The second part of our Top of Their Game series, where we speak to inspirational people from all walks of life who have achieved great things through hard work, creativity and gumption.
This week we are delighted to be talking to the friends and founders of Radiance Cleanse Clare and Christina, who set up the first organic juice company in London in 2009. We love talking to hard working women and hearing the stories behind why they do what they do. We hope this inspires you too!
What is the story behind Radiance?
Clare and I have been friends for over 20 years. (Help - that makes us sound old!) We founded Radiance in 2009 as the UK's first organic and cold pressed juice delivery service, based on our combined personal and professional experience of, and love for, juicing. While we were both growing up in Edinburgh, I had an interest in nutrition from a young age because my aunt, Midi Fairgrieve, is a nutritionist and founder of Detox International, one of the first detox retreat companies. Also, I was competing at quite a high level in sport and so the influence of nutrition in fuelling your body optimally became important. I went to law school and worked for several years in the City but never lost my interest in nutrition and began studying for a BSc in Nutritional Medicine. Meanwhile, Clare had also moved to London and was working too hard in the world of finance. Having felt sub par for many years she was finally diagnosed with a stomach condition and advised that the only way for her to regain her health was to completely overhaul her diet and lifestyle. Desperate to feel better, she radically changed her diet, chucked all the chemicals out of her house and immediately started to see a dramatic change. As part of the process I persuaded her to go on her first juice cleanse retreat, with Detox International. After that inspiring week Clare realised a change of career path was inevitable as she became totally convinced of the power of juicing and nutrition for wellbeing and long term health. So as excitable mortgage and child-free individuals (it's not that way now!) we set up Radiance.
What’s different and special about Radiance juices?
We were the first juice cleanse service in the UK to be certified organic by the Soil Association. I remember our first inspection process was quite an education - on both sides! But it was really important to us that our customers should have a guarantee of the organic integrity of our juices. We wanted an external seal of approval; we didn't think it was enough to say 'we use organic where possible'. We also spent a long time developing our cleanse programmes both from a nutritional and a taste perspective. I think to this day that's one of the things that keeps our clients coming back to Radiance. It's not as easy as you might think to make juices taste really good, especially with seasonal variation in fresh produce and as it has always been crucial to us that we pack in as many green vegetables as possible and keep the sugar content relatively low. Additionally, Radiance juices are truly made to order, by hand, each day. We order fresh, organic fruit and veg based on the exact orders we have from our clients and don't stock pile juices or use HPP to extend shelf life. This means that you need to give slightly more notice when ordering Radiance juices than you might elsewhere, but you get the freshest and most nutritious product.
Is cold pressed always better than other juicing techniques?
In general I would say yes, and it's imperative if you are buying from a ready-made juice service like Radiance because it preserves the nutritional integrity of your juices for longer. However in terms of juicing at home I always say that the best juicer is the one you will actually use. Cold pressed juicers are usually more expensive and they are slow as well as potentially more time consuming to clean and maintain. If you're new to juicing then you are probably better off with a quick and easy centrifugal juicer that will be happy making juices out of cucumber, celery, apple, pear, carrot, beetroot and bulk produce like that. Always drink those juices immediately. As you build up to using more leafy green veg or herbs in your juices then you need to switch to a cold pressed juicer to get the best out of those. Aside from the nutritional aspect you'll get a very low yield from leafy greens going through a typical centrifugal juicer so it makes juicing very expensive. It is also worth bearing in mind the difference between juicing and blending - or juices and smoothies - as we often hear from people who think they are one and the same. That's a whole other topic, but suffice to say we think they both have a place in a healthy diet but we prefer juices for cleansing.
The body naturally detoxes day-to-day to stay healthy, what helps these processes in your juices?
Yes indeed it does, although the degree to which that process is efficient depends on a multitude of factors, such as how well your digestive system is working to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste and your general diet and lifestyle (i.e. how much pressure you are putting on your body to detoxify). The beauty of juices is that they are a concentrated source of nutrients - you could juice and drink far more raw green vegetables than you would eat in a sitting, for example. And because they don't contain fibre they are very easy to digest, giving easy access to all those anti-oxidant vitamins and enzymes.
Is your office more matcha or more coffee?
We do both! Clare is really sensitive to caffeine so she doesn't drink coffee at all, but I have been well and truly broken by having 3 children in 4 years and I will confess to needing some coffee in my life! My favourite is Cru Kafe, which is organic and ethical. I've recently discovered the Oatly Barista edition oat milk, which pairs really well with coffee if you prefer a dairy-free milk. As well as matcha lattes we're pretty keen on turmeric lattes and if you haven't tried the Four Sigmatic medicinal mushrooms drinks then those are definitely worth a shot. There is even a mushroom coffee which doesn't taste nearly as bad as you'd expect!
You must have you finger on the pulse with all the recent health trends working at Radiance. What key things have you learnt about wellbeing on your journey?
Well, I think what we've learned is that there's no silver bullet single thing you can do that will keep you healthy. It's about body, mind and spirit and taking a holistic approach. Do the small, simple stuff day in day out and that will give you a really strong base. Start your day with hot water and lemon, exercise several times a week, eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, take a comprehensive supplement like Equi, practice mindfulness, go to bed at a regular time etc etc. The new trends are exciting but it's the basics that will make a difference long term.
What tips do you have for people living life in the fast lane, wanting to stay healthy and feeling their best but without missing out on any of the fun?
It's a bit boring but we both strongly believe in an 80:20 principle of balance. Stick to the stuff that you know is good for you most of the time, make that the basis of your daily life, and then when you do indulge enjoy that as well. We are not the type of people who go out for dinner and skip dessert. Or for that matter who try to counteract a nice dinner with dessert by eating in an extreme way for the next 3 days. Just take pleasure from socialising with friends or family but then get back to normality afterwards.
Disclaimer: We recommend seeking advise from a qualified health practitioner before embarking on any juice cleanse, and always check with your GP first, especially if suffering with a diagnosed condition or if taking medication. As always, there is no substitute for a healthy diet and this advise if not intended to replace one-on-one support from a qualified practitioner.