Way back when, in the early days of BAB, we had a series called Flab to Fab, which chronicled some health and weight loss tips that had worked for us. Those of you paying attention on Instagram a couple weeks ago might have noticed this pop up as a hashtag as I embarked on a three-day juice cleanse. Health, happiness and general badassery have always been a part of the BAB way, but after some time of doing Flab to Fab, we started receiving a fair amount of backlash (this was around the same time that the Wedding Industrial Complex started really beating it into brides’ heads that they should be “sweating for the wedding” or “losing for the dress” or whatever lame crap they came up with). But, many of our real brides have continued to discuss losing weight for the wedding, whether it’s because they want to feel healthier, they want to feel more confident or they just plain need to in order to fit into their frock without extra alterations.
Since I work full-time for BAB in addition to my other projects, I am prone to spending multiple hours in front of my computer and very often lack any sort of motivation for working out. I don’t have a car and the nearest gym is a bajillion miles away. I’m not much of a runner. I kinda hate yoga (yeah, that’s a thing) and swimming is my preferred form of fitness, but it’s hard to find a pool in the vicinity that isn’t swarming with kids who impede my laps. So, I’m pretty freaking sedentary. I do walk a lot, as that’s the only way for me to get around town to meet up with my peeps, but that’s kind of it. And guys, this summer was a helluva summer — cookouts, tacos, parties, bars, tacos, cocktails, lounging, tacos …
September hit, and so did a whole pile of work. I was feeling sluggish, squishy and just kinda gross in general. My 5’2″ frame was carrying 145 lbs., which is … well, a lot for my size and is considered overweight. I was less than enthralled with the way I looked in photos and most certainly with the way my clothes were fitting — especially exasperating considering I loathe buying clothes that aren’t adorable dresses. I knew that I had to do something to kick my own ass into gear so I’d survive this month-ish of 10+ hour work days and weddings and birthdays and conferences. My system needed a reset.
I started by examining some of the meals we had been making at home. I cook a lot, so it was just a matter of swapping out this for that in many recipes — we had an entire week of meals that pretty much consisted of legumes rather than meats — and working on portion control. I’ve always been good about drinking water (how could one not be when they have the cutest water bottle in the world?), but I made a decision to increase my intake.
And then I was approached by JUS by Julie to see if I would be interested in trying out one of their cleanses. Hesitant — because I love coffee and beer and whiskey and food — but intrigued, I went for it. I figured after all the residual gunk that was likely in my system from a summer’s worth of fun, I could use a little detox and reset. My intention with the cleanse, as should anyone’s intention be, was not to lose weight, but to clear out some of the bullshit and help my body recover a bit.
Guys, it’s hard. But I’m glad I did it.
JUS by Julie shipped me a box of 18 juices — six per day for three days. The concoctions were numbered to indicate which order they should be consumed in. The instructions indicated I could have coffee sweetened only with stevia, raw or steamed vegetables, egg whites and water. Lots and lots of water … which turned out to be a really good thing for multiple reasons.
I definitely had some juices I preferred over others. I tend to like green juices, like ones by Odwalla or Naked, but the JUS by Julie Morning Glory green juice wasn’t anything like those. While there was a sweet aftertaste, it was definitely a juice you could chew on, and the spinach and kale had their obvious presence. This one was also hardest for me to drink because I’m a very textural eater, and the Morning Glory was a bit chunkier than the rest. Plus, I’m not a morning person and not having my coffee the way I want is just … ugh.
The second JUS of the day was a spicy lemonade — either standard lemonade or with pomegranate (not a favorite). I dug getting to sip on this after the chewy morning beverage, though the spiciness was palpable. If you’re familiar at all with the Master Cleanse, this beverage was pretty in line with that taste.
The third bottle is Sweet Spin — comprised of kale, spinach, pineapple, banana and mango, the concoction was a solid “lunch” drink. Both sweet and filling, it helped keep the day going and was considerably more delicious than the morning’s mix.
Mixture 4 was basically an afternoon smoothie, with acai blend and berries. I love a good smoothie, but this one always had chunks that would get stuck in my teeth. This is where that water came in super handy, though I can’t say I’m not at least mildly entertained when trying to pick strawberry or raspberry seeds out of my teeth.
The fifth bottle — “dinner” — was one of my favorites of the day. With blends like PB & JUS and Choconana, they were a little more milkshake-y and a helluva lot more delicious. Which is good because …
The final bottle of the day, X-treme Greens, was a tart mix of lots of veggies. Though I understand its purpose was to make me feel a little more full and give me enough nutrients to get through the night without my stomach trying to digest my entire body, it was also a v. strong flavor for a time of the day when I’m usually enjoying a glass of wine (with or without cake). But I did wake up rejuvenated and not starving, which means it did its job.
When the cleanse was finished, yes, I was hungry. But I was also way more hydrated (let’s not even talk about how many damn times I peed over three days. Yeesh.) and I definitely had less unhealthy cravings. I ate about one serving of steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots or spinach) per day and had an egg white or two just to get me by. I didn’t have any hardcore Dorito or cake cravings and I actually found myself steaming some veggies the day afterward, because they sounded better than the other options in the house. But I’ll totally admit to super enjoying that first bourbon after the cleanse.
While there wasn’t any super noticeable weight loss from the JUS by Julie cleanse, I could see I had shaved off some puffiness / water weight. And there was a definite change in the way I felt — less sluggish, a little more focused. It also definitely lit a fire under my squishy ass to be a bit better to myself health-wise, so I’ve started trying (ish) to workout regularly (ish), but we’ll talk about that in Part 2.