Brighdie Noriega Grounds wasn’t always a supermodel.
Once upon a time, she was an overweight sixteen-year-old with a love of all kinds of food. It wasn’t until she was approached by a modeling agent that she began to reconsider her approach towards her diet, investigating ways to safely lose weight while keeping her energy soaring.
After traveling the world, gracing the pages of Vogue and Marie Claire and posing for famous photographers from Helmut Newton to Terry Richardson, Grounds decided to study nutritional healing and juice for detoxification. Ultimately, she married that passion for health with a love of cooking in her whole foods- and juice-based Sirona Cleanse.
Initially, the experience was exclusive to her Sayulita, Mexico retreat. But, as of 2013, the former model began to offer the cleanse in LA, drawing fans from Gwyneth Paltrow to Monica Potter. (Today, it’s also available in Santa Barbara and Orange County and will be shipping nationwide in September.)
Here, she explains the importance of cleansing as a vacation for the body and soul:
Live The Process: How did your early years, growing up and then as a model, impact your engagement with health and wellness?
Brighdie Noriega Grounds: In my early teens, I was considered overweight.
When model agent Nicole Bordeaux approached me, she saw through that and gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Inspired to become my best self, I searched for ways to lose weight, but to do it in a way that would change me, not give me a quick fix.
The fact was that I loved food of all types—healthy and not.
When I changed my eating habits, I was amazed how it affected everything from the inside out: my digestion, skin, energy level. The weight came off slowly and steadily, and it stayed off.
Through this journey, I was inspired to research how food heals, fuels and changes us.
LTP: What inspired you to create the Sirona Cleanse?
BNG: As my career was coming to end, I knew that I wanted to apply my passion for natural healing and wellness in the next chapters of my life.
I enrolled myself in the Natural Healing Institute. I started to assist a Naturopathic Doctor.
I had always been revered as a “good cook,” especially for healthy food. But my calling was ignited when a friend asked me to guide her through a cleanse. At that moment, the Sirona Cleanse sprouted.
I began to apply my knowledge and love of cooking to formulating a nutrient-dense, high-fiber, alkaline, vegan and gluten-free whole foods and juice cleanse. I spent months developing recipes, creating savory dishes to aid in detoxing and increase digestion and elimination.
My mission was to make the Sirona Cleanse easy to follow and extremely flavorful, while producing amazing results.
LTP: Why is cleansing thoughtfully important?
BNG: Cleansing is quite simply giving your body a break from the day-in and day-out intense routine that we call “life.”
We overload ourselves with toxic thought, food and myriad other things. When we cleanse, we are healing internal organs, rebooting our endocrine system and detoxing our bodies on a cellular level.
My philosophy involves preparing your body for cleanse; do not just jump right into a juice cleanse. Going from A to Z in a day can shock your body.
At Sirona, we start with whole foods and guide you through the vacation your body desperately needs.
LTP: How often do you do your own cleanses? And what other self-care rituals do you incorporate into your life?
BNG: When I host a Sirona Cleanse, usually I do it as well. So, seven to twelve times a year I cleanse. I alternate between my two Sirona programs.
On a daily basis, I start my day with lemon-purified water. Although lemon is an acidic citrus fruit when you ingest it, your body turns it to alkaline.
In addition, I take, multivitamins, probiotics and omega 3s.
Another daily goal is to move my body, whether that means working on the property, surfing or hiking.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
BNG: For me, happiness does not come in the form of some “thing.” It is a feeling, an experience, a moment of appreciation.
Happiness is the smiles and laughter of my two young sons.
Gliding on a wave after it’s traveled thousands of miles to reach the shore.
The sound of my silence, while listening to nature’s orchestra.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how do you do that every day?
BNG: When I was younger, I was attached to the idea of how I imagined “it” to be instead of what “it” actually was, whatever that “it” may have been.
In life, we set our goals, make plans, dream big. Now, I know how important it is to be open to changes, turns and mistakes that we make along the way. It’s these setbacks and discoveries that shape who we are and who we become.
Stick with the plan until it changes. It inevitably will.
At the end of the day, it is about the adventure.