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Melissa Fairhurst is an Independent Natural Juice Therapist trained by Juice Master, Jason Vale. Alongside her Fresh Start Health business offering a freshly frozen juice service, juice workshops and one to one consultations she spends a number of weeks each year as manager at the Juice Master Detox retreat in Turkey. In 2014 Melissa will be presenting at the Juice Master Juice Academy helping to educate the next generation of Natural Juice Therapists

Melissa explains "Without Juice I immediately feel more sluggish, demotivated and lacking in direction. Juicing is my life insurance policy"

Melissa from Fresh Start Health meets Neil Martin, Natural Juice Junkie at Juice Academy 2012

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

Melissa Fairhurst: I first discovered juicing about 8 years ago when my sister came across one of Jason Vale’s books. Coincidentally (or not?) Jason was then guest speaker at an event I attended and he blew me away with his energy, common sense approach and entertaining style

Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing? 

Melissa Fairhurst: I’m very fortunate never to have had any health or weight issues but I was looking for ways to look after myself, keep myself trim and my health on track. Jason Vale’s 10 minute speaking slot was enough to convince me to give juicing a go.

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

Melissa Fairhurst: At that stage I wasn’t following any recipes or rules of any description. I was making it up as I went along and juicing whenever I felt like it. I was using a small Moulinex juicer at the time with a tiny chute and even smaller jug and pulp container so it was incredibly fiddly and time consuming. As a result I dipped in and out of juicing for a few years but did my best to eat healthily.

“Without Juice I immediately feel more sluggish, demotivated and lacking in direction”

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

Melissa Fairhurst: Although I didn’t have a huge amount of weight to lose my weight did gradually drop about a stone over a period of time and since then it has remained pretty much the same since. There are certain times when I’m a few pounds heavier – usually during winter – and then of course I get lighter when I spend a month working at the Juice Master Retreat in Turkey for 4 weeks at a time enjoying the fabulous juices.

Over all I would say I feel the biggest difference when I don’t juice for any reason. I immediately feel more sluggish, demotivated and lacking in direction. I work long hours on my own business and find time to keep myself fit too. When I’m on my normal daily juice I sleep really well but a lot less than I used to and I can just keep going.

The biggest benefit to date was being able to run a marathon on nothing but juice in a great time with no muscle soreness afterwards.

Melissa qualifies as a Natural Juice Therapist

Melissa with Jason Vale, Juice Master

“The perception that somehow putting nature’s finest fruit and veg in to your body in its raw form is dangerous still baffles me.”

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

Melissa Fairhurst: By far the most challenging element of juicing is the opinions of other people. I have lost track of the number of times I’ve had to explain where I get my protein from and what I do about getting enough calcium. The perception that somehow putting nature’s finest fruit and veg in to your body in its raw form is dangerous still baffles me.

Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?

Melissa Fairhurst: Juicing has changed my life in some truly significant ways. For me it is my life insurance policy. I believe I am doing the best I can do to live a long, healthy life so I can achieve all I want to achieve. It has given me energy and vitality. I firmly believe it has kept me free from headaches, coughs and colds, not to mention anything more serious. But more than that, it has given me a lifestyle and a business. I now have a business where I can spread the word about how simple it is to dramatically change your health and waistline for the better. Where I can educate people about the power of nature and that pharmaceuticals don’t always have the answer.

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

Melissa Fairhurst: Haha, good question. Probably being over enthusiastic in the beginning and wanting to ‘convert’ everyone I came in to contact with. Even though you know it can help people, they have to want to help themselves. Now I do my best to lead by example. If people want to jump on the juicy bandwagon then I’ll happily tell them all about it and help them along the way but otherwise I just let them get on with eating and drinking whatever they choose to eat and drink.

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

Melissa Fairhurst: I don’t believe the two are exclusive. They go absolutely hand in hand. You have to put the right foundations and building blocks in place with the right nutrition and at the same time you need to move your body to make it stronger and fitter.

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

Melissa Fairhurst: I do an early bird circuit class three times a week for a great start to the day. I also normally do a lot of running, but that has slipped by the wayside a little bit the last few months because of other demands on my time.

Melissa: "Juicing is my life insurance policy"

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

Melissa Fairhurst: My days are so varied with appointments, making juice for people, running workshops, etc that no two are the same. However, I do make sure I start every day with a shot of either wheatgrass, spirulina or chlorella – or maybe a combination. I also have a teaspoon of bee pollen.

I have at least one large juice almost every day. Ideally it will be green. Celery, cucumber, spinach and lime is my standard but sometimes I might feel like a frozen banana blended with some coconut water a few goji berries, maca, flaxseed, chia seed and possibly a hint of raw cacao.

Some days it will be just juice, others there will be juice plus a large salad full of just about everything. Once a week I prep a large container of leaves of all descriptions – rocket, kale, spinach, coriander, mint, basil – plus white and red cabbage, carrot, beetroot, celery, peppers and activated seeds and have it ready in the fridge whenever I need to grab a plateful. It saves a huge amount of time. I add tomatoes, olives and any other bits I may have to hand to mix it up a bit then a few spoonfuls of a homemade dressing that I’ve also had ready in a jar in the fridge. Sometimes a squeeze of fresh lime is all the salad needs for a refreshing zing.

Neil Martin: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?

Melissa Fairhurst: I went vegan overnight about 8 years ago which I found very hard to maintain at the time as the rest of my household were not on the same path as me. Over a period of years I compromised by re-introducing a number of things in to my diet. However, for the last few years I have only had myself to look after so it has been easy to go back to what I feel is right for me which means no meat or dairy products… with the exception of an occasional bit of goats cheese when eating out (the uncreative vegetarian option on most restaurant menus), or halloumi which I love.

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

Melissa Fairhurst: I have never liked tea or coffee so they’ve never been an issue for me. I used to drink alcohol but stopped about 8 years ago and really don’t miss it. For anyone wanting to improve their health I would recommend avoiding them as they cause all kinds of problems in the body.

Melissa: "Juicing is my life insurance policy"

Melissa (with short hair) at Juicy Oasis with Jason ‘Juice Master’ Vale and Kate from the Juicy Oasis team

“It doesn’t have to be juice and only juice forever more”

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

Melissa Fairhurst: Do it! It doesn’t have to be juice and only juice forever more. Just start by adding a glass in a few times a week, then daily in addition to your normal food. If it feels right then use the juice as a replacement for one meal a day and see how you get on. My approach is very much about adding more good stuff in rather than stripping out all of the stuff we know isn’t good for us but eat anyway and leaving a gaping hole both physically and emotionally. That approach is doomed to failure and is a totally miserable way of going about things.

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?

Melissa Fairhurst: Only 6? Eek, that’s a toughie! Kale, cucumber, celery, pear, lime, ginger

If I could have 6 ‘other’ foods then bee pollen, wheatgrass, maca, goj berries, cacao, chia

My favourite refreshing green juice:

  • 3-4 large leaves of kale
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 1 lime
  • Chunk of ginger

My favourite superfood smoothie

  • 300ml coconut water
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • Handful frozen mango
  • Handful goji berries
  • 1 teaspoon maca
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

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Melissa explains "Without Juice I immediately feel more sluggish, demotivated and lacking in direction. Juicing is my life insurance policy"

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