Fiona Watson started her juicing journey in 2013 at a time when she was medicating her life with painkillers, antidepressants and booze. A chance, late night documentary changed her life and she quickly went on to launch the Juicing The Thistle Facebook group. She will be 49 at end of March and has 3 children aged 20, 18 and 11. She says that “juicing has most certainly played a part in making my job as a single parent a lot easier” and that she just needs to “find that money tree now.”
Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?
Fiona Watson: I was lying in bed one night in July 2013 when I fell upon a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I remember thinking it was a ridiculous name for a documentary but you know what – I had been going through a miserable time and it completely described how I felt! Joe Cross’ words resonated with me from beginning to end. It was like a light bulb switched on in my head – the next day I ordered a juicer.
I am embarrassed to say that Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead was the first time I had heard of juicing vegetables although there isn’t a vegetable on this planet that I have tried that I haven’t liked – it was a completely new idea to me.
Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?
Fiona Watson: I joined the worldwide Facebook juicing group Reboot with Joe and despite asking what must have been ridiculously simple questions started juicing proper on August 2nd 2013.
I looked at the recipe for Joe Cross’ Mean Green and I think I can honestly say that I have only followed three other recipes since. I find joy in the 80/20 rule [80% vegetable / 20% fruit], juicing the rainbow and rotating my greens – I very often play fridge roulette and love the variety of flavours and vibrant colours that juicing ad hoc brings!
“I was on antidepressants long term and using alcohol as an emotional crutch – 2 weeks in to my juice fast I realised I hadn’t taken a single thing!”
Neil Martin: Did you have any medical conditions prior to juicing?
Fiona Watson: I was suffering from debilitating back spasms and was taking 500mg dihydrocodeine, 2 tablets, 4 times a day just to be able to move – I was also on antidepressants long term and using alcohol as an emotional crutch – 2 weeks in to my juice fast I realised I hadn’t taken a single thing!
Neil Martin: Was weight loss one of the reason you started juicing? If so, what other diets had you tried and how successful were they?
Fiona Watson: I have to be honest and say that weightloss WAS my driving force initially and the lb a day which I lost on average motivated me to continue until juicing became natural in my every day. I have tried most diets going from Scottish Slimmers to the tuna and beetroot diet – all of which worked of course while the initial drive was there but pretty soon the weight came back on as I slipped back into old ways.
Juicing fits me like a glove – once the initial novelty value and excitement about my weight loss had passed I found a love for all things nutrition – my mind had also opened up to a new approach to eating. In all I have lost 3 stone (42 pounds) in my 60+ day juice fast and have managed to maintain the loss give or take a few pounds since reintroducing food back into my diet.
Neil Martin: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?
Fiona Watson: I was extremely lucky in a lot of ways – working at home meant I could pretty much juice at will and being a single parent meant I wasn’t surrounded by the sometimes negative naysaying that some people experience. My only real difficulty was when I had transport issues! Veggies can be heavy! I invested in a rather trendy herebefore “old person’s” trolley and never looked back! The exercise was an added bonus!
“Juicing has changed my life in many wonderful ways”
Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?
Fiona Watson: Juicing has changed my life in many wonderful ways – the obvious weight loss and improved fitness levels – the coming off of all medication and alcohol and the ever growing interest in nutrition which has lead me to read read read all things nutrition.
But best of all, juicing has brought me back into my own life – I am far more rooted and secure in my own skin and have a far more positive relationship with my three children.
I will NEVER look back!
It gave me the confidence to take my CBT motorcycle “test” – a long held dream – and I now am a proud owner of my own motorcycle. Oh and of course I have set up my own Scottish juicing group called Juicing the Thistle and we will shorty be embarking on our first 3 day juice fast break in Kintyre, Scotland. I have made many friends for life through such groups but my main link in with Reboot with Joe and the great girls I am in touch with daily there.
Neil Martin: What has been your biggest juicing mistake and why?
Fiona Watson: I don’t think I’ve made any juicing mistakes as such – like everyone I’ve dropped a jar of hard earned mean green and just about got a straw to sook it up – but no real “mistakes”. Red cabbage really didn’t do anything for me so won’t readily juice that again but apart from that no veggie is safe 🙂
Neil Martin: What equipment do you use?
Fiona Watson: I started off with a cheaper Andrew James juicer until I very quickly realised that juicing was going to be in my every day and invested in a Sage juicer [Breville in the US] – quite a bit more expensive but I’ve used it four times a day every day since about October last year so it’s worked really hard and has given me no problems at all, not one. I also used a Nutribullet to make smoothies.
“I wasn’t able to follow an exercise routine until I fixed my nutritional mistakes”
Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?
Fiona Watson: I think diet and nutrition and exercise are all equally vital to a healthy lifestyle but personally I wasn’t able to follow an exercise routine until I fixed my nutritional mistakes.
Like I mentioned before, It was just weeks into the fast that I noticed I had not taken any medication and was able to take up a gym membership at a local leisure centre which I use 2 or 3 times a week.
Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?
Fiona Watson: Typically now I start my day with an apple/ginger shot closely followed by my ubiquitous mean green – late morning I often have a beet root or fennel based juice – and in the evening I have a vegetarian meal.
If I feel the need to snack I munch on nuts (usually almonds) or fresh fruit. I like an occasional hot marmite drink or a blackstrap molasses and fruit teas as well. I can’t really pigeon hole my diet as I can’t honestly say I won’t eat meat in the future but I just choose not to right now, next week may be different I do not know.
Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?
Fiona Watson: I do like the occasional coffee but since I like it black I don’t have any problem doing without dairy at all – I certainly do not have the amount of mugs I used to have of a day!
Alcohol is a big pat on the back for me – I used to use it as an emotional crutch but like the pain medication and anti-depressants I don’t feel the need any more. I am high on life – what better feeling!
Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
Fiona Watson: Three bits of advice I would give to anyone considering adding juicing to their life:
- Do it!
- Research thoroughly and transition into it
- Find a supportive positive community to share your journey with as the path to good health through juicing can be a solitary one!
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?
Fiona Watson: If I was lucky enough to be stuck on a desert island with a working juicer my 6 “go to” ingredients would be kale, cucumber, celery, granny smith apples, ginger and lemon – I would be a very happy girl with the variations those ingredients would give me!
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