Have you like many, overdone it over Christmas and your new year's resolutions include the usual promises of eating more healthily and getting into shape, only to stumble at the first hurdle?
Forget about the latest absurd and frankly dangerous diets out there (seriously, have you heard about the ludicrous breatharian diet??!!). If you really want to do something AMAZING for your long term health, look no further than the Juice Master; Jason Vale.
If you read my Juice Revolution post back in the summer, you'll know that I've been an advocate for juicing since my first experience back in 2012 when I joined many thousands of people around the world to take part in Jason's one week juicing programme/detox, from his book; 7lbs in 7 days. It was a remarkable experience, a real eye opener, and I've been hooked ever since!
I aim to juice everyday as well as trying to eat a well balanced diet. Now, I'm no angel and I do, at times fall off the wagon. I like to do the programme two or three times a year to get my body (and mind) back in 'the zone'. It's great for flushing out all the cr@p, kicks any cravings I might have for unhealthy food and gets me right back on track.
Last week I bought Jason's brand new book 5lbs in 5 days. So excited was I to get my hands on it, that I read it from cover to cover within two days. It's the programme from this book that I'll be doing from 13th - 17th January along with tens of thousands of other people around the world for The World's Biggest Juice Detox. I can't wait to try the new juices from the programme!
Anyway, in case any of you have also caught the juicing bug, I thought I'd share a few tips I've picked up along the way on my juicy adventure. Hopefully it'll make it easier for you, especially if you are embarking on a juicing detox. It can be tough going at times so you want to make the process as easy on yourself as possible, to ensure you don't give up halfway through the programme.
So here goes...
Don't go into juicing blind. Jason's books are just fantastic. I learnt so much and he dispels many common misconceptions about juicing. Do yourself a favour and buy/visit the library and get one of his books (I recommend 7lbs in 7 days to any juicy novice).
Then read the book in its entirety before starting the programme. It'll help you understand and get through any cravings / mental hunger / detox symptoms you may experience for the first few days.
If you've never juiced before DON'T make it up as you go along - if you mix together the wrong vegetable combo, you may well put yourself off juicing for life!
Make it easy on yourself (and save on wasted ingredients) by using tried and tested recipes. If you're not sure about buying one of Jason's books, go to the Juice Master facebook page, as they often post recipes and instructions.
In preparation for a juicing programme, the BIGGEST time saving tip I can give you is to wash ALL your fruit and veg the day before you start juicing. Then put it in the fridge ready to use. It will save you so much time when you come to make the juices each day.
Buy organic wherever possible. It can be expensive so my tip is, if you can only afford to buy one item organic, make it the apples - apples are apparently the highest ranking fruit with use of pesticides!
If there are say, five juices to be made in one day, don't get your juicer out five times. That's a lot of work and it also means five times the clean up, ugh! Make all of the day's juices in one go first thing in the morning and store them in airtight containers in the fridge.
If you're pushed for time in the mornings, make the juices the evening before, just before you go to bed.
If you're really pushed for time and making juices daily is a problem, juices can be made up ahead of time and frozen. So you could make all the juices at the weekend ready for the week ahead, and simply take the ones you need out of the freezer the night before you'll be drinking them. You lose a small amount of nutrients/enzyme activity by freezing (around 5%), but if it means it is more convenient for you, that's certainly far better than not juicing at all.
Keep your juices cold. If taking the juices to work with you, simply pop the flasks into a cool bag with a cold ice pack inside.
There are two types of juicer; centrifugal and masticating. Depending on the type of juicer you use, juices will keep well for 24-48 hours. I have a masticating juicer and my juices have still been tasty 72 hours later!
Two things that will make juice go off quickly are light and oxygen. You can store juice in glass jars but ideally you want to block out light in order to keep your juice as fresh as possible. You also want to have as little air in the container as possible so don't pour it into an oversized bottle.
Tesco actually sell the perfect sized Thermos flask for around £7 - half the price of the fancy Sigg flasks (I actually find the Sigg flasks difficult to clean due to the shape of the neck and found that after time the coating would peel away around the screw part).
Adding a few drops of lemon juice also helps to keep your juices fresh.
Any juices/smoothies with yoghurt should be made up fresh as they do not keep well at all (when a juicing programme calls for such a juice, I mix up the order of the juices so that I have the yoghurt one for breakfast instead of having to make it later in the day, saving time and cleaning).
For optimum health benefits, ensure the majority of your juices/smoothies are green, meaning plant and vegetable based as opposed to being mainly fruit based.
Here's a great graphic by Nicole Antoinette with a formula for creating the perfect green smoothie (click to enlarge).
Avoid brushing your teeth for 45 minutes to an hour after having a juice. That actually goes for any food or drink you consume. Food and drink can be acidic and whenever we eat or drink, the enamel on our teeth softens. If you then brush your teeth immediately after consumption, you risk literally brushing the softened enamel away.
I drink my juices and smoothies through a straw and I swish some water around my mouth as soon as I finish drinking them (or eat any food) and if I feel the need, I'll chew a piece of sugar free gum for a few minutes to freshen up.
Supercharge your juices with supplements such as wheatgrass and spirulina. Your body will be singing inside!!
So you've tried the juicy lifestyle and you're hooked, what's not to love, right?
If you have a centrifugal juicer, why not consider upgrading to the masticating variety for added nutritional benefit and really get the most out of your ingredients!
If you feel inspired and want to give the juicing programme a go, here's a link to The World's Biggest Juice Detox where you can sign up (for free) for Jason's daily coaching videos. If you're a juicing novice, it's amazing how Jason's enthusiasm and energy keep you going.
Jason has also been sharing videos of the juices we'll be making on his facebook page. Check it out!
And if you have any juicing tips yourself, leave me a comment, I'd be happy to hear!