Mark Beddoe put a few tweets and Facebook posts out asking for your questions. Now in a kind of role reversal he interviews me, Neil Martin, Natural Juice Junkie about my juicing habits, what I eat and my thoughts on 2014.

Mark Beddoe: Neil, for those that aren’t fully aware of your story, would you like to describe how you discovered juicing and why you decided to try it?

Natural Juice Junkie: Well, I’ve given interviews that has lasted over an hour on this question, so I will try my best to keep the response brief! Put simply, back in 2009 I reached a point where I was severely obese (to the point it was off the standard chart the NHS use) and I was suffering from multiple illness that impacted my life on a daily basis. A number of things happened that ultimately led to me saying “ENOUGH”. I saw a nutritionist who gave me some simple advice on cleaning my diet and I started to read anything and everything health related that I could lay my hands on. One paragraph in a book I read mentioned the idea of drinking vegetables and it instantly made sense to me. I ordered a juicer and have never looked back.

“I’d abused my body for over 10 years”

I’m not saying it’s all been easy though. I’d abused my body for over 10 years and it took time and some serious learning to get my health back on track. It’s been a journey with ups, downs and a few significant challenges, but I’ve gone from sick, obese couch potato to healthy, slim, ultra-marathon runner and triathlete. I believe that with the right focus and strategies anybody can do the same. There is nothing extraordinary about me, despite the fact that I have now done a few extraordinary things!

“I also eat solids!”

Mark Beddoe: How many times a year do you complete a juice only detox / reboot and for how long?

Natural Juice Junkie: Since I first started to make juicing a part of my lifestyle I’ve probably done a juice only detox about 3-4 times per year. I say juice only, but I always include some blended avocado so I guess you could say juices and smoothies only. Whilst I have seen people achieve some amazing results from extended juice cleanses, I have personally never spent more than 7 days on a juice cleanse. I prefer to include juicing as part of a balanced lifestyle. I drink juices pretty much everyday, but I also eat solids!

“I do not view this as a way to sustain health”

I have to be honest and say I have mixed feelings about long-term / extended juice cleansing. Whilst it can be great for kickstarting the body’s ability to heal itself, I also receive messages on a regular basis from people who have completed extended periods on juice alone (28 days, 60 days, even 100+ days) but struggle whenever they go back to eating. I fear that for some people extended juice cleanses create a diet mentality where they cycle between periods of eating junk / processed foods and then another juice cleanse. I do not view this as a way to sustain health and instead feel that 1-2 juices per day, together with clean eating (even if you NEVER complete a period on juice only) is more beneficial to long term health.

Mark Beddoe: When you are not detoxing / rebooting what does your typical diet consist of?

Natural Juice Junkie: I would describe my typical diet as being plant based. In other words, I like to eat a diet that is high in plant based whole foods. I don’t only eat plant based whole foods, but rather they are the major proportion of the food I do eat.

I like to make meals based on simple ingredients that are as close to nature as possible. I love experimenting in the kitchen and combining influences from different cuisines to create new dishes – both raw and cooked.

I’m not saying you will never spot me out with friends or family eating a bowl of chips (French Fries), just that this is an occasional thing rather than a regular feature in my life. I love spending time with my loved ones and believe that feeding the soul is just as important as feeding the body. The funny thing is that these days I tend to favour the ‘healthier’ options when eating out. I think 5 years of seeing improvements in my health has also changed my taste buds!

Mark Beddoe: What is your favourite juice recipe?

Natural Juice Junkie: Just one? That is almost impossible to answer, but at this time of year I love the amount of fresh Cavolo Nero in the supermarkets, so right now it would be Kale of Duty, but made using lots of Cavolo Nero as the kale and 2-3 sticks of celery. I often blend this with 1/2 an avocado too.

Juicing: Kale of Duty Green Juice Recipe

Mark Beddoe: What are you “must have” ingredients? Ingredients that you always have to have in the house?

Natural Juice Junkie: Top of the list is avocado. Oh, and ginger. I tend to use a number of different greens and play with different fruit to sweeten juices, but the use of avocado, ginger, cucumber and celery is a constant. It is extremely rare not to have all four of those in the house.

Mark Beddoe: If you could invite 3 influential figures, alive or passed, to your next juicing seminar who would they be and why?

Natural Juice Junkie: This is an interesting twist on a question I’ve been asked a few times. Normally the setting is a dinner party, but guests at a seminar is different.

I think the key figures I would like to invite to one of my seminars would be people who could help to share the message that we can all take control of own health. For this reason I have to restrict my list to the living.

Nobody is more responsible for looking after me than I am and I believe this is true for all of us.

Once we each take responsibility for our own future and learn some tools and techniques to help us reach our desired outcome we can create a ripple effect with those around us and make positive change in the world.

I would like to invite people who have the ability to create the biggest ripples.

Who could create those ripples? I can’t be certain, but I’d happily try my luck with Barack Obama (president of the USA), Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) and Sir Richard Branson (founder of Virgin). If Steve Jobs was still alive he would’ve been on this list too.

“We should teach others how to think, not what to think”

Mark Beddoe: Most inspirational film you watched in 2014 and why?

Natural Juice Junkie: It’s not a new film, but after Robin Williams passed I watched Dead Poets Society for the first time in years. I was as touched by the film as I had been when I first saw it back aged 14 or 15 years old. For me this film teaches some key lessons about life. I guess it’s most famous quote is “Carpe diem, seize the day” but the film not only teaches us to live now. It also teaches that we should stand up for what we believe in, that our ideas and words can change the world and perhaps most importantly of all (for me at least) it teaches that we should teach others how to think, not what to think.

Mark Beddoe: Most inspirational book you read in 2014 and why?

Natural Juice Junkie: I have a huge appetite for learning and as such I always tend to have at least one book on the go. Most of the books I read are biographies, memoirs or “how to” type books. I don’t really do fiction.

Narrowing this down to just one book is tough, but I guess the book I’ve probably gone back to the most in 2014, reading a few pages every now and then, despite having already read it cover to cover is a tiny little book with no more than a paragraph on each page by the Dalai Lama called “The Little Book of Wisdom”. I see each page as a simple lesson on how to become a better person and how to contribute more to the world we live in.

Mark Beddoe: Most inspirational person in 2014 and why?

Natural Juice Junkie: I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with so many inspirational people in 2014 both physically and also through the power of media and technology (books, audiobooks, Skype, blogs, documentaries, YouTube videos, podcasts and social media). I take inspiration from so many of the stories I hear.

Without doubt one of the most inspirational stories in 2014 for me was that of Stephen Sutton, the 19 year old cancer patient who spent the final part of his short life raising awareness of teenage cancer and who put raising £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust as the number one item on his bucket list.

“We all have the opportunity to decide how we react”

Stephen sadly lost his battle with cancer in May 2014, but through his efforts he raised over £4.5 million for Teenage Cancer Trust.

I think everybody would’ve understood if Stephen had spent the final few months of his life feeling sorry for himself and asking “why me?” but he chose to do something positive instead. We all have the opportunity to decide how we react to the things that happen in our lives. Stephen’s story is a wonderful example of how to find the positive in even the most desperate of situations and one I believe we can all learn from.

Mark Beddoe: Your most difficult challenge in 2014

Natural Juice Junkie: Getting lost in my own head, or put another way, overthinking things.

I had an unusual event in my personal life in 2014 where I spent time making myself anxious about things that might happen, and stressing myself about my interpretation of the situation.

It was something where it was impossible for me to control the outcome anyway, but it was also something I felt so strongly about it was hard to let go and just have faith that things would work out in a positive way.

“I am extremely grateful for the lesson it taught me”

The details of the situation are kind of irrelevant to be honest, but I had simply let myself overthink things and build a vision of something that was far worse than reality.

It was a difficult few days, but I am extremely grateful for the lesson it taught me. The lesson being that when you give your all to something you believe in, you must stand back and have a little faith. Even if you don’t get the outcome you are looking for, you will most certainly get a valuable lesson.

Mark Beddoe: Your own 2014 achievement that you are most proud of?

Natural Juice Junkie: At the start of 2014 I made a list of goals for myself. Some of these were one year goals, some three year and some longer term goals of five or more years. Not only did I complete my one year goals, I also managed to tick off some of the three year and even 1 or 2 of the longer term goals.

I now have a system I’ve developed for making my goals reality – the D.R.E.A.M Delivery System™. I used it with my some of my coaching clients in 2014 and they too are getting fantastic results and breakthroughs in their lives (I also shared it during Reclaim Your Life: the Natural Juice Junkie Masterclass).

Personally I guess top of the list in 2014 was completing the 100 Mile Run. It was an amazing testament to how far I’ve travelled since starting the journey to reclaim my own health.

Mark Beddoe: To round up I’m sure people would love to know what they can expect from Natural Juice Junkie in 2015?

Natural Juice Junkie: There are lots of things currently in the planning stage, with a few details still to be worked out. This includes some projects I can’t share at this stage. What I can say is there are plans for more live events and courses, at least one book and if things go to plan a retreat or two.

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