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Juicing for Health

by Kerry Doyle(more info)

listed in weight loss, originally published in issue 49 - February 2000

Terry inhabits the predatory and stress-filled world of finance. His work often involves driving very long distances and necessitates much corporate entertaining. He is a party animal by nature; he loves entertaining his friends by cooking elaborate dinners and enjoys a glass of wine – or two!

We met at a business function and he was fascinated to find out what gave me so much energy and glowing vitality. He wanted to know how I managed to maintain an incredibly hectic lifestyle and look so well without the obvious signs of stress typical of the business world. He wanted to know all these things, but he was determined that no therapist was going to change his lifestyle. Like so many people who suffer from high levels of what we call stress, he had developed strong coping skills which helped him to overcome fatigue, frustration, pressure, anger and a feeling of there not being enough time in the day.

The author playing with Toffee, her greyhound

The author playing with Toffee, her greyhound

I felt that to interfere with the coping skills he had built into his life, which he considered necessities, might increase stress levels that were already very high. These might even further increase if I insisted on him making changes to his lifestyle. Terry was not the sort of person who would naturally consult a therapist, therefore I felt it important not to impose too many restrictions on him in order to help him.

* Terry used to drink coffee nearly every hour throughout the day – with a strong wake-up black coffee taken first thing every morning. Caffeine in coffee stimulates the nervous system and adrenal glands, also providing the bitter principle for the tongue which encourages the on-going digestive processes (coffee and cigarettes are the only 'bitters' taken in some people's diets).

* He had a fried breakfast nearly every morning, which he really enjoyed – the fat content of this kind of breakfast is very high in calories but very satisfying to the taste buds!

* Terry also used to go to the pub most lunchtimes – the social environment of the pub seemed to relieve his own stress levels, distracting him from the mild feelings of depression he was still suffering from his marriage break-up. The pub provided camaraderie without guilt – a beer, sandwich and cigar, which he now admits made him feel a "bit sleepy in the afternoon".

* If he didn't have a business or social engagement after work he would return to the pub for a drink before going home. He felt that the alcohol relaxed him and helped him unwind from the day. This is a socially acceptable drinking habit used by many to fill up that space between work and home. It's easy to stay longer and have more than you intended, especially if you have no 'ties'. It also makes it much more tempting to raid the biscuits or the fridge before cooking an evening meal.

I try not to restrict the lifestyle of the people who seek my help. I always start by asking them to add one thing to their daily lives without insisting they take anything away. People these days are continually bombarded with the dos and don'ts of healthy living and it often takes a lot of courage to approach a therapist. Terry is a shy man. It took 18 months before he had a massage. He's sensitive but armoured by his profession and all the contact sports he played as a younger man, and he is a practical joker. People seeking advice may feel very threatened, often because they feel guilty about the way they live, and also because they fear the changes that a therapist may impose on their lifestyle. It's hard to become different from your friends or fail in another person's eyes.

By adding a formula into Terry's lifestyle that was high in nutrition, vitamins and energy-rich carbohydrates, we helped his body by supplementing his diet. This started natural changes: for example, his body craved the juice, without imposing on his mind restrictions that made him feel disruptions to the way he lived. When this formula started to work, I gained his trust and was gradually able to suggest and add other elements to Terry's lifestyle that helped him to let go of 'unhealthy habits'.

Over the last 20 months, Terry has added a pint of juice into his daily routine. He juices soon after waking, drinking the freshly made combination before showering. He then has a light breakfast, usually a medium cup of espresso coffee and toast. He has done this nearly every day and it is almost always the same formula: two medium apples, one firm kiwi fruit and enough carrots to make a pint of juice. In the winter he adds a piece of fresh root ginger and some watermelon in the summer. He enjoys starting the day this way because he really likes it and he no longer wants a fried breakfast!

Occasionally we experimented with other juices, principally green juices. He found that these were improved by adding tomatoes – but were more 'challenging' for the system. Momentously on two occasions we experimented with a pint of pure watermelon juice (skin and pips). However, after these he wouldn't recommend sitting in a business meeting or travelling long distances by car!

The benefits of this addition to his lifestyle have been loss of weight slowly and comfortably, with no obvious signs of quick weight loss, and dramatically reduced stress levels. Other benefits:

  • He feels healthier and looks younger too!
  • He has no gout or joint problems (previously suffered);
  • He feels more even-tempered (due to more sustained blood sugar levels);
  • He feels more aware (his perception has improved and he now enjoys his own space);
  • He has much more energy – he enjoys new hobbies and is much more adventurous;
  • He has increased his workload, this has meant that he doesn't have time to go to the pub at lunchtime. He also enjoys his work much more and is taking a much more active part in business.

He says, "I am much more enquiring than I used to be in lots of ways, I even read most of the newspaper now instead of just the business and sport pages. I have a renewed interest in people, I feel less tired and have a wider perspective on life, I ventured on holiday on my own this year. I drink a lot less beer now, preferring a good quality red wine and I drink at least a litre of water during the day as well as my juice first thing every morning. I very rarely have fried food and even enjoy a salad these days! I drink only one cup of fresh coffee a day and I hardly ever have chocolate biscuits and lots of cheese (which I used to have every night). I seem to smoke less, especially in winter when I add the ginger back into my daily juice. I also use essential oils as part of my daily life in all sorts of ways – I always use sweet orange in my candle fragrancer when I come home – this helps me to relax instead of alcohol. I watch less television as I do more interesting things with my evenings; I've even been to the ballet! My sleep sometimes includes dreams now; I like to use my diffuser in the bedroom with Exotic Vervain to help me to sleep, and I also take Mandarin capsules to help reduce my stress levels. I never thought that I would do any of these things – they seemed far too alternative for me!

"I was worried like a lot of men my age that I may suffer from waterwork problems, but there is now less evidence of this. I feel fit because I walk a lot more and I've moved into a cottage in the country to enable me to do more country walking. A lot of people who laughed at me are now juicing as well!"

Terry Irvine is 51 years young! I would like to thank him for helping me with this case study and applaud him for his courage in doing so – of course his health improvements are ongoing.

I have found that my own health and energy levels have improved enormously since I started juicing three years ago. I grew up with an inherited recurring respiratory condition that was treated through the sixties with antibiotics. This meant that I had taken a lot of antibiotics by the time I was sixteen years old when I became anorexic. I had bulimia until my late 30s with debilitating fatigue and candida problems. Essential oils have played a large part in my own healing process, but juicing daily and drinking plenty of water has helped me beat my eating disorder. Juicing everyday has helped to balance my system; it's given me the energy I needed to make healing changes in my life.

It took me a long time to persuade my mother and father to juice daily, but encouraged by my own increased energy levels, they are now confirmed daily juicers. With a simple daily intake of carrot, apple and kiwi fruit, adding ginger in the winter and watermelon in the summer, they have dramatically improved their health and energy levels. They are now retired and in their mid 70s, but lead such busy lives, it seems that there are not enough hours in the day to do what they want to do. My mother was persuaded to take up juicing because I began to look better in my forties than I had in my twenties and thirties – I still don't colour my hair! She has also found that her skin is firmer, less dry with fewer lines and she has softer, shinier hair, which was a great incentive. Her sleep has improved and her digestive problems, due mainly to a damaged colon, the aftermath of radiation treatment for uterine cancer in her fifties, have eased considerably. Her depression levels, particularly in the winter, have dropped and her energy levels have vastly increased. She and my father are currently on a three month trip to Brazil, where it is very rare to see anyone over the age of 50 enjoying such an active life without suffering mature onset diabetes, osteoporosis, chronic arthritis or any of the other age-related degenerative diseases.

Terry Irvine

Very much to the amusement of his friends and business colleagues, Terry Irvine was included in an article in Positive Health magazine July 1998 – he was my 'sceptical friend' in The Fragrant Journey. Much to the amazement of those very same people he went on to lose two stones in six months – seemingly effortlessly and without going on a diet or giving up the things he enjoyed. After six weeks of juicing, the waistband of Terry's new suit had to be taken in by four inches – his tailor was amazed at such a major alteration so soon!
Terry BEFORE...

Terry BEFORE...

Terry AFTER 6 months

Terry AFTER 6 months


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About Kerry Doyle

Kerry Doyle is a fellow of the Royal Society of Health where she gained her Diploma in Nutrition and Health. She is qualified in holistic and clinical aromatherapy, and has had an ongoing study programme. She ran a full time aromatic practice for five years. She worked with a French Naturopath for two years before becoming a distributor for Pranarom organic essential oils and aromatology products. She can be reached on Tel: 01482 581 776.

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