Ask Michele Tune "Is juicing good for you?" and she'll answer with a big smile. The author and blogger known as "Raw Juice Girl" to the internet world spreads her message of healing with juices and raw foods every day through her writing, teaching and speaking engagements. Michele blogs extensively about her experiences with raw foods, fasting and juicing. She spent most of her young adult life visiting doctor after doctor seeking a cure for many chronic conditions. Things were so bad with her that she writes, "I had to wear Depends." Thanks to the healing power of raw foods, fasting and juices, Michele has lost over 100 pounds, regained her health, and no longer has to wear diapers or undergo painful and embarrassing medical treatments. We were fortunate to catch up with Michele and ask, "Is juicing good for you?" You probably guessed the answer already.
First, we asked Michele to share personal experience with the health benefits of juicing.
How did you become interested in juicing?
I discovered juicing while studying online. I was searching for alternative solutions for my health. I was intrigued by the healing benefits of raw juices and juice fasting, and the numerous testimonies I read across the web.
By this time, I had lost some weight (about 40 pounds or so, I believe) but I was still obese and had to wear Depends diapers. I was in my early 20's and was so discouraged about my health. I had reached the point people talk about: I was willing to do whatever it took to turn my health - and life - around. The more I researched, the more I became inspired by stories from people like Alissa Cohen and many others. I discovered people all over the world had experienced healing from juice fasting: livers, bladders, heart disease, cancer, skin issues, mental issues - all sorts of healing stories abounded!
Several years later, my bladder problem is totally gone and I have lost over 100 pounds. Raw, living juices and juice fasting have been so healing for me.
How did you begin juicing?
I started with a second-hand juicer, mostly produce from friends' gardens, and a made-up mind to experience nothing but a healing, juicing journey - and that's exactly what happened.
I was so motivated to juice fast. I started after I felt I had done enough research and felt like I could safely venture out without harming myself. Of course, I didn't realize at the time I was a little too motivated! I thought I'd be able to complete a 30-day juice fast when I had never embarked on a juice fast before in my life. I made it to day four of that 30-day juice fast before the detox symptoms overwhelmed me and I decided I needed to be more realistic.
I let myself rest from juicing for about a week or so and then I decided I'd shoot for a 7-day juice fast. Guess what? I made it! A little later, I completed a 14-day juice fast, a 21-day juice fast, and finally, I had enough juicing experience that I went for the 30-day juice fast. This time, I made it! And, this time, a miracle happened: On day 21 of that 30-day juice fast, I noticed something incredible. I no longer had a bladder problem; I no longer needed Depends!
Other Juicing Benefits
Because Michele's healing was so powerful, we asked her to describe more of the benefits that she experienced from juicing. Not everyone will experience the same benefits.
What benefits did you experience from juicing?
The list of benefits I've experienced is quite long: Improved hair, skin, nails, colon health, more restful sleep, eyesight, digestion, weight loss. Also, by day 21 of my first 30-day juice fast, my bladder completely healed itself. I've had a healthy bladder ever since. Natural remedies along with raw juices and juice fasting also helped balance my blood sugar, cholesterol, hormones, metabolism, and more, and I've now lost over 100 pounds!
Do you recommend any special juicing equipment?
I dream of owning either an Omega 8003 juicer or a Green Star. I've heard such amazing things about them both. I've also often wished I had a wheatgrass juicer; however, I don't really feel you need the best/most expensive equipment out there, in order to get a good start to juicing and learn more about it. Other than a juicer, a good knife for chopping produce and maybe a big cutting board are useful tools for juicing.
Can you share your favorite juice recipe?
My all-time favorite juice combination is spinach-carrot juice. It's wonderful first thing in the morning - so refreshing, sweet, energizing, and delicious! Nothing compares, in my opinion! And I'm actually terrible about measuring my juices. I normally just throw a few carrots (depending on their size) and a handful or two of spinach in to the juicer and I enjoy whatever amount comes out.
Are any special juices known to have health benefits?
Yes! Too many to list here, that's for sure. Beet root is a blood builder and cleanser; carrot juice is excellent for eyesight, is full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and more; dark greens help alkalize the body; cabbage juice is sweet, helps cleanse the colon and fight cancer - the list goes on and on.
Do commercially prepared juices offer the same benefits?
No, not in my opinion. Besides the man-made preservatives and other chemicals commercially prepared juices contain, the person consuming the juice doesn't experience the fresh taste - or health benefits - of the raw, living enzymes.
Getting Started Juicing
We asked Michele for advice to help people get started juicing.
What's the easiest way to start juicing?
Pick up a juicer at a local store or online. If finances are the main reason you haven't started juicing yet, pick up a juicer at a Goodwill or another second-hand store. Craigslist is an online classified ad service where you may find secondhand juicers, and Freecycle is a list where people post items to give away. You may have luck finding a juicer there. There are numerous books, websites, and blogs that have amazing recipes. Experimenting is also fun.
Is Juicing Good for You?
Absolutely! Even if juice fasting (aka juice feasting) isn't involved, only delicious juices and wonderful health benefits are sure to come from enjoying raw juices as often as possible.
What other advice could you give to people about juicing?
I feel people are too hard on themselves. People interested in juicing need to know that they don't have to have the most expensive juicer or a lot of knowledge to start juicing. And if the produce itself is the issue, there are farmer's markets coop's, community gardens, and other solutions.
My advice: Simply purchase a juicer (and produce) that's within your budget - and start juicing!
Note: Juice fasting is to be approached mindfully. It shouldn't be viewed as a quick-fix for weight loss, but instead look at raw juices and juice fasting as an opportunity for your body to feast on live enzymes the body - and mind - is craving and can thrive on.