Juice

I’ve got to know the inside of a beetroot. Mixed with carrot and apple it’s got a come-down-to-Earth sort of taste. Over the last few weeks, I’ve familiarised myself with dairy alternatives – oat and almond and coconut. Bought bags of colourful protein-based powders – impossibly green spirulina, berry powder and even wheatgrass. Explored combinations of fruits and vegetables- mango and celery anyone? Pineapple and kale? Kale by the way is like drinking a fart. 

Why all the juicing? For the last couple of years, I’ve been eating too much junk food – and starch. My metabolism has changed as I’ve gotten older – leading me to believe that perhaps as we age, we don’t need to eat so many carbs.

I’ve discovered juicing consists of owning both a juicer and a blender. First you juice the big stuff through the juicer – the carrots, the apples, the beets. Yes, you will lose a bit of fibre here, but fear not, you’ll introduce it later on. In order to maintain such a plant-based diet, you can’t expect to eat every vegetable whole. The sheer amount of fibre will kill you – if not figuratively, then in spirit. 

After you’ve juiced said-plants, you add the other stuff. Ice cubes for chill, dairy alternatives for taste and texture, a teaspoon or so of nutrient-boosting powder. And then, if you are going savoury – an avocado, or if you want sweet – a banana and a date. Plus all the actual berries. This part is for the blender. You pop the blender on for a minute or so and it thickens your juice, allowing for a lovely, creamy finish. 

So here it is; a diet without starch.. or much pressure on your teeth. And it involves buying more fresh produce than I thought could be possible. It turns out it’s quite a thing to manage. I have to be honest – I could kill for chocolate at times. Saying that, I’m not going for a chewing-free zone. I’ve been keeping my levels of starch low, but not entirely. That accolade is Jack’s. 

He’s been experiencing such high sugar levels since his chemotherapy, increasing year upon year, we’ve have to consider bringing a suitcase full of medicine to Quest. It seemed there was no other way out. Meanwhile. the specialist nurse at our GP’s surgery was unsure what to do with Jack – except to try a different kind of injectable insulin. Jack was becoming quietly despondent – not moaning about it but coming out nonetheless in sideways holes. How could it not? 

Turns out the big enemy for him was starch. A juice-based diet has completely changed his blood sugar levels. As amazing and healthy as these juices are though, it keeps hitting home it’s not what he’s been eating (or drinking) that’s holding his blood sugars at a normal level for the first time since 2014. It’s what he’s not eating. Bread. Pasta. Rice. Potatoes. And it can’t be only him. Right?

It makes me wonder – how many millions of people have type 2 diabetes because they cannot process complex carbohydrates? And how many people know about it? The medical profession never suggested it to us. They wrote out prescriptions. Don’t get me wrong – I love modern medicine. Didn’t see this one coming. 

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