With the tinsel long since packed away and the New Year’s resolutions still in mind, many of us are looking to get the balance back. Probing the recent trend in detoxing, Leanda Rathmell turns to Sana Cleanse to remedy a sinful Christmas break.
What is a juice cleanse?
By replacing normal food and drinks with live organic juices for a dedicated period of time, a juice cleanse is a natural way to detoxify your body and kick-start the process of restoring your health with vital enzymes and nutrients.
The idea of consuming only water or juice to help the body rid itself of toxins is an ancient concept. Practiced in virtually every major religion, the rite of fasting is seen as purifying both body and mind. Though similar in concept, the benefits of the modern-day, often celebrity-endorsed cleanses are widely disputed. While some medical practitioners do not recommend such drastic changes in diet, advocates of the practice report a variety of benefits: glowing skin, increased energy and focus, restful sleep, a more clearheaded outlook and even relief from common ailments.
Is it for me?
If you’re reading with growing interest, you should be realistic about your expectations and the discipline involved. A couple of days of cleansing is not a miracle cure, nor is it a golden ticket to a body like Miranda Kerr. Rather than thinking “quick fix”, think “kick start”. It should be seen as a gateway to your goals and a transition to a lifestyle that is healthier in the long term.
What is Sana Cleanse?
The brainchild of founder Rochelle Hogan and clinical nutritionist Natalie Kling, Sana Cleanse is a signature cleansing programme designed with the busy modern lifestyle in mind. Delivered straight to your door, three levels of programme are available, with the option of a three or five-day programme; the latter enables you to go beyond the initial benefits of improved digestion and boosted energy and experience deeper, cellular cleansing and repair. Each day has a combination of six carefully formulated mixtures, cold-pressed and made of all-organic produce, to be ingested in a calculated order.
Tested: Level 2, Five-Day Cleanse
Preparation is key, or so I’m told. Eager to do this by the book, I attentively follow the Sana Cleanse preparation guide, gradually eliminating caffeine, carbohydrates and meats, and then easing into a diet of raw fruit and vegetables for the last two days prior to starting the cleanse. This has made the next five days far less daunting and I’m feeling confident. My week’s calendar is cleared of temptations, my route to work modified to dodge my favourite hawker, and the boyfriend on strict orders to restrain me in moments of weakness. My first batch of insulated totes arrives spot-on at 6.30pm on the Sunday night. I’m pleasantly surprised with what they contain. Numbered in order of consumption, there is a variety of sweet and savoury mixtures containing everything from bananas and Medjool dates to parsley and ginger.
I wake with pure anticipation. My morning Green Smoothie of banana, mango, romaine lettuce and spinach is a tasty start. I spend the day slowly nursing all my juices as suggested, “chewing” them and making sure I drink the advised 300ml of water in-between. I quickly find myself filling up, and by 2pm I’m getting behind schedule and feeling surprisingly bloated. The amount of liquid I am consuming is definitely a shock to my system, and though I feel the absence of solid food, hunger is the last thing on my mind. My energy levels are normal and I decide to end the day with a spin class. I thoroughly enjoy my Nut Milk nightcap: cashews, coconut, vanilla and cinnamon. “This is a breeze!” I decide.
Coffee is my main vice. Going without over the weekend was easy enough, but I’m feeling the withdrawal at work. It’s not unbearable, but I have a slight headache throughout the morning. Though I’m developing a dislike of the relentless amount of ginger and lemon in my juices, I do my best to remind myself of their nourishing benefits. No noticeable changes as of yet. Productivity at work is good, despite the occasional distraction: a newfound ability to smell and correctly identify a colleague’s lunch from another room. The cayenne pepper in my late-afternoon Spicy Lemonade is a godsend in suppressing the hunger pangs. I head to spin class once again, in the hope of killing time till my next Nut Milk. Together, they grant me a deep sleep.
My second batch of juices arrived last night and it’s a very veg-heavy affair. This must be what separates Level 2 from Level 1. Sadly, my Nut Milk had been removed from the equation (though pleasantly replaced with Pure Coconut Water). I’m not a fussy eater by any means, but beetroot does not agree with my taste buds! Sweet Beet is a struggle to get down, but at least the queasiness distracts me from the thought of food. I take a break from exercise tonight and head to see The Nutcracker. I pat myself on the back for passing the halfway mark and take comfort in thinking the ballerinas’ diets can’t be far off mine.
According to many reviews I’ve read, today is the day I’ll start to feel “it”; the euphoria, clarity and spurts of energy. But instead I’m a muddled blur of hunger and fatigue. Today is definitely hump day. Granted, this is a plus, because it means my body’s sinful toxins are being extracted; but at the moment, I’m sporting a spotty face and my boyfriend is on the receiving end of a never-ending stream of mood swings. I take comfort in Sana Cleanse’s continuous support, ensuring me that everyone’s journey is different but we all get there in the end. The juices are still filling, but my mind is incessantly reminding me about the lack of eating. It’s enlightening to see just how much time and energy food preparation and eating fill up one’s day. While my colleagues head to lunch, I duck into the nearest reflexology centre for a back massage.
Today could very well be Christmas again. It’s Friday, I’m 24 hours away from food and I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wake up without an alarm and speed through the day. Productivity is on an all-time high and I’m feeling great. I end the day with a hot yoga class and reflect on the week. Oddly, the prominent thought in my head is not “Yes, I can eat!”, but rather “Yes I did it!”.
Two weeks on, I’m relishing the benefits: a boost in energy, deep sleeps and a spring in my step. My skin took a while to clear and my body’s normal elimination process a while to resume. Admittedly, I failed to steer clear of the meat and carbohydrates in the immediate days following the programme as suggested by Sana Cleanse, but my cravings have taken a turn for the better. Instead of grabbing the Doritos, I’m craving salads and simple whole foods. Though I lost two kilos during the cleanse, I assumed these would return as I resumed a more balanced diet. To my surprise, the weight has stayed off and gym visits feel far less of a chore. I hope to keep this up for the rest 2014.
Three-day programmes start at $320 and a five-day programme costs $500. For more information, call 6593 0488 or visit www.sanacleanse.com.