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10 Lessons Learned from Days 1-5 of 15 Day Reboot!

10 Lessons Learned, Days 1-5 of 15 Day Reboot with Joe

plus pictures!

(See Cleanse 101 and Day 1 Report posts if you haven’t already)

1. I do like to chew food and when I chew a gigantic salad, I cannot put on a measly 1 Tablespoon of salad dressing!

Reboot Green Salad

2. When I’m not eating any grains and barely any protein, I need at least 1/2 an avocado a day to stay satiated.

3. Even the first 5 days, which do incorporate some chewable food, were enough to feel “rebooted.” My husband said it best. “When a bowl of cheerios seems like an indiscretion, where before it would have been a box of cookies, you know you’ve rebooted.”

Island Green Smoothie

4. I lost 4 pounds in the first 5 days, but I needed a break. After 5 days I was hitting a wall. Rather than go into the full on liquid-only stage for days 6-15, we took a little break for Shabbat. Our Friday night dinner was pretty darn healthy, but it felt like a feast, after the week on the Reboot. We had lentil soup, salad and the Reboot recipe of acorn squash with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Wow. 3 items in 1 meal? Such pigs! Lol…

Acorn Squash with Mushrooms and Onions

5. I like to enjoy my food. There is a difference between getting high on sugar and flour, and simply enjoying your food because it tastes good. Some of the juice recipes were incredibly bitter. I had to doctor them to make them even remotely palatable. To give Reboot credit, some of the recipes would probably have tasted better as juices. However, I’m vitamixing them. See Cleanse 101 post for more info.

carrot Apple Ginger

6. I liked having my meals ready made and planned for me. Then, when I was busy (especially as this week was Mommy Camp!), I had a smart choice waiting for me in the fridge.

Sauteed Greens with Garlic

7. This does not work traveling unless you’re able to hit a local juice bar, and sometimes there isn’t one.

8. When in doubt, eat a green vegetable! I am so focused on vegetables right now, having protein in the form of beans, nuts or tofu seems extravagant. I have started to do that though because I do need protein and don’t have a need to go 15 days without it.

Celery Pear Cucumber

9. Instead of doing the extreme 15 days first, it’s going to work better for me to simply incorporate the smoothies/juices for breakfast and lunch each day and then eat a real dinner: a salad, cooked vegetable and some form of vegan protein. For instance, I added black beans to the acorn squash reboot recipe and it was amazing. I can also eat lentil soup or have tofu and sauteed or steamed greens, for just a few examples. I’m hoping I can continue to lose weight with this modified plan.

Berry Apple Cinnamon Bake

10. I have a lot of menu planning and grocery shopping to do! The 15 day Reboot plan has a number of juices that are options for the liquid days 6-15, that weren’t in the first 5 days. I’m keeping an open mind and plan to try most of them this week. The Reboot website also has lots of recipes for actual meals where one chews food! I don’t normally advocate focusing on calories. However, since I know I’ll be eating all good food, and I’m busting through a weight-loss plateau, I think I will use the Reboot website to help me create menus that are 1200 calories per day.

Someone asked me if I felt very different on the cleanse, since I do already eat so well. I do. It’s similar to when I went from vegetarian to vegan. I just feel cleaner inside. I definitely have more energy and a clearer head. I’m not leaping off of tall buildings in a single bound, but I feel good. I feel like I’ve just been throwing every nutrient possible at my body and that’s always a good thing.

I’ve been drinking the smoothies and soups, etc. from the plan this weekend but not following it exactly. I’m eager to see how this week goes if I follow it exactly during the day and then eat a ridiculously healthy and clean dinner. Simply skipping grains and sugar will add up quickly in my weight loss efforts. I am all for moderation. I’m just trying to accomplish a specific weight loss goal right now (you know, lose all the baby weight before my son turns 3!). I think even though I am cutting out food groups, like grains, a diet of fruits, vegetables, tofu and beans is about the healthiest way a person could lose weight.

I look forward to hearing from you. What are your juice fast/cleanse experiences? What do you think the healthiest way to lose weight is?

 Acorn Squash Flower Bouquet

Day 1: 15 Day Reboot using Vitamix

Day 1 Report!

Today was Day 1 of my 15 Day Reboot, 1 of several plans on As I wrote in my Cleanse 101 post, I’ve decided to do the Reboot using my Vitamix and not a juicer. According to the Reboot FAQ’s this is just fine. Read more of the Cleanse 101 post to see the difference between blending and juicing.

I spent about 2 hours last night preparing food for today. What I realized today though was that yesterday we went out for dinner. Today I made dinner for the kids and their friends, then had to clean up and put together my cleanse dinner. The cleanse dinner didn’t take that much work, but I am not up to now cooking everything for tomorrow. So I will just have to get up early and do it then. Looking forward to the increased energy from the cleanse because I am exhausted! Not from the food (or lack thereof!), but because it is Mommy Camp: Week 1 of 2 (post-camp, pre-school).

Here is the menu for Day 1 (all of the recipes are available on the 15 Day Reboot plan pdf).

Breakfast: Berry-Apple-Cinnamon Bake

Berry Apple Cinnamon Bake

Morning and Afternoon Snacks: Carrot Apple Ginger Juice

carrot Apple Ginger

Lunch: Green Salad and Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries

Reboot Green Salad

Dinner: Kale and Avocado Salad with Vinaigrette and Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries

You can see from the repeats that the plan doesn’t expect you to make 15 different dishes every day, but it is a challenge to cook everything and also feed the kids. I know I saw a blog somewhere with pointers about this, but I didn’t have a chance to read it. I also made my kids some of the carrots and sweet potatoes, but they didn’t go for it. They do usually eat them, but you know how it is. Every day they like (and dislike) something different!

Bottom line: I don’t think I was any hungrier than usual. However, as usual it was very hard for me to eat, period, running around with the kids. I had part 1 of my lunch at 1pm, part 2 at 3pm and my afternoon snack at 5pm! The big difference today was that I was completely prepared with what I was going to eat next and I stuck to that instead of grabbing what I could here and there. Most of what I eat intentionally is very healthy. It’s the grazing that I know adds up to tons of unintentional calories that aren’t adding many nutrients to my diet. Being on the cleanse is helping me be very intentional about NOT grazing. It’s not always easy to remember though! I have to keep reminding myself.

Day 1 verdict: I can totally do this!

Vitamix Cleanse! Who wants to Reboot with me?

Vitamix Cleanse! Who wants to Reboot with me?

To Cleanse or not to Cleanse?

If you cleanse, to Eat Food or not to Eat Food?

Detoxing and Cleansing are everywhere. Juice bars are the new cupcake stores and we’re all shelling out $11 for a jar of juice like we used to pay $6 for a coffee drink. Instead of food deliveries, we’re ordering juice deliveries to our homes.

I’ve completed two food-based cleanses before and found them very effective for renewed energy, resetting my taste buds and food preferences and of course, weight loss. During the first cleanse, I lost 7 pounds in 10 days and for the second cleanse I lost 4 pounds in the 7 days I was on it. I talked to someone the other day who had similar results drinking only water and chicken bouillon for a week. I told her she could have eaten and had the same results! To put it simply, my cleanses were high nutrient, no grains, sugar or processed food. (For more information and a great experience, contact Health Coach Deborah Amster at

The juicing movement took off a few years ago after the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead movie/documentary became a cult favorite. In the movie, a guy named Joe goes on an all juice diet and loses 100 lbs, regaining his health and inspiring others to do the same (ultimately creating Subsisting on only juice seems a bit extreme to me but I can understand the appeal of its simplicity.

In the movie he uses a Breville Juicer and if you go to, Breville is all over the place. However, I own a Vitamix. If you don’t know, that’s a crazy expensive blender (or, “more than a blender,” as the company says) that essentially pulverizes anything you put into it. Green smoothies become just that: smooth. They are literally fluffy instead of the little green pieces you usually find in a shake made by a regular blender. So, suffice it to say, I’m not looking to invest in a juicer any time soon. For those without a high powered blender or a juicer, you’ll have to decide on which investment to make.

In fact, if you aren’t sure you want to buy any machine that may end up unused in your kitchen (or your just busy and want someone else to take care of it!), you can order plenty of juice cleanses online (see Glow Bio by Kimberly Snyder in the picture below) or pick up juice locally.

Cleanse PackageFINAL

Locally, I love Puree Juice Bar in Bethesda, MD.

Puree juice bar, helping the DC area get their juice on

I have not heard of an all smoothie cleanse, although I’m told that Hawthorne Organic in NW, DC incorporates both juices and smoothies into their cleanse plans. In addition, they’ll work with you to tailor the program to your needs, although they do not deliver.

I’ve looked into it and apparently you can use a Vitamix instead of a juicer to do one of the Reboot cleanses from its website. (And I’m sure you could also do a sufficient job with a regular blender.) You might want to try in order to see if you really want to make an investment in a Vitamix or juicer.

Classic Blenders: C-Series

The difference between using a Vitamix and a juicer is that, with blending the produce in the Vitamix, you are keeping the fiber from the fruits and vegetables. I consider that a good thing (and a lot less clean up time than cleaning all that pulp out of the juicer!). Some people want to give their bodies such a rest that they don’t want the fiber. I, however, have seen great cleansing results from eating whole foods and think I’ll do just fine on blending, rather than juicing. It will also keep me full.

The Reboot website offers guided cleanses for a fee, but also several cleanse plans (from 3-15 days) for free.

This coming Monday I am going to start the 15 day Reboot. You can see which cleanse time and type might be most appropriate for you. The plan I will follow involves eating almost all fruits and vegetables for 5 days, progressively replacing more of your meals with juice, until you consume nothing but juice for days 6-15. I’m going to do this using my Vitamix. So I’ll be getting all the benefits of the fruits and vegetables, including the fiber. In addition, I may add plant-based proteins like hemp and chia. I don’t need to do a mystical cleanse on top of a mountain, delirious without protein. I still need to function as a mom, as well as work and exercise!

For two days before this week’s Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, I drank a ton of green juice (see recipe below), in addition to real food (but much less than usual and no grains). I really think it helped me complete the fast. Sometimes, as long as we are hydrated, the less food we eat, the less food we need. Sometimes, especially with empty calories, the more we eat, the hungrier we are.

I’m all about eating real food in a way that is sustainable so that you don’t have to worry about “gaining all the weight back.” However, I have hit a weight loss plateau that has become very frustrating. I think that not having to focus on food (because the plan is set out for me and I’m mostly just drinking my food), I’ll actually be able to cut out the mindless grazing I do that I’m sure is sabotaging my weight loss efforts. In the couple of days that I downed a ton of green juice I had lots of energy, slept better and felt an increase in clarity. Imagine 15 days! Sometimes we need a few days where we don’t have to make decisions about what to eat and what not to eat. So that is what I am going to do.

Starting next Monday, this is my plan.

Before then, I’m going to replace a few meals with the following Vitamix cleanse that I found on an athlete’s blog.

The first recipe is the “Green Juice” I referred to above. If you add plenty of water (I also added coconut water), the mixture takes on the consistency of juice and produces enough for you to drink all day, in between and perhaps in place of, your usual meals. You can also share with your family and friends!

Of the following plan, unfortunately I’ve been away from my Vitamix for logistical reasons this week and only had a chance to try the Morning Greens recipe. I look forward to making the others over the next few days before I start the Reboot. Especially over Shabbat, I’m not looking to replace all meals with these juices. However, adding them to my daily routine will give me more energy and keep me away from empty and unhealthy calories.

[Keep reading after these smoothie recipes for less extreme options for speedy weight loss, increased health and energy.]

STORAGE/PREP TIPS: I store my smoothies in mason jars with these reusable plastic lids. I’m also going to purchase these tops that allow you to pour, open and close and use a straw easily.

This is also a good 2 in 1 option.

Ball 1440015000 Regular Mouth Mason Sip and Straw Lids

I can use a dry erase marker to label the tops of the plastic lids before placing them in the freezer or fridge.

Morning Greens (Green Juice using a blender)

1 Cucumber

Handful of Kale

Handful of Spinach

3 Celery Stalks

1/2 lemon peeled

Small knob of ginger (peeled)

2 Granny Smith Apples

4 Cups Water

3 cups coconut water, divided

Blend until smooth and a juice consistency. If you aren’t achieving that consistency, add more water. You may have to do that in batches, depending on the size of your blender. 4 cups of water filled my entire 64 oz Vitamix container. I then took a mason jar, added 1/4- 1/3 cup of coconut water and 5 ice cubes. I filled the rest with the Vitamix juice mixture. This makes it cold and a little sweeter, which changes the entire experience and makes it easy to keep drinking. I put the leftovers in a 64 oz pitcher and used the new space in the pitcher (from pouring myself 1 serving) to add ice and coconut water. I then put the whole thing in the fridge. If you don’t want to pour from a pitcher, like if you will be taking your juice to your office or on a car trip, you can also simply repeat what I did with the first Mason jar in additional ones, until you have approximately 6 filled. Then you’ll have them handy to grab and go for the rest of the day. If you’re going to be using the juice in more than 1 day from making it, put the jars in the freezer and then take one out 3 hours before you want to drink it.

Mid-Morning Boost

1/3rd of a Pineapple, Chopped (or just use frozen!)

2 Granny Smith Apples

2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint

1 Cup Water

Blend until smooth.

Late lunch

5 Strawberries

Small Handful of Blueberries

Small Handful of Blackberries

1 Banana (frozen is best)

Handful of Spinach

1 Scoop of Hemp Protein Powder

5 Cashews

1 Cup of Water

Blend until smooth.


2 Roma Tomatoes

3 Carrots (Peeled and Chopped)

3 Celery Stalks

2 Cups Water

Blend until smooth or a little chunky like gazpacho. Your choice.


1 Handful of Cashews

Dash of Cinnamon

1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract (which was too much)

1 Cup of Water

Blend until smooth.

What if I want to eat?

If you are concerned you’ll feel deprived and you like to chew, but want to use juicing or blending as a way to increase your nutrient intake, you can always juice for 2 meals a day. That can also work well if you are a committed meat or fish eater. I’d recommend committing to 1 meal a day (breakfast is perfect) and then, when you’ve got that routine down, deciding if lunch or dinner will be your other juice/smoothie meal. Perhaps you have a lunch meeting where you will need to eat at a restaurant, in which case you can skip the juice but make sure to pick a place where you can order a meal of mostly fruits and vegetables, and then juice for breakfast and dinner.

If you need to maintain your body weight, I would just add juice or smoothies to increase your nutrients and not replace any meals with them.

Knowing that one or two of your meals each day will consist entirely of fruits and vegetables (and perhaps hemp protein powder, or other nuts and seeds) will¬† help you create a healthy and sustainable routine. After all, isn’t that what we’re all ultimately looking for?

Stay tuned for reports on the cleanse and do let me know if you want to join me (and my hubby who is also participating). You are welcome to bring your fruits and vegetables to my house and use my Vitamix. I’m here to support you!