Week 9: Juice Me Up

The new year tends to bring up all variations of personal resolutions to live healthier, eat better, exercise more often. Although I have in the past tried to do such things, I can’t ever remember being on an actual diet. So I decided to go on one of those juice cleanse diet things. What the heck — I love juice!

Plus one of my goals is to have a hot body by the time I’m 50. I know, I know, I already have a hot body you say, okay so a hotter body is the goal.

After looking into a few juice cleansing diet programs, I decided to go with Suja juices. They had a 1-, 3-, or 5- day plan. One didn’t seem enough, five was too much, three was just right. A few people I knew had tried it. There were also are a number of juice cleanse storefronts that were recommended to me, but quite frankly I liked the convenience of picking up the juices at my local Whole Foods. And I did think of getting a juicer, but I wanted to make sure I liked drinking these type of juices before committing to that expense. The ready-to-drink Suja juices seemed to fit into my lifestyle the best.

kecia photo

I did notice on Facebook that quite a few friends were on juice cleanses, planning to start something similar, or sharing lots of juice/smoothie recipes on Pinterest. So at least I’m not the only one out there thinking of juicing.

To get my body ready, a couple days before I started the juice diet, I drank some GreenFix Organic Smoothies that I got from their booth at the La Jolla Farmer’s Market. I also didn’t eat any red meat for a few days prior, which can be very difficult when I walk into the house and smell steaks being grilled.

Okay, here we go. Everyone I am in daily contact with has been forewarned, particularly my co-workers since I am there most of the day. I expect to become very grouchy without solid foods, especially without eating any chocolate.

Day One:

Breakfast – Suja Glow (apple, cucumber, celery, spinach, collard greens, kale, mint), very tasty and refreshing, 160 cal. (each bottle is 2 servings)

Mid-Morning Snack – Suja Fuel (carrots, orange, apple, pineapple, lemon, turmeric) also very flavorful and I love all the fruitiness, 180 cal. This ain’t so bad. Even though the first two juices were very delicious, my stomach is growling and I’ve been to the bathroom so many times. My bladder feels like it has shrank. I really should get some Depends.

Lunch – Suja Purify (carrots, apple, celery, cucumber, beet, lemon), again very tasty (I’m using that word too much), but a little heavier in consistency, 140 cal. I wonder, with all these carrots in my juices, will my eyesight get better? I will say it’s getting harder to keep drinking the juices even though they taste good. Here I am peeing again. Usually at home I practice the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” toilet flushing rule. But that would be a no-no at the office. I’m already looking at ways I can legally cheat on this diet. The Suja website says if you “must” eat then vegetables, fruits, half of an avocado, a baked sweet potato, or broth-based soup are acceptable. I am feeling bloated, yet my stomach is growling and I’m supposed to be drinking again in 15 minutes.

Mid-Afternoon Snack – Suja Fuji (apples, celery, cucumber, spinach, collard greens, kale, lemon, ginger), once again very good, but is getting to be a lot of liquids. 140 cal.

Dinner – Suja Green Supreme (apples, kale, lemon), 220 cal. (110 cal). My stomach continues to make noises (“feed me I’m begging you”), but I only drink half my dinner because I feel full. Even on a juice cleanse, my M.O. is still the same — save room for dessert!

Dessert – Suja Vanilla Cloud (coconut, honey, almonds, cherry, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, camu camu) – 260 cal (65 cal). I really thought I would finish this entire bottle. I was waiting all day for dessert. I end up drinking about a fourth. I just feel too full. I start feeling a slight headache.

The hardest part was coming home and smelling the comfort food of my youth, my dad was cooking chicken adobo. This week he decides to do all this cooking! My parents don’t think it’s healthy to not eat food (remember we’re Filipino where the mantra is “eat, eat”), and my kids think I’m crazy — what else is new? But when I had to go to Whole Foods to get the next days juice they were eager to ask that I stop by Sprinkles to get them their favorite cupcakes. Being the cool mom that I am, of course I happily do anything for my sweet baby boys. Yeah. So not only do I have to endure walking by and smelling all the delicious prepared dishes at Whole Foods on my way to the juices, but I have to go to Sprinkles and not have one bite of a cupcake! That is sacrifice my friends.

day one – about 795 calories – 40% of the recommended daily intake – yikes

Day Two:

I woke up with a headache and a growling stomach.

Breakfast – Glow: I felt much better after guzzling down the juice. 160 cal. So I walk into the office and smell blueberry bagels toasting. I decide to avoid the kitchen area as much as I can. I brought some grapes with me because I know for sure I will crave some solid food today.

Mid-Morning – Fuel: boy, this really tastes good, loving the pineapple flavor in there. 180 cal.

Lunch – Purify: Not as into it this time, I only drank half. 70 cal. By 3:00 my stomach is growling again.

Mid-Afternoon – Fiji: I’m getting tired of drinking and again only drink about half. I’m full. Although I find myself checking out Pinterest updates for all the food recipes. Pinterest is my food porn site. 70 cal.

Dinner – Green Supreme: I drank half. 110 cal.

Dessert – Vanilla Cloud: This is so weird, again only drank about a fourth. 65 cal. As I lazily lay in bed watching TV, I notice that there sure are lots of commercials about food. But hey, another day with no solid food. Wow, I’m doing pretty good.

day two – about 655 calories – 33% of the daily recommendation – I’m going to waste away

Day Three:

I woke up feeling fine, and realized I had been sleeping well.

Glow: The first drink of the day is always so refreshing. 160 cal.

Fuel: Continues to be so delicious, this juice is by far my favorite. 180 cal.

Purify: I finished the rest of the juice leftover from yesterday. 70 cal. I am now really fantasizing about food and planning out what I am eating tomorrow. But I can’t believe I haven’t resorted to eating any of my grapes. No headaches and I’m not acting like a bitch either. I’m doing it.

Fiji: Drank half. 70 cal.

Green Supreme: Drank half. 110 cal.

Vanilla Cloud: You would think by now I would finish the dessert, but no I only drink a fourth. 65 cal. While drinking my dessert, I watch Eat Street on the Cooking Channel, a show about food trucks. I am hooked on my food porn.

 day three – about 655 calories – 33% of the daily recommendation – I can’t believe I haven’t wasted away


At the stroke of midnight, I happily eat five milk chocolate covered almonds and drink a small glass of cold nonfat milk. I missed milk.

Day After: I wake up so ready for “real” food. I make myself two scrambled eggs with cheese, potatoes and a flour tortilla. Orange juice to drink. Then…I could barely eat my breakfast. Probably about a third. I can’t believe I’m not devouring my breakfast. I was so full. A shrunken stomach I assume. Once at the office, my co-worker Rosey gave me a bag of chocolate covered mangoes – two of my favorite flavors. They were very yummy…then the runs. I have no real problems with my bowel system during the cleanse, and the day after I have a problem! I guess it takes a while for my body to actually cleanse everything out. I did have a nice lunch of grilled snapper and steamed rice from El Pescador Fish Market. Now I feel normal.


Did I lose weight? To be honest, I have no idea. I don’t normally weigh myself, so when I started the cleanse I didn’t even think about doing so. When I did, it was late into day two. But I did feel better about myself, and I like the idea of shrinking my stomach naturally. Would I do it again? Probably, but not all three days. I think the one day cleanse would be good every now and then, and even substituting one meal a day with juices would be very doable. The intermittent fasting type of dieting. I will say that I did like the idea of buying prepared juices, primarily for the convenience factor. I really enjoyed the Suja juice flavors and I want to try the other flavors available. And when life slows down (will it ever), I would definitely consider buying a home juicer.

Overall, I am proud of myself for actually sticking to the juice diet plan and not succumbing to desires for solid food. I really thought I was going to cave in. I guess I had a little more determination than I anticipated. But after this juice cleanse, the colonics, and the mental cleansing — I’m done with cleansing weeks for this year. From now on, these weeks are going to be all fun, okay, mostly fun.


Soapbox: Okay, I actually went on a diet and completed the plan. I never dieted as a kid because I was always a skinny girl. As I started married life, I was trying to have a baby, having a baby, or nursing a baby, so not the times to diet. Afterwards, I still never felt the need to diet. Sure I want to lose those nagging last ten pounds of baby weight gain, but my doctor has never said anything about my weight. So, if she’s not worried, neither am I.

But why as a society are we obsessed with dieting? I’m sure it’s the product of an effective marketing plan. Maybe there’s some secret government funded line item. Then I heard about the recent Paleo Diet trend which supposedly reflects the eating habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. So are we going back to caveguys dragging their cavegals by the hair back to their caves too? Can’t we go back to some of those curvy body types shown in Renaissance art? I consider myself a Renaissance woman.

There was a TED talk recently discussing why diets don’t work and how in the U.S. 80% of 10-year-old girls have been on a diet. Is that the message we want to give our daughters? Look, I agree that being overweight or obese is unhealthy, but normal 10-year-old girls don’t need to be on a diet. And if they are overweight at that age, maybe we should be looking at their inactivity and the diet influences of their families. Yes, sometimes parents are to blame. Watch what you say to your daughters, and sons. A casual comment you make about their looks may influence about how they feel about themselves. This is particularly true of some cultures, my Filipino culture included. While we love to feed people, Filipinos don’t hold back on making comments about others appearances. A comment of “oh did you gain weight” doesn’t seem to be considered bad manners. And to a an already self-conscious teen, that could lead to a case of bulimia. Why do we make others feel that way? I would rather comment on how wonderful it was that the kids organized a food drive for the homeless shelter. That should be the focus. Your inner beauty, not the outward appearance.

Look, you want to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. Watch what you eat and the amount you eat…and be more active. Take the stairs, park far away at the mall, and walk to the store. We all know what to do. There’s no magic pill.

Besides the dieting soapbox, I had another observation. The longer I went without solid food, the more I concentrated on eating. Although my stomach felt full, I was hungry. And I wondered — is this how undernourished children feel…when they are at school? At home trying to study? During the summers or weekends when no school meals are provided? Kids don’t learn when they are hungry. Kids don’t do well on tests when they are hungry. While we as a society spend all this time and money on the business of dieting, maybe we should focus on feeding the hungry. What does it say about us when we starve ourselves on purpose? And not for political reasons either, but to make us look like some cover model – whose photo has probably been, as we say, adjusted?

Again I sound hypocritical during this journey since I did this juice cleanse thing and now railing against dieting. But along the way, we all grow and learn a little more about ourselves and life in general. Shouldn’t we be learning something new everyday anyway? I was determined to finish the three juice days because I really wanted food. My mind was on the food as a reward, not much of anything else. Hungry kids probably think the same way. Get me through these first few hours of school so I can get some lunch. There is no concentration on studies when your body wants nutrition.

These kids are our future. Flowers won’t bloom if they are not fed.


No Kid Hungry, www.nokidhungry.org

Suja Juice, www.sujajuice.com. The juice cleanses are available in 1-, 3-, or 5- day packs and run approximately $50 a day. Individual juices can also be purchased. Order online, or shop at your local Whole Foods.

GreenFix Organic Smoothies, www.greenfixsmoothy.com. Juices available in 16 oz. $5, 32 oz. bottle $8, or gallon bottle $29. Visit website for farmer’s market and store locations.