ILoveMe is proud to feature Qi Juices in its first edition. Qi Juices has been the first to introduce the juicing business in Lebanon and since then people are benefiting of their delicious and healthy line of fresh juices. These two ladies talk about their passion and commitment to health.
Hana Ali Reza and Leila Fakih
Hi Hana! Along with Leila you have been the first to launch Qi Juices detox in Beirut and we, at ILoveMe! just love your concept! So for ILoveMe! readers to know more about this beautiful venture, tell us where did you first hear about juicing and what sort of impact did it have on your life?
My husband gave me my first green juice at a juice bar in New York City about ten years ago. It didn’t look very appealing but I was intrigued, and that’s probably where the story begins. It took a few years before it became a regular part of my routine.
Tell us about your first cleanse, what was the experience like and the reason behind it?
I tried my first juice cleanse when I was in California about 5 years ago, and it was a fantastic experience. I had already changed my lifestyle quite a bit by then, I had 2 children and was eating mostly organic food already and exercising regularly, so I was in a very positive mindset about health and fitness.
So when was the absolute ‘ah-ha’ moment that made you think – I’ve got to spread this message?
I remember it exactly. I was running on the sand in California and I was on the second day of a 3-day juice cleanse and feeling very energetic and light. I remember running up some stairs overlooking the beach and getting to the top and feeling very positive and convinced that this was a good idea…it was probably the endorphins talking 🙂
Just to make it simple, what are the main detox benefits in five key points?
Very simply: It rests the digestive system, puts a stop to all the processed food and chemicals that we eat on a daily basis without even realizing it, cuts down sugar cravings, reduces bloating and a gives a personal sense of accomplishment.
To whom a juicing detox is addressed and who should NOT do the cleansing?
It’s important to point out that there is no need to do a full juice fast to benefit from juicing. It’s easy to add a few juices a week to your regular diet to get extra vitamins and minerals, and vegetable juices taken as a supplement to healthy diet has been widely used to treat many diseases, most notably cancer, as in Gerson Therapy.
Anyone pregnant or breastfeeding should not go on a juice cleanse, and anyone taking prescription medication should check with their doctor beforehand.
When starting a juice detox, what are the tips for a successful detox program?
Preparation is key. Like most things, the more you prepare for it, the better the outcome will be. Getting your body ready by cutting down on all processed and refined foods, as well as stimulants like soft drinks and coffee is a good start, and taking a moment to mentally set your intention also helps you stick to it. Like anything else, part of the key to success is mindset.
Where do you get your inspiration for creating your juices recipes?
When we started with the first set of juices for our cleanse program, we were very limited by local produce because we are committed to only using organic produce grown in Lebanon, and we were making a concerted effort to keep the sugar levels low, so we used very little fruit. Recently, we have been branching out and making juices that are not just for the cleanse program, which has freed us up to using some of delicious seasonal produce, like citrus fruits and melons, for example.
What is a simple daily detox juice one can make home?
This juice we are making today is called Start Fresh. We chose it to demonstrate because it’s a good juice to illustrate how you can really make any delicious juice with what’s already in your fridge. Some greens for the vitamins, in this case lettuce and spinach, some apples for sweetness, (you could also use pears or carrots or even grapes, but not too many!), and cucumbers or celery for the high water content. Once you have those three elements, you can flavor it according to what you like. We love adding parsley for it’s anti-bacterial properties, but you could also use ginger, lemon, or any fresh herbs you like.
Tell us what is happening in the world of Qi Juices right now?
Exciting things! We are working on a pop-up juice bar at the Beirut Digital District, which will be opening in January 2016 and are also developing a line of fit food to compliment our juices, including energy bites made without any refined sugars or flours.
As working mothers how do you balance life and work?
Is there such a thing?! J There are times when work is intense, and others when I can devote my attention to my personal life. Of course, I try the obvious things, planning out my week in advance, asking for help and trying to keep my energy levels up by living a healthy lifestyle so that I can give my best. Most important, I try to be present. That means that when I’m at work, I make an effort to give my full attention to what I’m doing so that I am focused and efficient, and so that when I do get home, I can give my all to my family without being stressed or distracted by loose ends from work.
If you had to sum up your beliefs and practice down into your top five key points that can have a profound impact on one’s quality of life, what would you advise ILoveMe! readers?
- Time for quiet each day. It has become so hard to listen to our own intuition when we are bombarded by information coming at us from every direction. It’s good to take a moment to slow down each day. Which brings me to point 2.
- Listen to your intuition. Our bodies have natural intuition and it’s important to tune into it. Rest when you’re tired, drink when you’re thirsty… and trust your instincts.
- Stay present. I have a hard time stopping my mind from wandering, but setting aside some quiet time each day has really helped me to develop this skill – it takes practice but it affects EVERYTHING. When my attention is in the present, it improves my effort during exercise, my enjoyment of precious moments, my performance at work, my appreciation of food …literally everything!
- Finally; Practice Gratitude. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of complaining, but people who practice gratitude tend to be less judgmental, aggressive or depressed. When you are truly grateful for what you have, it’s hard not to be happy!
And finally – I simply love QI Juice “Green Limonada”, what is your favorite veggie juice recipe?
Personally I love the simplicity of fresh apple and ginger, which I have as a small shot in the morning during the winter. I also tried a juice in California last summer made with greens and Brazil nuts, which are high in Selenium, (a brain food and immune supporter). It’s like a green-colored nut milk, which sounds a bit strange but I loved it because it was so different and delicious.