My journey with juicing
About a year ago, I bought an electric juicer, with plans to become the kind of person who starts their day with a tall, freshly squeezed green juice. I was particularly intrigued by the concept of celery juice, which, at the time, was the most prominent health trend sweeping the internet. At every corner of my Instagram feed there were images of celery juice in all its bright green glory, often accompanied by long captions describing the myriad of benefits that drinking it daily would offer.
The trend can be linked back to a man called Anthony William, known on Instagram as @medicalmedium, whose profile boasts over 2 million followers. His proposal is a simple one: drink 16 ounces (approximately 470ml) of freshly juiced, preferably (but not necessarily) organic celery juice every morning before eating. The trend is linked particularly to improved skin clarity, as sufferers of conditions like eczema, acne, and rosacea have called the practice of drinking celery juice over a period of time (the length varies from person to person) life-changing, often radically reducing their symptoms or even healing them completely.
According to William (who, I should note, is not a qualified medical professional of any kind), drinking the juice can also help to reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation (thereby reducing the risk of cancer and autoimmune diseases), fight against oxidative stress, and cleanse the liver of toxic properties. Registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade (@erinpalinskiwade on Instagram) has acknowledged that, while many of these benefits are supported by science, the same nutrients found in celery juice are also found in whole celery, and that ultimately, ‘there is no scientific fact that it is overall better than juicing other vegetables.’ (Read more from Palinski-Wade here).
With a healthy dose of scepticism, I decided to dive on in. While I didn’t observe any life-changing benefits, I nonetheless became an almost daily consumer of celery juice. There’s something about the naturally salty, fresh, cold, slightly bitter taste of it that appealed completely to my senses, and just felt right for my body.
But truth be told, it wasn’t long before I started reducing my juicing to 5 days a week, then 3, then 1, until suddenly, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d used my juicer. I think this unexplained end to my juicing days was really a result of the fact that, frankly, it’s pretty tedious. After buying the celery, you have to chop it up, wash it, and store it. This takes time, and no matter how effective your juicer might be, making fresh juice every morning also takes time (and so does the clean-up). Furthermore, there’s really no getting around the fact that juicing is an expensive habit to maintain. A large bunch of non-organic celery is typically $5 and would only last me around 2, maybe 3 days, so it’s hardly economical.
Recently, though, I’ve found myself reaching for celery juice again in the morning, because I realised that I’ve missed how good it made me feel, how invigorated, energised, and ready for the day. I’m not as strict with it as I once was; I don’t worry about what time I drink it, or how often, or whether it’s an exact 470ml as prescribed, I’m just doing things intuitively, which is pretty new for me. And while the science behind the practice is an ongoing question mark, if we’re talking simply about listening to one’s body, then I guess mine is telling me to keep going. At least for now.