Moans, groans and eye-rolling are often the reactions health nuts get when they talk about the virtues of eating ‘clean’. (And, for the record, we use the term ‘health nut’ affectionately!) This is particularly the case when ‘preaching’ to those who shudder at the idea of eating anything other than breakfast rolls and diet sodas.
 
Sometimes it feels as if there's a massive divide with naysayers shouting that it's all a fad which will soon pass - so pass the curry chips! - while others claim that we will all die if we eat bread. Enough already!

Photo: Aidan Crawley

Photo: Aidan Crawley

People have always been interested in diet, health and the effects of feeling better as a result. In 1863, the original Atkins man, William Banting, wrote a pamphlet called Letter on Corpulence: Addressed to the Public which contained all the particulars of his meals and unsuccessful fasts, diets and spa and exercise regimes in his past. He ended up losing weight by eating four meals a day, consisting of meat, greens, fruit and dry wine. Maybe he lacked a smartphone to document his progress on Instagram, but the book became a best-seller regardless.
 
In the past, people waxed lyrical about diets like the South Beach one. Then cabbage soup diets, low-fat diets and more recently Beyoncé’s lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup diet. Atkins. The French Paradox diet. The Mediterranean diet ... the list goes on and on and on. And it won't stop any time soon.
 
The current tide is about healthy eating, plain and simple. It’s about performance, about eating well and for health, rather than for fitting into size zero anythings. You may be frustrated by it, but overall the message is positive "healthier”.
 
So with that in mind, here are some of Domini’s favourite juice and smoothie recipes, which we also do here in Alchemy. Juicing is a great way to get nutrients into you, although they aren’t as good as eating a big pile of fruit or vegetables! With juicing, you don’t get that all important fibre and it's better to juice vegetables rather than fruit, as you want to avoid too much sugar which is prevalent in fruit.
 
So the advice is this: use fruit to season your vegetable juices rather than have them play a starring role.
 
This is a version of the MEAN GREENS served here in Alchemy:

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • Big handful parsley
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 good knob ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon

This is good and green and you may not even need the whole apple; the lemon and ginger really help cut through the "green” taste of the spinach and kale.

BEETROOT BOMB

Beetroot is meant to be great for you liver.

  • 2 beetroot, well scrubbled
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • Good knob ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon

GREEN FEAST

This is breakfast & lunch rolled into one.

  • 1 avocado
  • 3-5 dates
  • Handful spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter

Splash water or coconut water or nut milk to top up
Blitz all the ingredients adding just enough of the water or nut milk to help it blitz in your blender. I sometimes use frozen bananas as they give the smoothie a really gorgeous cool creaminess.

BERRY & BANANA BONANZA

This is very popular with all the little people! Frozen berries are often good value and great for smoothies.

  • 1 banana
  • Handful of frozen berries
  • 5 walnuts
  • 100 ml water mixed with splash of apple juice

 
Thanks and enjoy.
Team Alchemy

* Note: A version of this article appeared in The Irish Times.

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