Friday Find: Nourish Your Soul

Though I for sure love my coffee and treats, I also generally focus my eating around whole foods and have been pondering doing a short cleanse. Why? Because a (relatively) clean slate sounds like a good idea and also, recently I’ve been having some stretches of feeling, well, a little broken. So when Nourish Your Soul reached out to me about their cleanses, I felt like the universe was telling me it was time to take the plunge.

That’s not to say I wasn’t a little nervous! I’ve fasted twice -- the first time was with my mom and we did a week long fast and it was oddly not that hard. The second time was with Jon and I cried and broke down in a day! Both of those fasts were not particularly well guided, though. All I was drinking was water and fruit juice (not good juice, though). So I figured that doing a Nourish Your Soul cleanse would give me a chance to try again, this time with guidance. And I figured, if I could labor with Violet for 58 hours, surely I could handle a 3-day cleanse, right?

But before I get into sharing about the cleanse, I want to tell you two things. First, I sat down with founder Susan Cabana to discuss the options and man, this woman is passionate about her work! I’m always thrilled to interface with awesome women entrepreneurs and she clearly lives her mantra -- she looks amazing, is a delightful person, and is super passionate about helping her clients -- so much so that her cell phone is on the cleansing guide!

Second, her smoothies are AMAZING. I’ve become addicted to the chocolate almond butter and chocolate covered berry smoothies. I’m in walking distance to one of the 3 locations, which means I foresee a lot of smoothie drinking in my future. 

Now, let’s talk about the cleanses. There are 3 options: The Glow is a day time juice cleanse that allows you to eat dinner, the Nourish is their classic cleanse and includes cashew or almond milk, and the Purify is all juice (no milk). Susana has a comprehensive guide on cleansing and healthier eating, but here are 8 tips I picked up while preparing for and going through my cleanse. I think they helped me get to the end very happily so I wanted to share them with you!

1. Consider your schedule carefully

Susan recommended starting with a 3-day cleanse so I looked for a window on my calendar where my schedule was quieter. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t traveling and didn’t have social engagements to tempt me!

2. Figure out your baseline and challenge yourself

I originally thought of doing the Glow cleanse because you're able to eat dinner because remember how I said I cried the last time I tried limiting my diet? But I realized that having dinner as an option would still open the door to temptation, and since I generally eat pretty cleanly (coffee and treats being my big vices) Susan and I agreed on the classic Nourish cleanse. However, if you’re a big meat eater or eat a lot of processed foods it might make sense to start with the Glow. Or if you eat pretty cleanly and want to step it up, go for the Purify. My point is, figure out your baseline and challenge yourself!

3. Don’t let a cold scare you off

I started to feel a cold coming on right before my cleanse was scheduled and I almost emailed Susan to ask if I should postpone. And I’m glad I didn’t! Not only was all the lemon water excellent for me, but in general being sick totally kills my desire for coffee, so that was less of a battle!

4. Stay warm

It’s a little unusual to just drink cold beverages all day (especially on chilly days) so I drank hot water with lemon and ginger through the day. This was essential given said cold.

5. Stay active

Days 1 and 3 were typical busy work days for me -- I started with walking Violet to school, running a 3-mile loop home, then working all day and really, it wasn’t that challenging sticking to the cleanse. In contrast, Day 2 was a little harder since I’m home with Violet on Wednesdays and usually a lot of goofing off and snacking is involved. It for sure helped for us to be out and about playing and doing errands.

6. Consume quality product

I think a huge part of why this cleanse worked out so beautifully for me is because the products are delicious and the order in which you’re instructed to drink them appeases cravings perfectly. The green juices alternate with sweet/tart fruit-based drinks, and then by evening, when you may be wanting something more substantial, it's time for the almond or cashew milk.

7. Remember you’re still consuming!

One huge way this juice cleanse is different than what I did with my Mom and Jon is that these juices aren’t empty calorie juices. I think many people perceive juice cleanses to involve consumption of celery-flavored water all day and that’s not the case. The Nourish cleanse is about 1,100 calories per day and is extremely tasty going down.

8. Listen to your body

Though there is an order for the juices, I made a few little adjustments here and there. For example, on Day 1 the scheduling of my juices (every 2 hours) meant that I was hitting my run on an empty stomach. It wasn't impossible but I was definitely dragging a little. On Day 3 I decided to drink a bit of my green juice before the run and that helped my energy for sure. Also, on Days 2 and 3 when I started feeling the need for something more in the late afternoon, I took a sip or two of my cashew milk (which is the dinner hour drink) and that helped a lot.

Susan said she typically cleanses 3 times a year and I’m thinking that would be a pretty awesome. In the meantime, I’m excited to buy my aforementioned beloved smoothies and also try out some of the other juice blends (in particular the beet blend and charcoal lavender lemonade) and milks. And I think the most amazing thing is that in just 3 days I was able to enact major change within my body. Yes, it's awesome that tummy bloat is down, but more importantly, I’m not craving coffee and what I am craving is simple whole foods such as avocado and baked sweet potato.

Disclosure: Nourish Your Soul provided me with the products for a 3-day Nourish cleanse. Opinions here are my own, and appearing in print because the product is seriously awesome.

Image credits: thumbnail via Nourish Your Soul; large picture by Christine Koh