Juicing FAQs: Everything you need to know

Curious about juicing? Thinking about doing a clense yourself? Here are some of the questions I got asked a lot during my month of juicing.

But what about your protein?

Protein does not only come from animal products, in fact most vegetables have the same, if not more protein than most meats. In short it comes from the avocados, broccoli, kale and spinach as well as most of the other vegetables that go into the juices.

Aren’t you worried about the sugar?

The sugar in fruit is not the same as the white refined sugar that is incredibly bad for you; in fact these fruit sugars do not cause you the same harm that refined ones do. Most of the juices in the 28 program are actually mainly vegetables with a few apples, pears or pineapples purely to improve the taste (because no one wants to drink just broccoli, peas, cucumber and spinach do they), but if you’re finding things too sweet you can reduce the amount of fruit used in the recipes and add more of the vegetables already in the recipe, if you want to cut the fruit out completely you can replace them with cucumbers which give you the same amount of hydration.

In short, no, because it’s not too much sugar and it’s not bad sugar.

Don’t you get hungry?

The first few days yes, you do get pretty hungry and it doesn’t matter if you’re doing three days or 28, you will get hungry. That being said though most of the time that hunger is actually your body needing water.

After a few days your stomach shrinks and you find yourself less and less hungry, plus with the four juices a day you are filling yourself up every few hours and the morning and evening juices have bananas or avocados blended into them so they are much more substantial.

What do you do about cravings?

On average it takes 20 minutes for a craving to pass, so if you can keep yourself busy for that long chances are you’ll be fine. I find that colouring, reading, writing or immersing myself in work or house work keeps me distracted enough to stave off the cravings.

If all else fails, a cup of tea normally helps. While you can’t have black tea, milk or sugar you can indulge in delicious infusions and herbal teas. I love hibiscus tea or cinnamon and turmeric tea and white tea is great for the end of the day – and it also helps with skin problems due to the presence of polyphenols which can suppress allergic responses.

How many juices do you have a day?

You have four juices a day plus a cup of hot water and lemon and a shot of ginger and apple or cucumber and celery in the morning.

Can you eat or drink anything else?

You can drink water and any tea bar black tea. It’s a big no on coffee and alcohol too.

As far as eating goes – unless you do a plan which includes foods like soups and salads – you shouldn’t really be eating anything, though if the hunger gets too much you can have a banana or an avocado, but that’s a worst case scenario.

How long do the juices keep for?

You should make the juices as fresh as possible, and when kept in a dark container (like a thermos) they can last all day in the fridge, sometimes two. But it’s better safe than sorry as everything in them is raw and full of enzymes that you avoid fermenting juices and drink them as close to being juiced as possible.

Isn’t making the juice really time consuming?

It’s really not that bad, the process might seem lengthy but once you get the hang of it all it doesn’t take long. Put it this way, each morning we make four juices, two shots and a hot water and lemon and it takes about half an hour to do all of those and clean the juicer.

Are you following a program or just making it up as you go along?

We’re following Jason Vale’s 28 Day Super-Juice Me Plan which you can find on the app store or buy the book. It’s full of all the info you need about the whys and hows of juicing safely. Jason Vale also has other juice programs ranging from 3 to 14 days.

Why did you choose to juice for 28 whole days?

You can find out more about the whys in my post The Ramadan Juice Challenge.

Aren’t you worried you’ll just go back to eating unhealthy food when you’re done?

In all honesty not really. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit and after 28 days you have detoxed from most of the addictive rubbish in your system. Personally I found that by day 19 I was had started craving salads, soups and healthy, clean food because my body knew it still wanted the nutrient rich food it was getting from the juice.

Can you or should you juice if you’re pregnant?

It’s not recommended that you take on a full juice-only program if you’re pregnant, but you should definitely incorporate juices into your diet as it’s the best way to get the nutrients into you and your baby.

Post pregnancy you can do a juice-only program while breast feeding but you should add more banana, avocados, yoghurt as well as nuts and seeds and you’ll need to listen to your body, if you need more, have more.

I want to loose weight before my wedding, would you recommend juicing?

Yes, but it’s not a fad. The results are impressive, even in just a week but you need to take it seriously.

Do you miss food?

Of course I miss food, although more than eating it I miss cooking it. One of the hardest parts is not chewing, when you’re a lover of all things crunchy like me  you might find it tough.

Are there any side effects?

By the end of the day your teeth feel a little furry and after 28 days you’re probably going to have to get a whole new wardrobe.

But in all seriousness, every one is different, some people may react differently to juicing than others and so the important thing is to listen to your body.

Can you just drink orange or apple juice?

No. Any juices you buy in the supermarket are full of nasties and just living on pure fruit juice for a month would be really bad for your help, the juices should be a mix of fruit and vegetables.

What about your calorie intake? Surely you’re not getting enough with just juice.

With the four juices a day you end up with a calorie intake of around 1500. So yes, you do get enough.

Can you workout while you’re juicing?

Yes you can. The first few days you might not feel like you have the energy but after that you’re fine to hit the gym, but just like normal, you have to listen to your body and drink plenty of water.

How do you feel while you’re juicing?

You feel good, like you’ve got more energy and more drive, it’s great. Some days you feel crabby though and you’re in a terrible mood but for the most part you feel good.

Can you drink water while you juice?

Of course. You should always drink water.

What’s it like going to the bathroom?

You pee a lot…a lot, a lot. If you’ve had a particularly beetroot filled day sometimes you end up with purple pee which is a little scary the first time it happens.

As for pooping – which I know is what everyone wants to know – you can forget your regular schedule, it comes when it comes and you just suddenly need to go but because there is little to no fibre in your diet you don’t have to go as much.

Does that satisfy your filthy minds?

Isn’t it really expensive?

It’s more expensive than our normal shop but not so much you’re going to end up in hideous amounts of debt. An average weeks shop for three of us costs around AED 300, on this juice plan it’s about AED 200 for three days of juice. But then it all depends where you shop.

Isn’t it really hard when you smell food?

Yes and no, sometimes smelling food really helps the cravings, other times it just makes you want to stab the person who’s eating in the eye with a fork. It’s up and down.

Are the juices nice?

For the most part, yes, there are a few nasty ones but the 28 plan has mainly good, if not bearable juices – but the 5 day plan has one with pepper and that is gag inducing.

What’s the best juicer to buy that requires as little cleaning as possible?

There are two main types of juices, centrifugal and masticating. I use a centrifugal one, it’s fast, easy to clean and you don’t have to cut up or prepare any of the veggies, most of them fit straight down the chute.

I find the Phillips ones are the best and my new one is pretty much no fuss, it’s easy to clean with it’s post juicing rinse feature which means that when you take it apart you just have to throw out the pulp out and give it a rinse and you’re done – then once every two weeks you give it a good soak and thorough cleaning.

I have also used masticating juicers like the Omega ones, they are great and you do get far more juice from them but they do require more prep as the chute is smaller. Cleaning is just as simple those with a rinse in the sink and a good cleaning every few days.

Can you take medication while you juice?

If you are taking prescribed medication for a condition then keep taking it unless you’ve spoken to your doctor about doing otherwise. Other than that meds should be avoided unless you really can’t take it, if you’re drinking enough water you shouldn’t really be getting head aches and most medications are full of sugar, so it wont do you any good on the detox front. But you should always speak to your doctor before undertaking a 28 program anyway.

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