Too much partying over the weekend? In need of a system reboot pronto? Here at EL, we’re blessed with numerous restaurant tastings and food reviews (lucky us!) but there’s always that impending guilt from feasting way too much. In a bid to undo all that indulgence, four staffers try detoxing with a juice cleanse. The results are in!
Anthia Chng reviews EGA Juice Clinic
EGA Juice Clinic was founded by Sumit Nanda, whose personal transformation story is testament to what they do here. Cold-pressed juices are prepared with the freshest fruits, veggies and herbs, then poured into glass bottles before they’re ready for takeaway and deliveries.
I first reviewed EGA’s juice cleanse program three years ago, and found it hard to stick to the plan as I wasn’t used to a sudden dip in my calorie intake. Now, their website is looking a whole lot more spiffy with a wider range of products. I decided to give it another go as I wanted to challenge myself, since I felt pretty defeated by my previous experience (I cheated a lot!).
I’m happy to say that the cleanse this time round felt a ton better. My pick was Rewind ($100), a one-day program that starts off with two triphala lax tablets the night before to cleanse out toxins and prep the system. While the plan was to take two juices (Cleanse and Harmony) in the morning (starting at 7.30am), I found it a bit of a struggle as I’m so used to starting my day at 9am. Nonetheless, the juices were more than enough to fill me up until the afternoon, which was great as it’s hard to focus on work while you’re feeling “hangry”!
You get a total of six juices (500ml each), and I’m happy to say that I managed to last through the day without much snacking. I know I’m not supposed to consume anything else, but because I was so used to having something to munch on, I found it hard to stop myself from reaching out for a cracker or two. Hopefully next time I can power through it the proper way! My favourite juices of the lot were Glow, which contains only pomegranates (high in antioxidants), and the Immuno Booster, a potent mix of lemon, ginger, amla, turmeric, and Himalayan salt. Everything is based off Ayurvedic teachings and research, and you’re given a detailed plan to follow, which I appreciated since I’m fairly new to it.
By the end of the day, I was completely wiped out, so I went to bed earlier than usual – score! The next morning, I woke up feeling more energised and slightly less bloated. I think I should do this more often, but I definitely need to ease into the cleanse by eating cleaner the week before. Sign me up for the next juice cleanse challenge!
The Shop By HIC
Susannah Jaffer checks out The Shop by HIC
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t really in the mood for a cleanse. With juggling deadlines and what felt like a million other things, I didn’t feel like I also wanted to deal with the cravings, urges and hunger pangs that usually come with a juice diet. (Yep, I’m not a newbie to this!).
My first impression of HIC’s juice delivery was that the cooler bags were incredibly heavy. The bottles are made of glass – a healthier option than plastics, I hear, but it did mean they were heavy to tote around. (Side note: you can recycle these bottles with HIC afterwards so there’s no wastage). Next, I was surprised by how much juice I was going to have to get through – six 500ml bottles a day! I’d opted for the Restore Cleanse ($328), a deeper, more comprehensive cleanse (read: more greens than fruit). Despite this, I must say I enjoyed virtually all of the juices.
My favourites were the Lemon n’ Spice, a blend of apple, lemon and cayenne that really gets your circulation going (I’d start to feel myself breaking a sweat at my desk), the Green Lemonade (kale, apple, cucumber, romaine lettuce, parsley and lemon) and, of course, the heavenly Nut Milk (almond, cashew, medjool date, vanilla and cinnamon). Sadly, that was only included as the last juice on my first day. I savoured it, making it last through two episodes of Made in Chelsea.
What did I feel throughout Day 1? Definitely restlessness, along with a desire to actually chew something and a lack of concentration. On Day 2, I felt much better, with minimal hunger pangs. I actually couldn’t finish all of the liquid, and left my final juice – coconut water – for the next day. By Day 3, I’d had a fantastic night’s sleep and if you didn’t know me, you’d have probably thought I was one of those annoying ‘morning people’. I was feeling full of energy, with no cravings or other issues. It was definitely the greenest day of the cleanse though, with two spicy cayenne drinks and three green-based concoctions. But the positive side effects made it all worthwhile – I felt more clear-headed and noticeably less bloated. And, as clichéd as it may sound, my body actually felt ‘reset’. Result!
Want to maximise the effects? Try these 7 steps after your cleanse
- Start your day with a glass of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon juice to kick-start your digestion.
- Stick to smoothies, juices, salads and clean food for the first few days after your cleanse. Slowly reintroduce proteins and solids into your diet.
- Once you’ve started eating solids, listen to your body – eat only when you’re hungry, not because of old habits or eating by the clock. Overeating will make you feel sluggish and tired.
- Eat slowly, and chew your food properly. The enzymes released from your saliva will help to ease the burden on your digestive system.
- Carbohydrates, refined sugar, caffeine, red meat, dairy products and processed food should be eaten only occasionally and sparingly.
- When shopping for groceries, have a handy list of foods you can eat and those to avoid for the first few days after the cleanse.
- Exercise regularly to keep fit and to sweat out toxins.
Rebecca Bisset sips on Daily Juice
On a particularly slow Monday morning, after a dinner of truffle fries and deep-fried calamari that echoed the last few weeks of events filled with wine and canapés, I was met with three little surprise packs. I’d forgotten I had prearranged a cleanse on the only three days I knew I didn’t have any events on. I had picked the Daily Juice Reboot 3 Day Cleanse ($255, six juices per day), which included more green juices for a deeper cleanse that would supercharge my body. Here’s how it went.
- Juice Number One of the Daily Juice pack is the Barnie: beetroot, lemon and ginger. I loved it.
- Number Two is the veggie one, made of spinach and celery, which I didn’t love – but it did make me feel virtuous!
- I don’t usually like coconut bits, but BerryChio, the lunchtime juice, was probably my favourite of the six. Along with coconut and psyllium husks, it included strawberry and apple, making it a delicious and filling drink.
- By 3.20pm, I really wanted a chocolate chip cookie, but the P.Potts red pepper and lime juice went down easily enough and provided the distracting kick that I needed.
- Number Five was coconut water, which personally I can’t stomach. I’d also started to feel quite achy and disengaged from the process by this time.
- I really tried to like number six, Coco+Cash, a mix of activated cashew, coconut, cinnamon, Himalayan pink salt and agave, but it just didn’t work, so I resorted to a salad!
The most difficult thing about a liquid diet for me was wanting to actually chew something. I didn’t get hungry, and I liked the taste of most of the drinks, but I did feel quite achy and vacant. The benefit, I think, is that it does give you a good ‘clean out’, which hadn’t been the case when I’d done something similar in the past. I think it’s better to do this when you don’t have much on, and I would recommend easing into it slowly. In future, I will do my research and start to cut back on some other things in my diet a few days before I start.
Smita DeSouza samples Antidote
After an exceptionally indulgent month, a juice cleanse seemed like a good way to reboot my system. This was my first-ever juice cleanse, so I settled on the Antidote Beginner Cleanse ($265) as the juices seemed to be smoother, tastier and especially selected for first-timers like me who aren’t used to the taste of vegetable juices.
I started my three-day cleanse with the Mount Eden, a mix of cos lettuce, celery, Japanese cucumber, kale, green apple, lemon, ginger mint and parsley; it was as tasty as it was filling. Soon after I’d reached the office, it was time for my mid-morning snack, the Mount Everest, a liver-cleansing mix of apple, beetroot, celery, carrot, cinnamon and lemon. Though I relished the taste of the juices, my body missed its daily intake of carbs, proteins and fats, and I started to feel lightheaded and woozy.
Around lunch, I did feel a bit sorry for myself: the aroma of delicious food was wafting out of the office pantry, as I dutifully chugged the Grand Canyon, which promises to burn fat thanks to its grapefruit, apple, carrot and lemon. I’d underestimated just how big a role sight and smell played when it came to my food habits. I wasn’t hungry and my stomach didn’t feel empty. I just wanted to eat because the food looked and smelled good.
Around the fourth bottle, the Atlantic (apple, pineapple, mint), things started to look up. Even though the mild headache persisted, the lightheadedness was gone and I felt I had more clarity. By the time I was done with the Golden Gate Bridge – an antioxidant boost of carrot, sweet potato, green apple, lemon, coconut oil and cinnamon – I was so full, I couldn’t even think of having the sixth, a delicious mix of organic coffee, raw cashew nuts, medjool dates, coconut oil and filtered water.
Though I thought I might be hungry since I’d skipped my last juice, I slept soundly that night. At the end of three days, I felt upbeat and more alert. It probably had to do with all the toxins being eliminated – when I wasn’t drinking a juice, I was drinking water. My stomach felt flatter and it did seem like I’d lost some weight, though that was never the intent of this three-day cleanse. For me, the real challenge starts now – sticking to healthy food habits.
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