I've talked about and to Chris James on the blog before - after a recent juicing attempt resulted in migraine and vomiting (EEW) I thought I'd ask him for the low-down - he's been advocating juicing for years...
CH: Chris you’re a tad obsessed with juicing aren’t you?
I’m completely evangelical about juicing. In addition to eating whole fruit and vegetables, I drink from 300ml to 600ml of raw freshly pressed vegetables every day – you should see my kitchen! I do this so that my body and mind functions properly all year round. I have not seen a doctor for over 10 years. I was contacted by my surgery recently to ask me if I existed – was everything ok? I can account for the fact that I have no idea what the inside of a surgery looks like, because of a lifestyle of structured cleansing. I cleanse 3-4 times a year for 12 days at a time...
CH: OK I get that, isn’t it more important to focus on the alkalinity of your system in general – rather than sporadically?For my body and mind to function optimally it is important to maintain the correct balance of acidity versus alkalinity – remember this from your Biology and Chemistry classes? The human body has a healthy PH of about 7.3 / 7.4 or about the same as sea water. So you should aim to cut out acidic forming foods, such as processed and refined foods, and focus on alkaline forming foods like vegetables.
If your body and blood is acidic, then your immune system against infection will be compromised. Not only this, it will interfere with your metabolism and digestion and make you feel sluggish. If left unchecked, and this the most serious bit – it will eventually cause you more serious long-term health problems.
CH: And juices are predominantly alkaline – and obviously full of enzymes and close to their natural state yes?Raw juices are bursting with active enzymes, which are vital to a healthy diet and delivers vitamins, minerals and antioxidants straight to your body which rebuilds and rebalances the entire system.
CH: What about the current obsession with total cleanses? No solid food etc for weeks and weeks on end. I can’t believe that is good for you? I tried and failed - spectacularly.
I am not a fan of 100% juice cleanses, especially if they are delivered to your door, apart from being costly, the integrity of the enzymes dissipate by the time that they arrive making them in large part nutritionally useless, despite whatever cold pressed juicers the juicing companies claim to be using.
The only way to benefit from the sea of vitamins, active enzymes and minerals from raw vegetables and fruit, is to press it yourself, or at least to make sure that whoever is pressing it is using the freshest of ingredients. As soon as you cut into fruit and vegetables, the enzymes (literally raw sparks of life) start to die. This is why I am also against the practice of storing your juices for any length of time. It is much better to imbibe straightaway.
For the reasons mentioned above eating raw food is certainly beneficial to the body, because of the amount of inherent active enzymes. As soon as you start to cook foods, you start to kill their enzymes. Roasting and microwaving (throw away your microwave!) vegetables will completely destroy the enzymes, whereas stir frying or flash frying will only cook the outer edges, while the integrity of the enzyme stays intact in the middle.
CH: Our microwave recently conked out and I’m resisting replacing it! I’m obsessed with following the Raw Till 4 concept on Instagram – mainly if I’m honest because the food always looks so bloody good. I have noticed though, that the people who do it well live in really hot climates – I don’t think I could do it in this weather!
The Raw Till 4 concept is a vegan program that focuses on eating raw fruits and vegetables, no animal products, little to no fats or seeds. You basically eat whole, unprocessed raw foods until 4pm. Then you are allowed to cook and eat certain beneficial foods, but again, without oils to help flavour and cook your food. While eating raw is beneficial this would only work 365 days a year if we lived close to the Equator. In Western Europe, we need warming foods in the colder winter months in order to provide warmth for the kidneys amongst other things! This approach may work in warmer summer months, but only eating cooked foods after 4pm? I am not convinced. This approach smacks of the 5:2 diet which encourages binge eating amongst other things.
CH: That 5:2 nonsense did not interest me at ALL.
On balance, the verdict on whether a 100% raw food diet is healthy is mixed. If you’re a healthy adult who likes to prepare food but not necessarily cook and you have no problem giving up meat or dairy, the raw food diet might be for you. And, while I believe that eating raw food has a significant contribution to make to human health and longevity, caution should be exercised when adopting a 100% raw diet. I am inclined to advocate a 50% raw food intake to optimise human health and longevity.
CH: Sounds much easier to me!It’s not just the raw bit that I do, or the juicing bit, it’s the whole thing! I predict this year; we shall be reading more than ever in the Press about Gut Health, and its impact on your wellness and beauty. There are exciting times ahead...
The lovely Mr James is offering one lucky reader the opportunity to try his entire range of supplements. To enter simply use Rafflecopter below as per all of my giveaways.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you Chris - AND - If you are interested in juicing or further reading you can read more from Chris here:
And further info from Chris can be found here: www.chrisjamescleanse.com
AND: good news for London dwelling people - Chris's range is available in Whole Foods Kensington, Piccadilly and Richmond from next week.