Wednesday 2 September 2015

Radiance cleanse

This post is about my personal experience with a juice cleanse, I am not a healthcare professional. Please use your common sense and seek advice from a qualified nutritionist or a medical doctor if you have serious concerns.



My approach to beauty has always been two fold, while skincare can and does make a huge difference, the true balance has to be found from the inside. I know this on personal experience that food has a huge impact on skin. As a kid, I had the most horrific allergy to something that showed itself in an unbelievably itchy rash that had doctors stumped. My mom took me to a dozen specialists until one put me on a very restricted diet and prescribed activated charcoal alongside it, with slow reintroduction of other foods one by one. To this day I have no idea what was the cause, but after it cleared up it never came back, and I can eat everything (but some things I choose not to). I guess my system needed a reboot, and while I know that sometimes cleanses are necessary when there are health issues (under appropriate healthcare professional's supervision naturally), the whole juice cleanse craze had me baffled.


Why mess with things if they are working? If you have a perfect diet I really don't think that it is necessary (that is just my personal opinion I'm not a specialist), but if we are completely honest how many of us really truly eat perfectly? My personal approach is 80/20, be good 80% of the time and well whatever I fancy the rest of the time. But if I'm completely honest sometimes it looks more like 70/30, or even 60/40, because if I really fancy something I will have it, enjoy it, and not feel guilty in the slightest. The one thing I consciously try to stay way from is coffee, because of how it effects me if I have it all the time. But it's really hard to deny yourself that cup of coffee at 8 am when you simply can't keep your eyes open, and you are asking people to repeat what they said for the 4th time.


I first tried radiance juice at a May Lindstrom event. I have heard of them before and wasn't quite interested enough to pursue it, but after trying that first juice, they sort of kept being on my mind. On the one hand I'm just plain old curious, and I already supplement my diet with juices. They do make me feel more energetic, and I'm sure my skin is also getting benefits from the extra antioxidants. The final incentive was a discount code, and I was in.



So why such a fascination with radiance cleanse? Well it's sort of two reasons combined into one: the juice cleanses are designed by qualified nutritionists, and the juices themselves are certified organic by Soil Association. I could probably scroll through Internet and design my own programme, but let's face it, I don't really have any experience with this, and with radiance you get full support for the duration of the cleanse. Any questions you just give them a call or send them an email.


Now to the choices on offer. You can have a completely unique customised experience set up for you ( of course the price will also be unique), or you can choose one of the classic cleanses, all of which cost exactly the same ( also it doesn't actually have to be a cleanse at all, you can just get a selection of juices to supplement your diet). From the classic cleanses there are 4 on offer (update: at present there are 3) and all are available for a duration of 1, 3 or 5 days, and with 5 or 6 juices per day:

1. Summer cleanse the same as signature cleanse but with a seasonal twist. Recommended for people looking for a gentle cleanse or for first timers.(update: no longer available as it isn't summer, but I thought it was going to be a seasonal feature, so there would be an autumn, winter, spring versions, clearly not)

2. Signature cleanse is a balanced combo of fruit and veg juices ideal as a first or an all purpose cleanse.

3.Gentle greens cleanse is a step up in the greens department, for more experienced cleansers

4. Greens cleanse is a low sugar cleanse for the experienced cleansers. A sort of Rambo of cleanses (is anyone getting this reference or am I just showing my age?).

As I'm desperately clinging on to summer and it is my first time ever, I decided to choose the Summer version of of the signature one day cleanse.


To make sure that I don't miss anything out I'm writing down my experience as I go on the day of the cleanse.




My parcel arrived at 9.15 am on the day of my cleanse, inside was a Radiance cleanse cool bag and a letter talking me through the cleanse, I have to say I was very excited opening it all up. The presentation is most definitely on point. As well as all the contact information, a brief description of what to expect, and what else to do alongside my cleanse there is a schedule of when to take your juices (these are optimum times, and you are advised to follow them as closely as possible).



My first juice is Mint Lemonade.

This is a mix of water, lemon juice, lime juice, maple syrup, mint and cayenne. It just made me feel like I was having a non alcoholic mojito. It is a 500ml bottle, so I was drinking fairly slowly. About midway all the citrus tang was getting to me a little, and while I couldn't taste cayenne at all while drinking it, once the bottle was finished, all of a sudden I had a little spice on my tongue. All in all I found it fairly pleasant.



By 11am when it was time to open the second bottle, I started to feel a headache coming on (delightful since having a painkiller is a no no on a cleanse). In my welcome letter it is explained that 9 out of 10 times these are due to caffeine withdrawal, especially if the headache is during the first day of the cleanse. In my case I don't think that is the cause, as I haven't had coffee for a few weeks and I have been following the pre cleanse instructions and cut down on my green tea intake. The weather on the other hand can mess with my head and the monsoon outside could most definitely be a culprit.


Alka green.

A mixture of courgette, apple, fennel, lemon, broccoli and spinach juice. This one is a real treat, very clean green taste that I found absolutely delicious. It was sort of difficult to pace myself as I wanted to down the whole thing straight away. I feel a lot more wide eyed after this juice, and the headache is receding at this point.


Some of the tips of what to do during the cleanse are: to rest (not a problem, the weather outside is truly miserable and sitting under a blanket with a book is honestly the best option right now), drink plenty of water and experiment with non caffeinated herbal teas ( they especially recommend fennel, dandelion, ginger and liquorice), very gentle excercise and prioritise rest (restorative yoga it is!), snacks (wait what?! I'm aloud to have snacks, shut the front door, I was not expecting that).


So apparently it is ok to have one or two of the suggested snacks if your body needs them: almonds or pumpkin seeds (preferably soaked for an hour or more before eating), avocado, vegetable crudit├ęs, berries, apples or pears. Result! I can actually chew on something. But I'm alright at the moment, I'll just wait and see how it goes, I'm only doing one day after all...


There are also suggestions on how to supercharge your cleanse. The first being colonic hydrotherapy, while I'm not surprised by it, my response is most definitely no thank you, I'm sure it's the bees knees but no. The second suggestion is massage (oh but Mr RF doesn't get back home until evening, maybe I could say it's an emergency, I could really use one). The third is to sweat in a steam room or a have a hot bath, followed by a cold shower (well I was down with the bath, but the cold shower... Suddenly this has lost its appeal). And the last thing is exfoliation, dry brush before showering, now this one I can do!


Cashew milk.

Ahh almost forgot that it is time for the cashew milk (well I guess it shows I'm not hungry)! First time that I'm having a cashew milk (I have two boxes in the cupboard from the gorgeous for good 30 day thing I did, but haven't opened them), this one is water, cashews, maple syrup, coconut butter and Himalayan pink salt. It's a bit odd, sort of watery but also very creamy at the same time, with almost a smokey aftertaste. Erh it's nice but 500 ml is a lot, and all this liquid... I'm definitely feeling the calls of nature a little more frequently... I mean like right now...



Rise & Shine.

As I was opening the fridge to grab juice number 4, aka Rise & Shine I had a sudden craving for prawns (especially weird since my fridge only has veggies and some cheese inside at the moment). So this juice is a blend of pineapple, orange, lemon, ginger and turmeric. The colour is the exact same bright yellow as my sunshine scarf! The taste is zesty and with a definite ginger kick. Thanks to all the pulp this one feels a bit more substantial than the other juices. I have yet to feel hungry today, but I do miss that feeling of a full stomach that you get with solid food. I am also starting to feel a tad peckish... Hm maybe I will have a snack at some point after all...


Vital grees.

I no longer want a snack at all, all I want is to close my eyes and have a nap, but instead I'm having juice number 5. Vital green is a mix of cucumber, apple, lime, spinach and flat leaf parsley. It tastes fresh and clean, but I'm drinking it slowly because I don't really want any more juice, or anything really, I want my pillow, and my blanket. I think it is fair to say I'm a little low on energy.


Vibrant veg.

The last juice is a delicious concoction of carrot, celery, red pepper, apple and lemon. It is my favourite of the bunch. Guess what, not only did the torrential downpour stop, but the sun is also out and my headache is completely gone. I'm actually feeling pretty good. Now will just have to wait and see how I feel tomorrow and of course my meals will have to be a bit different to normal to ease back in onto solid food.



Post cleanse.


Even though it was just a day cleanse it is still recommended in the guide that you ease back in with solid food. So this morning I had a modest breakfast of plums stuffed with apricot kernel butter and a cup of tisane. I felt pretty good when I woke up, and now a few hours later I feel clearheaded and energetic (and it's not the crazy nervous energy that I get from caffeine). Overall I think one day cleanse was a good choice for me, the feeling of tiredness was really taking its tall, and while I know that my body needed quality rest and that is exactly what you should be doing during a cleanse, get some rest, I don't really enjoy being too tired to do anything productive for too long. Unsurprisingly, I felt most energetic right after having the juices. What is amazing is that before starting this cleanse I was seriously craving all these salty snacks, and lusting after desserts (that's a big one since I don't often crave sweet things), and I really don't want any of that stuff at all anymore. I think that this is a great thing to do to shift myself out of unhealthy eating if I find myself stuck at any point, it is like a reset button that just changes what your body is craving.


I will be most definitely up for doing a 3 day cleanse at some point, but there is no way that I could ever work during a cleanse. I think becoming a recluse for a few days, including one day to recover is definitely the way to go. Now Radiance recommend having cleanses 3-4 times a year, and a day cleanse every month. That is never going to be me, I will try a 3 day cleanse in not too distant future to see how it goes, but I'm not prepared to checkout from my day to day this often. I'm down with possibly once or twice a year cleanse, duration, however, to be determined. With a longer cleanse I would definitely look into their selection of teas that are supposed to complement the whole process, I love my tea anyway and those looked interesting. After the one day experience I am even more convinced of not doing a cleanse completely on my own as I would be just too tired to prepare each juice, and then all the clean up, it would turn a situation of rest and relaxation into a stressful mess. Having access to support is also a huge part of it, as you don't feel like you are on your own and any questions you have will be answered. The fact that these juices are Soil Association certified is a big part of why I chose to go through with this process. Since I eat predominantly organic (I will go into more detail about my reasons for this over the course of the Organic September), and taking into account the amount of produce that goes in to make a juice, it just wouldn't make sense for me to use juices that weren't to an organic standard. The step by step system, and the time table was appreciated by me, because without it would've probably wondered off in to the la la land and my body would not have thanked me for it. I have very positive feelings about the experience as a whole, and I am looking forward to seeing how a longer cleanse compares.


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