what this is. It’s freshly squeezed (juiced) lemonade. If you’re a morning OJ person (I’m not, but just sayin’), this could so easily replace that minus all the crappy sugars and plus the added bonus of turmeric, which is anti-inflammatory and great for your immune system.
At this point, was I hungry? Not really. I was before both juices, but drinking this curbed that hunger. However, at this point, I started to miss chewing and wanted to get down on a turkey sandwich mostly to have something to rip apart with my teeth.
Juice 3 | Support
Fennel is one of those dividing flavors, isn’t it? Cilantro is another. Some people live for it, others won’t go near it. Well, we’re definitely pro-fennel around these parts, in all of its forms (seeds, bulbs, all of it) and glorious glory.
This is another good, slightly sweet one. I love the mint, the fennel, the sweetness of the apple, and the spicy kick of the ginger. I’d choose this one at a juice bar.
At this point in the day though, I started feeling tired, but I’m pretty sure that’s more related to the lack of coffee than the lack of food. I was a little fuzzy-brained all day, but I was dealing with some stress on top of having zero coffee, so I wasn’t surprised to be a little lacking in focus.
Juice 4 | Young Love
This juice is easily one of my favorites. It’s thick, so it feels a bit more satisfying and meal-like than some of the others, and it’s just so damn good. It tastes like a berry smoothie.
One of the things I’m taking away from this is what I want to incorporate into my own daily life and routine, and learning to replicate this juice is one of those things. Shouldn’t be too hard, since all of those ingredients are things I either usually have or can get my hands on.
Let’s get real here: I was a little nervous about the chia seed part. Not because they’re chia seeds, I’ve had plenty and I dig ‘em, but I don’t like what happens when they get in water and all of a sudden it’s like you’re drinking gel or Jell-O and just no, no, no thank you. I’m cool with chia seeds in smoothies because I don’t notice a change in texture, but some people put chia seeds in water or kombucha, and you guys, I just can’t.
The texture of this is perfect, almost exactly like a shake or a smoothie.
Juice 5 | Beam
Welp, it had to be one of them. This was my least favorite of the juices. Now, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. I was expecting something of a sweet treat, especially seeing as this one contains carrots and yams. I often add carrots to green juices to cut through some of the grassiness and up the sweetness a little, so I thought this might be like that. It’s not. The dandelion greens and burdock flavors are pretty strong, and overall it’s a pretty bitter juice. Again, it’s not bad, I just don’t love it. Also, it didn’t seem as bitter on the second and third days as it did on the first. Perhaps my taste buds are adjusting?
The good stuff AKA why you’ll want to drink it anyway?
There’s, like, a million percent (or 1660%) of your daily Vitamin A in here for eagle-like vision, plus the goodness in here supports anti-aging, immunity, and liver health. Considering the amount of wine and whiskey I enjoy, GIMME.
Juice 6 | Nourish
FAVORITE. Well, tie between this one and the purple one, but MY GOD THIS IS GOOD. This is like drinking cinnamon vanilla milk while someone hugs you. It’s like horchata meets Chai. It’s the perfect one before bed because it’s so calming and soothing and spicy and delicious.
I’ve made some great stuff out of cashew milk and some spices, but this, this is a whole new level.
FAQs and the Get Real! Stuff
Would I do it again?
Would I pay for this one?
Probably. The juices were overall great (and the ones I didn’t like as much, I could tolerate), and the convenience of having them show up at my door all nice and labeled for me makes this so worth it.
How much coffee do I usually drink? How much alcohol?
I usually drink 2-3 cups of coffee every morning, between the hours of 8am and 12n. In the evenings, I average 2 glasses of wine, sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less, depending on whether or not there was a happy hour or I drank wine at home. Or both. Sometimes I have beer or whiskey, but I’ve been favoring a lot of awesome Oregon Pinot Noirs lately.
Was it tough to give up alcohol/caffeine?
I definitely felt the effects of cutting out coffee, and felt pretty tired/sluggish during parts of the first day. The second day was easier, but I made sure to get a lot of rest, and I’m sure having zero drinks before bed meant better quality sleep.
I don’t miss the alcohol, and in fact starting a weeknight routine of tea instead of wine is probably a good idea.
Did I miss anything/have cravings/get actually hungry?
Sort of. I started thinking about food a lot. A sure-fire sign that I’m on a juice cleanse? Watch my Pinterest boards. They explode with recipes, though, usually they’re very veggie heavy as I’m always inspired to keep this light and healthy feeling with me, even with the introduction of real food.
I thought about sandwiches a lot. I thought about what I’m going to eat when I’m done with this.
I never felt famished though. If my stomach started growling, it was usually close to time for another juice anyway. Plus, I drank a lot of water and tea, and I think that helped.
Anything I’m missing? Anything else you’re wondering? I addressed more general questions and concerns about juicing the first time around, so pop over to 5-Day Juice Cleanse, the FAQs for more on that.
Want to try this yourself?
The folks at Urban Remedy are currently offering a special for you wonderful readers. Choose a cleanse (any cleanse, minimum one day) and they’ll throw in one of their spikes (nutrition supplements for detox, de-stressing, digestion, and diet) for free. Just use code NOMADICFOODIE13 (yes, all caps) when you check out. Offer is good through December 31, 2013.