Juicing was an absolute game changer when it came to healing my skin six years ago. If you're yet to be convinced of the benefits, there are two movies I'd like to recommend;
- Fat Sick & Nearly Dead - Joe Cross
- Super Juice Me - Jason Vale
Both are usually available via Netflix or YouTube, they're a wonderful insight into the power cold-pressed fruit & veg can have when it comes to changing our health & skin for the better.
If you're ready to get started right away, check out my 3, 5 & 7 day cleanses available to buy in the UK here.
WHAT IS JUICING?
If you're completely new to this, please don't feel stupid. I had absolutely no idea what juicing meant either. I had a cheap blender back then and chucked the ingredients recommended in a recipe I found online into it. Disaster. What I ended up with was a thick, brown sludge. It looked disgusting, it tasted vile, I decided juicing was definitely not for me!
That isn't juicing. The first important lesson is that a blender is not a juicer. It would be like trying to use a toaster to grill a cheese toastie instead of using a toastie maker. It's a completely different machine. Yes of course you can make a blended smoothie, but you'll need to use a smoothie recipe - not a juice recipe. The two are not interchangeable.
Juicing is the process of extracting juice from fresh fruit & veg. A juicer separates the pulp from the liquid into two separate buckets. What you're left with is a lovely, thin, juice consistency - rather than a thick sludge. Incidentally, the pulp is fantastic on the compost heap or chickens love it if you've got pet chicks. A blender or nutribullet is not the same as a juicer, because it simply uses sharp blades to blend everything together at speed. Some people prefer blending because it retains the vegetable fibre with no wastage, but I find I need lots more fruit to make a blended smoothie taste palatable, whereas I can drink a vegetable juice no problem. We only use organic fruit & veg in our juice cleanse boxes. We cold-press & deliver chilled to your door.
WHY IS JUICING SO GOOD FOR OUR SKIN?
The reason I love juicing is because it enables me to consume the most insane quantity of fruit & veg at a super concentrated level. If you look at the mountain of vegetables you begin with when you're running everything through the juicer, it would be virtually impossible to eat so much at every sitting.
Not only is it about the sheer quantity of vitamins you're feeding your body, the fact you're asking for nothing in return by way of digestion is quite amazing! Your gut has to do very little work to absorb all these nutrients. You're nourishing your body at a cellular level.
By juicing a variety of fruit & veg you're incorporating mountains of skin friendly vitamins. Compare what your daily diet consists of now to eating 4kg of fresh greens ... that's the difference!
WHAT IS A JUICE CLEANSE & CAN I EAT?
When I first read Jason Vale's book about a 7 day juice cleanse I couldn't get my head around the fact I wouldn't be eating for a week! I'm somebody who loves food. I enjoy every aspect of eating. The process of cooking, the social element of dinner with friends, I have a real love of food in every sense. Going without chewing for one week seemed crazy.
That first juice cleanse was tough! At the time I was doing it for weight loss, I wanted more energy & to stop feeling so tired and lethargic all the time. Like so many people I did the cleanse, lost the weight and then went back to eating cr*p a week later! So it wasn't really a very successful experiment. The juicer went to the back of the cupboard & it wasn't until two years later when I learned Jason had also struggled with psoriasis and used juicing to heal, that I brought the juicer back out again and began viewing the process very differently. No longer was this going to be a fad diet. I was committed to learning more and began again on a 3 day greens cleanse.
The intention with juicing is not to eat. You're giving your body a rest from having to breakdown foods. You might have read in the past about the benefits of fasting - especially when it comes to our skin. Juicing is essentially a less extreme form of fasting - in fact some people call it a 'juice fast'. You're still feeding your body the vitamins & nutrients it needs, but it doesn't have to work hard to digest them.
Of course you're going to get cravings, but it's really important to learn the difference between food cravings and genuine hunger. Much of this is psychological and getting used to not doing something (eating) you've become very accustomed to. If you absolutely can not live without chewing for 3 days, it might feel easier to begin with a mixture of juices & soups. This isn't failing or cheating, this is making the process more manageable for you. The other option is to go for my 3 day cleanse pack and drink three juices per day over four days instead, including a healthy lunch in place of your midday juice each day. Instead of saying juicing is something you can't possibly do ... make this work for you.
WHICH JUICER SHALL I BUY?
Knowing where to begin when it comes to buying a juicer can feel like a bit of a minefield. There are so many different models on the market & price ranges vary wildly. I've seen juicers for as little as £20 and as expensive as £1000! So where to begin? Think first about your daily usage and budget. If you'd prefer to buy a pre-packed cleanse, you can do so here.
For me, juicing has to be easy. Anything I'm going to stick to has got to fit in with my busy life. Therefore a wide chute juicer is essential. 'Wide chute' literally describes the funnel you throw the fruit & veg into. A wide chute juicer allows you to put whole apples in without the faff of peeling, dicing & chopping. You can even quarter a whole pineapple & throw it in with the skin still on. A good juicer will handle it.
JUICERS FOR £20
Let's start at the budget end of the scale. My own model is the Philips HR1861. I began with this juicer eight years ago and still have the exact same model I bought back then standing in my kitchen! It wasn't so budget at the time - I think it set me back £80. Philips don't make it anymore, but you can usually find a barely used version on eBay for around £20! People do what I did the first time around, they try it once, then stick the machine back in the cupboard and never use it again. Great news for you as it's often the cheapest way to begin.
JUICERS FOR £50
Amazon isn't a bad option for something slightly more expensive. For around £50 you'll be able to find a pretty okay entry level juicer. The Duronic ones usually pop up quite cheaply. I've tried it, it's fine for what it is. As always on a budget, the parts feel a little more flimsy than something more expensive & the motor is less powerful - but it does the job.
JUICERS FOR £75
Okay, let's set the budget a little higher & see what's available. When I'm shopping around I tend to look for products with great reviews & go from there. John Lewis offer 2 year guarantees, so that's not a bad place to begin. This is the John Lewis Own for £70. Or the Braun at John Lewis for £76.
JUICERS FOR + £100
The Sage models look stylish, substantial & perform really well when it comes to juicing. This is one of my favourites. A wide chute juicer, the reviews it receives are consistently positive.
COLD-PRESS JUICERS + £200
Once we begin to look at the more expensive models on the market, we step into cold-press territory. Without confusing you too much, traditional juicers use high speed blades to extract juice, cold-pressing is as it sounds. It squeezes the fruit & veg to extract juice. Experts believe this retains even more of the vitamins & nutrients and juicing purists would not buy anything else.
I have an Omega VSJ Slow Juicer. It's a great machine, no doubt about it, but as the title suggests ... it's slow! You have to chop everything finely before it goes into the chute & it takes much longer to process. No bad thing if you're not in a rush, but I couldn't use it daily. The Sage Cold-Press Juicer would be a good option if cold-pressing is essential to you. It has a wide-chute, so it at least saves the chopping part.