It is easy to become overweight when your job means you are living “on the road”. Michael Pollan, the author of In Defence of Food and Omnivore’s Dilemma says “Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.” Sadly, when your car doubles as your office this is sometimes easier said than done. This is something I know from personal experience.
Just over four years ago I was a fat “road warrior”, grabbing sandwiches, snacks and drinks at motorway service stations that would be eaten as I continued my journey. This kind of travel can also lead to a very sedentary lifestyle.
These days I still travel a lot, but have put a new focus on how I fuel my body, I try to make sure I have healthy foods and juices with me whenever possible. I also make sure I move my body everyday, typically by running or spending an hour or so in the gym.
One of my friends and former colleagues, Mark Beddoe, is another example of the impact that life on the road can have on our health. Mark is also a great example of the way we can all take control of our own futures, improving our health through juicing and lifestyle changes.
Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?
Mark Beddoe: I started juicing properly about 3 months ago after you (Natural Juice Junkie) suggested that I watch the Joe Cross documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead“.
“I had just reached a point where I HAD to do something”
Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?
Mark Beddoe: I had just reached a point where I had to do something. I had gained weight steadily over the previous 10 years. My previous job meant lots of travel, lots of hotels, lots of restaurants, lots of long hours, lots of sandwiches and snacks (usually chocolate and crisps) on the go and very little family and me time. My metabolism had completely stalled and my health had suffered in a number of areas.
Just over 3 years ago I changed my job and gained a much better work / life balance. I fully expected that my weight and health would sort itself out but it didn’t.
Watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead put things into perspective and also seeing the transformation that you (Natural Juice Junkie) had gone through, provided the inspiration I needed to dig out an old juicer that had been gathering dust in a cupboard, and start a 3 day reboot.
Neil Martin: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?
Mark Beddoe: I followed the Joe Cross reboot a couple of times, for 3 to 4 days at a time. I also have a couple of juice recipe books by Jason Vale which I dip in to now and then as well as recipes from the Natural Juice Junkie website.
Nowadays, I have evolved my own program of juicing for a couple of meals and a healthy, vegetarian style, meal in the evening.
“Over the last few months I have lost over 40lbs.”
Neil Martin: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?
Mark Beddoe: The biggest change / benefit for me has been the weight loss. Over the last few months I have lost over 40lbs. Having said that it is important for me to consider this as a lifestyle change and so I don’t try to focus on weight loss, I know that if I have good nutrition that weight loss will be a welcome result.
A specific example of how juicing appears to have had an effect on my health, beyond the weight loss, happened in September. My juicer stopped working and we had two family birthdays in the same week. This didn’t make for a particularly healthy time. The result of this was that I had a really bad gout attack on the Thursday night. By Friday morning I could barely hobble down the stairs to my home office.
This was not a great feeling, especially as we had made plans to go to London for the weekend to watch two of my daughters appearing on the West End stage for the first time.
Happily, a new juicer had been delivered on that Thursday, which meant I could start juicing again.
“my gout pain and inflammation virtually stopped!”
Breakfast was a Romaine Goddess. It was the first time I had tried this recipe and I really enjoyed it. Mid morning I went for a Kale of Duty, again another first try and another success. Then I remembered that I had read that pineapple was really good for alleviating arthritis. I had already tried the Sweet Potato Pie recipe (which includes pineapple) and decided to go mad with this recipe for the rest of the day to see if helped to improve my gout!
I’m not sure exactly what happened during that day, but I do know that my gout pain and inflammation virtually stopped! It has never subsided that quickly before. At best, with the same level of severity, it typically takes a week, and at worst a couple of weeks. I can only put it down to the juice. If ever I needed something to convince me to keep juicing, apart from the weight loss I have experienced, then this was it!
Neil Martin: Since you started juicing what have you found most challenging and how did you deal with this challenge?
Mark Beddoe: I am only at the start of my journey and I know that I will have challenges to come, but I have to say, that I have found the process much easier than I expected. I had the two day headache, which most people experience whilst their body flushes out the toxins, but apart from that, the biggest challenge has been trying not to wear my juicer out!
“I’m starting to get my old face back”
Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?
Mark Beddoe: It continues to change my life, little by little, every day. It’s an ongoing transformation which will see me gradually return to a more youthful and healthy me. I have had comments from work colleagues and friends about how my appearance has changed.
My wife remarked the other day that I’m starting to get my old face back, and my children have expressed joy in being able to get their arms all the way around me for a hug for the first time in years! It appears that it is not only changing my own life but it is having a positive impact on those that are close to me as well!
Neil Martin: What has been your biggest juicing mistake and why?
Mark Beddoe: I think that anyone who juices will have experienced the “Kitchen Sink” juice whereby you grab every ingredient you have or can think of and chuck it in the juicer. I have done that a couple of times and not surprisingly, the results weren’t that great! I try to keep it simple now and use a variety of recipes from Jason Vale and the Natural Juice Junkie.
Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing? Exercise or diet and nutrition?
Mark Beddoe: Undoubtedly the foundation to health and wellbeing starts with diet and nutrition in my opinion.
Neil Martin: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?
Mark Beddoe: I really struggle with formal exercise. Years of playing field hockey in my younger days has left me with knees that complain whenever I try running and other high impact activities. I do occasionally jump on an orbital trainer which is gentler on the joints and I have become much more active around the home which helps.
“it was important that it was sustainable”
Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?
Mark Beddoe: This is early days in a complete lifestyle change for me and so it was important that it was sustainable and fitted in with my work and family life. My approach works for me and so far, has provided me with the steady and sustainable transformation that I was looking for.
I generally start the day with lemon and hot water to kick start my metabolism and follow that up with a juice for breakfast, a juice for lunch and another at mid / late afternoon. This is followed by a vegetarian style meal in the evening.
I am trying to stay away from processed foods, animal protein, dairy and caffeine as much as possible, but I do still enjoy eating whatever is prepared at special occasions and I also think that enjoying a Sunday roast with the family is quality time that shouldn’t be dismissed.
Neil Martin: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?
Mark Beddoe: No, not completely. I would say that Monday to Saturday is almost 100% vegetarian but I do enjoy a roast dinner with my family on a Sunday and I have the occasional “naughty” meal on a Saturday.
Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?
Mark Beddoe: I used to drink a lot of coffee and tea until a few months ago. I have now cut them out of my diet completely and I don’t miss them at all! I was never a big consumer of alcohol but I do still enjoy a beer or two when in the company of friends. I think the key is always moderation. The joy of spending time with people that you care about more than compensates for the odd couple of beers in my opinion.
“Everything you need is easily accessible, you just need to act”
Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
Mark Beddoe: A bit clichéd I know but just do it! You will never know or understand the benefits unless you find out for yourself. There are loads of deals for juicers and recipe books around and a wealth of information online. Everything you need is easily accessible, you just need to act.
Neil Martin: If you were stuck on a desert island with a working juicer and blender and an unlimited supply of just 6 ingredients, what would those ingredients be?
Mark Beddoe: Unfair! Ok, here goes, apples, kale, cucumber, celery, limes and ginger. I must admit that if I could also sneak some sweet potatoes and pineapples onto the island I would!
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