Can PLENISH convert this long-time cleansing sceptic?

I have a confession to make. I’m a beauty and skincare journalist and all-round lifestyle obsessive, and I’ve never done (well, completed) a juice cleanse. I am an all-out, uncompromising diet and detox sceptic. However this isn’t to say that I spend my days and nights gorging on pizza and beer, (unless it’s a Friday,) – I just understand the conscience-easing power of compromise. I sometimes eat red meat, I always love a glass of wine, and I have never diagnosed myself with a gluten / dairy / wheat intolerance. Yet I do eat my greens, choose Diet Coke over its sugary sister, and use my steamer more than my frying pan. I’ve just never been drawn in by the hype around the recent influx of intense detox-diets and cleanses. Food is supposed to be fun, right? 

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Yet in recent times – particularly after the annual overindulgence of the festive period – it seems that I am vastly outnumbered. A quick social media perusal confirms that #cleanliving is everywhere. Those self-righteous pictures of bikini-clad beauties that flood your Instagram feed after a heavy weekend? A lot of those are thanks to Plenish – New York’s most beloved cold-pressing juice company. For founder Kara Rosen the juice-cleanse concept is more that social media-appropriate photo fodder – it’s a way of life. It may sound cliché, but after a decade as a high-flying journo, Rosen needed a serious body overhaul. Constant courses of antibiotics for persistent ailments meant that drastic action was required, and so she launched Plenish.

Rosen describes her juicing courses as a body overhaul, which gives the digestive system and liver the rest they require in order to release accumulated toxins. When juicing, your system is flooded with organic, easy-to-digest liquid nutrition which is filled with living enzymes and vitamins. By increasing our consumption of organic and raw green juices whilst eliminating refined sugars, coffee, alcohol, meat and too much cooked food, our bodies shift to a more oxygen-drenched alkaline system, which will reduce inflammation, boost immunity, promote good health and help prevent any chronic health concerns. 

Fast-forward 3 years, and Rosen’s juicing rituals dominate the healthiest fridges in both New York and London. Furthermore, with the debut Plenish recipe book launching on shelves this week, I decided to man-up and rise to the challenge.

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I opted for the Level One: Harmony cleanse on the advice of the Plenish team, who tell me that a 24-hour cleanse is the perfect starting point for anyone who isn’t au-fait with the ways of liquid living. For the more experienced, levels two and three offer longer stints, with juices containing more alkaline-rich greens. The Harmony cleanse consists of six different juices, which are to be consumed over the course of one day,  all specially designed to provide varying health benefits.

Ahead of my overhaul, the team warn of some common side-effects. I’m told that I may start to feel colder than usual (as digesting that once-loved food generates a lot of internal heat) and experience headaches (that’s caffeine withdrawal to you coffee-addicts) and true enough, before I’ve cracked open lunch (also known as Juice Number Three: Mind, Body, Green)  one begins to develop. But alongside the lack of concentration, I also feel remarkably refreshed, despite it only being early afternoon. By evening, the headache has diminished and I am surprised at how content I feel, after fully expecting to be dreaming of a hearty dinner. I take a bath and get an early night, feeling as blissfully healthy as I imagine Gwyneth Paltrow does every day. 

So, was it worth it? The first thing I notice in the morning is how incredibly flat my stomach feels. And that’s the dream, right? Just one day of carb-free, meat-free living, and my digestive system appears to be rewarding me in the best way possible. Slight exaggeration aside, I genuinely feel less puffy, more agile and so much fresher than I usually would in the morning – especially before my standard 2-litres of coffee.

The best thing to take away from a Plenish cleanse is– even if you just opt for the one-day programme – the lasting effect it has on your attitude towards health and nutrition. And whilst my experience hasn’t converted me to an all-out juicing obsessive, my fridge is certainly more green than it has ever been, and there is a brand new juicer on the kitchen counter of this juicing convert. My local Pret may start to miss me, but I’ll be cracking out the camera to join those body-loving Instagram girls this summer. 

Order your cleanse at www.plenishcleanse.com,  find the Plenish recipe book at all good bookshops today, or buy yourself a ready-pressed bottle at Harvey Nichols, Ocado, and Whole Foods. 

Words: Roberta Lister

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