A consultant psychotherapist says “fashionable ‘juice cleanses’ can lead to eating disorders” in an article published by the Daily Mail.

Sara Shammas, who specialises in eating disorders, says she has seen a large rise in the number of clients hooked on juicing – a problem dubbed ‘juicerexia’ – adding that “juicing gives people “permission” to avoid meals.”

Juicing is “a code word for starving”

Miss Shammas, continues by saying “People think they’re being healthy when they put spinach and beetroot in their juices, but the problem is they’re knocking out entire food groups. That’s the danger. It’s such a mounting problem, I’m running a specific group for it at my clinic.”

I’m not sure which foods groups Miss Shammas feels juicing is unable to provide?

In the article Miss Shammas says that unlike ‘traditional’ eating disorders where a sufferer will lie about their behaviour, ‘juicerexics’ are not secretive as they feel they can justify themselves.

“It’s about people tricking others, and tricking themselves, that they’re being healthy. It’s actually a code word for starving” she added.

Why I disagree

I have to disagree with Miss Shammas.

It is the juice in plant based foods that feeds our cells and freshly extracted juices are a quick and easy way to increase your intake of vegetables and fruits beyond “five-a-day”, delivering concentrated nutrients to your cells in around 15 minutes! If we are feeding our cells natures finest nutrients how can we be starving ourselves?

The condition of our bodies is inextricably linked to how we feed them. Our bodies are constantly changing with 98% of the atoms in the body being replaced in less than a year.

I am not saying that juicing is a magic bullet for all illness and disease, but since I started juicing I no longer suffer from the illnesses that used to impact my life on a daily basis and require me to take prescription medications. I have also lost more than 75 pounds in weight, going from being obese to a normal healthy weight that I have then sustained.

If juicing is so unhealthy then how have I gone from a sick, fat, coach potato to a slim marathon runner?


When I interviewed Paula Hughes in December 2013 she said “I was spending my life slowly killing myself whilst trying to find a magical quick solution to lose weight, and not understanding the reality of how to do it and without giving up my addiction to food, and then there was my on-going battle with bulimia.”

When asked about the biggest changes / benefits she had experienced since juicing, Paula told me how she is calmer emotionally, can think more logically and make decisions faster.

Paula said “having an eating disorder makes my relationship with food even more complicated and challenging, however when I juice I have moments of true clarity and I forget it. When I then eat processed or more toxic foods again including chocolate, bread, take away food, coffee (with pretend brown sugar) I am very aware of the changes. Therefore, the biggest change and benefit juicing gives me is the ability to feel normal and move away from my eating disorder, in body and mind.”

Paula added “juicing facilitates and encourages other open doors to other healthier choices – raw foods, soups, healthy recipes, vegan foods organic etc, the list goes on. Everything is connected, and its just a mater of picking and choosing what works for me and my life.”

Sounds to me like juicing has been instrumental is helping Paula overcome her eating disorder – very different from the picture painted by Miss Shammas.


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