Here's what you need to know about Sunfare's Optimal Cleanse

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Sunfare recently appeared on "Good Morning Arizona." Kim Kardashian brought the Valley-based company to the spotlight, when she posted on Twitter and Instagram, saying she was doing the Optimal 10-Day Cleanse to get ready for the upcoming Met Ball.

With a body like hers, it’s hard to not be curious about how it would work for an average person. We wanted to know more about the cleanse, and the benefits that came with it.

[ORIGINA STORY: Phoenix company's detox drink promises 10-pound weight loss in 10 days]

CEO John Stewart and one of his chefs from Sunfare talked to us about the cleanse. From the Sunfare website, here’s what you need to know about the Optimal Cleanse.

A limited-cycle, full body detox that serves as an effective transition into any of our other meal programs.

The Details

Restorative: break addictions to caffeine and sugar, detoxify liver and fat cells, and boost metabolism

Intentional: requires a committed mindset and disciplined approach for full impact and benefit

Ingredient profile:

Shakes: organic, chocolate or regular, primary Cleanse component

Proteins: organic, all natural, no hormones, antibiotics, nitrates or GMOs

Fish: wild caught and/or sustainably raised

Produce: 90% organic, market fresh (comes in daily)

Other: heart healthy monounsaturated fats, no refined sugar

Portion sizes: adjustable by client

Quick facts
The cleanse is 10 days long from start to finish. The cost is $650. It includes all meals for 10 days, including snacks. It also includes small personal care elements, including candles or bath salts, as a means of giving yourself a treat for the day that isn’t food based. I was given the opportunity to try this cleanse, courtesy of Sunfare. I’m going to give you my honest review of the 10 days from start to finish without any bias. I’ll also brief you on the week following the cleanse and if it helped to spur me toward a healthier direction.

About me and my reasons to try the cleanse

I’ve worked the overnight shift at "Good Morning Arizona" for four years, and I’ve worked overnights for nine years.

The overnight shift is very damaging to your body. It’s especially hard on your weight, eating habits and sleep. I won’t mention how many times I’ve visited the Avanti Market here in our building. I’m not proud of the number of Cheez-Its I’ve consumed in the years I’ve worked here. When you’re tired and hungry, there’s no limit to the junk food you’re willing to consume for that extra burst of energy. Coffee at 2 a.m. every day is also something working against me all the time, as I have an addiction to it.

I have plenty of weight I’ve gained over the years, regardless of how hard I’ve tried to work it off, eat healthy, and sleep the best I could. I wanted to do this cleanse to try and catapult me into a healthier way of life. While this cleanse isn’t supposed to be a primary example of weight loss, it can have that effect. Let’s be honest: I wanted this to be a weight loss cleanse. It’s just not. But I had a lot of good things come out of this.

Cleanse Day 1
Today’s Menu:
Breakfast- Cleanse shake
AM snack- Chicken and quinoa stuffed squash
Lunch- Turkey stew
Afternoon snack: Chocolate shake
Dinner: Chicken Pad Thai w/ veggies
PM snack: Tea and berry poached pear
Treat Yourself: Tea trio (berry, lavender chamomile, smooth move laxative tea)

Nothing is better than opening your front door and seeing a special package just for you. Around 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, I opened the door to the lime green Sunfare cooler, packed with all the snacks, food and cleanse shakes I’d need for the weekend. I’m not going to lie to you: I was excited. I wanted to get things started. I wanted to rock this 10-day cleanse and do good things for my body.

The CEO of Sunfare, John, gave me some tips on how to make the shakes taste the best. I followed his instructions to mix the shakes with cold water, and make sure there are ice cubes in there. These shakes get gritty if you don’t mix them well. They taste better blended with some ice. The TIPS & TRICKS section will go through that more.

Day 1 of the cleanse, I went to a baby shower where I was greeted with a lot of food and alcohol. I did a great job and just loaded up on the water. I will say it was very tempting, but also really rewarding at the end of the day to think I was faced with my favorite foods and still said no.

The quinoa and chicken stuffed squash was fantastic. Lunch was turkey stew, and I loved it. I wanted more of it. Instead, I just downed more cups of water. For dinner, the pad Thai was not what you’d think when you consider original pad thai with sauce and what-have-you. But it hit the spot for sure. The pear was my least favorite of the day.

I drink coffee every single day. If I don’t drink it, I get a caffeine headache. And around and around the cycle goes. The tail end of the day, I had a minor headache. Typically, with caffeine headaches, ibuprofen doesn’t work. It worked in this instance, so I was thrilled.

Day 2
Today’s Menu:
Breakfast: Tropical oatmeal
AM snack: Cleanse shake
Lunch: Chocolate shake
Afternoon snack: Broccoli and mulberry salad
Dinner: Italian bean and salmon bowl
PM snack: Cleanse shake
Treat Yourself: Tea trio

I was ready to go for day 2, since all of my meals were ready to go. The food is really incredible, and I felt satisfied. Not sure if my metabolism is getting faster, but I seemed hungrier than usual. For every meal I had, I felt content and good until about two hours later when I was supposed to have my next snack or meal. I was ready to eat by the time that rolled around.

All of the food was really good. I added some flavor to my shakes (peppermint oil) to see if I could make it taste a little better. It didn’t truly work, but I have many days to get it right. The Italian bean and salmon bowl was incredibly delicious.

I did have some flu-like feelings after I had my berry tea at the end of the day. I didn’t have a fever, but had some leg aching. It went away after a bit, but not sure what the immediate cause of that was.

I don’t typically track my weight day-to-day, but lost 2 pounds from weighing in at beginning of Day 1  to the end of Day 2. And that was when I had eaten everything.

A common question I got along the way is one some might find unappealing, but it’s the reality of a cleanse. Was I having issues going to the bathroom? No. In fact, everything was as normal. The Optimal Cleanse isn’t supposed to really jiggle that area too much. They do give you a laxative tea in case things don’t move out the way they’re supposed to go.

Day 3
Today’s Menu:
Breakfast: Chocolate shake
AM snack: Spicy mustard salmon salad
Lunch: Cleanse shake
Afternoon snack: Cleanse shake
Dinner: Chicken primavera
PM snack: Chocolate shake
Treat Yourself: Bitter orange bath salts

Day 3 was a bit tougher from the start. My delivery didn’t make it to my house on time, but was brought out a couple hours later. I have a weird work schedule and live in a gated complex. The first delivery came as expected. Sunfare called me as soon as they got in and found it hadn’t been delivered and issued a new meal package out to me. I will say their customer service is impeccable. I was hungry when I got home, but all the water I drank to sustain helped, and while I was really hungry, I wasn’t ready to rip someone’s head off. Progress.

I savored every morsel of food, especially the chicken primavera, knowing I’d be going into day 4 without solid foods. I didn’t use the bath salts in the bathtub due to an issue at my apartment. But I used them almost like smelling salts to take in the scent of the bitter orange. Orange and citrus is a scent used to awaken the senses. I love that the salts smell very much like a tea I love called Constant Comment. It’s a blend of orange and spices like cinnamon.

Day 4
Today’s Menu:
Breakfast: Cleanse shake
AM snack: Chocolate shake
Lunch: Cleanse shake
Afternoon snack: Chocolate shake
Dinner: Cleanse shake
PM snack: Herbal Fasting Tea
Treat yourself: Lime verbena bath salts

Not going to lie, I was really dreading Day 4. The cooler arrived full of the shakes. I started out doing very well. At some point, I did notice my stomach was growling sooner than I had hoped it would. Since I had so many shakes to get through, I did them in different ways to see if I could change the flavor a bit or the consistency to trick myself into thinking I was getting something different. I used the shaker bottle at work (my least favorite approach to the shakes), and blended them when I got home.

Evening snack was herbal fasting tea. I was happy with it for a bit, then the licorice root flavor kicked in and I wasn’t as thrilled about the aftertaste. But it did help to make me feel fuller for when I went to sleep.

I took Sunfare’s advice and scheduled a massage. It really helped me become more focused on what I was doing and why. I typically don’t hydrate the way I’m supposed to after a massage, but felt invigorated to do it this time.

Day 5
Today’s Menu:
Breakfast: Chocolate shake
AM snack: Cleanse shake
Lunch: Chocolate shake
Afternoon snack: Cleanse shake
Dinner: Chocolate shake
PM snack: Herbal Fasting Tea
Treat Yourself: Bath bar

It’s the second day of shakes only. The first day wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. I haven’t had a caffeine headache at this point. I’m still down 2 pounds, nothing more. It says on the paper people may comment on how you’re glowing now. That hasn’t happened. Maybe it’s because I work an overnight shift and I always look tired. While I won’t say I have a ton of extra energy, I will say I’m sleeping better. I don’t know if that’s a real effect from the cleanse, but I’ll take it. Once I get to work, I’m not as groggy. The “irritability” hasn’t set in (my coworkers may have a different opinion on this).

It is hard not having actual food to consume. I like food. I’ve caught myself looking at the cleanse menu several times to kind of rev myself up for the food I’ll be getting on Friday. Not a ton, but more than what I’m getting right now.

I was extremely excited to use the jasmine scented soap bar after a long day. The scent with the warm water and reflecting on how proud of myself I am.

Day 6
Today’s Menu:
Breakfast: Cleanse shake
AM snack: Chocolate shake
Lunch: Cleanse shake
Afternoon snack: Chocolate shake
Dinner: Cleanse shake
PM snack: Herbal Fasting Tea
Treat yourself: Hand and body lotion

I used the hand and body lotion like it was going out of style. It helped keep me focused on the shakes. I’m pretty surprised at how well the shake days are going for me. I was really worried how hungry I’d be. I think I helped myself out on this by making sure the all shake days were during the work week where I wouldn’t have time to be focused on what food I was or wasn’t consuming.

Still no other significant weight loss, but I feel very good! Still no caffeine headaches.

I am VERY EXCITED to eat my food tomorrow.

Day 7

Breakfast: Cleanse shake
AM snack: Guacamole with veggie chips and tortillas
Lunch: Chocolate shake
Afternoon snack: Chocolate shake
Dinner: Butternut squash soup and salad
PM snack: Cleanse shake
Treat yourself: Tea trio

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to eat a cucumber in my life. I opened the door, knowing what was going to be inside my cooler this morning. It was honestly a little like Christmas. The anticipation was mounting since Monday when I had my last regular meal.

I had my morning shake, and made sure to drink at least 24 ounces of water before I let myself have my AM snack. The cleanse card today said to make sure and savor every bite. That is exactly what I did. I broke the tortilla chips into pieces. I took very small bites of the cucumber. I’m not proud of this fact, but not embarrassed really to say I licked the guacamole container clean. I wanted every morsel. I did notice something interesting. There was a tiny bit of salt on the tortilla chips, and I mean tiny. But for some reason, I noticed it even more. Maybe this cleanse is also enhancing my palette? I’m hopeful for that. I tend to eat slowly, but things like sugar and salt don’t really slow me down. If this cleanse can help me stray from bad, saltier foods on a regular basis, I’ll be a happy camper.

The soup and salad was a perfect way to end the day. It was comforting and light, and most importantly, no tummy disagreements.

Day 8

Breakfast: Cleanse shake
AM snack: Smoked salmon hand roll
Lunch: Chicken and vegetable rice medley
Afternoon snack: Chocolate shake
Dinner: Cod with asparagus risotto
PM snack: Cleanse shake
Treat Yourself: Lavender scented candle

This was one of my favorite meal days of the cleanse. The chicken and veggie rice was insanely good. I sent pictures to my friends to show them just how happy I was to be having such a yummy lunch. It had a little more oil than I thought would be allowed, but all good on the stomach! The smoked hand roll was not only delicious, but extremely beautiful. It was a little piece of art that tasted just as good. The cod was cooked to perfection.

By this day, I’m now down 6 pounds. There wasn’t much scale movement in the four days prior to this. I think pushing past those shake days helps shed a little more weight.

This candle smells AMAZING. I lit this lavender scented beauty a couple hours before bedtime, and it helped relax me for a sound sleep. Obviously, I blew out the candle before going to sleep. That’s an important step.

Day 9

Breakfast: Cream of teff
AM snack: Chocolate shake
Lunch: Grilled chicken pesto salad
Afternoon snack: Cleanse shake
Dinner: Grilled herb salmon with millet pilaf
PM snack: Herbal tea
Treat Yourself: Tea Trio

I had to look up what teff is. It’s a grittier version of oatmeal. This wasn’t my favorite of the meals, but it wasn’t terrible. I wasn’t a fan of the texture, but the flavor was great. The other meals were quite delicious.

Still no headaches, getting great sleep, and a very full sense of pride.

Day 10

Breakfast: Cleanse shake
AM snack: Romaine chicken cups
Lunch: Seared Arctic char
Afternoon snack: Citrus kale and butternut squash
Dinner: Venison meatballs
PM snack: Chocolate shake
Treat Yourself: PetiteEssence Diffuser

Venison meatballs may sound scary but they are so delicious! I also hate kale, but was surprisingly happy with the citrus kale & butternut squash salad.

The diffuser smells so great. I opened it up and put it next to my bed so I could have the fragrance while I slept.

While I’m excited to be done with the cleanse itself, my healthy journey is just beginning. I’m not going to jump back into bad foods and no exercise. I feel really encouraged to keep moving forward in a positive direction for my health.

Takeaway and results

The biggest takeaway for me here is breaking my addiction to caffeine. I made great strides in this, with little to no side effects like headaches.

I lost weight. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel encouraged. Six pounds down is better than none.

Seeing how great food can be very simple really inspired me to continue that journey.

Getting little treats that aren’t food related really helped drive home the point of self-care. I’m big into massages, but I think it’s just as important to make self-care a regular part of the routine, rather than fitting it in once a month.

In the couple of weeks following the cleanse, I’ve introduced a very small amount of caffeine back into my life. I tend to get full quickly now, which helps me to not overeat. I’ve also developed a true appreciation for meal prepping. It can be time-consuming or daunting, but I help tackle this by printing out a calendar and writing out what I want to make.

The price tag is a really hard thing to get over for me. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of change. I will say getting to eat on the cleanse and have all your meals made for you, with the addition of self-care products, it was worth it to me. The aftermath of breaking a caffeine addiction, a new appreciation of food as fuel and a minor weight loss really made it worth it for me.

Tips and tricks

Blending the shakes instead of just using the shaker bottle is helpful for the times you want something to eat, but can’t. Like, the full shake days. They give the brain the idea you’re munching on something.

I wasn’t a fan of how the chocolate shake tasted by itself over time. I added cinnamon and some vanilla extract to it. I just opted with what I had. I even did a couple drops of peppermint oil to one. The regular cleanse shake tastes great with cinnamon and vanilla. It tastes like a cinnamon roll!

If you have a weird work schedule like myself, chat with your rep about the timing of delivery. That way, you’re not going to work, wondering when you’re going to get the food and when you will start eating. I did this to help break my bad relationship with food (I love french fries like no one’s ever seen). So, when you’re constantly wondering when you’ll get that shake, it kind of breaks you a bit. Fortunately, this happened on a day I was going to have actual food, and not just shakes, so I was able to sustain.

Make sure your friends and family are aware of what you’re doing. Success comes with your willpower and the support of others. People will think you’re crazy. That’s fine. But anyone who stands to sabotage something you want to do for yourself isn’t someone you want to be around in these 10 days (or dare I say ever).

Before you end the cleanse completely, schedule out healthy foods and go shopping, so there won’t be a gap in your healthy eating. 

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