At the beginning of the year I really promised myself I would try my best to get myself back feeling 100% again. I needed to cut out any shit that I had let slip into my diet that I knew my body didn't like, and I needed to up my fitness. It's not a great feeling going from running 10km every day to feeling like an absolute slug! But I can now say half way through February that I have successfully done what I wanted to do, and I plan on keeping on going for as long as I can! I have a bit of weight since December last year by actually fully practising what I preached (my aim was not to lose weight for the record), I have been eating delicious whole foods and I now back to running in the mornings, swimming and riding my bike when I can. Although I was not unhealthy towards the end of last year, I certainly felt very uncomfortable in my own skin. I had stressed myself out so much and as a result my clothes had become tighter and my mind didn't feel balanced. Some people lose weight when they get stressed, where as my body holds on to every little bit of fat and sugar that goes into it, allowing me to put on a heap of weight in a very short amount of time, even if the fat and sugars I am eating are very healthy and minimal!
So although I have been going so well this year, I knew I could take my health high even further. I decided it was time to really kick some of the lingering toxins in my body out and get me feeling great. I have done some homemade juice cleanses in the past, however I decided it was time to try an actual cleanse, and after much research I landed on Orchard St! There seems to have been A LOT of juice cleanse companies popping up in the past year, but these guys really are the stand outs. Kirsten the creator of Orchard St which runs out of Sydney, is a certified nutritionist, naturopath and herbalist. This girl has knowledge which completely dominates over other companies. Her combinations and very beautifully designed cleanses have been so well thought out and each and every juice ingredient has a purpose.
Cleanse, Heal, Nourish and Grow is what Orchard St focus on. The cleanses are all chemical free, alkaline, raw and vegan made using local, fair-trade and sustainable produce. The juices are all organic and cold pressed ensuring optimum nutrients in each bottle. They deliver to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane at this stage. For my cleanse as I did a 5 day cleanse, they delivered my first lot of juices on the Wednesday ready for me to start on Thursday and then the remaining juices on Friday ready for the weekend and Monday. The boxes are so beautiful even from the outer wrapper. They are packed brilliantly and you get a cute little bag and biodegradable straws to go with your cleanse so you can carry your juices in style and sip them to not damage your teeth with the lemon in some of the juices! There is also a little guidebook to take you through the cleanse and have you feeling supported. Then underneath those goodies is the rainbow of beautifully glass bottled juices. You really feel so amazing opening one of these boxes.
After speaking to Kirsten herself, and explaining to her my situation I decided to do a little bit of each cleanse offered. 1 Day on the signature cleanse to get me eased in, 2 Days on the Pure Cleanse to really give my toxins a kick in the butt and 2 days on the Green cleanse to give me a nice ending. Kirsten has to of been one of the most loveliest women I have ever had the pleasure of speaking too, she is caring, knowledgable and just amazing.
On the cleanse program you can choose to do 1 day, 3 days or 5 days. You get a lovely email sitting in your inbox when you wake up from the day before the cleanse, everyday throughout the cleanse an even an email post cleanse. Running you through feelings you may be having, and also going through exactly what will be happening to your body on that day. It gives you suggestions, support and motivation to keep going. It's also like getting a hug from a friend saying "I know you feel shit today, but it's OK, tomorrow you will feel better".
Here is my daily run through of how I felt on the cleanse, I am not going to pretend it was all easy and wonderful as it's not. A cleanse is not the most wonderful experience (well in the beginning it is not), but I do believe Orchard St make you feel the most comfortable and supported that you could feel whilst doing one.
Day 1 (Signature Cleanse):
In the morning I am l-o-v-i-n-g life! Juices are beyond delicious, I am feeling good, super excited about the next 5 days. I am productive, get work done and take the dogs for a big walk. Hits about one o'clock and the headache begins. Melbourne is extremely glarey and cloudy so I blame it on that and keep chugging along. Hits 4'o'clock and the headache has gotten much, much worse. Gross. This is gross is all I can think. I try and make myself feel better by doing a bentonite clay mask. Face ends up bright red and burning! Toxins are well and truly beginning to surface and it's obvious through the headache and the face mask leaving me feeling like I've had a chemical peel. 7'o'clock and I am already in bed and am tucking into my last drink the Cashew Chai. As someone who normally sleeps about 6 hours at night this is a big deal for me to be in bed this early. My body needs to rest so I listen to it and try and sleep, hoping that head ache will disappear. I wake up a couple of times in the night but all in all sleep like a little baby until the dogs wake me up at my regular wake up call 6AM.
Favourite juice pick of the day: Rosella Elixir - This drink is absolutely amazing!!!!!!!
Day 2 (Pure Cleanse):
Wake up feeling amazing. No headache, I have slept a lot and the Melbourne morning weather is beautiful. I know today is going to be hard, but I am totally prepared (or so I think). I am now moving from the signature cleanse (easiest cleanse for beginners) to the pure cleanse (the hardest cleanse). This cleanse has little to no fructose with no fruit what so ever just medicinal herbs and vegetables so my body is getting withdrawals fighting off the sweet cravings built up inside of it. I have my first drink, and take the dogs for a walk. Headache begins again but it doesn't last for too long as I just distract myself. Have to remind myself even though I am drinking 3L of juices I still need a lot of water too! Day 2 I seem to be fine, until it reaches the afternoon and that pounding headache is back. I have enjoyed my first few juices but my sweet tooth is finding some of the combinations hard to get through. These are not for the faint hearted or fruit lovers like me on this cleanse! I can imagine myself loving this juice on any other day, but today it just seems hard as my body wants that sweetness. I continue to drink lots of water and put myself into bed early again.
Favourite juice pick of the day: Cashew Chai (I literally want this drink to be in my fridge always, it is so so so delicious!!!)
Day 3 (Pure Cleanse):
Wake up, vomit. The toxins well and truly want to leave my body. After feeling sorry for myself for an hour or two I suck it up and get going. Have my first juice for the day and begin to feel better. Not much of a headache today however am dangerously emotional, but I am also aware that is apart of the cleanse that toxic thoughts will also come out. I get busy with some cooking, not the most ideal thing to do when you're strictly on juices. Only get through about 3 drinks on this day, my body just cannot seem to stomach it. I know my body craves those nutrients and needs them but I physically cannot drink them all. Get through the day feeling pretty lousy. Pick up at the end of the day and decide to take it easy. I can tell I am putting too much pressure on myself on this cleanse for not handling it as well as I thought. But that is normal, and it's OK, my body is healing, and my body is thankful for everything that is happening.
Favourite juice pick of the day: Myrtle Elixir.. mmmmmmm think a really really delicious iced tea, and then even better!
Day 4 (Green Cleanse):
Wake up feeling good! No headache, no nausea. Thinking I am actually over the hump! I drink my Green Guru and feel amazing. Got a huge day of cooking, styling and photographing and feel totally fine the whole day. I feel light and I feel good. I may be slightly more emotional than normal but that's OK as I have good people around me. Getting tempted by the 10 dishes I have had to prepare but just sip on my juices and feel OK. The juices today are particularly good - the Green Cleanse seems to be my favourite so far in terms of juice combinations. Still cannot quite get through every juice but try my best. Gets to the end of the day and I have not caved to any food and I still don't have a headache. I rest at night and try and just be still.
Favourite juice picks of the day: Green Wilderness (mmmm this is a really good refreshing and just nice subtle green juice. Love love love it!)
Day 5 (Green Cleanse):
Have to pick up my boyfriend from the airport today and continue my last day of cleanse despite him buying me a suitcase (no joke) of Wholefoods items from America, and even treats from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco!!!! This is temptation at it's highest!!!!! I resist all temptations and keep going with my juices. I feel good. He is supportive of me although keeps letting slip "what should we eat?". I am feeling good today. I don't have a headache, I feel even lighter than before, I feel like I could do anything despite only having liquid in my tummy. Really savour each juice today and try and take it slow. Enjoy every single mouthful and just appreciate everything. My mind is feeling clearer and I can feel stress coming off my body. Definitely don't want to open the fridge tomorrow and find that I have no juices. Not looking forward to that. How quickly until I can order some more Cashew Chai and Green Guru... Now understand why there is a 6 pack of these two juices available!!!
Favourite juice picks of the day: Green Garden & Green Guru (I really just want a whole heap of these to drink every single day!!!!!)
This cleanse is not for the faint hearted, but it sure is a real wake up call to the body and will definitely do what it says and it will help rid your body of unwanted toxins. Although the first three days were much harder than what I thought they would be, and I am not going to pretend it was a walk in the park - as it certainly wasn't. There were moments where I wanted to open the fridge and shove whatever I could in my mouth. There were moments I questioned whether it was worth it continuing. But I knew it was just my body fighting off healing and I had to push through it, and I am really very glad I did. I felt lighter, happier and healthier at the end of the five days. The last two days were much better than the beginning three. I knew my skin was clearer, my mind was clearer and I was motivated. The daily morning emails from Orchard St made the cleanse a lot easier as you felt support and assured that you were OK and what you were feeling is OK. The Pure Cleanse I would definitely only recommend if you've done a few cleanses before and can handle the hardcore. The Green Cleanse would be my first recommendation to anyone who was interested in going on a juice cleanse, followed by The Signature Cleanse. However if you plan on doing an Orchard St cleanse, I do recommend you send Kirsten or the team an email and ask them which cleanse may suit you best. I think doing a 1 or 3 day cleanse is more sensible to start on, but the 5 day was definitely worth it in the end. I am very grateful for Kirsten and the team at Orchard St for creating this program and their dispensary and juices. These are some really beautiful and pure hearted people, and you can feel that love from them whilst on the cleanse. Don't go into the cleanse feeling like it will be easy as it will not, just don't walk away when it is hard as it's just your body healing and in the end you will feel great.
I think for me going on a juice cleanse will be like the equivalent of an athlete eating McDonalds - once in a blue moon!! I cannot however wait to visit the dispensary in person when I get up to Sydney so I can grab a whole heap of my favourites again to sip and enjoy. I also do want to add that I am encouraging people to go on a cleanse, nor am I saying it is right for everyone, as I definitely know it is not. This was just my experience and if it sounds like something that interests you, I encourage you to do your own research and work out if it is appropriate or not for your own body. We are all on different journeys and we are all at different stages, what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another and this is something we all have to be mindful of. We need to make our own informed decisions as we know our bodies better than anyone!
For more information on the cleanses or just to check Orchard St out you can do so here.