The end of June is nigh! I can't believe this summer month came and went in a blink of an eye, but is finishing on a high note - it's sunny, and I received some amazing news today! Here are my favourites this month, and if you keep reading you'll find an update about something you can enjoy, as well as something I am over the moon about...

1. My juice cleanse series
The first (and probably most obvious) choice is my juice cleanse that I recently went on. Gosh, I felt amazing after three days of juicing, and food tasted so good, especially tomatoes for some reason! While I did lose a little weight, the main takeaway was the ability to discern between hunger pangs and mental cravings, making me more mindful in my approach to eating on a daily basis now. If you're interested in cleansing, would you find an eBook helpful? I'm tempted to compile everything with some added tips for a free download, so let me know if you'd like this in the comments.

2. Raw vanilla cashew milk recipe
This is my proudest recipe to date - simply because I've never made nut milk before, and I guzzle down quite a bit normally so to be able to make my own was awesome! You can find the recipe here.

3. Bibico's navy Breton striped jumper
I'm currently minimising my consumption of unnecessary goods, so I haven't been buying any clothes except bare essentials that are made in an ethical way. Bibico's beautiful Breton striped jumper has been my favourite new piece added to my budding capsule wardrobe this month - you can read my full review (of the jumper and brand) here.

4. Living Nature's fragrance-free mascara
This too is a new addition to a select few; I'm not a huge beauty hauler, so this dainty and effective mascara ticks all the boxes for me and my daily makeup routine. You can read a full review here.

5. Plant-based bolognese (and going plant-based as a whole)
As one of my most used recipes (probably that and hummus), I can't stop loving this dish. Eating plant-based is becoming more and more the main diet choice for me, although I think practicing a flexible diet is definitely key - for example, I will still happily have the occasional slice of cheese or a squeeze of honey in my tea once in a while. I will always be vegetarian, but predominantly plant-based.

6. Beetroot and carrot juice
This was quite a revolutionary drink, as I'd always assumed juices could only be a side - and always had to be fruity. This veggie juice was just savoury enough to function as a lunch, but also filling too! It too was a main part of my juice cleanse, and you can find the individual recipe here.

I hope that you had as fun a month as I did - you can tell that my mindset has definitely changed over the past few weeks in terms of diet, and I will be posting about my exact definitions of "mindful eating" and "conscious living" in the next week or so, so we're all on the same page.

The update that I mentioned is to do with the Top 10 Healthy Living apps that I compiled a little while ago, as Loserz HQ has now informed me that their app (the 10th on my list) is now live! You can find out more about it here.

As for the amazing news - I found out today that I'm graduating with upper second class honours! My fingers had never been crossed tighter, and today I've been able to breathe a sigh of relief, followed by a big smile. The last four years of university (including 16 months working in Paris) have enlightened me and provided some of the best experiences of my life, and I know I've made some amazing friends along the way too. I hope that everyone gets the chance to embark on similar challenging but rewarding journeys in their lifetimes, as I know it has changed me as a person and made my outlook on life so much rosier! I'll be moving onto greener pastures soon too, as I'm going to be working in London, and if nothing else, I'll get to shop in Whole Foods on a regular basis!
While I do feature cruelty-free and green beauty products on a regular basis on Curiously Conscious, it's rare that I feature makeup - but when I do, it means it's a key piece in my makeup bag. I've always only had one small cosmetic bag with my collection inside for the "barely there" look I always go for, and I didn't even dabble with foundation until I was 18! I suppose in this way, I'm trying to say that I love this product because it has found my way into the select few beauty bits and bobs that I regularly use.

In my collection, I now always have concealer, foundation, mascara, eyeliner (both liquid and pencil, although rarely worn together), and a small eyeshadow palette, along with a highlighter and red lipstick on special occasions. My newest addition to this select few is Living Nature's Fragrance Free Thickening Mascara*, which true to their word is completely fragrance-less, and lovely on my lashes. I've found choosing a natural mascara quite a chore in the past, as they can be clumpy and expensive, but this mascara works just as good as my last high-street purchase and retails at £21.

My one question regarding the mascara would be its "thickening" description. I personally would hesitate in recommending this as a thickening mascara, as I've found it would be more apt to describe it as elongating, but then again I'm not quite sure how thick people would like their lashes. For me, I'm very happy with its performance; its jet black colour coats my lashes from root to tip using the dainty wand, and it lasts all day without little dry flakes appearing under my eyes either. On top of that, it comes off very easily when using coconut oil or a natural makeup remover too. I also have to add a little nod of appreciation for the very simple packaging design; while it did come in a box, I really adore how it is just a black bottle with swirling logo on the lid.

It seems that summer is finally here! It's been nice and warm in the UK so far, but Birmingham continues to be blighted by bouts of cloud and has made dressing for the weather a bit of a hassle. Thankfully, I've been wearing this Breton Striped Navy Jumper* from Bibico, an ethical clothing boutique based in Bath, UK. Made of 20% wool, and 80% cotton, it's light and goes over any smaller tops really nicely!

I first found Bibico through Twitter, and I'm really glad I did. As I am slowly replacing my wardrobe with ethical and stylish alternatives, I think this brand has a great mix of modern pieces that are made from natural materials by fair trade cooperatives. While each piece may have a slightly different backstory, for example this jumper was made in the EU rather than a fair trade cooperative, they are definitely better than high-street alternatives, and are well-made too. I suppose this is something to be expected from a piece priced at £48.00, but shouldn't we all be paying a little more for our clothes and empowering all those involved in the manufacturing process? In fact, this is also my attitude towards food now - organic, fresh, and local produce made in a sustainable way is definitely worth a few extra pennies.

On top of all that, I just really like the style of the majority of their pieces. I've taken away a liking of Parisian fashion since my year abroad, and I know that this Breton striped jumper will be a stand-out piece in what I'm hoping will be a minimalistic capsule wardrobe. I can pair it with "mom jeans" and sandals for a beachy look, or with simple black skinnies and heeled boots to keep it chic. Right now, buying simple, long-lasting pieces that are made in a humane way is definitely my new clothes shopping mantra.

It's National Recycle Week! This June 22nd-28th is a week-long event to raise awareness of recycling, but for me, it's not just the usual "pop it in the recycling bin" attitude. While we do have the services available to turn old newspaper into notebooks, and old car tyres into pens, there's a lot more we can be doing to recycle.

Around your home, before even edging close to the recycling bin, you have the ability to recycle food, repurpose packaging, and cut up clothes for cloths. That's something I remember my mum doing to my dad's old shirts - as a kid, I would grab the fabric scissors and have a great time hacking away at posh fabrics, with the feeling that I was doing something off-limits, and yet it was all for a great purpose.

Nowadays, I keep all the glass pots, bottles, and jars to store leftover foodstuffs and homemade concoctions such as my coffee body scrub. When living in Paris, I was so short on glasses that old honey pots were drink receptacles, and now there's a craze for smoothies in mason jars! I'm not saying I started a trend, or anything...

I've partnered up with Ecover this week to talk about recycling here on the blog, and while I've always been a fan of their Non Bio Laundry Gel (so handy, and no bleach in sight), I was yet to try more of their range. As a certified Cruelty Free brand, their cleaning products are mainly plant-based, meaning they don't pollute natural water systems when washed down the drain or harm local wildlife. But was has Ecover got to do with recycling?

It seems that the company has received a bad rap in the past for its seemingly non-recyclable packaging, but it appears with a branding re-vamp, they have also reached recycling nirvana: their packaging is not only now widely recyclable across the UK, but it is made from a mix of recycled plastic (25%) and "plantplastic" (75%), a by-product from the sugar industry. On top of that, they only use this from sustainably-harvested sugarcane farms. I'm fully behind this kind of commitment, seeing as their products are already a much better option than toxic bleach, and other awfully strong-smelling detergents. Their washing-up liquid is a clear, lemon-smelling alternative that does the job just as good as conventional washing-up liquids. As for their toilet cleaner, while it does take a little while longer to burn through limescale than bleach, I feel a weight off my shoulders for using it.

However, as an avid fan of Bea Johnson, Colin Beavan, and conscious living as a whole, there's a lot more we can do before partaking in such disposable lifestyles! I'm currently reading Zero Waste Home, and have already started implementing the mantra of the five r's: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot. As "recycle" comes pretty far down the line, there's a lot more we can be doing before attempting to make something good out of (often) unnecessary waste. For Ecover's products, this could be creating a makeup brush holder by cutting their bottles in half after use, or even a bird-bath if you're creative enough!

For me, I'm now always pushing to get the most out of my food too - making just enough for myself not only helps me eat in proportion, but also prevents waste. And when there is waste you can't avoid, such as juice pulp, there's always a recipe to use: here's my juice pulp crackers recipe, or a great one for hummus using cashew nut pulp that I was recommended! Hopefully, if we all did this, we could not only eat more mindfully, but live more consciously too.

Now that my juice cleanse plan is ready for you to try, you may be wondering what to do with all that pulp! Across the three days, I must have accumulated over 500g of pulp, and considering I'm an aspiring friend of the earth, to simply chuck it away would be quite wasteful, although it would break down very easily. In this sense, you could compost it right away in a bokashi bucket or the like, but after three days with no fibre you may be able to eat some of it too.

That's where my juice pulp crackers recipe comes in - highly fibrous, they're good as a little snack alongside your plant-based diet coming out of the cleanse. This recipe was inspired by Gena from Choosing Raw's blog post, but I've adapted it to work in a generic oven rather than a dehydrator.

As a little note, from personal experience, juice pulp doesn't last very well. Keep it in an air-tight container deep in your fridge during your cleanse, and I'd also suggest throwing out the spicy lemonade and cashew milk pulp rather than mixing it in with the rest.

Serves 4

2 heaped cups of pulp
1/2 cup of ground flax seeds
4 tbsp soy sauce
Handful of fresh coriander
1 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1/4 cup of water

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C
  2. Pop all your ingredients in the blender, except for the water 
  3. Put on the lid and blend, pouring the water in slowly. You may not need all of it to make a soft, doughy consistency, so going slowly is best!
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and roll the mixture on thinly - the thinner the better!
  5. Put the tray into the oven on the top shelf and leave to cook for 30 minutes. Halfway through, you can flip the crackers onto a new sheet of baking paper, but it's not totally necessary
  6. Remove the crackers from the oven and check if they're crispy - if not, keep in for a little while longer
  7. Cut the crackers while cooling - don't be afraid if they break!
  8. Enjoy with hummus, tomatoes, or any other type of salad, but don't have too much!
It's finally here! After a long weekend of cleansing, and then a week of posting my recipes, here is the whole plan for you to enjoy yourselves. If you're planning on embarking on a three-day cleanse, I'd definitely recommend reading my "How to prepare for a juice cleanse" post first, along with making sure your juicer is up to scratch. My main recommendations for the cleanse are as follows:

Below is my shopping list for making your 18 juices, and these ingredients should provide 500ml of juice each time, although feel free to add more of one ingredient if necessary (cucumbers are a great way to make up extra juice, for example). The reason why I'm so heavily advocating 500ml juices is because the cleanse is not there to make you feel hungry - it should be self-sustaining, and enable you to find a clear division between hunger pangs and mental cravings, enabling you to eat more mindfully in the future.

  • Agave nectar
  • Apples x 6
  • Beetroot x 6
  • Camomile teabag x 3
  • Carrots x 6
  • Cashew nuts, 150g
  • Cayenne pepper, ground
  • Celery stalks x 6
  • Cucumbers x 6
  • Kale, 200g
  • Ginger root, medium
  • Lemons x 11
  • Mint, 30g
  • Parsley, 30g
  • Pineapples x 2
  • Spinach, 100g
  • Vanilla bean x 1

To make your cleanse even more successful, you should keep to a timely schedule too. Although I didn't quite manage this, I would recommend planning your day as follows, unless your daily schedule differs to a usual mealtime routine:

  • 8:00   - Lemon detox water
  • 9:00   - Sweet green morning juice
  • 12:00 - Beetroot and carrot juice
  • 15:00 - Pineapple and mint juice
  • 17:00 - Raw spicy lemonade
  • 18:00 - Mean green juice
  • 20:00 - Raw vanilla cashew milk
  • 21:30 - Camomile tea

Lemon Detox Water
1/2 lemon
1 cup lukewarm water
  1. Cut a cross along the length and width of the lemon, and peel
  2. Put half of the lemon through the juicer, saving the other half for later
  3. Add to a cup of lukewarm water and drink

Sweet Morning Green Juice
1 apple
1 cucumber
1/2 lemon
2 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls of spinach
  1. Start by washing your produce, then slice everything into finger-sized pieces
  2. Feed the leaves with your cucumber through the juicer, then the apple and lemon
  3. Funnel into a glass, skimming off any froth and enjoy!

Beetroot + Carrot Juice
1 apple
2 beets
2 carrots
1/2 lemon
Sliver of ginger
  1. On a chopping board, slice up all your ingredients into finger-like pieces. I always keep the skin on, but this is up to you
  2. Juice everything through - you may need to encourage the carrot pieces through by using the other softer produce
  3. Decant into a glass, skimming off any froth and adding water if you'd like

Pineapple + Mint Juice
1/2 cucumber
1 handful of mint
1/2 pineapple
  1. Skin the pineapple with a sharp chef's knife, and slice into finger-like portions
  2. Also cut the cucumber this way, alongside picking a handful of mint and washing well
  3. Now juice everything, with the leaves mixed between the larger chunks
  4. You may need to re-juice the pulp after the first time round, as both pineapple and cucumber are very juicy
  5. Pop in a few ice cubes (if you'd like) and enjoy!

Spicy Raw Lemonade
400ml water
1 lemon
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp agave nectar
  1. Along the length of the lemon, score a cut as deep as the skin. Do the same again, this time in a perfect cross, and then peel the skin off to leave just the segments, then put through your juicer and re-juice the pulp at least once
  2. Now add the 400ml water (preferably filtered), and stir in a pinch of cayenne pepper and one tablespoon of agave nectar

Mean Green Juice
2 celery stalks
1/2 cucumber
1 small lemon
2 handfuls of kale
1 handful parsley
  1. Wash all your produce, and cut into finger-sized slices
  2. Juice the leaves through with the cucumber and celery to ensure even juicing
  3. Re-juice the pulp at least once
  4. Decant into a glass and drink

Raw Vanilla Cashew Milk
145g cashew nuts
1.5 litres of water
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 vanilla bean

(Note: this recipe makes enough for three 500ml portions)
  1. Start by soaking the cashew nuts in 240ml water for 2-12 hours (I soaked mine for eight)
  2. Drain the water, and pop the swollen cashews into your juicer while slowly pouring 750ml of water through it too (I would really recommend a masticating juicer, as I'm not sure how a centrifugal juicer would handle this), making sure to re-juice the pulp at least one time afterwards
  3. Cut the end off your vanilla bean and scrape out the paste
  4. Put the cashew milk, vanilla bean paste, agave nectar and remaining water in a blender and whizz up until perfectly creamy
  5. The yield should make up at least three 500ml portions of cashew milk, perfect for the three-day cleanse! You can store the milk in the fridge in-between days, for up to three days.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea bag
1 cup of hot water
  1. Boil the kettle, leaving the water to rest for a while before pouring on the chamomile tea bag to prevent burning
  2. Leave the bag in during drinking for a fuller flavour

If this is your first cleanse, as it was mine, I really highly recommend finding introspective activities to do during your juicing - meditating, art, and reading are all perfect for this. You may also feel like partaking in light exercise, such as yoga, but try not to do anything strenuous. I took walks in the afternoon to reduce my temptation to eat and also get out of the house - hopefully this will help you too!

No-one says juice cleanses are easy, but the changes in the body's energy levels, digestive system, and to a certain extent, loss of weight, are an amazing thing to observe and enjoy. You will also feel proud for being able to accomplish such a task without snacking in-between (my usual vice), but if you really desperately need to, cashew nut butter or raw cashews are the best bet. As an advocate for mindful eating, I wouldn't say juicing 24/7 is a sustainable diet, but it definitely helps kick-start a healthier diet afterwards, and you will be able to minimise mental cravings while fulfilling hunger and thirst.

Once you have completed your cleanse, congratulate yourself! Observe your body, and how strong-willed you have been. Now, make a plan to stay this healthy, whether it be going vegetarian, introducing juices into your regular diet, or maintaining a no-snacking policy.

It is very highly recommended to eat only raw plant-based meals after your cleanse for the first three days, adding in nuts in the second day and grains in the third. Your digestive system will be slow and you shouldn't shock it, especially with pseudo-foods on the first few days afterward. Meat will also be hard for it to handle at this point. As always, listen to your body and make a mental plan - you can treat yourself, but do so in little portions if at all.

Finally - let me know how you get on! I'd love to hear about it if you try my DIY cleanse. As an inexpensive and like-for-like cleanse to commercial alternatives, I really hope you reap all the benefits that I enjoyed when establishing it. Good luck!

I don't think I've ever been prouder of making a drink! This raw vanilla cashew milk is the first nut milk I've made myself, and it came out so smooth and milky-white. I had to combine a few recipes to get to the final product, so I've written up exactly how to do it below, and you do not need a nut milk bag for the final product either.

As the penultimate drink each day of my three-day juice cleanse, I really enjoyed the creaminess and sweetness in contrast to the mean green dinner juice. It was also nice to make the drinks in bulk at the beginning so I could sip on it immediately after my last juice of the day, although I'd advise a quick whizz in the blender so as to avoid separation. Overall, if I can get the cashew nuts cheap enough, I'd happily make my own nut milk on a regular basis!

Serves 3

2 tbsp agave syrup
145g cashew nuts
1 vanilla bean
1.5 litres of water

  1. Start by soaking the cashew nuts in 240ml water for 2-12 hours (I soaked mine for eight)
  2. Drain the water, and pop the swollen cashews into your juicer while slowly pouring the 1.5 litres of water through it too (I would really recommend a masticating juicer, as I'm not sure how a centrifugal juicer would handle this), making sure to re-juice the pulp at least one time afterwards
  3. Cut the end off your vanilla bean and scrape out the paste
  4. Put the cashew milk, vanilla bean paste, and agave syrup in a blender and whizz up until perfectly creamy
  5. The yield should make up at least three 500ml portions of cashew milk, perfect for the three-day cleanse! You can store the milk in the fridge in-between days, for up to three days.

This spicy raw lemonade served as my fourth drink of the day on my three-day cleanse. Effectively a detox drink before the evening's dinner juice (a mean, green affair), the lemonade includes a metabolising kick thanks to the pinch of cayenne pepper, readying the digestive system for the strongest juice of the day. You may have come across juices like this before - they're often cited from the "Master Cleanse", which to the best of my knowledge is a diet plan based on drinking only spicy lemonade such as this for a set number of days. Having juiced now for my first time, I don't think I could ever advocate a plan so extreme - a varied set of juices provides a range of different nutrients, nullifying the body's natural hunger and leaving behind only mental cravings. A juice cleanse or even water cleanse that is based on one drink seems almost abusive in my opinion, and not really mindful at all. So, if you're going to give this juice a go, I'd recommend as a light summer drink, a pre-food detox juice, or a morning flush.

Serves 1

400ml water
1 lemon
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp agave syrup

  1. If you're using a juicer, you can glean more lemon juice by peeling and juicing it. Along the length of the lemon, score a cut as deep as the skin. Do the same again, this time in a perfect cross, and then peel the skin off to leave just the segments, then put through your juicer and re-juice the pulp at least once
  2. If you're not using a juicer, chop the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice into a cup, then removing the seeds with a spoon
  3. Now add the 400ml water (preferably filtered), and stir in a pinch of cayenne pepper and one tablespoon of agave syrup

We're onto juice number three! This is undoubtedly my favourite juice of the cleanse, as it's deliciously sweet (hello sweet tooth, my old friend) with a mint kick, and goes so well with a couple of ice cubes mixed in afterwards. This functioned as my four o'clock drink, which is when I usually get sugar cravings, having unconsciously trained my body into a frustratingly analogue schedule from snacking after school every day. While I am practicing a mindful approach to eating these days, I still will allow myself a date or two and a large glass of water at this time (when not juicing), as the length between lunch and dinner is far wider than breakfast and lunch.

Serves 1

1/2 pineapple
1 handful of mint
1/2 cucumber

  1. Skin the pineapple with a sharp chef's knife, and slice into finger-like portions
  2. Also cut the cucumber this way, alongside picking a handful of mint and washing well
  3. Now juice everything, with the leaves mixed between the larger chunks
  4. You may need to re-juice the pulp after the first time round, as both pineapple and cucumber are very juicy!
  5. Pop in a few ice cubes (if you'd like) and enjoy!

As the second juice of the cleanse, this actually functioned as my lunch. It's a hearty, sweet and savoury mix packed full of betacarotene with a spicy kick from the ginger. On my first go round, I added a thumb-length piece of ginger and had to quite literally chug the juice to get it down, as it was too fiery, but if that's how you like it, feel free to add more than a sliver of ginger! On top of that, you can add a little water to stop it being so thick, but I quite liked the change in texture.

Serves 1

2 beets
2 carrots
1 apple
1/2 lemon
Sliver of ginger

  1. On a chopping board, slice up all your ingredients into finger-like pieces. I always keep the skin on, but this is up to you
  2. Juice everything through - you may need to encourage the carrot pieces through by using the other softer produce
  3. Decant into a glass, skimming off any froth and adding water if you'd like
  4. Enjoy!

Continuing with my juice cleanse series, I'm now posting all my juice recipes! The first of the week is this sweet morning green juice, something I am genuinely incorporating into my regular diet as it's both healthier than a smoothie, and a great thing to wake up to. Packed full of chlorophyll, yet still sweet (essentially, no celery in sight - but feel free to pop some in if you prefer a more earthy taste), it's a great boost to your digestive system too, due to the cucumber. On my juice diet, I actually drank a lemon detox water at a lukewarm temperature before starting on my juices, so this fits nicely if you do that regularly too - for me, I'm going to pop a light yoga session in-between the two to really make it worthwhile.

As a side note, it's always better to have organic produce, but if you don't, try washing it with a little scrub brush and a natural cleaner (I use the juice of one lemon mixed with one tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and 125ml water, stored in a spray bottle). On top of this, feel free to add a little water through your juicer to get all the juice out before decanting into a glass.

Serves 1

1 apple
1 cucumber
2 handfuls of spinach
2 handfuls of kale
1/2 lemon

  1. Start by washing your produce, then slice everything into finger-sized pieces
  2. Feed the leaves with your cucumber through the juicer, then the apple and lemon
  3. Funnel into a glass, skimming off any froth and enjoy!

I've finished my three-day juice cleanse! While I had food cravings on the first day, upset on the second (the mean green dinner juice seemed like such an insult to my regular meals!), by day three I was feeling happy, energised, and proud of sticking to it. Three days might not seem like a long time, but when you don't have food to look forward to - whether it be cooking, eating, or buying it - it does make you wonder what to do with your time! However, the benefits definitely outweigh the few negative thoughts that I had across the cleanse, as I genuinely feel brighter and happier with my body, as well as ready to eat an almost exclusively vegan and plant-based diet (however, I'm still open to eggs and honey, so long as they're sourced in a sustainable and a fair way).

Now that I have finished, I thought I'd give you the low-down on the research I did before starting mine. Juice cleansing, while many "juiceries" have their own specific structure, pretty much has a few golden rules that they all share. For a beginner on a three-day cleanse, there should be six drinks per day, of 500ml each. Of these juices, there is usually two green juices, one beetroot juice, one "lemonade", a sweeter juice, and a nut milk.

From studying the below commercial juice cleanses, as well as reading up about the subject online and using Roots & Bulbs' Pure: Juicing for Life book, I devised my own DIY juice cleanse. I'll be giving you the full info on it in the coming days, but for today's purposes, I'll be showing you how much it cost to do in comparison to commercial pre-bottled versions.

As mentioned in my previous post, you should have a few set parameters before starting. For my juice cleanse, I decided to opt for a DIY because I firstly wanted to have a juicer in my kitchen for future juices, as well as there being no juice shops nearby (although most commercial juiceries deliver nationwide). I chose to buy a slow masticating juicer to produce true cold-pressed juices, rather than the standard (and usually slightly cheaper) centrifugal juicers. With centrifugal juicers, heat is expelled during from the equipment, zapping some of the live enzymes of the raw produce being put through it, so I discounted it from my search. For my juice cleanse, I thought it essential to have a slow, cold-press-style juicer, and almost all organic produce.

This being said, I chose an inexpensive masticating juicer - the ElectrIQ HSL600, priced at £55. This ticked all my boxes, and over the course of the three days (making 15 juices and three nut milks) I can't fault it. The pulp sometimes needs to be re-juiced, but it takes very little time to do this, and it can handle kale, spinach, carrots, and soaked nuts.

On top of this, my total food bill for the three days came to £35, with the majority of the produce being organic too. I'll be listing exactly what I used, and how to carry out your own juice cleanse, in an upcoming post this week. My food bill thus took the total of my juice cleanse to £90, and I have my very own juicer now too!

Comparing this to commercial juice cleanses plans, you can see why I opted for my DIY version simply from a financial point of view. However, if I didn't have the time to do what I did, I can totally understand someone going for a juice cleanse plan from one of the following juiceries. These are the 10 best options I have found, and would happily try if I needed a more convenient and timely option!

1. Press London
18 x 500ml juices + 6 extras  |  £149
Delivery: Free inside London; UK mainland at extra cost
Press London's cleanse includes six raw, cold-pressed juices per day, along with two smaller "milk" drinks. Their plan is well structured, changing each day and maintains a good timely schedule. For under £150, they are also one of the cheapest juice cleanses on the market.

2. Raw & Juicy
15 x 500ml juices + 13 extras  |  £225
Delivery: Free inside London; UK mainland at extra cost
Raw & Juicy claim to be the UK's first home delivery juice 'detox' company, and it's perhaps with that experience that their cleanse programmes are chock-full of extras to make your cleanse a highly enjoyable experience (thus negating the need for a sixth juice per day). You can exclude ingredients according to your dietary requirements, as well as enjoy luxuries such as charcoal-filtered water, aloe vera shots, bath salts, and even an enema kit.

3. Raw Press
18 x 500ml juices  |  £195
Delivery: Free inside London; UK mainland at extra cost
Raw Press' Spring Clean Cleanse is made up of  five juices and one almond milk, which makes it perhaps a little more palatable for beginners (I'm more of a fan of almond milk than cashew). They offer a wide range of more alkaline cleanses too.

4. Raw to Door
18 x 500ml juices  |  £184
Delivery: Free nationwide
Raw to Door's Skin Deep juice cleanse includes a mix of five juices per day (two of which are green) and a nut milk. I personally don't like plans that do not detail exactly what you're getting, but their range of juices and nut milks do sound really appetising, and for £184, it's good value too.

5. Moroccan Cleanse
18 x 500ml juices  |  £225
Delivery: Mainland UK at extra cost
While on the pricier side, Moroccan Cleanse's Medina three-day cleanse offers juices with a delicate range of herbs and spices, as well as a cold-brewed coffee instead of a nut milk, for those who couldn't go without their caffeine fix.

6. Radiance Cleanse
15/18 x 500ml juices  |  £199/£225
Delivery: Dependant on location and delivery type
Radiance Cleanse's Signature programme is definitely the middle-of-the-road option. With the choice to have five or six juices per day (one of which being a cashew milk), it's priced accordingly and nicely styled too.

7. Juiceman
15 x 500ml juices  |  £190 (£150)
Delivery: Free with orders over £50 to mainland UK
Juiceman's 3-day cleanse is a particularly cheap option, especially as delivery is free too. However, you will receive a mix of juices, and only five per day rather than the usual six. There is also no nut milk. Juiceman are currently offering their 3-day cleanse for £150 when you enter the promotional code "3DAYSPECIAL" at the checkout.

8. Plenish
18 x 500ml juices  |  £240
Delivery: Free
Plenish may be a favourite in the Instagram world, but perhaps that's for their singular juices rather than a cleanse, as they are pricy! Their beginner Harmony cleanse includes five juices and one nut milk per day, in an order similar to what I did in my DIY cleanse. The one benefit is that all their juices are certified organic by the Soil Association.

9. Imbibery London
18 x 500ml juices + 6 extras  |  £255
Delivery: Free inside London; UK mainland at extra cost
I really like Imbibery's style, and the variety of their juices, but for a price that is £100 more than Press London's very similar plan, I wonder where the extra quality comes from. The plan consists of five juices, one milk, and two shots (one lemon, one ginger) per day.

10. Curiously Conscious
18 x 500ml juices + 6 extras + juicer  |  £90
Yes, I've sneakily popped my juice cleanse plan at the end of the list, mainly for comparison reasons, but also because I feel like I've achieved just as much for a lower price, juicer and extras included. Click here to read through the full 3-day juice cleanse plan and get all the recipes too.

Juicing and more specifically, juice cleanses, are everywhere at the moment! If you've switched on Netflix, you've probably seen Joe Cross and his infamous green juice travelling the USA on the journey to health. And online, juice cleanses are popping up everywhere too. So, why should you (or shouldn't you) take up a juice cleanse?

The chief reason cited for going on a cleanse is to purge the body. By having a balanced intake of raw, cold-pressed fruits and veggies may rejuvenate the body, giving us a burst of energy, vitamins, and minerals. Of course, you will find places that dispute this - but it's very much dependant on your diet prior to cleansing. If you've been living as a fruitarian, or a raw vegan, this perhaps will not benefit you much at all (in fact, it may simply be removing some fibre from your diet).

Despite being a passionately healthy eater, I too have my vices. Number one is sugary food; chocolate, ice cream, pancakes... I could go on. Simply walking past a fresh doughnut stand makes me drool, despite everything! Furthermore, I genuinely believe that these sugar spikes in my diet have led to negative health effects in various ways, such as skin blemishes, cystitis, and occasional cases of IBS.

On top of that, having now finished my final year university exams, I'd like to refresh my system and remove those last dregs left over from the stress-filled exam season. While I did maintain a base of healthy food, I returned to sugary cappuccinos and ice cream rewards... essentially, this is my reset button.

In advising others about juice cleansing, I would first like to state that no, I'm not a dietician, a nutritionist, or a doctor of any kind. And I'm not advocating juice cleansing, rather documenting my journey and helping others who wish to partake in it. Above all, it is a personal choice and commitment to the wellbeing of the body, and this has to be applied in as unique a way as each of our bodies operate. So, if you are considering it, please make sure you have the right intentions and are well aware of the effects it will have on the body. Like all detoxes, this is not a sure-fire way to lose weight, especially if you will return to eating a particularly unhealthy diet afterwards. Instead, view it as the kickstart to a more sustainable diet and mindful eating practice. By knowing exactly what you are putting in your body, juice cleansing is a chance to educate yourself and make better food choices in the future.

One thing I've learnt after extensive researching into juice cleanses, is that there is no set approach, but there are some logical ideas you may want to put into practice. One of which, is to switch to a raw vegan diet 24 hours prior to starting the juice cleanse, so as to only have raw, fresh produce in the gut when starting your juices. This means that nothing nasty will be left behind to rot in your intestines over the selected time period of the cleanse. I've actually practiced this for two days now, so as to be ready to start tomorrow, as well as upping my water intake. The above photo is one of the lunches I've been indulging in - lots of veggies, a few nuts and homemade raw hummus (with a little dried basil mixed in). Some commercial cleanses go further than this, providing home enema kits, but for now I'd rather not go down that route.

As a beginner, I will also only be cleansing for three days, so as not to shock my system (no matter the amount of fruit and veggies I regularly consume), alongside having a more palatable and varied set of juices. Typically, a more advanced course would consist of many green vegetable juices, alkali in nature and full of chlorophyll. However, I'd like to start gently, with a mixture of green juices among fruitier and sweeter varieties. I shall also be making my own cashew milk, a set piece in almost all cleanses.

One thing I do think is very important for anyone considering juice cleansing, whether doing it themselves or buying a cleansing package, is to note the amount of juices per day, as well as the size of them. As I have found, best practice is always 500ml per juice, with six juices per day (including nut milk).

This is usually the next step into choosing a cleanse. You should have some set parameters: the number of days, the variety of juices, and the price you wish to pay for your cleanse. Tomorrow, I will be posting a detailed comparison of 12 commercial cleanses available in the UK, as well as my DIY method, so hopefully that will help. You should also bear in mind your proximity to juice shops - can you get them to make it for you on the day? Will it need to be delivered, thus stored for some time? Perhaps freshness is a major consideration for you. Above all, you should ensure your juices are mainly (if not completely) organic, so you can further purify the body.

So, there you have my preparation guidelines for juice cleansing - the main questions will obviously have to be answered by you, making it unique to you, and hopefully suitable to your lifestyle. And if you decide against cleansing, perhaps consider why - ask your doctor for help, meditate on your reasoning and choose a mindful eating path.

It seems that we're using our phones more and more these days, and when it comes to living consciously, you might think this a bit ironic. However, while I am cutting down on spending free time scrolling on a screen rather than appreciating the world around me, there are definitely a number of very useful apps that I often use to help me live more consciously and eat more mindfully, and might also help you too. Here are a few of my current favourites:

1. Good Guide
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? Internet
I first came across Good Guide in its website form, but its app is just as efficient. Listing information on products from pet food to oral care, it can help guide you as to whether a product is good in terms of health, environment, and society. Using the app, you can scan products directly on the shelf to see their rating, as well as inputting their name, or just browsing through categories.

2. Think Dirty
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? Internet
Think Dirty is very much like Good Guide, but it specialises in beauty products. The general premise is that you create an account and log your Bathroom Shelf's items so as to find out whether they are "clean" or "dirty" in terms of carcinogenity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies and immunotoxicities. It also has a scan tool, as well as a general search option, making it quick and simple to use. This app is great for anyone who is highly allergic to skincare products or is looking to maintain as green a bathroom shelf as possible.

3. CosmEthics
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? Internet
While I haven't been using CosmEthics very long, I do prefer its set up to Think Dirty. Also specialising in beauty products, there's no need to create an account, and you can also scan or input items as you wish. Products are given an overall label of either being "safe", a "potential allergen", or "risk of toxicity", this too is great for people looking for green beauty products. Another feature is that you can create a customised label, such as vegan beauty products only, but you need to allow the app access to a range of data to do this, something I'm not very keen about.

4. Suma
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? Internet
Suma is one shop that I really admire - operating as a communal cooperative, it is literally run by its staff and only stocks wholefoods, as well as fairtrade and organic produce. Right now, it appears that Suma only has its items stocked in other wholefood shops, so this app is great if you're looking to locate a seller nearby, or whiz through their product range.

5. Elegantly Vegan
Price: £2.29  |  Connectivity needed? None
This is the only paid app that I've put on this list, but I think it's a great example of a recipe app, and it also specialises in vegan food too. Cleanly presented, you can choose from "breakfast pleasures", and "lovely main dishes" to "yummy comfort food". The pictures are appetising, all the relevant instructions and information is nicely presented, and you can customise the menu to fit the number of people you are serving. I really like the "Buy Groceries" feature, which will send an email to whomever you wish with the list of ingredients needed, and measurements can be displayed in cups or (the easier) imperial system.

6. Garden Plate
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? Internet
Garden Plate is another nicely presented recipe app, this time specialising in a number of diets: vegan, gluten-free, raw, as well as specific dishes are all included. I only have the free version of this app, which provides a mish-mash of recipes, while also displaying "locked" ones to entice you to buy the full app for £2.29.

7. Nike+ Running
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? GPS
I've been using the Nike+ app for a week now (so still a relative newbie), but it's transformed my runs from being quite dull (I usually run a circuit) to a lively and motivated affair. Counting the amount of kilometres I run, it gives me verbal updates when passing major milestones, as well as keeping music turned up when moving quickly and turned down when pausing the workout. So far, I've run more laps every time I've run with this app, in an attempt to beat my personal best. It also shows you your pace during laps and you can log your mood for each run so as to gauge which environments suit you best. I'm not usually a Nike fan, but for this, I couldn't fault the app at all.

8. Bloglovin'
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? Internet
Using Bloglovin' to promote healthy living is definitely subjective - I follow a lot of healthy living blogs (found as I've been compiling my giant list of the Top 100+ UK Healthy Living Bloggers) so if I'm ever needing some inspiration, I turn to this to see real-life examples of other great people leading healthy lives. You can also follow Curiously Conscious on Bloglovin' if you're interested!

9. Headspace
Price: Free  |  Connectivity needed? Internet to download each session
I'm currently interested in teaching myself meditation, and while the Headspace app didn't really work for me, I know that it has helped thousands of people find a little me-time amongst their busy lives through 10-minute guides led through verbal instructions only. The first 10 sessions are included on their free app, and then it becomes a monthly paid plan.

10. Loserz
Price: ???  |  Connectivity needed? ???
Loserz is an app that I've recently heard about, and while it may have a slightly jarring title, it aims to be an unbiased forum for people aiming to lose weight, exercise more, and eat healthier to chat and spur each other on. This is actually something I searched for when first aiming to get fitter when in France, and although it's currently under development, I can't wait until it comes out on the App Store!

As an aside, you can now bookmark Curiously Conscious to your home screen - and when you do, the logo will automatically pop up!
I've been a fan of matcha green tea for just over a year now, but it's the first time I've mentioned it here on Curiously Conscious. You may have seen it drifting about on Instagram, in cakes, smoothies, or in the traditional tea, but do you know why it's so good for you?

Matcha is essentially finely ground green tea leaves known as tencha. Tencha is commonly grown in Asia, with arguably the best produce coming from Japan. The tea leaves are picked when they're young, bright green pretty little things and quickly steamed and then ground to create a strong, almost grassy tasting powder.

The powder itself boasts many healthy properties, as any young leafy green would do. With vitamins ranging across A, B, C, E, and K, and an evidently high amount of chlorophyll, it's also an antioxidant due to its high polyphenol count. Interestingly, polyphenols are being linked to healthy body rejuvenation, and thus the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease - this reminds me highly of the China Study's findings (something I haven't read, but have understood the gist of!), showing how the Eastern diet suppresses these kinds of illnesses, as the Western one enhances their prominence. It's interesting that even drinking a cup of green tea a day is linked to improving overall health, let alone matcha green tea, a condensed and intense version of regular green tea.

Matcha is also deeply linked to wellbeing benefits, with it being a key element of Japanese tea ceremonies which celebrate the changing of seasons, among other things. This explains the use of many matcha green tea brands being sold under the premise that it is "ceremonial grade" matcha green tea.

The brand I am currently using is Moonlit Matcha*, an organic Japanese matcha green tea from Hybrid Herbs. In the past, I've tried pre-mixed matcha tea with dried milk and sugar, but to have it pure is definitely my preferred way of making matcha tea, and it also lets me use it in recipes too (I have a few planned!). Moonlit Matcha is too a ceremonial grade matcha green tea, and it comes in a miron glass container, protecting the contents from oxidisation from sunlight. I'm a big fan of this method, as not only does it make the product feel special, but it also is recyclable.

Finally, matcha is a great way to start the day, with roughly 1/3 the amount of caffeine as a normal cup of coffee. As an ex-caffeine fiend, this means I get a nice kick to go alongside a morning yoga routine or even a meditation session (if I ever get round to reading my "How to meditate" book). However, matcha is a slightly trickier drink to make, so I've also included a quick guide on how to make the perfect matcha tea in the mornings.

Serves: 1

1/2 tsp Moonlit Matcha green tea
1 small cup water
(1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk)
(1 tsp unrefined brown sugar)

  1.  In your cup, pop in the tiny half-teaspoon of matcha. You can sieve this if you want, but I tend not to simply for ease in the morning
  2. Boil enough water for a small cup of tea. Once boiled, leave to rest for a few minutes so as not to burn the matcha
  3. Now pour in around 2 tbsp of hot water and whisk. I have a small electric whisk, but you could also use a bamboo whisk often associated with matcha green tea ceremonies
  4. Once a fine paste, add in the rest of the water. It should be a little frothy on top, but quite clear with no lumps
  5. If you're like me, you'll want to take the edge off a little, so I add almond milk and a teeny tiny sprinkle of sugar to the mix. Not traditional, but it's how I like it!

Sources: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  -  Organic Nutrition  -  Wikipedia

I first came across Living Juice when strolling around the Be:Fit London event in April - the women manning the stall were very happy with the company they had started, and rightly so! Living Juice makes a range of cold-pressed juices* that are bursting with enzymes, meaning they're "bio-active". This was evident after keeping my coconut water for a little while - it changed to a delightful pink colour, signifying its purity.

Living Juice's range includes: Apple, Pear & Raspberry; Orange & Kiwi; Pineapple, Melon & Mango; Pure Orange, and; Coconut Water. When it comes buying drinks, I'm normally quite picky as I won't drink fizzy drinks, or even high-sugar smoothies such as Innocent.  Living Juice's juice mixes definitely have to be viewed as a treats due to their high sugar content (over 25g per bottle), although their coconut water is totally pure and thus a lot lower in sugar. However, I'd say they're worth being classed as a treat - the yummy fruit mixes are fresh, sweet, and nicely balanced in terms of flavour, and boast a whole range of other benefits seeing as they're raw.

For the future, it'd be really nice to see Living Juice expand into veggie juices, leafy greens, and even juice cleanses if they can get the balance right. I also ought to add in the wish that their plastic bottles were switched for glass, or something that can be recycled, although that's a grand wish for all plastic bottles really. For now, I'm just pleased that I got to try their juice and support them as they emerge as an entrepreneurial juice company. I'd love to start up a project like that in the future, and we've all got to support our independents!

It's the first of June, and while the weather may be bleak, our British produce is getting more summery!

  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Blackcurrants
  • Cherry
  • Gooseberry
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Nectarine
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberry
  • Redcurrant
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon
  • Woods strawberry

  • Asparagus
  • Aubergine
  • Beetroot
  • Bell pepper
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cavolo nero
  • Celeriac
  • Chard
  • Courgette
  • Courgette flower
  • Cress
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel bulb
  • Garlic
  • Globe artichoke
  • Kohl rabi
  • Lamb's lettuce
  • Lettuce
  • Marrow
  • Mushrooms
  • New potatoes
  • Onion
  • Pak choi
  • Peas
  • Potato
  • Radicchio
  • Radish
  • Red cabbage
  • Rocket
  • Runner beans
  • Samphire
  • Spinach
  • Spring greens
  • Spring onion
  • Tomato
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Wild nettles

  • None as far as I'm aware!

  • Angelica
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Borage
  • Chamomile
  • Chervil
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Elderflower
  • Fennel bulb
  • Garlic chives
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Lovage
  • Majoram
  • Mint
  • Nasturtium
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sorrel
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme