Juicing has been the trend for the last couple of years: drink your OJ and lose those Christmas pounds, get beach ready with carrot juice in just a week – I am surprised if there is anyone left who doesn’t know what I’m talking about. While I remained sceptical for quite some time, the idea of drinking freshly extracted green juices started growing on me. Sure the media’s take on juicing is puzzling: one minute it’s the source of all evil (Independent, Guardian) and the other it’s actually okay (Guardian). The problem, I find, with smoothies and fruit juices especially, is the ridiculously high sugar content. My friend Catherine cut all sugar off her diet for a few weeks last summer, and just following her quest made me realise how much sugar and salt and other additives there are in your normal supermarket goods. While the option, for me at least, would be to stick to vegetable juices, I was worried I would not enjoy the taste whatsoever. I own a blender and a centrifugal juicer. The blender gets used on the odd Sunday when I feel like treating myself to a berry or fruit smoothie. But the juicer seemed to gather dust in my kitchen cupboard. While I loved the idea of having a green vegetable juice as part of my morning routine, it seemed hard to get started. Would I like spinach? What even is kale? How could beetroot taste any good with carrot? I’m used to having my veggies as part of my dinner, not in a glass. But I thought I’d give it a try when I found out about Juice Warrior.
Finally! A local, Glasgow-based company producing and selling raw, cold-pressed juices. Not just your sugary sickly orange and apple juice, but a full range of fruity green juices all the way to hardcore ‘no fruits allowed’ greenies. I tried out the Cleopatra Cleanse, a collection of 5 juices, a nut milk and a shot of chlorella. And I was surprised to find that although most of the juices were made with mostly veggies, they still tasted delish! With their cleanses, Juice Warrior does not expect you to drop it all and go on a juice fast for x amount of time. You can do that, obviously, if you want to ‘reboot’ your body, in the sense of giving your system a little break – they provide loads of information regarding the whole idea of juice fasting on their website. Instead, I took the juices as part of my existing diet. I would have scrambled eggs as usual for breakfast, but instead of toast I’d sip ‘Sweet Beet’ while watching the news, and then enjoy ‘Nothin’ Fancy’, for instance, as a mid-afternoon snack when feeling a little peckish. And as someone who is not a fan watermelon or pineapple, I still managed to drown both ‘Pillar Box’ and ‘Pina Kale Ada’ and have to say that the latter was probably my favourite of all! Funny world eh?
The lovely people at Juice Warrior delivered the juices straight to my front door, in a cool box to optimise freshness. My order included the 5 juices, a nut milk, the chlorella shot mentioned above, a detox and a cleanse Pukka tea, and a lemon to squeeze into my tea and/or water. I spread the juices over three days, having the chlorella shot, ‘Pillar Box’ and ‘Pina Kale Ada’ on day 1, ‘Sweet Beet’ on day 2 (got a bit busy with life that day) and finished with ‘Evergreen’, ‘Nothin’ Fancy’ and the nut milk ‘Coco Cashew’ on day 3. According to Juice Warrior, the Cleopatra Cleanse is very good in order to help your skin to stay hydrated and thus maximises its healthy glow. I know for a fact that my skin is a slave for hormones, but I do feel that after my weekend of juicing my complexion is looking a lot more clearer. Call it the placebo effect if you want – while more research still needs to be done, studies such as this one would indicate that there is a relationship between diet and acne, and possibly other skin conditions. But one thing is for sure, though: the sheer amount of fresh produce helped my body fight off a nasty cold I’d caught from my trip down to London the previous week! I don’t think I’ve ever bounced back to health this quickly in my life!
Nobody ever got hurt eating a little more fruit and veg, so if you’re not a fan of that broccoli on your dinner plate, I would warmly recommend trying out green juices – you might surprise yourself.