during our last costco grocery haul, i spotted suja essentials 3 day fresh start. a juice cleanse sold at costco? and it’s only $29! a 3 day cleanse for < $9 a day, why not give it a shot?
as soon as i arrived home, i immediately turned to google in search of reviews, but found none. turns out the product has only been on the market for a couple months and is sold exclusively at participating Costco locations. i hate being the guinea pig but after reading so many positive reviews on other suja cleanses, i gave it a shot and thought i could document my experience in case others, like me, are searching for reviews before buying.
the package contains 9 juice bottles and a meal plan guide. this isn’t like other juice cleanse out on the market (blueprint, pressed juicery, urban remedy, etc) where you consume a variety of 5-6 juices a day and nothing more. instead, this plan is designed with food consumption included… drink a juice, then 30 minutes later or until you feel hungry, follow it with one of the mini-meals from the plan. the mini-meals are realistic and doable… in fact, most of them are already part of my eating habits. they offer a few meal options if you’re vegetarian or vegan, or none of the above. there’s the “kitchen” option if you have time to prepare a meal and there’s the “grab n go” option if you don’t have time. the plan also provides a shopping list and recipes. all the meals range between 200-250 calories, so you’re able to shuffle them around and repeat favored meals without ever veering off the plan. the juices are a combined total of 465 calories so in total, you’re consuming ~1200 calories a day.
7:00 am — juice 1: spicy lemonade. now, if you’ve ever done the master cleanse -aka- the lemonade diet, then you know exactly what this should taste like. i had no problem drinking this, it was quite tasty and yes, spicy.
8:30 am — raw oatmeal (250 calories). this is the only meal in the plan that MUST be prepared the night before. it consists of rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and berries (i used frozen blueberries + raspberries). the picture i had in my mind of the outcome and taste was nothing like the real thing. the oats did soften and the chia seeds did gel, but the consistency was watery. and it kind of feels weird eating cold oatmeal. despite the texture, it didn’t taste terrible.. but it wasn’t enjoyable either.
12:30 pm — juice 2: green greatness. the description on the bottle says “greens with lemon & ginger” and no added sweetener. i could taste cucumber and ginger… it left a slightly spicy aftertaste in my mouth. it was my least favorite of the juices. i chugged it with a straw, then chugged water, and repeated until i was done. bleh.
3:00 pm — non-vegan protein mini-meal (230 calories) which consisted of 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup of steamed asparagus, and 1 oz avocado. yummy!
6:00 pm — juice 3: vanilla nutz. this was really tasty and filling. its thick unlike the first 2 juices. i could taste the banana, almond, and cinnamon for sure. i really enjoyed this one.
8:00 pm — non-vegan protein mini-meal (235 calories)… 4oz salmon grilled over a bed of baby greens and cherry tomatoes with dressing (made up of apple cider vinegar + garlic powder + Mrs. Dash + olive oil).
30 minutes physical activity: none
total calories intake: 1180
day 1 retrospect: the day went well. when i was hungry, i drank juice, then ate a mini-meal. i didn’t starve myself or feel deprived in any way. i was exhausted for the latter half of the day and didn’t feel any extra burst of energy as i expected. i had a mild lingering headache all day that i’m certain was my body telling me it’s hankering for its daily dose of caffeine. i think the combination of the headache and fatigue really brought me down. i napped as soon as i got home from work. hoping for a better feeling tomorrow.
7:30 am — juice 1: spicy lemonade
10:00 am — Grab n’ Go meal: 1 medium apple + 20 almonds (230 calories)
12:00 pm — juice 2: green greatness
2:00 pm — non-vegan protein mini-meal (230 calories) which consisted of 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup of steamed asparagus, and 1 oz avocado
5:40 pm — juice 3: vanilla nutz
8:00 pm — Grab n’ Go meal: Baked sweet potato topped with unroasted almond butter + sprinkle of cinnamon (250 calories). first of all, i’m not sure how this meal was defined as “grab and go”. it takes time to bake a sweet potato. anyway, it was tasty and surprisingly very filling.
30 minutes of physical activity: circuit training
total calorie intake: 1175
day 2 retrospect: i woke up feeling good. my headache was gone, i was bright-eyed and awake. then around 2 pm, i started feeling a slight headache. not nearly as bad as yesterday, but still noticeable and annoying. juicing and eating felt normal. again, when i felt hungry, i simply ate or drank the next juice. i did stay up later than i normally do, which led to feeling hungry just as i was laying down for bed… so, i chugged my 25 oz. tumbler full of water and went to bed, it seemed to have worked!
9:30 am — juice 1: spicy lemonade
11:00 am — non-vegan protein mini-meal (230 calories) which consisted of 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 cup of steamed asparagus, and 1 oz avocado.
2:00 pm — juice 2: green greatness
4:00 pm — non-vegan protein mini-meal (200 calories) which consisted of a tuna salad over a bed of baby greens. tuna mashed with avocado taste sooo good!! way better than mayo. i think the garlic powder and dijon mustard masks the flavor of the tuna. i could eat this all day!
6:40 pm — juice 3: vanilla nutz
11:00 pm — apple + peanut butter, baby carrots, hard-boiled egg
30 minutes of physical activity: circuit training
total calorie intake: 1130
day 3 retrospect: i woke up feeling good. no headache, so far. i started my day later than usual, so my eating schedule was thrown off. since it was friday night, the bf and i had evening plans to see a show. by the time we got home, it was so late, it was too late to prepare anything, so i kinda winged it. i tried to stay within the kinds of foods i’ve been eating the last couple days.
overall thoughts: i really enjoyed this cleanse and would totally do it again!! the combination of juicing and light meals fit well with my daily schedule. by mid-day 2 and forward, i felt that extra bit of energy and focus. i never felt like i was struggling or torturing myself with no food and hunger pangs. what i especially liked about doing this cleanse was it corrected my mindset on clean eating and eating every couple hours. it cleansed my palate… i no longer have a salt craving. it also re-introduced me to easy meal prep (aka ‘grab n go’) and a couple new healthy recipe options. it definitely put my eating habits back on the right track, something i’ve been struggling with for the last few months ever since we lost our kitchen to remodeling back in November. this is just what i needed. loved it… and i’m not getting paid to say that. =)