Last week, we had the opportunity to send our cleanse to Chef Amber Shea, the queen of juice cleanses. Chef Amber’s speciality is making healthy, delicious, and nutrient dense recipes and sharing them on her fun and super informative website and blog. In addition to creating recipe books and educating her followers about healthy food, she has taken it upon herself to try EVERY juice cleanse in the country and give her readers honest feedback so they can make an informed decision on which cleanse to try.
Vibrant Earth Juices was her SIXTEENTH, yes 16th!!!, juice cleanse and we were so flattered with her intelligent commentary and fabulous feedback.
Give it a read and head over to her website, ChefAmberShea.com and check out everything she has to offer. We really love her book, The Real Food Cleanse, to help you transition into a healthy, clean diet after embarking on our cleanse program.
By Chef Amber Shea on April 2, 2013
Today’s post is the sixteenth in a series of reviews of juice cleanses from companies that offer home delivery on their fresh, raw juices.
Last weekend’s juice cleanse (the last one I’ll be reviewing, for awhile at least!) came to me courtesy of Vibrant Earth Juices, based out of Santa Barbara, CA. Vibrant Earth cold-presses all their organic juices with minimal heat and friction, preserving the vitamins and enzymes within.
Developed by nutritionist Jill Latham, who holds a Masters of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science and is a Registered Dietitian, Vibrant Earth Juices’ goal is to energize, heal, and rejuvenate your body, all while being grounded in strong scientific and researched-based nutrition practices. Love that!
One example of Jill’s nutrition know-how in action is the fact that she includes a small amount of ALA-rich flax oil in each juice. As Jill says:
“All of the fruit and veggie juices have flax oil added, as this helps with the transport and absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Your body needs a fatty acid carrier to absorb those nutrients, and the oil also helps to prevent huge spikes in blood glucose levels from the sugar in the juices. You get a much more steady absorption rate with this addition.”
Last week, I completed Vibrant Earth Juices’ 3-day juice cleanse program.
Arrival: The package was delivered bright and early at 9am on the first day of the cleanse. The contents of the box were snugly and securely packed.
I had cleared plenty of space in my fridge for the square-shaped bottles, which can be easily stacked on top of one another if needed.
Options: Vibrant Earth Juices offers one 3-day program, called their Clean Program. It contains a pre-selected set of six daily juices. Each bottle is labeled with a number to indicate the order in which you should drink them. Beyond that, you get to decide how quickly and at what times of day you drink each of them (though Jill offers recommendations on those two things).
Variety: Other than the two green juices, every drink of the day is different (though the selection doesn’t vary day-by-day).
1. Energy: Kale, Romaine, Dandelion, Parsley, Celery, Cucumber, Apple, Lemon, Flax Oil
This drink appears twice each day, and it’s a solid green-juice blend featuring cucumber and sweet apple. I like the variety of greens included, particularly the detoxifying dandelion and cleansing parsley. A dash of lemon ties it all together.
2. Immunity: Pineapple, Pear, Lemon, Mint, Flax Oil
This fruity juice is super-sweet but also a little tart, and contains just a hint of mint. I’d love to sip this beside a pool or the ocean; it totally deserves a little paper drink umbrella!
3. Refresh: Sprouted Almonds, Filtered Water, Dates, Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean
Now this was new—Vibrant Earth Juices puts their nut milk drink in the middle of the day! I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was my “bedtime drink,” though, so I did save part of it to have later each day. It’s an excellent almond milk; I love that it’s sweetened with dates and made with sprouted nuts. It’s also not overly sweet; I actually added a few drops of stevia to mine.
4. Energy: Kale, Romaine, Dandelion, Parsley, Celery, Cucumber, Apple, Lemon, Flax Oil
This juice was identical to juice #1.
5. Calm: Carrot, Beets, Kale, Apple, Strawberry, Cucumber, Ginger, Flax Oil
This drink took me by surprise—I had braced myself for a strong, beet-y red juice, but instead was greeted with a sweet, refreshing, “pink”-tasting juice (if that makes any sense!) with a clear mention of strawberry, which I’ve yet to see in any other cleanse’s juices. Truly refreshing and delicious, this is officially my new favorite way to “eat” my beets.
6. Detox: Unsweetened Cranberry Juice, Flax Meal, Filtered Water
Since the nut milk was earlier in the day, this final drink is a change of pace from other cleanses: a not-too-sweet cranberry juice drink with ground flaxseed mixed in. As Jill explains, the flax is “intended to pull everything through the digestive tract” and help in both toxin elimination and bowel movement.
Extras: Vibrant Earth Juices sends a small tote/grocery bag with your cleanse.
Cost: Vibrant Earth Juices’ cleanses cost $65 a day plus shipping (which costs between $50 and $75 per 3-day cleanse, depending on where in the country you live). This brings the total price of a 3-day cleanse to $245-$270, or $81-$90 per day.
(Full disclosure: Vibrant Earth Juices sent me this cleanse “on the house.”)
Support: The Vibrant Earth Juices website is packed with information, tips, and guidelines, and they offer unlimited email support with your cleanse. Jill also sends you detailed pre- and post-cleanse emails containing nutritional/diet recommendations, supportive tips and tricks, and even recipe suggestions.
How to Order: Online or by phone (805-895-7171). They deliver nationwide.
Final Thoughts: Vibrant Earth Juices’ cleanse is a standout for me, and I’ll tell you why: it is a comfort and confidence-booster to know that the whole program was designed from the ground up by a Registered Dietitian with a Masters degree in nutrition! That’s a level of expertise I’ve not found in any other program, and it shows up in a number of ways. Interestingly, Jill’s inclusion of flax oil in each juice parallels something I have done on my own in other cleanses—namely, before drinking particularly sugary/fruit-based juices, I’ve taken to swallowing a teaspoon or so of coconut oil to offset the sugar rush. I love how Jill points out that the flax oil in her juices boosts absorption of fat-soluble vitamins as well—it makes me wonder how much vitamin A and vitamin K I’ve missed out on in countless other green juices by not consuming them with a tiny bit of fat. When doing something as calorie-restrictive as a juice cleanse, this kind of nutrition know-how is invaluable, and casts a different light on the whole experience.
Other examples: Jill puts her nut milk (which is thoughtfully made with sprouted almonds and whole dates, by the way) in the middle of the day, which offers a greater sensation of fullness throughout the afternoon, and means you don’t go to bed still digesting a great deal of nut-based fat and protein. Instead, her last drink of the day is the detoxifying cranberry juice-flaxseed combo to promote movement of the bowels and general flushing of the digestive tract.
Jill’s frequent and ultra-helpful emails are another big plus, as well as the fact that she’s available to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after the cleanse. This level of personal support is a boon to first-time cleansers especially. In sum, I was very impressed with my Vibrant Earth Juices cleanse as a whole, and would absolutely do it again.
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Today we debuted one of our new juices, GLOW. First of all, don’t you love the name? I think it really evokes how great you feel after you drink this yummy juice. GLOW is chock full of Apple, Lemon, Ginger, and an amazing spice called Turmeric. The health benefits of this juice are abundant and one that should definitely be added to your juice regime. While we all know how great apple, lemon and ginger are to our health, some might not know about the wonderful benefits of Turmeric.
Turmeric is an orange-colored spice that is imported from India, is part of the ginger family, and has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking for thousands of years. Turmeric has been widely used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines due to its amazing anti-inflammatory properties for both inside and outside of the body. Seems as though Western medicine is just now catching on (not surprising!!).
Here are some of the wonderful benefits that Turmeric offers the body…….
- Antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Great for disinfecting cuts and burns
- Natural liver detoxifier
- One of the most potent anti-inflammatories
- Natural pain killer
- Aids in fat metabolism and helps with weight maintenance
- Anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric are beneficial for arthritis
- Speeds up wound healing
- May be helpful in preventing cancer incidences
- Decreases ance when used as a topical on the skin
- Reduces gum infections
- Beneficial for decreasing inflammation in your joints
So whether you are drinking it or sprinkling it on your food, make sure you get some Turmeric in your diet. Keep your body inflammation-free!
In health and happiness,
And so it’s here – the New Year. A time to reflect on the past 12 months; happy times, sad times, difficulties, surprises, excitement, love, and everything in between. It’s a time to muse on all the achievements that are important for 2013. A time to reach new heights, attain new goals, and start fresh. I also think thankfulness is at the forefront of our minds during the change of the year. Thankful for all the blessings bestowed upon us in the past year, and even more thankful that we get another chance to start over and pursue our dreams. With the right mindset, it’s a very exciting time in life.
In my line of work, I find that time and time again most of my clients (and everyone else I know….myself included) put health and wellness at the top of their “tried and true” New Year’s Resolution list. Mainly because we overindulge during the holidays and sluggishly make our way into the New Year. Whether the initial goal is a number on the scale or a pair of pants you dug out of the closet that haven’t fit for years or just a desire to feel better, it’s there. It can be a depressing resolution or it can give you feeling of hope that THIS YEAR you are going to be the happiest and healthiest version of yourself.
However, I’m starting to realize that New Year’s resolution lists could be the bane of our existence. First of all, who started this trend???????? Do we seemingly set ourselves up for failure? Or is the list undeniable motivation? Could the list be similar to when your significant other nags you to do something you clearly do not want to do? Is it a constant reminder of what you AREN’T doing and unintentionally putting pressure on yourself to be this perfect (possibly unattainable) version of who you think you should be? I still can’t seem to figure out how the New Year’s resolution list affects me. I’m already anticipating it in December and agonizing over what should be on it. So I write them year after year and honestly, it kind of annoys me, especially if I failed on any one of the items come mid-January. Cut to March, I may have no clue where the list is, and I have a million other things that are now my “March resolutions”.
This year, Im doing something different. And maybe you want to try it too. This year I’m still gonna make a list. But it’s going to measureable and it’s going to have clearly detailed dates for “completion”. So how do you do this?
Let’s just start with the “weight loss of X number of pounds/get healthy” goal. First of all, that is so vague and no wonder we fail 2 weeks in. What is measureable in that statement? Nothing. And what does get healthy mean? Does that mean you will have a lower total cholesterol number in 6 months? Does that mean you eat 2 servings of veggies per day? Or does your New Year’s resolution list look like this…. “Lose 10 pounds, go to yoga, eat more fruits and veggies, stop drinking so much, workout a lot more, and be happy”??? I think mine have looked like that for many years. Again, these are super vague but believe me, this is where everyone starts because we don’t know it any other way. And it seems easy enough. However, it sets us up for failure.
If one of your resolutions for 2013 is to lose 10 pounds, start by thinking what is achievable. Losing 10 pounds by the end of January could happen, but that is going to be hard and by the middle of February, the 10 pounds may be back with a few of their friends. Here is a more realistic way to focus on losing 10 pounds….
First of all, break it down into small increments so the results are achievable and something that YOU can measure. To healthfully lose 1 pound, you need to have a deficit of 3500 CALORIES/week. Crazy, right? But that can be done. Simply, you would need to cut out 500 calories per day for one whole week. That is much easier to focus on. Start there. Cutting out 500 calories per day could mean you don’t drink every night (2 glasses wine = 300-350 calories) and forgo your 200+ calorie drink from Starbucks. In one day, you saved yourself 500 calories…..and just in beverages! Now slowly keep moving forward. Day by day. Week by week. Your New Year’s resolution should look something like this.
New Year’s Resolution
- Lose 10 pounds by April, 2013
- Cut out 500 calories for 3/7 days, exercise 3x/week January 7-14th
- Cut out 500 calories 5/7 days, exercise 3x/week – January 14th – 21st
- Cut out 500 calories every day for an entire week, exercise 4x/week – January 21st – January 28th
- Increase exercise to 4x/week with 1 of those days being a yoga class – January 28th – February 4th
Seems to me if you follow something so detailed as this, you have already lost 1-3 pounds by the end of January. Keeping that up, while adding more healthy foods to your diet (Eat 2 servings of vegetables the first 2 weeks of February, Make a healthy smoothie for breakfast 4x/week for the last 2 weeks of February), will get you to your goal in no time. This changes it from a fleeting desire to a new lifestyle. The best part is that it keeps you focused and you haven’t drastically changed your life. ‘Cause hear me out…that does NOT work.
Most importantly, the path to achieving YOUR goals must be fun, desirable, evoke happiness, and give you noticeable results. I constantly see my clients set ridiculous goals to achieve in a short amount of time and the process of getting there (or not getting there at all) is nothing short of a pain in the butt. Just another way we unintentionally set ourselves up for failure. The journey must be enjoyable or who cares? Who cares if you look hot in your jeans if you didn’t enjoy the process in finally getting them on? Sure, cutting out your favorite glass of wine every night can be a bummer but don’t be so extreme. Why are Americans such extremists? We will eliminate everything we love to fit into a specific jean size or see a number on the scale, and then find ourselves crawling back to what we love, what we crave, and what gives us comfort when we realized we have failed. This is the main reason to start with small, measureable goals. This will garner success and make you happy in the process.
So in an effort to make 2013 your best year yet, really think about your list and what you want to achieve. Don’t write it hung-over on the 1st. And don’t feel you need to start on Monday. Start the MOMENT you feel ready. Make sure to add as many dates as you can. Share it with your partner or a friend, who will, undoubtedly, help keep you consistent and compliant. Put it on your fridge, in your phone, on the bathroom wall, in your car. Celebrate that YOU are becoming the most fabulous version of yourself. But in small steps. I mean…you have all year, right?
In happiness and health,
I woke up on Day 2 feeling pretty normal. I wasn’t super hungry or anything (even though I did go to bed hungry) and felt like I had plenty of energy. However, as the day progressed, I started to feel like I would zone out pretty easily. Could have been the lack of calories or the fact that I wasn’t drinking my favorite double espressos throughout the day. So do I attribute the lack of focus to caffeine or just the fact that I wasn’t consuming as many calories as normal? I would have to say the caffeine!
Later in the afternoon I started to get this crazy energy high. I was super awake and hyper and felt like I was buzzing. I enjoyed the feeling and really noticed how clear-headed I was. I had to give a nutrition presentation that night to an elite cyclist club in Santa Barbara and I was slightly concerned that the lack of calories was going to cause me to forget everything I ever knew or have low energy levels. Surprisingly, I felt really great. Again, super clear-headed. I felt alive!Read More»
What an appropriate statement for the start of the cleanse! One of the main reasons I designed this program was to bring “mindfulness” back into the forefront of our brains in regards to eating and our daily nutrition. As life continues to be a constant whirlwind, our food and eating habits tend to get caught up in the craziness and most times, we are either living to eat (too much), eating to live (too little), or fueling our bodies with convenient, fast, easy foods (not necessarily healthy). We forget how to be “mindful” about our health and nutrition. Our bodies keep going and going without much less of a pause and years later, we end up with chronic illnesses; many due to the lack of mindfulness in our lives.
When you take away something that we rely on every single day to keep us energized, placate our emotions, make us happy, and allow us to socialize with other human beings, it can be a bit jarring to the body, mind and soul. However, the goal of the cleanse is to bring us back to the start – simplify the nutrition in our lives, infuse our bodies with raw, live nutrients, and let us “push the reset button”. Hence the birth of the VEJ 3-day cleanse.Read More»
I get asked all the time how often I do the cleanse. Believe me…all the time. I also get asked what’s the longest amount of time I have done the cleanse (5 days!). To be quite honest, I certainly don’t do it as often as I would like considering the accessibility I have to the products. But as we all know, life gets in the way (as done wine for that matter!) and it’s not necessary to do it all the time. So while I may not do the cleanse as often as my clients would suspect, nor am I vegan who only eats raw food, I do drink the juices every day. Whether it’s for breakfast (my favorite – Energy) or in the afternoon as a pick-me-up (my go to – Immunity, Sweet & Spice, or Refresh), I am constantly drinking fresh, raw, live juices. Like many of you know, the benefits are incredible. I am naturally a high-energy person but having the juices on a regular basis really fuel me through the day and through my life.Read More»
One of the biggest health trends right now is coconut. Whether it be coconut water, coconut meat, coconut milk or coconut oil, food companies are capitalizing on this and for good reason. I love a great coconut product. The benefits of adding coconut into your life are widely varied – it helps to boost immunity, improve heart health, promote lean body weight, stoke your metabolism, and is incredibly nourishing for your hair and skin. But the most awesome health benefit about coconut oil is its’ ability to help the body burn fat for energy.
Here’s the deal….coconut oil is composed of medium-chain triglycerides. I know…kinda sounds a bit scientific but let me tell you a little about the structure of a fatty acid. All fats contain a certain number of carbon atoms, which are connected together in a big chain. There are short chain fatty acids, medium-chain fatty acids, long-chain fatty acids, and very long chain fatty acids. The body breaks down and metabolizes all these fatty acids differently – some are used for immediate energy, while others aren’t used as effectively and tend to be more predominately stored in fat cells. The fatty acid in a coconut (it’s oil) is a medium-chain fatty acid, therefore its smaller, easily digested, and then immediately burned by the liver for energy. In other words, it helps to boost your metabolism! Many people are on low-fat diets, however, don’t skimp on adding this amazing fat to your diet.
Now let’s talk about the coconut products on the market…Read More»
Chia seeds are on the market and like any other health food product, they are coming in strong. If you have recently ventured into any health food store, such as Whole Foods, you would have seen many products that contain chia seeds or even just chia seeds alone. And for good reason! Basically, chia seeds are awesome and they should become a new staple in your diet. First of all, chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fabulous and healthy fats (ALA, DHA & EPA) benefit the brain by increasing memory and cognition, help to decrease inflammation in the body, assist in lowering high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and play positive roles in diabetes, heart disease, depression, and arthritis.Read More»