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Mar 11, 2014

Ready for a cleanse review? Yay! 

I recently ask Jae Berman, local SF Registered Dietitian (RD) to test ride our new Ra-Ra Cleanse. As an expert I look up to and respect in the health and wellness world, I was delighted and anxious for her to give it a try. And, the timing could not be more perfect. We're sharing Jae's candid review today - Registered Dietitians Day! We send a million gold stars to Jae and all RDs out there today! Many thanks for the dedicated work you do and services you provide!


A few weeks ago, I was in cold snowy, New York and just finishing an over the top meal at the fancy, new "it" restaurant in town...and as delicious as it was, it was a bit much and I started craving my California veggies and a run outdoors in non-snowy SF.  At that very gluttonous moment, I got an email from Teresa Piro from CAN CAN asking me if I would like to try the new Ra Ra cleanse.  Was it a sign from the heavens?? I said yes immediately!

I have known Teresa for years and what has always impressed me is her true passion for what she does.  She loves providing healthy, whole foods and truly wants all of her customers to live better, feel better and eat better.  I am not a big juicer as I love to eat, happily cook all my food and am quite pleased about my diet, but when Teresa asked me to try it, I knew I was in good hands.

All righty...let's get down to it.

Most importantly - How does it taste?  The best part of this cleanse is it really tastes so good!  The green juice does not require you to take a deep breath before and plug your nose.  There is just enough apple and lemon in there to sweeten it up and make it delish.  My favorite was the soup.  Such a tasty mid-day treat.  And, so easy to eat, even on the go.  I simply microwaved it in my office in the Mason jar it came in and it was perfect.  Nice puree texture - seriously so good! Still thinking about that soup.  And the salad - now that is a salad!  It is HUGE!  Definitely enough to fill you up and make you feel like you had a meal.  Full of a bunch of greens and veggies and goodies too - a great way to end the day.  I opted for the nut milk instead of the fruit juice and I savored each sip.  Fantastic, delish, devine, yum.  So good.  I am not just saying this to be nice, either - great taste, consistency and texture.  So proud of Teresa and what a quality product she has!

Next up - do you actually have to go on a cleanse to detox?  This one is a bit more controversial as I think the jury is still out on this one. Remember, I am a Registered Dietitian and we base all of our information on evidence based science.  Some would say our kidneys, colon and skin should be doing a solid job of detoxing us so that an actual juice cleanse isn't necessary for good health.  That being said, many of us do not eat vegetables (or we eat a serving a day rather than 5-9), most of us are dehydrated (I am talking to your urine usually clear in color?), and many of us over eat on fried and processed foods (I know, I is cheap and easy).  So...part of what I love about these cleanses is that it exposes you to a new way of living.  You can eat less...hydrate more...and get more nutrients into your diet.  All of us can do it and if a cleanse jump starts that behavior, I say go for it.  It is motivating to get a plan for 3 days with a solid goal and the finish line in site.  For many of us, this is just what we need to get us back on track.  It is also a way to remember what it feels like to be hungry.  We often eat too much and get bloated and overfill our tummies - this is avoided when you just drink juice all day!  You learn what it feels like to be a bit hungry and are okay with it.

A dietitian's rule - The rule we always say about juice cleanses is that it has to be mainly vegetables.  Some folks claim they are on a cleanse but they are simply drinking fruit juice all day long.   Fruit juice is loaded with sugar (even natural sugar is still sugar!)  and not enough fiber - that is why we suggest eating an orange rather than drinking it.  Eating one orange has less than 100 calories and is packed with fiber along with nutrients, while drinking a cup of juice could have several hundred calories and little fiber.  However, the Ra Ra cleanse was packed with veggies and very little fruit.  Also, the ingredients were whole and high quality.

I am going to be honest - I cheated.  I am sorry, but I had to!  But, I didn't cheat on sweets, booze and fried foods.  I added a couple of ounces of chicken to my salad on Day 2 and 3 because I was just too hungry.  My job does require me to keep up my exercise and I couldn't help myself.  This girl needed some extra protein.  I swear, I tried!

Pros of the Ra Ra adventure - felt great!  So hydrated, full of veggies from the drinks and huge salad, did not feel restricted and loved that the products tasted so good.  Also, Teresa provides all drinks in glass Mason jars to prevent waste - everything about it just feels good.

Cons...well, not sure I really have any. I need more calories than that on a regular basis considering how active I am and that I love to eat but, it was a great jump start after coming back from a trip and a wonderful way to get back into a healthy routine.

I am thinking about the soup and nut milk right now...ohh and that salad...


Jae Berman, MS, RD, CSSD, Regional Registered Dietitian at The San Francisco Bay Club, Certified Specialist Sports Dietitian and personal trainer.