My Raw Island One Day Juice Cleanse Prize – Review

Recently, I was surprised and pleased to win a giveaway prize in a Nanabar* competition. They are the world’s first organic, gluten-free nicecream bar (ie vegan), which is opening in London. Justin, the owner, ran a fun campaign to raise awareness of the opening and put together this competition as the final push.

 imageMy prize couldn’t have been more apt: a Raw Island One Day Juice Cleanse.* I was so excited. I really needed to do this as part of my cleaning-up regime – I had let things slide in the ‘taking care of me’ department. I was stressed, overtired, not sleeping and had a lot more aches and pains than normal. My digestion was poor, I felt I had too much adrenaline and needed calming down.  (See Are You In Need of an E-Break? (I am). No-Phone Sundays, Anyone? and Taking a Break to Recharge Your Batteries Can Re-Energise & Re-Inspire (Slideshow Included))

A week-long juice cleanse usually sorts me out. This one was just for a day, so I prepared well in advance to gain the most benefit from it. I wanted to cleanse mind and soul as well as body.

In the 10 days before I received the juices, I was a woman on a mission. I took extra special care over what I ate and drank. I decluttered everything in sight, sorted out desk drawers, got up-to-date with paperwork. Even the garden was cleared of dead and dying flora (courtesy of my husband) and generally tidied up. I relaxed, meditated, contemplated, while my iPad and iPhone stayed off. image

Raw Island is owned and run by sisters Sarah and Fiona Lewis. They are qualified nutritionists based in London and are only just beginning to extend their juice delivery nationwide. All my contact was with Sarah who is friendly, supportive and responded quickly to any questions I had.

Their website explains that they work on the principle that tropical fruits are better than predominantly green juices when doing a juice detoxification and their juices contain no fats or nut milks.

I was interested to see how the juices would be packed and how fresh they were; how long they would last; whether they would be large enough and substantial enough to keep hunger at bay. Would I like the taste or would they be too sweet?

The night before delivery, I made sure I went to bed early to get a good night’s rest. Of course, this didn’t happen! I felt like I was going to drop off but never quite made it – until a couple of hours before my husband got up. Not the start I hoped for.

imageBut it was a glorious morning! Clear blue skies and sun, I couldn’t have ordered a more perfect start to the day. I began my day with gratitude, then had a drink of warm water with ginger and lemon and began my preparation. I did some skin brushing with a dry loofah to improve circulation, remove dead skin cells and encourage the excretion of toxins before having a long hot shower with Dead Sea Spa Magik Shower Gel and used Dead Sea Spa Magik Mild Exfoliant on my face* (no microbeads, see my post Ditch the Plastic: Microbeads – What Are They Good For…?)

By the time I was dried and dressed, they had arrived. image

The five 500ml bottles were packed with frozen gel packs, wrapped in bubble wrap inside polystyrene and a cardboard box. They came by courier and the box was intact.

The juices come in reusable, recyclable, BPA-free plastic bottles, all numbered in the order in which they should be consumed. They needed to be used by next day as they are cold-pressed and despatched the day before delivery.

There are 2 Raw Island One Day Cleanses to choose from named 1 and 2. I chose 2, which is formulated to aid digestion, boost metabolism and support the immune system. I liked the sound of the exotic fruits and the spices.

Kick and Conquer, the first juice, and Some Like It Hot, the fourth one, were aptly named! Wow! I have ginger and turmeric every morning but Kick and Conquer was very spicy and lemony. I loved it. Some Like It Hot nearly took my head off! It has jalapeno chilli in it, which I’ve never had. When I took the first sip, I could hardly swallow it. I thought I wasn’t going to manage it. But I really wanted to complete the cleanse and I took my time, sipped slowly and gradually became used to it. I loved it.

imageIn between, there was Black Lemonade made with Red Grapes, lemon and activated charcoal – used to remove ingested poisons and chemicals in hospitals but in this instance to remove toxins. It binds to the chemicals etc and flushes them out of the system.

Take Me To The Tropics includes tropical fruit like pineapple, mango and passionfruit as well as cucumber and spinach. Again, it was very tasty and refreshing.image

All the juices were extremely flavourful, zesty and zingy – except the Vanilla Mylk which was made with medjool dates, sweet and a lovely contrast to finish with – especially after the chilli! Tart and spicy are my favourite tastes, so these were perfect for me.

The juices were more than ample, in fact I had trouble fitting them all in – I started quite late in the morning and had to stay up later than planned to fit in the fourth. I saved the Vanilla Mylk for next day. I wasn’t hungry for a second.

Would I do it again? Most definitely. I felt fantastic afterwards. No headaches – I kept well-hydrated – I slept better, felt re-energised, my eyes and skin regained their shine, I was calm and positive. Best of all, the main aspect for me when I do a juice cleanse is that the pressure and pain in my lower spine is reduced, and I found that happened even with one day of juice only.

I wanted to prolong the benefits, so next day I continued to juice but in between, as recommended, I had some watermelon to reintroduce fibre and keep hydrated, and made a smoothie with papaya – recipe coming soon. This is the end of my third day after juicing and I have had juices, a salad and home-made hummus, and some live coconut yogurt. Tomorrow I will have my first cooked meal, probably a stir-fry or maybe some soup.

Doing a juice cleanse resets your hormones, your taste buds and your desire for high carb fatty processed or sweet foods. It gives your digestion a break, nourishes your body on a cellular level and enables it to rest and repair. This is my experience, if you have never done a juice-only program before, please check with your doctor first.

Thank you to Sarah and Fiona for giving me this opportunity to try their One Day Juice Cleanse and to Justin for organising the competition. I enjoyed it immensely, it was just what I needed!

At the time of writing, the company are offering a 10% discount off your first order when you subscribe to their newletter.

*http://nana.bar/

*http://rawislandcleanse.com/

*http://www.deadseacosmetics.co.uk/dead-sea-magik-2-c.asp

Copyright: Chris McGowan

How I Juiced My Skin Clear: A Rash Decision?

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You Decide!

Today I’m going to talk skin diseases, rashes and juicing, so if you are of a squeamish disposition look away now!

Skin diseases are some of the most debilitating and frustrating conditions. They are not usually life-threatening but are tricky to treat and can make the life of the sufferer miserable and exhausting. A nasty, itchy rash can undermine your confidence and self-esteem, determine what you can and cannot wear, affect your relationships and even your job prospects. They can be caused by allergies, auto-immune diseases, post-viral reactions, detoxing from medications or even appear after a juicing programme. This is my story:

My Mysterious Rash

How I was inspired by The Juicemaster* and Hanna at My Goodness Recipes* to Juice My Skin Clear

In late January 2015, I finally succumbed to a nasty flu-like virus that had bowled out every family member over Christmas. I was last woman standing and thought I had got away with it. I was juicing ginger and turmeric like there was no tomorrow, which is why I believe I held off for so long. But I became worn out coping when my husband fell ill and worrying about my daughter who had developed pneumonia. The virus found a weakness and struck me too.

In late February, I noticed small, raised blotches appearing on my right forearm, which, over several weeks, became about a 10cm patch. One or two developed on my left. Then two or three patches appeared on my left calf. A major breakout came on my right calf. I ignored them to begin with. I’ve always had itchy skin, but this was new, I thought it would go away after a while. It didn’t.

April – a small but itchy rash, nothing too major but slowly increasing, amd very itchy

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In May – sore, scaly and inflamed

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I googled it and discovered there are 67 different rashes!

Over the next few weeks, the itching became unbearable. I was able to control the urge to scratch during the day but would wake up in the night with my leg bleeding.

So why didn’t I go to the doctor? It’s what I would advise my mum to do.

Well, firstly I react very badly to drugs and chemicals; secondly, from previous experience with a small patch of eczema years ago – and from the experience of other sufferers – I knew they would probably want to give me steroid cream, which I didn’t want to use.

I wanted to tackle the cause, not just apply topical cream and suppress the symptoms.

I believed that my body was still continuing to detox due to regular juicing and was probably placed under further strain by the virus. Detoxifying can go on for quite some time when juice cleansing and my body had lots to cope with before I began in terms of long-term pain and asthma medication and so on.

The skin is a major player in detoxification, especially if the liver and kidneys are already taxed, and I wanted to encourage this process rather than suppress it with steroids.

I turned to the juicing community for help.

Jason Vale’s* struggle with psoriasis – an auto-immune disease – is well-documented in his books. When nothing worked, his doctors wanted to hospitalise him and cover him in coal tar and bandages for several weeks. Hanna Sillitoe of My GoodnessRecipes* also had a body covered in psoriasis and her doctors wanted to give her chemo medication!

Jason and Hanna decided to take a more gentle and natural route via juicing, skin-brushing, supplements, meditation, fresh air, exercise and essential fatty acids.

They both became regular juicers and clean eaters and both now have clear skin. I decided to follow their example.

Hanna

Before and After Juicing

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I followed Jason’s Clear Skin Programme to the letter: specific juices for the skin and to support the body’s natural ability to repair and heal, plus Brazil nuts for selenium together with zinc for healthy skin, Omega oils, avocados, herbs to detoxify and Dead Sea salts for skin brushing to rid the skin of dead cells and improve circulation. I also did visualisation and meditation and smoothed Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil on the rash every morning and evening.

The programme requires commitment and takes time, but it is well worth it.

Jason warns that although some people begin to see benefits almost straightaway, for some it can take weeks or even months, but perseverance will win through in the end. He was right!

I noticed an improvement within 10 days.

It took less than a month for my arms to clear up altogether, and a bit longer for the small patches on my left leg. However, I began to despair over the much larger area on my right leg.

But then in June, the whole area began to change to a lighter colour and the itching became less persistent. I could sleep and not be disturbed by it.

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 I had a setback late July when my husband had a nasty cycling accident which created a lot of stress and exhaustion. I became a little disheartened, thinking it would never go away, but I stuck with the programme and gradually it started to heal again until by September I was left with just a small patch on my shin bone.

By October it had completely healed and cleared!

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No more itching and I can wear wool again, just in time for the cold weather! Result!

Despite reading many medical opinions to the contrary, diet has apparently played a large part in the 3 of us regaining healthy skin and reclaiming our characters and our lives. My experience was nothing compared to Jason and Hanna’s, but it had begun to affect my personality and well-being.

The moral of the story is: Don’t Give Up!

Thank you to Jason Vale and Hanna Sillitoe for freely sharing their plans and providing support, for their inspiring positivity, and to Hanna for permission to use her photos. Both Jason and Hanna have free advice on their websites.

PS 3 years on, I am still rash-free.

UPDATE: Some people are sensitive to nightshade foods – tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines, peppers – which aggravate their skin condition. For us, the ultimate sacrifice can be having to give up traditional pasta and pizza sauce. Until now. Hanna has come up with her Amazing Tomatoless Sauce. I tried it out and it really works! Here’s my version with zoodles. Take a look at Hanna’s website, her photos are much better! It works with pasta and pizza and keeps well in an airtight jar in the fridge. See also Vegan Courgetti Bolognese ft Hanna’s Vegetable Protein Sauce

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PS Hanna has just had her first book published! ‘Radiant’ tells her story of how she cleared her skin through changes to her diet and lifestyle, becoming healthier and fitter in the process and also includes beautifully photographed recipes. Available on Amazon and at Waterstones.

*http://www.juicemaster.com

*http://www.mygoodnessrecipes.com/

Disclaimer: This article is based on my own experience and reading about Jason and Hanna’s decisions to try juicing and natural treatments. Do your own research and please consult your doctor first especially if you are taking medications for your condition.

Copyright: Chris McGowan