Niall started juicing over 10 years ago, but his juicer mainly sat in a cupboard gathering dust. Then he saw Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.
Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?
Niall McAllister: Technically I started juicing over 10 years ago.
I saw an infomercial on TV with Jack Lalanne. He was in his 80’s and banging on about how he had juiced from early adulthood, and I thought he was looking good on it. So I thought I would get the juicer and give it a try.
The juicer has spent most of that time in a cupboard, but it came with me when I got divorced as the ex felt it took up to much space.
This time around, [I’ve been juicing for] about 3 weeks, but that is long term by my normal standards.
“I felt like crap from the moment I wake up till the moment I hit my bed”
Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?
Niall McAllister: I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead when it first came on Channel 5.
A lot of what Joe Cross said hit home with me, I don’t have the same ailments as him, but I was heading in that direction. I felt like crap from the moment I wake up till the moment I hit my bed.
Neil Martin: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?
Niall McAllister: I went to the supermarket with no real plan, bought a load of fruit and vegetables, and thought this is it.
Two days later I felt like I was doing to die and most of the stuff went in the bin.
I took this approach several times. Eventually I figured out it wouldn’t work for me this way and it was costing a fortune, so I bought the Reboot with Joe Juicing Diet book and decided to start with a 5 day reboot.
This worked better as I could see what I was doing. However, I have come to the conclusion that I need more than just juice, so I am now modifying how I look at food, and I am incorporating juice into my diet to replace one or two meals each day.
“I thought that if I could lose my excess weight that would solve all my woes”
Neil Martin: Did you have any medical conditions prior to juicing?
Niall McAllister: I have high liver enzymes which lead me to discover I have a very fatty liver, I also live with depression, and general wear to the body caused by carrying 17+ stone (238 pounds) on a 13 stone (182 pounds) frame.
Neil Martin: Was weight loss one of the reason you started juicing?
Niall McAllister: Yes, I thought that if I could lose my excess weight that would solve all my woes
“Calorie counting – That was boring and took the fun out of eating”
Neil Martin: What other diets had you tried and how successful were they?
Niall McAllister: I have done Weight Watchers- lost about 3 stone (42 pounds), but put it back on when I went through a bad patch. Cabbage soup diet- nasty! The Atkins Plan- weight dropped off, but I missed carbs, so I gave up on it. Calorie counting – That was boring and took the fun out of eating.
Most of the diets have worked well at the time, but there was no leeway and I don’t have the discipline.
Neil Martin: Since juicing, how much weight have you lost?
Niall McAllister: I have lost 6 lb ish so far, I have a long way to go, but this time I don’t feel like I’m missing out on things like I have in the past
“I feel a lifting of my mood and I don’t feel as sluggish”
Neil Martin: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?
Niall McAllister: I know it’s not been that long, and I am combining eating with juicing. I feel a lifting of my mood and I don’t feel as sluggish. I put this change down to the fact that I am getting higher doses of nutrients from the juices I am drinking.
Neil Martin: Since you started juicing what have you found most challenging and how did you deal with this challenge?
Niall McAllister: The challenge for me was getting over the 3 day hump when you get headachy and feel grotty.
In the past this is what I used as an excuse to give up and buy a take away.
I have dealt with this by telling myself what I’m doing is not a military exercise. It’s not about passing or failing a test, I am putting changes in place to improve my long term future.
As long as I make good choices today, that’s all that matters.
“I am now actively looking at positive changes I can make to improve my lifestyle”
Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?
Niall McAllister: Long term I don’t know how juicing will change my life, but in the short term it has got me looking at the choices I make and I am now actively looking at positive changes I can make to improve my lifestyle.
Neil Martin: What has been your biggest juicing mistake and why?
Niall McAllister: Looking at Juicing as a pass or fail scenario. If I had a bad day I would class it as a fail and give up.
Neil Martin: Any juicing tips you have picked up along the way?
Niall McAllister: When you juice don’t think of it as a fruit and veggie juice, think of it as a veggie and fruit juice. The veggies need to take the front seat when it comes to making the juice
Neil Martin: What equipment do you use?
Niall McAllister: I use my trusty old Jack Lelanne juicer.
“I don’t think it’s possible to out exercise a bad diet”
Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?
Niall McAllister: I don’t think it’s possible to out exercise a bad diet. I am now realising what I put in my body is having a dramatic impact on my mental and physical state.
Neil Martin: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?
Niall McAllister: I don’t do a lot of organised exercise, but I work in a 3 floor care home, so I avoid the elevator where possible, and now that the good weather is starting to come back I’ll be getting my bicycle out of storage.
Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?
Niall McAllister: 500ml juice (mean green, or similar), lunch varies but I have started bulking it out with veggies (eat the rainbow), and tea time usually soup.
I try to drink my 2 litre of water, but doesn’t always work out. Coconut water is rather good.
I am trying to look at a wider range of protein sources, and find Quinoa really good.
Neil Martin: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?
Niall McAllister: NNOOOOOOOO!!!!! Although after watching Hungry for Change, I am looking at perhaps having some vegetarian days in the week.
Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?
Niall McAllister: I think they are fine in moderation. I love my cuppa
“Do it NOW”
Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
Niall McAllister: Do it NOW.
I will admit I haven’t been serious for very long about my diet or lifestyle, and I am still finding my feet, but I have felt the difference very quickly.
Juicing is not a magic bullet, you have to look at making other changes, but it does fill you with energy. Also, it’s not about passing or failing a test. So don’t beat yourself up if you have some false starts.
Find a support group that will cheer you on when your day goes well, and will encourage you to try again if you have a bad day.
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?
Niall McAllister: Spinach, ginger, cucumber, apples, blueberries, sweet potatoes.
I think that would keep me happy.
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