Finding the Balance

“Balance. The Ultimate Goal”

Life Balance. For each of us, what we consider to be a ‘balanced’ life may be vastly different; finding that all-important balance is a matter of personal choice, it’s about understanding what’s important to us as individuals and learning to identify which areas of our lives require more attention. The majority of us struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance; the fast pace, stress and pressures of our hectic work lives, combined with family responsibilities and social pressures, mean that we end up with very little time for ourselves. When our work and personal lives are not balanced our stress levels are significantly raised; I often hear people say that they would like to be healthier or reduce the stress that’s building up in their lives, but that they struggle to find the time. Just remember, you are the most important person in your life, and it is therefore essential that you make time for yourself. Not having enough time is a poor excuse; it is often the smallest changes which can make the biggest difference, we simply need to evaluate what is important to us as individuals and try to eliminate the things in our lives which take up unnecessary time or add unnecessary pressure. I too am guilty of not doing so; there was a long period of my life when I placed importance on things which added no real value, and it wasn’t until much later that I realised this was the cause of my stress, anxiety and unhappiness. Eventually, over time, I began to make small changes which would ultimately change the course of my life forever, creating a happier and healthier balance. That journey is far from over, I’m still challenged by these ideas, I am still learning and I am not yet ‘balanced,’ but I am on the path to a more fulfilled and purposeful life, and for that I am thankful.


Finding the balance in life isn’t all about exercising and getting fit, it’s about making the time to take care of number one. Family and friends are important and we need to make time for them too; spend quality time with them, eat together and play games or spend time outdoors. We should also try to minimise the time we spend doing things that are not essential or beneficial to our lives or which add little value. That’s not to say we should stop having fun, everyone needs to let their hair down; even I can admit that sometimes unwinding with friends over a bottle of wine makes the world of difference to my week. I’ve learnt not to be too hard on myself, because at the end of the day it’s all about balance and that means enjoying a little bit of everything (yes, even the occasional chocolate). A well-balanced person is more productive, attentive, focussed and mentally aware; they are able to spend more time and energy on attaining their goals and moving forward in a meaningful way. There are no hard and fast rules, we just need to learn to take care of the important things first, and not worry too much about things we cannot change. As they say, don’t sweat the small stuff.


Make a choice to make a change. The extra hour I used to spend up at night became the hour I spend running every morning, because that is the choice I made. The chocolate bar after dinner has been replaced by fruit. The bus ride has been replaced by a short cycle; which works out to take roughly the same length of time (door-to-door). These are small changes, but the effect that they have on the rest of my life have been inimitable. My productivity during the day has increased, allowing me to work fewer hours and get more done. I am calmer, more focussed, more driven and more relaxed. The beginning is often the hardest part and we quit because we expect things to change overnight. Take running for example; I used to absolutely detest running, it seemed like the most unfathomable idea on earth that anyone could possibly enjoy doing something so monotonous. Now I love it, I love being able to push myself further than I’ve been before; I still have days where it’s difficult, but they are fewer and further apart. The trick with all of this is to stick with it; we all fall off the path occasionally, we just have to find the motivation to get back up and try again. If running is your thing, find someone to run with or join a running club. If you enjoy the warm confines of the gym but can’t afford a personal trainer, then perhaps all you need is a training partner. If you like to train alone then you might simply need some inspiration to help keep you motivated, so do your research and find what works you. As I said, YOU are the most important person in your life, you deserve to be happy, and only you can make the changes required to bring balance to your life. Trust yourself, and whatever happens, don’t quit, because one day you will be better than you ever thought you could be.

“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”

–           Jack Canfield

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PUREARTH Juice Cleanse – Day 7

Bananas, today I thought of nothing besides bananas. I thought about bananas because I was cold, tired, and thought that perhaps if I ate only a banana that I would a) feel a lot better, and b) that it wouldn’t really be cheating because it’s only one banana and bananas are fruit. No, I didn’t eat a banana; instead I beat that banana craving right out of my head. I have been true to my word and stuck it out, even though today is my Birthday and I want nothing more than to devour an entire slab of rich and sticky chocolate cake; which is unusual since I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate cake. This is neither here nor there however; the point is, today was tough. This was, I’m fairly certain, due to the fact that I had in the back of mind, the niggling thought that I could begin reintroducing food to my life tomorrow, and since I’m impatient by nature, I naturally wanted tomorrow to be today. The wait is almost over; almost, but not quite.

It’s been a very cleansing week, and one I am proud to say I have completed with flying colours; no cheating and no issues of any kind, or at least none that I can think of. Although I’m told my moods have not always been as consistent as I thought. I’ve really enjoyed the experience and although it seemed daunting and almost impossible to begin with, it does get easier, it isn’t the Everest I though it would be and I’ve come through the other side with an entirely new perspective on cleansing. I’d like to try a longer cleanse at some point, but I might wait a while as I think it would be a really great thing to do at the end of winter when my body really needs it again. It’s made me appreciate food in an entirely new way, it’s given me a chance to relax and take some time out for myself without hard exercise, and it’s helped to restore a little balance to my life. I began with no expectations and a lot of self-doubt, I have found out more about myself through this than I have during some of my hardest runs, and I have left with a sense of pride.

Not only has this been extremely beneficial physically – I have a glowing complexion, have lost a few pounds of excess water and fat, have stronger and healthier hair and nails and feel light as air – but the mental benefits have been equally profound and I really couldn’t ask for more. So, to sum this experience up in as few words as possible; it’s been emotional, it’s been fun, it’s been tough and it’s  definitely worth a try. No regrets. I have to thank the amazing Angelina, co-owner of PurEarth alongside the beautiful Tenna, who has made my journey that much more enjoyable with her constant support and her unstoppable enthusiasm; you are a diamond and I couldn’t have done it without you! If you’re thinking about doing a cleanse, this is definitely the one to try; the personal attention and exceptional service make it a much smoother ride, and the juices taste pretty fantastic.

PUREARTH | | | Tenna +44 7769 251 782 | Angelina +44 7875 263 101

PUREARTH Juice Cleanse – Day 6

I couldn’t really write this last night due to the fact that I wanted to experience it all first before sitting down to review the effects. Last night I began a full liver cleanse which was interesting, to say the least, and which I am now in the process of completing. It involves drinking a lot of Epsom Salt water, which sounds terrible, and yes, it really is awful. I can’t think of anything worse than trying to drink salt water. I started day 6 with the usual hot water and lemon, followed a Kefir (probiotic) drink which was neither very nice nor particularly unpleasant. This was swiftly followed by the usual MORNING juice and some light yoga, a bit of work and then a MID-DAY juice. The instructions I was given informed me that there would be no more juice for the day and nothing was permitted past 2 pm, until I began the liver cleanse at 6pm. Very strict rules to follow, but nonetheless helpful to someone who would otherwise be completely in the dark without them. Yesterday was extremely productive and positive and I had a fantastic day all in all, that was of course until I got home at 6 and started drinking salt water.

There isn’t much in this world that I won’t try but this is definitely a first; I haven’t simply stuck to the rules of the cleanse, I’ve gone all out to try and get the most from my detox and ensure that I receive the maximum benefits from it. It’s been really good so far, and I may have exaggerated just a little about the salt water; yes it tastes pretty foul, but the effects it has on the body are well worth it. So, with my strict guidelines in hand, I meticulously executed my intake of salt water, my evening enema, and then finally, as instructed, drank a small bottle of Olive Oil and fresh pressed Grapefruit juice immediately before bed. I then had to lie down for 30 minutes and go to sleep – hence my not being able to write this post last night as I normally would have done. This morning I woke up and had to drink more salt water; lucky me! Today is in fact Day 7, the final day of the detox; it also just so happens to be my Birthday. I am feeling pretty good, despite the salt water, and am really excited about completing the final day of this cleanse. My only hope is that I don’t undo all this hard work in the next few days with all the Birthday celebrations we have planned.

PUREARTH Juice Cleanse – Day 5

Late start; hey it’s a Sunday, the day of rest right? So I get a free pass for being lazy this morning, especially since I have more than made up for it throughout the day. Started the day at 10am and worked non-stop on web stuff and writing till 10pm, and for some reason the entire day just seemed to slip away from me; before I could think about anything else I suddenly realised it was getting dark. Remembering that I had made a promise to myself to run today, I leapt up, dressed at light speed and dashed out the door for a quick spin as the sun went down. I don’t normally do this, running is a morning exercise for me, but with the lack of physical exertion I have been subjected to this week, my mind felt like it needed to escape into the cold and the quiet for a while. I have been feeling very off-balance today, not quite dizzy, but I have found it difficult to focus or maintain a straight line when walking; I have no idea if this was the juice cleanse or if I simply have a little inner ear problem today. Either way, it had no effect on my run, which was fantastic, even the rain couldn’t dampen my mood. My run was followed by a really long soak in an Epsom Salt Bath courtesy of PUREARTH, which is meant to draw out all the nasty toxins from the skin. It was heavenly, my skin felt great and my entire body seemed thankful for the chance to relax and unwind in peace and quiet. My eyes got their break from the computer screen and my mind finally had a chance to slow down into a clear space without a single thought. I felt at peace. Light and clean and somewhat tired but not exhausted; content. I wish more days were like this, productive and yet totally relaxing at the same time. I think this has been the perfect Sunday, and the perfect preparation for the week ahead, which as far as I can tell, is going to be a pretty full-on week. So, in preparation for Monday, I am now awaiting the last of my 3 Juice Box deliveries with nail-biting anticipation. I can’t wait; only two more days! I know that on Wednesday I will be able to eat again, but I’m not sure how I feel about that since I’m really quite enjoying this process. Going to make a more regular habit out of Juice Cleanses. The girls at PUREARTH should be proud, I am one tough nut to crack, and I am now totally convinced.

PUREARTH Juice Cleanse – Day 4

It’s HUMP DAY!! I made it half way, and then some, and I am feeling really proud of myself for making it this far without caving in to temptation. The temptations to eat are far from gone, but they are fewer and that can only be a good thing. I didn’t get enough sleep last night; I went out for dinner with some friends (and was the only person not eating) and got home fairly late, I then had to be up at the crack of dawn to go house-hunting and Christmas shopping in the rainy gloom that is so typical of winter in London. Despite this obvious lack of rest I still felt absolutely great today; I seem to have more energy with each day that passes and I can see and feel my body cleansing itself. The first 3 days of the cleanse I could feel my skin flushing out toxins, it felt heavy and oily, but today was the first time it felt clear; I woke up with a bright complexion and had several people comment that I was ‘glowing,’ which made me very happy indeed. On the first and second day of my PurEarth Juice Cleanse I felt as though the world was against me and I almost didn’t believe I could do this, but now that I’ve managed to pass the half way mark, and do it with such enthusiasm and energy, it’s made me realise that I am capable of far more than I once thought.

People may have mixed views about juice cleansing, but if it makes me feel this good, and right now I feel better than I have in a very long time, then it must be something special. It’s not easy, I’ll give you that, but it is more than worth it. This isn’t a trend that I see disappearing any time soon; it’s rooted in the basic knowledge that raw foods, particularly in liquid form, are extremely beneficial to the body as well as the mind. This is not new science, this is ancient history, quite literally. Our ancestors ate mostly raw fruit and vegetables, as well as the occasional portion of meat when it was available, which indicates that our bodies are best suited to these types of basic food sources. Over time we have modified our food and most of it now contains numerous toxins and additional waste that our bodies cannot process and which therefore have a negative affect on our systems. Organic fruit and veg is not a new thing, it’s simply our way of trying to get back to our roots and eat as naturally and healthily as possible without the addition of harmful chemicals. When organic fruits and vegetables are consumed in juice form, our bodies are able to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients possible without having to process the parts we do not use. This means we are getting all the good stuff, and none of the bad, or anything which is surplus to requirement. Not only am I getting everything I need in terms of daily nutrition, but my mind is clearer and my body lighter because I have far fewer toxins weighing me down. Basically, the bottom line is, if it feels good, it probably is.

PUREARTH Juice Cleanse – Day 3

Aside from the fact that today just happened to be a gorgeous sunny day in London town, it was also the best day I have had on this detox so far. I felt a little tired when I first woke up but once I had a shower and left the house for a busy day of work I suddenly had incredible energy. Talk about positivity, today was the most productive, fun, nourishing and positive day I have had in a long time, and I didn’t think about food once. This must be the first day in my life I have not thought about food, or at least it feels that way since the past two days I have barely stopped thinking about food; my new food-free thoughts are making me very happy. I was in a rush this morning as I’d woken up late and had no time to do anything before heading out to my meetings, so I packed my MORNING detox juice and MID-DAY detox juice along with 1.5 litres of ph Super Green Water, and off I went. Apart from the weight of carrying the juice around all day, I really enjoyed knowing that even if I had to sit through a lunch meeting I would still have something to drink which would substitute actually having to eat. It makes a big difference and I wasn’t envious of anyone who was eating around me at all; I happily drank my juice and chatted about it when people started to ask questions about my detox. It felt good to be outside and be keeping busy, and I imagine it probably helped keep the thoughts of food at bay.

So, day 3 and still going strong, stronger than ever in fact. I am impressed with my self-will and sheer determination, as well as my ability to overcome the cravings and stay positive throughout. It’s amazing what we can do when we simply put our minds to something and change the way we think. I have a feeling this is going to have a profound effect on my health as well as my attitude towards other challenges I face in my usual diet and fitness regime. It’s easy to give up on things when we feel tired or defeated, but sticking it out is always far more rewarding and there is no guilt involved, only a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. We all have bad days, we all fall off the wagon occasionally when we are dieting or trying to keep fit and healthy, and that’s natural. When you set out to do something as specific as this however, there needs to be a greater sense of importance placed on it in order to make it through each day without giving up. It’s fair enough to have a couple of bad days in a month of healthy eating and training hard, but this is different, this is not a long-term operation, it’s short and intense and should be treated with mindful respect. I have had an immensely eye-opening and positive day and feel grateful for my strength of body and mind for getting me through this so well. I am looking forward to tomorrow and am excited about the effect this is having on my life.

PUREARTH Juice Cleanse – Day 2

So today is the second day of my juice cleanse and it’s been a quiet day on all fronts. I started the day well enough, pretty much the same as yesterday, just with a little less energy. Today has been a peaks-and-troughs kind of day; I’ve been a pendulum of energy, one minute I have absolutely none, and the next minute I have what feels like boundless energy that might well last forever, but doesn’t. In fact, my short energy bursts seem to last no more than 20 minutes, during which time I try to make the most of them by writing furiously or doing household chores as I have been working from home all day. Then I have energy slumps which last much longer, anything up to an hour and a half. Once or twice today I almost nodded off, although I didn’t get very much sleep last night so I won’t be blaming this entirely on the detox. On a more positive note I am craving food far less, and the hunger seems to come occasionally, though not nearly as often as yesterday, which is a big step in the right direction for me. I’ve been very distracted today too so work has been somewhat drawn out and painful; again, this may be due to my lack of sleep and not the detox. I was heading out for a Bikram Yoga class this evening and am quite glad I ended up having to work instead since I’m not sure I would have managed an hour and a half class in a hot room feeling the way I did. Still, not feeling too bad, no headaches or anything strange to report. I think the test will be day three; tonight I plan to have an early night and catch up on some much needed sleep before tackling the third day of this detox. I am considering a light jog in the morning too, if I feel up to it, which might actually help with the energy levels.

Now, there is something I should tell you about this detox that I am really quite impressed with. The Juice! Yes, it’s a juice detox and there is no food involved and perhaps that sounds quite tedious, however, with juice that tastes this good it’s actually become quite a pleasurable experience. I have found myself drinking much slower than I normally would because I want to savour the flavour, and then when it’s gone I start looking forward to the next one. Not because I’m hungry or because my body needs it, purely because I genuinely enjoy drinking them. When the juice arrived 2 days ago I thought I might not enjoy having the same juice every day; today I had the same juice as yesterday and somehow it was still interesting and still refreshing. There is only one part of the cleanse I don’t enjoy quite as much, and that’s the Bentonite Clay and Psyllium husk drink; it tastes a little like oats and chalk in water, and although it makes my tummy happy, it’s not exactly the most exciting thing on the menu. This is a small price to pay for the incredible benefits of the whole process though, and its not bad in any way, just somewhat flavourless. I can live with that. I am thoroughly enjoying the juice; I’m even thinking about taking this to new extremes and trying out the 14 Day Juice Cleanse in January once the Christmas season has restored my toxin levels and I start to feel the need to be clean again! I’m not committing to anything yet though, let’s just see how I do on a 7 day cleanse first; if everything is still running smoothly on by 7 then I will definitely be doing this again very soon.