Juice Queen {FOOD – Evolution Fresh Juice at Starbucks}

It is somehow strangely fitting that the week I sell my Breville juicer to a friend (it was just sitting around in  my kitchen collecting dust), I become addicted to the new green juice at Starbucks.

I certainly don’t regret selling it. Juicing is way too much work and I just don’t have the time or desire to make my own… And not owning a juicer makes me enjoy the Starbucks juices even more (no guilt for buying when I could, conceivably, make my own).

The Starbucks juices are not their own brand; Sbux has partnered with Evolution Fresh to sell bottled, cold-pressed juices in Sbux stores around the city (not sure if all Starbucks are doing this or just NYC stores, to be honest).

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My drink of choice has been the Sweet Greens and Lemon Juice. I have it for breakfast since I’m usually not that hungry in the morning (IBS = morning bloating) and actually since I started drinking these for breakfast (most of last week) the bloat has significantly improved. (Which makes me more hungry, which makes me want more than juice, ha.)

Ingredients: celery, apple, cucumber, spinach, parsley, romaine lettuce, lemon, lime, wheat grass, and clover sprouts. (The only non-fodmaps-friendly ingredient here is apple.)

At only 80 calories and 16 grams of (plant-based) sugars per bottle, I think this is a pretty healthy juice choice. The sugar content sounds a bit high, but come on – it’s juice, people – of course it’s mostly sugar. If having a juice for breakfast makes my stomach feel better I will certainly try it for a while.

The price tag is $5.95 for the bottle though I do have a reusable $1 off coupon I’ve been using (only good until the 27th). I’ll probably keep getting it for breakfast until then and reevaluate if the money is worth it.

The benefits so far of having this juice for breakfast – first, it really is helping the bloat which is huge for me. I don’t know if you have ever been plagued with constant bloat but it is miserable. I don’t want to start up into a negative, complaining rant here, so I will keep it brief, but living with a distended stomach 95% of the time is generally unpleasant, terrible for body image, frustrating when you have to wear anything but stretchy pants, and uncomfortable while working out (or doing anything really – including simply sitting at a desk). After over 8 years of living with IBS (it really hit sometime in my freshman year of college, though I’d had minor symptoms starting in middle or high school) I *still* haven’t learned the best way to manage it. FODMAPs honestly does work, but I am so bad about being strict enough – too many lists to memorize, and very difficult to eat anything without first checking online to see if it’s an “OK” food. (Yes I should dedicate a month to figuring this out. No I don’t know when.) Second benefit, it’s delicious!

The cons of having juice for breakfast – it’s pricey and it’s not that filling. Though “not that filling” is kind of a pro because I generally have my biggest meals of the day for lunch and dinner and I don’t enjoy having a large breakfast.

I have juiced in the past and the Evolution Fresh recipe is close to what my favorites always were – lots of greens, about 1/2 an apple, lots of lemon, plus ginger (Evolution is missing the ginger). Here are some of my faves (I love looking down memory lane – most of these posts are from the summer of 2009 when I was out in Cali).

There you have it.

Will you try Starbucks’ green juice (they have other Evolution Fresh juices, too, by the way – not only green juices)? Are the Starbucks near you selling these juices?

Keri’s 8 Foods Cleanse [The New You (and improved!) Diet]

A few weeks ago I received a copy of Keri Glassman’s new book, The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever (it’s on the the Kindle too).

new-you-and-improved-diet

I was very excited for this book because Keri’s 3 taglines for this book are:

  • Eat more, not less!
  • Catch some zzz’s!
  • And have more sex (you heard me!)

Sounds like a plan anyone in their right mind would want to follow and enjoy following – nothing like the typical restrictive diet.

Keri catapults you right into her plan. She intros a quickstart “Eight Foods Cleanse” early on – page 27 to be exact. I figured if I am going to give this book a proper review (to come…) I should at least try out the cleanse. To be honest, I haven’t ever really followed a proper “diet” plan. I generally just try to eat less/move more. I’m really interested to see if I feel any different at the end of this “cleanse”. In the past I’ve tried doing the “raw/juicing” thing, “macrobiotic“, etc…

Cleanse… yes, that word with bad connotations. Keri’s 8 Foods Cleanse is not really a cleanse in the usual sense of the word – no long days of sipping juices with your stomach rumbling – this cleanse is simply eating a few simple, wholesome foods for just 4 short days.

I am jumping right in today, though I did make a few mods based on what I had in my kitchen this morning (yes this was a last minute decision). I’ll go shopping tonight for the proper ingredients! Here’s what my day will look like:

  • Breakfast is 1 egg and 2 egg whites with black pepper and ground black sesame (those spices are my own touch on this). I’m also having a cup of organic coffee with unsweetened almond milk and this chocolate stevia (Thanks Ron!). (Keri’s plan doesn’t include coffee… I am easing my way into this, so I’m gonna have it for now.)
  • No morning snack – I have breakfast ~10am so there is no time for a snack before lunch.
  • Lunch – a salad of romaine, seaweed, tomato, apple (leftovers) + 1/2 cup chickpeas + 1 hard boiled egg + 2 teaspoons EVOO. (Yum!)
  • Snack: 1 Ronnybrook plain whole milk yogurt with cinnamon. (This is what I have in the fridge – this is off plan.)
  • Dinner: TBD – Salmon & greens I believe, and I need to go get an avocado.

This cleanse may be a little low in calories, but it’s only 4 days – and after a few months of indulging (during renovations we didn’t have a kitchen – and even if you’re careful, eating out for every single meal can get really old really fast). I think I can follow it for 4 days and then start adding in more of Keri’s favorite Empowering Foods.

I’ll be back later with my take on the rest of Keri’s Diet Rules – one of them is “Clean Out Your Closet” – so you know I am gonna love it.

Breaking the Fast

More Blueprint Cleanse Info:

I opted for Level 3: Excavation. This is the most intense level because the juices are all green; the other levels have more fruit juices. Dori did Level 1: Renovation (she likes green juice, but not the romaine that BPC adds).

6 juices per day.

  1. no.1: Green juice – romaine, celery, cucumber,green apple, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon.
  2. no.2: Green juice – romaine, celery, cucumber, green apple, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon, ginger.
  3. no.3: Green juice – romaine, celery, cucumber, green apple, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon.
  4. no.4: Spicy Lemonade – filtered water,lemon, agave nectar, cayenne.
  5. no.5: Green juice – romaine, celery, cucumber, green apple, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon.
  6. no.6: Nut milk – filtered water, raw cashews, agave nectar, vanilla bean, cinnamon.

I would definitely be able to make most of these – they are really similar to the green juices I was having over the summer.

I had a lot of trouble today. I woke up and did the 30-day shred, so I probably set myself up for being hungry all day long. By 2:30pm I had finished 4 juices – leaving just 2 for the rest of the night. I also cheated and had 2 cups of coffee with a little bit of the nut milk.

At 5:00pm, instead of going for one of the remaining juices (green or cashew milk) I went downstairs to a cafe and got a banana. I tried to chew it well so as not to overwhelm my stomach. I sipped water until I went home from work around 7:30pm. I did not want any more juice. I saved the green one and the cashew milk for later. I might have the green juice tomorrow morning.

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Bobby made healthy fried rice for dinner, so I had a big bowl of that. I pretty much only ate the rice because I wanted to stick with one type of food – it’s easier for digestion if you have just carbs, or just protein, etc…

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Bobby makes the best fried rice. And after dinner I had 2 cookies made by Auntie Jo.

My stomach actually feels okay – I was so so hungry all day today no matter how much I drank or ate and I was worried that when I started eating lots of solids I would feel terrible. But it’s okay so far… I’ll let you know how it pans out. I still feel hungry and I know I’ve had enough – it was a lot of rice.

I don’t know if I would do a cleanse like this again. For one thing, it’s really expensive! It’s $195 for 3 days (but I had 25% off so it was about $146). That’s a little more than $8/juice… which is pretty standard, but I can’t justify it. Especially since it wasn’t enough and I had to eat additional stuff each day. I think if I want to do this in the future I’ll just “juice ‘til dinner” and make my own juices. I’m going to NJ tomorrow so I’ll bring back my Breville juicer this weekend.

Overall – I’m really glad I did it. My stomach is/was flat for a few days and I lost the bloating. It made me realize the importance of appreciating food and not going overboard. It made me recognize that I need to be gentle to my stomach/digestive system because it’s sensitive. But I am SO glad it’s over.

If I don’t post tomorrow… Happy New Year! What are your plans? We’re going to New Jersey tomorrow after work and we’re going to a friend’s house for a small party. I think we’re coming back into the city on Saturday (Bobby is seeing a Nets vs. Cavaliers game).

Blueprint Cleanse: Days 1 and 2

I mentioned yesterday that I was doing the Blueprint Cleanse – it’s a “cleanse” (I hesitate to use that term, because it gives the wrong impression) that consists of 6 juices a day – 4 green juices, 1 spicy lemonade, and 1 thick and creamy nut milk (each 16 ounces). But I’m cheating. Well, let me just do the recap and I’ll explain more later…

BPCgroup1

Guidelines: 1) You are supposed to wait at least an hour between juices; 2) you can drink unlimited herbal tea and water; 3) you’re supposed to finish at least 2 hours before bed; 4) there are some allowed “cheat” foods.

And guess what? Dori is doing this with me! We wanted to do it together for moral support 🙂 We’ve been gchatting all day long.

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Monday – Day 1

6:15am – I wake up. I drink a big mug of water, lemon juice, and cinnamon from 6:30-7:30am while I’m doing work. I also take a probiotic and 2 maca tablets.

7:30am – I do a 30 minute exercise video from ExerciseTV.

9:15am – I get to work and I’m a little hungry so I have my first juice. It’s a green juice and it’s delicious. I drink water and tea after it.

11:45am – I have my second juice. I’m not that hungry, but I figured it was time. This is another green juice.

12:00pm – Oops, maybe I am hungry. Hm. Drink some more tea.

12:30pm – Okay, I really am hungry. I break into juice number 3. It’s another green juice. Yum! I have more tea and more water.

2:45/3:00pm – Yeah, hungry again. I have juice number 4, which is a spicy lemonade (filtered water, lemon, agave nectar, cayenne). I don’t see how this will keep me full for long. I keep having water and herbal tea.

4:30pm – I don’t want to drink anymore because I keep having to pee! This is a lot of liquid.

4:45/5:00pm – Very hungry, so I have juice number 5 (green juice). Yikes – Am I supposed to last on one juice for the rest of the night??

6:30pm – I take a sip of the last “juice” (cashew nut milk with cinnamon) and I’m kind of grossed out. I thought this was supposed to be the best one! It’s heavy and thick and the cinnamon makes it terrible.

7:00pm – I’m talking to Bobby complaining about how horrible this is and how I should never have done it. He says to suck it up.

7:30pm – I get home and drink the rest of the nut milk. It grows on me, but it’s still not my favorite.

8:00pm – I need to chew something. I break out the celery (a cheat food) and have celery dipped in maple syrup (not technically on the cheat list, but maple syrup is in lots of “cleanses” so I figure it’s okay). I also make 2 lemonades (lemon juice, water, and a whole lot of maple syrup).

10:00pm – I go to bed. This is the earliest I have gone to bed since… I don’t even know when. Probably middle school.

blueprint-cleanse

Tuesday

Honestly, pretty similar to Monday (but no exercise in the morning – I slept in and then did some errands). But today I cheat a little bit – I have a cup of coffee with some of the cashew milk in the afternoon, and then I have a cup of decaf after that.

At night, I can’t stomach the cashew milk. It’s heavy and it tastes weird to me. Why does everyone else seem to love it? I opt for a big bowl of steamed broccoli topped with some olive oil (I need the fats if I’m not having the nut milk), maple syrup, nutritional yeast (a nutritional powerhouse), and some dill.

Now I’m sipping some extra lemonade that I made (lemon juice, water, maple syrup).

Maybe I’ll go to bed early again tonight… or maybe I’ll do some work. I have some stuff I wanted to get done before tomorrow.

How do I feel?

Honestly, the best I have in a long time. I have a pretty bad case of IBS (or something?) and I was constantly bloated for the last month (at least)… but not now. I obviously can’t live on green juices for the rest of my life, but this is a nice break. I’m looking forward to my last day (tomorrow, Wednesday), but after that I’ll go back to eating normal foods. Maybe my stomach will be okay for a few days – I can only hope!

Maybe this shows that you can do a healing cleanse without being unhealthy or miserable. I don’t know if I would recommend doing this without cheating, because it doesn’t seem like a lot of calories, especially if you are tall (I’m just about 5’10”) or active. For me it’s been awesome because I feel like my digestive system is finally working properly.

I’ll do a more detailed post of exactly what the juices contained, the instructions that come with them, and more – after my final day.

Have you ever done anything like this? Or any other type of “cleanse”?