Schkinny Maninny - feeling, looking and being FAB!

Have you got the caffeine gene?

Have you ever done a cleanse with a friend or partner and wonder why they don’t have the same horrible headaches when they drink the same amount of coffee as you?

Turns out, its genetic.

Caffeine is a natural alkaloid and also a stimulant, which can cause dependence or addiction.  Most coffee drinkers (or tea, or anything else caffeinated) will identify the foggy feeling, dull headache that accompanies the absence of your morning cup.  I quit coffee a few years ago.  I hated the dependence on it.  I really hated knowing that if I missed my daily dose, then I would feel rubbish and feel like I was unable to “function”, so I quit.  I miss the habit, but not the actual stimulant.  I have drunk it a handful of times since have officially quit, and have regretted it almost every time (once was a long drive and I knew I needed something to really buzz me).  It left me feeling very jittery, incredible anxious, and I literally could not sit still.  And yet, my partner can drink it right before bed and still sleep very soundly…. 

So why do some people feel it more than others?

We all carry a gene that metabolises caffeine called the CYP1A2 gene. Individuals who are homozygous for the CYP1A2-1A allele are "rapid" caffeine metabolisers, whereas carriers of the variant CYP1A2-1F are "slow" caffeine metabolisers.

There are lab tests for this gene, but basically, if you can drink caffeine in the evening and still go to bed, you are a rapid metabolizer. On the other hand, some people have a cup of coffee and have the jitters for the rest of the day.

So it seems that those with a slow metabolisers are more inclined to feel the “withdrawal” effects when they stop drinking coffee.  Severe headaches, nausea, inability to focus are all the symptoms when the body quits an addiction, but some are more likely to feel the pain than others.  If you are planning on either quitting coffee or just doing a cleanse with no coffee for a week, then if you are one of the slow metabolisers, my best advice is to try and cut down the caffeine before your cleanse.  Start by dropping from full strength to half shot, then to decaf (this still has a small amount of caffeine in it), then to green tea, then very diluted green tea and then non caffeinated tea (like rooibos, or herbal).  Your head will thank you!

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:

June 06, 2013

Posted in fresh juices, juice detox, juice diet, slow juice

Juicing is hard work!

I had a few days at home a little while back, so I was away from my easy access to freshly pressed juice at work.  Never fear, I have a juicer at home!


Normally I am at work 6 days a week, so have all the juice I could ever dream of, right at my finger tips.  I love it!  It doesn’t get terribly addictive, and whilst it is all being made and the juicers are going al day, then it is easy to slip a few fruit and veggies through them, a few times a day to get my fix.  BUT I was homebound for a few days, and was starting to feel the withdrawals…  So I pulled the juicer out.


So at work, we have a few juicers going, nice big sinks, nice big bins and the right containers to put your juice in, the best absorbant clothes, stainless steel benches, etc…  But at home, I live in a tiny one bedroom apartment, with a small sink and not a huge amount of bench space and a tiny little bin.  So pulling out the juicer first presented a problem of where can I actually do this AND have room to prep the fruit and veggies to go into the juicer (so peel the oranges, and lemons, cut up the carrots and celery, chop the apples).


I fumbled through it, making a few spillages on the ground and a bit of pulp flying all over the kettle and the hot plate.  Then I had to try to make sure I got all the pulp into the bin, without it spilling on the floor.  That was a little tricky itself!  So then I had to wash the juicer, trying to break it all up and get it into the sink for washing, and then with not enough space to put it in the drainer.  ALL for about 600ml of juice.


I loved it when I had it, but I can tell you it was the only juice I had whilst I was at home, I just simply couldn’t be bothered to go through it all again.  I just thought I would wait until I got back to work.  So I get it, when I meet people and explain what we do, they often say “but I could just do that myself at home” I think to myself, yes you absolutely could!!!  But really, who has the time!

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!

Its the changing of the season... eeew, colds and flus!

 Its flu season!!  The change in temperatures can mean that we are more susceptible to viruses and nasty bugs floating around and I have just come down with the sniffles!  I very rarely get sick due to the copious amounts of juice I get to drink each day and a mostly vegan diet.  But after ANZAC day holiday and then followed by the weekend, last week felt like I have 4 days of naughty food and booze, rather than the normal 1 that I indulge in.  Consequently, on Sunday night, my throat started to get a bit scratchy, and by Monday morning I was well and truly clogged up.  Throw in a suspected broken foot, I was couch bound and miserable!

Anyways, the very first thing I did was hobble my way down to the organic fruit and veg grocer and LOAD up on fresh fruit and veggies.  And all I did all day was Juice, Juice, Juice and more Juice…..  My fave flu buster is this one:

  • 1 whole beetroot
  • 2 whole oranges
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger
This juice is my favourite because it is really high in Vitamin C, antioxidants and ginger is natural antibacterial and anti-infllammatory.  So it is a as good as any pill to help your body fight.  

It is Wednesday, I have already drunk about 5 litres of this.  Already feeling heaps better.  This is quite peppery and strong with the lemon and ginger, but sooo good for sore throats and stuffed up noses.  Also, my other surefire natural cold helper is Manuka honey.  Brilliant anti bacterial for sore scratchy throats, so you can avoid the artificial sweetened lollies, and stick with natural remedies!

Stay healthy this Autumn, and if you feel the sniffles coming on, get your juicer out!

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.

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