In 2014, Julie noticed how well one of her friends was looking and asked her what she’d been doing. Her friend told her about Natural Juice Junkie and Julie promptly purchased her first juicer for £30…
Julie says: “After a series of difficult events 6 years ago I started to rapidly put on weight. Part of this was due to medication I was on, but mostly it was due to an unhealthy relationship with sugary foods.”
Concerned about her weight gain, one was Julie’s big motivators was weight loss, but it wasn’t the only one.
“The second motivator was to come off the antidepressants (or ‘happy pills’ as I called them) that I had been on for all of my adult life. I remember reading your blog about how you’d suffered with depression and anxiety for years and how changing what you ate changed all that. Up until that point I hadn’t realised how the right nutrition could alleviate my depression.”
As Julie started to incorporate juicing into her life, she tried different recipes from a number of juicing reboot programmes and experimented with different combinations of ingredient until she found the flavours she most enjoyed.
At her heaviest, Julie was pre-diabetic, had carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, had plantar fasciitis in both feet and dreadful adult acne, which she found highly embarrassing.
“After having each of my children I would spend the first couple of months looking at different slimming groups to help get back to my pre-pregnancy weight but I never really stuck at anything.”
Since Julie started juicing, she has already dropped over 5 stone (70 pounds).
I asked Julie about the biggest changes / benefits she has experienced since starting juicing:
“Wow – there is so much! The biggest change has been the relationship I have with myself. Juicing increased my energy levels and improved my mental health. This in turn made me start to evaluate my relationship with food and how I used food to ‘self-medicate’.”
“I began to start practicing gratitude on a daily basis. As my physical and mental health improved I started to exercise more and enjoyed how this made me feel. I began to care more about what I was putting into my body and completely changed my diet. When I think about it putting on all that weight turned out to be a blessing in disguise!”
So has Julie experienced any challenges with her new juicy lifestyle?
“Sadly, people’s attitudes have been the most challenging thing I’ve come across. Some people view juicing as a quick fix to weight loss and whilst you absolutely can lose weight through doing a 5 or a 10 or a 30 day juice cleanse, I have learnt that unless you address the underlying issues as to why you put weight on in the first place once you go back to eating the way you did before nothing is going to change.”
Julie says that juicing has been the catalyst to a journey of discovery. One of the things she discovered is that she hates celery juice (even calling it her biggest juicing mistake!)
Want to start juicing?
Julie says: “If you’re a busy person like me I have found juicing in bulk and then freezing works for best. All I need to do is take a juice out of the freezer the night before and its ready for me to drink in the morning.”
I asked Julie if there are any resources she recommends or has found useful:
“Well obviously, Neil Martin – Natural Juice Junkie! The Facebook page and juicing community page have been a great source of information and inspiration. I have made friends with a lovely lady on there called Cheryl who has also been a great source of nutritional information and helped me make the transition to a plant based diet.”
“The films Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives and What The Health are all very inspirational. I’m always on the lookout for educational/motivational food documentaries. Neil, you really should think about doing a film yourself – you’d be great!”
Which is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?
“Ooo I love this question!” says Julie. “I think good nutrition is up there as one of the most important things when it comes to health and wellbeing. Exercise or any kind of movement also help make you feel good physically and emotionally.”
So how much movement does Julie do?
“I am a single mom with 4 children so I do a lot of running around already! I usually exercise for at least an hour most days. Generally, I do something in the morning after the school run and then do another activity a couple evenings a week. I am in the gym 3/4 days a week, I swim twice a week, I do yoga 3 times a week and I do a class once a week called Clubbersize which to be honest feels more like fun than exercise as the music takes me back to my younger days ha-ha. If for any reason, I cannot get to the gym I will try to get out in the fresh air and do a fast walk for half an hour.”
What does Julie eat and drink on a typical day?
“Breakfast is usually a plant based protein shake made with almond milk and a large handful of spinach (I usually add a spoonful of flaxseed, maca powder and baobab powder too). Mid-morning after I’ve got back from the local Leisure Centre I’ll have a juice.”
“At the moment, my favourite lunch is homemade sweet potato wedges and baked asparagus tips (coated with a garlic Italian seasoning and nutritional yeast flakes) with hummus.”
“Mid-afternoon I will have something sweet like a homemade raw brownie and tea could be anything from a vegan curry to vegan pasta bake or even a home-made vegetable soup with sour dough bread.”
“I easily drink 2 – 3 litres of water a day plus a couple of cups of peppermint tea. At night I always sit down with a cup of chamomile tea and a few pieces of dark vegan chocolate.”
Julie says she is “100% vegetarian and 98% vegan,” adding, “anything I cook for myself at home is 100% vegan but if I go out with friends or my children to a coffee shop I’m going to have that piece of cake!”
What advice would Julie give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
“Do it!!! You have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain!”
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