What the heck is a Juice Cleanse and why on earth would someone go on one!?!
**DISCLAIMER - I am not a Nutritionist or health expert, this is a personal account of my juice cleanse** I was not paid or compensated in any way by Squeezed for this cleanse or review.
The number one question I got while on my juice cleanse is "Why?"
Reasons to go on a juice cleanse vary far and wide. My reason was to give my body another leg up on fighting cancer! I need my body to be in top fighting form to kick this stage 4 cancers butt! And while I eat healthy, an 80% plant based diet (I eat eggs, and the occasional cheese, I live in Texas Queso is a part of life) I also eat sugar. For those of you that know me you know I don't consume caffeine, I am hyper enough can you imagine me on Caffeine!!! But I would use sugar to give me a boost of energy every now and then.
Some other reasons can be needing to figure out a food allergy / sensitivity. Getting rid of that bloated tummy, head aches, fatigue. Eliminating un-healthy food habits and rebooting the body to desire a whole food plant based diet.
Here is a little Q&A I have put together:
What is a Juice Cleanse? It is exactly how it sounds. You consume only plant based juices and water for a period of time.
How long is a juice cleanse?
That depends on you. For the beginner try 1-4 days. For the more advanced 7+ days is recommended to to truly cleanse and re-boot your system.
Will this help with food allergy testing? Yes, you will be eliminating most common allergens from your diet. After the cleanse you can slowly reintroduce them to find what the culprit might be. However allergens such as Wheat gluten can stay in your gut for much longer than a juice cleanse. For that one you will have to be completely off gluten for months. The cleanse that I was on had an option for Cashew Milk. If you have a nut allergy you would opt out of the cashew milk.
Will I lose weight? Yes, most of which will be water weight. In order to truly lose weight you will need to continue with a healthy balanced diet and exercise after the cleanse. But this will help you kick start your weight loss and help develop healthy eating habits.
What juice cleanse should I do? This answers varies as much as your reasons for doing it in the first place. I chose to do Squeezed online. For me I loved the convenience that it was all prepared for me, I wouldn't have to figure anything out. Just open the fridge and grab my juice. I researched their site and what ingredients they use in each juice. They have 3 different options. Once you select how long you would like to juice for you have the option of selecting Squeezed (Higher fruit content in these juices, recommended for first timers), Super Squeezed (Higher vegetable content in these juices ie; less sugar) , and Spicy Squeezed (added peppers such as jalapeño that can boost your metabolism)
I chose the Super Squeezed as I have been juicing for a few years now. Also because I was wanting to really eliminate my sugar cravings. Because I am very active I also added the optional Cashew Milk. (It comes on 4 flavors. Coffee (I did not get this one so I don't know what it tastes like), Cacao (Think chocolate milk), Vanilla bean cinnamon (Tasted like cinnamon toast crunch) and Strawberry (pretty much tasted like cashew milk)
What are the Carbs, Calories, etc. of the juice?
Each juice is different, if you go to the squeezed online website and click on the A la Cart option you can see the ingredients for each juice. Then click on the Nutritional information and it will pull up everything you need to know!
How much do you drink? Each bottle contained 16oz of juice. I drank 5-6 per day. A breakfast juice, a snack juice, a lunch juice, another snack juice, and a dinner juice. Plus the cashew milk and the recommend 1 gallon of water per day. I am not going to lie it was really hard to get in that much fluid!!
Did you feel Hungry? Occasionally. It really wasn't too bad. As long as I stayed on top of drinking enough water and juices I was fine. If I waited too long in between my stomach started to hurt and I would get a slight headache. For some reason on day 6 there seemed to be food smells everywhere and they smelled AMAZING! So yes on day 6 I felt hungry but made it through!
Is it expensive? Let me start off by saying you do pay for convenience. That being said the 7 day cleanse is $315. Which breaks down to $45 a day. In my opinion it was a financial investment well worth it for my health. Also you can find coupon codes online to help lower the cost.
Would you do it again?
Absolutely! It was so worth it! Although Squeezed Online ships nationally they do have store fronts in Houston, Dallas, and a new location in Austin opening up in the Arboretum in August! I can't wait!
Do I have to be close to a bathroom at all times?
Some of the juices seem to go right through me, I was peeing like a champ all week!! The last thing you need is a bladder infection so while I didn't have to live in the bathroom it was good to know I had one near by.
Did you have Diarrhea all week?
No not at all. But expect the rainbow! In full disclosure there are 2 things you should be aware of. Some of the juices have beet juice, this will cause your bowel movements to turn red. You are not bleeding internally, You are not dying! Just detoxing. Also on day 1 and 5 of the cleanse you drink an activated charcoal juice. This will turn your bowel movements black. Again not dying I promise! Also on those days drink LOTS of water!!! Activated charcoal acts like a cleaning sponge in your body and will make you feel dehydrated pretty quickly if there is not enough water in your system.
What benefits did you experience?
More energy. A greater desire to eat healthy food. Less sugar cravings. A flatter stomach. And time. I know that seems weird but when all you have to do is grab your juice and drink you save a lot of time on meal prep and sitting down to eat a meal! Peace of mind that I was doing one more thing to fight against the cancer that has rudely invaded my body!
***Squeezed Online has given my readers a special discount of 15% off from now unitl May 31st!! Use code "Kaley" at check out! **
If you have anymore questions feel free to send them my way. Also head on over to www.squeezedonline.com/Default.aspx they have a fantastic team there to answer any questions along with a FAQ page.
A little Juicing Motivation for you!
Surgery Round 2....
When Dr. W sat down next to me to go over my pathology reports from the first surgery I knew this was not a "We got it all! Your good to go" kind of a chat.
Instead it was a "Michelle I'm so sorry, this really sucks, this was not the news we were hoping for" kind of chat.
So according to the report all of my lymph-nodes were full of cancer, and based on the size, depth, rate of growth etc. of my tumor I was given the official Diagnosis of Nodular Metastatic Melanoma Stage 3C. I was going to have to go back in for surgery. She wanted to book the OR for that Monday, but still being in shock and not understanding the seriousness of the situation I asked to post pone it to the end of the week. My Mom was coming in town, we had Halloween plans for the kids, I needed to line up Dance Subs..... She was not happy about it but also agreed that waiting 4 more days was not going to risk my life. So the second surgery date was set.
I was sent in for more testing and met with my Oncologist Dr. Michelle Ashworth. She laid out all of my treatment options and we formed a plan. After I recovered from the 2nd surgery I would go into a trial for a new Cancer drug to fight Melanoma. The trial was a 3arm study meaning there were 3 different drugs I could be given. one of the drugs is a form of Chemo that only has a 11% success rate with Melanoma. Thankfully due to the stage of my cancer my doctors were able to automatically withdraw me from that option. So I would get 1 of the 2 new drugs. I would find out after surgery which drug I would be getting.
This also meant it was time to let people know what was going on. A gathering of the troops if you will. I really didn't have time to process who I wanted to tell and what I wanted to keep private. Being a dance instructor at the same studio where my children dance meant everyone was going to find out. So it was best to stay ahead of any rumors and put the information out there ourselves. Thankfully I had a very dear friend that jumped in took care of that for us. She started a facebook page that my husband and I could both post any updates too. She also started a care calendar to set up meals for my family. My Church family also reached out to see how they could be of service to me and my family. There was so much love and support coming from so many different directions it was a little overwhelming at times. One piece of advice of would give to someone going through something like this is to have a main point of contact for people. Someone who will take all of the offers of help and service and organize them in a manner that will benefit you and not become too much! HUGE Shout out to the Best Cancer team organizer out there, the magical Unicorn Kate Karren!
Surgery Day arrived and I was again donning the "Happy Socks" It's the little things in life...
When I awoke this time I could immediately tell things were different. I was in so much pain and everything was spinning out of control. I was told that the surgery took much longer than expected and that some of my lymph nodes were really hard to get to. Once at home it was made clear what those wedding vows are really all about!
True love is cleaning out your wife's surgery drains when your whole life you have not been a fan of anything medical. True love is washing your wife's ridiculously thick and long hair...it was pretty entertaining to say the least. And all that while running the household, taking care of 4 kiddos with crazy schedules and still working your full time job.... All the while I laid in bed and thanked God for blessing me with my perfect Eternal companion!
And now for your 30 Second Dance Party....
It might be hard to tell but see these 4 Humans pictured above, they are Cancer Super Heroes! What you cant see are their capes that are tucked into their normal clothes...
I've wanted a lot of different jobs and career paths in my life. I love trying new things along with developing my passions and talents. But Professional Cancer Patient wasn't exactly on my to do list.
Well too bad so sad for me! In October 2016 that became my new full time job. Of course as with any new job it has its perks..... Instant new friends, loads of new things to learn, and a community to commiserate with. Now the trick was how to juggle my other jobs of Wife, Mother of 4, Young Womens President (Church Youth Leader) and Dance Instructor with Cancer Patient.
When to let everyone know:
CANCER, it can be a very big and scary word for something that may not be that big of a deal. That being said I decided initially to only tell the people I had to for logistical reasons such as missing a couple days of work, and why was Mommy having surgery. At this point we knew I had Melanoma but we didn't know to what degree. So no need to be too concerned. I went in for the first surgery thinking it was a 1 and done situation. I was still blissfully ignorant. Before Surgery I was wheeled into Nuclear Medicine to have a Smurf blue dye injected into me in order to map out the cancer. They took some imaging and then sent me off to surgery. This is where my ROCK STAR Oncology Surgeon comes into the picture Dr. Rebecca Wiatrek. She got in there and removed every trace of Cancer from my back....to the point where she said all she left behind was muscle and bone everything else was evicted! She also went in and took about 4 lymph-nodes out of my armpit.
As I recall recovery from that first surgery was not too bad. I was back at work the next week. Although under strict instructions to "take it easy" and "don't use that arm" . I would be hearing from my surgeon and regular oncologist at the end of the week about Pathology reports. At this point I was still in a state of both ignorance and shock. I had no idea how serious my situation really was. So as I went in to get my results I expected to be told, we got it all you are good to go!
Nope, wait, stop right there.....I was forgetting one thing....His Will, His Ways, My Faith Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you." I was not the boss here and there was more for me to learn......
And now for your 30 Second Dance Party -just Press PLAY
June 20th 1996....As per usual I attended Cheerleading practice from 8-12, went home for lunch and got ready to meet the other cheerleaders for "Pool Time". As I arrived at the pool I quickly located my friends and set up camp in my chosen lounger. Once settled in one of the girls asked if we had noticed the "Hot" lifeguard!?! I'll be honest, I had not. I took what was supposed to be a quick glance over my sun glasses only to find myself completely gawking! I mean mouth open eyes wide, forgetting I was in public gawking. Once I regained my composer it was decided that we would form pairs and then commence in trying to see who could get a date with him first. It was at that point I was informed we went to the same school as him but I had no idea who he was.
My best friend Debbie and I decided we would go last, you know that whole save the best for last thing. We were not worried, we knew our game was strong! So I laid back and watched as one by one they took their turns with the Lifeguard. He smiled at some and seemed very polite. But I also saw him repeatedly raise one eye brow as if to say "you have got to be kidding me". Soon enough it was our turn, we waited until he called a 5 minute rest break and made our move. We pulled 2 chairs up next to him and began to introduce ourselves and gather information on him. We found out that he worked until 10pm and only had a power bar for dinner....Whelp that was it, challenge accepted! We casually said our goodbyes and headed off to make our plan. We rushed home to Debbie's house where we made a gourmet Totinos frozen pizza! We also gathered up 3 different kinds of chips, a bunch of sodas, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Once we arrived back at the pool we were happy to see most of the swimmers had left for the day. Which gave us an opportunity to talk with the lifeguard while he ate. Sadly for Debbie she had another date she had to get to that evening and had to run.....I continued to stay and helped him close up the pool for the night. As we were stacking up chairs he asked if I would be interested in going out for coffee afterwards...
That's it, I had WON!!! If only I knew then the life altering significance of what I had just won! I responded with that I would love to go out with him but I did not drink coffee. So we agreed on a little cafe called "Starry Night" that served other drinks and treats. We went back to his place so he could change out of his swim trunks and that is when I realized why I had no idea who he was..........
He walked in his room looking like he was straight out of Bay watch and walked out looking like Slater from Dazed and confused! News boy hat on backwards, old torn up pearl jam shirt, big baggy corduroy pants, and what I affectionately referred to as his Jesus Sandals. To finish off the ensemble he wore a cross body messenger bag that contained his poetry. I instantly regretted not driving myself in-case I needed to make a quick get away. But I figured what the heck I like making new friends and he seemed really nice so off we went to Starry Night.
We ordered our drinks and found a nice spot outside to sit in the perfect June air. One hour quickly turned to 3 and we still were chatting non stop. It felt as if we needed to know everything about each other right then and there. At one point the subject of smoking came up. I told him I was allergic (true story, I am) and that I had a very dear friend who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. I could not understand how my poor friend was doing everything he could to keep his lungs working and yet people with perfectly healthy lungs would trash them with smoking! On our way back to his car he stopped at a trash can and threw away all of his smoking paraphernalia. I stood there shocked that I could have such an impact on someone I had just met.
As we pulled up to my house he proceeded to do something no guy had EVER done before...............................................
Our First Song, I honestly have no idea why but it was "ours"..
....As we pulled up in front of my house after the first magical date at Starry Night I waited for what would come next, would he lean over the seat and kiss me goodnight, would he get out of the car and walk me to the door and then kiss me, would he.....well folks here's were things went in a direction I could have never predicted.
He put the car in park, said he had a really nice time and then began to reach into his wallet. Looking at him completely perplexed I watched him retrieve and hand me a Business card! Ya, you read that right, his business card! I didn't know whether to be offended or impressed. He pointed out his pager number on the card and said that was the best way to reach him and that he would love to hear from me. That's it, didn't walk me to the door, hug, kiss Nada! I walked into my house completely in shock! That had never happened before......and how did I feel about that???
The fact that he had made his own business cards was impressive it showed his commitment to hard work and independence. I also noted that he had multiple businesses on it...lifeguard, swim lessons, landscaping mowing etc. and construction work. This was a getter done kind of guy! Over the next couple of days I found myself thinking about him NON stop! Ok now full disclosure... I was dating 7 other guys at the time, #SummerSeason, I was having a very fun summer! And in all fairness 2 of them were in other states that I had met at various camps etc. But I realized that if I was going to be spending so much time thinking about Mr. Baywatch I needed to downsize. So I took about a week to go on various "we should just be friends dates" towards the end I did hear from Cameron , he invited me out to the lake to go skiing. We had a great time! I had never been water-skiing before and his Dad was an excellent teacher. But in truth my favorite part was watching Cameron Slalom ski! It was soooo beautiful!! We went back to his house and spent the rest of the night hanging out with his adorable and sassy 12 year old sister. From the very beginning Cameron's family was involved in our dating . In fact that very first night I was introduced to his Dad in the kitchen wearing nothing but underwear. If you know my father in law that will make perfect sense to you, it will also make sense to you that he did make it seem awkward at all. Lane Kaley is one of my favorite and special free spirits I have the pleasure of having in my life! The Kaley's made everything so comfortable. They immediately welcomed me in as part of the family, because that's how the Kaley's role!
Now lest you think I handled this summer romance so perfectly in full dis-closer there were some things that were just so unfortunate. Such as 2 of the boys I was dating were in other states. One in fact had talked his parents into flying him out for a week to see me and go on college visits so that he could be closer to me. Well in all my awesomeness and maturity guess who I had pick him up from the airport to come stay at my house....yep go ahead shake your head now....that had to be the longest and most awkward week of that poor boys life! You deserved soo much better Scott! Lets take a moment to acknowledge all of the boys that I hurt, confused, or dismissed. I am truly sorry! I have tried to instill in my daughters how to be sensitive and caring to a boys emotions, that it has so much power over how he sees himself as a husband and father. It is better to be open and honest and encouraging about your feelings rather than leading someone along with a false sense of reality.
Ok back to the Summer Romance.....well after date 2 came 3,4, and so on it became a daily thing, thank you Summertime!! But back to the Kiss I was looking for on that first night, I may have gotten a hug on the second date I'm really not sure. He may have attempted to hold my hand after the 3rd. By the 4th date I was saying 'Houston We have a Problem!!!" Is this guy EVER going to kiss me!?! I was going to put it to the test! So the fourth date we ate dinner with his family and then went to basement to watch a very romantic movie "A Walk in the Clouds" I tried just about everything, put my head on his shoulder, leaned on him , gazed up at him for long periods of time through out the movie, and nothing! What in the world was happening..... the movie ended and we went into his room to listen to some music, a love we both shared. He sat on the edge of his bed and picked out some CD's to put in the player. I jumped up on the bed and laid my head in his lap so I could see the the cd's he was looking through. He played with my hair while I looked at the CD covers. Our eyes met and he very slowly leaned down and gave me a very gentle sweet kiss. In his defense we were in a very awkward position, But I took it! Finally!!!!
We were inseparable after that. There were plenty of challenges along the way but the constant thing that still remains 22 years later...He completes me, he balances me out, he was always meant to be the other half of me. We promised each other before we came to this earth that we would find each other and go through this together. I have never doubted that! We will soon Celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary....I will share more then about the ups and downs of our Beautiful perfectly imperfect Marriage Journey we have been on. But let me leave you with this, Marriage is like a fairy-tale, the real ones with with dragons, conquests, pain hurt, sorrow, hard work determination all in a great quest to find the treasure, save the day and be blissfully Happy Ever After! If you have ever paid attention there is nothing easy or uncomplicated about a fairy-tale. What makes them so beautiful and sought for is the power of Love behind them that drives the characters to overcome, conquer, and succeed. A love so Powerful it can only come from GOD.
This is first song we danced to at our wedding, not the easiest song to dance to but the message was more important to me....He was my True Companion!
(True Companion by Marc Cohn)
My name is Michelle Kaley but I have many other names.....Daughter, Sister, Wife of 20 years to my High School Sweetheart, Mom to my 4 Beautiful Children, Ms. Michelle to my hundreds of Students, and as of 2016 Cancer Patient was added to the list.