Some time ago, I received quite a shock. I had a cholesterol test and it showed a count of 5.9! This is after I’d brought it down about a year previous to about 5.2. I was also on blood-pressure medication.
Now, I’ve been vegetarian for about thirty-five years so, I thought, the cholesterol must be coming from the dairy, the cakes, biscuits, sweets and other processed crap I keep shoving into my needy gob; I’m also a fat git, which doesn’t help. So, I immediately stopped buying cheese and managed to avoid the confectionery and cake isles in the supermarket – for a while.
It was t this time I toyed with the idea of becoming a raw vegan. This was the best way I could think of to reduce my cholesterol. There were raw vegan groups on Facebook and my friendly, local veggie group, Scouse-veg, was helpful and supportive but it did not quite inspire me to move to a raw lifestyle.
Well, inevitably, the cakes and biscuits came back into my life like a bunny-boiling mistress. My doctor is now trying to blackmail me into taking statins to reduce the cholesterol. She tells me that the strictest diet in the world will only bring it down a point or two! She has also increase the blood-pressure meds because my BP isn’t as low as it could be. The side effect of this increase seems to be water retention in the lower limbs and some ugly red blotching that keeps appearing round my ankles. An option seems to be to take more tablets to counter the effect of the previous tablets!
Added to all this, I have a skin complaint that, while not serious, is irritating – literally. It began a couple of years ago with a very painful and itchy scalp. While that has cleared up, I have scaly, cracked patches on my hands from time to time. I also have dreadful fatigue that sometimes prevents me from getting out of bed and often puts me to sleep in the middle of the day.
Wind forward a few weeks and I’m talking scripts with a good friend and fellow writer one day when she mentions a documentary she recently saw called “Fat, Sick and Nearly dead.” I managed to catch it on one of the catch up services just before it was deleted. I was impressed.
Joe Cross, an Australian business man, made this documentary to chart his adventure into the world of juicing. Joe decided to travel across America, the fattest nation on earth, meeting interesting people while existing on nothing but juiced plant-based foods. Joe was obese; I mean he was seriously obese weighing in at 22 stone (309lb/140kg) which made me, at 16st, positively skinny. He also had a serious skin condition, which I related to, even tough mine was nothing like as serious as his.
Joe fasted for sixty days existing on vegetable and fruit juices. He carried this juicer everywhere and make his meals in the boot of his car. In that sixty days, he lost six stone, came off his skin medication (steroids), reduced his blood-pressure and nearly halved his cholesterol.
This is just the type of regimented diet I needed and this would help me achieve my ambition of becoming a healthy raw vegan. If he can do it, so can I.
So, a few weeks ago I decided that I would embark on a thirty day juice fast. Searching for the best juicers I could find in my price range, I settled on two models. That was the first hurdle; not a single shop in the whole of North West England had either of them in stock. I had to order one (Philips Avance HR1869) online from The Juice Master.
When I received it, I was shocked. I’ve seen smaller washing machines; it is a beast of a machine. So, it was time to clear out my kitchen. My bread-maker and toaster were stored away – I won’t be needing them for a while; I scoured my kitchen ready for the new programme and spent the next few days preparing.
The first thing I did, in preparation, was to vow not to buy any cakes, biscuits or confectionery, a promise I broke on the last night before starting on the plan. I also replace one meal a day with a smoothie. I was really going to do this. – I had to since I’d just spent £150 on the equipment.
Finding an organic supplier was the next hurdle. A Google search revealed very few, in fact there were just two on my side of the city. So, last Monday, I drove about five miles to find the nearest of the organic farms only to find that they had closed their shop down some months ago because it wasn’t viable. So, off across the county I went in search of the second one on my list. Manic Organic is situated on a main road on the way to Southport. I pulled up their drive and parked in front of their shop door. My heart sank when I saw the sign on the door that said “CLOSED!” There were signs of life inside so a chanced a try of the door. It opened! The shop was almost bare but the very nice man said he’d take my list and see what he had, even though they were closed on Mondays. I got most of the first five days provision from them. Boy was it a big box of provisions.
So, that was my introduction to a my new way of life for the next month or so. Tune back for details as to how it went.
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