I'm excited to tell you all that I've recently discovered a new epic health spot in Melbourne CBD: Green Press. Their chef, who was trained at Michelin-star restaurants in New York, brings a whole lot of 'delicious' to the table, with cold-pressed juices, elixirs, salads, chia puddings, and all kinds of treats that you know are as yummy as they are good for you.
I've jumped on board and am going to be working very closely with the team (OK, I can't lie, a big part of it is because I love their coconut 'bacon' – actually can't get enough) so keep an eye out for my herb-nerd notes and nutrition tips popping up on their website, or get down to the store on Little Collins Street to get your hands on some of your own (fellow herb-nerds out there should try the Herbal Haze!)
With me heading over to LA in a few days, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get my system squeaky clean with a juice cleanse. I jumped straight on the 'Expert' cleanse to give my digestive system a rest, break bad habits like too many coffees, and fill myself with as many power-packed juices as I can.
It had been a little while since I'd done a cleanse, and was excited to feel that energy and vitality that comes after day three. Of course, that means getting through the cravings and slumps of the first few days. As expected, I felt the lack of food on day one: my tummy rumbled and I was ready for bed by about 3pm. Thankfully, I never felt those nasty blood sugar cravings. And why? Because the expert cleanse is almost entirely green juices, and the sweeter offerings contained enough protein and fat to prevent and insulin see-saw. My pick? The Sesame Treat – too freaking good!
I woke up after an incredible sleep, which I put down to all the greens again. I would have well and truly got my daily requirement for magnesium yesterday, making relaxation and sleep a breeze. I was very energetic in the morning and thought I'd go for a run, but didn't make it far before I had to turn home. There's no denying it: I was starting to feel the lack of food. But at the same time, I had a much clearer head than the day before, and my tummy was flat again after a week of stress-and-coffee-induced bloat. All that – plus the fact that the flavour combos were delicious – kept me going through day two.
Day three can be one of two things in a juice cleanse. If you've been on the blood-sugar roller-coaster with lots of fruit juices, and fewer greens and smoothies, you may be counting down the hours until breakfast the following morning so that you can inhale a greasy big breakfast and a stack of toast. On the other hand, if your insulin levels have remained fairly stable and your body has been fueled with all the magnesium and B vitamins that it needs for cellular energy production, then you may just be getting used to it by now. I know I am. My head feels clear and I feel far more vital than I did before starting it. I'm looking forward to a meal, but I could have happily done this for another day or two.
It's important at this point to remember why you did the cleanse. It doesn't make sense to swing back in to bad habits, but rather use this opportunity to develop a long-term to good nutrition and healthy lifestyle. Start by reintroducing plant-based foods, then maybe add eggs and fish in the day after that (if you eat them), but leave meat a few days until your body feels it as ready. Listen to your body and don't overwhelm it with fried foods, coffee, or alcohol 'just because you can'. With three days away from those crutches, you're in the best spot to start making sensible, clean-eating choices.