A few weeks ago while doing my groceries, I spotted some colourful bottles labelled "Renew". After taking a closer look, I discovered this was an Ottawa-based company making a whole line of organic juices, and I immediately dropped a few into my basket. I loved what I tried and tracked down the owner to find out more about her company and her juice.
Renew Cold Press was created by Naomi Simon, a yoga teacher who stumbled on juicing while doing her yoga teacher training in California back in 2012. She told me a bit of her story:
"In California I essentially I lived in a yoga and juice bubble for 3 months (heaven!) and immediately loved all the benefits I saw and felt. I came back to Ottawa only to realize no one was doing cold pressed juices here at home, so I decided to start juicing on my own. I began creating juices for friends and family who helped me with taste tests and juice cleanses. Once I realized I could combine my dream of building my own business with my passion for health, I decided to create Renew.
The whole idea behind Renew was to make the benefits of juicing available to everyone. We believe in balance and inspiring healthier lifestyle choices. We focus on quality and supporting our community. Our cold pressed juices are made using raw organic ingredients - always fresh and full of nutrients!"
So, that's a little taste of the Renew story and it got me thinking about juice cleanses. I'd seen them around for ages but had always been too skeptical or too intimidated to try one. I had to ask Naomi: what's the big deal about these cleanses? She gave me the scoop:
"When you treat your body to a juice cleanse, you're flooding it with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are easily absorbed. This allows your body to rest and essentially renew. Our 3-day and 5-day cleanses are most optimal but even a 1-day cleanse gives your body a kickstart of benefits."
That sounded pretty good to me so I thought, "what the heck, let's give this a try". Naomi generously set me up with a 1-day cleanse kit and filled me in on which juices to drink in which order, how often, and her most important advice: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. So armed with my bottles and Naomi's know-how, off I went.
MY DAY ON THE CLEANSE
7:30am: I skip my usual coffee and get started with Wake Up. Naomi says caffeine should be avoided during a cleanse, and since I'm not terribly caffeine dependent this isn't a big deal for me. Wake Up is packed with zingy grapefruit, fennel, apple, lemon, and a kick of ginger. Tastes fantastic and I'm up and moving in no time. Citrus with oomph! I polish off the bottle and take a few swigs of water.
9:30am: Feeling good. Not hungry yet. I crack open Meadow, a bright green juice packed with kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber, celery, mint, green apple, and lime. This juice is the definition of green and I'm not exactly a vegetable girl, so secretly I've been dreading this one. Much to my surprise, it goes down more easily than I expected: no chunky green bits (perfectly smooth!) and the cucumber, apple, and lime really balance out the greens. Shocked. Off I go to refill my water bottle.
11:30am: A bit weirded out that I'm still not hangry. I crack open Pura Vida and it knocks my socks off. Before I started the cleanse I had some ideas about which juices I thought I'd like best, but this one totally catches me off guard. The pineapple has exactly the sweetness I'm craving after Meadow's greeness, the lime adds zip, and the cayenne adds just a touch of heat. It's at this point I realize how much thought Naomi puts into the sequencing of which juice to have when. This one tastes like a pineapple lifesaver and I could have downed three more, but instead I reach for my water bottle and head off to Parliament Hill Yoga.
1:30pm: Back from yoga, back at my desk, and it occurs to me I'm still not hungry. I didn't even feel tempted by the Bridgehead burrito I normally pick up on my walk back from the Hill. I shrug and crack open Scarlet: beet, apple, lemon, and ginger. I knew I was going to love this one and I absolutely did: the beets are extra satisfying and fill me up. Off to get more water!
3:30pm: I'm not hungry per se, but it's after 3pm and my mind has drifted to thoughts of pumpkin spice lattes and ginger cookies. A few of my coworkers offer up afternoon snacks but I stick to my plan and politely decline. I crack open my bottle of Soleil and I LOVE IT. The blend of carrot, apple, lemon, ginger, and turmeric is as delicious as it is unexpected. I would never think to combine these ingredients yet they're so good together. More water.
5:30pm: Home from work and thinking how weird it is that I haven't actually taken a bite of anything today. Gets me thinking about how often I probably eat out of habit rather than hunger. I reach for my last bottle: Chia Glow. I have to admit, this one challenged me. As a gal who doesn't even do bubble tea, the chia bits threw me for a loop. That said, it's a juice that eats like a meal: it helped stave off any hunger pangs since it's packed with fibre and protein. Plus the touch of maple and lemon taste really good.
7:30pm: I'm done my six juices so I sip water for the rest of the night and take it easy. I head to bed a bit early and the next morning I wake up feeling refreshed and energized. I might do this once a month. Colour me surprised.
So there you have it! Not only did I survive my juice cleanse, I actually enjoyed it. Juicing isn't so intimidating anymore and it got me thinking about juices as healthy snacks when I'm on the go, since they're delicious, satisfying, and portable.
When I was live tweeting my juice cleanse many of you piped up with questions and said this was something you were curious about. Well dear readers, you're in luck! Thanks to Naomi's generosity, I have a Renew Cold Press One-Day Juice Cleanse to give away to one lucky winner.
Like Renew's Facebook page then post a comment here on the blog telling me which juice you'd be most excited to try. You must complete both of these steps to be eligible!
The contest closes this Friday, October 9, 2015 at 5:00pm EDT and I'll annouce the winner on Friday evening. Conest is only open to residents of Ottawa-Gatineau. Good luck!
And for those of you who simply can't wait and want to get your hands on some Renew right now, check out the list of local stockists just below.
WHERE TO FIND RENEW
Renew is popping up all over town in yoga studios, coffee shops, and even at online grocery services. You can find them at:
UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER!
A big congratulations to Genevieve Q, who wins the one-day juice cleanse from Renew. Enjoy your juices and be sure to share a few pictures with us!