The Interview: Radiance Cleanse and the Power of Juice

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

You can find Radiance Cleanse here.  Follow their seriously pretty Instagram here, and Twitter here.

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Eucalyptus – The New Way to Shower

Before I became a flower girl I was completely oblivious to eucalyptus, and even after I became a flower girl, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I have since seen the error of my ways and have learnt that as well as being very beautiful, almost ethereal looking, eucalyptus is also a truly wondrous plant.


When extracted and diluted the oil from the eucalyptus leaves is chiefly used for its medical properties, however, because of both it’s scent and strong antiseptic and moisturising qualities it has now also become common place in many beauty products.

This time of year, it seems everyone is getting sick and I now use eucalyptus essential oil in my diffuser or steamy shower to help relieve all those horrible symptoms of a cold. The list of benefits seems endless, not only is it an antiseptic but an antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory (pretty much anti everything bad..) and it acts as a decongestant. It will clear all your bunged up tubes, ease your joints and help prevent infection from occurring again.

I recently discovered this way of using fresh eucalyptus rather than the oil, and have become quite obsessed with it. I love the way it looks, love the way it smells, love the way it makes me feel like a true green goddess (herbal essences styley), and like all the best DIYs it is amazingly simple, and doesn’t cost the earth. All you need to do is hang fresh sprigs of the plant in a hot shower. You almost end up with your own personal sauna. The heat and steam will release all the same benefits and healing properties that using the essential oil will give you…but this way is just so much cooler!

You can buy fresh eucalyptus from any florist, and even some more high end supermarkets are selling it now. Five stems will do the job just fine. If you love the idea, but a cold does make it through your defences this Eucalyptus Salve from Neal’s Yard is really stimulating. Simply rub over the back and chest and enjoy the cleansing vapours.

The Interview: Jamu Kitchen on their Turmeric Tamarind Tonic

I have been talking a lot lately about my love of the powerful Indian spice turmeric, (you can posts here and here,) and so it is with great excitement that I would like to introduce you today to Tanita de Ruijt, founder of London-based wellness brand, Jamu Kitchen.

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A blurring of the lines between food and medicine, their Turmeric Tamarind Tonic is wellness in a bottle, perfect to take in the mornings as an immunity and anti-inflammatory boost. Trust me, it makes all the difference to getting yourself through the day.

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What is a tonic? Tanita describes it as:

  1. Anything that enlivens or strengthens (I like to believe that gin totally counts).
  2. An invigorating, refreshing, or restorative agent or influence (yep, still gin).
  3. A classification of herbs or spices proven to target a multitude of systems aimed at increasing overall vitality and longevity (ahh nuts, so gin isn’t a tonic then…!).

All sounds pretty amazing right!?

We caught up with Tanita, to ask her about the creation of this wonderful golden elixir, her story of how it came to be and her top tips on how best to drink it.

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ByBethany: What it is you love most about turmeric as an ingredient? 

Tanita: Probably the smell. The entire room lights up with warm scents of orange while I brew our tonic.

ByBethany: What inspired you to create Jamu Kitchen? 

Tanita: It’s been a long awaited part of my food journey. I’ve been passionate about the health food movement for a long time now and worked at Rude Health since I left university – such an inspiring place to work.

But ultimately I’d have to blame my parents for planting the seeds of my passion. Not only did we grow up in Spain surrounded by fantastic, unprocessed food our entire lives, but their mutually exclusive approaches to food as well. My mother was a vegetarian that hosted detox retreats at our home for the likes of Tilda Swinton among others. And my father enjoyed the finer things in life and would spend months on end perfecting recipes like Paella and serving it to entire local villages as well as setting up his own micro beer brewery in the garage.

Since then it’s become my mission to show that these two extreme takes on food can be combined. It’s the idea of combining health with taste, and never compromising on either of these things.

It all clicked during my travels in Indonesia, where they use their kitchen staple ingredients to create medicinal concoctions known as Jamu; an integrated system of inner and outer healthy & beauty. It immediately changed the way I looked at the food on my plate. Good food is medicine.

ByBethany: How do you source your ingredients?

Tanita: I buy my fresh whole roots from my organic wholesaler. The freshness and quality of your roots is vital if you want to reap the medicinal qualities of these foods.

ByBethany: What is your favourite recipe using Jamu?

Tanita: Simple. Empty one bottle of Jamu into a saucepan, heat gently and add a splash of lime juice. Delicious and incredibly restorative!

We can’t wait to give it a try!

You can find Jamu Kitchen here, a list of their stockists is at the bottom.
Follow on Instagram here, Twitter here.

3 Green Beauty Brands you Need to Know Now

To create a truly natural glow I believe you need to take more into consideration than simply how a product looks on your face. It may be truly gorgeous in the short term but what damage may you be doing to your skin, your wellness and our planet in the long run…?

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into green beauty brands, looking at the ingredients, packaging, company values, and naturally if they work. These are my top three picks

100% PURE

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True to its name the products from this brand are some of the most pure and organic to be found on the market, many are even vegan. Formulated with high performing antioxidants, naturally occurring vitamins and essential oils, they are completely free of harmful toxins, damaging chemicals, and synthetic fragrances to prevent clogged pores, skin irritations and premature ageing. We love that their green ethos translates throughout their whole business, their offices are run by 100% solar energy, all formulas are biodegradable, the packaging recyclable, and even the ink used is made with non toxic vegetable oil.

100% Pure have just launched a fruit dyed make up line, which is utterly amazing and I’ve become slightly obsessed with! Their ‘Naked Glimmer’ Eye Creamstick is a particular favourite, and I really want to try their kelp and mint volumising shampoo…sounds interesting!

ECO BELLA

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Free from gluten, preservatives and dyes, Eco Bella formulates its cosmetics and products around the belief that your makeup should be as healthy as your lifestyle, and as strong as you are. What a great philosophy!

Their founder, who describes herself as a upscale tree hugger, believes that ‘beauty marketing must be redirected from the banal, the false, the promoters and the insecure’ and she has certainly done that within her company at least. Eco Bella uses VitaminCells to make their power packed formulas, many of which are infused with flower wax, the same delicate coating that is used by nature to protect its petals from the elements.

We love their refillable compacts (what a great idea!) and FlowerColour Lipsticks.

JOSIE MARAN

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Josie Maran, model and founder states that she believes in ‘walking softly on the earth carrying a big lipstick’, and we couldn’t agree more. The base for nearly all of Josie’s products is 100% organic Aragon oil. Known as a ‘world changer in a bottle’, it’s light enough to use as an everyday moisturiser, yet powerful enough to soothe the symptoms of aliments like acne and eczema. The company supports some amazing charities through their work and the products we buy, including Saving the Polar Bears, and The Model Citizen Campaign. You can see more here.

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Their coconut watercolour liquid eye shadows are really fun to use, and their coconut watercolour lip stain will keep your pout moisturised all day. The colours and also really vibrant, perfect for Valentines Day, especially if you’ve got big lips like me.

I am constantly on the look out for new companies and amazing natural products. If you have one I need to know about do get in touch. I am also currently on the hunt for a natural deodorant if anybody has any ideas?

Images – 100% Pure, Ecco Bella, Josie Maran. Cover Image.

Healing Turmeric Latte 

I have written before about the amazing health benefits of the Turmeric Root, known as ‘Indian Solid Gold’, (view it here) but this way of getting its goodness into my daily wellness regimen was a revelation. A Turmeric latte.

When I was mixing up a few of these the other day to find my perfect balance of spices and sweetness, Charlie was looking at me like was insane. Turmeric? In a latte? Really!? But once he’d taken a tentative sip, even he admitted it was, in his words ‘really rather good’. High praise indeed!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric ground, personally, I’d never want more
  • 2 tsp maple syrup pure
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and popped through a garlic crusher
  • 2 tsp ginger powder (optional)
  • 8 fl oz unsweetened almond milk warm
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • large splash vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Pop all the ingredients, turmeric, maple syrup, ginger and spices in a mug.

Pour in warmed almond milk.

Stir well and leave to steep for a minute or two to let the flavours properly infuse.

Charlie’s top tip – if you have a coffee machine at home, (which we don’t), steam your milk. It will become even more creamy, frothy and delicious.

Happy drinking!

3 Essential Oils to Start your New Year Right

We all need a little added support from time to time, and as ever I tend to turn to nature for help and healing. I find New Year rather stressful, all that pressure to suddenly change your life for the better…exercise more, drink green juice, eat more vegetables, detox my skin, renovate my wardrobe, be more mindful and calmer throughout my day, get a promotion and rule the world…!!! Its all a little over the top and the list seems endless, so in the end I start the new year feeling anything but rejuvenated and refreshed. So whats the answer? Simple. I cheat! Continue reading