I wonder if Channel 5 anticipated the impact broadcasting Joe Cross’ documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”  would have? The kitchenware retailer, Lakeland,  reported that juicer sales shot up by 4,000 per cent in a week and John Lewis also reported a massive increase in the sale of juicers. Beyond the sales of juice extractors, the film has had a much more important (but related) effect and one it’s success stories is Phil McFarlane.

Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?

Phil McFarlane: I started juicing in the last week of July 2013 after seeing Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on TV in June. I had read about the adverse effects of a juice detox so I wanted to wait until I was on School holiday before starting.

Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?

Phil McFarlane: When I saw Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, within the first few seconds, I said “I can do this too” and as I had struggled with diets in the past, I instantly knew that it would be the right thing for me.

Neil Martin: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?

Phil McFarlane: I started with a Joe Cross Reboot and went into it cold turkey. I did it for 8 days and then went on holiday for 2 weeks. I came back and did another reboot for 30 days. I then came across the Jason Vale books and did his 7lbs in 7 days. This got me blending avocado and banana into juices and since then, I have mixed and matched Juicing with blending, creating my own juices from a basic supply of fruit and veg. I always felt I was wasting the pulp from the leaves, so then I juiced all hard fruit and veg, blending in combinations of green leaves,  avocado and banana.

“Since juicing I have stopped taking insulin with no adverse effects”

Neil Martin: Did you have any medical conditions prior to juicing?

Phil McFarlane: I have type 2 diabetes and was on insulin and medication for 15 years, since juicing I have stopped taking insulin with no adverse effects.

Neil Martin: Since juicing, how much weight have you lost?

Phil McFarlane: I lost 60lbs in 5 months, about 12lbs a month and since then, ensured to maintain that weight loss. At some point in the near future, I would like to surge forward with another focused effort to lose up to another 20lb, which would get me to a BMI of 25.

Neil Martin: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?

Phil McFarlane: I set out with the intention of losing weight and in the process, if it could help my diabetes, all the better. Within weeks, I had stopped taking insulin and diabetic medications and the weight loss has been life changing.

Neil Martin: Since you started juicing what have you found most challenging and how did you deal with this challenge?

Phil McFarlane: As a drummer, I was seriously worried about collapsing on stage through lack of energy. Drumming can burn 500 calories an hour, so I wondered how juicing would affect my performance. I took extra juices and made a Jason Vale workout recipe of cucumber, apple and spring water. All was good and I haven’t worried since. I often now just take a banana and/or raw cashew nuts.

“Juicing has empowered me to control my ridiculous eating habits from the past”

Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?

Phil McFarlane: Juicing has given me the tool to be able to reverse small weight gain from overindulgence (Christmas, Birthdays, special occasions). It has empowered me to control my ridiculous eating habits from the past. It has helped change my taste buds so that I no longer crave sweet things and it has given me a persona of normalness to others looking at me for the first time, removing the stigma of someone looking at a fat person and pre-judging them on that basis. On a lighter note, going into any clothes shop and being able to pick something off the shelf is very motivating and then going on holiday, using a smaller suitcase because my clothes are no longer the size of a tent.

“I started this journey with XXXL t-shirts and am now a medium. My collar size has gone from 21 to 16 and I have lost 10 inches off my waist, from a 44” to 34”. I was insulin dependent with medication and now do not take anything for my type 2 diabetes, having normal blood pressure, cholesterol and bloods. My BMI has gone from 38 to 29 and since juicing and blending I have lost 30% of my body weight. If anybody has stats like me, and wants to turn their lifestyle around, then juicing is a no brainer. Buy a juicer and start juicing immediately.”

Phil McFarlane

Neil Martin: What has been your biggest juicing mistake and why?

Phil McFarlane: A couple of ingredients made me very ill. Sweet potato, gave me tummy pains, and when I started blending, carrot top greens made me violently ill.

Neil Martin: Any juicing tips you have picked up along the way?

Phil McFarlane: To help get spinach into the chute of my juicer (without it going all over the floor), I bought a jam jar funnel and that really helps. Also after I have cleaned my juicer, I run it for 5 seconds or so to spin dry the juicer sieve and parts.

Neil Martin: What equipment do you use?

Phil McFarlane: I use a Philips 1861 centrifugal juicer, a vitamix [blender] and 750ml glass kilner jars and 500ml glass food jars [for storing juice].

Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?

Phil McFarlane: I think goals change over time. When you are obese, it’s all about losing the weight. Once you reach an acceptable weight, goals shift towards health, wellbeing and maintaining the success. I’ve just watched a short interview with Hugh Jackman regarding his physique in the Wolverine role, and he was told by Dwaine “The Rock” that diet is everything and the gym is secondary.

Neil Martin: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?

Phil McFarlane: Prior to being incapacitated with a broken foot, I was at the gym, cycling and rowing 3-5k, 5 times a week and walking a considerable amount. At the minute I am doing very little but looking to do weights and possibly swimming in the very near future until my foot heals.

Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?

Phil McFarlane: I start my day with lemon and warm water. As its winter, I’m now having porridge for my breakfast, and have started making it with almond milk instead of dairy. I make up 1.5 litres of green smoothie for the day and have homemade soup or a small meal for tea, sometimes both soup and a meal. I like pasta with a tomato based sauce, jacket potato with tuna, fresh salmon or chicken, new potatoes, corn on the cob and some veg. Occasionally I will eat an omelette and I also enjoy cheese and crackers as a treat. Since starting my juicing journey back in July 2013, I havn’t eaten any chocolate or cake, which is not only amazing, but also great for my diabetes.

Neil Martin: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?

Phil McFarlane: Before juicing, I was one of the biggest meat eaters and junk food consumers on the planet. Now my diet is mainly vegetarian, cutting out red meat but still enjoying chicken and fish.

Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?

Phil McFarlane: I drink very little alcohol anyway, but used to be a massive coffee drinker. From drinking 7 or more mugs of strong coffee a day, I now have a couple of cups of decaf. I know there is controversy over decaf coffee, but life is about striking a balance.

“Don’t wait for a particular day or date, get a juicer and start straight away”

Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?

Phil McFarlane: Don’t wait for a particular day or date, get a juicer and start straight away. That said, I read articles and watched videos for a week, to be as motivated as possible before I started. Joining a facebook group is essential for constant motivation and support. Thirst For Nature UK Juicers and Reboot with Joe are the best 2 out there.

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?

Phil McFarlane: Presuming I had an unlimited supply of water and being on a desert Island is about survival, I would choose Lemon, Apples, Avocado, Celery, Cucumber, Spinach.


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