Yesterday I was given the opportunity to try Snap Kitchen’s Clean Start juice program for a day. Clean Start involves six 16-ounce bottles of juice that you drink each 2-3 hours. You can juice for as few or as many days (within reason) as you’d like. I get asked a lot of questions about juice cleanses and though I’m normally a skeptic about most food trends, I figured I should give it a shot in order to give people answers backed by experience. Plus it’s fun being your own guinea pig.
Before we get into the review, let me clarify what I mean when I use the word cleanse. I mean that the juices are all I had for the day. To cleanse is not to starve yourself of nutrients, and that’s what I liked about Snap Kitchen’s Clean Start program. To quote Snap’s dietitian, Andrea Hinsdale, “We believe in balanced nutrition and want to make sure that with approximately 1,200 calories per day, our juices will still give people enough energy to get to the gym and carry on with their busy lives. Our cold-pressed juices are just simple combinations of fruits and vegetables to help people reset and simplify with a day’s worth of nutrient-packed juices.” Because of that, I didn’t have the fear of being undernourished. If you’re a nutrition major like me, or if you’re just really into health, you know that such dilemmas can verge on becoming moral ones.
Super Greens: (1.5 pounds of nutrient dense greens) I started my day by going green in a major way. This juice is not joking around with the veggie flavor. The cucumber is the most notable ingredient, making the entire bottle taste very fresh. I drank this around 9 am, which left me feeling sluggish before my 11:30 class at CYC. Probably should’ve timed that one a little better.
Energy Boost: (110% of your daily vitamin C) downed this when I got home after CYC for a much needed energy boost. This one’s definitely sweeter and more fruity than the first juice, but still had that cucumber flavor… Not sure where that comes from. I liked the minty after taste I was left with following each sip.
Antioxidant: (over 1000% of your daily need of the antioxidant beta-carotene) I guess the Energy Boost juice didn’t pack the punch I thought it would because I needed a nap after drinking it. Luckily, I was able to wake up to this zinger of a drink. After reading the ingredients on the front of this juice (apples, carrots, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, red beets, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper), I was expecting a less fun version of a Bloody Mary, but that wasn’t it at all. The juice is somewhere between savory and sweet, leaving you with a little burn. To my surprise, it was my favorite juice of the first three.
Carrot Ginger Elixir: (1.5 pounds of carrots and apples) this juice tastes like something that should be served alongside a spicy tuna roll, though that might just be the cleanse talking. The fresh ginger flavor definitely comes through the sweet drink.
Spicy Basil Lemonade: (metabolism boosting cayenne and detoxifying lemon) I can’t say much more about this juice than its name already does. It’s not spicy enough to send you running for a bottle of water, but it does pack a little heat. It sent me down memory lane to the basil cocktail from Benjy’s in Houston so, if all else fails, add vodka. I was too full to finish the entire bottle, though it’s definitely the lightest of all the drinks.
Cashew Protein Shake: (11 grams of heart healthy fat) I was feeling hungry for the first time all day by the time I opened this bottle. And once I had my first sip, it was no surprise that this was my favorite drink. Its flavor is rich and nutty, with a slightly gritty texture due to the cinnamon. I would love to freeze this into ice cubes and then blend it up for a frozen treat. For those of you who can’t stomach food first thing in the morning, check this one out for a breakfast alternative.
Overall, the day of juice wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. My main concern going in was that I’d be uncomfortably hungry all day, but that never happened. (However, if you decide to have a go with Clean Start, Andrea says it’s ok to munch on some raw veggies between juices, should you feel the urge to chew something.) To my surprise, sometimes I even felt a little overly full due to the sheer volume of juice I was taking in. So while this wasn’t the painful experience as I feared it might be, I think I’ll be sticking with food from here on out. I don’t know if y’all can tell, but I kinda like it.
As far as getting back into food goes, then, I should tell you my plan. Today I’ll be eating according to my Spring Break Slender Down rest day plan, but with an added twist. For post-Clean Start purposes (and as part of an assignment for one of my classes…nutrition majors, go figure), tomorrow will be my first Meatless Monday. The purpose of ditching the beef after a day (or more) of juice is to ease your body back into usual digestion. Animal proteins require a lot of metabolic work, so taking it one step at a time and starting with all vegetarian protein sources is a good way to get back to normalcy without losing all of the previous day’s progress.
Breakfast: Snap Kitchen Maple Roasted Banana Oatmeal; 2 eggs
Lunch: homemade teriyaki tofu sushi; edamame; and blackberries
Snack: Fage 2% Greek yogurt and Fiber One
Dinner: Boca Original Vegan Burger with goat cheese and avocado; quinoa; edamame; steamed asparagus; baked eggplant
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for photos and details of today’s meals, as well as other healthy meal inspiration. If you have any questions regarding the cleanse, leave a question in the comments or call Snap Kitchen and get it from the horse’s mouth! Tell ‘em I sent ya.