If you’d asked me what my favourite Christmas present was about 20 years ago, I reckon my Slyvanian Families gypsy caravan would have been a strong contender. However, now I’m older and bestowed with far more sophisticated and domesticated tastes I can quite confidently state that the best Christmas present I have received since the heady days of my youth when families of small animals dressed in human clothing were de rigueur is…MY JUICER.

This little guy has revolutionised my life.



My best mate


In many ways, my juicer is like a substitute baby. It is small and can’t talk, I am constantly buying fruit and veg to feed it, I bathe it daily and regularly change its nappy (waste bin). Yet I do concede that there are also ways in which my juicer is NOT like a substitute baby. It doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night and cry (unless I try and feed it too many beetroots at once), it isn’t reliant on me for survival and I don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I cuddle it.

Infant analogy aside, there are umpteen benefits to including fresh juice in your diet. The cult of juice (Jult?) is spearheaded by Mr. Jason Vale, who is the face of Philips juicers and ergo – juicing generally in the UK. Jase used to be overweight and suffered from asthma, psoriasis, eczema and hay fever until he started exercising and swapping the junk food in his diet for freshly squeezed juice. Now he looks all pumped and healthy and can do high kicks like this:


jase juice

Jase – he got juice


Now undeniably the Jason Vale ‘brand’ and his deal with Philips has catapulted juicing to a new level of glossy commercialisation that I personally find too heavy-handed. However, you’ve got to commend the guy’s enthusiasm (I do now own a Philips juicer, after all), and with a six-figure promotional contract to prove it, he knows what he’s talking about – juicing is good for you. Extracting the liquid good-stuff from fruit and veg and pouring it down your throat can prevent illness, gives you more energy, makes you feel a bit more sparkly and apparently can help you lose weight.

But apart from all the obvious health benefits of drinking freshly squeezed juice, the process itself is pretty exciting. You turn on the juicer, it whirrs and whizzes into life and then – this is the best bit – you just chuck whole fruit and veg down its little funnel. No peeling, no slicing, no dicing. Then, you watch with glee as some amazingly vivid-coloured liquid pours out of the little spout on the side.

For the past few months, I’ve been starting every day with a juice before I leave the house for work in the morning and invariably have one when I come home in the evening too. I’ve now got to the stage where I actually get a bit antsy at the thought of not being able to have at least one glass a day.

Yes, you do have to spend quite a bit on juicing ingredients and clean all the bits of the juicer each time you use it, but fruit and veg are pretty cheap and easy to come by (I picked up a FIVE KILO bag of carrots in Tesco for £1.50!) and juicers nowadays are often dishwasher safe and/or very quick and easy to rinse and clean. Adding a few minutes to each day seems a small sacrifice to pay for the incredible wonderfulness you get in return. Since my daily juicing, I’ve not been ill, have less cravings for sweet snacks and have more energy in the mornings.

I’ve found the best results in terms of flavour come from improvising, being bold and chucking whatever fruit and veg you can find down the funnel, whilst applying a loose rule of ‘mix fruit and veg so it’s not too sweet or too much like gazpacho’. Using this method, a few favourites I’ve stumbled upon include:


Green juice

green juice

Love love LOVE this when I’ve just done some exercise. And because it’s green, it feels even healthier. This beast of goodness has also helped me take the edge off a fair few hangovers. Disclaimer: it has been known to bloat me out if I put in too much spinach or kale.

Makes about a pint/2 smaller glasses if you’re sharing:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 x green apples
  • Small bunch of green grapes
  • A few large handfuls of spinach or kale (spinach yields a bit more juice than kale)
  • (I sometimes throw in some mint or lemongrass if I have any in)





So named because I made it on the day I moved into my new house – which is nicknamed Wilber…! I think this made enough for about three small glasses.

  • 1 raw beetroot
  • A pear (or two)
  • 2 x kiwi fruit
  • Small bunch of black grapes
  • Cucumber (to taste – I put in about half a cucumber)
  • A few lychees



carrot juice

This one is my fail-safe morning option, when I just need to down something quickly and feel a bit pepped up for the day. Carrots make amazingly sweet juice so I like to give it a bit of a kick with ginger (nature’s own feel-good knobbly little friend) and even it out/make it look pink with beetroot. Five carrots makes a small glass

  • 5 – 10 carrots (depending on how much you want to make)
  • A thumb of fresh ginger
  • Raw beetroot (Optional – add half or a whole, depending on how ‘earthy’ you want the juice to taste)


I’d also advise against tomato, cucumber and grape – something I tried on one of my more experimental days. Never going there again.

Want to get involved? Go get a juicer! Mine is the Philips HR1861, which is currently about £70 Amazon. From what I gather it’s pretty much the cheapest you can go without compromising on quality and the amount of juice you get from the food you put in. There are quite a few options out there though.

A final word/disclaimer – Whilst I know juice fasting is a ‘thing’, my daily juices are an addition to my daily diet – I don’t substitute them for any meals and still eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.