Jill is an award winning food & entertainment critic. She used to attend red carpet events, theatre & restaurant openings before COVID-19.
Organic Suja Juice Cleanse
As a restaurant reviewer, I have days when I eat more food and intake more calories than many people. I realized this within 24 hours of being on a strict juice cleanse regimen.
I also realized that I need to cut down my portions and develop better discipline to avoid the temptations around me. I found myself wanting to eat the scraps off my daughter's plate and stopped myself. I almost grabbed an apple and stopped mid-air. You might say, "What's wrong with an apple?" Hey, every calorie counts.
The Suja Essential Organic 3-Day Fresh Start said it would "cleanse my system and rethink how I eat each day."
Registered dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD developed the organic juice and meal plan to get people feeling better.
I purchased two boxes with nine juice bottles inside. My daughter (over 18 years old) and I were to drink three juices a day and consume three supplemental mini-meals designed by Suja by Upton with co-founder Annie Lawless. The booklet inside the box offers a vegan and non-vegan meal plan that is low in sodium.
Meals are mix-and-match, yet portion control is essential to keep with the necessary calorie counts per day.
In between, we were to drink plenty of water to keep our metabolic rates high and help with digestion. We were also encouraged to attempt at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Sounds easy? Yes and no.
The first morning we woke up and slowly drank the spicy lemonade. It contains 16% juice and has 120 calories a bottle. It's made with purified water, organic maple syrup, organic lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Wow! That cayenne gave it a zip.
After the first sip, the cayenne pepper mellowed a little and the lemony drink wasn't too sweet. I actually liked it and sipped slowly.
We were instructed to wait for 30 minutes or when hunger hits to have a meal. Our first meal consisted of a bowl of raw oatmeal (recipe in the booklet) or one medium apple with 20 almonds. For a non-vegan protein option, we could eat two hard-boiled eggs with asparagus and avocado or an apple with plain Greek yogurt and cinnamon.
We prepared the oatmeal the night ahead and ate it 30 minutes after our drink, before we went to work.
I had a meeting that morning where there was a lavish display of croissants, fruit, coffee cake, and an egg dish. I was perfectly content and had no temptation to fill up my plate. I was actually quite proud of myself.
Others sitting around me were nibbling on these high-calorie treats, while I sat contributing to the conversation.
Afterward, I drove home for lunch. My daughter was there, so we twisted the top open on our green bottles and took a sip. "Hmmm," we both said. "I don't know if I can do this," said my daughter. I believed I could.
I love salads, and this drink contained 96% juice from organic apples, celery, cucumber, kale, spinach, collard greens, lemons, ginger, peppermint, and spearmint tea, along with a few other ingredients. This juice was easier to consume than the morning drink because it didn't have the jolt of cayenne pepper. It had 115 calories.
After 30 minutes we were allowed to eat lunch. We both had a low sodium veggie burger with no bun and baby greens, tomato, onion, mustard, and 1/8 of an avocado.
They also offer a non-vegan protein option of low sodium turkey slices or unsalted tuna with baby greens.
After lunch, I was full until 5 p.m. We both drank our last drink of the day, Vanilla Nutz, before dinner. It was sweet with 12 grams of fat, but it had a soapy aftertaste.
I took a 30-minute walk with my dog before sitting down to dinner—a baked sweet potato with nut butter. That's it. We calculated we consumed less than 1,000 calories.
I slept well and was eager to sip my spicy lemonade beverage in the morning.
Day 2 on Suja
After taking my younger daughter to school, I finished my lemon beverage and took our family dog for a 45-minute walk. I had lots of energy and looked forward to breakfast.
I could have two hard-boiled eggs with asparagus and avocado. Since I was too lazy to wait for my eggs to hard boil, I fried them in a nonstick pan without oil. I added half a small avocado because I didn't have any asparagus.
During the morning, I almost grabbed a handful of cherries, yet stopped. I have less than two days left on this cleanse and I wanted to follow it exactly as the booklet recommends.
Before lunch, I drank my green drink and ate a can of tuna on a bed of lettuce with a few tomatoes.
My daughter accompanied me on a few errands and commented that she was getting tired and hungry. I still had some energy left in me.
By 5 p.m. we both opened the top to our Vanilla Nutz and started preparing dinner.
For dinner, I had the option of a black bean salad from a recipe in the booklet or two unsalted brown rice cakes with 1⁄4 cup dairy-free guacamole or a frozen veggie burger with no bun topped with baby greens, tomato, two tablespoons of hummus.
It's enough to take the hunger edge off, yet in no way will you walk away from the table feeling full.
The Suja Essentials juices are never made with ingredients that have been genetically modified. This is verified by the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit offering North America’s only third-party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and beverages.
Hydrate & Nourish
The Suja Essentials 3-Day Fresh Start provides hydration and whole foods that make you feel your best.
Cold-pressed juice uses high-pressure processing to kill harmful bacteria, yet preserves nutrition and taste.
The vitamins and minerals included help you function optimally, with three cold-pressured beverages and three supplemental mini-meals. The meal plan provides your body with a complete range of plant-based nutrition including hydration, protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
This program will help you eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet and jump-start healthy habits.
Three Different Cold-Pressed Juices
|Spicy Lemonade||Green Greatness||Vanilla Nutz|
12 grams of Fat
The program helped me be more conscious of a healthier lifestyle. For three days I didn't have unprocessed foods and eliminated the desire for unhealthy options.
The program reset my taste buds, reduced cravings for sugary foods, and increased my awareness of what I put into my body.
Unfortunately, I had two restaurants to review that weekend. I tried to make healthy choices, yet when the chef came out with a steak, truffle fries, and a sticky toffee pudding cake, I had to take a forkful or two.
When not reviewing restaurants, I try to carry the principles I learned and practice to eat and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Shopping List of Items to Buy When Cleansing
When I felt hungry, I drank a lot of water and iced tea. Portion control is essential to keep calorie counts in check, so I tried to stick to the plan.
Here is what I purchased to eat. Some of the items are for those who want to prepare everything in their kitchen. Others are for a "grab and go" option.
For one meal I could have 1 can of unsalted white kidney beans or 1 can of unsalted black beans for salads.
They recommend Chia seeds and ground Flax seeds and unroasted almond butter. Unroasted almonds and pumpkin seeds are ok too.
I bought unsweetened almond milk for the oatmeal.
Unsalted veggie burger, salmon, tuna, and white chicken breast.
Produce I could eat
1 Medium Apple
1 Banana (small/medium)
1 Bag Baby Greens
1 Baby Carrot Snack Pack
1 Medium Sweet Potato
2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes 1 Cucumber
1 Red Onion
1 Head Butter Lettuce
1 Head Lacinato Kale
1 Medium Apple
1 Bunch Cilantro
1 Bunch Parsley
1 Cup Baby Greens
1 Bag Arugula
1⁄4 c Blueberries
With a calorie limitation of about 1,000 a day, I did lose weight. My husband noticed a difference when I got out of the shower.
The juices tasted fine, however, I would need more of a variety if I continued on a juice cleanse for longer than three days.
I did feel deprived of my favorite foods and realized you really should be eating about a fist-full portion at each meal.
Realistically, I could do this for three days, and I can eat healthier. However it's just not enough food. When I go to review a restaurant, go to parties, out to dinner, or on vacation, I am tempted to snack on foods that are not on the list.
If I feel I've overdone it with food, I would go back to Costco and do this cleanse again to reinforce good eating habits.
**I did go back to Costco and for under $10 I bought two big bottles of Suja Essential Cucumber Chill. I will start my morning off with a glass of this nutritious cold-pressed juice to fortify my day.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Gaby on December 18, 2017:
In what state did you find this I been looking everywhere and my Costco don't carry it
Juicer on December 13, 2017:
Beware! Drink with caution! The yellow one (step 1) should be called, "misery in a bottle". It will make you feel absolutely horrible! My friends and I both described having the same symptoms -- unrelenting migraine, fatigue, nausea, and chills. There should be a warning label attached to this crap.
How often can we do the 3 day cleanse on September 06, 2016:
How often can we do the 3 Day cleanse
c on May 31, 2016:
Too much sugar not healthy
breetcalvin on May 18, 2016:
Yummy I love Juices Cleanse
Alohaleo on January 16, 2016:
Costco no longer carries Suja here in Kailua Kona Hawaii, what happened?
Nina on August 17, 2015:
What's the prices on these juices?
Jill Weinlein (author) from Southern California on March 06, 2015:
Bummer Macey. All that for one pound! Every body is different. One reader lost five pounds. I'm sorry this didn't work out like you were hoping it would.
Macey on March 05, 2015:
Hi, just finished day 3 of Suja cleanse from Costco. They are on sale for $22. I followed the meal plan and I'm discouraged that I only lost 1 lb. I wonder if it's all the sugar!,
Jill Weinlein (author) from Southern California on February 01, 2015:
You are right lbmillr too many grams of sugar is not good!
lbmillr on February 01, 2015:
did you notice how much sugar they have? almost 60 grams each day! the added maple syrup, overuse of apple juice and honey in each drink turned me off :( happy to see costco switching to healthier options though note - recommended per day sugar is 25 grams for women.
Jill Weinlein (author) from Southern California on January 23, 2015:
Good for you Cindy! I'm glad it worked so well for you. Keep eating healthy in 2015.
Cindy on January 22, 2015:
Loved the Suja 3 Day Cleanse from Costco! The mini-meal options are great and worked for me. Lost 4 pounds in 3 days. Will definitely try again and try to keep up the healthy eating plan.
Jill Weinlein (author) from Southern California on October 21, 2014:
Under $30 at the Costco near me.
Gia on October 19, 2014:
How much did the 3 day cleanse cost?