It’s no surprise that I found myself preparing for a 5 day juice-cleanse soon after arriving in Dubai. Nothing says grounding, balance and fresh-start quite like a cleanse. There is something so refreshing about drinking green juice and only green juice, all day for 5 days. So, when I was offered to try a Transformation Cleanse by the owners of Essentially UAE– I absolutely could not resist. Also, they couldn’t have had better timing, following the departure of my best friend Paulina and the imminent beginning of a new chapter for me here in Dubai.
I have become quite infamous for my passion for green juice. Rest assured, I am not doing juice cleanses every other week. On the contrary, a juice cleanse is something that I like to do every 3-4 months as a way to re-boot, especially after undergoing a big change or transition in my life. The reason why: I am quite sensitive when it comes to big changes and stress (aren’t we all?) Sometimes, change and stress can send me into a bit of state of imbalance [mostly emotional]. At times [as a result of an ‘old habits die hard’ sort of situation] I will turn to old patterns of drinking and neglecting my routine in order to deal with the emotions related to change. Once I have fallen out of or lost my routine, something like a juice cleanse is a great way to take your attention away from eating and food, so that you can concentrate on creating some structure in your life again.
The reason why a juice cleanse is so great at achieving this is quite simple. Through the cold-pressed process (which involves pressing the produce hydraulically between two metal plates) that is involved in making cold-pressed juices, the fibre of the fruit & vegetables is removed. By removing the fibre, your body’s major job of digesting the food is eliminated. Thus, less work on your body. By removing this job, the energy that would usually be utilized for digestion and elimination is now reserved for other processes in your body. One of the major alternative processes (that unfortunately has become incredibly neglected due to over-consumption of food and toxins these days) is healing. Simply put, our bodies cannot efficiently heal and repair when it is constantly in the process of digestion.
What’s more, a juice cleanse takes this healing process one step further. Not only does your body have more energy set aside for rejuvenation; a juice cleanse provides your body with an abundance of nutrients that are assimilated into our blood streams within 20 minutes of consumption. So, you are essentially injecting amazing, beautiful, natural and organic nutrients right into your blood stream, 5-6 times a day for 3-5 days. Speaking of Essentially.
I have done a few juice cleanses over the past 2 years, with several different companies (and on my own, in my own kitchen). I’ve truly enjoyed experimenting with different companies and getting to know each of their personalities. You’re probably thinking: it’s a juice cleanse, how different can these companies be? They all offer the same product! Sure. However, each company truly does have it’s own character.
One thing that I really do appreciate and enjoy about Essentially and the people behind it, is that they have not cut any corners. Everything is in alignment: from the organic produce used to make the juices, to the generosity and abundance that they offer their customers. John and Wiebke really do believe in the idea that business is all about give and take. You give a little, you take a little; you give a lot, and you will receive a lot. Although they are still in the early stages of their business (just under 2 years old), they truly do demonstrate the importance of maintaining a solid foundation when building a business. Step 1: you do not cut corners, no matter what.
Enough about business, let’s talk juices.
Of the three cleanses offered through Essentially, I chose to do the greenest (of course). Known as the Transformation Cleanse [aka Pro Cleanse], it included 5 juices and 1 nut mylk, daily. In this particular cleanse, you receive 4 green juices (cucumber, celery, apple, spinach, parsley, kale, lemon, ginger), a spicy lemonade (agave nectar, lemon, water & cayenne), and a cashew milk (cashews, vanilla, coconut butter, agave nectar, sea salt). After meeting with John & Wiebke, they quickly learned of my nutritional hesitation with agave nectar. Thus, Wiebke quickly offered me the option of switching the spicy lemonade with their new and unreleased apple lemonade (lemon, apple & ginger) and switching out the agave nectar in the nut mylk for dates. I was impressed as Wiebke made the customization appear seamless. Clearly, great customer service.
Now, I wish I had a more interesting, emotional report of my cleanse. However, much like the ordering/delivery/customization stage- the cleanse itself was relatively seamless. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. So much so, that there were moments when my boyfriend, Faris, had to question whether or not I was cheating! He was expecting a few mood swings and fatigue, at the very least. On the contrary- I was excited, energized, balanced, satisfied and felt incredibly nourished. I did cry buckets full of tears on Wednesday evening, however, I believe that had more to do with the movie ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and a lot less to do with the green juice!
The first 2 days are usually the most interesting and most challenging of a cleanse. The moments where you are learning to work through old habits and hunger-pangs and emotional eating triggers. So, I decided to jot down a few notes during my first two days:
It’s day 1/5 of my juice cleanse and I’m feeling excited, ready and clear-headed. I feel inspired to get myself into the groove of a routine and write my heart out. I know that I’m more connected to myself when I feel ready to write. So far, the juices have been fantastic. The great thing about Essentially’s Transformation Cleanse is that you know what to expect: greens on greens on greens. The green juice is filled with an abundance of highly nutritious greens including: kale & spinach- and I can feel the high volume of nourishment that my body is experiencing. What is so amazing is that each green juice is made up of 50% a blend of kale and spinach! That is a lot of greens! Yum. Also, a great surprise is that their green juices are not too sweet at all- the flavours are very well blended.
I took a nap today from 430-5pm which left me feeling a bit lethargic. I had a slight head ache mid-day that went away right after drinking a bottle of water. I’m drinking lots of water in between each juice (at least 1 bottle) to stay hydrated and to support the detoxification process.
The apple lemonade was delicious- I added a pinch of organic cayenne for a kick and a boost of energy. It’s the end of day 1 and i’m feeling really energized, clean, healthy, hydrated and not that hungry. It’s 8pm and I am just started juice #5, I won’t even finish my nut mylk tonight [which is great because I can use the rest to make Faris chia pudding in the morning for a healthy breakfast!]
End of day: feeling clear-headed, happy and energized.
I was pretty hungry when I woke up today, however, it was in the middle of the night to watch the USA game at 2am. However, when I woke up at 730am I felt energized, lighter & less bloated. I was also really excited to start my routine of the day (lemon water first followed by the 1st green juice). My skin is really clearing up (since coming to Dubai I noticed a few spots, probably a result of the change in climate from dry to super humid and possibly alcohol).
After my first juice I went to yoga, and then walked to the beach and spent a few hours at the beach. Throughout the day I had a lot of energy and felt great!
Fast Forward to Day 5:
I feel like a new person. I feel light, full of energy and very clear-minded. My hunger is gone and my blood sugar seems to have maintained a balance throughout this process. I feel like I could continue doing this for longer- however, I know that it is time to slowly introduce simple foods back into my diet, starting tomorrow morning.
All in all, this was the best cleanse I have done, to date. I truly felt wonderful. Throughout the process I had a lot of time to reflect and really sit within the healing process. I realized that being in Dubai at this time of year is a great moment to put aside time to do some type of cleanse. The climate is very supportive of it, given that you make sure you are staying hydrated.
One thing that I am so grateful for, from the cleanse, is that I am re-balanced and finally have a solid routine here in Dubai, since my move from Vancouver. One of the services that Essentially offers, in addition to cleanses, is what they refer to as the ‘Supplement Package‘: where you can order a set of juices a certain amount of times a week, delivered to your home, to enjoy on a daily basis. So, I’ve decided to have green juices and nut mylks delivered, at least until I get a hold of my Vitamix and can make my own nut mylk again. Thus, whether you are interested in doing a cleanse OR you just would like to have juices delivered to your home to enjoy daily, Essentially has a variety of fantastic services to cater to your needs.
In addition, during the holy month of Ramadan, Essentially has created two delicious nut mylks that are being offered during certain Iftar & Suhoor events around Dubai, including Asateer by Atlantis the Palm. I have yet to try them, however, I already can tell you that they must be absolutely delicious. Pistachio Rose [pistachios, dates, water, himalayan salt and rosewater] & Cashew Saffron [cashews, coconut butter, cardamom, cinnamon, agave nectar, sea salt, organic saffron, water, vanilla]. Yum.
So, if you are interested in doing one of Essentially’s fantastic cleanses or ordering a supplement package, head over to their site to begin your order now! You won’t regret it, and their products will leave you feeling out of this world: refreshed, renewed and re-balanced. You can also find out more about Essentially through their Instagram or Facebook.
Pressed to perfection.
Many thanks to Wiebke & John for their overwhelming generosity, support and love. Here’s to an abundant and beautiful future with Essentially! <3