BUT WHAT ELSE DO I DRINK?

Drinking alcohol uses up quite a lot of time, which, when we stop drinking, suddenly gives us lots of free time. There is also a void where our favourite drink used to be. But one drink you can get into which is alcohol free and so healthy it’s saving lives all over the world is juice. Wine is made from juice, after all which we were drinking already but instead of slowly killing you, juice quickly heals you.

I’m actually off to deliver a lecture and juicing demo today, so important has juicing become in my life over the past few years, even before I stopped drinking alcohol. I’m eight weeks alcohol free at the moment but last year I went three months without drinking as I was on a series of juice fasts. Because I still hadn’t addressed my drinking problem, as soon as the juice fast period was over I went straight back to drinking, but this time round I’m sticking just to juice for good.

The best way to approach juicing is to go on a short juice fast of 1–3 days just to get a feel for what a huge beneficial change juicing can make, and then incorporate juicing into your everyday life. Too much fruit sugar isn’t good for health so it’s recommended you aim for 70% vegetable juice and 30% fruit juice.

If you want to try a week long juice fast, after day 4 you’ll notice that you feel energised in a way you’ve never felt before. Colours seem brighter, your thinking is clearer, it’s almost like being on drugs except you’re drug free (I would advise anyone who has just stopped drinking alcohol to see their GP before embarking on a juice fast because I wouldn’t advise it for someone who is detoxing from very heavy drinking.)

I went from drinking 1–2 bottles of wine most days to an alcohol free month long juice fast with no problems at all, in fact I felt more amazing than I’d ever felt in my life. Juicing provides nearly all the nutrients you need (although you’ll need vitamin D and B12 supplements) and all the fibre you need — juicing only removes the unnecessary fibre which would be processed by your body as waste. Also, calorie forcalorie, broccoli has more protein than beef. Broccoli is also packed with amino acids, fibre and vitamin B6 and is one of the best vegetables to fight cancer. Of course you’d have to eat a great big pile of broccoli to get the same amount of protein as you would from that many calories of beef, but juicing is the perfect answer, because you get the nutrients without the bulk.

Incorporating juicing into your routine is one of the kindest ways to heal a badly damaged body, and let’s face it, all of us on here have been battering our bodies. Well this is a great way to start recovering.

For example my husband went on a 1 week juice fast a couple of years back but hasn’t done one since, however he has replaced every lunchtime meal with a pint of juice he takes to work in a screw-cap jar (passata jars are ideal.) Through this simple lifestyle change, when he had his yearly Wellness assessment, the researcher told him that over her twenty year career he had the single biggest cholesterol drop she had ever seen in a subject from one year’s assessment to the next. That’s how effective juicing can be.

The road that got me onto juicing in the first place was discovering I had a dairy allergy — if you have regular sneezing fits outside of hay fever season, one of the likeliest culprits is dairy. I endured sneezing fits for years before discovering the cause was a common dairy allergy (cows’ milk is designed by nature for baby calves, not for adult humans, it’s completely unnatural to put it into your body and is a contributory cause of cancer and heart disease, just like alcohol.) Researching dairy-free eating led me to Joe Cross’s award-winning documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and this inspired me to buy a juicer and start juicing. I lost 10 kilos and kept most of it off for months. That is, until I resumed drinking alcohol again and, you guessed it, the weight started to pile back on again. Now I’ve given up drinking for good I’m back to regular juicing and the weight is starting to peel off once more.

When we give up alcohol, eating may give us comfort in the short term but piling on the weight eating unhealthy foods has its own risks just as drinking does — obesity is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths in the USA. It would be a shame to fall headlong straight from the jaws of one death devil into the jaws of another when we stop drinking.

If you want to find out more about juicing, visit Joe’s site at rebootwithjoe.com and find out which juicer to buy and what the difference is between blending and juicing. Here are some of his success stories. I find these really inspirational. And I forgot to mention, juices are *delicious*. There are loads of great recipes on Joe’s site here.

My current favourite though is 10 carrots, 2 green apples, one 1” lump of ginger and half an unpeeled lemon. An amazing way to start the day.

Here’s a helpful infographic to show you the differences between juicing and blending…

This blog first appeared on soberistas.com

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