Time for some more juicing!
In my humble opinion there can never be too much information out there about fresh juicing.
I mentioned Lorraine in my previous post and she has kindly written what will shortly follow. I met Lorraine up the mountain in Turkey! She was one of the group taking part in a Jason Vale Juicy Mountain Retreat.
It would be fair to say that some of the group were pretty fit already and leapt up and down the nearby mountains with great determination and, dare I say it, joy! They attended every fitness/rebounding/yoga class on offer. However, some of us, for a variety of reasons were not quite so capable and able to take part in the same way. I, personally, found it challenging as my lungs did not really function fully. I decided as I previously mentioned to go on my own and walk at a pace that suited me and over the days I most certainly felt stronger.
Lorraine also took it at a different pace. However, on her return to Scotland she then rolled up her sleeves, girded her loins and really embraced juicing and getting fit. And now for Lorraine…..(anything in italics is me!)
If you want to look great and feel amazingly healthy, then adding freshly extracted juices and smoothies to your diet is going to do just that. There are also some added benefits too…if you have been looking for a sense of clarity, then you may just find it if you head down the detox route! If, like me, you have limited culinary skills, then juicing is a really easy way to have a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet, but you need to be brave and “go green”. Adding spinach and kale to your repertoire is a must for optimum health, but go easy on them at first so that your system knows what you are up to. Don’t let that stop you being brave and be inventive…I would never have discovered that asparagus is mighty fine in a juice, as are cauliflower, sugar peas and turnip. The jury, however, is out on red cabbage for me though!
I have twice been on a guided juice retreat. The second time being, May 2014, when I lost 12lbs in seven days. This was followed by three weeks of doing 2-3 juices a day plus a soup or salad, losing a further 4lbs. Then came “The Biggie”, a 28 day juice programme which I did at home. Now, if you had said to me that I would do this successfully, I would have laughed at you as I have not previously managed to complete a 7 or even a 3 day programme in the past at home. For me the key to my success has been being able to take time out from normal life to complete this (yes, unemployment has its benefits), as well as the support I have had on Facebook from friends and family.
Now on the whole it was pretty easy but, yes, there were a couple of days where I could have chewed my arm off. I stuck to it and kept going, losing 22lbs in total and dropping 3-4 dress sizes (depending on which shop). Unexpectedly, my feet shrank as have my hands, meaning that I have to shop for shoes and rings on top of a whole new wardrobe!! So start saving some money, you are going to need to go on a shopping spree!
In addition to the juicing I was doing between 2 and 4 hours of exercise every day during the programme, which had the gym instructors in awe of me. After all, “where was I getting all my protein from if I wasn’t eating meat?” And “how did I have all that energy?”, and “I would need to be careful I did not burn muscle”. At this point I burst out laughing, knowing how much “winter insulation” I was carrying around it would be a very long time before I was anywhere close to doing that, besides which my diet was well balanced and lacking in nothing nutritionally. The only difference being, I was drinking my fuel rather than eating it!
Don’t be alarmed if you are doing a 28 day plan and you find yourself becoming quite emotional. I have had complete strangers come up to me and complement me on how well I look. A lady at the gym, quietly said in my ear, “My god you are doing Amazingly, keep it up, you look fantastic.”
I have had a huge amount of support from friends and family, on and off Facebook which has helped me, and at times has been emotional as other people have felt inspired to change their lives on the back of what I am doing. It is really powerful!
For me, the next step is looking like it will be a predominantly raw diet, incorporating juice. However, I live in a country where it can get pretty cold, so I will be happy to warm myself up with a homemade tomato and basil soup in autumn or a veggie broth in winter.
My top tips for juicing;
- Do your homework and invest in a decent juicer and blender. You don’t have to spend hundreds, but the more you spend the better the quality and you will be using it every day.
- I would recommend starting with a 3 or 5 day plan. Get organised, read the books and get your shopping in…
- Where you can, buy organic. Cucumbers, celery and berries in particular have a high water content and are more adversely affected by pesticides. Bag and freeze your berries to reduce wastage and keep them fresh. ( do remember to remove green stalks from strawberries…not easy to do when frozen).
- Hide away all temptations, get rid of secret stashes of chocolate, give yourself the best chance of succeeding.
- Tell your friends and family what you are up to.
- Prepare yourself for some strange looks and comments, ignore them.
- Be prepared for the abundance of energy, make plans to burn it off. Do not be alarmed if on day 2 or 3 you feel a bit tired or lethargic. This is normal, you are detoxing.
- Make sure you have some flasks to store your juices in. This is really helpful if you are making double quantities in advance.
- Buy in bags of ice.
- Get some lovely glasses to drink your beautiful juices from.
- Buy some lovely straws so you can mix and match with the colour of your juice.
- BE CREATIVE AND GO FOR IT!
I should also add; if you have a health condition and are on any kind of medication please speak to your doctor before you start. If you feel able, ask them to run tests before and after your juice plan. They may be somewhat startled with the results at the end, particularly if you are doing the 28 day plan.
Get drinking the freshly extracted gorgeousness, you might just find a new lease of life from the humble fruit and veg!
Lorraine and I have both experienced the value of juicing and have Jason Vale to thank for inspiring us. I have read several of his books and also have a DVD. If you are considering embarking on this journey do look around at all that is available and really understand what it is you are doing for your body, mind and spirit. This is powerful medicine…what can be wrong about feeding yourself fresh, vibrant food.
As I wrote in my previous post Delights of Eating Raw, if in doubt, then take it slowly, as also mentioned by Denise Leicester in her article ‘Raw Beauty’ for OM Yoga Magazine. Start by simply having one juice a day and as your body adjusts to all that nutrition you may naturally be drawn to do more. Then incorporate a raw meal and so on. Or you may decide to just go for it….
Many thanks to Lorraine for sharing this part of her journey. I know that she has now got a passion for her own health and wellbeing. I hope that her words inspire others to eat…and drink their way to a vibrant, healthy sense of themselves. My love to all.