To be blunt, if I heard words like 'fast', 'detox' or 'cleanse' 6 or 7 years or so ago I would have met then with a causal dismissal. In my head they were immediately dumped into the 'fad', 'loony' or 'scam' box. In my worldview, at the school of 'I know best and my way is just fine thank you' (a school I was a professor at), I saw no benefit in any such things whatsoever. The fact I hadn't ever tried one so had no personal experience to base my dismissal on didn't seem important.
Now there is a lot of science, pseudoscience, misinformation and controversy surrounding juicing. Sometimes it seems everyone has an opinion on it. 'Too much sugar, not enough fibre, too little protein...." are some of the things I've often heard or read. Plus, like most things, whatever somebody's opinions you can find an article in seconds on the internet backing it up. That is why I don't want to spend time here discussing the nutritional and microcellular arguments for juicing. It would take too long and that's why people write books on the subject.
Yet for all of the healthy changes to our 'target' or 'ideal' diet there have still been times over the years that we felt we needed a boost or a reset.
For example, after prolonged periods of stress at work or deeply unhappy moments in our personal lives we could both (or jointly) still find ourselves eating crap just to numb out. Our definition of 'crap' had thankfully evolved a little over time, involving a little less chocolate, cheesecake and pastries and tending more towards copious volumes of things like bread products, sweetened nuts and dried fruit. But the effect was the same. Feelings of lethargy and growing love handles.
As I said above, there are plenty of both sceptics and advocates for juicing like this and seemingly endless debate over the short and long term benefits. For us, the only evidence that matters is that it works. Every time we have done this in the past we have felt better, lost weight and come out feeling more energised for whatever lies ahead.
For anyone reading this who wants to try juicing, either alongside other meals or as a short term fast, I would say go for it. You can read and listen to as many opinions as you like but like any lifestyle change the best way to know what works for you is to try it.
Some of the best books and resources available are, in our opinion, those from Jason Vale (the 'Juice Master'). Now, please don't be put off by the 'brand' and some of the marketing surrounding his books with titles like 'Slim For Life' and '5 lbs in 5 days'. His material is not all about weight loss or providing another diet to try and then give up on. In fact he himself acknowledges and in some places apologises for the necessary choice of marketing driven by publishers etc. Look beyond that. In our experience his books provide real, sustainable and positive lifestyle changes with plenty of motivation to stick with the plan until the obvious success becomes its own motivation. His feature length documentary 'Super Juice Me' is fantastic and uplifting. I'd also suggest looking him up online and on Facebook because he often gives away plans and recipes for free, including during his quarterly Big Juice Challenges, the autumn one of which is going in right now with tens of thousands of people taking part all around the world.
Personally we feel very grateful for his passion and motivation. Although we have used our new juicer each day since Egypt, it was finding out about his current big juice challenge that gave us the push to get involved and do this much needed juice fast.
Over the next few months we will write more about our healthy journey and also mention other books by authors such as Dr Joel Fuhrman, John Robbins, Dr Colin Campbell and Harvey & Marilyn Diamond that we have found instrumental.
In the meantime Esther has also set up an Instagram feed to focus on our meals and food @crazyhealthadventures.