Gold Star from the Queen of Juice Cleanses
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.