Tales of a Sugar Addict

Tales of a Sugar Addict + a Suja Juice #Giveaway

I consider myself to be incredibly lucky. I get to work from home and do what I love more than anything else- create recipes, photograph them and write about them. But no job is perfect and transitioning into the food industry has not been without it’s problems. Before attending culinary school I was never a desserts girl. I would take an appetizer or salty snack over sugar any day. Heck, I even named this blog Savory Simple. But something happened while I was at school. Every single day for six months we created a 3-course gourmet meal; an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. And every single day we ate the food we made for lunch. Baking desserts became a source of comfort for me in a chaotic, stressful environment. I loved the science, I loved the process and I grew to really love eating the results, so much that sometimes I would skip the main course and go straight to dessert. Fast forward several years in the industry and there’s no getting around the truth; I have a sugar addiction. 

Throughout high school and college I was a smoker but I quit around 10 years ago. And I would never go back to smoking cigarettes, especially after losing several people in my life to cancer. But the reason I bring this up is because the cravings I now get for sugar are equally as intense as the ones I used to get for nicotine. They are sudden, they are powerful and they are persistent. Once I start thinking about sugar I have a hard time thinking about anything else. 4 out of 5 times I give in to that craving, just as I did for years with cigarettes. And to be blunt, this has caused me to gain a lot of weight. About 20 pounds.

Now I find myself in a bit of a tricky situation. I have a job that I absolutely love and wouldn’t trade for anything. But this job requires me to taste recipes with sugar on a regular basis. It is like trying to quit smoking while having a job that requires me to take several puffs per day. There’s no escaping it. And I have no interest at this time in becoming a recipe developer who specializes exclusively in healthy recipes. It’s not what I love to do and it’s not why companies hire me. There is nothing in the world more satisfying to me than photographing a beautiful layer cake or dripping ice cream. I’m not ready to give that up yet. Sorry to toot my own horn but I think I’m damn good at it (and proud).

Tales of a Sugar Addict + a Suja Juice #Giveaway

Health experts are often very divisive when it comes to sugar. It’s either “Sugar is a drug and should be completely eliminated” or “Moderation is key and eliminating anything completely is wrong.” I am not here to argue about anything, just share my own experience. Personally, I don’t think there’s one right way for anyone and I need to find my own path.

I was contacted last November by Suja Juice about doing a review and giveaway. I had always wanted to try a juice cleanse but was too scared, mainly because I occasionally suffer from bad migraines. But after repeated failed attempts at cutting back on the sugar I was feeling very down on myself and… kind of hopeless. I decided I had nothing to lose. So a week before Thanksgiving I embarked on my first juice cleanse. For five days my diet would consist of six 16-ounce Suja juices and not much else. I was kind of petrified.

Tales of a Sugar Addict + a Suja Juice #Giveaway

Before starting I consulted with a few health coaches about whether it was ok to keep the caffeine in. “Absolutely not!” they all said emphatically. “You will not get all of the cleanse benefits! Caffeine is BAD!” Hrm. You know what? I ignored every single one of them. I honestly think that attitude is what keeps so many people from experimenting with juicing. Why does everything have to be so all or nothing? So what if I don’t get 100% of the benefit? Isn’t 90% of the benefit still much better than nothing? I kept in the caffeine and made a few other modifications which I’ll discuss in more detail below.

So how did the cleanse go for me, even without eliminating caffeine? It was amazing. The experience was a revelation and I’m hooked. No headaches. In fact, as I type this I’m on Day 2 of another 5 day Suja detox and this time it isn’t sponsored. I bought the whole thing myself. It is expensive? Yes. Is it worth it for someone like me? Absolutely. For the first time in ages, I feel real hope about conquering my sugar addiction in a way that will allow me to keep doing what I love.

I was surprised by how much I liked the flavors of the six juices. The Fiji was a bit heavy on the ginger for me but all of them tasted better than anything I’ve ever managed to juice from scratch. And they use some creative ingredients as well. The Vanilla Cloud juice has almonds and the Fuel juice has turmeric. I never got bored with them. I hate to sound like a commercial but Suja really makes the whole juicing experience very easy. It would take me forever to make all of these flavors from scratch at home every day. And it wouldn’t be much cheaper. These juices are expensive but you’re paying for convenience, flavor variety and ease of use.

After the 5 day detox all of my cravings were gone and my appetite was a fraction of what it normally would be. On that last day I woke up craving juice. And when I started incorporating real foods back into my diet, all I wanted was fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Remember how I finished the cleanse two days before Thanksgiving? Well, this sugar addict had zero interest in the holiday desserts. Ultimately what threw me off track again was work. I had many dessert recipes due before Christmas and taste testing slowly worked sugar back into my diet. My hope is that with this second detox I will be able to maintain the results longer. I’m keeping refined sugars and carbs out of my diet for at least the next month.

In summary, I’m not ready to give up yet. Is there a possibility that eventually I’ll have to give up sugar completely? Sure. But my weight issue is not yet out of control and I’m a fighter. I’ve worked very hard to get where I am today and I want to believe there’s a way for me to have it all- the cake and the body. I think juicing will help me maintain control. And I’m very grateful that Suja sent a free detox my way.

Here are my Tips for Juicing:

  1. Figure out your goals in advance and come up with a game plan to help you succeed. I left in the caffeine because eliminating it would have set me up for migraines. My goal was to detox off of refined sugar and carbohydrates. Every day I had 2-3 cups of coffee with plain, unsweetened almond milk.
  2. Come up with a “cheat” in advance that you’re allowed to have if you need it. Suja recommends options such as half an avocado or a small sweet potato. Most days I had a hard boiled egg with a sprinkle of salt mid-afternoon. It’s better to come up with an option in advance so you have a safety zone before giving up.
  3. If you happen to work in the food industry like me, take care of as much food business as possible in the morning. Don’t torture yourself by brainstorming recipes at 5pm.

Tales of a Sugar Addict + a Suja Juice #Giveaway

And now I’d like to share this experience with you! One reader will win a free 3 day Suja Juice cleanse. You must be at least 18 years old to enter and have a US address where the juice can be shipped. This contest will run through Saturday, January 18th at 7pm EST. I will select a winner at random and that person will have 48 hours to respond to my email before a new winner is selected. Good luck!

This giveaway has ended.

Disclaimer: Suja Juice provided me with a free 5 day cleanse to review as well as a free 3 day cleanse to give away. As always, all opinions are my own.

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  • I am SO excited for you! My husband and I have talked about doing this cleanse, but haven’t committed yet- primarily of the cost. It would be a huge blessing to win the cleanse- then no excuses! I look forward to hearing more about your 2nd time around.

    • LIBBY,
      I wish my husband would do this cleanse with me.
      He doesn’t have enough willpower to resist a good looking pizza, fries and etc…Marines I tell ya…
      Good luck Libby! :)

  • It’s so nice to hear about these kind of products from real people who have actually tried them. Being a food blogger myself, I could totally use something like this!

  • First off, I only just discovered your blog, but you are darn amazing at photography, no question. Secondly, I really enjoyed reading about your juicing experience because it wasn’t generic and it wasn’t “perfect.” I also struggle with head aches, but never considered a cleanse. And I’m glad you included caffiene and still had great results. Congrats for sticking with it!

    • I am also glad that you included caffeine in your juicing program. Suffering from migraines on a regular basis is is awful & it’s what made me shy of juicing. Suffering from migraines due to caffeine withdrawal is down right horrendous. Thanks for sharing your experience. It gives me hope that I can juice & not suffer any dreadful migraines during the process.

  • I’m a sugar addict too. It’s taken me a lot longer than it should too realize that, and frankly I find it way harder to quit than smoking was. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trying a juice cleanse to see if that can help break the need. This would be an awesome chance!

  • I just picked up the GLOW and Vanilla Cloud at Whole Foods just to try them. I haven’t decided whether I want to do the 5 day cleanse yet, but it sounds like it would be a great thing to try at least once. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • I have finally gotten into a much better eating habit and think I am at a place where I could successfully complete a cleanse. I would love to try this!

  • This is an amazing giveaway and I can completely relate to the whole taste-testing of sugar all day long, even though it doesn’t hold appeal. It’s exactly at times like these I want to do a cleanse! My last cleanse full-on was in September, although I have days where I just drink juice til dinner type thing. Great giveaway!

  • The entire month of March 2013 was basically a juice cleanse month for. It helped me get centered emotionally more than anything. However, October – December was an insane sugar addiction crazy binge. lol. I think I gained like 20 pounds in 2 months…which is insane. Hellllllp. Suja juice cleanse to the rescue! Great post.

  • I have done cleanses and detox diets, and continually cleaning the juicer or the blender was a bit of a drag. Not to mention going to several stores trying to find produce so I could have some variety instead of the same juice, smoothies and soup over and over. Having the juice already prepared would be simpler and a big time saver.

  • I am planning to start my first cleanse next week. I also purchased Suja for its quality and convenience. I hope I have just as good an experience as you did!

  • So glad you had a great experience – I try to do a 3 day juice cleanse a couple times a year, but you’re right – juicing yourself is never as tasty as some of the new great products out there like Suja, and they’re not only tasty, but balanced to your goals. I can’t tell you how many juices I’ve made where the parsley is just a tad too potent, or the beet kicks me in the teeth!

  • I absolutely love this post as I can (definitely!) relate. My issue is less sugar (although, I obviously have a very sweet tooth–hello blog name!), but more things like bread, crackers, pita, tortillas. They’re my absolute favorite thing in the world, and also my downfall. I cut them + sugar out of my diet until early December, but then the holiday recipe development also got to me. I’m hosting a brunch party for a brand tomorrow, and then starting on Monday until my bday (feb 4) will be getting back on track. I always feel so much better when I do, and moderation is just not really easy for me to follow. I’m always most successful when things are more black & white. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • I totally agree–Quitting smoking was WAY easier than quitting sugar. I would LOVE to break my sugar addiction. If I have cookies or candy around (stuff that’s easy to pop in my mouth without thinking), I’m a goner. I recently came down with a cold, bought myself a bunch of fruit & veg to juice, and it was gone within 48 hours. If only I could get it to curb my sugar cravings!

  • Who also has a sugar addiction? <<< This gal. Sigh. I gave up ALL snack foods for 30 days last year and it was HARD. But I got through it, and yes, I did feel better. But this job just isn't conducive for elimination, even if I wanted to. I would love to try a cleanse, but I'm such a chicken! Good luck, Jen! I am rooting for you :)

  • I would LOVE to try a juice cleanse! I’ve just been feeling unhappy with myself and yucky lately! I think a juice cleanse would be the perfect fix! :) thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • I lost 148 pounds over 2 years. Felt wonderful. Then some health issues arose & I have gained back 50 pounds & can’t seem to get the motivations back. Would love to win this & get a jump start back to where I need to be. Thank you for the contest.

  • I have never done a juice cleanse but have done a 30 day detox, Allergy elimination diet.. It is amazing how great I felt after. Been considering doing it again as I have been a bit lax in with the carbs. Have managed to stay off sugar for 2 years!

  • Oh WOW! I would love to start my New Year 2014 with a healthy juice cleanse and detox! These sound incredible! Thank you!

  • I’ve seriously been looking at a juicing cleanse and was so excited to read your blog. I didn’t know which brand to buy but will try finding Suja. Thank you.

  • Thanks for sharing! I’ve been wanting to be inspired and try this cleanse. I think the premise juices will help me jump start my way to healthy!

  • I have been juicing on my own all this week. I need a way to have my juice at work without having to make it in the morning and sit til lunchtime in the fridge, Sometimes I need to have dinner at work as well, and I certainly don’t want to lug the juicer with me. This sounds like doable and tasty option!

  • That’s awesome that you did so well on the 5-day! I did two different 3-day cleanses before the holidays to lose few pounds and I felt great. Suja juices really taste good – the only one I can replicate is Fiji but like you said, it’s a lot of work. Thanks for the giveaway, fingers crossed!!

  • I think it’s smart that you kept the caffeine during your cleanse, and made other small modifications. A cleanse sounds much more doable if you’ve got a backup plan like yours. I’d be concerned about being too hungry, but if I did it like you did, I would probably be fine. Congrats, and best wishes on your second detox!

  • What really attracts me to Suja is their great blend of flavors…things you don’t often find offered in a juice bar (like turmeric, pineapple, almond). They all sound delicious!

  • I had wanted to try a cleanse but thinking of the flavors to try turned me off. The Suja range sounds delicious and I would love to try a 3 day cleanse.

  • A juice cleanse sounds like just the ticket right now – I’ve developed a sugar addiction throughout the past year, and would love to get back on track!

  • I love your approach to this so much. You’ve got such a healthy attitude. Planning your cheats, keeping the caffeine and cooking for the blog in the morning are fantastic tips for going into this cleanse. You’re an inspiration, for sure! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • I’ve never tried a juice cleanse and am intrigued. My addiction is dairy. When I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant I spent time as you suggest, researching substitutes and preparing myself. For the first dairy-free week I was obsessed with dairy. It was the only thing I wanted to eat or drink. I even dreamt about it! I went probably 3 or 4 years completely dairy free and dropped 40 lbs that I had gained thanks to menopause. Now, I still struggle–the inner child insists on sweets, all of which seem to include dairy. I eat it in moderation and sometimes less and sometimes more. I definitely feel better without it. So, if I could break my sugar addiction, perhaps I’d do better on the dairy issue as well. Worth a try!

  • Jen, loved reading this. . thanks for sharing. . and being so honest. . I wish you continued success. . I can totally relate and it’s hard – of course- being a food blogger. . looks like you are on the right track! and as always, stunning, beautiful photos!

  • I’ve thought about kickstarting myself with a juice cleanse but was put off by the comments I would receive from my husband. However, he is going to be in Russia for over a month! I’ll order some of this and see how it goes.

  • I have been trying to get back to moderation and healthy choices for over a year but each has been a failed attempt. I am hoping that trying this cleanse will help me get back to my goal!

  • First you know I think you’re awesome and that I love your honesty and transparency in this post! We have chatted about cleanses before and while I love juice and making my own – I probably wouldn’t do a full on cleanse BUT I might do this Suja one because of your experience with it. I don’t have a sugar addiction – but I sure to love it! Hello I bake cakes and other sweet stuff for my blog! I did a cleanse once and I was told I had to stop drinking coffee for it to work. It was a 5 day and by day 3 I was suicidal. Not really but it was awful. I almost gave up like 20 times. I only drink one cup of coffee in the am because I love it. Once or twice a week I will have an afternoon cup. No big deal so I thought a week away from coffee would be manageable. This cleanse was like 5 years ago I think…after I had my first kid. They had these energy tablets that I was to chew if I felt crappy. UHHHH. Again, that experience sucked. I didn’t cheat on it but I didn’t feel OMG amazing after like you do with the Suja juices. I love your approach to the cleanse and I think that doing it at 90% perfect is good enough. You have told me how awesome it made you feel and your sugar cravings went way down which, after the holidays, I could probably use a jumpstart on getting rid of the sugar cravings. I have seen the juices on sale lately at Whole Foods. I might try one or two to see how I like them. Even as a supplement to my diet, I am sure I would like them now and then. Great post, girl!!

  • I once went to this shop in the fashionable part of my city, tried some fresh vegetable and apple juice. Mmm, refreshing and delicious!
    I am now a regular.

    Thank you for this giveaway!

    Whitney Remington

  • Hi Jennifer. Loved reading this post. My greatest fear with juicing was giving up caffeine! I’m soooo glad to hear you incorporated it successfully. One of my biggest problems is that I still have to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for my kids – but I am still willing to give it a try. Maybe a 3 day would be a good start. I have an array of minor disorders like fibromyalgie, IBS, etc.. Was hoping a cleanse would improve them :)

  • Good for you!!! I am so glad you shared your experiences. I have been thinking about a juice cleanse for a while and more so that January is here and I have had digestive issues. I really love the idea of a juice cleanse and one day I will do one, it just gets hard when you blog food! Sheesh!! Thanks again for sharing with us!

  • I completely understand how you feel because it can be so hard to bake all day and test recipes and still prevent yourself from overindulging in sugar and butter and all those yummy but unhealthy ingredients. Like you, There’s no way I want to give up baking sweets, but finding that balance is key. I’ve been intrigued by juice cleanse stories, but not eating for three days kinda freaks me out! Still, I’d love to win a free cleanse and get my guts up to try it!

  • I ravaged my body several years ago with starvation and over-exercise. It’s still not happy with me and I’ve always been hesitant about juicing – ‘Will I fall back into my old obsessive habit of viewing food in shades of black & white?’ (It’s ridiculously easy for me to get hooked on things, including rigid by-the-book, routines.) But I think this system looks doable and heathy. Plus, I trust your judgement.

  • Great review! Thanks for sharing.
    As a certified health coach I totally agree with you that you don’t have to go extreme. You need to listen and understand your own body. If you know you need that little bit of coffee and it won’t harm the juice cleanse… then do it! All in moderation ;)


  • Wow, I could have written that. I’m not in the foodie industry, but I sit at a desk. I have tried Suja juices but afraid of a cleanse. I too thought I couldn’t have my coffee if I cleansed. Thanks for telling of your experience. I hope to win but if I don’t, you have encouraged me to do a Suja juice cleanse

  • Wow, I could have written that. I have tried Suja but have been afraid of the cleanse. Like you, I can’t cut the coffee. You have encouraged me! Thank you

  • Thanks so much for sharing. I’m still on the fence with juice cleanses, but I do sympathise with the sugar addiction. Need to start somewhere!

  • It’s so funny because I seem to be just like you! I prefer salty over sweet everyday! Oh my goodness, this would be perfect! I have been wanting to try Suja for the longest time. I am about to start some college classes again, and between class and working fulltime- eating healthy just never seems convenient. This would definitely put me on the right track! :)

  • would love to hear more about trying to conquer a sugar addiction. sadly, i’m right there with you, I think about sugar/sweets and my brain is focused solely on that for the rest of the day.

  • I love your blog. I am a retired nurse so no I don’t want to try your cleanse but it is not a really healthy thing to do. It usually won’t hurt but like anything else ask your doctor before trying this. It is not for everyone. I am still such a fan of yours. I look forward to your shared passion for dessert. Have a great day.

    • I’m a new subscriber and have spent a few hours reading your blogs. I’m very very interested in this cleanse. Your pictures, your descriptions have my mouth watering! :)

  • my husband & I have been considering doing a juice cleanse for a while now. we’ve already completed a whole 30 challenge, and that worked great to kill the sugar cravings…but now the holidays have caused us to backslide a bit.

  • I started a two-week detox/cleanse on January 2. I only made it one week. I’d like to try again. Three or five days sounds more reasonable.

  • I have a green drink smoothie everyday with similar ingredients as what is in the Fuji juice, but I have not done a juice-only cleanse in a very long time and have been thinking about doing one, so thank you for this opportunity to learn more Suja and to possibly win the chance for a 3-day cleanse, that’s perfect.

  • I have done one cleanse from a company, and 2 from making my own juices. It is so much tastier and easier coming from the company. My local grocery store just started selling Suja too, and I love it!

  • I have never done a juice cleanse or anything like it. I also suffer from bad headaches but am excited to give this one a shot! Thank you for sharing!

  • I’m about to try my first ever juice cleanse next week! I’m starting with a 2-day one, and am really excited to see how it goes.

    • Good luck Rachel!!!
      It’s going to be hard but this is where self-discipline really comes into play!!!
      It’s all in your mind! YOU GOT IT! :)

  • I feel you on the sugar addiction, certainly there myself right now, and it’s led to mainly emotional upsetness for me. I don’t plan to skip sugar entirely, but I do need to curb my intake at this point. Been wanting to do a juice cleanse for a while, and these sound delicious. great giveaway!

    I too am a sugar addict…it didn’t help that I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer last year and was thinking about changing careers from active duty military to going to culinary school and owning my own bakery…
    Slowly did I realize, maybe it’s not for me…but that doesn’t mean I still don’t indulge in dozens of fancy handcrafted macarons, cupcakes, and every other dessert on this planet! :)
    What also helped me realized maybe why it’s not for me is because I slowly crept up the scale hitting 20 pounds within that year….UH OH….pause…time for a change…
    I slowly made the decision to get more active and started doing yoga! Loving it!!! :)
    I’m starting to explore healthier options and was JUST looking into doing this cleanse…I feel my body calling for it…with headaches, chronic back pain, sluggishness, memory loss, fatigue, and just being a fatty wanting to lay in bed all day….I need to restart my body!!! Here’s to hoping I win!!! :)

  • I am very interested in trying this cleanse. I recently completed the Whole 30 and it was amazing. I would like to take it a step further and try a juice cleanse. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • I actually bought a juicer & tried to make my own juice. What a pain – seriously! Would love to try these juices!

  • This sounds like the perfect way to jump start getting rid of those last 15 pounds I have to lose!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  • Hmmmm… not that I’m a skeptic, but when I try to go on a liquid diet, even for a day, my stomach flips out. One juice I drank had cayenne pepper in it. Maybe that was it? Glad to hear you were able to do it AND enjoy it!

  • I start a 3-day Suja cleanse tomorrow. Giving up the caffeine is going to be the toughest part. I am hoping not to cheat, but if my head is pounding I just may need a cup.

  • What a great way to give someone an opportunity to try these juices without making a significant investment first! I know I would be more than willing to pay for something after I know it works for me and gives me great results. Can’t wait to see who wins!

  • i’ve heard about this juice – it looks amazing! my sister did a juice cleanse with suja juice and it worked so well for her. whether i win or not, i’m going to do a cleanse myself!

  • I think juice cleanses are a great idea! I did a modified 5-day juice cleanse myself a little over a year ago with my own juicer. THIS would be so much easier!

  • I have a terrible sugar addiction…I just love sweets so much! is it any wonder the first flavor I want to try is the cinnamon honey nutmeg?

  • I have a terrible sugar addiction…I just love sweets so much! is it any wonder the first flavor I want to try is the honey cinnamon nutmeg?

  • I have been looking for a cleanse to do before I start a food sensitivity test diet. My brother just tried this cleanse recently, he said he felt terrible while doing it but great afterwards. He also lost 10 lbs (gaining back 3 or 4 pretty quickly afterward) And I have been thinking about trying it but it is a bit expensive for my blood! Maybe I can WIN my way!

  • 4 or 5 years ago I did a juice fast for the first half of lent. I only drank non-sweetened fruit juice, chicken broth and v-8. I reaaaallly wish there had been Suja juices or other pre-made cleanses at the time. It would have been so much more delicious and so much easier to have variety! The flavors sound delicious.

  • I love your thoughts and opinions on juicing! I have done it once or twice in my life,and I absolutely love the energy in provides. I was truly shocked when I did my first cleanse, and I felt more refreshed then I do eating normally! I would be honored to win this three day cleanse, because with college classes starting, it would be a great way to have a fresh new beginning. I love how it makes you feel and I love all the energy provides. With this semester being one of my hardest yet, I could definitely use the push! Juicing is definitely a must and I hope to read more about this soon! Thank you for this great opportunity!

  • just thought of this again today and i’m so sad i didn’t win! BUT… i did see that there is a store near me that sells them so I think I’m gonna pick a few bottles up over the weekend and see how it goes :)

  • Wow Jen, this was a very open honest post about your diet and sugar addiction. I love that you said you have to find what works for you and that it shouldn’t have to be all or nothing. You’re totally right – it’s that kind of attitude that turns people off from trying it in the first place.

    And the part where you asked health coaches their opinion and then ignored it anyway? ME. It made me literally laugh out loud. I ask for advice and then do what I want almost daily. I get called out on it all the time.

    I haven’t looked at their site just yet, but I’m wondering if these would be good meal replacers in general – or at least a way to get more veggies/fruits.

    Congratulations on finding your path to a healthier life – a lifestyle you chose for yourself :)