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Worlds Biggest Juice DetoxLast year I kicked off my year without beer by taking part in the Worlds Biggest Juice Detox and lost 12 pounds in just 7 days. I first started juicing back in 2010 and since then it has part of my day to day life and a key element in rediscovering my health.

This year the World’s Biggest Juice Detox is back and bigger than ever with over 18,000 people from over 50 different countries taking part, so if you want to start 2013 with the ultimate health kick why not join in too!

If you are not convinced about the benefits of juicing then maybe this excerpt from article in Dubai based magazine Aquarius might persuade you. The article includes the story of Dubai-based Brit, Paula Hughes who I was lucky enough to meet at Jason Vale’s Juice Academy last year.

For Paula, being bitten by the juicing bug pretty much saved her life. Two years ago she weighed more than 122kg and was a size 24/26. Her weight was impacting her physically, mentally and emotionally. Even though she desperately wanted to change, nothing seemed to work.

“In January 2011, I went to the doctor because of a virus and was told that my blood pressure was so high I could drop dead at any moment,” she says. “It took a while for the reality to sink in, but by the end of that month I was on the blood pressure medication she had prescribed me and I had started thinking about changing my lifestyle.”

Luckily for Paula, she was surrounded by health-conscious, supportive friends who rallied around her, encouraging her to start exercising and eating more healthily.

One friend bought Paula a juicer and started going to boot camp with her. A few weeks later at a weightloss show, Paula signed up for a 14-week health workshop with a nutritionist.

Unfortunately, however, her path to health was halted by a vitamin D injection that injured a nerve and left her with agonising back pain and completely numb in her right leg. The numbness caused a fall, which led to her dislocating her hip, knee and ankle.

Unable to exercise and bedridden for weeks, Paula decided the only option was juicing. “The old me would have given up, but I think once you start eating healthier and exercising, it gives you a chemical release and makes you more upbeat and positive,” she says. “I started eating right and working my upper body as much as I could.”

By her 39th birthday in May 2011, Paula was down to 100kg. She was still numb in her right leg, but she could walk again. She treated herself to a skydive and pledged to lose another 20kg by her next birthday.

In October of that year, Paula went to Jason Vale’s Juice Master retreat in Turkey, which combined a pure juice detox and a gruelling exercise regime of around six hours every day.

Paula says, “That week changed my life. Day three was bad – I cried, I felt sick and I couldn’t cope with it. But on day four, I felt reborn spiritually. I woke up early, I felt alive and positive. It was like I’d pressed a magic button and everything mentally and physically fell into place. I decided then and there to do Jason’s Juice Master course.

“By the end of the year, I was 94kg and, by my next birthday, I had hit my goal and weighed 78.8kg,” she says. This time, Paula awarded herself with tattoos of wings on her back. “They link with skydiving, which was a pivotal point in my life, and with my belief that a guardian angel kept me alive through 38 years of unhealthy living,” she says.

Now free from meds, with normal blood pressure and weighing an incredible 50kg less than she did two years ago, Paula is living, walking proof of the benefit of juicing.

According to Jason and Paula, just one juice per day ups your intake of nutrients for that day by 33 per cent. Have two, and you’ve more than doubled your nutrient intake for that day in two tasty gulpfuls. How can that not do you good?

When you witness the amount of fresh produce you get through on a daily basis, it’s easy to understand why it’s so powerful. Spinach, celery, beetroot, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, ginger – all stacked with healthy nutrients – and you consume more in one juice than you could ever eat in a meal.

What are the benefits?

Some people, like Paula, start juicing to lose weight. Others, like Jason (who suffered with asthma, psoriasis and eczema) and Kylie Minogue (who had breast cancer), get into juicing in order to arm their bodies with the strongest ammunition they can to fight disease and illness. Others turn to juice because they want to prevent disease before it happens.

Whatever the motivating factor, the proof of juicing’s power is piling up. This year alone [I assume this refers to 2012 because I don’t think this much research has been published in the last 3 days!], German researchers have found that juicing improves skin health; American experts found that grapefruit juice boosts the effectiveness of cancer drugs; scientists in Edinburgh labelled pomegranate juice as a ‘natural Viagra’; and an Australian study reported that beetroot juice reduces blood pressure. And this is just to name a few benefits.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the World’s Biggest Juice Detox!

Inspired enough to want to try making your own fresh juices and smoothies but need to buy a juicer? Click here to get a 5% discount at Juice Master! – Note: discount is applied at check out.

2013 miles in 2013

Having completed a year without all alcohol in 2012, my self imposed challenge this year is to complete 2013 self powered miles by the end of 2013. My rules are quite simple:

  1. All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
  2. I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment

To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered vehicles along the way.

I need to average just over 5.5 miles (9 km) per day to hit my target. I ran just over 670 miles in 6 and a half months in 2012, so this is a big step up. It is not going to be easy, but hey, it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was!

As part of this challenge I am planning a few races and have already signed up for 2 half marathons in March, a full 26.2 miles marathon in May and a return trip to the Great South Run.

I will be doing this challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and so will keep my existing Just Giving page  going for another year. I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.

To donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB55 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB55 £5″ will donate £5.