Billie Radwan, founder of Billie in the Forest – a personalized and tailor made fruit and vegetable juice maker, which turns one next month – starts her day at 5 AM. “It’s beautiful from where we work. I once heard that we witness dawn everyday to know that after darkness comes the light. That’s what I tell myself to get up,” she tells us. It’s at dawn that Billie and her team get their creative juices flowing and start juicing right away. “We study each client profile the night before and develop concoctions then. People are different and so are their juices,” Billie says. “We almost never make the same juice twice because each juice is tailor made to suit each individual’s needs and taste buds. So, we wake up, juice, bottle, pack and deliver.”
And so far, Cairo’s loving it. “My program isn’t extreme. You’re given two juices a day – one to replace a meal and another to replace a snack. The rest of the day you should be eating clean – nice home cooked meals,” she shares. “People were relieved. They thought they were in for a starvation plan and then they found a nutritious one!”
Therein lies the beauty of Billie and her forest. Rather than shocking the system through a typical juice fast, Billie is offering a much gentler cleansing program for each client. Here’s how it works: Clients fill out a questionnaire. Billie then works her magic assessing which fruit and vegetable creations are right for them. Trying to get pregnant? Billie has just the juice for you. Dealing with acne, constipation, fatigue or all of the above? Bille knows what fruit and vegetable combination to prescribe sending you your juices with a hand written note so you know just what to do. And while your liver and digestive tract get the individualized rest they need, your body, mind and soul won’t be forced into detox survival mode, as maintaining a clean eating plan is imperative to the program. It’s nurturing your body with minimal effort as Billie describes it – the way it should be.
“With every client, with every walker through the Forest, we heal together, adding to each other’s lives. My work is all about healing,” Billie, who is studying to be a homeopath, confesses. “Everyone walks this earth with a mission. And mine is to help and heal. This is not selfless you know, because this heals me too!”
It was after a juicing retreat held in El Gouna by the Nun Center with Nader Montasser that Bille found her calling. “I came back to juice for myself and ended up with this project. At first, we were a little less structured then we are now,” she says as she goes on to describe the small team she works with today (“Our Forest guardian, Hania, our drivers, Khaled and Mohamed, our amazing art director, Shahana, and our purchasing guy Sameh.”) Not to mention, “an army of family and friends who go through the fire for this brand. My mom once chopped 40 pineapples and broke 50 coconuts to help me make a Pina Colada. I owe her my life, my sanity and all of the smiles ever drawn on my face.”
“I salute all mamas out there,” Billie continues. “That is one hell of a job. You ladies are priceless!” And we salute you Billie, because you too are doing one hell of job giving us all good reason to love and nurture our bodies for the better. And that is priceless.
“Eat the spice/herb/local dish of the country you’re visiting upon arrival. It boosts immunity.
“Be selfish when it comes to taking care of yourself. Breathe fully and drink plenty of water too.”
“Don’t juice fast. Instead, include meals. Don’t worry if you start releasing emotions – detoxing is a mental, emotional and physical process. And don’t depend on anything for too long. Even my juices.”
“Eat and enjoy the food you’re savoring. But don’t make food a relationship or drug. Food is fuel. So stay away from anything with fake coloring or long, chemical names and numbers. Eat bel hana wel sheffa.”
Rule for Life
“God is kind. But people will do their best to make you forget that.”
Trust the Juice
“No matter what you think you know or expect to achieve, the human body and the natural source of fuel – fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs – manifest together so well and will exceed all expectations.”