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,
The New Year is upon us and so is the time to sit down and reflect on the year that has passed – the good, the bad, the ugly and all the fabulousness in between. Most of us tend to whip out a piece of paper and pen to scribble down our 2012 Resolutions – a list of all the things we hope to achieve in the coming year. Whether you lose the list on January 1st or tack it to your fridge for the next 12 months as a constant reminder, the desire to become the best version of yourself is suddenly at the forefront of your consciousness.Read More»
Interested in the slow food movement and want to know more???!!! You must watch an amazing documentary called INGREDIENTS. The movie discusses the importance of supporting our local farmers and shunning the highly processed and environmental detriments of huge food conglomerates.Read More»
Many of my clients consistently struggle with meal planning and this post simplifies it so it doesn’t consume too much of your precious time.
Take a read!
Do you remember when you first started seeing the word ORGANIC at the grocery store? Did you understand what it meant? It may have sounded like such a foreign word that you dismissed it, especially when you realized how much more expensive the item was compared to it’s non-organic counterpart. Today, the word ORGANIC is everywhere and not on just high priced produce. From organic face wash and tissues, to organic beef and crackers, consumers have the choice in purchasing everything organic (and spending a little extra dough) or not. But what are the health implications of not choosing the organic product? Let’s discuss.
I really despise the word “diet”. I think the minute we put that word into our head as an action we are going to take to achieve whatever goal, it sets us up for failure. It’s subconsciously telling our brain and body that we can’t have something, we need to change something about our behavior, and of course, we expect our brain and body to respond on cue. Except that is not the case. The minute we start depriving ourselves of something we love, we want it even more!
So how about we eliminate the word “diet” from our vocabulary and focus on four other words: balance, variety, moderation, and exercise. These words encompass healthy eating, losing weight, and optimal nutrition but don’t set you up for failure like the word “diet” can to your body, mind, and soul.
Instead of going on a “diet” every other Monday and feeling like a failure by Wednesday, incorporate a new healthy and positive outlook by incorporating these words into every aspect of your life. Here’s how…Read More»
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the government’s new version of the slightly archaic design, MyPyramid. Fittingly, this new design is called MyPlate. Instead of the 2 dimensional pyramid with a heavy focus on grains, dairy, and protein, the new design is in the shape of a plate. Divided into three sections (looks similar to a circle graph), one half represents fruits and/or vegetables, one quarter whole grains, and one quarter lean protein. Attached to the plate is a small side of dairy (fat-free or low-fat).
One of the main goals the government set out to achieve with MyPlate is to teach Americans proper portion sizes, by demonstrating that you can enjoy your favorite indulgences but in small quantities. Furthermore, the USDA also stresses serving small portions at every meal. Most importantly, the change in design addresses high sodium and high sugar intake. On theUSDA website, they advise Americans to watch their salt consumption by decreasing their intake of frozen foods, soups, and breads, in addition to decreasing sugary beverages and replacing with water.Read More»
Antioxidants are always being touted as a MUST for your diet. But what they do and their importance to our diet and our bodies is a bit confusing. Here’s the lowdown on nature’s super powers.
Every day, our bodies are exposed to oxidation and free radicals. Free radicals are unavoidable. They are spawned from the environment – pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, herbicides, pesticides, gas fumes, toxic chemicals, etc, etc. But it doesn’t stop there….free radicals can also be formed from derivatives of our bodily functions – metabolism, stress, and some are produced by the immune system to neutralize viruses and bacteria. The most common form of free radicals in the human body is oxygen (I know…that sounds so strange since we couldn’t live without it). The oxygen molecules moving around inside our bodies become electrically charged and try to steal electrons from other molecules, which can lead to DNA damage or extensive molecular destruction.Read More»
Food dyes are in the news right now and are causing quite a stir. About two weeks ago, the FDA brought together an expert panel of doctors, scientists, and consumer specialists in Washington to discuss the potential dangers of food dyes. This panel was to determine if there was enough evidence to require food makers to put warning labels on their products, advising consumers that food dyes cause hyperactivity in children. Interestingly, the research was inconclusive in determining whether or not food dyes were causing or perpetuating hyperactivity in children, therefore, they warning label did not pass. But they did say that eliminating food dyes have shown positive results in children with hyperactivity. The FDA concluded that there needs to be more research done to find this causal association.Read More»
In honor of being asked to give a Sports Nutrition presentation to the Oak Park High School Track team in Southern Cali, I felt it was incredibly important to discuss a part of Nutrition that many times goes unnoticed. EXERCISE NUTRITION! Properly fueling your body before, during, and after exercise can make a HUGE difference in your energy levels, performance, endurance, and strength. But one of the most important aspects to all of us that exercise our bodies often, is SEEING the results we are looking for. If you don’t take care of your body – fueling and replenishing it properly, you may as well consider that work-out useless. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. Sometimes we take our bodies for granted. We expect them to give us what we want in kickboxing, let us go deeper in the yoga stretch, or run that mile faster than the last one. We find we can push our bodies most of the time but what are we doing to give back? Are we giving our body the fuel it needs to sustain the energy needed and then recover? This is when nutrient timing becomes incredibly vital.Read More»
Let’s face it – we are an overstressed society. Too many commitments, too many things to do, too many obligations, and too much work. While many of us have mastered the art of multi-tasking (and take pride in doing so), we have spread ourselves much too thin and because of this, our health is starting to plummet and our weight is skyrocketing.
Stress is not easy to control, let alone get rid of. It’s in our blueprint and our hectic lifestyles perpetuate the problem. But what is it really doing to our bodies??? You may be the type of person that exercises frequently (at high intensities for that matter), eats healthy, and does all the right things to maintain a healthy status quo. The only problem is that your weight is not budging. You can’t seem to drop the excess lbs, especially in your abdomen. This is the moment to re-evaluate your lifestyle and figure out if stress the confounding factor.Read More»
I‘m sure you have either tried a 5-hour energy or have seen those ridiculously silly commercials on TV. Regardless, I get asked often about what is in these little bottles of energy and what it is doing to my body. So let’s discuss….
One question that I get asked quite often is how do I eat healthy without breaking the bank!? First of all, health is not cheap. Un-health is cheap. Case in point – fast food restaurants and the junk food aisles in the grocery store. Right now, Jack in the Box is offering 3 tacos for 99 cents! McDonald’s has an entire meal for $3! And don’t get me started on all the deals offered for cookies, chips, candies, sodas, fruit juices, sugary cereals, and crackers. On the other hand, shopping exclusively at Whole Foods www.wholefoodsmarket.com can really put a hole in your bank account, regardless of the healthy variety they offer. Now don’t get me wrong…..I love shopping the aisles of Whole Foods – it’s such a wonderful experience! But I have learned after many receipts totally over a couple hundred dollars that I only need to buy CERTAIN foods there. Not everything. Remember – they still are a humongous corporation making a pretty penny off their grocery items.Read More»
About 4 years ago, my wonderful mother, Linda, took me to this incredible spa and wellness resort, Miraval (www.miravalresorts.com), outside of Tucson, Arizona. It was a very special experience I shared with her and while I was there, I was introduced to juicing. The menu at the juice bar listed all of these interesting concoctions made with fruits and vegetables. I was never a huge fan of juice and couldn’t imagine drinking vegetables but I figured why not. I can’t really remember the first juice I tried but I instantly felt this “electric surge” go through my body and I was so energized!!!!! I tried everything on the menu and by the time I left, I was glowing. Literally. My skin was clean, fresh, and radiant and most importantly, I had never felt happier, healthier or invigorated in my life. I was hooked! I immediately went home, bought a juicer, and started on this amazing journey of designing my OWN fruit and vegetable concoctions.Read More»