To kick off the New Year and give my body a little reset, I partnered with Living Kitchen to try one of their juice cleanses. I have done a few cleanses in the past and truly believe in the benefits of giving your body a break from your typical “food routine”. It’s two-fold for me, both physical and mental, and I appreciate the mind aspect of accepting a challenge that requires a lot of disciple and self-control.

I did the Living Kitchen three-day juice plus+ cleanse. This cleanse combines the benefits of cold pressed juice with the satisfaction of a light meal at the end of the day. Previously I had done the signature cleanse, which does not include the salad in the evening. I really liked the addition of the light meal, it gave me the energy boost I needed at the end of the day carrying me through the bedtime routine with the boys (chasing after two young boys all day, this was the right fit for me!). The good news is there are options and you should pick a juice cleanse that works well for your lifestyle.

My husband did the cleanse with me, which was nice on multiple fronts. It was one less person to cook for and more importantly we helped each other stay on track chatting throughout the day about how we were feeling, what juices we liked/didn’t like, and encouraged each other. I would strongly recommend doing a cleanse with someone! It makes it more fun and helps hold you accountable.

Here are a few tips to consider when doing a cleanse. Please note I am not an expert and you should consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about doing a juice cleanse. These are just things I found helpful during my experience.

  1. Cleanse with a friend. Cleanse with a friend, spouse, co-worker, etc. to help you be successful! Having someone to experience it with will keep you motivated, encouraged, and on track.
  2. Drink lots of water (and then some). I can’t emphasize this enough. You need to drink a lot of water. Start your morning with some water and drink a bottle between juices. For me personally, when I started to slack on my water intake I started to feel sluggish. So keep the water flowing!
  3. Plan ahead. As a mother I still had kids to think about feeding during my cleanse. I would recommend planning ahead (easy dinners that won’t tempt you!) to eliminate too much time in the kitchen.

Overall I (we) had a positive experience. I was not hungry and felt satisfied with the juices and nightly salad. I missed coffee and experienced a slight withdrawal headache the first day. I just kept drinking water, which helped me push through that first day and made my headache tolerable. By day three, the last day, I was getting sick of the juices (3 days of the same juice/schedule) but I knew I was in the home stretch. After the cleanse, we were mindful of what we ate to ease our bodies back into things. Living Kitchen offers some great tips and resources about juice cleansing here. Cheers!

Juliana Luna, founder & owner of Living Kitchen

In 2012, Juliana Luna and Stephen Edwards discovered they shared a passion for plant-based cuisine. Both believed strongly in the positive benefits of living foods and felt that the city of Charlotte needed a restaurant that prepared organic, plant-based dishes of the taste, quality and presentation they desired. Juliana, with the creativity of a master chef, designed a plant-based menu that would surprise and delight the most discerning palates. The historic Atherton Mill in Charlotte’s South End proved an ideal location to design a restaurant that complimented the artistry of the food, and a neighborhood institution was born. Word spread quickly and passionate customers arrived from throughout Charlotte and beyond to enjoy food that was both artistically curated and thoroughly satisfying.

Building on the success of the original South End location, Living Kitchen opened a location in Raleigh in 2016, followed by Chapel Hill and a second location in Charlotte in 2017.

Thank you Juliana and Living Kitchen for the juice cleanse! For more about Living Kitchen, visit livingkitchen.com and follow @living_kitchen on Instagram.

Images by Will Taylor @thewilltaylor and williamaveryphotography.com.