Just over a year ago I was pleased to post an interview with one of my friends and former colleagues, Mark Beddoe. Mark was an example of the impact that a stressful job and life on the road can have on our health, but also how we can reclaim our health through juicing and lifestyle changes. Since then Mark has made frequent contributions to Natural Juice Junkie through his juicing journals. We both thought it was time for me to interview him again.
Neil Martin: So it’s been just over a year since I originally interviewed you. At that time you had shed 42 pounds. 12 months later, what is your total weight loss to date?
Mark Beddoe: My weight loss journey has been full of ups and downs over the last 12 months but the overall trend has always been in the right direction! My weight does fluctuate but the average loss is now 84 lbs (about 6 stone or 38kgs). In truth the scales have become less significant and I only really weigh myself every 3 to 4 weeks. That is mainly just as a baseline check for myself and because other people ask me all the time. I would still like to lose a few more pounds but I know that will happen as long as I keep eating and juicing healthily and increase my exercise levels.
Neil Martin: Aside from weight loss what have been the other key health benefits you have noticed?
Mark Beddoe: The other changes have been immense. My doctor had expressed concerns over cholesterol levels and blood pressure in the past and I suffered regular and very painful attacks of gout, for which I was on daily medication. I also used to have regular IBS type symptoms. I’m happy to say that all of these conditions are no longer a problem and I came off my gout medication (with agreement from my Doctor) a couple of months ago without any issues. Apart from the medical conditions I have much more energy, my skin is better and I feel like I am alive again.
Neil Martin: How else has juicing changed your life?
Mark Beddoe: Juicing has had an amazing impact, not only on me, but it has positively impacted people around me and totally changed my outlook on what constitutes a healthy existence.
After my own transformation I’ve been trying to promote juicing as a healthy option for others to consider. That has led me to meet some truly amazing and inspirational people as well as getting involved in various events where I have been able to publicly share my story. I have even been featured on various Facebook posts by Jason Vale and a featured success story on Joe Cross’s Reboot with Joe website. I even managed to meet Joe Cross at one of his promotional screenings of Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2. I have also built up quite a healthy following on Twitter @ExploreJuice and I plan to launch a website in 2015 to promote juicing and healthy eating.
Despite all of that, the most humbling and pleasurable of things has been in encouraging members of my family to try juicing. I also get thank you messages from people that tell me that I inspired them to try it for themselves! How awesome is that!?
Neil Martin: Last year you told me that you “really struggle with formal exercise”. Is this still the case or has your exercise routine changed over the last year?
Mark Beddoe: Well that struggle hasn’t really changed, especially recently!
I did pick up my exercise levels significantly during the year by using a cross trainer regularly. I got to the point where I was doing 10k distances 2 or 3 times per week. Dare I say it but I actually started to really enjoy them as well! Then, my cross trainer packed in and despite repeatedly promising that I was going to try and take up road running as an alternative, I haven’t managed to get going yet. A large part of this is not enjoying the prospect of running in the miserable UK weather (I know this is a poor excuse) but I am also a bit fearful of reigniting problems with my knees, which I started getting in my mid to late 20’s, when I was regularly playing field hockey.
Neil Martin: How has your diet changed since you started juicing?
Mark Beddoe: My diet is very different since I started juicing.
I am now much more aware of the impact that processed food has on my health and my intake of raw whole foods in the form of solids, juices and smoothies is huge compared to what it used to be before I started juicing. I would describe my diet now as predominantly plant based and this has opened up a whole new world of ingredients, tastes and textures. It’s exciting and I find that I enjoy getting a little bit creative in the kitchen even though my family don’t always appreciate all of my little recipes and experiments!
“the secret to having found a sustainable new lifestyle”
Neil Martin: What does a typical day of food look like for you?
Mark Beddoe: I have two types of typical days, if there can be such a thing.
I have a typical weekday and I have a typical weekend day.
A typical day Monday to Friday will usually involve a juice or smoothie for breakfast and lunch. I make them up the day before so I can take them into the office with me. The evenings will then be a huge salad or raw food meal of some description. In the cold winter months I enjoy making healthy homemade soups.
A typical weekend day will usually involve a juice or smoothie for breakfast. Lunch might be a juice or smoothie but could be anything. The evening meal is usually dependant on what we are doing socially so it could involve anything from a homemade meal like chilli con carne to a full blown take-away. I’m not adverse to sharing a bottle of wine with my wife or a few beers with friends either. We will quite often sit down as a family and share a traditional Sunday roast dinner as well.
You could argue that my weekends are particularly unhealthy but I actually think that I have the balance right. I gain as many health benefits from sharing quality time and fun with my family and friends as I do from eating and juicing cleanly during the week. I think this is the secret to having found a sustainable new lifestyle.
Neil Martin: If you could choose one song to be the soundtrack to your juicing journey what would it be, and why?
Mark Beddoe: I love music and I am a huge rock fan in particular.
This was the most difficult question to answer out of the lot because there are so many options.
So, the song I have chosen is a track called There and Back Again by Daughtry
There are several reasons:
I came across the track, only recently, when looking up a guy by the name of Rich Roll. This track was on one of his Youtube videos. He is an inspiration for us 40 somethings.
The words of the song resonate with me.
It was playing when I completed my first 10k on the cross trainer.
It’s a rockin’ track! What more do you need?
Neil Martin: The more juicing grows in popularity, the more talk there is about it being the latest fad diet. What are your thoughts on this?
Mark Beddoe: I looked up a definition for fad:
“an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived; a craze”
The reality is that juicing has been around since the 1930’s so I would hardly call that short-lived!
I agree that there is a great deal of media interest, mainly driven by celebrity, that would make it seem like a fad, but most of what the media portrays is misguided and aimed at selling media rather than properly exploring the real benefits.
I hope that as more and more people experience the benefits that juicing can provide, the word will spread and it will become more mainstream and certainly not a craze!
I believe that things are changing. There is a real upsurge in eating healthily. Even celebrity chefs are taking note and starting to promote a more plant based approach to diet. Jamie Oliver has a series of raw food recipes on his Youtube channel. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall did a River Cottage series where he explored vegetarianism. This has all got to be a good thing and will only help to shift the current paradigms.
Neil Martin: What is the longest juice detox (period on juice only) you have ever completed?
Mark Beddoe: This is a topic that interests me greatly and I find that people are genuinely surprised when I tell them that the longest juice detox I’ve ever done was 7 days. They are even more surprised when I tell them that I have only ever done this once!
Typically I find that 4 or 5 days is enough to kick start my body and I only need to do this once every 3 or 4 months. I think the key is that I juice and eat cleanly most of the time. I find that I am in a fairly detoxed state, most of the time.
Neil Martin: How do you feel about extended juice fasts (28 days, 60 days, etc)?
Mark Beddoe: My view is that unless you are targeting a specific chronic condition then a 7 to 10 day juice detox should be enough for most people. It worries me when I see people repeatedly moving from one detox to the next. It worries me because, for many, they appear to be stuck in a diet mentality. Precisely the mentality that they openly admit hasn’t worked for them previously.
In my opinion juice detoxing should be a doorway to a sustainable life of eating clean and making good healthy choices and not something that is your life!
Neil Martin: What has been the most challenging part of your health journey so far?
Mark Beddoe: Certainly the most challenging part has been the mental side of the journey.
When you really understand the impact of what you eat has on your health it’s easy to make commitments to eat well forever. The problem is that there is so much stacked against you! Advertising, peer pressure, work pressure, addictiveness of some food types, convenience and costs etc. It’s very difficult to escape the attraction of unhealthy foods and so the journey becomes much more about a state of mind and a mental battle than anything else.
There are several tools I use to help with the mental battle:
- Keep in contact with like minded people. You can never underestimate the power of the support network you get involved with. Make sure it’s the right one!
- Keep in mind why you are doing this?
- Keep in mind all of the little victories you gain, no matter how small.
- Be prepared! Make juices and healthy snacks in advance of any stressful or challenging circumstances.
Neil Martin: What are your top 3 health goals for 2015 and why?
Mark Beddoe: I will be kick starting phase 2 of my transformation in January so my top 3 health goals are:
- Lose the Christmas weight gain. Yes there will be some. I fully intend to enjoy myself this Christmas so there will be a price to pay but I have the tools to get back on track.
- Lose another 40 lbs. I feel that this is where I would be completely comfortable with my weight. I’m lucky in so far as I am 6ft tall so I can carry off a little bit of weight.
- Get fitter! Exercise has been a challenge but I would love to get to the point where I could do a 5k or 10k run or even a triathlon! I’m not a fan of running but I think it might be fun to combine a bit of running with some cycling and swimming.I know you are also looking at putting together a Team Juice for various events and I believe the first one might be a mud run some time in 2015?
Neil Martin: If you could offer just one piece of advice to those who are reading this, what would it be?
Mark Beddoe: If you really want to take control of your health and wellbeing – just do something!
It doesn’t really matter if it’s buying a juicer, a blender or just committing to cutting out processed foods or going for more walks. Just do something!
I always say that it isn’t always easy but it is always simple.
Simple choices, consistently applied – That’s it! That’s the secret!
When you start to feel better you will want to do more and more and it will take on a life of its own.
I don’t regret the changes I have made and I am looking forward to all of the challenges and great times that 2015 is going to deliver.
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