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This piece is derived from my journal – a tattered pink notebook that used to say Thursday across the cover before all the letters faded off. I carry it with me and fill the pages with sights and smells, feelings and phrases, to save and stock-pile for future stories or letters yet to be sent. I committed myself to a juice cleanse, or a life cleanse as I now refer to it. I started prescribing advice and warnings of potential downfalls inside my notebook. It made the whole process feel greater, bigger. For five days, I had nothing but water and six juices a day from sun up to sundown. I wrote it all down: the good parts and the bad. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. The information here is given to you via Suja juice and my own personal experience.

Suja Juice and You:

Suja Juices are made in San Diego from all organic fruits and vegetables. Their carefully crafted recipes are designed to keep you happy, healthy and hydrated during your cleansing journey. Created by founder Eric Ethans and co-founder Annie Lawless, who have both dedicated their life and passion to helping others live a healthy life, Suja Juices are the freshest juices on the market. They are 100 percent certified organic and packed full of nutrients. The genius of Suja Juice is in the science. When they say, “fresh pressed, ” they really mean it. Their juices are cold-pressed through a hydraulic press. This ensures that all of your nutrients and enzymes stay in tact and are delivered to you through their beautifully bottled juices. Then, to extend the freshness and shelf life of the juices, they undergo an HPP (High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing) method, which means that immediately after the juices are pressed, they take an ice bath and pressure is applied to remove all oxygen and pathogens so the juices stay tasty! Suja juice is using the perfect combination of nature and science to get you the best product available today. Stores like Whole Foods carry Suja juices. You can also place orders online, and they will ship to your doorstep, anywhere in the country!

Pre-Cleanse:

Listen to your body during this experience. You may need to tailor these instructions to better suit your particular lifestyle. I recommend, two days before you cleanse, to narrow your diet down to fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut out all alcohol, excess salts, refined sugars, white breads and processed foods. If this alone seems like a shock to your system, then give yourself a week to start adjusting to this new way of eating, and start by cutting back one thing at a time. Ease your body into this adventure. The idea of a cleanse extends far beyond the three or five days you have committed. Cleansing is an opportunity to give your body and digestive track a rest. Think of it as spring-cleaning for your insides. There are so many beneficial side effects like weight loss, brighter skin, better digestion and more energy. Suja Juice wants to help you realign your relationship to food and nutrition through a healthy lifestyle.

Meet my Suja Cleanse juices:

Suja makes eleven juice flavors, and these are the six flavors included in my five-day cleanse. Each bottle is 16 ounces of pure deliciousness and nutrition and the entire week-long cleanse package is $270.
#1 Glow is a hearty green color made of green apple, cucumber, celery, collard, spinach, kale and mint. It’s tasty and refreshing.
#2 Fuel is made of carrot, apple, pineapple, orange, lemon and turmeric.
#3 Purify is made of carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, lemon and beets.
#4 Spark is made of water, strawberry, lemon, raspberry, honey, tart cherry, cayenne and stevia. This one seemed the strangest to me at first, but by the end of the week, it was my jam. I looked forward to it all day.
#5 Green Supreme is made of apple, kale and lemon.
#6 Vanilla Cloud contains almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean, honey and filtered water.

Day One:

I stayed in bed far longer today than I normally would have without the prospect of my ritual cup of coffee and poached eggs over toast. I have to admit I feel intimidated about starting the cleanse, but also really excited. I have a few extra pounds that I would like to say goodbye to. I am still fighting a bit of a head cold and nothing is working to kick it, so this is either a really good or really bad idea to start cleansing today. To alkalize my body on the first day, as suggested by Suja, I prepared myself a glass of warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and lemon, which must be an acquired taste. I washed the dishes to try and buy some time. Ten minutes went by. I was hungry. I was really hungry. I went ahead and drank my first juice. The juices are all labeled one through six, and as the day passes, you move from one number to the next. My first juice is a gorgeous green color that might scare some people off, but do not let it. It is refreshing and delicious. I spent this first day oscillating between real hunger and enthusiasm over this adventure. They say hunger is normal the first day or so but that my body will adjust. I’m waiting for that adjustment. I feel more tired than usual and a bit foggy like I can’t really think straight. I am made very aware that this will be a test of my will power more than anything else. I want this. Today, I weigh in at 132 pounds.

Day Two:

The head cold I had is a distant memory. I can’t believe that just one day of juices took care of it. I feel so much better! On another note, I didn’t stay busy enough yesterday. I left too much time in the day to obsess over eating. My first recommendation would be to stay busy, not necessarily active, but busy. Watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk, take up knitting. Today, I went down to the beach, because October decided it wanted to belong to summer as well. I packed #2 and #3 juices in a cooler bag with ice packs and went swimming in the ocean. I needed to be shocked awake, because I felt like I had been stuck in a fog since I started the cleanse. As far as the taste of the juices, I think #2 is my favorite. I love carrot juice. I was running all over the beach and swimming in the waves. This high was short lived though, and I downed #3 less than two hours later. Delicious. In the evening, I hung out with my girlfriends while they sipped wine and made cookies. This was the hardest time so far. Just say no. It seems like the hardest part is breaking the habit of eating. I don’t think I am actually hungry.

Day Three:

Day three was a high point. If I had to title the day I would call it acceptance. I had so much energy. I woke up and was thrilled to drink my juice. I think my taste buds are more sensitive and maybe stronger if that’s even possible? Everything is more delicious. I think my body is adjusting, and I decided I would try some exercise. I went to yoga; a non-heated class for 45 minutes rather than my usual heated hour-long class. I felt great. I did get light headed from time to time, but I just paced myself and listened to my body. I recommend that if you are going to exercise during the cleanse, you must remember you are only consuming 1200 calories a day. Do a subdued version of your usual workout and only if you feel up to the task. Do not push your body. This is all about listening to how you feel. I can also tell today that I am loosing weight. I don’t have a lot of weight to lose, maybe 5 or so vanity pounds, but those are falling off as the days pass by. I also decided to clean out my house today. I figured that if I am cleaning out my body I should do the same to my surroundings. Today I was really feeling the whole spirit of the cleanse. Today, I weighed in at 129 pounds.

Day Four:

I miss coffee. I really truly miss coffee, and I think that just proves that my body had grown accustomed, or addicted, to my caffeine intake. I am going to try and extend my coffee hiatus until after the cleanse. I don’t know how long but I feel pretty inspired by this whole thing to clean out my whole life. Today was rough. I was super moody all day. I found myself more than once wanting to throw a fit and literally wondering what life was all about. I really wasn’t anticipating an emotional response to the cleanse, but here I am. I should be locked away until this whole thing is over. Do not let my frank honesty about the hard times deter you. It takes will power and a strong desire for a certain quality of life to see this through, but I believe it is worth it. I can tell my energy levels are affected. It is a new and a very clean energy that feels much different from my usual caffeine fueled state. Also, my skin looks amazing. I have had several people tell me today that I am glowing. Most of the time I don’t feel hungry, but I still have the desire for certain foods. I think it’s more of a social thing. Eating is a very social aspect of our culture and breaking out of that has proved to be the hardest part. I have made a new board on Pinterest and pinned about a million and five recipes for when I am done with this. I will never take food for granted again.

Day Five:

I don’t know if it’s because the end is near or that my body has finally realized that this is what’s going on, but I feel totally normal today. I feel like I am functioning at the right level again. My body and brain have met back up in the middle and are ready to see this through. It also helps that I kept super busy today. I didn’t throw any fits. I didn’t obsess over food. I didn’t even feel hungry. I honestly feel like I could keep on going. I am, of course, looking forward to eating again. I have lost seven pounds. I feel great. I am sleeping a bit lighter, but when I wake up I feel well rested and pop out of bed far earlier than I would have before. I refuse to go back to eating anything other than just what my body needs. I see no reason to go above and beyond with heavy meals and “bad” foods. I am seriously dedicated to staying on this path. I think other than my waistline, the most affected part of me is my will power. I am so proud of myself for seeing this through. It’s been hard but I look and feel better than I have in so long. Today, I weighed in at 125.

Post-Cleanse:

The day after I completed the cleansing program there were no trumpets blowing, no great feasts to be had, no one hugging me at the finish line. It’s just me. I am still me. I am the only one who was ever being held accountable. On the other side of this journey, I feel accomplished. I have no desire to go rushing to the refrigerator. I read that easing back into food is just as important as the cleanse itself. You do not want to shock your body on reentry. I started with a fruit bowl for breakfast, a kale, apple, and celery juice for lunch, and for dinner, I had some brown rice and steamed veggies. The Pinterest recipes? Maybe there will be a time and a place for those, but for now, I am sticking to extremely basic foods. The size of my stomach has shrunk, so I have to be careful not to eat too much. Everything tastes better than I remember. My relationship to food has been forever altered. I think that was the whole point. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I feel thankful.

I whole-heartedly endorse this product and this experience. Yes, weight loss is often a side effect of a cleanse, but it is not the whole point. The experience tested my will power, my focus and my relationship with myself. I feel great, but it was hard work.

Where you can get Suja juices

Visit their website for locations: www.sujajuice.com

Whle Foods Market
www.wholefoodsmarket.com
Locations all over

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