Still, those couple of months where I squeezed into size 8 jeans and glowed with health have long been a particularly cherished memory for me, and after a particularly gluttonous holiday, it felt like the right time to try get back on track.
I was already a big fan of Pressed Juices, because they've got options for the pickiest of health enthusiasts (35 all up) and even their greenest version - which includes celery, cucumber, kale, lettuce, parsley, spinach, lemon—still tastes pretty great. And because I'm an all-or-nothing kind of dieter, I chose Pressed Juices' most advanced level, which equated to four of these mega-green juices, a 'lemonade' sans all the good stuff (sugar) and several aloe vera and chloryphl-infused waters throughout the day.
Needless to say, I may have over extended myself with that option. Seriously, if it wasn't for the evening 'chocolate almond mylk'—a heavenly milkshake-esque bottle of goodness that I still crave to this day—I don't think I would have made it through day one.
From midday of the first day, I was insatiably hungry—which wasn't surprising considering the 180 turn I'd done in my diet, literally overnight. But I was determined to see it through. "The first day is always the hardest," I told myself.
Luckily I believed that because day two turned out to be much, much worse. While my hunger had begun to wane slightly, I was GRUMPY. Tired, lethargic and really, really grumpy. "Are you sure you shouldn't just eat something?" my co-worker reasonably suggested. I shot her daggers and spent the rest of the day mooching around the office.
But by the third day, it was a different story. It wasn't exactly the "boundless energy" that juice enthusiasts so often describe—it was much calmer and more tranquil than that. But from days three to five, I was sleeping better, waking up earlier and my energy levels were steadier throughout the day—which probably had something to do with kicking my twice-daily caffeine habit.
I have digestion issues at the best of times, so I made sure to get my daily dose by fibre—the one element missing from a juice cleanse, and fairly essential for those with digestive issues—by mixing in chia seeds to my morning juice.
And the results? It turns out that the reason why everyone waxes lyrical about clear skin, white eyes and a flat stomach after juice cleansing isn't just to irritate you—it's because it's true. An added bonus is it really does 'reset' your system—your stomach shrinks, and the sugar and carb cravings disappear, which makes it a terrific way to kick-start a clean-eating regime. But you do have to be mindful about what you eat post-cleanse, because despite losing three kilos, I did notice it creeping back on very quickly, and had to tweak my diet accordingly.
Was I back in size 8 jeans? Definitely not. But I did feel better because of it, and it was the boost I needed to reset my eating habits, and my mindset.
Pressed Juices cleanses, from $198 for 3 days and $319 for 5 days.
Sara Mclean, beauty editor.
I have tried multiple juice 3-day cleanses in the past but this was the first time I attempted a full 5-day one, so suffice to say I was nervous. But after a particularly hellish week of deadlines that consisted of late nights and more visits to the vending machine than I care to admit, I was ready to take on the challenge. And with professional glow-getters Bambi Northwood Blyth, Lara Bingle and Miranda Kerr, turning to Orchard Street when they need a kick, I couldn't wait to get started.
I chose the Green Cleanse program which consisted of six juices; four fully green based, a chia and myrtle elixir and a cashew and date smoothie to finish each day (Side note: That smoothie was seriously the bomb and was the light at the end of the tunnel each day.)
Created by naturopath and nutritionist, Kirsten Shanks, the Orchard Street cleanses aren't your stock standard juice programs. Loaded with carefully selected organic ingredients, as well as superfood boosters (think: alkalising green supplements, probiotics and aloe Vera) and you can really taste that level of quality and care with each sip. The other selling point is that every juice is different, in taste and texture so you don't get that Groundhog Day, boredom effect that I have found with some other programs. The breakfast green smoothie is thick and satisfying, the green juices are lighter with pulp for texture and the chia elixir is zesty and energising.
I started out strong, determined to get past the initial third day slump where I had been able to stop in my past juice fasts, but I can honestly say that day three came and without a fuss. I did suffer minor headaches, which are always to be expected when taking on a cleanse, and I had to dial down my cardio (not that I was complaining!) but I never felt hungry. My energy levels were also fine, though I have to admit I did keep up my espresso habit (sorry Kirsten, have you ever tried to write a 2,000 word story without it!?) but I never felt temped to sway into solids.
Would I recommend it? Definitely! The Green Cleanse is probably more suited to experienced detoxers but their Signature Cleanse features more fruit and is perfect for beginners. By the end of the five days I lost 1kg, and my stomach was definitely flatter. But those were just the cherry on top of my brighter, clearer eyes and dewy skin. I can't wait to do one again.
Orchard Street Green Cleanse, from $85.
Karla Clarke, junior fashion editor.
I have to admit by the afternoon of my first day I certainly didn't feel very LUCKY.
And it's fair to say that the moral of this story is that I am not cut out for a hard-core anything.But what I am cut out for is bettering my health; bettering the quality of my skin; my nutrient intake; my temperamental metabolism and well, self-discipline.
I don't consider my 'food as well' approach to the juice cleanse as failing at all. In fact, the lucky people at Lucky You advise that the benefits of their products are still beneficial when taken with food—so yes, I ate, but very healthily. To be honest, the week I chose to cleanse was probably one of my busiest yet, 4am call times, multiple shoots, the David Jones SS14 launch (canapé city)—whatever it was, it was on that week.
So for that reason, salad and seared salmon were two friends I needed to keep close by. I did cut out carbohydrates, refined sugar and anything naughty. I drank a lot of green tea, copious amounts of water and I am sure the sound of my celery munching was nothing but a delight to the ears of my colleagues. Would I recommend it? Of course! The benefits far outweigh the pain (let it be known that my threshold is low).
Why do Lucky You: Get back on track—I was once healthy, then wasn't, now am. Yay for me!
What to be wary of: You will feel terrible, but if it's the worst kind of terrible you've ever felt—EAT! The cleanse still carries benefits when solid food is consumed. Just make it healthy.
Also, plan ahead – if you share an office fridge go to town with the do not touch labels (I knew I had an enviable freezer bag), make sure you have a jar waiting at every location (home—office—friends place) and when the going gets tough, just go to bed.
What to expect: Glowing skin, no early afternoon sugar cravings, and healthy insides—a complete reset.
Lucky You Juice Cleanse, 1 to 6 day cleanses available from $75 to $420.