While juicing has many health benefits it may not help those who suffer with addictive tendencies with food.
I got this lovely email about juicing and food addiction from devoted subscriber Valerie ages ago and thought I’d address it in today’s blog post…
Do you think that juice fasting is a good option for someone who wants to be raw vegan and who also has eating disorder/binge eating problems?
Would juicing work with Bright Lines? I’ve been flirting with raw vegan for months and keep falling back to binge eating and vegan junk food. I juiced for a week, felt awesome, dropped some weight… and tonight I binged and I feel so sick and awful. I’ve been contemplating adopting a meal plan like what you follow (three meals, fruit and greens) or doing a juice fast first, and then doing that meal plan.
I’ve been uninspired by food, and then crave old fall back foods like cake and chips. Part of my eating disorder is obsessing over what to eat and when to eat and what diet to follow and constantly changing my mind about what’s best, sometimes even 3 or more times a day!
I was hoping you could maybe share some insight with me about getting some peace of mind in my food decisions.
Why I don’t personally juice
Firstly, some clarification for people who don’t know what Bright Lines are… They are simply non-negotiable rules that you can choose to follow if you are susceptible to the influence of addictive foods or any addiction for that matter (You could have a bright line for buying things on the internet that you don’t need).
I’ve written about them many times over the past year since I began incorporating them into my raw vegan diet plan.
The four rules are No sugar (including maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup and agave), No flour, Meals (usually 3 a day), quantities (bounded quantities determined with a food scale)
Bright lines have helped me find freedom around food obsession and the yo-yo binge-weightloss cycle. I absolutely LOVE them.
Juicing is NOT recommended for people who are very susceptible to refined foods because juicing is a refining process.
There are two main reasons why I don’t currently juice my food and choose to eat the majority of my foods in their whole form:
#1 – Juicing removes the fibre lattice
Juicing removes all or most of the fibre found in fruits and vegetables – fibre which is essential for good gut bacteria proliferation and the slow transfer of glucose into the blood stream and cells.
Juicing with fruits has been shown to raise blood sugar levels too fast, causing an insulin spike and then subsequent blood sugar crash. Insulin blocks leptin (the hormone which tells you when you’re full) in the brain causing you to want to eat more and more, even when you’re full, or not physically hungry.
Green juices that do not contain ANY fruit at all may not have the same effect in some people, however there is another major reason why I don’t consume even green juices right now…
#2 – Drinking your food can lead to subsequent overeating
I don’t juice and I RARELY even blend my food these days because I found that when I drank my food my brain would barely register that I had had a meal and that made me want to keep eating more and more.
It turns out that chewing is a crucial part of the healthy digestion process. Chewing triggers salivary glands to produce the right kind of enzymes to digest your food, but it also prepares your stomach and your brain for what’s coming down your oesophagus.
Chewing helps your brain come to terms with the volume of food you are eating, and combined with the fibre lattice it helps you register when you’re full.
Since I’ve been eating my meals in whole form I am far more aware of my meals and I reach satiety point more effectively.
I do sometimes blend a part of my meal. So for instance, this morning I took about 1/4 of my meal of fruits, cucumber, celery and hemp and put it in my blender. Then I transferred it to a bowl and put the rest of my chopped ingredients on top of the bowl. I ate it with a spoon and enjoyed every bite.
Eating your food with a spoon or fork, or with your hands also helps your brain register just how much you’re eating.
If you find you are lower on the susceptibility scale for compulsive overeating then you may be able to tolerate green juices and blended foods without a problem. But if you’re very sensitive to refined foods then drinking your calories will really set you up for a whole lot of heartache.
It was tough letting go of juices and smoothies at the beginning, but now I really don’t miss them at all. I eat the most wonderful meals, I enjoy every single bite and I’m so grateful for the freedom that I experience from food obsession.
I don’t believe I’m getting any less nutrition because I’m not including juices in my diet currently.
I encourage you to try eating all your food whole and see for yourself 🙂
Please comment below about your experience with juicing. Does it work for you?