The beginning of the year is notorious for people wanting to cleanse their bodies and start again. A detox is a great way to do that. Our editor, Leah, was recently invited to try out the Propa three-day smoothie cleanse and she shares her experience.
Like many women, I’ve done a few detoxes and cleanses in my life. Some have been successful, others not so much. They have always been challenging though, and it’s taken an incredible amount of willpower to power through them.
This wasn’t at all the case with the Propa three-day detox. In fact, this was probably the easiest (and most delicious) cleanse I’ve ever done. Despite only being allowed to consume five smoothies a day for three days, I felt satiated not at all deprived of food or nutrition throughout the duration of the detox.
Based in Umhlali, Propa Food Bar was started by Ballito mother of two Stephanie Wills six years ago. Passionate about creating healthy, nutritious food (that also taste and looks amazing), Steph started her business by experimenting with smoothies and smoothie bowls. Now she offers a wide range of products, from nourishing smoothies and bowls to popsicles and desserts (and the most beautiful cakes) … and everything is vegan, gluten and dairy free and delicious!
When she decided to put together a three-day smoothie cleanse, Steph enlisted the help of her sister, Kim Wilson, who is a qualified dietician.
A detox is basically a ‘dietary reset’ and a way to support your body’s natural detoxification systems, which are often affected and inhibited by various factors. These include baseline genetics, as well as lifestyle factors such a smoking, alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
By doing a detox, Kim says, you’re getting your body back to simple, baseline nutrition – as long as you’re including a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
“A smoothie is a convenient way of getting lots of nutrients condensed into a small volume and, with these smoothies, you don’t miss out on any of the important fibre, because everything goes into them,” she says.
While the idea of a smoothie might make you think of a liquid, many of the Propa smoothies are incredibly thick and you need a spoon to eat them! They are packed with a variety of nutrients, all of which support different detoxification systems in your body, from a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals to the various macro nutrients needed to keep your body going – carbs, proteins and healthy fats.
And they are delicious. In fact, I even felt a little guilty starting each morning off with the Propa-Choc-a-Holic smoothie … it was almost like eating a decadent chocolate dessert for breakfast!
Kim admits that this is not a very low-calorie approach to a detox, but rather a ‘reset’, which means you are left feeling satiated and not starving between each smoothie. “While we are maybe decreasing your overall intake, we don’t want you to feel ravenous between meals. Often when you do cut down too much, your body panics and goes into ‘conservation’ mode.”
The Propa three-day cleanse comprises of five comprehensive (and yummy) Propa smoothies every day for three days. They come frozen and every night you simply take out your five smoothies to defrost for the following day.
Unlike most other cleanses, I didn’t feel sluggish, grumpy, ‘headachey’ and unable to continue with my normal exercise regime. I admit I allowed myself one cup of (black) coffee every day (because, life!) and that probably helped with not having severe detox headaches, but other than that it was just still or sparkling water and herbal teas all the way!
The first smoothie of the day (the decadent Choc-a-Holic previously mentioned), is thick and incredibly filling (you need a spoon to eat this one) and sets you up for a good start to the day! It’s made from banana, peanut butter, pea protein, cocoa, chia, almond milk, vanilla extract and Himalayan salt.
Smoothie number two is a Pink Flamingo and it’s full of yummy fruit like pineapple, strawberry, dragonfuit, banana and lemon, as well as cashews, almond milk, cold presses beetroot juice, chia and pea protein.
Your lunchtime smoothie is called the Green Machine, but don’t worry, it’s doesn’t taste very ‘green’! It’s packed with goodness, with banana, almond milk, peanut butter, pea protein, chia, hemp seeds, moringa, spirulina and dates. The late afternoon smoothie, Wild Berry, is fruity and refreshing, made with strawberry, mango, banana, blueberry, almond, rice protein, chia, almond milk, cold pressed beetroot juice, dates and ginger.
Your night time ‘dinner’ smoothie is thick and decadent and also definitely needs to be eaten with a spoon. It’s called the Propa Nut Case and is nice and filling with sweet potatoe, pecans, almonds, dates, chia, pea protein, almond milk, maca, cinnamon and vanilla extract. So very yum.
Overall, I absolutely loved doing this three-day cleanse. It was really manageable in terms of my busy lifestyle and I was able to continue doing exercise and slept really well. After the three days I felt healthy, rebooted and refreshed and will certainly look at doing this a few times a year to reset my body. The cost is R600 (for all 15 smoothies).
Text: Leah Shone