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What a week! In addition to radically changing my diet, I feel like I have been running in a million different directions. I’m going on my second day of no working out, my commutes have been atrocious and it’s so humid the air is like soup. I’ve been a little cranky (OK, I did yell out “I HATE THE RED SOX!” while exiting the stupidly-crowded Kenmore T station last night) and a lot tired.

And I still have stayed on the cleanse!

I definitely have been EATING more — yesterday’s eats (after I decided I didn’t like my lunch and chucked it)  included too many JOOSbites (the delicious little muffins that Lauri makes from the pulp of the fruits and veggies in the JOOS), pineapple, more cashews, peanut butter and two more of those vegan heart shaped muffin things from the Healthworks cafe.

And oh yeah, a glass plus a little more of red wine. 🙂

When I finally got into bed last night (around 10:30 pm), I was out like a light.

When I woke up this morning, I definitely noticed that  my stomach and arms looked less puffy. I had 3/4 of a Green Lemonade JOOS, a few bites of pineapple and a few cashews. After a super duper long commute that included a stifling hot T ride and a meeting, I was famished. Like, not in a good way.

 I just pounded some trail mix and some more JOOSbites. I also had a coconut water and some regular water.

Now, I feel really full. Ugh. I think I need to drink some more water — I have had a lot of fiber and well, I gotta get things moving again.

Again, I feel proud of myself that I’ve stuck with the idea of the cleanse — removing the potentially sensitive foods from my diet to reset and see how I feel. Especially with stress and fatigue — oh, how badly I wanted to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts this morning for an egg white flatbread.

But alas. I can do this for a week.

This weekend, I am going to Vermont from Saturday to Sunday to visit a friend who is at a wellness spa/resort near Okemo. I’ve already arranged to have gluten-free/dairy-free/vegan options at the meals. We are going to hike, and I am looking forward to the nature.

And to getting a really, really solid good night of sleep.

More to come tomorrow…..

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Joos cleanse has begun! I drank my first Joos yesterday at noon, after I picked up my Joos bottles at Healthworks in Back Bay. I felt pretty excited to dive into this and start feeling the benefits of a cleanse, which I’ve always been curious about and wanting to try.

I’ve been feeling under the weather for the past few days, so my first Joos was the Immunity Booster which is made from carrot, celery, cucumber, bok choy, beet, apple, kale, chard, collards, ginger, tumeric, lemon and lime. As Judith wrote in her blog entry, the Joos is a little…earthy? The first sip was surprising but I found myself liking it as I continued to drink. Because they are so potent, I’ve been drinking them very slowly, just a few sips at a time. Since I had started off the day with cooked oatmeal, I figured that I would count that as my vegan meal for the day, and drink Joos for lunch and dinner. I was fine for the most part, but it was a little difficult to have a liquid lunch and then come home to a liquid dinner. In between, I ate some blueberries, a plum, banana, and some Mary’s Gone Crackers (recommended by Joos-founder Lauri) with hummus. Not too bad! I’m normally a coffee drinker, and didn’t want to go cold-turkey, so I sipped on some black tea today instead.

Last night, I got some of the ingredients for my next cooked meal ready. I made some broiled tofu, which is delicious and has great texture – dip slices of tofu into a mixture of lemon juice, soy sauce, minced garlic, and water, then lay on a pan and broil for about 10 minutes. Pour the rest of the marinade over the tofu in the pan and continue to broil for another 7 minutes or so. It makes a great topping for salads. I cooked some quinoa as well and figured I would bring to lunch tomorrow with vegetables.

As it turns out though, I’ve been feeling sicker today (not because of the Joos at all though!), so I decided to call out of work. I drank my second Immunity Booster this morning, grateful for its army of vitamins and nutrients to help fight my cold, and went back to sleep. When I woke up, I wasn’t in the mood for the tofu, so I made myself the smoothie that I usually have for breakfast…I know it seems strange to want another liquid meal, but it’s what I craved so I went for it. It’s a pretty hefty smoothie – almond milk, banana, cocoa powder, 2 tbps of peanut butter, and a 1/2 cup of oats, plus some ice. The tofu will have to wait for tomorrow when I’m (hopefully) feeling better.

My feelings about the Joos cleanse so far have been good. I love the feeling of drinking something that is packed with  juices from amazingly beneficial foods that I don’t normally get into my diet all at once. I like that Lauri’s view of the cleanse isn’t too harsh, and that there isn’t any judgment about modifying to fit your needs. I sent her an email last night, because I was confused about whether or not our snacks between meals should be limited to fruits and vegetables, or if things like nut butters, gluten-free crackers, etc., were ok too. She responded by telling me that those foods other than fruits and vegetables are for in between meals ideally, but that other snacks could be added if I felt like I needed more. She also said: “We, as Americans, are afraid to feel hungry. In Europe, people eat 3 meals per day and don’t think about food in between while we think about it non stop, so it seems. Often we think we’re hungry when we’re really thirsty. We also can feel hungry out of habit. While we don’t want you to be uncomfortable, we do want you to learn mindfulness on this process and be able to determine if you’re truly hungry.”  I was happy to get this response, because it really hit home for me. While I’m a consistently healthy eater with my regular diet, I definitely think that I eat sometimes out of habit, or out of boredom. This is something I’d like to learn how to change, and I’m hoping that by bringing awareness and discipline to my diet during the cleanse, that I’ll be able to start being more discerning about when and how much I really need to eat.

– Jean

**Writing this while munching on dried seaweed snacks from Trader Joe’s! **

It’s day #3 of my JOOS cleanse and I have to say that I have modified this plan more than a little bit.

BUT — I am thrilled to report  that despite the tweaks, I have stayed vegan and free of caffeine, processed sugar, gluten and alcohol (to date).

Backtrack to yesterday: I could not get much of my JOOS down in the morning so I added some prunes, cashews and a little organic granola. (After all, I am not doing this to starve!!)

Lunch was my MEAL — I had brown rice, avocado, tofu and mango. For a snack, I had an apple and a package (60 cals) of seaweed. Then, at 6 pm, I had the Healthworks Running Club.

Woah. I eeked out 3 miles and it was not pretty. I felt light while I was running but a little out of it — I don’t know how to explain it. When I got back to the club, I had a premonition that my commute home was going to be terrible. Good thing I grabbed the first part of my dinner — a package of  the vegan heart-shaped muffin things they sell at the Healthworks cafe. Little did I know then, I had a long road home.

I tried to get on the T at Copley to head to my car in Brookline but it was packed because of the Red Sox (the bane of my existence!) so I walked  to Kenmore. Then, it took me another hour to get home. When I got home, I was beat. Showered, did laundry and ate some fruit and cashews before I hit the hay.

This is a big victory. For me (and for many people) stress + fatigue usually means not the best food choices. But, I stuck to my guns and stayed vegan!

This morning, I drank an entire JOOS while waiting for my car during an oil change. It manageable…It was a different flavor today (Antioxidant Blast) and tasted less celery-ish to me. I ate it with some cashews. It was way earlier than I usually eat breakfast and as a result, I have been hungry. Snacks this morning have included a few prunes, a banana, some seaweed and the very last of the (small) amount of the granola.

For lunch, I have tofu, hummus, avocado and will seek out brown rice or salad in Back Bay.

Dinner may be tough tonight — I am not sure when I am going to be home to get to my JOOS so I may have those vegan muffin things and some fruit. I don’t feel bad doing one juice and two meals a day. I know it’s not quite Lauri’s program but the bottom line is I am putting AMAZING things into my body and making a big change for a week.

As Lauri emailed me last night:

“You should be proud and give yourself credit. We are so used to beating ourselves up instead of focusing on our achievements. It’s all a process. In fact, the more JOOS Cleanses you do, the easier it becomes. There are several people who actually live the principles of the cleanse on a daily basis…and some for over a year. You’re doing great and I can tell you’ll eventually enjoy this.”

I am trying….

Stay tuned for more to come from me and fellow blogger Jean.

I am sitting here at work trying to suck down an Immunity Booster JOOS.

It is not easy.

This juice contains 100 percent organic carrot, celery, cucumber, bok choy, beet, apple, kale, chard, collards, ginger, tumeric, lemon and lime.  However, I’ve only drank about 10 percent of it so far.

The same thing happened last night when I went to have my JOOS for dinner. I could only drink half and decided that I’d add some fruit and a little piece of tofu to my meal so I had enough energy to watch the Bachelorette!

It’s day #2 of my juice cleanse and I am feeling good. Basically, I am starting to modify this a little to make it work for me. Because I am having trouble getting all of the juice down (I honestly think it’s the celery in the juice that is making it hard for me, I can’t get past that flavor), I am supplementing it with some vegan food — this morning, I had some raw organic cashews and two prunes.

And I am drinking more water. I am giving up my beloved Coke Zero this week. I am using decaf coffee as a “digestive” rather than a “stimulant.”

My only “slip” yesterday was 3 bites of bread — it came with my salad and I had a super long wait at the Sprint store and…I guess the bread was not vegan but everything else I ate was  (JOOS, salad with tofu, nuts, kiwi, prunes, water, etc). Today I am going to buy some seaweed at Trader Joe’s — Lauri, the founder of JOOS, swears by it!

For me, this cleanse is not about being perfect.  Rather, it’s about cutting out some foods that are potentially “sensitive” (dairy, diet soda, processed sugar) as a test and seeing how I  feel. I am so curious to see if there will be any results after going vegan for a week.

Gotta drink some more JOOS — another update to come tomorrow!

So, today is the first day of of my first-ever  juice cleanse.

Yep, after a weekend with the girls in New York City (that included french fries, wine, Tasti-Delite, lots of cheese and a bunch of other deliciously-bad-for-you things) I decided this was the week I would give it a try. Plus, I am planning to do a little hiking next weekend in Vermont so I thought I would start a healthy streak and keep it going.

livewellwomen blogger Jean is also going to join me in this experiment and we will both blog about our results.

I am doing the JOOS cleanse — which means I will drink two vegetable and fruit-packed juices a day along with vegan meal. The juices have about 300 or so calories each so this is definitely not starvation. The goal here is to feel better, have more energy and give my body a chance to reset.

JOOS was founded by Lauri Meizler — a Newton mom of four. When I met her in person, I could not get over how awesome she looked. I want her arms! She’s doing something right!

I am off to pick up my juice soon. This morning, I subbed a Naked “green machine” juice for breakfast since I didn’t have my JOOS yet. It’s 11 am and I feel pretty good. A little hungry but nothing terrible. I also ran 4.2 miles this morning.

Stay tuned for updates. If you want to read the official JOOS blog, check it out here.