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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Jumpin’, Jivin’ an’ Jiggin’ About: Your Home As Your ‘Gym’!

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We all know any kind of movement is good for us.

We do, don’t we?

(Can’t hear you at the back of the class!) 

At this time of year especially, articles, tweets, tv programmes, Instagram memes all shout at us to get our bodies moving.

Just in case you’re still in any doubt or denial, here is a list of proven benefits:

  • it gets the heart pumping
  • improves circulation
  • builds muscle and bone which improves balance – especially important for those of us no longer in the first flush of youth
  • builds strength and stamina
  • creates endorphins which improves our mood, helps us feel better and therefore helps diminish those January blues and even depression.
  • makes you feel more alert and energetic
  • aids mental clarity, making us more productive and creative at work and home.
  • helps prevent lifestyle diseases like Type 2 diabetes through better control of blood sugar levels
  • helps keep our weight in check – if we also keep an eye on what we eat.
  • helps keep joints mobile and flexible

So, now you really do know that exercise is good for you, you can’t claim ignorance as your get-out clause!

But don’t worry, this post is not about going all out on the crossfit machine or hefting eye-watering weights at the gym. It’s all about movement and fun!

At this time of year, when the Christmas season is over, we feel overfed and lethargic, Spring is in the air and many of us start making plans to go to the gym, start running or take a zumba class.

Trouble is, in the cold months, our resolve can soon start dying a slow death. It’s cold, wet, dark, and miserable. The woodburner or the tv and a glass or cup of something warming are far more attractive. All that money spent on gym fees or trendy neon fit-wear may as well be flushed away for all the use we make of it.

Unfortunately, many of us have also had negative gym experiences or are old enough to remember the torture of school PE classes: being made to run cross-country in freezing conditions wearing t-shirt and shorts, inadequate footwear and with little or no preparation, the booming voice of the wrapped-up PE teacher in our ears decrying our efforts and urging us on, drill-sergeant style. (Anyone who has seen the film ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ will know what I mean!)

It’s also often difficult if not impossible for many of us to embark on formal exercise regimes due to having small children or sick family members or because we have physical problems of our own or simply can’t afford the expense. So we accept that’s how it has to be and get on with it, skipping over all the articles we see urging us to move more and diverting our eyes from all the pony-tailed, fitbit-wearing runners dashing past the window.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. No more guilt at being a trainer-free home-bod.

Hooray! you shout.

Hang on, you’re not getting off that easily! You still have to move about, just not in a gym or on the road. 

Here are some tips to get it all jiggin’ about:

  1. Your home can be your gym and everyday items your equipment. Little or no expense, warm environment (less chance of injury), relative privacy (though maybe not privacy from your relatives 😉), win-win situation. Your stairs can be your step-exercise, bottles of water or tinned goods your weights, your cd player your zumba instructor.

2. You can even incorporate exercise into your everyday activities.

And no-one needs to see you doing it!

According to the BBC programme ‘Trust Me, I’m a Doctor,’ * a group of people over 40 – and therefore losing muscle, I think the oldest was 67 – incorporated exercise into their daily activities. Over a month on average they gained 3% more muscle, 12% more muscle strength, 13% more muscle power and 4% more grip strength.

So how did they do it?

Visit the website to see in detail, but basically:

  • squats and standing on one leg while brushing their teeth
  • heel-raising while washing-up
  • lunges while vacuuming
  • arm curls with juice cartons or tins
  • wall presses.

You get the picture.

I would add to these:

  • using the stairs as often as possible
  • doing step-ups, and also hanging your heel off the edge of the step to stretch your calf muscles and tendons
  • standing up from a chair and sitting back down without using your hands during advert breaks while watching tv or sitting at your desk
  • doing a walking circuit of your home as often as possible
  • in an upright chair with arms, press down on the arms and raise your bottom from the seat for as long as is comfortable
  • even on your commute, on buses, trains or planes, you can raise alternate knees, toes and heels (maybe not in a car – unless you’re a passenger!)
  • on fine days, take a turn around the garden, up and down your driveway or around the block, look up at the sky, the trees, the birds, breathe and smile!

Exercising needs to be fun too or you’ll never stick to it. Here comes the Jumpin’, Jivin’ an’ Jiggin’ About bit! (At last!)

3. One piece of exercising equipment I would recommend investing in if you can manage it is a rebounder. You don’t have to jump like an Olympian!

Rebounders are not trampolines. They are not as springy and provide more resistance. And kids please note: don’t even attempt to do somersaults! Parents please note: children should always be supervised because they *will* attempt to do somersaults!

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NASA-approved, this method of exercising is accessible to most people if you start off slowly and simply, just gently bending your knees then graduating to lifting your heels and low bouncing before trying anything more energetic.

A couple of rebounding sessions a day exercises all parts of the body, gets your lymphatic system moving – strengthening your immune system and clearing out waste and toxins – and makes you feel more alive.

And it’s great fun.

Kids naturally love trampolining and this is great for getting them to exercise during the winter months when they can’t use the one in the garden. It tempts them away from their screens for a while which is always a good thing. Even the smallest members of our family make straight for it when they come for a visit. They are great family fun. (Again, children should always be supervised).

The Juicemaster website* sells various sizes of rebounders, the smaller ones fold up and have a carrying case. I can vouch for their quality and endurance.

4. Just dance like no-one is watching!

With or without a partner, dancing with reckless abandon is the best way to forget your worries and feel alive! Put on your favourite music, the one you like singing aloud to at high volume and just go for it! (see video below).

You can jig about when you’re in the kitchen – my regular readers will know that I often like to attach a YouTube track to accompany my recipes – or when you’re cleaning or tidying up, doing the ironing, doing a bike repair (one for you, K and S!😉). I have even seen my neighbour doing her ironing to the accompaniment of reggae music in her back garden in the summer, not caring a jot if anyone saw her.

In general, whatever your age, state of health, fitness or finances, any movement is better than no movement.

(I realise there are certain health conditions where this may not be appropriate).

5. Many of us, especially older people, get stiff joints and cold legs from sitting. While reading, doing the crossword or watching tv, you can raise your knees and heels up and down, rotate your ankles and wrists, stretch out your fingers and make a fist, walk about during the ad breaks even if it’s only to get up and make a cup of tea. Clench alternate groups of muscles and release. Do shoulder rotations.

img_2421My husband exercising on a borrowed rowing machine in the garage with a broken arm. He also used one of those stretchy bands that physios use which come in different levels of flexibility.

Do what you’re able and what you enjoy – with your family, friends or on your own. Walk, cycle, laugh, sing – they all exercise your body inside and out.

Just do!

6. Oh, and btw, apparently, exercising is more effective in burning fat if men exercise on an empty stomach and women after eating. (I can hear all the women cheering from the gallery!)

Ps Whatever form of exercise you do, be sure to warm up and stretch first,  and ease into it – it won’t do you much good if you pull a back muscle or sprain an ankle in your first session!

PPs If you have any concerns about whether or not you should follow any of the advice above, please do talk to your doctor.

*Trust Me, I’m A Doctor – you can watch on BBC iPlayer

*Juicemaster: Rebounders

(Thanks to Clive at Take It Easy for putting me on to these guys!)

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!

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

It’s Christmas, Even Juicers Can Have Fun!

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Zesty Raw Orange Christmas Pudding inspired by a Raw Chocolate Company* blogpost recipe (recipe here).

I’m a juicer, vegan and so-called ‘clean-eater’. That means I eat a healthy, plant-based diet: I don’t eat sugary, fatty, chemical-laden or processed foods (except the occasional vegan sausage or, at Christmas, a nut roast, but even these are organic). I don’t drink bone-harming fizzy drinks.

It’s not just good for me but also for the environment and the animals: fewer chemicals, less packaging, no cruelty.

Following years of pain medication and undiagnosed gluten-intolerance, I can’t digest many processed or starchy foods nor alcohol or coffee. And dairy makes me snotty! So even if I wanted to, I couldn’t have a Christmas blow-out – unless I was prepared to suffer weeks of pain afterwards and generally feeling yuck. So I make no apologies for refusing the flaming Christmas pud or sherry-doused trifle!

But that doesn’t mean that I dampen any joy my family and friends have in anticipation of festive foods and it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy myself over the holiday period. Far from it.

I have been juicing and clean-eating now for 3 years and have reaped the benefits of no longer having to use an inhaler, no more bloating or burning stomach pain, no itchy skin, better sleep, more energy and so on.

Why would I jeopardise all that for a couple of weeks of over-indulgence just because tradition, newspaper articles and advertising companies suggest that I am a killjoy if I don’t participate?

I read an article in The Guardian* decrying the likes of Deliciously Ella* for providing advice and recipes for clean food over the holiday season (see Comment is free). The writer calls them smug and suggests they promote poor eating habits. Personally, I am grateful to Ella, Tanya Maher*, The Raw Chocolate Company*, Laura at The Whole Ingredient*, Victoria at Caramelia Cakery*, Hanna at My Goodness Recipes* and all the bloggers who post their colourful, gluten-free, sugar-free, chemical-free recipes to inspire and enjoy.

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My Açaí, Blackberry & Coconut Gelato

It is always good to try other people’s culinary creations, most of us get bored with our own usual fare.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean boring, bland and brown! On the contrary. Check out Victoria’s Amazing Raw Vegan Christmas Cake on The Raw Chocolate Company Blog and Tanya Maher’s The Uncook Book!

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Many of us have health conditions which means we would be foolish to ignore our normal regimen. Many don’t want all their hard work losing weight or controlling Type 2 Diabetes going down the drain through a couple of weeks’ boozing and bingeing.

I don’t like that bloated, heavy feeling, having to loosen my belt or undo the top button, collapsing on the sofa unable to move and then falling asleep while my poor body expends all its energy digesting it all.  (See Post Thanksgiving/Christmas/Celebration Digestion – some suggestions to ease that overstuffed feeling)

 But it doesn’t mean we can’t participate in festivities or indulge our tastebuds. I really enjoy having unusual meals surrounded by my family, sharing food successes and disasters, trying each other’s creations.

Do they have to be full of different forms of sugar, artificial flavours, colouring, or sweeteners? Do we have to drink so much alcohol we become sick, boring or even worse, abusive? Absolutely not.

Last year, my family of 13 all got together for a buffet lunch we prepared for each other, our Christmas gift to the family. There were vegetarian sushi, falafels, bharjis, pizzas, olives, salads, dips, filo parcels… The desserts were yummy and home-made and involved copious amounts of raw chocolate!

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My daughter’s Vegan Sushi

This is the one occasion in the year when we are all able to be in the same place, and cooking for each other is our way of celebrating that fact.

One way juicers and clean-eaters can still join in but not suffer the negative impact of over-indulgence is to have a large green juice first thing in the morning. This provides all the nutrients your body needs for the day and as a result, you won’t feel the need to over-indulge. You can have a little bit of what you fancy and still feel good:-)

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Clean-eating doesn’t mean juicing and/or eating raw all the time. Of course you can have cooked meals and treats. Colourful warming soups are my favourite. I merely choose to avoid the nasties and include as many healthful ingredients as possible. In any case, it’s a choice.

Don’t let anyone undermine your efforts to be the healthiest you can be, you haven’t come this far just for someone to question your sanity and persuade you otherwise, but you can enjoy yourself if you want to without worrying about paying for it in January.  

And if you do find yourself succumbing to temptation remember, as Neil Martin (Natural Juice Junkie) says:

It’s what you eat between New Year and Christmas that counts, not just between Christmas and New Year!

In any case, you have the insurance of Jason’s Big January Juice Challenge* or The Natural Juice Junkie’s Juicuary Challenge* to get you back on the straight and narrow!

Have a lovely Christmas, however you’re spending it. I wish you all Peace, Health and Happiness and thank you so much for supporting my blogging efforts!

*https://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/ *https://deliciouslyella.com/ *http://betterraw.com/*http://www.thewholeingredient.com/ *http://www.mamababado.com/blog/ *http://www.mygoodnessrecipes.com/ *http://www.juicemaster.com/ *http://naturaljuicejunkie.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Spirulina, the Ultimate Superfood? + Banana, Blueberry & Red Peanut Smoothie

imageI loved this smoothie! It has an unusual combination of ingredients and I wasn’t expecting to photograph it at all because usually anything with dark ingredients, and especially Spirulina, will look less than appetising. I was pleasantly surprised, it looks just like a milkshake!

Nutritionally, it has everything you could ask for: potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, protein, B12, Vitamin K, iodine, essential fatty acids, fibre – in fact, more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than you can shake a spoon at.

This so-called superfood can help with post-exercise recovery and fatigue, plus reduce the symptoms of Candida and of allergic rhinitis, among other benefits.

Spirulina is an algae that is mostly protein (between 60% and 70%) and contains a long list of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. I found it difficult to take on its own when I first tried it just in water, it was better in a small glass of apple juice, but it didn’t blend, I found adding it to smoothies the best way to take it. I then tried the Juicemaster brand and found it a milder version, it certainly doesn’t shout above the other ingredients in this smoothie or spoil the taste.

It’s so beneficial for good health that it’s one of those foods you just know you have to have for your own good!*

I’m not really selling it to you, am I?

Trust me, if I gave you this smoothie and you didn’t know it had spirulina in, you’d be none the wiser. But if in any doubt you could add a medjool date or some maple syrup to be on the safe side!

Remember, the coconut water is naturally quite sweet, as is the banana.

Begin with 1 Tsp a day and gradually increase to 3 times a day if you want therapeutic levels.

(If you have to watch your sodium levels, then please do your own research).

Ingredients

Soak 3 Tbsps Oats, 1 Tbsp Organic Chia Seeds* and a handful of Organic Red Peanuts in a Medium Glass of 100% Raw Coconut Water in the blender for 15 minutes to make them more digestible.

Add

1 Small Banana

A Large Handful of Organic Blueberries, washed

1 Tbsp Meridian Smooth Palm Oil-free Peanut Butter

1 Tsp Juicemaster Spirulina

Blend and add ice if you prefer your smoothie chilled. Enjoy!

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*Please Note: Since spirulina stimulates the immune system, anyone with an over-active immune system or an auto-immune condition such as Lupus or Multiple Sclerosis is advised not to take it. Similarly, due to its phenylalanine content, those with the metabolic disorder PKU should also avoid spirulina.

Juicemaster

*The Raw Chocolate Company

Meridian Foods

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Why Wait Until January To Think About Your Health? Perhaps Santa Might Bring You A Juicer This Christmas!

This is a busy and expensive time of year when many of us are planning family gifts and special meals for the Christmas holidays, but it’s also when some of us start thinking about all those extra pounds and that uncomfortable over-stuffed feeling when January arrives! We often turn to health plans and expensive exercise routines in the New Year in the hope of feeling and looking a younger, more energetic and slimline self.

Why not get a head start and think about adding a juicer to your Christmas list? They can be expensive purchases at any time of year, but especially now. However, with bold planning and not a little bribery and corruption, perhaps your family can be persuaded to club together to give you the one thing that you will all really benefit from and hopefully last years: a juicer. You could persuade them it will be an investment in everyone’s health rather than viewing it as an expensive gadget.

[Whilst looking for a juicer for a family member’s birthday recently, I discovered that Juicemaster.com were selling ex demo, used once only, juicers at a greatly discounted price in the UK. (I don’t know about overseas).The Retro Super Fast centrifugal juicer was  £105 off at £74.99 whle the Retro Cold Press Juicer is £100 off at £199.99.]

imageThe juicers come in several colours and with a warranty.

I have had my juicers, one of each, since they were launched and am very happy with them. They have 5* reviews.

At the time of writing, the juicers come with a cleaning brush, recipe booklet and one or two freebies, often a Jason Vale book and his new magazine, plus perhaps a couple of their new energy bars.

You can also read my posts Juicemaster Retro Super Fast Juicer: Review & Which Juicer? – Where to Begin?

Juicing is not about starving yourself or losing tons of weight fast, although that can be an effect if you have gained too much. It is about adding unsweetened unpasteurised freshly produced fruit and vegetable juices to your diet and reaping the many health benefits.

You don’t have to do a ‘cleanse’ or a ‘juice challenge’, just adding one fresh juice a day or whenever you have time will have a profound effect on your skin, your energy levels and any chronic inflammation in your body.

Regular fresh juices can help you ward off colds and viruses.

All of my family juice to varying degrees, even the toddlers! You’re never too old to begin, either: my mum’s 83 year old neighbour heard about my startling progress and weight loss and asked me to write out some juice recipes for her. She borrowed her son’s juicer and off she went!

So why not plan your post-Christmas health boost now and start the New Year in a positive frame of mind, you’ll be all set to go as soon as the festivities are over!

(Of course, you may want to start juicing now, pre-party season, and give yourself that juicy glow or the burst of energy needed to get you through all the shopping and cleaning and invasions family visits;-))

I’ve been juicing for 4 years and feel healthier than I’ve been in decades: I’ve had only one cold and no longer use an inhaler.

NB Vitamix and Nutribullet are not juicers, they are super blenders.

See also Juicing: How to Begin or Do As I Say, Not As I Did!  &  My Top 20 Tips for Juicing – updated to 25!

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

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