Dear DiarySips, Sweets & Snacks

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So here we are, almost halfway through January- oh how times flies! I was a little slow to get started on my resolutions this year, and you may have noticed I’ve been a lot more quiet than usual. what can I say? I needed a bit of me time! Anyway, here I am, back and better than ever.

In an effort to fast track some of my 2016 goals, I decided to try something I’ve failed at multiple times in the past: a cleanse! Now I know what you’re thinking- “Alyssa, you’ve mentioned time and time again that you don’t like cleanses and you’d rather eat? Who even are you!” Trust me, I’m definitely not attempting to survive on lemon water and cayenne for a week. Instead of trying to jump into a pre-set juice program or create on my own cleanse schedule based on the internet as I have in the past, I decided to turn to my favourite local juicery for help.

Village Juicery, to be precise.

I’ve had a pretty serious addiction to Village ever since they opened a couple years ago, and every time I visited to stock up on chocolate nut milk (you MUST try it) I became more curious about their Reset programs (aka custom juice cleanses). I loved the idea of a reset this month, especially with all of my 2015 bad habits and recent emotional baggage that I’d like to leave in the past, so I set up an appointment with Marcelina, one of Village’s in-house nutritionists, and dove right in.

Lesson one: you cannot just “dive in” to a juice cleanse! Marcelina and I talked through all of my eating habits, my energy levels, how I sleep, how much alcohol I drink (insert face palm) and more before she carefully drafted up a schedule of juices tailored to me. Because I’m so deeply attached to eating, she planned out two “Prepare” days, two “Eliminate” days, and one “Reset” day, which in English means I only had to make it through two days of just juice. During the other three days I’d be able to eat nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies (specifically greens!)

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And so here I am, reporting from the end of day 2. In an effort to prep and make my cleanse as successful as possible I started eating only veggies and a tiny bit of whole grains (brown rice mostly) right after my appointment at Village Monday, which means I’ve had no processed sugar, caffeine, white bread products, or alcohol for four days! It’s been a massive change for me considering I basically live on pizza and donuts, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been dreaming of burritos and slices of cake nonstop for the past 48 hours.

Anyway, moving on!

I picked up my first 2 boxes of juice magic yesterday morning and got started right away. On top of the juices and little health shots Marcelina included chia breakfast bowls for the first two days, and some really tasty kale pulp crackers. She also included a calendar with timing for when to drink everything, and cute little tips for what to focus on each day (because she’s the sweetest ever), which made me feel a lot more motivated right away. That said, I somehow missed a memo, and for the most of yesterday I didn’t eat any veggies, just the breakfast bowl. That’s right, I put myself through hours of juice-only life by accident. MY BAD.

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Once I figured out I could eat veggies, nuts and seeds for these first official two days everything got a lot less dismal. I made a super tasty salad for dinner night one with tahini dressing, kale, cucumber, peppers, and an entire avocado (can you tell I miss my fats?), and snacked on my kale crackers with hummus all day yesterday. I feel sleepy much earlier than usual (Marcelina recommended sleeping before 10!) and have been battling a few headache attacks, but overall I feel really good about day one and two. My body actually feels nourished, which is an altogether new feeling, and as I start to shed my bad habits (I haven’t smoked since Sunday!) I can feel some of the bad vibes and sad feelings evaporating out of my life as well.

Starting this morning, it’s the big Kahuna- two days of just juice. Wish me luck? I’ll report back soon…

Dear Diary

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When CEDAR Juice initially reached out to ask me if I was interested in trying a juice cleanse a few weeks back, my first instinct was to immediately say no, the same way I immediately scoff at the suggestion I order a salad when dining out. “I’m not a juice cleanse girl”, I thought to myself, “why would I ever put myself and my body through that?”

But then doubt crept in. What if I was really missing out? I mean, I do love fresh juice, so what’s to say I wouldn’t love a juice cleanse? Plus, CEDAR seemed like a really great local, all-organic company, and I couldn’t help but feel tempted by their product descriptions and ingredient lists (especially Pineapple Head, a blend of pineapple, pear, and mint!)

So, I decided to try out the three-day plan, but not without making a few alterations to the program first. I decided I would continue to eat, but only the cleanest food I could find (mostly raw vegetables… and sushi). For someone who likes to eat as much as I do, it didn’t really make much sense to ingest nothing but liquids, and as soon as I gave myself permission to bend the juice cleanse rules I instantly felt less intimidated by the whole thing.

Though I can’t say I in any way excelled at cleansing, here are some of my favourite takeaways from the whole experience:

1 // I’m REALLY addicted to sugar. Within the first few hours I was having insane cravings for cookies, ice cream, Easter cream eggs… basically if it was awful for me, I wanted it. While I’m totally happy to indulge once and awhile, I definitely think my sweets habit has gotten a bit out of hand, and the cleanse really helped me see just how much I needed to work on it.

2 // I don’t get nearly enough nutrients in my daily diet. This is something I’ve worried about for awhile now, but it was actually shocking to feel the difference when I was throwing back juices packed with healthy nutritional ingredients all day every day. Though I wasn’t consuming any caffeine or sugar I felt more energetic than I have in months, and it was a really nice.

3 // I really don’t like beet juice. At all. But I’m working on it!

4 // Drinking more liquids is never a bad thing. I used to drink a ton of water everyday, and my skin was always so clear, but lately I’ve been majorly slacking. The cleanse really helped me remember how great it felt to be hyper-hydrated.

5 // I need to give my body a lot more care and attention. When I was fully vegan, I was so careful about everything I ate, always checking labels and googling ingredients, but these days all of my old tricks have been slipping thanks so a combination of being way too busy all the time, and not prioritizing my health. Moving forward, I’m going to give my body and mind what it needs: more sleep. less sugar, daily vitamins, early morning dog walks, and extra doses of fun whenever possible!

What do you think about juice cleansing? Let me know in the comments!

Interested in trying your own CEDAR juice cleanse? Enter the promo code “randomactsofpastel” at the checkout to receive 10% off on 3 or 5-day cleanses until March 14th (after which it will drop to 5%)

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*Note: Some or all of the items featured in this post were given to me as a gift from the maker, but I only write about products I genuinely adore, I promise!*