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To kickstart 2017, we decided to reboot and test out a three-day soup and juice cleanse from Jus by Julie. (Image: Courtesy Rachel Joyce/www.youmustlovefood.com)

Here's what a three day soup and juice cleanse is really like

It's four days into 2017... raise your hand if you've already broken one of your well-intentioned resolutions. Spoiler alert: if you could see me right now, you'd see a raised hand (I'm looking at you packed lunches). I've never done well with the amorphous "I'll be healthier this year" or "I'll try something new every day" resolutions as they are too easy to break or unrealistic to follow through. Needless to say, I need my goals in short attainable spurts and with a very clear set of instructions to follow.

Enter the somewhat controversial idea of a juice cleanse. While I understand the argument that your body already naturally cleanses itself and thus there is no medical need to go on a juice cleanse, I personally feel renewed and more clear-headed after a cleanse. Plus, it gets me to refocus on being intentional about what I put in my body. For me, that is what new year, new you is all about.

Now, we've talked to you about juice cleanses before -- we've shared our personal experiences and discussed what we considered the pros and cons. But we haven't yet discussed the trendy juice and soup cleanse concept. So in the name of research, I trotted out and purchased Jus by Julie's 3-day Soup+Juice Cleanse to see what all the fuss was about.

Most juice cleanses consist of replacing your solid food intake with six fruit and/or veggie juices per day. However, Jus by Julie gives you three naturally sweet juices to enjoy for breakfast, a mid-morning snack and dessert, plus three soups (they varied every day which I loved) to eat as lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. All the soups and juices are gluten-free, dairy-free, 100 percent vegan and kosher. One of the biggest differences between Jus by Julie's cleanse and any other cleanse I have tried is that their products are all blended rather than cold press. Their justification is that "you're getting 100 percent of the whole fruits and vegetables ... [which] means you're consuming powerhouse antioxidants and live enzymes, plus lots of fiber, which plays a major role in absorbing and flushing toxins from your body." But it definitely affects the consistency of the soups and juices.

So let's walk through what each day looked like on this cleanse, what I liked and what was a no-go for me...

Day 1:

  1. Sweet Spin Juice: Kale, Spinach, Pineapple, Banana, Mango, Rice Milk
  2. Split Pea Soup: Filtered water, split pea, onion, carrot, celery, salt, black pepper and garlic
  3. Spicy Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate, Lemon, Maple Syrup, Cayenne Pepper, H20
  4. Carrot Ginger Soup: Coconut milk (water, coconut cream, evaporated cane syrup, natural vanilla flavor, natural flavors), water, onion, carrot, ginger, lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin and black pepper
  5. Butternut Squash Soup: Butternut Squash, water, sweet potatoes, onion, carrots, salt, black pepper, sugar, garlic, bay
  6. Chia Berry Juice: Chia seeds, pomegranate, strawberry, lemon, water and agave

Day 2:

  1. Sweet Spin Juice: Kale, Spinach, Pineapple, Banana, Mango, Rice Milk
  2. Red Lentil Soup: Filtered water, red lentil, onion, carrot, celery, salt, garlic, bay, curry and black pepper
  3. Spicy Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate, Lemon, Maple Syrup, Cayenne Pepper, H20
  4. Detox Broth: Water, cremini mushroom, broccoli, carrot, onion, sea salt, olive oil, garlic, ginger and cumin
  5. Pumpkin Coconut Bisque: Water, pumpkin, red onion, coconut milk (water, coconut cream, evaporated cane syrup, natural vanilla flavor, natural flavors), olive oil, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, chili pepper
  6. Chia Berry Juice: Chia seeds, pomegranate, strawberry, lemon, water and agave

Day 3:

  1. Sweet Spin Juice: Kale, Spinach, Pineapple, Banana, Mango, Rice Milk
  2. Carrot Turmeric Soup: Water, carrot, onion, dill, olive oil, salt, garlic, turmeric and black pepper
  3. Spicy Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate, Lemon, Maple Syrup, Cayenne Pepper, H20
  4. Roasted Tomato Gazpacho: Water, onion, olive oil, garlic and salt
  5. Hearty Potato Leek Soup: Water, potato, leek, olive oil, parsley, salt, chili pepper and thyme
  6. Chia Berry Juice: Chia seeds, pomegranate, strawberry, lemon, water and agave

What I liked:

  • Drinking juice only all day long makes me very cold -- especially in the winter! I loved the balance of three warm soups to keep me toasty paired with the refreshingly sweet juices
  • I've never been a huge fan of green juices, or starting my day with one, but the Sweet Spin was delicious! I think the pineapple and mango really give it an extra edge.
  • While the juices remained consistent each day, the soups changed daily so you never repeated a soup. And they really ranged in flavor profile from the more basic detox broth to the very hearty (and freaking delicious) potato leek
  • The juices were on the sweeter side making it much easier to continually drink them all day. But I didn't feel guilty since they were all-natural!
  • The potato leek and carrot ginger soups were incredibly tasty! I would eat these on a regular basis if I could.
  • I feel so clear-headed when juicing and find that I am able to work without distraction for longer bouts of time
  • I could drink black, unsweetened coffee if I wanted to on this cleanse. Unfortunately for me, I didn't see that instruction until my final day... always read instructions people!
  • Lastly, it didn't hurt that my tummy felt nice and flat when I finished!

What I didn't like:

  • The detox broth was really painful to get through on day two, and if I'm being honest, I couldn't finish it.
  • The carrot turmeric soup was way too heavy on the turmeric. I was really looking forward to this soup as I had previously loved the carrot ginger soup, but the carrot was completely overpowered by the turmeric in this blend.
  • Because the soups (and juices) are blended and not cold-pressed, the texture is chunkier than the products you are probably used to on a cleanse. On one hand, that might make it easier to trick your brain into thinking you're chewing, the consistency of the soups was often just too stringy for my liking -- I was always worried I had something in my teeth after I finished a juice or soup.
  • I found that I had more cravings this time than in my previous cleanse experiences, and sometimes didn't feel full after I had finished the last juice of the day. I was surprised by this since I felt like the addition of soup would make the cleanse easier. But, by day three I actually felt pretty good and was settling into the routine!

While I did see a small weight drop of two pounds, I do not recommend doing a cleanse for the sole purpose of losing weight, as you'll likely be disappointed if that is your only motivation. Plus, it's not a sustainable lifestyle, a.k.a a three-day cleanse does not a healthy me make. Adopting long-term healthy habits and an exercise routine that fits with your lifestyle are the best things you can do for yourself in the new year. If you are looking for something to jumpstart that healthier lifestyle though, I'd definitely recommend trying a soup and juice cleanse. Despite the fact that just mere hours into the cleanse I was already planning out the big, juicy burger I'd order at midnight on day three, I would definitely do a Jus by Julie cleanse again -- I'm really interested in trying their 5-day Juice 'Til Dinner option next!


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