Our bodies are constantly providing us with feedback, but how well are we listening? Using the language of feeling or sensation, what we feel isn’t random or without purpose, but our body’s unique way of informing our mind of what we’re doing to it in hopes of guiding us in the future. Everything from feeling clear-minded and energized to being tired, cloudy-minded and achy is our body’s way of communicating if we’re treating ourselves well or not. There’s no doubting our bodies are honest in their feedback, but what are we doing with this information?
Unfortunately, according to State Health Statistics by America’s Health Rankings, Americans aren’t doing much. Not only are American’s health rates deteriorating, with 1 in 3 U.S. adults (an estimated 68 million) having high blood pressure, and an equal amount of Americans suffering from high cholesterol rates, but obesity is on the rise and more Americans are getting sick at an alarming rate, with an average 1 of 3 million citizens missing work due to sickness each month in 2013. While not all medical conditions are directly related to what we eat, many are, and therefore it’s important to treat our bodies well in order to have a positive overall impact on our health.
The food we consume provides our bodies with the “information” and the materials needed to function properly. Too much food or foods with too little nutritional content provides the wrong instructions and can lead us to become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for the development of diseases and conditions. Since food acts a medicine to maintain, prevent, and treat disease, it’s important to treat food like we would any other medicine, and have the correct dosage on a regular basis to not only feel well but to be well.
While the latest dietary guidelines call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day (2 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups per day) depending on one’s caloric intake, it can be challenging to consume that amount of fresh produce daily, and therefore most Americans fall short of obtaining their magic number. While eating foods in their raw state is ideal, there is a more convenient way to help our bodies get the nutrients it deserves and provide a “break” from digesting food in order for our bodies to focus on repairs. The answer is found in juice cleanses.
Juice cleanses have been gaining notoriety recently, with everyone from celebrities to wellness coaches and even Dr. Oz jumping on the bandwagon in support, and for good reason. Juice cleanses aren’t simply a trend, but rather a reset to help remind ourselves of what exactly we need to be healthy, gain awareness of what we’re putting into our bodies on a regular basis, and to help our minds have a clearer communication channel with our bodies in regards to listening to our internal feedback.
I had completed a one day cleanse before which completely changed my outlook on my body and health and motivated me to look into juicing more seriously. After gaining a clearer mind, achieving higher levels of focus, and having more energy than I have had in years, I searched out to find what I found to be the best three day juice cleanse to see if I would achieve the same if not enhanced results the second time around. After researching all available delivery juice cleanses, I decided to reach out to Vibrant Earth Juices based out of Denver, Colorado, to see if I could try their three-day juice cleanse to share my experience with all of our readers.
Vibrant Earth Juices was developed by nutritionist Jill Latham who holds a Masters of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science and is a Registered Dietitian. It felt great that Jill was able to use her strong scientific knowledge and research-based Nutrition practices to ensure that only the best quality ingredients in the ideal portions were used in creating Vibrant Earth Juices. Not only does this brand use only pesticide-free, organic produce from “green” local farmers and growers to be used in the juices, but they also include flax oil which no other company I found included, which aids in making sure that your body digests the maximum vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals found in raw, live juice.
After prepping a few days beforehand, having only organic fruits and veggies and drinking plenty of water, I was ready for my first three-day juice cleanse.
Vibrant Juice is overnighted to ensure that only the freshest juice arrives for your cleanse. Mine arrived in the early afternoon due to a winter storm that made UPS take my package on a longer unexpected route, but it typically arrives in the morning. All of the juices were wonderfully packed with proper insulation and I was especially excited about the containers’ boxy shape that would allow me to stack them in my fridge, thus taking up less room. One of the juices leaked slightly but it was easy to clean up, and the juice that did leak was still completely full and therefore I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any juice.
The first juice of the day is an Energy-inspired blend made from kale, romaine, dandelion, parsley, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon and flax oil. Initially, the juice didn’t come off very sweet to me, having more of a “green” taste, which could have been partially due to the use of parsley, but around halfway through I learned to love this drink. The addition of dandelion and parsley was unique to me, as I had never attempted juicing with either of the ingredients before, but after finding out that dandelion improves gastrointestinal health, assists in weight reduction and can lower high blood pressure, I was impressed and equally surprised that I haven’t tried it in my green drinks previously. The addition of flax oil in these drinks has a variety of health benefits as well, ranging from lowering cholesterol levels to improving kidney function and acting as a natural laxative. The overall taste and quality of this drink was so unique and superior to other juices I’ve had in the past and helped me realize how green juice should taste. This is a great morning drink to start your day off on the right foot.
The second juice of the day is a blend of pineapple, pear, lemon and mint juice with flax oil added. My favorite of all the juices, this fruit blend tastes like heaven in a cup and I would honestly drink this daily if I could. The flavors of the juices truly shine through, and without the added sugar you often get in purchasing the juice at the grocery store, I didn’t feel bloated or sick after consuming each serving. This juice helped me stay excited about the cleanse and made me feel like I was getting a morning sweet treat!
This was the first time I had seen almond mylk listed as the third drink of the day instead of the evening dessert. I enjoyed this very much, as instead of looking forward to the dessert all day (and thus feeling deprived during the day) you’re able to have it as a filling lunch. The ‘Refresh’ drink is quite honestly the best almond mylk I’ve had on any cleanse and the addition of dates and vanilla bean give the beverage a vanilla milkshake type taste and consistency. I was so impressed by this drink I saved a little to give to family members who were equally as impressed. While there is no dairy in this beverage, and rather contains filtered water, there was nothing watered-down about this taste and kept me full and satisfied through mid-day.
The fourth juice of the day is identical to juice 1, both being ‘Energy’ to help fight off any afternoon sluggishness and provide some filling vegetables after such a sweet almond mylk earlier. I often found myself blending some ice to have with this drink to add a thicker consistency and help me feel like I was eating. This juice is just as equally delicious in the afternoon as it is first thing in the morning.
The fifth juice of the day, and “dinner” is a blend of kale, beets, carrot, apple, strawberry, cucumber, ginger and flax oil. I was a little apprehensive about this drink as I’m not a fan of beets, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this beverage. The addition of kale, carrot, cucumber, and ginger provides a nice balance to the sweet apples and strawberries in the drink, while the beets act more of a thickening agent so you truly feel like you’re having juice and not just flavored water. I added crushed ice to this juice, to make it especially cold and to create more of a smoothie consistency, and I loved that ‘purify’ had ingredients to help purify the blood, prevent various forms of cancer, and fight off depression due to containing tryptophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate. After this drink you feel satisfied and at peace, not to mention proud of yourself for making it this far into the day on juice alone!
The final drink of the day, “Detox” is a blend of unsweetened cranberry juice, flax meal, and filtered water. This juice actually provides solid flax meal in the beverage, which allows some chewing and solid food to end the day with. In my mind, I imagined the drink being my boba replacement for the three days, as I used a thick straw to get a bit of the cranberry juice and flax meal with each sip. There is a smell of the flax meal in the juice which surprised me a bit as I wasn’t expecting that, but the taste is great and helps end the night on a ‘light’ note, feeling healthy instead of stuffed.
Vibrant Earth Juices is my favorite juice cleanse I’ve had thus far. Each juice feels like you’re having complete fruit and vegetable juice, not just some juice, and the rest water. Not only that, but Vibrant Earth Juices contains a significant amount of daily vegetable requirements, which often takes more produce to yield juice rather than using say apples. By having more vegetable juice than fruit, you don’t crash on this juice cleanse as you may on others that contain an overwhelming amount of daily fruit sugars. Likewise, on this juice cleanse I started noticing the health benefits almost instantly. Not only did I have increased energy beginning on the first afternoon, but my taste palate adjusted to craving healthier alternatives, and my sense of taste was heightened by the first evening. I didn’t crave solid foods on this cleanse once, as I remained completely satisfied with the juices and that’s impressive to me as I had plenty of holiday leftover food and treats around the house.
Since many people consider trying a juice cleanse for weight loss purposes, I did lose and successfully keep off four pounds in the three days, however, the health benefits were greater to me than simply weight loss. After the cleanse, I found that it took less food to make me feel satisfied than before the cleanse, and the food that I did consume included healthier options than I would have chosen previously. I started craving avocado on whole wheat toast as an example, instead of late night cereal or ice cream and I was able to understand my body talking to me better than before. I drink more water after the cleanse than I previously did, and my mental clarity, as well as energy levels, are still elevated.
It does take motivation to be on a juice cleanse as we have become addicted to eating food for emotional comfort and out of boredom as a human race, but in choosing the right juice to cleanse you’ll be surprised to find that it’s actually quite simple and you won’t feel deprived at all. I was actually quite surprised at how much being on a juice cleanse made my days easier, as I didn’t have to cook, clean dishes or grocery shop, and my juice was ready at any time if I was on the go. I didn’t feel hungry at any point on the cleanse, and rather I was motivated to stay on the cleanse as I was accomplishing more throughout my day, needed less sleep to wake up feeling rested, and overall felt ‘lighter’ and more in sync with my body.
If you want to jump start your health goals, spending one to three days on a juice cleanse is a great way to reset your cravings, get your appetite under control, and have your mind and body be at peace. I highly suggest Vibrant Earth Juice as the cleanse of choice, as it worked the best for me in both keeping me satisfied and fighting off cravings as well as producing the most health benefits. The cost can be off-setting for many at an average of $65 a day, but for how much fresh produce you’re consuming and the health benefits your body will receive, I genuinely think the price is justified.
If you would like to find out more about Vibrant Earth Juices including more information on their founder Jill Latham and pricing, visit their website at http://vibrantearthjuices.com