At his heaviest he weighed in at 28 stone (almost 400 pounds). Then morbidly obese Dean from County Durham in the UK stumbled across the Joe Cross’ documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly”. He started his journey with a 60 day juice fast and then switched to mainly plant based lifestyle. Now, one year later, the 28 year old is down to a healthy weight of just over 11 stone (156 pounds).
Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?
Dean Clarkson: My juicing journey started in January 2014 as a New Year’s resolution.
I stumbled across the documentary, ‘Fat, Sick and nearly Dead’, during December 2013 and this acted as my inspiration. While I watched the documentary I was just completely blown away by it all and how one thing after another made sense to me. At that point my mind was made up and I ordered a juicer to begin my journey in January. That is where it all started for me like so many others.
Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?
Dean Clarkson: Everything that was explained in the documentary, ‘Fat, Sick and nearly Dead’ clicked with how I was feeling at the time. The process of hopping from one fad diet to another was not working and so watching this documentary provided me with the light bulb moment that I needed to embark on a healthier lifestyle rather than just another diet.
Neil Martin: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?
Dean Clarkson: While I didn’t follow a specific program as such, I did research and came up with a few recipes that sounded good. One of which has been the staple ‘Mean Green’ with the other being ‘Sunshine Juice’. I started by doing only juice for around two months and then I introduced having a soup in the evening. By making a week’s worth of soup at a time it has allowed me to be prepared and mindful about what I am consuming and motivated to succeed.
“I am now clear of diabetes”
Neil Martin: Did you have any medical conditions prior to juicing?
Dean Clarkson: When I started I was extremely over weight and after a few months on my juicing I visited the doctor who confirmed to me that I was now borderline diabetic, meaning that prior to beginning I must have been diabetic without realising. I have recently been re-tested and am thankfully now fully clear of diabetes.
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?
Dean Clarkson: Weight loss was possibly the only reason at the time but knowing that juicing is more than just a weight loss aid but a lifestyle choice has been a huge revelation. Previously I had tried many diets, as my weight has always been an issue and something I have had trouble controlling.
As much as juicing can be a “diet” I don’t see it as that anymore, it has now become my lifestyle and has made me aware of the importance of nutrition to your life.
“I juiced off 232 pounds in a year”
Neil Martin: Since juicing, how much weight have you lost?
Dean Clarkson: Since starting juicing I have lost 16 stone 8 pounds which works out at 232lbs.
Neil Martin: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?
Dean Clarkson: To be perfectly honest there are so many changes and benefits that it is hard to list them all but as you can probably guess the improvements in my health have been the most important. Everything with regards to my health has changed and improved for me, notably I no longer suffer from headaches/migraines and no more bad stomachs. I never experience stomach problems these days. Another big thing for me is feeling 100% motivated, I have taken up running and I love it. I have always been keen on sport and being active and it was such an amazing thing when I was able to get back to being active.
Neil Martin: Since you started juicing what have you found most challenging and how did you deal with this challenge?
Dean Clarkson: I think, as with what other people tend to find, the first four days were the biggest challenge for me, the process of your body coming off the addiction to processed foods and sugars is extremely difficult. I remember having a lot of green tea and time in bed during those first days knowing it would eventually pass and I would have that clarity that did come.
Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?
Dean Clarkson: Juicing hasn’t changed my life as much as given me more of a chance to live life to its fullest.
Neil Martin: What has been your biggest juicing mistake and why?
Dean Clarkson: For me it was juicing watermelon with my ‘Mean Green’, I learned what melonbelly was that day!
Neil Martin: Any juicing tips you have picked up along the way?
Dean Clarkson: I am always picking up tips from reading articles or watching YouTube videos and documentaries. I think health and juicing is something that you continuously learn new things and tips about.
Neil Martin: What resources (books, websites, movies, etc) have helped you on your journey and why?
Dean Clarkson: A lot of documentaries have helped; a few being, ‘Fat, Sick and nearly Dead’, ‘Forks Over Knives’, ‘Super Juice Me’, ‘Vegucated’ and ‘Foodmatters’.
A few YouTube people who I watch for great motivation and information are; John Kohler with his three channels, Okraw, growyourgreens and discountjuicers, and also the channels fullyrawkristina, obesetobeast, fitlifetv, blueeyedbetty, Jason Vale Juice Master and of course Natural Juice Junkie.
I have loved listening to the podcast ‘Juicing Radio’ which has amazing content and information to help with everything. I am also involved in a Facebook group that has been an amazing support and has been really great along the way and continues to be great to see everyone getting involved.
“It is great being able to relate with people who are following similar journeys”
Neil Martin: How did you discover Natural Juice Junkie?
Dean Clarkson: I think it was when I first joined Twitter looking for some sort of community, I started an account called @juicingJoy hoping to possibly find local like-minded people or events that were local. I haven’t found that many yet but hopefully it will grow more as juicing becomes more popular.
My favourite thing about the Natural Juice Junkie website and social media content is all the juicing success stories. It is great being able to relate with people who are following similar journeys.
Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?
Dean Clarkson: Well from my own personal experience it has to be diet and nutrition, and with my own journey I know that exercise has followed on from this.
Neil Martin: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?
Dean Clarkson: Initially I began with just walking, whether it was walking the dog or just getting out and about, I now try to run three times a week sometimes that’s a 3k and sometimes it’s a 6k. After seeing and researching the Dr Michael Mosley documentary, ‘The truth about exercise’, I started doing HIIT exercises, usually on my exercise bike three times a week comprising of three 20sec bursts.
Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?
Dean Clarkson: Well I always start the day now with a juice and then I might have a light snack of some fruit around lunch time, with Persimmons being my favourite at the moment. I then have a mid-afternoon green juice and finish the day off with home-made soup or a vegetable casserole.
Neil Martin: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?
Dean Clarkson: It isn’t at the moment but I am happy to say it is 90% raw vegan with the occasionally meat product.
Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?
Dean Clarkson: They’re really not for me and I have never been a big alcohol drinker to be honest. As for caffeine it is something I don’t have an interest in anymore. Although I do believe coffee is loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that can improve your health when you have it right and also on limited amounts. But yes both are something that are never really on my mind to take.
Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
Dean Clarkson: Do it! The first few days might be hard and challenging but knowing the benefits and where it can lead to makes it 100% worth those first few days. Also tweak the juice for you if you don’t like ginger then try it smaller at first and the same goes for many other things. For me this was beetroot, I had to peel and have a small amount at first but now I love the stuff and try and find the biggest in the shop!
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?
Dean Clarkson: Ohh this is a hard one so I would have to go with dinosaur kale, spinach, pineapple, lemon, carrots and my personal favourite, Mango! Oh and surely on this island there is ginger kicking about.
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