Well blow me down with a feather. If I’d had a coin for every time I’d heard that then, well, I would have rather a lot of coins….
I find it fascinating that as soon as someone hears that you are doing a ‘juice diet/cleanse/fast/detox’ whatever you want to call it – all of a sudden there’s a panic on and everyone becomes an expert on the sugar/fibre debate let alone – oh my gawd – where the hell you are going to get your protein from….
I often get comments and emails from people sharing their google searches with me about how too much juice is bad for you, there’s lots of sugar in fruit and oh my god you will quite possibly get VERY ill if you skip a bit of fibre. I always get sent a list of many, many pieces of research/blog posts from internet searches (you know that 30 second online research that you do that suddenly replaces your brain).
Some of what I read I find fascinating. Some of what I read I don’t.
Now, I don’t like to have one of those ‘research battles’ where we share our google finds and work out who’s research credentials are more robust. I enjoy listening/reading to very solid research and what people have to say. I really do. I also like to listen and read about real people who didn’t get a Phd in nutrition they just made lifestyle changes and – hey presto – they turned their lives around because of it. They found their own way to get healthy and it probably included lots more fruit and veg, much less processed foods, less dairy and meat and probably a bit of exercise. Lots more to it than that, no doubt, but I am sure those are the essential ingredients of lots of ‘health turnarounds’.
Instead of the research battle: I prefer to keep things simple – cos I like life when it’s like that.
Here’s a few points I like to remind myself of that make me chuckle:
For many years, particularly during my student years, I would often drink until I passed out, eat for breakfast ‘last nights kebab’ that was congealed and now stuck to my tights, or the duvet cover, (and enjoy it) chain smoke 40 hard core red Marlboro fags and turn my teeth into grey foam, and generally not take care of myself. Not ONCE did anyone mention that I might be drinking too much sugar in my lager/beer/cider/alcocpops/fizzy drinks. No-one ever warned me about the lack of nutrition in my life: I was just ‘enjoying myself’. Funny that.
- I had my 15 minutes of fame (in my world) this one time (in band camp) when I got so knocked out on a funny cigarette (ah back in the day) that I passed out with a Caramel Wispa still hanging half out of my mouth. And when I came around I cleverly just carried on eating it and it was gorgeous. No-one. Not ONE PERSON had a sugar panic. We were all very cool about it.
- Now that we are all grown up sometimes friends start thinking of buying a juicer or a healthy piece of kit (to get a bit healthy and try to unravel many years of funky living) – all sorts of gremlins start to pop out from behind their keyboards/pint glasses with ridiculous health warnings. ‘Don’t buy a juicer oh my god too much fruit is so bad for you!!!’ ‘You will get very ill from lack of fibre, no protein, stick to a healthy balanced diet like me’. Usually I find that these folks are hard core meat eaters, who ‘couldn’t live life without a bacon sandwich. A life without bacon isn’t worth living’ (probably worth it for my little oinky friends I would say) – and usually (although not exclusively) from people who have ‘never had a weight problem’ so consider themselves an authority on health ‘cos they got it right’. Mmmm… well you don’t have to be fat to be unhealthy but there you go…..
- That there are people out there who have spent thousands of pounds on 1) reduced calorie meals 2) fat-club branded products (like weight world and slimming watchers etc – whose profits are associated with selling you more products and not making you thin but there you go) 3) membership to slimming clubs 4) membership to unused forgotten gyms 5) food from shops/restaurants/fancy coffee shops who FREAK OUT if you want to spend more than 20 quid on fruit in a week. They wail that ‘this healthy lifestyle is going to cost you an absolute fortune mate’. From my objective viewpoint I can see many levels of irony very clearly.
- Whenever fascinating and fabulous people like Jason Vale, Joe Cross, Kris Carr, and so many other wonderful change makers on this planet, get a mention as ‘quacks’ I chuckle to myself. I chuckle because these people have turned their lives and health around by making fantastic changes (dropping the processed foods/crap/fags/booze etc) and introduced things like more fruit and veg, including intermittent juice fasting into their lives and they ALL look radiant and healthy, have let go of disease and are living vibrantly. Bar none. I think that their lives are testament to their lifestyle and what they stand for and I think they are absolutely having the last laugh there….
The funny thing in this game is this: the more I learn I realise the less I know. I love following my instincts and my research and absorbing more and more; without getting too much up my own backside. I let my body do all the talking (even the wobbly bits) and enjoy a life (and lifestyle) that involves as much exercise as I can get (sometimes that’s a once a week walk to the shop, sometimes it’s a bootcamp) and as much unprocessed natural foods as I can get. And when I need the ultimate energy boost and health kick it is always, always ALWAYS with freshly pressed natural organic fruits and veggies that are juiced up at home.
Once we are all living a life where we are NOT eating processed, sugar loaded crap only then can we start to scrutinise the level of sugar in fruit. Until we drop EVERYTHING ELSE the sugar in fruit is the last bloody worry. Let’s look elsewhere first eh.
Until then, as I hear wails of the fruit/sugar debate from processed-living junkies who raise the issue from behind their keyboards or with a mouthful of bacon sarnie while slugging on a cappuccino and look forward to their take-away dinners, I shall keep at it.
Switch on to fruit people.
My top tips for juicing are:
- Keep it green – dominate your juice consumption with the greens and you are on the right track
- Apples are your friends – loaded with nutrition and can hide the taste of a hard core kale smoothie
- If you haven’t been a fruit and veg muncher all your life – start juicing to get them in to the system
- Juices taste sensational
- Fruit is not bad for you
- Fruit juice is not bad for you
- Store bought and home made juices are not the same thing
- Introduce juicing to your diet at the same time as letting go of the crap (ie no point in just adding awesome juices to a broken diet.) Start fixing the broken bits at the same time by eating more plant based whole foods instead of processed foods
- Enjoy your food – whatever your choices
- Know that you are what you eat your food choices literally become you: so if you want to look like a greasy kebab – chow down
And lastly there is a big fat flicking difference between a juice fast and drinking sugary juices on top of whatever your normal diet is! If you are thirsty drink water. A freshly prepared balanced juice of fruit and veggies made at home is a meal, not just a refreshing drink.
Look at all that disgusting sugar. How unhealthy does that look right..!? All these are made from fruit & veg. That is all.