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Generally speaking, I like to think I’m pretty healthy… but Hong Kong life has a sneaky way of tainting your wellbeing: long hours at the office, food that’s convenient rather than nutritious and the temptation to lift drinks and nibbles at happy hour rather than weights at the gym! Keen to get rid of a few cobwebs and freshen up for summer, I snapped up the chance to trial a Genie Concept juice cleanse – a concept previously alien to me!
Founded by two Aussie girls (Melanie White and Cara Grogan), the logic behind the Genie Concept is easy to digest: raw fruits and veggies account for some of nature’s best sources of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. When drunk in juice form, these nutrients are quickly absorbed into the blood stream as they don’t need to be broken down in the digestive tract. The Genie cleanse enables you to absorb 100% of the nutrients contained in the juices because there is no solid food ingested to stand its way. Boom town!
Because I was a cleansing newbie, I got assigned to a three-day beginner cleanse. Here’s how it all went down:
Because I was on three-day detox, the Genie Concept girls recommended I pre-cleanse for two days before kicking off. The pre-cleanse involved very little planning, aside from avoiding coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, meats and dairy – something I found relatively easy because I’m not a smoker and don’t tend to drink much during the working week. I happily chowed down on soup and salad to get my body prepped.
I started the morning with a hot lemon drink to wake up my digestive system. I then followed the recommended Genie Concept regime by downing my first juice at 9am, then drinking the remaining five in two hour intervals until 7pm (the girls even number them for you and leave cute notes to spur you on too!). I found sticking to the juice schedule easy because I was at work; however, as soon as I could see and smell my colleagues eating lunch, that’s when I started feeling hungry… I was told the first day would be the most challenging and that theory proved correct in the afternoon, when the haziness set in and my energy levels shipped out. By the time it came for me to finish my last juice, I was less hungry but still felt a bit headache-y, so just took it easy for the rest of the night.
I woke up surprised by how energised I felt! I was also surprised by my self-control – over the course of the day, brownies, pineapple cake AND a box of mini pastries were delivered to the office and I managed to successfully resist temptation (a big deal because I looove my sweet treats). I made it through the whole day without feeling as though I was starving and – unlike the night before – had enough petrol in the tank to head out with my friends after work (sipping on my juice and iced water, of course).
I must admit, I was happy to welcome the third and final day of the detox. I was feeling quite empty by this stage but was determined to see it through to the end. I was used to the juices by this stage so knew what I’d be drinking and when. Nausea and weakness – two common detox symptoms – kicked in around lunchtime, so the back half of my day turned out to be very low-key. Rather than finishing my last juice with a spring in my step, I slipped off to bed for an early night.
This cleanse was a test, there’s no denying that, but I felt a genuine sense of achievement once I completed it. As well as coming out the other side slightly lighter, I definitely felt healthier and clearer as a result. Would I do it again in a hurry? Probably not… But that’s not to say I’m completely closed off to cleansing again in the future. And some of those juices are pretty scrummy too (my fave was Garden Gnome, a blend of apple, pear, lime, ginger and spirulina)!
The Genie Concept cleanse is now available in one, two, four or six day options and the girls have since added two sachets of Psyllium and Chia (which boost your intake of fibre and protein) to be added to your juices. The Genie Concept girls (who, by the way, are amazingly knowledgeable, helpful and friendly) are on-hand to recommend what programme will best suit you – rest assured, they want you to have the best experience possible so would never throw you into the five-day cleanse if they didn’t think you were up to it. They also have a cute little café where you can grab a juice to go or enjoy alongside other delish meals that the Genie team whip up in-store!
Prices for the cleanse start at $600; for more info, visit www.thegenieconcept.com, which has everything you need to know about your cleanse and lots of helpful tips too! Alternatively, you can connect with the team on Facebook and Twitter.
The Genie Concept Café, G/F, Universal Building, 5-13 New Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2803 0369