Jason Vale’s 5lbs in 5 Days Big Juice Challenge With Free Recipes & Support!

imageFrom the 4th – 8th September 2017, Jason Vale (aka the the Juicemaster) is holding a free Big Juice Challenge using his 5lbs in 5 Days programme, which is available free if you join up via Big Juice Challenge (the photo is just for illustration, you don’t get physical products, it’s all online).

You will receive free shopping lists, juice recipes, coaching videos and can join in with his Facebook group to ask questions, compare results and so on. Jason is very hands on with his support and encouragement, filming daily videos, answering questions, reading out progress tweets etc. And it’s all FREE! (If this one’s a little too short notice, he does them about 3 or 4 times a year, so watch out for the next one).

(If you want more information and support, you can buy an inexpensive app and/or the book, which is great for getting into the whys and wherefores of juicing for health, how the food and diet industries work and is an easy, often humorous read to keep you on the straight and narrow).

What’s more, the Retro Cold Press Juicer is currently on offer with £100 off the RRP.

I have done this challenge and several of his others many times, in fact I’ve just completed this one a little early as it conflicts with family birthdays. I’ve experienced many improvements in several health issues (read about my first juicing experiences  Juicing: How to Begin or Do As I Say, Not As I Did! ).

My weight levelled out soon after I began juicing nearly 4 years ago and varies by about 5lbs depending on the season, how many birthday celebrations we’ve had etc. I don’t do much exercise due to a back injury, but I still manage to lose 4-5 lbs each time.

For me, the weight loss is incidental, it keeps me where I’m healthiest, but more importantly, the week of juices and blends helps reset my body, calms me down, forces me to take a break and take care of myself and to reassess my lifestyle. I do these programmes about 3 or 4 times a year, once each season basically. The rest of the time I have at least one juice a day and eat healthily and yes I still do have treats.

For those unsure about whether you can make it through 5 days of juicing, this is what you have to look forward to on Day Three:


Berry Banana Crunch! It is one of the most delicious blended juices and one of the most popular. It comprises 2 apples, juiced, blended with 1/2 a banana, 2 handfuls of mixed berries (fresh or frozen), 2 Tbsps live yogurt, 1 Tbsp mixed seeds, ice cubes. What’s not to like!

If anyone asks you where your protein/calcium/fibre/fats etc. are on a juice ‘diet’ ‘cleanse’  whatever, here it is:

This smoothie has it all: protein, potassium, calcium, magnesium, probiotics, b vitamins, antioxidants, fibre, healthy omega oils and so much more.

There’s a Sweet Beet Smoothie on the fifth day too which also has berries in it, Turbo with a Kick! on the first day is one of my favourite juices, it has pineapple and ginger in it which gives it a zing. It’s not all kale and spinach – though there is a fair amount! – all the juices are carefully balanced for nutrients and flavour especially to appeal to beginners.

I am a long term juicer, so I don’t have quite so much fruit in my juices now, the idea is to ease back over time as you get used to it.

I’ve compiled a list of links to my posts which provide information and support for juicing newbies, beginning with juicers and blenders and on to tips for juicing success, find them in Juicing Posts: Advice, Reviews, Tips & Tricks in the Menu at the top of this post. I also have posts where you can follow my progress through a 5lbs in 5 Days programme and also a SuperJuiceMe! 14 day challenge – again, you’ll find them in the Menu.

Here are just a few that might help:

My Top 20 Tips for Juicing – updated to 25!

Are You in Need of a Juice Boost?

What To Do If You Feel Hungry on a Juice Plan or Don’t Need To Lose a Lot of Weight

 Which Juicer? – Where to Begin?

Juicemaster Retro Super Fast Juicer: Review

Super Juicing: I Feel Good! Now What? 11 Tips on How To Maintain Your Juicy Success

Also, Aldi frequently have well-reviewed juicers on special offer, a good buy for a beginner.

All information in these posts is for guidance only and based on my own experience or research. Please consult a doctor before embarking on a juice programme, especially if doing so for the first time, and do your own research.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

5 lbs in 5 Days: Which Path Will You Take?


Congratulations! You’ve completed the 5 lbs in 5 Days Juice Challenge! How do you feel? Can you see the improvements in your hair, skin, eyes? Do you feel lighter, no bloating, flatter tummy? Are you sleeping better, do you have more energy? Are you more patient with those around you?

Reflect on how you feel for a few minutes and compare and contrast with how you felt before. Do you want to keep this spark, this sense of being really alive, of appreciation and gratitude; do you want to hold on to the pride you are now feeling, the self-esteem?

Well, then, you have a decision to make. Will you continue your plant-based regime, using whole fruits and veg, full of vitamins and minerals; wholegrains, nuts and seeds with their healthy oils, protein and B vitamins?

Will you continue to have at least one juice a day or perhaps have a couple of juice-only days a week?

Or will you travel down the slippery slope and find yourself back eating burgers or pizzas and processed sugary foods? Maybe your family don’t want you to continue? They may with good intentions be concerned about your protein or your calcium but sometimes, seeing you change can be unsettling for them. Perhaps you think you are being a spoilsport because your friends want you to go out for a drink and a takeaway? Or you’re not sure you have sufficient motivation on your own?

In my experience, no amount of talking, explaining or encouragement will win over the sceptics. What does win them over is leading by example.

People will look at you and think, wow, she is looking so healthy, her eyes sparkle, she is so much happier, how do I get to feel like that?

So how do you keep yourself on the path you have chosen? You may have just taken the first step or you may be rebooting after taking a detour. Try to surround yourself with like-minded friends. Keep following this or other plant-based blogs for reinforcement, tips and recipes. Maybe find a Facebook group or Twitter juicers/healthy eaters if your friends are not quite there yet.

Jason Vale* has several books and apps that provide motivation and recipes to help you keep on the straight and narrow. I have tried most of them and can recommend them. I use them often.

If possible, try to spend this weekend continuing to juice but have a large salad as your lunch or evening meal today.


Sit at the table, eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Appreciate all the flavours and textures. On Sunday, still juice and perhaps have a light soup or something like Stir-fry Veg With Ginger and Avocado (but omit the nuts this time).


If you eat fish, then steamed or baked salmon and steamed or baked veggies. Try not to over-eat, your eyes will probably be bigger than your stomach! Keep grains to a minimum to begin with, every other day, after the weekend. Ease back into eating wholefoods gradually, your digestion will appreciate it!

If you’re a parent of young children, just watching you juice every day will make it the norm and will go a long way in helping you to maintain your healthier lifestyle. Letting them choose the ingredients and help with the juicing will reap benefits in the long term. The 2 toddlers in our family are already avid juicers. (If they are very young, be sure to dilute it well). Introducing more fruit and veg by being creative or ingenious – or downright sneaky! – will provide more variety in their diet and keep them healthier. Spiralising is a great idea, such fun for kids to watch and test the results.


Replacing sugary ice lollies or ice-cream with real fruit frozen smoothie lollies or banana, cacao or peanut butter nice-cream will help wean them off so much refined sugar. Or look at the raw treats recipes on this or other blogs.

L to R: Sweet potato brownies, Grab yourself a slice of energy, home-made raw chocolate, Spicy Orange Fruit Balls, Go-Go Berry Fudge. 


For more help see I Feel Good- What Now?

You are Amazing! Keep it up!


Copyright: Chris McGowan

5 lbs in 5 Days: Day 1 Motivation


Today is the first day of your journey to a healthier life!

Congratulations on making the decision and following through. The sun was shining when I opened the curtains, always a great start to a juice cleanse, and it felt so good to open the windows and breathe fresh air. Central heating is so stifling and dehydrating. My skin feels parched after the winter months and I can’t wait to see the results of a week of juicing, improvement in your skin is usually the first thing you notice when you begin juicing.

Don’t panic if you gain a spot or two! Your skin is a major player in detoxing, internal problems are often mirrored in your skin and when your body is cleansing, your liver and kidneys are working hard so your skin gives a helping hand to eliminate the rubbish you have accumulated. They will soon disappear.


Turbo with a Kick, one of my favourites!

Today’s tips:

The timings on the app are for guidance only. When I did my first cleanse I found some gaps between juices too long and others too short. I was getting too hungry sometimes and forcing down juices at others. Don’t let your blood sugar dip too low but don’t force anything down either.

Sip your juices slowly while sitting down and try to do so without working or texting at the same time. Take time out to just juice.

I recommend investing in a set of stainless steel straws like the one in the photo. They are dishwasher safe and come with a tiny cleaning brush. It is better for your teeth to sip rather than drink juices and also better for you and the environment to ditch the plastic straws. They are inexpensive and can be bought on Amazon.

Rinse your mouth out after each juice but don’t use a brush until after 20 minutes.


Get a good night’s sleep.

Juice Master

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Pears But No More Parsnips: In Which I Confront My Parsnip Phobia!


 Parsnip-Free Zone!

In our family, everyone is allowed one vegetable they dislike and can choose to avoid: my daughter’s is Brussels sprouts – though perversely she chooses to eat them at Christmas! – my son doesn’t like cooked carrots (I used to grate them into stews and casseroles to hide them), and my husband picks out all the mushrooms. For me, as regular followers on Twitter will know, it’s parsnips. I hate parsnips. No, that’s not quite true: I have a real phobia about parsnips. Just writing the word makes me wince and feel queasy. I shudder at the mere thought.

I have no idea how this began. I don’t recall any parsnip trauma growing up. I don’t ever remember them being served up, though my mum eats them when offered. She even brought a can of Parsnip Soup with her recently – vegetarian or otherwise, I was nearly sick! imagePerhaps my dad didn’t like them. My own family is split firmly down the middle when it comes to this vegetable: my husband and daughter love them while my son and I recoil in horror whenever they appear. In our house, they are bought, prepared, cooked and served by my husband once a year at Christmas, when he makes roast parsnip chips. He loves them.

It’s not just the taste that is off-putting to me, there are other root vegetables that I’m not keen on, like swede and turnip, but I still have them in soups and stews.

Nope, it’s the smell! I can’t be anywhere near the kitchen when parsnips are being peeled. I have tried, really tried to get over this. I haven’t felt this strongly about a vegetable since my first pregnancy when I couldn’t be around potatoes in any way, shape or form.

When I first began juicing (see My First Juice Plan: Advice for Beginners or Do As I Say Not As I Did!), I followed Jason Vale’s 5lbs in 5 Days juicing plan. I was so excited at this new challenge, looking forward to not just losing some of the weight that had crept up during the previous year, but having more energy, feeling more alert and generally a lot healthier.

I did so well. The plan delivered in every respect: as promised, by Day 4 I was on a ‘juicy high’.

But, dear reader, imagine my dismay, my sheer horror when Day 5 came around and there, right front and centre was not one but two (!) juices called Pear ‘n’ Parsnip! Jason promised I would be surprised and have ‘a newfound respect’ for the humble parsnip.

I summoned up the strength and determination of hundreds of doughty ancestors, intent on not falling at the final hurdle. I even attempted to peel the parsnips myself, with a scarf over my face! I will admit, it wasn’t as I expected and I did drink them both down, but I can’t say it was a pleasant experience – because I could still smell them!

Not to be discouraged by my first attempt, I tried again a few months later. I am nothing if not stubborn and determined, I don’t like something to get the better of me.

But, Jason, I’m sorry, you did your best, I know you did, but I can’t, I just can’t…

Except that I did! In December, I began following Natural Juice Junkie‘s Winter Cleanse 2015. Loved the Winter Slammer (see Juicy Winter Warmers), The Beet Goes On, the raw Pea and Mint Soup and Pearfection.

But what’s this on Day 2? Hang on, not just Day 2 but Day 4 – twice: ‘Back to my Roots’, which means *4* parsnips in total!

Well, nothing ventured nothing gained, I am no wimp. Down the hatch they went. Still didn’t like them. But I did it. Very proud of myself. That’s it then.

But no, there was more!!

On Day 5, I discover the final meal of the plan is – drum roll – Parsnip and Ginger Soup which also has not 1, not 2, but *4* parsnips in the ingredients list!

Neil, you’ve broken me. I can’t go on. I have to draw the line. From now on I shall be replacing parsnips with squash. Or sweet potato. Total immersion therapy has not worked for me!


Here is my take on Jason’s Pear ‘n’ Parsnip Juice, replacing the parsnip with sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are full of antioxidants, B vitamins, Vitamin D, magnesium, iron and potassium.
Use organic if possible, scrub well and leave the skin on for extra nutrients and flavour. You won’t be disappointed!
(Unless you have a sweet potato phobia!)

image    Ingredients

1 Apple, 2 Pears,
1 large sweet potato
Half a lime, peeled but with the pith still on
Few sprigs of mint

Juice all the ingredients and pour over ice. So refreshing. Cheers!

Update: My daughter-in-law, who loves parsnips, recently posted a video for my benefit of my 3 year old grand-daughter chomping on a raw ‘yellow carrot!’ <sigh> My daughter-in-law loathes celery and so my son delighted in posting this rejoinder: ‘don’t worry, I fed them both celery afterwards!’

Disclaimer: Please remember, these are my personal experiences. If you think you may wish to embark on a juice plan, be sure to consult your doctor first.

Jason Vale/Juicemaster

Natural Juice Junkie Home

Copyright: Chris McGowan