Some common questions & answers:

Q: How are my juices made?

A: All my juices are made in my own kitchen with a ‘Retro Cold Press Juicer’, and a Froothie Vortex Vacuum blender.

Cold pressing juice means you extract the juice in a ‘masticating’ juicer. This basically squeezes and crushes up your produce in order to break down the fibrous cell walls and extract the juice, which is gently squeezed through a stainless steel screen. They run slow, therefore creating less heat friction and oxidation (like a fast-juicer does), making the juice more nutritious and last longer.

The newest kid on the block is the ‘vacuum’ blender, which is designed to improve juice quality, preservation and shelf life. Vacuum technology eliminates the oxidation process by drawing the air out of the blending jug, therefore fully preserving the nutrients and freshness of the produce.

Exposure to oxygen, or oxidation, compromises the quality, texture and taste. In a Vacuum blender, the smoothie is finer, smoother, and protected from separation and discolouration. It maximises nutrient intake and it tastes amazing!

Q; What is the difference between a juicer and a blender?

A: Simply put: a blender ‘blends’ and a juicer extracts the liquid out of the produce, leaving (most) of the fibre behind. By removing the insoluble fibre, all of the nutrients in the plant’s juice - vitamins, minerals, enzymes - instantly flood our body with goodness. It will also give your digestive system a little rest. You don't have to worry about missing out on fibre though: the insoluble fibre remains in the juice.

Blending will whizz and puree all the ingredients, fibre and all. This will provide the benefits of fruits and veg along with their heart healthy, gut-friendly fibre. People who need to watch their blood sugar sometimes prefer blending over juicing because the fibre ensures a more slow and steady absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Smoothies also help you feel full for longer. There is no right or wrong way here. Both juicing and blending are a wonderful and efficient way to maximise your consumption of the green stuff. One allows for optimum nutrient absorption, while with the other you can take advantage of the fibre, protein and healthy fats.

Q: How do I drink my juices?

A: The juices will be delivered to you frozen, so you can pop them straight into your freezer. They can keep for up to 3 months frozen. The night before day 1 of your juice fast, take out the relevant juices for one day and let them defrost overnight in the fridge. Do this again for day 2 and day 3. Give them a good shake before opening. (if they’re still a bit frozen, put them in a bowl with some hot water).

I would suggest drinking your juice slowly, the same time it would take you to eat a meal. Some people might even struggle to drink ALL the juice, and that’s perfectly OK too. You should always listen to your body and there is no need to ‘force’ a juice down. Just save and sip later. The suggested times are guidelines only. Obviously feel free to have your juices at a time that suits you. But is is thought that the time-frame of 4 hours between each juice is ideal.

Q: Can I ‘skip’ a juice or take them at another time?

A: The program is carefully designed to make sure you get the optimum of nutrition every day. The timings are flexible, but the reason why it is important to have the juices in 3-4 hour intervals is to make sure your blood sugars don’t drop to an uncomfortable level (because when they do, it might cause you to look for that quick sugar fix).

So by all means adjust the times to when suits you, just try and keep to the 3-4 hour intervals.

Q: What detox symptoms can I expect?

A: This is obviously very individual and also depends a bit on how addicted you were to junk, sugar and coffee! (I would always recommend slowly phasing these junk foods out of your diet before starting a feast). Some people have no noticeable effects while others suffer more. The main physical symptoms are headaches and tiredness. These are not actually down to ‘detoxing’ but down to withdrawal. Just remember that this is temporary and soon you will feel light and clearheaded! Remember to be kind to yourself while on a feast. By all means, exercise if you feel like it, but when you’re tired, rest! Consider this a detox in other areas as well, and shut off your phone and tv for a night, and treat yourself to a warm bath and early night!

Q: Will I get enough protein & calcium?

A: You will get all the nutrition you’ll need with these juices loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, oxygen and enzymes. Many people don’t realise that so many plant foods - avocado, beetroot, greens, broccoli and kale, to name just a few - contain a surprisingly high amount of protein. Plus, this is only 3 days - even if you drank just water you would be just fine!

( I wonder why people who live off junk food never ask: 'Where will I get my phytonutrients?')

Q: Can I exercise during my feast?

A: Yes! But listen to your body. Since you’ll be ingesting fewer calories than usual you might need to adjust your activity levels. But physical activity is important and moving your body during a juice feast has the benefit of working with your plant-powered, nutrient dense juices to support your immune system, maintain healthy bowel movement, promote weight loss, preserve muscle loss, boost your mood and help to distract you from food cravings!

Q: Can I have coffee or alcohol while on my feast?

A: I don’t like telling people what to do or what not to do. This is your life. But if you’re making the effort of doing a juice feast; mentally, physically and financially, it would be a shame to then do it half-heartedly. I always think to myself: “I CAN have anything I like, but I don’t WANT it”. This is a much better motivator than thinking: “I WANT this or that, but I CAN’T”. This is a diet mentality that have set many people up to ‘fail’ (Jason Vale thought me that). And remember, this is only 3 days. You will not be without your ‘treats’ forever.

By the way, even though you will be drinking lots of juice, you’ll still need to drink plenty to meet your hydration needs. Any herbal tea is great, coconut water or just plain water are all fine.

Q: Can I eat fruit or veg if I’m hungry?

A: There will be some moments when you feel a little bit hungry. These are most likely ‘mental hungers’ and not a genuine hunger, as your body will be being fed all the nutrition it needs. Having a glass of water and waiting 20 minutes usually does the trick. However, if these feelings don’t go away, and you are on the brink of giving up your juice feast completely, it is perfectly fine to have an emergency avocado, banana or a handful of berries or nuts. But don’t go nuts! A lovely avocado with some lemon juice and cracked black pepper really hits the spot and is the most nutritious fruit on the planet. In the evening try making some lovely peppermint or chamomile tea with some Manuka honey. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If it makes the difference between success and failure it is worth it. Just choose your SOS snack wisely. In the end it is about being kind to yourself and going (just) 3 days without junk.

Q: What bowel movements can I expect while on the feast?

A: In some people, drastic changes to the diet can cause irregularities to the digestion. It is not unusual to experience either constipation or diarrhoea during a juice feast. If you have issues with constipation, try drinking more water and increasing the amount you walk. With diarrhoea, make sure you drink plenty of fluids, but not all plain water. Diarrhoea can reduce your body’s fluid and salt stores, so drink electrolyte-rich fluids, like vegetable broth or (unflavoured) coconut water. I also give you the green light to eat a banana if you’re struggling :-)

Ps; don’t panic if your poo looks a bit red sometimes - this is due to the beetroot in some juices and is perfectly normal!

Q: Can I do this feast while taking medication?

A: I am not a doctor and therefore cannot give you medical advice. Personally I don’t think replacing junk food with highly nutritious food will do you any harm, but always consult your doctor if you have a particular illness or are on prescription drugs.

Q: What about the sugar in fruit?

A: I hear this a lot from juice -sceptics, even though it seems obvious and plain common sense. The sugars in freshly extracted juice are natural sugars and are NOT the same as sugar found in cakes, sweets and fizzy drinks. That highly refined, bleached white sugar is stripped off any nutrients and cannot be compared to the unrefined sugars found in fruit and vegetables that also contains micronutrients and soluble fibre. It is this fibre which helps to slow down the absorption of sugars in the bloodstream. (Shop bought pasteurised juices do not have this fibre and it’s because of this that these juices raise sugar levels too quickly).

Q: Is it safe?

A: It baffles me that when you would tell people you are going on a weekend bender in Edinburgh, consume enormous amounts of alcohol, eat crap and do no exercise, they would tell you to ‘have fun’ and ‘enjoy’! Yet, if you’d tell them you are going to spend 3 days nurturing your body and ‘overdose’ on nutritious food, they’ll look at you worryingly and say: ‘Oh but is that safe?’ ‘Should you be doing that?’ ‘You might be damaging your body’…

We all put our car in for a service, why don’t we do the same for our bodies? (the most important vehicle we own).

Q: But there is no such thing as a ‘detox’?!

A: True. You might have noticed at the top I said the juice feast will HELP your body detox. (It's also why I don't call them 'Juice Detoxes or Fast', but 'Juice Feasts', as it's a nutritional feast). A normal functioning body is able to detox by itself, but the problem is when we burden our bodies with an excess of toxins, pollution and chemicals. Our body can then use a little bit of extra support in this detoxification process.

Detoxification frees up the vital activities of cells and organs to function productively and efficiently. You can think of this like cleaning your desk of clutter and papers so that you can do your work efficiently and happily.

Q: Where do you get the produce from?

A: I try and source most of the produce locally and organically. East Lothian farms such as East Coast organics and Phantassie Farm have lovely fresh produce. Occasionally I might have to substitute with a supermarket (but organic) variety.

Q: What do I do with the bottles?

A: I will deliver the juices in recycled PET bottles (so post consumer waste). These bottles are BPA Free and FDA Certified. They can be re-used or recycled. They can also be returned to me and I will sterilise and re-use them. Please don't put them in the dishwasher, as they will melt! Just give them a good rinse with warm soapy water, and I'll do the rest. I also re-use the string and card.

I am striving to minimise plastic waste as much as possible and am always looking for more sustainable alternatives to plastic. If you have received a cooler bag or box, please can we arrange for that to be returned so I can re-use them again?

(ps; did you know my business card are made out of recycled t-shirts! No trees were harmed in the process :-) )

Q: What to do after the 3-day juice feast?

A: I am hoping that after 3 days of drinking freshly extracted juices you will feel a great deal healthier, lighter and sharper. It would be a shame to let this dedication and hard work go out of the window as soon as you drink that last juice. You now have amazing positive momentum to steer your life in a healthier direction. Or like Jason Vale (aka the Juicemaster) says: ‘Momentum is like muscle…. Use it or lose it!’

You just had 3 days without any refined fats, sugars, salts, alcohol, caffeine or junk food going into your body. It is easy to go back to bad habits, OR you can use this momentum to create lifelong change.

After 3 days on juice, ease yourself back into eating, taking small portions and preferably avoiding alcohol, caffeine and junk. Keep it clean, don’t go to the chippy straight away! (you’ll get a very upset tummy!).

I like starting with another juice or blend, and then ease into light foods such as salads and soups.