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Can you really lose weight just by exercise alone?

I have recently just read a fascinating compilation of studies that suggest that exercise alone will not result in weight loss.  This is quite contrary to our popular belief, and that espoused by innumerable fitness trainers, that suggests if we eat a meal of double cheese-burgers with chips totalling 500 calories then all we have to do is jump on the stepper, set our goal to burn 500 calories and all will be struck from the record.  But it seems as though it isn’t quite that simple.

While 100% of the energy we gain comes from food,  we can only burn about 10-30% of it in physical activity (excluding professional athletes).  There are three main components to energy expenditure, 1) Basal metabolic rate, which is energy to make your body perform basic functions, 2) energy used to break down food, 3) energy used in physical activity.  Your body uses about 60-80% of energy to perform your basic functions and keep you alive, digesting and breaking down food used 10% and the rest is used for physical activity. 

This is all not suggesting that physical activity is not an incredibly important part of a healthy, long and happy life, because it most certainly is.  But conceiving that weight loss is as simple as calories out must be more than calories in, is not quite right.  Blaming obesity on poor physical activity isn’t strictly true as it seems that it is more so the over consumption of low quality food that is more to blame.

You can read the full article here:

July 20, 2013

Posted in detox, detox diet, diet, healthy eating, nutrition

5 foods to make sure you eat everyday…

I have recently tried to make sure I incorporate a few certain foods EVERY SINGLE day into my diet.  I do a lot of juicing anyways, and have recently been keeping a cold from breaking into a full blown flu epidemic in my body!  So, I was on a mission to have LOADS of fresh ginger EVERY DAY, whether it was in juice or food.  And LEMON each day, at least 3 lemons a day, whether in juice, or hot water.  It started me thinking about what foods I also normally strive to have every day.  One is definitely cucumber, particularly in juice!   I have been visiting a few juice bars lately and notice that cucumber is noticeable absent from the list of vegetables you can chose from.  For me, cucumber juice is such a critical thing to get each day, call me vain, but because of the amazing properties it has for the skin.  I once tried a bit of a self experiment, having a litre of pure cucumber juice each day for a week, and  the change in my skin was very noticeable particularly  the texture, the brightness and colour.  


So my bit of advice today is to find these foods and make sure you eat them everyday, and don’t worry, this article is not meant to be fancy superfoods you cannot pronounce, it is meant to be everyday foods that you should be eating everyday and how to add them in:

  1. SPINACH –Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with a hot pasta sauce and put over pasta, chew on some to just get your jaws moving too!
  2. AVOCADO – add to a salad; mix with some beans or tuna and add to rice for a risotto type dish; squeeze lemon juice and salt and eat it out of the skin; spread on toast or bread in place of butter
  3. CACAO – sprinkle on your cereal each morning, mix with hot water and teaspoon of honey as a replacement instant coffee; mix into your smoothie mix
  4. SEEDS – add to salads; sprinkle in cereal; add to your baking; buy a few types and mix them up for a little snack as morning tea or afternoon tea
  5. NUTS – chop up into cereal; add whole salads; ground up into fine “meal” and replace flour in baking; add to stir-fries.

Why there is no such thing as “FAILING” a juice cleanse!

Things are getting chillier, darker and cloudier at the moment, so staying clean and healthy gets a little harder.  I get it!


But one of our lovely regular cleansers said to me to the other day, “I just had to put some extra beans in my soup the other night, and then I had a decaf soy latte.  I am so sorry, I FAILED!!!”    I thought to myself, of gosh, please don’t think like that!  Juice cleansing is not a pass or fail test, it isn’t something that people do really well and others do really poorly.  Some people will be more symptomatic than others, but this isn’t a grade of performance!


He wanted to give his body a break from his normal lifestyle, and re-boot with a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables.  So he had a bit on the side, big deal!  He still stuck with it and his body still got the benefits from 3 days of the equivalent of 6kgs of fruit and veggies each day. 


Even though this weather starts to get us down a little, and may even make you start to crave certain foods, just stick with it and you will get the most out of it.  Would you better off with loads of fresh juices each day and just a little slip up, rather than doing nothing at all?  Most people would!

"Coffee, Coffee, you're my heroine" -Lisa Mitchell

 After not having coffee for a long while, I got up at 4am this morning (after working til 9pm at Fashion weekend) with the prospect of working until 9pm again tonight, and then all weekend, and really wanted a full strength coffee.

I got one.  A large soy flat white!  And it was good.  Made my mouth feel all yucky afterward, and I felt unclean…  But BOY OH BOY, did I get a massive buzz!!  I was super super tired, as you can imagine by Friday morning (after a week of getting up at 4am), I am normally pretty shattered.  So this morning I was particularly shattered and a little sad at the prospect of doing another 18 hr day. 

As soon as I had a few sips, I couldn’t believe the impact it had.  I used to drink coffee every day, only 1 or 2, but still it was an every day habit.

 It got me thinking about the habit itself and the addiction.  It was a very good feeling, I felt effective, quick, and productive (I am pumping out this blog post at the moment whilst “high”).  So I can understand how this “fix” has become such a huge part of our society.  It is quite simply an addictive stimulant.  But it is also a slippery slide into addiction.  Life is busy, its hectic, and there is simply not enough time in the day, so a little pick me up each day (or a few times a day) surely won’t hurt right?

I feel good now, but what about in 5-6 hours when I come down from this high, and feel tired and sluggish and exhausted again, will I just get another hit?  And then what about tomorrow morning, will it start like this again?  Will I just get another one? 

 I won’t.  But that is because I made an effort to break my habit a little while back.  The main reason is that I had an addiction (as do most people, they will just tell you they aren’t addicted, like most addicts do!).  If I didn’t have coffee, I felt shabby, tired, headachey, glum, and not 100%, that was because my 100% was not me, it was me PLUS coffee=100%.  I hated that I was dependent on something to help me feel better, I felt that was a sad way to live each day.  So I quit, and it was hard at first, but I am so much happier that I did.  I felt cleaner, lighter, better able to listen to my body to understand when I was tired, when I was sad, and also when I felt 100% without any “highs” to get me there.

 I know there are a lot of people out there that are addicted, much more so that I ever was too.  I am not entering into an argument about whether coffee is good or bad, because I am not taking sides, but I know that I am happier that I quit.

The 5:2 fasting diet... It makes sense....

 When I first heard about this, it made sense to me.  Obviously I am from a juice cleanse company, so it makes sense to me, but more from the perspective of my own life.  I work on more of a “weekends off” type strategy with my lifestyle.  So my boyfriend and I will indulge in whatever we feel like on the weekend, it won’t be junk food 24/7, but we eat a pretty strict vegan diet during the week where we can control what we are eating and making, so the weekends are the time when it is like “I feel like Mexican Fajitas, well, lets have it”.  It also means that when Monday morning rolls around, we are back on the juices and our calorie intake will decrease dramatically.  Normally Monday and Tuesday will be just juice and salad (purging for the fajitas on the weekend), and honestly it is all we feel like!

So when I heard about the 5:2 diet, I thought it seemed sensible.  The weight loss regimen that has become all the rage in the U.K, prescribes that adherents eat their typical diet five days per week and then spend two days consuming a quarter of their normal calories -- what amounts to about 500 for women and 600 for men.   Whilst, my diet doesn’t strictly adhere to these actual numbers, I still find the comparison to my own lifestyle of relying on getting through on just a few juices for a few days a week.  Even though our normal cleanse programs are not calorie deficient, we do have new juice packs that tailor quite well to those looking for an option for those “fast” days.  The juices that I rely on are the following:
Vego Mego – Spinach, celery, beetroot, lemon, ginger 188 calories
Leap Frog – apple, cucumber, spinach, parsley, kiwifruit  228 calories
Green Salad – carrot, celery, parsley, lemon, cucumber 174 calories
The Alkaliser – cucumber, celery, lemon, parsley, spinach, kiwifruit 167 calories

  The juices are part of the Mostly Veg Juice Pack, so even though they are more than the normal “fasting” day recommendation of 500 for women, they work beautifully for me.  You can see the other juice packs online now

Birds do it, bees do it, even you and me do it!

 Everybody does it, but no-one wants to have a chat about it….  We all think that what we do is normal, but unless something is very wrong, we would never ask anyone to check.   So lets talk about Number 2s.  And the unfortunate reality is, most people are constipated….

 Did you know that even if you have one bowel movement every day you are probably still constipated? The majority of people can go for days.  A healthier number is 2-3 times per day. And it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It should be as easy as number 1’s.

There is another way to gauge if you are constipated. It is called the Bristol Stool Chart.  As unpleasant as it is to look at, it is a very important gauge of your health as well as the health of your diet.

Check it out here:

As unpleasant as it is to look at, it is a very important guage of your health as well as the health of your diet.

How to read the chart:

   Types 1-3: You are constipated.

   Types 4-5: Depending on who you talk to these are ideal.

   Types 6-7: Too "urgent" to be normal.

 The form your stool takes depends on how long it has been in the colon, with 72 hours being ideal. As you move down the chart you go from way too long in the colon (1-3), the normal ~72 hour time period (4-5) and finally under 72 hours (6-7). You can find much more detail about each stool type and what it means here (

 In order to be healthy, inside and outside, your bowel must be working and for every meal that we eat, every day. If you are eating three meals per day, then you must have three bowel movements per day. You won’t remember it, but those with children will know the regularity of an infants bowel, food in, poop out.  If you are having less than two bowels movements per day, food residues accumulate for more than twelve hours, purification and fermentation begins and the insides begin rotting, aging and becoming ill.  Often when I talk to people about doing a detox, they will ask me “But won’t I go to the toilet a lot?”  Well, yes, and you need to!  You will need to go to the toilet to move those nasty things you have eaten through you body.

Any nutritional elements present in the fecal matter passes into the bloodstream as polluted products, thus toxemia commences.  Pimples and other skin blemishes are generally the first sign of toxemia.
  Not only does it create a toxic environment, but increasing your chances of bowel cancer.

So, how do you become more regular? The are fibre supplements out there, but really a diet rich in fibre is what you need.  I speak from experience, when I know I have eaten a day full of just fresh fruits, vegetable legumes and nuts, I am as regular as clockwork, BUT give me a day of naughty food, coffee, bread, dairy and I am lucky if I go once!  My belly feels bloated, and I would like to get it out, but cannot!  A cleanse also really helps to reset your bowel and move the old matter through your body.  Then you can restart your new diet rich in high fibre foods.

But I thought I was healthy.... The quiz to test how healthy you really are..

So you made a news years resolution and it was to get back into shape, or get healthy, or eat better, or something good and positive!  And how are you travelling?  Are you on track?  How healthy are you, really…… 

I often get asked why sometimes people get quite sick and feel terrible on a cleanse and some don’t, some have more severe symptoms than others and other are quite mild.  Whilst everyone is very different and invidiuals will process things differently and remove toxins differently, a fairly reliable indication of the symptoms will be the persons diet.  And the one thing that people will always say, “but I thought I ate quite healthy…”  So what is quite healthy?  I can 100% guarantee that “healthy” for a raw vegan is VERY different to “healthy” for a fine dining carnivore.  Here is a little quiz to help you decide…


1. How many times a day would you eat fresh raw vegetables?

a)    more than twice a day

b)   Once or twice a day

c)    Less than once a day


2. How many times a day would you eat cooked/tinned/frozenvegetables?

a)    maybe a few times a week

b)   once a day

c)    twice a day


3. How many times a day would you eat fresh raw fruit?

a)    more than twice a day

b)   Once or twice a day

c)    Less than once a day


4. How many times a week would you drink alcohol?

a)    never

b)   a few times a week or only on weekends

c)    every day a glass or two


5. How many times a day would you eat something that has been bought from a supermarket shelf (not fridge) (e.g biscuits, cakes, crackers, etc)

a)    Less than once a day

b)   Once or twice a day

c)    more than twice a day


6. How soon after you wake do eat first drink water?

a)    Less 20 minutes

b)   Between about 20mins and 2 hours

c)    At least 2 hours after waking up


7. How often do you eat breakfast?

a)    every day

b)   a few times a week

c)    not very often, maybe once a week


8. How soon after you wake do you eat breakfast?

a)    within 30 mintues

b)   within 2 hours

c)    I don’t eat it


9. How many coffees/day do you drink?

a)    none

b)   only 1

c)    more than 1 per day


10. How do you feel if you don’t miss your coffee?

a)    don’t drink it

b)   don’t feel a thing

c)    headachey, tired and crappy



11. How often do you eat meat (chicken, lamb, beef, pork)?

a)    never or very rarely

b)   1 or 2 times a week

c)    every day


12. How often do you have some form of dairy product (eggs, milk, cheese, etc)

a)    never or very rarely

b)   a few times a week

c)    every day


13. How often do you add salt and pepper?

a)    very rarely (maybe once a week)

b)   at least to 1 meal a day

c)    every meal  


14. How often do you eat bread?

a)    Never or very rarely

b)   Maybe once a week

c)    At least once every day, sometimes twice



15. How many litres of water do you drink each day?

a)    Minimum 2 litres a day

b)   Between 1-2 litres

c)    Definitely less than 1 litre


16. How many times a day would you eat food not prepared by yourself (takeaway, pre-packaged, shelf life stable, tinned food, etc)?

a)    once or twice per week

b)   once  per day

c)    at least 2-3 times a day




3 points for every A

2 points for every B

1 point for every C



Score 40-48

You are doing well, you obviously have a grasp on the right things and the wrong things.  Keep up the great work, and always look for ways you can stay clean.  You might have a vice or two (e.g. coffee or salt or cheese) so keep on top of those, and keep them minimal.


Score between 25-40 – You might have thought you were pretty healthy, but  there is definitely room for improvement!  You are sitting in the middle onf the healthy to unhealthy scale and could definitely adopt a few more practices into your lifestyle.  Look at things like more fresh raw produce, more water, less meat, less food pre-prepared or takeaway, or less salt in the diet, cutting back or eliminating coffee.  Remember, its an addiction if you feel crappy when you DON’T have it.


Score below 25

Lots of room for improvement, even though your staple food may not be Hungry Jacks, you still need to work on where your food has come from, shelf stable food VS fresh stuff, water, coffee, dairy and meat and perhaps start to look outside the easily available option.  They are not always the best for you in the long run.

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