Have you ever had so much food and drink over an extended period of time, say vacation or the holidays, that the very thought of eating anything rich or taking a sip of alcohol makes you want to either cry or vomit (or both)? Yeah, that happened to us over the holidays. Now, don’t get us wrong, we LOVE good food and drink, but even us hardcore food bloggers need a break. Like when we’re not reviewing a restaurant for you, our awesome readers, we’re eating pretty light and healthy and exercising our butts off (literally) with programs like P90X. It’s all about balance, right?
So when Green + Tonic (Cos Cob, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan) approached us with the opportunity to try their 3-day Jumpstart Program to kickoff the New Year, we were all ears . . . with a few caveats. See, we wanted to make sure we stayed true to our beliefs if we were going to do this, so we shared with them that we don’t believe in “dieting” and we don’t believe in cleanses or detoxes. We said what we do believe in is balance, and eating healthy, whole, real, organic foods as much as possible, and in giving your digestive track a break from all the junk. The great thing was, Green + Tonic was totally on board with our philosophy and supportive of our approach. So, with a little fear mixed with excitement, we jumped in!
Let’s start with why we were excited: The menu was made up of super healthy, yummy sounding cold-pressed juices (which is the best kind because it keeps in the most nutrients), tasty sounding soups, and creative salads made from simple, whole ingredients. Our menu across all 3 days consisted of:
Breakfast: Detox tea, Jumpstart Bar, Cacao Chia Bar, Banana Chia Pudding with coconut shavings, Pumpkin (seasonal) Chia Pudding
Lunch: Grains & Greens, Harvest Vegetable salad, Baked Falafel salad
Dinner: Roasted 7 Vegetable & Quinoa soup, Curried Cauliflower soup, Rosemary Lentil soup,
Juices: SunRaven, Green Monster, Turmeric Tonic, Grasshopper, Jungle Juice, ABC, Skin GLO
Mylks: Almond Date and Chocolate Mylk
Now let’s talk about why we were afraid: Looking at the schedule (below), we wondered, would there be enough food? Would we be hangry? Would we be tired? Would we be able to drink aaaaall that juice? Could we survive without coffee?!?! Gah!
7am: Green Juice + Hot Tea
3pm: Green Juice
8pm: Nut Mylk
Well, let’s get some answers to those questions. . .
Day 1: A struggle
We want to be honest and say that our first day was tough. To begin, the first day was heavier on the green juices which were pretty celery forward. Kristien realized that she’s not really fond of celery in juice, but Dan didn’t mind it as much, even if it’s not his favorite. Had it not been for the celery, Kristien would’ve probably enjoyed these more, but thankfully we had the ABC juice which we both thought was tastier. Dan was able to power through and finish all his juices, but Kristien could only drink half of each juice (at most). Dan had the Jumpstart Protein Bar for breakfast and thought while it was a little dry, the taste wasn’t too bad. Kristien thought the Pumpkin Chia Pudding was good with a rich pumpkin-puree flavor and the texture of a tapioca pudding. We both thought the Baked Falafel Salad was tasty and we really enjoyed the Curry Cauliflower soup for dinner, which was rich and creamy with a fantastic spicy kick. The highlight was the Chocolate Mylk for dessert, which was surprisingly delicious . . . like crave-worthy delicious, actually. We enjoyed every sip of those.
Overall, though, we were pretty hungry at various parts of the day, never feeling FULLY satisfied, and we both felt a tad cranky and super tired by late afternoon. At about 3:00PM Kristien fell asleep at a meeting (oops), which prompted her to ask Green + Tonic how many calories were in the meal plan. After being told it was 900-1300 calories, Kristien realized because she hadn’t finished any of the juices she probably only had 400 calories by 3:00PM which would explain the falling asleep. We were also developing a bit of a headache from caffeine withdrawal, ugh.
Day 2: Getting easier (with help from some snacks)
We read on our Jumpstart Guide that if we were really hungry we could have some almond butter, veggies and hummus, avocado or other snacks like that so long as there was no dairy, meat, gluten, coffee, sugar, or processed junk. Having had such a tough time during Day 1, we decided this was a necessity, especially for Kristien who wasn’t finishing her juices.The juices were more fruit forward on this day which made them easier to drink. We especially liked the Turmeric Tonic with carrot, pineapple, pear, orange, turmeric root, lemon, and ginger. Dan drank all of his juices again, but Kristien only had half and didn’t drink the one with celery at all. The Banana Coconut Chia Pudding was creamy, but not as flavorful as the Pumpkin. Danny enjoyed it more than Kristien. Just like the first day the Grains & Greens salad and 7 Veggie & Quinoa soup were pretty tasty with a nice mix of ingredients and the Almond Date Mylk was (again) the yummy highlight.
When snacks were integrated, the program was much easier. Our moods and energy levels were much better and we enjoyed most of the food and juices.
Day 3: Fully adjusted and feeling lighter
Day 3 was similar to day 2. Again Kristien didn’t finish her juices, but Dan did. Again we liked our Harvest Vegetable salad, our Lentil Rosemary soup and the yummy Chocolate Mylk. Again we had healthy snacks (in between meals). Because Kristien didn’t enjoy the Chia Pudding she had an hard-boiled egg for breakfast which may have been against the rules (is that considered meat?). And, thankfully, we both felt good. In-fact, Kristien said her stomach felt less bloated from all the holiday junk and Dan weighed himself out of curiosity to find he had dropped 6 pounds (with some help from a new exercise program too).
The great thing about day 3 was that we felt like we got a nice reset after the holidays and didn’t have the desire to eat poorly the next day, or even the next week . . . which was exactly what we were hoping for.
We would be lying if we said it was easy from Day 1, or that we enjoyed all the food, or that we could have gotten through it without snacks. BUT, all that said, there were some very enjoyable highlights like the fresh salads, soups, fruit juices, and Mylks. And, it’s also important to note that we were given a broad variety of juices and food to try, whereas if you’re doing this you can pick your own snacks and juices to match what you like to eat. Without a doubt, the reduction in weight and bloating was a wonderful result that made it worthwhile.
Overall, it was nice to know we were eating only whole, real, organic foods without any processing, chemicals, or things that often trigger bad reactions in the body (like sugar or dairy). In fact, we have already started with one day a week not eating any of the forbidden things from the program and see if we can increase from there as a way to balance our lifestyles. Like we said in the beginning, we don’t believe in diets, cleanses, or detox, but if you’re looking for a super healthy reset for your body to get you on the right track, Green + Tonic has some great programs that will most definitely do the trick!