Following on from my “Failing to Self-Care” blog this last week has been a much different one. I have had Physio and the back is still sore but mywork load has been much lighter. I have managed to get some longer walks in with “River”, been out with friends twice mid-week, started a new knitting project and have booked an Alexander Technique lesson to learn about better back care. Life’s starting to feel a lot more balanced.
This week, Folks, I have started juicing. I have always loved fruit and vegetable smoothies, but they have been rather more fruit than vegetable and I knew I could do better. Having been a bit under the weather, I wanted to give my body and immune system a boost. With a back injury, I have missed my usual exercise, lost a bit of my bounce and the pounds have crept on.
Despite being inspired by all the tweets about Juice Master, known for weight loss and well-being, I am not one for gimmicks so was a bit sceptical. However, I concluded that so many people can’t be wrong and decided to join the “Juice Revolution”.
I have a lovely Twitter friend who I know is a big juicer called Nicki Hughes (@Waysidehealer) and a health bunny who believes in balance, so if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.
I contacted Nicki to find out which juicer she had and she kindly sent me her blog one rainy Sunday afternoon. I grabbed my laptop and ordered my “Fusion” by Express delivery along with the relevant books. Hubs took my shopping list along with his and fetched my “5Ibs in 5 days shopping list,” which you can download online. I was staggered by the sheer volume of produce and the whole lot cost me £33 for a week.
Monday morning and I unpacked the juicer ready to start juicing. I am not an instructions person; that’s what my husband is for, but he wasn’t here. Despite it saying on the side of the machine to read the instructions first, I ignored them. This eager beaver has trouble with waiting and understanding instruction manuals and I wanted to start my juice week straight away. Besides, how hard could it be? You put the veg in and it comes out as juice, right? WRONG!!!
An hour later, the kitchen was covered in juice and pulp, my dreams of 5 pounds in 5 days dashed and my juicing journey ground to a very abrupt holt. I declared the machine a gimmick and a right con and wondered how on earth Mr Vale had made such a f#@king fortune from selling such useless junk!!
Husband arrived home, agreed I should be getting more than a thimble of juice out of all that lot and also asked why it was leaking all over the place! He kindly helped me clean up the food-covered kitchen, slightly relieved that the mess-maker was going back! 10pm and the “Fusion Confusion” was over for that day. With the juicer cleaned and packed back up in its four boxes ready to be sent back to Amazon as faulty, Hubs settled down to his dinner and I stormed off to bed!
Next morning, I started to panic about not being able to get through the sheer volume of fruit and veg in smoothies as I hate food waste and contacted Nicki, who recommended the Fusion to tell her what I thought of it!
Nicki told me she had a few issues at first and sent me a link to a video, assuring me that I would get the hang of it and that I could stick with my beloved Vitamix but would be eating pulp, whereas juicing would give me better nutrition and weight loss results.
All it takes is a video for it to start to come clear as I watch the very bouncy, enthusiastic Jason Vale, aka @juicemaster feeding his fruit and veg in to his machine effortlessly and I start to giggle.
I did everything I wasn’t supposed to do!
I didn’t switch the machine on first;
I tried to juice avocado;
I shoved too much food through too quickly;
I put leaves through on their own;
I put unpeeled fruit through;
I had the spout up which caused an overflow;
I jammed the plunger in the wrong way and had to google how to get it out.
With renewed hope, I tried again and effortlessly juiced a whole glass of glorious goodness. I had gone from juicing, mad, Fusion confusion to just juicing mad and happy!
I concluded that indeed, juicing was time-consuming, but no more than preparing and cooking food. I decided I could cheat too and I took a quick walk to the shops with “River” for some bottles of water which I shamelessly emptied, as I wanted the bottles, not the water.
Now, I juice my day’s worth of juices and am enjoying watching them come out in varying colours and, to save more time prepare in bulk to go in the fridge and freezer. Fresh is best, but you could juice up to a week’s worth and freeze it. If you’re super rich you can order a week’s worth of juices from Juice Master delivered to your door, but that’s a short term solution.
Your own juicer is so much cheaper and more fun once you know what you are doing. I think kids would love it, especially juicing beetroot; the colours are awesome and then you get to drink it. Every mother should get one instead of forcing kids to eat broccoli! They can just drink it all in one great tasting juice!
I am a juice convert as it’s the easiest way to get maximum nutrition, you lose weight and the juices are lush! It does take a little time but no more than cooking and you can have a juicing hour and stock up your freezer if you are really busy. Grabbing your ready made juice is healthier than anything you will grab on the go from the supermarket or probably your cupboard. .
Jason addresses all the arguments in his books such as “What about the sugar content?”, “What about protein?”, “What about when you go back to eating normally and put all the weight back on?” so that you are ready when people tell you that eating fruit and veg is bad for you!
I admit that I didn’t manage 5 days of solid juicing. I had a friend over and we had chips and curry sauce and a couple of glasses of wine. I also went out for a Cantonese for dinner that had been scheduled long before my crazy juicing idea.
Verdict: Juicing is a great way of giving your body a boost from the inside and is safe and healthy. Even with two meals a day on a 5-day juice diet, I lost 5 pounds. I would have lost probabley more but was to exercise due to a back injury.
Yes, we can live on fruit and veg, but as Jason says in his books: “If you just lived on juice, life would be very boring and you would have no friends”. I totally agree with him as friends are too important not to spend time with and dinner and a glass of wine are rather nice.
I have eaten more fruit and veg this week than I have in a month and I feel better for it, I have consumed less junk and even the Cantonese made me reconsider my menu choices and opt for beansprouts instead of stodgy white rice!
I also liked Jason’s tip to substitute Costa/Starbucks drinks for peppermint tea with honey. It was very pleasant, soothing and I am a convert. I am not a coffee drinker but when I do want a hot choc from the big chains I will have one, but will otherwise be content with my herbal tea.
For fewer calories, sugar and caffeine, put the following in a mug of hot water:
Lemon, ginger and honey;
Mint leaves and honey.
I am juicing healthily, but won’t have juice for all my meals. I think I’ll combine solids with the juicing and if the weight creeps up again, I may attempt a juice week. Having got this far I am inspired to carry on jucing making sure I have maximum nutrition and hope to get off more pounds over the weeks.
Nothign should be an all-or-nothing affair; it has to be about balance. I am keeping my juicer and will stay juicing mad but no more Fusion confusion now. Juicing is sustainable for a healthier less fatter life.
Thanks to juciing friends I have been introduced to Able and Cole who deliver an organic juicing box with recipe cards, so it just gets easier to be healthier. Juicing doesn’t have to be hard work and I would strongly recommend Jasons book to get you started, so you know what you are doing and why. The Fusion also comes with a book of Funky Juices too.
I ask Heather who is an expert in Nutrition what she thought of Juicing this is a summary of her comments. She said juicing was a healthy but should be treated with respect and there are some things to consider.
Consider using organic produce so your not consuming large volume of pesticides
Be mindful to rotate of juices, so you get enough variety (Jasons plan does this)
Introduce Juices slowly and introduce solid food back in slowly as drastic changes may upset our bodies.
Don’t over use beetroot as this can mess with blood pressure
A 3 Juice may be better if your diet is very unhealthy.
If you need to contact Heather for a nutritional consultation she can be contacted via twitter @HSTurmel.
Useful links if you want to start juicing:
With thanks to Heather Turmel and Health Sanders for volunteering to edit my blog for grammar.