We’ve done the rounds on the juicing block, and Essentially is by far our favourite. Read on for our 1 day, 3 day and 5 day experiences with these local, cold-pressed juice stars.
Essentially Skinny Jeans Juice Pack with Diya
Let’s clean up shall we?
I’m a sucker for anything with the word ‘skinny’ in it. Skinny Genie cupcakes, skinny lattes…but I digress. As a takeaway from the various juice cleanses I’ve done over the years I try to do a ‘mono food day’ (eating as much as I want of just one fruit for a day) or a juice fast every Sunday. Mostly, I fail. Making a day’s worth of balanced juices takes a lot of preparation, clean up and effort. It isn’t quite the same as chucking together a creative breakfast smoothie in my Nutribullet. I was drawn to Essentially’s one-day juice packs after having tried their other cleanses, being impressed with their ingredients and the great taste, and the reasonable price point.
I’ve ordered the Skinny Jeans pack on 3 occasions, and while I certainly didn’t get any skinnier I felt totally fantastic each time. Anything that keeps my energy levels up, gives me a massive vitamin boost and tastes super gets my vote every time. Metabolism boosting, alkaline and detoxing from too many glasses of champers over the weekend? Yes please thank you. The green juice is glorious, but my favourite is the spicy lemon drink with agave and cayenne.
The verdict? If you want to give your body some love after a heavy weekend, the Skinny Jeans pack is just the ticket. Just don’t expect to actually get skinnier.
Essentially Skinny Jeans Pack – order online
Essentially Transformation Cleanse with Diya
Green, mean and…well, mean.
I’m ready. Having previously done a 7-day juice cleanse, a 5-day juice and soup cleanse, and a 5-day high protein cleanse I felt ready to take on the mother of all cleanses. The all-green one. Oh yes. That’s right. All. Green. All. Day. For 5 whole days. Yessir.
A few days prior to the cleanse I received a comprehensive and informative email from Essentially instructing me on how to prepare properly for the cleanse, cut out meats and alcohol, and so forth. I ignored it. In fact I’d go so far as to say I went out of my way to eat just about everything in sight and wash it down with a few jugs of wine. I’ll be just fine I thought. No biggie, I can totally handle this juicing thing.
I’m trembling. Not having my usual warm breakfast, working in a highly chilled office environment, and drinking just cold, low calorie juice has turned the tips of my fingers to ice and has me doubled over shivering with the cold. Is it only 10am? I’ve already drunk two whole bottles of green stuff, a lemon drink and snuck a sip of the vanilla cashew drink I’m meant to drink later too. I’ve only got 2 juices left for the day. I’m not going to make it.
It’s 3pm and I have a massive headache from the depths of hell. I’ve drunk everything they sent me, I’m not hungry at all. But I don’t feel too well. Is it psychosomatic? Is it just all in my head? I need my bed. Now.
7pm. I’m in bed.
I wake at the crack of dawn and sip on my lemon drink with agave and cayenne. It’s cold and spicy and all kinds of delicious. I’m not hungry so I wait a few hours before I drink the first green juice. I’m pacing myself today, taking the time to peruse the gorgeous packaging and read the labels carefully as I sip.
‘Our chlorophyll-packed signature juice not only energizes, lowers acidity and balances your PH’ the sticker claims. ‘It also gives you the XXL nutrition boost of 1.5 kilos of liquid veggies per bottle’. Wait, what? I don’t eat that many vegetables in a week. Let alone in one measly juice. Cucumber, apple, kale, spinach, celery, lemon, ginger and parsley. Neat. It’s 10am and I’m feeling pretty spritely today.
It’s 3pm and I have a headache again. A raging migraine. Jules claims these are the toxins leaving my body. Yeah, sure.
7pm. I’m home sipping this scrumptious vanilla cashew drink. I don’t want it to end. Ever. More please. But there is no more. I’m done for the day.
1am. I can’t sleep. I have so much nervous, buzzing energy speeding around my body. I’m wired. Try to sleep dammit.
It’s 10am and I am tired from the previous nights’ insomnia. When am I going to feel better? Why am I doing this again?
It’s 3pm and I’m wired again. So. Much. Energy. I hit the gym to put it to good use. I feel a little ill at the gym and have to lie down. I remember reading something in the instructions about not raising your heart rate while juicing. Oh. Too late.
It’s 7pm and I’m still bouncing off the walls. What do I do with all this energy? Go for a long walk. I wear myself out so much that I sleep like a baby.
It’s 10am and I feel like I never need to eat food again. I’m invincible. I’m strong. I’m a walking powerhouse of superfoods and annoyingly glowing alkalinity. If you could see my insides there would be green fairies and unicorns blowing magic dust and rainbows sprouting from my colon. I feel bloody amazing. High even.
It’s 3pm and I’m still in some sort of suspended euphoria. No headaches today. Brilliant.
It’s 7pm and I’m exhausted. Feeling glowy and amazing all day is hard work.
It’s 10am and I’m already starting to get anxious about not getting to drink that ridiculously good vanilla cashew concoction after today. I check online to make sure I can order it a la carte and discover their Cacao Cashew drink (heaven, by the way). Phew.
It’s 3pm and I’m starting to think about what I want to eat tomorrow.
It’s 7pm and I’ve planned ahead for a whole weeks’ menu. Mostly, I miss chewing. I haven’t been hungry at all, but my need to chew and the joy of sharing meals together with friends has been missed.
I sleep dreaming of chocolate peanut butter smoothies.
The verdict? If you’re looking for the ultimate cold-pressed green juice cleanse this is every juicer’s fantasy. You can choose from 3,5 or 7-day packages or opt for more varied (less green) cleanses if you’re new to juicing. Why do it? To give your digestive system a break, get a massive vitamin and mineral boost, load your body with healing antioxidants, and giving your metabolism a mega boost. As I’ve said before, don’t juice with the goal of losing weight. You may lose some, but that’s not the point. (FYI I lost 1.5 kilos after this cleanse, only to gain it back a few days later).
Essentially Transformation Cleanse, 5-day – order online
Customized Essentially Transformation Cleanse with Jules
I loooooovve green juices. I’m a bit of a weirdo, I know. The thought of celery, kale and cucumber blended together into a magic alkalizing potion gives me goosebumps. It’s like a salad in a glass. Fresh and light and nourishing. Yummy.
I could live off juices. No, seriously. I’m just too lazy to wash my juicer every day. And good quality cold-pressed juices can get expensive. But I do aim to do a juice fast at least once every quarter. It just makes me feel good. And light. And clean inside out. Basically, reborn. (Diya, interrupts: oh enough already, stop.)
So I’m somewhat experienced when it comes to juicing. I’ve done 3, 5, and 7-day fasts. When Essentially offered us to try their packages, I decided to go for a 3-day program as things were hectic at work and I didn’t want to stop my Ashtanga practice. Although Essentially offers 3 comprehensive cleanses: Revitalisation (beginners), Extension (experienced), and Transformation (pros) I felt like I might require a more personalized approach (I just love feeling special and getting extra attention, who doesn’t?). So I reached out to Essentially owner Wiebke and their nutritionist Chloe for advice. I covered my food intolerances (ginger being one of the more annoying ones) and expressed a desire to stay active and full of energy through my cleanse et voila – my personal plan was created: 3 green ginger-free juices + 1 spicy lemon + 2 nut milks to keep me fueled through my journey. Boy, was I excited! (Diya, interrupts: again, stop.)
Before the cleanse:
An email landed in my inbox with instructions on how to prep my body for the detox. Since I eat mostly plant-based, and don’t smoke or drink, I required minimum prep before the start of my cleanse. I did, however, cut out my beloved frozen americano 3 days before (yikes!) and upped my water intake.
My juices arrived in a chic black cooler bag the evening before. That day I had a nice 90-minute massage and went to bed at 9pm to feel well rested for the 1st day of juicing. (Diya, interrupts: what a dork.)
During the cleanse:
Ok, I’ve tried many green juices in my life. Essentially Green are in my top 3. Or even 2. They are delicious. I gulped down my 1st bottle after an hour long sweaty yoga practice and it felt heavenly. I could feel my body taking in the nutrients. I was off to a good start.
Day 1 was easy. Like…really easy. I was energetic and feeling super productive. And I made my entire office jealous with my fancy-sounding Pistachio Rose milk during lunch break. Oh, I also went for a colonic that day. Gross, I know, but it really helps to detoxify the system. And I booked in for another massage. (Diya, interrupts: seriously?)
Day 2 was good. Although by lunch I missed food a little. Nut milks kept me going though. I even managed to get through a circuit training with Di (Diya, interrupts: the one I had to lie down in for fear of passing out.) Went to bed at 9pm that evening – felt like my body needed the extra rest. It’s all about listening to your body when you’re fasting. I learnt that during my years of practice.
Day 3 had me a bit hungry and head-achey. I also got a zit. I knew my body was clearing out toxins. My yoga practice felt amazing though. I was light of body and mind: the twists, the backbends, the head stands were so easy and enjoyable. I started thinking about food and if pondering whether we really need to eat at all. And then I saw Secret Squirrel’s avocado on toast post on Instagram and my doubts disappeared – I did miss solid food after all. After my final Cacao Cashew milk I was a little sad my cleanse was over…but fell asleep planning the topping for my oatmeal the next morning. Zzzz.
After the cleanse:
I broke my fast with some vegan GF oats & berries. It felt good. I also did another colonic. And a third massage. My body felt light and pain-free. My skin was a little angry, but I knew that it would clear in a few days (which it did). I got a superfood salad for lunch and ordered a juice pack extension to supplement my week with more green goodness.
Would I recommend this cleanse to anyone? Yes, but. Choose your battle carefully and talk to the Essentially team before embarking on a juicing adventure. And please, don’t do a cleanse if you want to lose weight. Because you probably won’t long-term. Those few pounds you shed are water weight which pile back on in a few days. But if you want a healthy all-systems reset, then Essentially is your new juicing BFF. Their potions are cold-pressed and organic and they taste seriously good. Oh, and the team is a total delight to deal with. What more can you ask for? Essentially, I’m hooked forever.
Essentially Transformation Cleanse, 3-day – order online