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:

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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

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Are You in Need of a Juice Boost?

I am!

Are you feeling heavy and sluggish, is your skin dull and dry? Are your hormones all over the place?

The seemingly endless Thanksgiving/Divali/Christmas/Hannuka/New Year season of festive food can leave us feeling tired and unhealthy, while the long dark days of cold and damp weather can mean not so much fresh air and exercise resulting in being a few pounds overweight. Centrally heated homes and offices make our skin dull and dry, our airways stuffy and our lungs prone to inflammation and infections. (This last is true of air-conditioning, too, for those of you in warmer climates).

Next week, I am joining Jason Vale’s Big January Clean-Up to clear out the rubbish and reset my body, to help it through these months of colds, coughs and central heating.

I will be doing the first 14 days of his 28 Day SuperJuiceMe! plan followed by 7 days of his SuperFastFood book/app, both of which I’ve done before and I felt completely re-energised afterwards.

I have to make a few adjustments to some of the juices as I am allergic to pineapple and lime, but I replace them with mango, papaya and lemon.

Here are some links to preparing for a juice challenge, to help choose a juicer and to Jason’s website where you can obtain details of the free plan – there is still time to sign up for free daily coaching videos, free shopping list and daily emails with all the recipes:

Jason’s Free Big January Clean-Up

Which Juicer? – Where to Begin

My Top 20 Tips for Juicing – updated to 25!

Preparing to be SuperJuiced!

Preparing to be SuperJuiced Part 2

Juicing: How to Begin or Do As I Say, Not As I Did!

The Juice Junkie’s 5 Ways To Prepare For a Juice Cleanse

Start’s Monday, 9th January, 2017!

You don’t have to do the full 2 weeks, you could do a 3 day quickie or a 5 day pick-me-up, so long as you prepare and follow up with a plant-based diet so as not to put a strain on your digestive system during or after the challenge.

Remember, this is my personal experience.

Always check with your doctor before doing a prolonged juicing regime, especially if you’re on medication – some are more supportive than others.

It helps to find friends or online group support. I found my support on Twitter, but Jason has a facebook page where you can get all the advice and support you need, as does The Natural Juice Junkie.

Ps I really recommend watching Jason’s documentary SuperJuiceMe! Free on YouTube. It is one of the most inspiring films you will ever watch.

Jason Vale’s Free SuperJuiceMe! documentary

Good Luck and Good Health! Cheers!

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

My Top 20 Tips for Juicing – updated to 25!

imagePoor Thalia of Backpacking (and eating) my way around the world was suffering with a nasty flu-like virus and we chatted about juicing to try to clear her sinuses.

(Here’s my daily Morning Glory juice to help prevent and treat colds and hayfever).

One thing that came out of the conversation was that she had got out of the habit of juicing since going on her travels and her juicer was away in a cupboard.

Thalia had broken the number 2 rule for juicing (see below) and so I thought I would revisit my Top Tips for Juicing. There are several posts in the blog Menu with tips for juicing success both as part of Juicing Programmes and for everyday juicing, but I thought I would try to condense it all into one post. So here goes:

  1. Choosing a juicer: if possible, ask a regular juicer what they recommend. Most regular juicers have started with a fairly cheap one to see how they get on with juicing and have progressed through the brands and prices, so will know the difference between a fast, centrifugal juicer and a slower, masticating or cold-pressed juicer. My advice is buy the best you can afford so you won’t be put off juicing from the start by a machine that breaks down/can’t manage celery/leaves or doesn’t extract enough juice. (See Which Juicer? and my review of the Retro Super Juicer for some suggestions).
  2. Always, Always keep your juicer readily accessible! If you have to get it out of a box/cupboard every time you need it and reassemble, it won’t get used. So not only have you wasted your money, you won’t get into the habit of juicing daily or reap the benefits of adding healthy juices to your menu. If you need to create space, get rid of the microwave/toasted sandwich-maker/ice-cream maker/ waffle maker. image
  3. Read a Juicing Book/Watch a Juicing Film to inspire/motivate/help you understand why it is worth doing, how the food and pharmaceutical industries work to manipulate your food and health choices, how juicing works and to explode all the myths put out there by so-called ‘experts’. If your family or friends start questioning or making fun of your attempts to improve your health and fitness, you’ll be better equipped to rebuff their comments! I like Jason Vale’s books/apps and his SuperJuiceMe! documentary (click here to watch for free). He has a light, down-to-earth style, makes you laugh while you learn and has dealt with every question thrown at him by the sceptics by proving time after time that juicing works. (See How I Juiced My Skin Clear and  Juicing: How To Begin to read my own experiences). Joe Cross aka Joe the Juicer also has books, juicing programmes and several inspiring films based on his own experiences of being ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’.
  4. To avoid any potential side effects like headaches, try not to jump into a full-on juice programme without preparing your body first. Spend a couple of weeks to a month cutting down, then cutting out, processed foods especially those laden with sugar and unhealthy fats – ready meals, takeaways etc. – fizzy drinks (even so-called energy drinks are usually chock full of sugar, chemicals, additives, artificial sweeteners and caffeine), coffee and of course, tobacco and other artificial stimulants. Introduce a juice a day and you’ll feel the benefits in no time at all. (See Do As I Say Not As I Did!)
  5. If possible and affordable, juice organic vegetables. If not, choose local produce where possible. Always wash and scrub well before using. Research the fruits and veg in your country that are the most highly sprayed with chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, fungicides etc and try at least to buy organic versions of these. Grapes, strawberries and potatoes often fall into this category, for example. Above all, please don’t think juicing is a waste of time if you can’t buy organic. Any fruit and veg are better than no fruit and veg. Just make sure you wash before use.
  6. If organic, you can leave the peel on (except for oranges and grapefruit, and pineapples if you have a juicer that can’t manage the skin).image
  7. If you peel citrus fruit, do it as thinly as possible leaving the pith where the micronutrients are.
  8. Don’t let excuses get in the way. If time is an issue, make your juice/s the night before and put it/them in the fridge for the following day. They are best used fresh but a few hours late is better than not at all.
  9. Keep juices in the fridge, preferably in glass or metal containers to keep them away from the light and from chemical-laden plastic, or in a cool box with ice packs if you need to transport them.  If you’re going to drink them soon after making, glass jars are good to store them and you can drink from them too. We save jam jars for this. image
  10. Keep hydrated. You still need to drink water/herbal/fruit teas in addition to juices. I made this mistake and suffered symptoms of dehydration during my first juice challenge.
  11. Metal Straws are great for drinking juices: no plastic or waxy chemicals, no landfill; they can be used over and over and go in the dishwasher. They come with a tiny brush to clean the inside.  image
  12. Try not to treat juicing as a form of dieting. It is all about adding healthy nutrients to your body in the most accessible and digestible form to optimise health, increase energy levels and improve chronic conditions. Weight loss is a bonus, it comes naturally when you introduce fresh home-made, nutritionally-balanced juices into your daily routine.
  13. All juices are not equal! When I write about juicing, unless I state otherwise, I am referring to freshly-made juices not commercially-produced juices bought in supermarkets. They have generally been pasteurised and stored, often contain added sugars and come in single-use plastic bottles. They don’t have the same nutritional content as home-made juice produced and consumed on the same day and shouldn’t be used as regular meal replacements or for longterm juice challenges.
  14. Beware of adding too much fruit to your juice. This is usual when new to juicing, but as you get used to the flavours and combinations you should gradually reduce the fruit in favour of more vegetable content, especially leafy greens, broccoli etc.
  15. Adding a slice of lemon to a juice helps slow down the oxidation and deterioration of the juice, improves the flavour of green juices and adds its own nutrient content of course.
  16. Rotate the leafy greens so you’re not consuming the same ones every day. This varies the nutrients but also ensures you don’t consume too many oxalates which can lead to kidney stones in those who are susceptible. I alternate kale, spinach etc with romaine and other kinds of lettuce. (Did you know that romaine has good protein content?)
  17. You don’t need to become a juice fanatic to be a juicer. Juice whenever you can. It’s not a competition. There’s no winning and losing, no succeeding or failing. If you miss a couple of days or even a few days, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Just don’t put your juicer away. Get right back on the juicing wagon as soon as you can.
  18. This is a contentious one: some say always wash your juicer straightaway (I am one of them), while others say, if you’re in a rush, leave it till you get home. For me, it’s a question of health and safety. If you leave it, the pulp dries and is really hard to remove properly. This can lead to harmful bacteria developing and the last thing you want from a healthy juicing regimen is food poisoning! Also, it can reduce the efficiency of your juicer, even damage it. At the very least, empty it and give it a quick rinse through or leave the parts soaking until you can get to it. For me, there is nothing worse than being faced with dirty pots several hours later.
  19. Try to use the pulp rather than throwing it away. You can use it for burgers, nut roasts and so on, we compost it and our daughter fed it to her chickens! It is full of fibre and still contains some of the original nutrients.
  20. Lead by example. Let your progress do the talking when confronted by naysayers. Don’t let them put you off doing something you find beneficial. I started juicing entirely on my own. It was suggested that it would harm my health, that I was losing too much weight, that neither the juicing nor the weight loss or health improvement were sustainable – that was 3 years ago. Everyone who sees me now compared with 5 years ago remarks on how well I look and how did I do it! Now all the family juice and many friends/acquaintances have bought juicers and not looked back. Here are some of my before and after photos:
  21. If you’re on your own and need some support, advice, inspiration, there are many groups on social media who will be happy to help and you may make some new like-minded friends as I have done.
  22. Jason Vale, Joe Cross, the guys from Food Matters TV and Neil Martin (Natural Juice Junkie) all do regular free juicing reboots/programs/challenges/detoxes if you’d like to join in, get free recipes, apps, coaching etc and share experiences with fellow juicers.
  23. If you want a more substantial juice, blend it with 1/4 avocado. This will add essential fats and make a more satisfying juice, you will feel fuller longer. It is not ‘cheating’, it is providing you with what your body needs and will help prevent random snacking on less healthy foods. Your body needs healthy fats to metabolise certain vitamins, balance hormones and keep your brain functioning healthily.
  24. If ‘super-juicing’ and you have a lot of weight to lose, adding avocado to your juice occasionally can help prevent loose skin.
  25. Finally, REMEMBER NOT ONLY TO USE YOUR JUICER, BUT ENJOY IT TOO. You are not being punished, you are not doing penance. Enjoy getting creative. Enjoy its benefits. You have spent time, energy and money researching your purchase, you made a commitment, it’s not there to decorate your counter or impress your friends and family! You resolved to take control of your diet and health.

Go on…Just do it!

Oh, ps Nutribullets and their ilk are not juicers, they are super-blenders, they do not extract juice.

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Jason Vale’s website

Reboot With Joe

Food Matters TV

Natural Juice Junkie

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Juicy Prize Giveaway Reminder – Final Day!

The Juicy Prize Giveaway Ends Midnight Tonight BST!

Get your entries in for 3 Jason Vale/Juicemaster items: 2 Books, 1 Inspiring DVD.

All NEW FOLLOWERS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Blog (email) will get one entry for each new follow. (Current followers by Reader can subscribe by email or follow one of my other social media accounts to gain entry).

Write #juicygiveaway in the comment box below any of my Juicy Prize Giveaway Posts So I know you wish to be entered.

Links on my Home page.

For full details of prizes and terms click Here.

Don’t forget, Ends Midnight Tonight BST!

Good Luck!

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Super Juicy Prize Giveaways!

As many of you know, I am doing the free Juicemaster 7 Day Guided Big Juice Challenge* this week. I bought the new Retro Super Fast Juicer (see Retro Super Fast Blend Review) and it came with a number of extras, some of which I already have. I’ve therefore decided to offer 3 of the items as separate giveaways.

Due to the weight and postal costs, the first two giveaways are for UK residents only:

The First Giveaway is Jason Vale’s Best-selling ‘SuperJuiceMe! 28 Day Juice Plan’ paperback book.

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This is the book taken from the inspirational and emotional SuperJuiceMe! Documentary which continues to inspire many people who use it as their starting point when they want to take control of their health, their weight, their chronic conditions etc.

Jason Vale’s juice plans are proven effective, endorsed by celebrities and other health experts and I have used them myself  to help with weight, chronic health conditions and to rid my skin of a debilitating, angry-looking rash. (See How I Juiced My Skin Clear).

This plan has the why, the how and the recipes and as with all Jason’s books, it is written in an informal style and is really easy to read, often amusing as well as informative.

The RRP for this book is currently £11.99 and it gets 4.5 stars on Amazon.co.uk

The Second Giveaway is Jason Vale’s The Funky Fresh Juice Book. This is the Pocket Paperback Version 2.

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This is a fun book containing 101 Juice and Smoothie Recipes, including recipes from celebrities, cartoon drawings and nutritional information.

As there is a more up-to-date version of this book, I couldn’t find an RRP for it.

The Third Giveaway is open to both UK and Overseas residents

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This is the DVD which has inspired so many people to opt for a plant-based diet, ditching the fatty, sugary, processed foods that contribute to chronic health and weight issues. I defy anyone to watch this and not reach for a box of tissues and then make life-affirming decisions concerning their own lifestyle and that of their family.

8 people with 22 chronic and sometimes life-threatening diseases between them spent 28 days on a juice-only diet to see if it could make any improvement in their conditions. For at least a couple of these people, this is a desperate effort to regain control of their health when conventional medical treatment has not worked.

I became aware of this documentary early on because my nephew, Shayan Scott*, was working on it and it was at this time that I began juicing. It is powerful, informative and life-affirming.

The DVD is suitable for play in all regions.

The RRP is £19.99.

Rules and Regulations for Entry

  1. There are 3 items being given away as separate prizes, as listed above.
  2. The ‘SuperJuiceMe!’ Book and ‘Funky Fresh Juice Book’ are for UK residents only.
  3. The DVD is for both UK and Overseas followers.
  4. Entry is free and consists of any or all of these:

Follow me on Twitter (@thejuicenut)

Like my Facebook page

Subscribe by Email to this blog (click the Follow by Email button on the Home page)

Follow me on Instagram (pearsnotparsnips)

(There are also links on my Home page)

5. Write ‘juicy giveaway’ in the relevant comment box associated with the Giveaway post on any of these sites to let me know you wish to enter the draw.

6. The Giveaway will be launched at Midnight BST on Friday, 8th July, 2016 and end at Midnight BST on Friday, 15th July, 2016.

7. No names or email addresses will be passed on to third parties, nor be used for any purpose other than to contact the winners for postal details for this giveaway and to announce the name or blog of the winner.

8. Winners will be chosen via random.org and notified within 7 days of the end of the giveaway period.

9. One entry per person per NEW follow + ‘juicy giveaway’ comment on any of the social media mentioned above. So if you already follow this blog but become a new follower on Twitter and Facebook, you will get 2 entries. If you become a new email subscriber to this blog, please write ‘juicy giveaway’ in the comment box of this post so I know you want to be entered into the draw.

I hope that’s covered everything! If I’ve left anything out, please leave a comment.

Good Luck!

*http://www.juicemaster.com/

*Shayan Scott Films

NB If you decide to do a juice plan, please consult your doctor first.

Copyright: Chris McGowan.

Juicemaster Retro Super Fast Juicer: Review

 

At long last, after a lot of soul-searching about how I could justify buying yet another juicer (see I’ve Been and Gone and Done It AGAIN!!), I decided to take one for the team and bought it so that I could review it on the blog and maybe help someone choose their first juicer.  Well, that’s my latest story anyway! (The previous one was that it was an early birthday present, but that didn’t wash as I had also said that of my new camera).

It only arrived yesterday, so we haven’t had chance to give it a thorough testing as I wanted to post the review before the discount price ends at the end of the current Juicemaster Free 7 Day Guided Juice Challenge.

NB This is a centrifugal or fast juicer not a cold press or masticating juicer. It won’t produce quite as much good quality juice as a cold press machine and you can’t keep the juices for as long. Cold Press juicers are heavier and much more expensive. However, this is one of the better fast juicers currently available.

The Positives: First, the Parts

  • At 3.4 kg, the Super Fast is one of the lightest juicers we’ve tried! Some are so heavy, you’d risk a hernia or putting your back out every time you tried to move it. You can’t always place a juicer where you’re going to use it every day, so it needs to be easily manoeuvrable. We had to return one brand because we couldn’t even lift it out of the box!
  • It is by far and away the easiest juicer to assemble and disassemble. Everything just slots together lightly. No twisting or turning or getting a spoon handle to prise out the basket. With some juicers, if you’re not tall enough or strong enough to get hold of it at the right angle, it can be a problem to pull it out without the assistance of a strongman/woman or resorting to utensils to lever it out (not recommended). This one is so easy. It has an indentation at either side of the unit where you can place your fingers to get leverage and more easily remove the basket.
  • Two big pluses for us are that it has a central cord at the back and it is ambidextrous: the juicer can be placed anywhere within reach of a socket and the bowl goes onto the unit so that it can be used by both right-handed and left-handed people. As a family split down the middle in this respect, I applaud the designers of this machine. We also had to return a different juicer that wouldn’t sit on our counter top because the plug was to one side and we needed it at the other.
  • The Super Fast has a sleek stainless steel bowl and basket.
  • The chute is wide enough to take whole apples.
  • It has a large 2L waste compartment.
  • The switch is an easy to use, well-situated rotating knob at the front that goes from Off to Low to High, and that’s it. Couldn’t be simpler.
  • Like the Cold Press, the spout on the Super Fast has a lid so that you can close the spout to prevent drips when not in action. When we had the Phillips 1861, we had to keep a small glass under it after we finished juicing as no matter how convinced you were that it was empty, there would always be a small pool of juice on the counter top when you’d finished cleaning up!
  • Suction feet prevent it moving when working.
  • It comes with its own cleaning brush.
  • It couldn’t be easier to clean, though you may need to use a toothbrush for the inside of the spout.

Photos show how the Super Fast can be used left- or right-handed, and the cord at the centre back of the unit. 

Slight Minuses, but not deal-breakers:

  • First off, the colour. I chose cream to go with the two other Retro machines, the Retro Cold Press and the Retro Super Blend (both available on the Juicemaster and Retro Juicer websites). The colour of the Super Fast unit doesn’t quite match the other two, although the waste basket is closer,  but this is just about the only real niggle so far. We’ve placed it next to the Cold Press in some of the photos so you can judge for yourself and also so that you can see the relative sizes. Apologies for the shadows, there was no natural light today, another very gloomy day.
  • The locking arms are thick rigid plastic, rather than metal like the Phillips 1861 and although they are robust, I’m a little nervous about how long they will last with heavy use or if they get caught while moving the unit without the lid locked in place. There is, however, a 1 year warranty and Juicemaster customer service are among the best I’ve ever dealt with.
  • None of the parts are dishwasher safe, but it really is so easy to rinse and clean and it is best to wash out juicers straightaway so that food doesn’t dry or build up causing bacteria to form or parts to stop functioning.

One last pointer: if you’re used to starting the Retro Cold Press with the stopper initially closed in order to optimise the complete juicing of all the mashed veggies or fruit in the bowl – then don’t with this one! If you do, it will leak through the bottom of the bowl when it overfills (you can’t see the amount of juice in the bowl like you can with the Cold Press).

Oh, and make sure you peel pineapple before juicing!

Overrall, on first use, we really like this juicer. It is so fast and we didn’t have any trouble either setting it up, using it or taking it apart, while cleaning was a doddle.

The bonus in ordering this product is that currently you also receive all this:

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Since I already have some of these items – the Super Juice Me! Dvd, 28 Day Plan book and a Funky Fresh Juice recipe book, I will be offering these as a prize in a competition, see next post!

Ps. If you’re thinking of buying a juicer and want to compare this with some others, see Which Juicer?

Copyright: Chris McGowan

I’ve Been and Gone and Done It AGAIN!!

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So, this parcel arrived this morning. You’ll never guess what was in it! I’m feeling a bit guilty and very over-excited. Also a little embarrassed, not sure I dare say… but let’s open it up and you can share the surprise

Here goes:

imageI’ve only been and gone and bought the new Retro Super Juicer!*  I know, I know, how many juicers can a person use? I tried so hard to resist when this first came out: I have a Retro Cold Press Juicer and a Fusion Fast Juicer for back up, but it just looks so good and by all accounts gives even bettyer results than the much-mourned Phillips 1861 (see Which Juicer?).

Despite 2 fantastic discounts since it came out, I had resisted its temptations. Then I signed up for the Juice Master 7 Day Juice Challenge and last week realised I needed to order some Bacterial Culture supplements and some Juice Bars for my emergency rations. I held off and held off, because I knew I couldn’t trust myself. Then I received an email offering £80 off the juicer for the duration of the juice challenge – £80!!! Panic set in. No … it was sooo tempting, but I couldn’t justify it. And no-one in the family needed a juicer so I couldn’t even say I’ll pass the Fusion on.

Then late Saturday afternoon, I absolutely had to order the bacterial culture capsules, it’s the one supplement I must have when doing a juice-only week: the body gets a good clear-out and it’s necessary to replace the friendly gut bacteria afterwards. I have been so much healthier since I started taking them and have fought off all the viruses my family have thrown at me over the past 2 years.

(The biggest part of your immune system is in the gut, and it’s important to keep it healthy).

So, with a heavy heart, telling myself I was strong enough and intelligent enough not to fall for this latest sales gimmick (but subconsciously feeling a tiny bit excited in anticipation of a quick fix!), I went to the website to place my order. No bacteria capsules. No juice bars. I decided to have a quick look at the juicer to see if there were any reviews. Couldn’t find it other than in a bundle with the blender. Weird, I thought, they must have sold out because of the Challenge and the huge discount.

I picked up the phone. Got the juice bars. Ordered the bacterial capsules to be sent as soon as they came in. ‘Oh, and by the way, I can’t find the new Retro Super Fast Juicer, have you sold out?’ ‘No,’ came the puzzled reply, ‘They’re on the website, down at the bottom of the page’ ‘Really?’ I just happened to have the web page open and quickly scroll down and yes, there they were!

Before I knew what was happening, I was handing over the discount code, selecting the colour – cream to go with the Cold Press and Super Blend – and Bob’s your uncle!

Well, it’s my birthday soon … except I said that when I bought my new camera last week!

I was so excited this morning waiting for the delivery! I wasn’t disappointed.

imageI’ll give a full review when we’ve used it properly, but it looks really sleek, is lighter than many juicers we’ve tried and a big plus is that it can be used left-or right-handed and as the cord is in the centre of the main unit, there is no problem siting it near a socket on the kitchen counter. It was also easy to assemble and disassemble.

(The waste compartment isn’t fitted properly in the photo, just resting in place, it fits more snugly in reality).

It came with lots of freebies too, books, dvd, wall planner for the 28 day Super Juice Plan.

As I said, more in the review proper. Now, let’s see what she can do …

*http://www.juicemaster.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Juicing While Watching Le Tour De France

imageIt’s that time of year again – I can’t believe we’re into July already and I’m still wearing my woollies and putting the heating on! (Even the telly has a scarf on!) Anyway, as I said, it’s that time of year again when our house and our family become completely overtaken by all things Tour de France (TdF): wall to wall cycling everyday, all afternoon, and the highlights in the evening! Oh, and we’ve even joined a Fantasy League.

My son and I spend hours going through the form guides, switching team members every other day for about two weeks before any cycling event, keeping it all hush-hush; my husband spends half an hour picking names he likes the sound of the night before, guess who usually wins?! This is the man who falls asleep every single time the cycling is on, doesn’t have a clue who half of them are and he nicks the win in the last couple of days. (I’ve even joined another couple of leagues to try to win some TdF goodies). But we’re not competitive. Not at all. Texts will be flying back and forth throughout the day and the occasional triumphant one will cross the ether late evening after the daily league update goes live. But we’re not competitive.

During the first week, I shall also be doing a juice challenge. imageThis time of year is usually when people begin to think about their upcoming holidays, about displaying the parts of their bodies that have been covered up all year with woolly jumpers, jeans and boots. Others want to rid themselves of that central heating pallour to their skin, get re-energised and kickstart a healthy-eating programme or reset their hormones and taste buds having decided to declutter their system of processed, fatty and sugary foods.

I signed up for Jason Vale’s free 7 Day Juice Challenge – there’s still time to join in, just visit the website* and sign up. You’ll receive an emailed shopping list, all the recipes and coaching videos for free. There’s lots of advice on how to begin, what to expect and lots of encouragement if you find yourself struggling, – like when your family are eating pizza! – and what to do afterwards.

Join me, raise a glass of juice and tell me who you reckon is in with a shout to win this year’s Tour de France – I mean the riders of course, not our fantasy league, because it really doesn’t matter, we’re not competitive at all!

Here’s to a healthy summer!

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*http://www.juicemaster.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Jason Vale aka The Juicemaster Shared My Skin Story on Facebook!

This morning I woke up to discover Jason Vale had shared my Juicing for Clear Skin story on Facebook! Whilst I am honoured to be one of the chosen ones, and I knew they were going to do it soon, I feel a bit embarrassed now it’s out there and my instinct is to dive under the duvet until it’s all over! I gave them a choice of photos, but the ones they used are my least favourite and least flattering 🙄

However, I wrote the original post to try to give people with skin conditions hope and inspiration, so I am sucking in my pride, vanity and embarrassment. It can be miserable coping with flaky, itchy red skin, while creams and medications so often don’t work and can make things worse.

So I am telling the world about Jason’s Facebook feature and wish everyone luck in their pursuit of clear, itch-free skin.

Here’s the link to my original post:

How I Juiced My Skin Clear – A Rash Decision? You Decide!

You can see the Juicemaster feature on my Facebook feed on the Home page of my blog or visit my Facebook Page where you’ll find recipes, Team Sky cyclobabble (bit of a groupie), shared juicing, vegan and environmental links, with a few pretty pictures dotted about.

If you’d also like to read about how I started juicing and the amazing benefits I gained both for my many health problems and my weight, plus tips on how to get started, read How to Begin or Do As I Say Not As I Did!

Thank you all for your continued support and I hope some of you feel inspired to give juicing a go, you won’t regret it!

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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. 

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For more help see I Feel Good- What Now?

You are Amazing! Keep it up!

*http://www.juicemaster.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan