writer, Samantha Organ, swaps her latte for a green juice, to see what all the fuss is about
From wheatgrass shots to kale smoothies, the concept of ‘juice detoxes’ has taken the world by storm. With the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Millie Mackintosh promoting the detox concept through their enviable bikini bodies, it’s become a quick and popular solution to kick start a healthy lifestyle and rid the body of built up toxins. We decided to see what all the fuss was about.
The stigma surrounding juice detoxes is both positive and negative, and in all honestly, I found the prospect of drinking nothing but juices for three days somewhat daunting. Would I have enough energy to focus at work? Would I suffer the dreaded ‘detox symptoms’ which include headaches, weakness, dry mouth, nausea, cramps, constipation and worst of all, gas? For me, these were enough reasons not to try the juice detox, however, I was adamant that I would give the 3-day programme a go and form my own opinion about this seemingly drastic quest for cleanse.
My detox company of choice? The most reputable juice cleansing company in Hong Kong, The Genie Concept. Founded by two fashion models, Cara Grogan and Melanie White, both women knew first hand that a healthy diet was the key to high energy levels, glowing skin and a fresh mind, all of which are vital to make it big in the modelling world. The Genie Concept is designed for the everyday working girl, keen to eliminate toxins, make those healthy lifestyle changes and kick healthy eating habits.
WHY DO IT?
Working closely with renowned nutritionist, Joyce Marot, The Genie Concept have created their juices to allow you to receive the required amount of nutrients needed to function properly on a daily basis. As Joyce so aptly put it to me, ‘would you like to travel in a Jalopy or a Ferrari?’ – a question which I now ask myself at least three times a day! Joyce was kind enough to explain the theory behind juice detoxes…
“Fresh fruit and vegetable juices have been shown to possess remarkable health-promoting properties loaded with vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Within minutes, the cells are then nourished and hydrated without taxing the digestive system. When it comes to bioavailability, meaning how quickly the body absorbs nutrients, fresh, raw and unpasteurized juices are the efficient and effective way to get as many nutrients as possible, quickly.” Joyce Marot
The Genie Concept offers three levels of detoxes: the beginner, intermediate and expert. The expert level contains more concentrated vegetable juices, whereas the beginner level is a more fruit juice based programme. Clients are able to choose from a 1 – 6 day cleanse, again depending on past juicing experience and the end goal of the detox. For me, a 3-day juice cleanse programme was ideal. Having never tried a juice detox before, the beginner level, 3-day programme came highly recommended by the genie girls.
The Genie Concept process couldn’t have been made easier. The night before my detox commenced, the juices were delivered in a sleek black cool bag accompanied with an ice-pack, straw and two packs of seeds (chia and psyllium husk) for early morning and afternoon consumption. The first 2 day juices were delivered, with the third day’s juices delivered on the evening of the second day. The bag itself was light, easy to carry and could be taken inconspicuously into work – perfect!
3 day detox programme:
9am – Smooth Operator
A deliciously smoothie containing banana, avocado, spinach, chia and vanilla. Supplying the body with potassium, healthy fats and antioxidants.
11am – Garden Gnome
The second juice contained apple, pear, lime and ginger spirulina, delivering a very sweet yet tangy taste.
1pm – Four Leaf Clover
Containing spinach, apple, parsley, celery and pink Himalayan salt, this was the ‘lunch time’ portion and what I considered to be the first of the ‘vegetable juices’. This juice has been specially designed to fill the body with antioxidants and vitamins, whilst fighting against free radicals and cancer.
3pm – Life Blood
Containing beet, carrot, apple and cucumber, this juice strengthens the blood through the nutrients, magnesium and potassium contained within the beetroot, whilst the cucumber and apple act as sources of antioxidants and a natural diuretic.
5pm – Hawaii H20
Containing coconut water, pineapple, spinach, chlorophyll and mint, this juice was a full of antioxidants and was a superfood powerhouse.
7pm – Sweet Dreams
As a dessert type drink containing filtered water, raw cashew, raw cacao, raw agave, cinnamon, coconut flower sugar and pink Himalayan salt – an enjoyable way to finish the day.
The programme is designed to allow you to have one juice every two hours. So, despite any preconceived notions, the pang of hunger is not as prevalent as you might think. The programme recommends starting each morning with a hot water and lemon, followed by a glass of water mixed with the full of fibre, Psyllium Husk seeds, so before you’ve even started the juices you’ve already began the detoxing process.
The 9am smooth operator was quite simply delicious. With a thicker consistency compared to the other juices, I felt as though I had consumed a good breakfast which mentally and physically allowed me to start the day on a positive note. The taste of banana and vanilla really came through in the smoothie, whilst the avocado and spinach contributed to the colour, but not so much the taste. In the same respect the 11am juice was also delicious and upon reflection I would say my favourite juice. Taking the form of a proper juice consistency, ‘Garden Gnome’ curbed any sweet cravings I had due to the potent combinations of the lime, ginger and apple. Throughout the three days, I felt great every day. I was energised, positive and not hungry at all.
The 1pm and 3pm juices however, were much more of a personal challenge for me. In an unfortunate twist of fate, the two vegetables I have a rather strong dislike to, beetroot and celery, were the two vegetable tastes dominating the 1pm and 3pm juices. However, the great thing about a juice detox is that you don’t have a choice, so there is no point in even reminding yourself that you don’t like these superfoods. This is where the straw came in handy. It is known that half the taste is in the smell, so by taking small regular sips of these juices through the straw, the experience wasn’t quite the deadly situation I’d conjured in my imagination. Ironically, by day 3, I actually quite liked them! I found that by thinking of all the goodness in each juice and the health benefits I was constantly reaping, it’s easy to drink something you may not be too keen on. And so I did.
Between 3pm and 5pm, every day of the juice detox, I did start to feel headachy with the occasional hunger pang. This is completely normal. The Genie girls recommend having a glass or water or herbal tea between each juice, a tip I found quite rewarding. Not only does this allow you to have a break from the juices, but it relieved my headache instantly, allowing me to continue as normal. The 5pm juice completely transported me to the tropics with the prominent taste of coconut water and pineapple, acting as a quenching anti-oxidant and was a welcoming refreshing afternoon beverage. Around 6pm each day, I began to realise just how week I actually was. I knew that my normal evening run/gym workout was off the cards as I would be going straight home from work to rest. Again, this is a common side effect when detoxing.
The genie girls recommend going for a gentle walk or even taking a yoga class, so as not to exert yourself when your body is not fully energised. Each day, I went home, relaxed and waited for the enjoyable 7pm juice. Designed as a more dessert type drink with a more creamy consistency, the ingredients of raw cashew and raw cacao were prominent and delicious! Each night I was in bed by 9.30pm in a bid to get the recommended 8 hours sleep and I have honestly, never slept so well.
I won’t lie. I found the 3-day detox hard, simply because I love trying new dishes and cooking, but as I said before, you don’t have a choice. In terms of ‘juice detox symptoms’, mine were limited, it is though important to remember that every person and body type is different. My biggest concern when starting the detox was the warning of ‘constipation and gas’, something which terrified me greatly as you can imagine! Fortunately, I experienced neither. Of course, when you’re consuming that much juice a day, you are naturally going to urinate more than normal, so my advice would be to plan your juice detox during a quiet work time when you’re not going to be in meetings all day.
The results of my 3-day juice experience were not just short-term. As amazing as it was, to have high energy levels, picture perfect skin and a more curbed appetite during and immediately after the cleanse, juice detoxes are not a sustainable way of living. Rather, The Genie Concept is fantastic for kick starting a new healthy lifestyle. It has helped me to look at the foods I am now consuming and understand the importance of nutritional content, anti-oxidants and good carbohydrates. Yes, the detox was hard and was it worth it? Absolutely! Since, I have found myself making green juices of my own and continuously referring back to Joyce’s car analogy. I, as I’m sure most of you would, want to be the Ferrari. Of course, life is all about balance, so I would never deprive myself of an indulgence here or there, but I now understand where the line must be drawn and when to put the chocolate bar down!
For more information visit www.thegenieconcept.com
CLEANSE COMPANIES IN LONDON
For those of you looking to try cleanse companies nearer to home, take a look at these great cleansing companies in London…
Plenish – founded by Kara Rosen, former magazine writer and jetsetter, Plenish delivers three levels of juices, Harmony, Clarity and Purity, each in a 3-day or 5-day programme.
SoupaJuice – offers clients three cleansing options including ‘soupajuice cleanse’, ‘soupagreen cleanse’ and ‘soupaman cleanse’. Founders, Danni and Lisa, have also developed a bespoke option to fit dietary and allergy requirements.
Nosh Detox – with multiple programmes to choose from including the ‘red carpet cleanse’ and ‘green cleanse’ Nosh Detox works to help eliminate cellulite, whilst supporting weight-loss, thyroid healing and fertility struggles.
Raw Fairies – offer a 5-day nutritional cleanse containing raw food, fresh fruit and vegetable juices designed to improve energy levels and aid weight-loss, whilst promoting clearer skin and mental clarity.