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Review: Joulebody Wellness Cleanse

November 20, 2012

Today we’re stepping out of the drink-by-numbers juice cleansing box! This cleanse came to me courtesy of Joulebody out of New York City. Joulebody’s juice + food programs help you cleanse gently, without starving, and all their offerings are free of dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, soy, and nuts.

Last Tuesday through Thursday, I completed their 3-day Active cleanse program.

Arrival: The package was delivered at 9:30am, having been sent with overnight shipping in an insulated box. The contents of the box were VERY securely packed, and everything arrived well-chilled.

Right off the bat, I noticed that all of Joulebody‘s juices and soups were packaged in glass jars. Love that! Everything else was packed in recyclable/eco-friendly packaging of varying types.

Options: When ordering a Joulebody cleanse, you choose between the On-The-Go Cleanse, Kickstart Cleanse, Active Cleanse, or Cheat Treat Cleanse. Since I’m a daily exerciser, I chose the Active. Your cleanse can be 3, 5, or even 20 days long (I did 3).

Variety: All 3 days of the Joulebody cleanse contain the same juice drinks, but different lunches and dinners.

9am: Juice Drink #1

Days 1-3: Joulebody Raw
Water, watermelon, apples, collards, Swiss chard, kale, Joulebody cleanse mix (chia seeds, hempseeds, turmeric, dandelion root, Himalayan salt, cayenne, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, lemon, apple juice
Each day of the cleanse begins with this juice drink. It’s really more of a thin smoothie than a juice (as are all of Joulebody‘s drinks). Despite the glut of berries it contains, I didn’t taste them very much, but I still liked the drink, especially after I added a few drops of stevia to it.

12pm: Lunch

Day 1: Mexican Fiesta Wrap
Adzuki beans, potassium broth, brown rice, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, carrots, collards
Though the serving size is quite small, I was surprised at how filling this wrap was. The collard greens were just a little too tough for my taste, so I actually ended up dumping out the filling and eating it by itself. It was slightly spicy, with a faint tinge of curry-like flavor, and the tender adzuki beans were my favorite part.

Day 2: Vegan Risotto
Brown rice, potassium broth, cayenne, turmeric, mushroom, apple cider vinegar, celery, carrots
This non-traditional risotto is pleasantly earthy-tasting and just creamy enough.

Day 3: Calming Lentil Chamomile Salad
Lentils, potassium broth, cayenne, turmeric, chamomile, yam, herbs, spices, celery, carrots, kale
This was my favorite dish of the cleanse! It was perfectly seasoned and all-around satisfying.

3pm: Juice Drink #2

Days 1-3: Joulebody Green
Water, apples, collards, Swiss chard, kale, Joulebody cleanse mix (chia seeds, hempseeds, turmeric, dandelion root, Himalayan salt, cayenne, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), lemon, grapes, apple juice
This drink is the thickest (and therefore, to me, the most filling) of the “juices.” I enjoyed the greens and cleansing seeds/spices better in this apple juice base than in the morning’s Joulebody Raw drink. Again, I added a few drops of stevia to brighten up the flavor, since it’s not very sweet on its own. This was probably my favorite drink of the day.

5pm: Juice Drink #3

Days 1-3: Joulebody Citrus
Water, lemon, ayurvedic tea, Joulebody cleanse mix (chia seeds, hempseeds, turmeric, dandelion root, Himalayan salt, cayenne, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
I was a little taken aback by how not-sweet this lemonade-like juice drink is—but I consider that a good thing! It contains no added sugars, yet it isn’t too tart, either. (I will admit, though, that I added a dash of stevia to sweeten it up a bit.) I like how it uses a tea, rather than water, base.

7pm: Dinner

Day 1: Brussels Sprout & Shiitake Soup
Brussels sprouts, potassium broth, adzuki beans, cayenne turmeric, carrot, celery, herbs, spices
I’ve been under the impression that I only enjoyed Brussels sprouts when they’re roasted—apparently I was wrong! The sprouts in this soup were tender and tasty, and paired well with the meaty shiitake mushrooms. The potassium broth is flavorful and not too salty. (Note: no oil is listed in the ingredient list, but the soup did appear to contain oil, though I could be wrong.)

Day 2: Curry Croquettes
Energize: pumpkin, potassium broth, chickpeas, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, celery, carrots, kale
Based on the ingredient list, I expected I’d like these, and I more or less did. I wish they’d been a little crisper on the outside, rather than mushy throughout, but the flavor was good. I’m glad the kale was there to provide some texture.

Day 3: Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin, potassium broth, squash, chickpeas, turmeric, ginger, apple cider vinegar, celery, carrots
This mildly gingery stew had huge chunks of tender pumpkin and carrots in it. Tasty.

Anytime: Snack

Day 1: Detoxifying Ginger Bar
Raw ginger, buckwheat flour, Joulebody cleanse mix (Himalayan salt, chia seeds, flaxseeds, turmeric), maple syrup, canola oil
I’m afraid did not like this. It looked ok, even with its turmeric-yellow hue (and despite the inclusion of canola oil, which I wasn’t thrilled about), but the unpleasant taste and dry texture just wasn’t good. Granted, I’m not a huge fan of ginger to begin with, but this bar seemed to have an overpowering amount of it.

Days 2 and 3: Detoxifying Brownie Bar
Cacao, buckwheat flour, Joulebody cleanse mix (Himalayan salt, chia seeds, flaxseeds, turmeric, cayenne), maple syrup, canola oil
Although I didn’t fall in completely love with this bar, it was much better than the ginger bar. It still had a bit of a funny taste from the turmeric, so I ended up smearing a little peanut butter on it to make it tastier.

Extras: Besides the reusable glass bottles and jars, Joulebody also sends you a folder of information on the contents of your cleanse.

Cost: 3-day Joulebody cleanses cost anywhere from $58 to $90 a day (depending on which cleanse you choose). Shipping costs vary widely depending on where in the country you live; it can be as little as $20 (in or around New York City) or much as $95 (to Los Angeles, for instance) per 3-day cleanse. This brings the total price of a 3-day cleanse to anywhere from $195 to $370, or $65 to $120 per day.
(Full disclosure: Joulebody sent me this cleanse “on the house.”)

Support: Joulebody sends you pre- and post-cleanse emails containing cleansing tips and guidelines.

How to Order: Online.

Final thoughts:
At the beginning of my Joulebody cleanse, I wasn’t totally jazzed by the juice drinks, but by day 3, I was actually craving them. Ditto for the food—though some of it seemed a little bland at first, it actually helped awaken my taste buds over the course of three days to become more finely tuned and able to detect subtle, natural flavors. All in all, this cleanse was very different from the juice cleanses I’ve done, not only because it includes solid food, but because it was so low in sugar (even natural sugars). The benefits were different from other cleanses, too—though it didn’t “clean me out” the way pure juice can, it helped retrain my body and mind to expect and enjoy milder, “healthy-tasting” food. If a Joulebody cleanse is within your budget, I think it’s a unique and worthwhile way to reset your tastebuds and help you move away from excessive sugar, salt, and fat in your diet.

BONUS: Joulebody is extending an exclusive 10% discount to Chef Amber Shea readers! Use coupon code 11ALMOSTVEGANJB at checkout to get 10% off any cleanse purchase.

Happy early Thanksgiving (to those of you here in the U.S.)! See you next week.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2012 3:56 pm

    Interesting. The bars do look kinda weird, but the soups look good. And the lunches….although I don’t think that would be enough food for me. 🙂

    • November 20, 2012 3:57 pm

      The portion sizes were definitely small, but most of the lunches were pretty satisfying. 🙂

  2. November 20, 2012 6:18 pm

    THIS is my kind of cleanse. Food food food yes yes. Also, when you were describing the ginger bar, my first thought was “add nut butter”. Then I kept reading, and you were already there. High five.

    • November 20, 2012 6:20 pm

      High-five! That super-gingery bar was not my cup of tea, but you or Lisa might’ve liked it. 🙂 The chocolate bar + PB was a winner, though!

  3. November 22, 2012 3:17 pm

    Any juice program that includes food is instantly about a hundred times more appealing to me. I would love to be able to order just those soups, in fact!

  4. November 26, 2012 12:20 pm

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You’re so sweet. Hope all is well with you. I’ve actually enjoyed your cleanse posts, although this is the first one I’ve commented on. I’ve never ordered a cleanse from a service like this. I think it is interesting that this one includes food, as well.

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