Pockets of Progress: Delicious Detox at Juju Eats

I have never been a fan of detox until I went to medical school.

And I don’t mean that just for health or dieting reasons.

I believe in detox now because I have come to realize it is a necessity. It’s akin to cleaning up a very cluttered room, or having a much-needed facial when all the comedones (blackheads and whiteheads in plain, non-medical,English) have come out full force on your face. Or, in my case, it is like a flushing mechanism (no pun intended) when I’ve binged and stuffed myself silly with salts, sugars, and oily, lardy temptations when the craving strikes or when stress gets the better of me. You see, after the “stuffing session” is over, I usually end up feeling REALLY FULL, but at the same time, really bloated, ugly, and worst of all, sluggish and cranky, ready to eat yet another bag of greasy fries or a packet of potato chips.

So, after a period of crazy eating, it is only healthy to restore balance by eating something nutritious and that actually rids your body of the toxins you’ve accumulated, hence, a detox

I’m no detox expert here, so I will not elaborate too much on the topic. I will just tell you about a very satisfying afternoon I had at this salad and juice bar in Chino Roces Avenue in Makati.

If you’ve heard of the Juju Cleanse (http://www.jujucleanse.com/) craze a year or two ago, it probably conjures up images of stick-thin ladies going on this famed juice fast, having nothing BUT juice of course for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “Why would I put myself through such torture??? Eating is so much fun!!!” That’s what’s most likely going on in your head now, right? 

Well, what if I tell you, that if you’re not too comfortable with the idea of a juice fast, you can do a YUMMIER KIND OF CLEANSE? One that lets you eat well and with satisfaction, but it is still a detox.

Do read on and stay with me, as I take you on my short visit to:

 

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Juju Eats is brought to you by the same people who created the Juju Cleanse. According to its website (http://jujueats.com/), it is the country’s first dedicated salad joint.

What I like about Juju Eats is that it gave people a yummier option for detox. Personally, since I’m someone who, quite frankly, has a voracious appetite (matakaw, in short), I can not do juice fasts or any kind of fasting in general. I am also afflicted with gastro-esophageal reflux disease, so any form of abstinence from eating will just worsen my hyperacidity and will make me burp noisily like a frog from uncomfortable acid reflux. So when I heard of a place that offered meals you could use for detox, I was curious.

 

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Juju Eats makes the salad the star of the meal. The idea is to eat a salad so filling and so delicious it leaves you feeling like you already ate enough for a meal. Heck, it IS your entire meal. And instead of feeling bad (“Aww, poor me, I just had some measly leaves for lunch. I must get something big and heavy for my next meal to compensate for the hunger pangs. Oh, wait, a buffet sounds like a good idea…”), you feel light and healthy and…CLEAN.

Don’t believe me?

I’ll share what I had:

 

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I had what they call the, ahem, BIG BOY SALAD.

Exactly what is a Big Boy Salad? It is a mixture of Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, bacon (YES, BACON!!!) , hard-boiled egg, sun-dried tomatoes, red kidney beans, and roasted red pepper – sprinkled with grated Cheddar cheese and tossed in French dressing. To make it more interesting, I decided to have it done in a wrap. For more fiber, I asked for a whole-wheat wrap. 

I am proud to say that this is my very green yet very hearty lunch:

 

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It was so flavorful and tasty (the bacon was lip-smackin’, I tell you and the sauce was like a better version of mustard) I almost felt like I was eating a cheeseburger! And for the drink, I had one of the Juju Cleanse cold-pressed juices. It is what is called The Greenbomb. The Greenbomb belongs to this family:

 

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The Greenbomb is a very concentrated mixture of your ever-popular leafy fruits and vegetables, namely: Romaine lettuce, celery, moringga and spinach, with cucumber and pineapple for some added green points 🙂 Now some people can drink this for their meal, I choose to swig it WITH a meal. Its taste is very clean and very far from boiled leaves or herbal concoctions (no horror stories coming true for the leafy haters out there). Just a sip is actually very calming and energizing, at the same time!

This meal made me a very happy girl, even my sando-and-scarf get-up complemented the “Clean ‘n’ Green” afternoon:

 

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I wish I could eat food like this everyday! Unfortunately, life inside a government hospital isn’t very supportive of an “eating healthy” campaign. Ironically, working in a hospital, in impossibly-long shifts,means we basically eat to survive. It means ordering from fast-food joints or buying greasy, swimming-in-a-tub-of-oil,home-cooked meals from the lone, lone canteen in our infamous hospital. 

If only I had time to whip up salads like these every day (or I had the money to have it delivered to my doorstep everyday hahahaha).

Going back to Juju Eats, my companions were also very happy with their meals:

 

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My sister had a Roast Pumpkin Salad Wrap. It’s the house mix of greens, made more special with roasted pumpkin, feta cheese, bacon, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and coated in balsamic dressing. I took a bite of it and it was very rich. I liked how the roasted pumpkin and the feta cheese added definition to the whole thing.

My mother went for her own mix of Romaine lettuce, corn, and Cheddar cheese on mango-pineapple dressing.

It’s a nice thing that my family is supportive of my quest to eat healthy, if only on my days off from the hospital! My sister was so delighted with the place she wanted to bring her friends there.

I was so delighted I decided a photo op would be a fab idea:

 

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My mother, ever my partner in picture-taking, followed suit:

 

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I think the best compliment I can give to Juju Eats is that when we left, I couldn’t help but order some more to bring home. I just couldn’t get enough!

 

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This is, hands down, my ultimate favorite. I was inspired to get this because of blog posts raving about this (Ms. Patty Laurel-Filart’s posts about this lovely pasta salad can be found here: http://www.pattylaurel.com/2013/11/get-your-juju-on.html and http://www.pattylaurel.com/2014/02/juju-thanks.html).

This is none other than the Tuna Nicoise Salad. Fusilli pasta, tossed with tuna flakes, hard-boiled egg, French beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and black beans in the bewitching honey mustard dressing. TO DIE FOR!!!

Thank you, Juju Eats, for being a pioneer in our salad industry. The title of this post should’ve been “THE ONLY BAR I GO TO: JUJU EATS SALAD BAR.” Because I can live without the drink-and-dance kind of bars, but not without THIS salad bar. Bar none (again, no pun intended). 🙂

 

 

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