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The Five Day Juice Detox: Thoughts

jason vale juicemaster detox review

Drinking four lots of juice a day instead of eating actual food isn’t my idea of a laugh, but I agreed to take part in the World’s Biggest Juice Detox for a number of reasons, the main one being (as it so often is) curiosity. I had the insatiable urge to know what kale, spinach, courgette and avocado would taste like pulverised into a bright green liquid. I could not rest at night until I had tasted the mingled juices of pear and parsnip. I had to  know, for certain, that I could drink something containing liquified broccoli stem and not throw up.

In all seriousness, I have been curious about this “juicing” thing for quite some time. Whilst I’m sceptical about most diets (sceptical at best; mostly they irritate me and some I find to be downright irresponsible, but more on that another time), I do like to have a dabble with some of the more appealing ones for research purposes. Some of the shorter detoxes and health “kickstarts” are actually very good for learning good habits (finding recipes without lots of refined carbs, for example) and getting rid of bad ones. If you’re the kind of person who has toast for breakfast, a baguette for lunch and pasta for dinner, some of these short detox plans can be great for giving you the confidence to try alternative meals and types of cuisine. At the very least, they make you really think about what you’ve been feeding yourself on and give you the chance to re-evaluate your lifestyle.

Anyway, my interest in juicing was piqued. You see these bizarre juice and smoothie combinations all over the place now – kale and turnip with blueberry, banana, lime and brussel sprouts – and many people swear by them for getting a healthy energy fix or for “cleansing the system”. (I suspect that lots of people drink them out of guilt – eight pints and a few tequila shots the night before and then a “green juice” to absolve them of their sins! I once worked with a hair stylist who harped on non-stop about juicing but used to go on the most terrible benders every weekend. Complete madness.) The World’s Biggest Juice Detox follows a five-day juicing plan* devised by the “Juicemaster” Jason Vale. Every day you make yourself four big juice smoothies from (literally) a mountain of fresh produce and by the end of the five days you are supposed to be thoroughly ship-shape and cleansed.

five day juice detox

Comments so far:

1) Most of the juices (including the one with broccoli stem) have been entirely tasty, if not delicious. The ginger “espresso” shot first thing in the morning (half an apple juiced with a chunk of ginger) is the biggest shock to the system you could probably get from something that isn’t a chemical. It makes you go quite, quite zingy.

2) The Philips Viva HR1863 juicer is brilliant. I haven’t owned any other juicer before (being a juice virgin) but having grilled a number of friends about theirs, it is apparent that the Viva is incredibly easy to clean and that it’s juicing powers are impressive. I’ve had to stop myself from testing out various non-edible things to see if it would juice them…this machine would get blood out of a stone, I think. There’s something really satisfying, too, about popping whole apples and pears and sticks of celery into the top of the machine and watching them get eaten up. Mr AMR has become quite obsessive. “What juice is next? Shall we make a batch in advance?”

3) I’m still not 100% clear on why it is so beneficial to drink all of this fruit and veg rather than eat it, but it seems that the main purpose is that it gives the digestive system a bit of a rest. I definitely feel as though the juices are quite soothing on my stomach and there’s been no bloating or unpleasant side effects. After two full days I certainly feel cleaner inside and (according to Mr AMR) have a healthy spring in my step. I’m impressed.

4) In all honesty though, I don’t know whether I have the willpower to do the full five days. I’m starting to dream about SALAD of all things. Whatever happens, though, I’m confident that I’ll be incorporating a bit of juicing into my life on a regular basis. One of the breakfast smoothies, in particular, was absolutely delicious (banana, live yoghurt, strawberries, apple juice) and the “ginger espresso shot” is a great way to start the day. I can also see myself making the odd veggie juice when I’m feeling particularly jaded… The juices just make you feel instantly good. Yes, in a smarmy, smug, annoying-to-others kind of way. Sorry!

So, in conclusion: this cynic is pleasantly surprised by the whole juicing business. The five day programme is pretty straightforward to follow, if you fancy having a go – you can get the book on Amazon. Does anyone out there “juice”? Any tips, recipes, horror stories? Do share. My one beef (ha!) with the whole thing is that the veg juices smell very…er…sulfurous when you pour them into the glass. I kept thinking that it was the dog…

*NB: this juice detox is called 5lbs in 5 days. I would like to make it clear that I didn’t follow the plan to lose weight (I am at a healthy weight already) but for the cleansing or “detoxing” benefits.


  1. My biochemistry professor was really against these “detox” juice cleanses. I don’t remember exactly what it was right now (at it’s too early for me to get up and check), but it was something to do with that it wasn’t good for your system at all… I wish I could remember… I will have to check up on it later…


  2. Keep going Ruth! You can do it! I believe in you!!!

  3. Well, this is something I grew up with: my mom wouldn’t let me get out of bed without carrot juice first. Mind you: she grated the carrots and squeezed the juice through a cloth. She’d gotten a book written by a Dr.Walker – or as she pronounced it, Doktor Vokkerrrr, who’d written about juicing back in the 1920’s, I believe. It haunted my life, especially after she bought a machine years later. Her concoctions were not to be believed. No fruit, just veggies. And each health problem had a different formula. She lives on salad (very strange ones) and her juices. She’s almost 90 years old.

    And she ALWAYS looked 20 years younger than her real age, an embarrassment to me when in high school, as you can imagine: wolf calls for my mom! She traveled abroad to many countries many times well into her 70’s. No wrinkles, beautiful skin, beautiful bright eyes, gorgeously thick & shiny hair.

    Of course, I’ve rejected all this new stuff on juicing. I’d had my fill and let’s face it, when something is forced down our throats (pun intended) we rebel: typical mother/daughter thing.

    But I AM my mother’s daughter and with all the horrid health issues I’ve had this past year, I decided to try juicing again. Hubs will freak out. We always hated it when she lugged her machineS to our house with her! (She Is a character!) But we must do what we must. Amazon here I come. Thanks for yet another kick in the pants, Ruth. (And at least I’m not getting another foundation, though the Chanel powder….ooh la la!) xx

  4. Hello, I’ve heard that smoothies can be very damaging to teeth- something about the sugar converting to sucrose when broken/blended down. Has anyone else head this? I’m unsure how true it is.that said, after reading this post I’m buying one before work now!

  5. All the juices look delicious but I just don’t think I can face 5 days without chewing proper food!

    Lottie x


  6. I usually have them during the spring summer time but please share some recipes with us! Thanks in advance

  7. Hi Ruth – I love the Jason Vale recipes, especially the ginger ‘espresso’. You might also be interesed in the Joe Cross website http://www.rebootwithjoe.com and also http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com it’s a real eye opener, in my opinion.
    I don’t tend to do any particular ‘juice diets’, I generally have a tasty green juice for breakfast then eat a balanced diet for the rest of the day.
    Happy juicing ;)

  8. I don’t think I could survive juicing but I really want to add like an occasional juice into my diet. Mainly because I have a gorgeous smoothie cup from paperchase!


  9. I can understand you love the breakfast smoothie – I am one of those people who are not hungry in the morning but understand the importance of a healthy start, hence I start every morning with a banana-yoghurt-strawberry(blueberry)-grated ginger-flax seed-orange juice smoothie, yummie!

  10. I have a question, which pops up every time I see these juicing-detox-things; can you stay full for a whole day, including workouts/runs etc? Or do you need to eat other things?

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