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There’s been an astonishing proliferation of juice fasts in recent years, not to mention people extolling the benefits of vitamin-rich liquid meals – but if you’re still in possession of a working set of teeth, you’ll surely be wanting to use them – after all, much of the satisfaction of a meal comes from its ‘mouth-feel’, and from the action of chewing and the release of flavours it triggers. This is just one of the factors that attracts me to Roots Juicery.

They don’t offer juice-only detoxes, because their ethos is based firmly on the idea of food – not just any old food, obviously, but wholesome food, rich in good fats and good carbs – being essential for the efficient absorption of the nutrients in the juices. This not only makes perfect sense to me on a logical level, but also on a basic (some might say greedy) “I like to eat” level – so when an over-indulgent Bank Holiday weekend has left me feeling a little sluggish and a trip which will require the wearing of a swimsuit is looming in TWO DAYS, my FOB (Fear of Bloat) is real, very real. Time for a reset; time to get juicing.

First juice off the rank is March to the Beet; there’s been rather a lot of alcohol ingested over the course of the weekend, so the mention of ‘liver support’ in its description seems to make it the obvious choice to start to my day. It’s slightly tarter than I expected after reading the description of its sweetness, but this is actually a major part of resetting – when your body and tastebuds are accustomed to highly-sweetened, sugar-rich tastes, it can take a day or two to appreciate genuine sweetness from natural sources (I once devoured a lemon after cutting sugar for a week and it was honestly like eating lemonade). There’s something comforting about its deep red hue which seems to embody strength; next to my tomato and avocado on rye bread, the colours on my breakfast table give me real pleasure even before I start eating. I’m not brave enough to start the day without caffeine, and I drink a black coffee beforehand, which makes the juice even more refreshing and hydrating.

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Around mid-morning, I need a pick me up – but the shot I reach for is a Turmeric one, rather than the usual double-hit cappuccino. It’s orange in colour and very zingy – a definite mood booster – and crucially, I’m not slumping again within half an hour, but feel perfectly able to carry on through until lunch time, for which I chomp into a huge salad, loaded with salmon and egg. Since it too contains leafy greens, the Big Cleanse seems to be a good match for this meal, and the sweetness of the pineapple cuts through the earthier flavours of the kale and romaine, as well as the tang of the lemon. It’s a beautifully warm day, so I head outside to eat rather than stay at my desk, and follow up by going for a walk. When I get back to work, I rehydrate with a Sweet & Slim juice. I’m not going to fib: I could have just had water, but that habit of ending a meal with something sweet is quite firmly entrenched in most of us; and it’s the pineapple, apple and lime that I’m craving. Better than a biscuit though, right? And I must say, that sluggish feeling is definitely shifting: I’m beginning to feel ‘clean’ from the inside out, although the loo-visiting effects of downing two juices in an hour are probably contributing to this somewhat.
The mid-afternoon slump is well known to all of us – that witching hour at around 3pm when you start to flag and the thought of a chocolate bar or muffin is like a siren song. Sometimes I can stave this off with a strong coffee, but it’s hardly the best approach to powering through the afternoon, and usually just leaves me feeling drained again within an hour. Today, however, I’ve got a secret weapon – a chocolate flavoured one in fact: Roots Juicery’s raw chocolate brownie. It’s made from walnuts, almonds, dates, coconut oil, pistachios, maple syrup, raw cacao powder and Himalayan salt, and has a sprinkling of chilli flakes on top, which give it an amazing kick. Not only does it have the exact squoodgy consistency that you want in a brownie, but it’s absolutely, insanely, delicious. I decide not to ruin my feeling of inner glow with caffeine, and instead opt for a Nut Milk from the Juicery’s range of almond or cashew-based ones: its hint of creaminess is the perfect accompaniment to the brownie, and while I can’t say that I don’t miss my usual foamy coffee, I do feel far more refreshed after this combination, without the usually slightly furry tongue that afflicts me in the afternoon.
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Although you’d need to incorporate juices into your routine for longer than a day to discern real effects, it’s amazing how rapidly they affect your mindset; by the end of the day, I’m feeling good and I don’t want to ruin it with my usual ‘glass of wine while I cook dinner and graze my way through ingredients’ routine. Instead, I throw back the second of my shots for a little boost: it contains ginger, lemon, lime and brown rice syrup and makes the back of my jaw tingle pleasantly. Dinner – chicken breast with a huge pile of sweet potato, green beans and broccoli – is washed down with the last of my juices, reVITAliZING: I’m keen on the idea of something that aids digestion, since it’s not infrequent that I go to bed feeling over-full and uncomfortable, even when I haven’t eaten anything particularly stodgy, and its beautification benefits seem to make it a good choice for the evening, when sleep and all of its ‘regenerate and restore’ properties are mere hours away.
In fact, sleep comes easily that night, and I wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested; my tummy is flatter and the puffiness around my eyes has diminished noticeably. I’m definitely feeling better about getting into a swimsuit tomorrow – but, as Chantal Ward, founder of Roots juicer says, “To have a real effect on sparkling eyes and glowing skin, one would need to drink 1-2 organic cold-pressed juices for at least one month. Effects felt immediately tend to be psychological, because the digestive system is being given a good rest – but unfortunately the body itself dos not regenerate so quickly. Having said this however, people who are already good shape will feel the effects of their bodies being flooded with minerals and vitamins; within 20 minutes they’ll be full of energy.”
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In other words, even if you don’t manage to enhance your diet with juices for several months in advance of your wedding, they’re still fantastic as a quick reboot, especially in those weeks leading up to the big day. In the flurry of last minute organising, fittings and get-togethers, with their opportunities for indulgence – not to mention the hen’s night – a day or two of complementing a wholesome, balanced diet with Roots Juicery’s juices and shots could be just the thing to keep you on track, rather than succumbing to the inevitable slumps and reaching for a Mars Bar – because who doesn’t want to feel sparkly-eyed and clean on the inside when they’re getting set for one of the biggest days of their life?
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