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

imageThis morning I was asked by Siobhan of Paris Here And There if there is anything she can do to avoid the hunger pangs on a juicing program and also to prevent her losing weight unnecessarily.

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that next Monday I am joining Jason Vale’s ‘Big January Clean-Up’ which involves doing the first 14 days of his 28 day SuperJuiceMe! plan (there is still time to sign up via the Juicemaster website, all coaching videos, shopping lists, recipes are free).

First, let me explain about hunger pangs.

It is normal to feel hunger in the first 3 days of a juice plan.

More often than not these are withdrawal pangs, not genuine hunger. Your body is getting everything it needs from the nutritionally balanced juices, blends and smoothies. What it is not getting is the caffeine, sugar, alcohol and hopefully nicotine it has become dependent upon and it is shouting at you very loudly about this restriction, as with any withdrawal from addictive substances.

And let’s make no bones about it: all these substances are addictive. Sugar has the same effect on the brain as crack cocaine and heroin!

Here are some tips and advice:

1. The way to reduce these withdrawal symptoms (headaches, cravings) is to taper off and finally quit in the 2 weeks before a juice-only program.

2. Once you begin the plan, keep well-hydrated, using herbal and fruit teas, warm water with a slice of lemon, as well as plain water; rest – go for walks in the fresh air, do yoga, rather than sessions at the gym – and watch or read inspiring films and books to keep you motivated. (See the suggested list at the end).

3. If you genuinely feel hungry, you can’t sleep for tummy rumbles etc. there are emergency rations you can turn to (see later).

4. The point of the plan is to give your digestive system a rest and allow your body to repair, renew and rest, so try to resist for the first 3 days.

5. Keep yourself occupied so you’re not thinking about food all the time.

6. Have your juices ready and don’t wait until you’re desperate before having them, then you won’t be tempted to grab a sugary snack or bag of crisps. Also, sip your juices slowly through a straw.

7. Try to find a juice buddy. If this is your first time, support is vital and you can either persuade a friend or family member to join you or find amazing support on Jason Vale’s Facebook page, where you can ask questions and get advice, or on Twitter/Instagram.

8. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing it. Read up on the health benefits of juicing and arm yourself to fend off all the doubters and sceptics who will try to undermine your resolve.

9. Don’t be put off, the results will speak for themselves and will silence the naysayers.

10. Over 25 people, including some who tried to put me off, started juicing after they saw the amazing results from my first plan.


For those who don’t want or need to lose a lot of weight:

When I did the last 14 day juice challenge, I didn’t need to lose weight but this time after a cold, too much comfort food and lots of family visits/festive food I could do with it!

However, there are those who just want the re-energising health benefits or want to clear up their skin or reduce aches and pains and who have no wish or need to lose weight. I have compiled a list of things you can do if you fall into these categories.

You may still lose some weight just by the fact that you have cut out a lot of snacks and high fat/sugary foods during your juice plan, but you will slowly regain what you need when your body readjusts to what is normal eating for you.

You will generally only lose the weight you need to lose. 

I do these juice challenges 4 times a year. My first 2 times I lost  2 1/2 stones (35lbs) altogether. Now, I lose about 5 lbs as I don’t need to lose any more.

And for those who really do suffer genuine hunger pangs, there are things you can eat to alleviate them, but only in a dire emergency!

Tips for emergency rations or to prevent unwanted weight loss:

1. To allay hunger pangs or to avoid a big weight loss, stick to plant foods and oils as your emergency rations. You can add an extra juice, or a tsp of flax oil or coconut oil to a glass of juice.

2. To prevent digestive issues, I reiterate: stay away from processed and sugary foods, meat and dairy, coffee and alcohol.

3. Half a ripe avocado either on its own in the evening with lemon juice and cracked black pepper or blended into a couple of juices a day (1/4 at a time) will usually do the trick. It is normal to feel hungry in the first 2 to 3 days but then your body adjusts.

4. Hunger and thirst can be confused. More often than not, it is hydration you need rather than food. Again, keep hydrated using herbal and fruit teas as well as plenty of water.

5. You can add a tablespoon of ground organic linseeds (or other seeds) to your juices (this also helps if you have any problems with constipation).

6. Half a very ripe banana in the evening can also help.

7. If out and about and the avocados and banana are not an option, a healthy version of a fruit bar can help, but make sure it does not contain refined sugar, dairy or other additives, just pure fruit and nuts.

8. My go-to emergency ration is one of Jason’s ‘Juice in a Bar’ snacks. These really do replace a juice if you need to and are very filling.  Usually, I can manage only half.

9. You could add a higher calorie vegetable to your juices like sweet potato – I use these often in my own juices (usually to replace parsnips!)

10. Whatever you decide, always chew slowly and thoroughly, otherwise your tummy will object if it is already adapting to the juice program.

Bonus tip: Try adding some good quality pea or hemp protein powder to some of your juices to stave off the hunger and give your juices some extra oomph!

Most of all, remember that if you have to miss a juice or you do feel the need for extras, it doesn’t mean you have failed and you have to give up! Just pick up where you left off. You will still gain the benefits. Even if you just have one juice a day and cut down or cut out the processed, sugary stuff, you will feel more energy, your skin, hair and nails will benefit and if you need to lose some weight, then this will help.



I hope I have covered everything. If you have any other questions please ask in the comments and I will try to address them in another post. You may find the answers already in the Juicing Tips section of the Menu.

Finally, a list of films, books and websites for motivation and support.

These websites are excellent for books, articles, recipes, information, support

Juicemaster I recommend all of Jason’s books for their down-to-earth, lighthearted style in explaining how food works, how the food and pharma industries work, how juicing works.

Reboot with Joe Cross Aussie Joe is inspirational for his own journey, documented in his film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He also does guided reboots and his website has a wealth of information and advice.

The Natural Juice Junkie Neil is a leading Britsh juice exponent and lifestyle coach. His articles are informative, short and easy to read. He also does guided juice challenges.

My Goodness Recipes (Hanna and Jason Vale both rid themselves of the terrible symptoms of psoriasis through juicing and offer free plans on their websites)

SuperJuiceMe! The Documentary  Jason Vale took 8 volunteers with 22 different diseases, some life-threatening, which were not improving with allopathic (conventional) treatment, some very overweight, others not. He put them on a juicing regimen of fruit and vegetables for 28 days. This documentary follows their path and I defy you to watch and not reach for the tissues then quickly determine to make some changes to your lifestyle.

Food Matters TV From 11th January, 2017 you can watch both the Food Matters and Hungry for Change films free for 5 days via this website. The Food Matters team have an excellent website bringing regular articles on current health topics and research as well as healthy recipes and tips for an all round healthier lifestyle, including environmental changes.

My Post How I Juiced My Skin Clear: A Rash Decision?

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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!


Copyright: Chris McGowan

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


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 …


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

5lbs in 5 Days Juice Challenge


On Monday 4th April, I will be taking part in Jason Vale’s Big Juice Challenge using his 5lbs in 5 Days juicing plan. I wondered if any of you would like to do it with me and perhaps I can offer some support if it’s your first time?

This is my favourite of Jason’s plans: the juices are tasty and satisfying and the plan is just long enough to feel you’re getting somewhere and to spur you on to clean up your diet and lifestyle more permanently.

It says 5lbs in 5 Days, but most people lose more. My first time – without exercising – I lost 8, some have lost as much as 11, it really depends how overweight you are and how much you exercise.

This is an excellent time to start cleaning up your diet as the weather improves and the days get longer; you can finally leave your winter cave and breathe some fresh air while walking/running/cycling, and feel inspired by the renewal of Nature all around you to renew your faith and investment in you and your amazing body!

Juicing feeds your body on a cellular level, giving it everything it needs, and once your body has eliminated and replaced all the rubbish you will feel alert, energised, positive and motivated to carry on. Your hormones will be reset, your digestive system calmed and you may even finally discover which foods are aggravating or make you bloated/sluggish when you begin slowly to reintroduce solid food.

For those of you concerned about living on liquids for a week, don’t worry there are some solids in there too! Some of the juices are blended with avocado, there are mixed seeds, berries, banana and yogurt too. The Berry Banana Crunch is something to look forward to on Day 3!


Jason’s 5lbs in 5 Days app is fun, informative and inspiring. I recommend using it if you’ve never done this before, and if you can obtain a copy of the book all the better. It really helps if you understand the process and make a mental as well as physical commitment to your health.

The app contains a shopping list and all the recipes and coaching videos you need to keep motivated. You have a ginger shot and 4 juices every day (2 x 2 recipes so you can make some in advance by doubling the quantity) plus herb or fruit teas and water:


For extra motivation, I recommend watching Super Juice Me! The Documentary which involves an experiment Jason conducted taking 8 people with 28 chronic and sometimes life-threatening illnesses, giving them specially-prepared juices for 28 days. You will be amazed, moved, inspired.

If you are interested or if you would like more information or if you’re not sure, take a look at my My First Juice Cleanse – Advice for Beginners (which has my before and after photos), Super Juicing Day 1: Tips & Tricks or any of the other juicing posts.

Finally, if you would like to join me, Rule Number 1 is Don’t Have A Final Blow-Out This Weekend! You will feel worse for it and stand a bigger chance of giving up before you get properly started.

If this is too short notice, then you could spend this week tapering off your usual diet ie cutting out sugar, processed foods, alcohol, coffee and begin properly next week. I will still be here if you need support.

Juice On!


Juice Master

Copyright: Chris McGowan