Recently, Suja Juice gave six Well+Good readers a free week’s supply of handcrafted, cold-pressured organic juice for arguing best that they needed a juice intervention (who doesn’t?!). Over the next few weeks, we’ll be telling their #itsthejuice stories, and sharing what surprised them most about their super-juiced week.
When Amanda Gray moved to Los Angeles, she brought a little bit of Ohio with her—specifically, the part that loves comfort food of the decidedly non-organic kind.
“Growing up in the Midwest, every Friday night was pizza night. Either we went out for pizza or ordered in. So I honestly think there’s some sort of nostalgia to it. It’s almost ingrained in me. It’s what I do,” Gray says. “I probably eat pizza twice a week.”
But as a product manager by day, personal trainer by night, and yoga teacher at Soho Yoga in Hermosa Beach on the weekends, the 31-year-old feels she needs better nutrition to power her through her long days. (Not to mention her own high-intensity interval training and cardio workouts: “I am obsessed with Poise in Hermosa Beach!” she says.)
Cold-pressed juice is easy to come by in LA, of course—and Gray usually feels better and less cravings-crazy with more juice in her life. But her bank account takes a health hit.
“LA is so rife with juice places, but it is like a luxury item for me when they’re $9 each. The Press Juicerys of the world are just out of my reach,” she says. “Having it every day was something that’s been missing for me; I felt more energy almost immediately.”
Results: What were the three most surprising things about Gray’s weeklong #juicervention?
1. Her cravings hit the “reset” button
“I love pizza, and I still love pizza,” she says. “But since this week, I feel like my body is craving that balanced nutrition. I see a pizza commercial on TV and of course I want it, but when I sit down to make decisions about what I’m going to eat, I’m following what my body really needs a little more.”
2. She found herself falling asleep earlier
“Typically I would come home and crash and then get a second wave at 10 or 10:30 and then stay up late—and when I did sleep, I would wake up through the night, at 2:30, 3:30, 4:30,” she says. “That has changed a little. I’m falling asleep earlier, and it’s not as interrupted.”
3. Her love of sweets got a swap
“Probably day three or four, when I would get a sweets cravings, my body didn’t want the chocolate bar, it wanted the juice,” she says. “I didn’t even think I liked beets but I really enjoyed those the most.”
So, what kind of nutrition do you need if junk-food cravings are an issue?
“For someone who is physical all day in their job and in their free time, they’re going to need to maintain blood sugar levels. And for those days when you give into your pizza cravings, things like cucumber help cut down on water retention,” says Amy Shapiro, RD, the founder of Real Nutrition, a New York City-based nutritional counseling center.
1. Boabab is a fruit shown to help maintain blood sugar levels, keep energy up and aids in muscle recovery. It also helps you to stay full, which can help with cravings, Shapiro says.
2. Cucumber aids in decreasing water retention after eating salty foods, she says.
3. Mint tea helps with alertness, to keep your mind clear and your energy high, and can calm your stomach when you’re having cravings, she says.
Find these ingredients and more in Suja’s selection of juices: always organic, handcrafted, non-GMO, chemical-free, and preservative-free.