This post has been two weeks in the making! Thirty-two bottles of juice later, I’m here to tell you about my participation in Garden of Flavor’s “Green Challenge.”
I’ve dabbled in drinking fresh juice from time to time over the past year. Last spring, I completed a one-day juice cleanse with Garden of Flavor’s juices and wrote about my experience here on the blog. While I absolutely loved the juices, refraining from food and drinking only juice for a full day was a test of willpower. I walked away feeling glad that I had tried the cleanse for the experience, but feeling that adding the occasional bottle of juice into my usual diet would be a more doable approach than cleansing for me in the future. That’s not to say that I cannot see the merits in using a one day juice cleanse as a way to kick start healthier eating, it’s just not for everyone.
More recently, I’ve also tried making my own juice at home – without a juicer! I don’t have tons of kitchen storage and so I have to be selective when it comes to purchasing new kitchen gadgets. As a result, I wasn’t too keen on investing in a juicer; however, I found a way to make juice using only a blender and a nut milk bag (and fruits and veggies of course!).
While this method works well enough, it is time-consuming and really only practical for me to do so on the weekends, when I have time to prep all the veggies, hand-squeeze the juice, wash the blender, rinse out the nut milk bag, and clean up the mess. It’s tough for me to find time to make juice during the week when I work full-time.
That’s where Garden of Flavor’s 14-Day Green Challenge comes in! The idea of changing nothing about my diet – not a thing – for two weeks, other than adding two juices from Garden of Flavor (Mean Green and Green Harmony) really resonated with me after my past experiences with fresh juice.
I strive to share things with you here on the blog that genuinely resonate with me, and for that reason I wanted to share my experience with you! While I was not compensated for this post, I was kindly gifted two weeks worth of juice from Garden of Flavor so that I could take part in the challenge.
So a bit more about these juices, from Garden of Flavor’s website:
“Garden of Flavor’s cold-pressed juicer extracts the purest juice possible from fresh, organic vegetables and fruits without utilizing heat so that the concentrated nutrients, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and living enzymes remain intact. Because our juices are cold-pressed, they provide instant nourishment as your body quickly absorbs the nutrients from the vegetables and fruits in their most natural and beneficial form. Garden of Flavor’s juices are never heated or “flash pasteurized” and are alive with chlorophyll and enzymes just as nature intended.”
While quality fresh juices, like Garden of Flavor’s, are not the cheapest, nor is making your own juice at home. It takes a lot of produce to make a significant quantity of juice! Having made my own juice at home, I can certainly respect the price that Garden of Flavor charges for their juices.
Also, please note that it takes FIVE POUNDS of green, leafy veggies to make one bottle of each of these green juices!
Basically, these juices are the real deal and I feel great about putting them into my body.
Clearly I had to make some room to put them into my fridge as well!
At first, my favorite of the two was the Green Harmony, as it contains fresh apple juice as one of the ingredients, making it a bit sweeter than the more vegetal Mean Greens. Most days I drank a Mean Greens juice after my morning coffee and before lunch each day, and then sipped on a Green Harmony juice around 2 or 3pm each afternoon, after lunch.
The Green Harmony juice also contains over 1 billion probiotics which are thought to have several benefits such as aiding digestion.
However, the more I drank the juices, the more I came to prefer the more vegetal Mean Greens juice! It you like parsley, you’ll love this juice. Both taste great though.
These stellar nutrition facts are what sold me on the juice. As you can see, these juices are in fact 100% juice, made from USDA-certified organic produce, and flood your body with vitamins and minerals, as they are never heated which allows them to retain many of their nutrients by the time you get around to drinking them.
I definitely appreciate that these juices are relatively low-calorie. As a well-seasoned calorie counter, I was initially concerned that adding two extra bottles of juice to my regular diet each day could possible cause me to gain a bit of weight, but this did not end up being the case. Since the juices are primarily made from veggies, there are not as many naturally occurring sugars as, say, fruit juices, which keeps the calorie content in check. Also, I think that because I was consuming these juices throughout the day, I naturally compensated at lunch and dinner by eating a little bit less without really thinking about it, because I wasn’t as crazy-hungry for lunch and dinner for usual after having juice in the morning and afternoon.
All in all, I really enjoyed participating in the Garden of Flavor Green Challenge. I wouldn’t say it was life-changing or anything like that, but I know that I mentally felt good about adding these healthy juices to my body each day, and I think each time I drank a bottle it gave me a small mental boost.
The biggest thing I noticed was that I felt very hydrated! Adding 32 extra ounces of liquid to my diet each day was indeed noticeable in terms of number of trips required to the restroom each day (a couple extra – no big deal), but I think one of the big reasons I have been feeling good over the last couple weeks is partially because of how well-hydrated I have been!
I am prone to getting both tension and hormonal headaches each month, but I’ve not had any headaches over the past two weeks. It’s not unusual for me to go two weeks without a headache, but it’s nice when it happens! I’m guessing it was just a result of the last two weeks not being terribly stressful, relatively speaking, and from being well-hydrated and well-nourished.
As I alluded earlier in the post, making my own juice and drinking it through it week is not very feasible for me, so it was really fantastic having these juices to drink each day for the last two weeks. I am TOTALLY going to miss having them for several reasons. These juices…
- Taste great
- Help me stay hydrated when I get bored drinking water and want to avoid sugary sodas and processed drinks,
- Help me provide my body with healthy and natural vitamins and minerals.
Guess I’ll have to go stock up on some more!
Hiller’s Market on Washtenaw Ave in Ann Arbor carries these juices. Garden of Flavor’s juices can also be found at many other locations around the Midwest, and you can find a list of locations here. (And more stores coming soon.)
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my experience.
(FYI: Garden of Flavor kindly gifted me the juices for my Green Challenge. As always, all opinions are my own.)