With every wellness blogger from Deliciously Ella, to Tanya Burr, to Liz Earle advocating the use the juices and cleanses to aid us in our health and wellbeing quest, our Instagram feeds have become inundated with images of spinach filled green juices. Words such as ‘cold pressed’ and ‘raw’ are flung around with impunity and juice bars are popping up like snowdrops in the spring. But why has what would once have been thought of as a fad or a slightly hippy trend, sparked into what is now a contemporary lifestyle choice? What is it that makes juice just so special?
Visionary British brand, Radiance Cleanse, has been at the vanguard of this movement since 2009, when it was founded by childhood friends, Christina Agnew and Clare Neill, long before the juicing madness hit its now mainstream audience. Producing the first ever product of its kind to be certified organic by the Soil Association, this incredible company is dedicated to helping you achieve optimum health through nutrition, by supplying the highest quality, raw, unpasteurised and cold-pressed juices from fresh, organic ingredients. And, as we can attest, they are also utterly delicious! We caught up with co-founder Christina to find out more.
The first thing that strikes you when you speak to Christina, bar her very softly sing song accent, is the pure passion she has for her products and the incredibly in depth nutritional and scientific knowledge with which she backs it up. We started by asking about the most important element of any recipe, the ingredients.
By Bethany: How do you source your ingredients?
Radiance Cleanse: We are certified 100% organic by the Soil Association which automatically cuts down on the number of suppliers we can use, but we always try, where possible, to buy British. We are always looking for new ways to create the best and most innovative flavours while favouring local, seasonal products. For example, we prefer to use British apples rather than pineapples to sweeten some of our juices. Not only does this cut down on the sugar content, but they are also sourced locally, thereby reducing our ‘juice miles’, cutting travel time, and insuring that our juices are as fresh as possible when they land on your door step.
By Bethany: Why is it so important to Radiance that your juices are organic?
RC: It’s very simple. We believe that organic is the better choice for both our bodies and the environment. Non-organic plants are sprayed with pesticides and chemical fertilisers while they are in the fields and they are then ingested by us. This is particularly true for leafy greens such as spinach and kale which can carry up to 50 types of pesticides when they come from non-organic farms.
If you want to check that any product is organic the easiest way is to look for the Soil Association seal. That is your guarantee of organic status. As a customer we don’t like to rely on phrases like “organic where possible”.
By Bethany: Phrases such as ‘cold pressed’, ‘raw’ and ‘unpasteurised’ are currently massive in the health and wellness industries. Could you explain what they tell us about your product in a little more depth?
RC: Unlike the word ‘organic’, terms such as ‘cold pressed’ are not legally defined or protected. There is sadly no way to know for sure that you are getting exactly what it says on the tin. However at Radiance we want our juices to be the best possible and we believe that it is these criteria (cold pressed, raw, unpasteurised) that set our juices apart, making them so profoundly different, clean and safe. Once you’ve tasted an organic and cold pressed juice you’ll recognise that the flavour and texture is superior.
We always use fresh, raw ingredients because we know they taste the best. The term pasteurised means that the ingredients have been heated (essentially cooked) to a high temperature to kill certain bacteria. However, the same process can significantly reduce the nutrient content, particularly with heat-sensitive vitamins like Vitamin C.
We use a cold press juicer because this type of machine allows us to extract the highest levels of vitamins, minerals and enzymes from our organic produce with slow and gentle pressure. A typical centrifugal juicer would have a spinning blade that is rotating at high RPMs causing initial friction, heat and oxidation, all of which lead to a lower nutrient content in the juice. A cold press juicer creates minimum oxidation, meaning that your juices stay fresher and more nutritious, for longer. It is also much better at extracting nutrients from the now hugely popular greens, which are known for being low-yield in juicing terms. Cold pressing means that you are getting every teeny tiny bit of goodness from your plant, better for you, and more eco-friendly.
By Bethany: How does a cleanse work? Can anybody do it?
RC: A nutritional juice cleanse is not a diet. It should be thought of as a form of liquid nourishment and a great way to give your body and mind a break and allow your body to heal itself as nature intended. It’s like hitting the reset button and can act as a great spring board into wellness. We believe that juice cleansing is something you will benefit from doing, sensibly and regularly, in addition to eating a daily healthy, balanced diet.
When we first started Radiance a cleanse was seen by most as a remedial or once-a-season process. However, it now seems that more and more people are using juice as an add-on to enhance their daily life and health. We advocate everything in moderation…even kale! Mix your fruit and veg juices up to receive the best nutrition from them and use colour as your guide, its nature’s way of telling you that its full of amazing things!
You should not undertake a cleanse if you are under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding, and if you have any medical conditions or concerns then it’s always advisable to check with your doctor first. Once you’re set to go, we deliver all over the UK!
By Bethany: How environmentally friendly, if at all, is your beautiful packaging and delivery methods?
RC: We work very hard to ensure that we don’t damage the environment in the process of helping you. All our packaging is recyclable. Our bottles are made from PET1, our cool bags are the most ethical in the world (yep, seriously!), made from 99% recyclable materials, and we send our juices to you in recyclable cardboard boxes.
By Bethany: What are your personal and office favourites?!
Christina – I love our Pure Greens No.4 Juice. It is made using cucumber, celery, broccoli, lemons, kale, and ginger, which gives it a real kick!
Clare – Anything containing ginger! I also think that root based juices are highly undersold. Our Root Boost, which is stuffed full of amazing things such as beetroot and carrot is delicious. Our kids also love it because its bright pink!
Office – Our Cashew Milks for their super creaminess and Juice Shot N0.2 made with our fiery blend of ginger, fresh turmeric root, lemon and cayenne. The perfect morning pick me up.
I really enjoyed my cleanse, except for the first juice, the Ginger Lemonade (not my fav taste wise, not gonna lie). However, I was full all day and the rest were very nice. The two I liked best were the Cashew Nut Milk, which tasted just like an ultra creamy coconut. I think would would be really yummy heated up with some cinnamon…not sure if thats allowed…but would be seriously good. I also really liked the Root Boost. I have been trying to get more beetroot into my diet lately (and my dad’s because it’s great for controlling high cholesterol) but I find the taste tends to overwhelm everything else. The Root Boost doesn’t seem to have this issue, it really nice, gets all those benefits in, and doesn’t taste overpoweringly of beetroot.
I could not encourage you guys more to invite the power of plants into your life by giving it a try! If for the experience if nothing else!