Most of you who know me in real life, will also know that I am currently studying to be a Natural Juice Therapist. This seemed like an obvious extension of my nutrition studies and a way to help my clients to really address nutrient deficiencies without resorting to supplements that often have lots of fillers/preservatives and often aren't very bio-available anyway.
Juicing is such a great tool for getting a large quantity of nutrients into the diet with minimal effort, and it's sooooo much easier to get people to eat kale if you hide it with some pineapple juice!
Part of my course included attending a weekend at the 'Juice Factory' in Kettering. It was a great weekend and I learned so much from Jason Vale (that man can talk VERY fast) and the rest of his team, including my lovely course director Mairi Taylor.
One of the things I found really interesting was how the subject of sugar was handled. Generally, I'm a big fan of mostly vegetable juices, adding a bit of fruit to make it palatable. I know the sugar in fruit is not the same as the refined table sugar we see added to most foods, but I have always still been cautious with it. Certainly if you are following a GAPS style diet, Dr Campbell-McBride would recommend limiting even fruit intake for the first two years, but remember that this is not a diet to follow strictly for life.
However, I do believe fruit sugars can get unfairly bad press. Fructose is often implicated in all kinds of inflammation/health concerns, but all the studies done tend to remove the sugar from the fruit and either feed it alone (e.g. high fructose corn syrup), or administer by IV!! Clearly this isn't going to having the same effect as eating an apple.
Interestingly, Jason mentioned a study that's been published very recently, which is the first known to use whole foods, eaten by the subjects. It should come as no surprise then, that the results were vastly different to previous studies. In fact, the fructose is mostly not absorbed at all, but simply passes through the digestive tract (which would explain why the body has such an adverse reaction to having it injected directly into the blood stream!) and the tiny amounts that are absorbed showed no effect on insulin production. The implications for diabetics and those with insulin resistance being huge - fruit is back on the menu! I will admit, I haven't seen the study yet myself, but I'll edit this post and add the references once I've trawled through my backlog of emails and found the notes we were sent after the weekend.
Restoration Health are going to be joining in with the Juice Master "Big Juice Challenge" and I'm super excited about having a group of people locally juice fasting with me and seeing the results. Matt and I did the seven day challenge in July and found it so helpful, particularly for sleep patterns. My sleep tracker informs me that I get very little (around 20%) deep sleep each night - which explains why I was waking up feeling so tired! When I was juicing, within a few days that went up to nearly 70%, which meant I had loads more energy, despite spending less hours asleep. Slowly that's crept back (I've been lazy with the juicing since term started) so a Juicy reset is just what I need!
This term, the challenge is only 5 days, but that should be plenty, and I can always continue if I feel I need to.
If you are looking to be inspired about the benefits of juicing, I highly recommend watching the Juice Master documentary "Super Juice Me" (it's Free). It's amazing to see what a difference juice fasting can make. I love the documentary so much, that I bought several copies of the book (which includes all the recipes and plans you need to do a 28 day juice fast at home safely) and when I finish my qualification, my first five clients will be getting a copy each, so keep your eyes open!