I cannot remember exactly how I first discovered the craze of celery juice. I think I fell into a collapse on Instagram when I started to laugh about my health after a lot of festive pampering – which for me, like many Australians, starts around the Melbourne Cup time and continues well into the new year. You know how it happens – you jump from hashtag to hashtag, looking for the one who promises to heal everything.
Eventually I came across the page of The Medical Medium, also known as Anthony William, a New York Times bestselling author and the so-called "Originator of The Global Celery Juice Movement". His gospel can be largely distilled in a single action – start by 16 ounces – or about 470 ml – of pure celery juice on an empty stomach every day and wait 15-30 minutes before eating or drinking.
His page, with 1.2 million followers, was filled with photos of people holding huge arms full of celery or drinking the fluorescent juice through colorful paper straws. But there were also impressive pre-and-post shots of men, women, and children with red, inflamed skin who magically had clear skin and clear eyes, just weeks after they had brought celery juice into their lives. There were visual stories about dramatic weight loss, reports of reduced anxiety, bowel problems, endometriosis and chronic pain. It seemed astonishing that this seemingly inconspicuous vegetable, which until now I had thought of no more than a vehicle for putting peanut butter into my mouth, could do so much.
I have no specific medical issues besides some excess kilos, lethargy and the tendency to break out with pimples around my chin, but these are all things I would like to do without. In particular, I wanted less to feel that I had eaten 18 whole Christmas dinners at once. I decided to give it a try.
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A month of celery juice …
I had my partner give away our juicer months ago because it took up too much space in the kitchen ("Who else juices?" I said with short-sighted certainty), so I get my first celery juice from my local cafe. “What more do you want with it – a little apple? A little lemon? & # 39; No. Just celery juice please. He looks at me strangely. I look at myself strangely. This is getting dirty.
And it is. My first sip of this bright green liquid is the taste equivalent of nails on a blackboard. Bland and numb, with a tooth pounding buzz of anise in the background. God, I hate aniseed. But I force it.
At home after my walk I have to go to the toilet. Like now. Perhaps celery juice is no more than a glorified laxative, I think not impressed.
By day 2 I am getting used to the taste and I start to see the laxative and diuretic effects as positive. With the bad, with the bad, I reason.
And then on day 3 – day 3! – the weirdest thing happens. I wake up and my skin is perfect, especially around my chin and jaw line where this is usually the most problematic. Like, perfect. I almost always have a thin layer of some facial practitioners & # 39; congestion & # 39; just below my skin – a kind of rough bumpiness that never really goes away. Until now. It's gone. I touch my face repeatedly in the coming days. It is soft and clear, even if I drank a bottle of wine the night before, which is usually skin kryptonite for me. This is actually a little creepy.
My skin is still flawless. Celery is full of almost all the vitamins and minerals that you can think of, including vitamin A, magnesium and iron, plus a lot of super weird things called caffeic acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, tannin, saponin and kaempferol. It also has a number of lesser known compounds called coumarins that help fight free radicals and improve the activity of white blood cells, and the high levels of potassium and sodium act as powerful hydrators. I don't know exactly which of these magic molecules are responsible for clear skin, but what difference does it make?
I also get used to it that juice is a normal part of my routine. However, my local cafes are not. Celery is out of season in the summer and costs somewhere up to $ 6 for a couple. And you need a whole lot for a single juice from 400 mg to 500 mg. My new passion eats considerably in their profit margins and many of them just don't have enough celery to hand. Two refuse to serve me completely. A third tells me, a tone of tiredness in her voice, that she is currently receiving many requests for pure celery juice. The branches of the medical medium are far-reaching.
My long-suffering partner manages to get hold of a juicer ("Can't we throw it away this time?" He asks testy) and I start making juice at home. In general, my energy levels feel good, and I think it's great that I start cleaning up my system every morning. The medical medium claims that drinking celery juice helps to rebuild hydrochloric acid (!) In your gut, which in turn breaks down old proteins, toxins and pathogens, and that is what I presumably wash away every morning. I start to see my daily acid-green juice as a kind of internal paint stripper.
I don't feel like coffee anymore. It just happened, without any effort on my part. Maybe it's because I now start with a different drink every day and the morning coffee ritual doesn't seem necessary. Or maybe it's because my energy level feels completely perky without it suddenly. I stop drinking it completely for a few days and hardly miss it, but then the headaches of the caffeine hit so I go back to a cup a day. I'm sure I could drop it completely with a little more willpower.
Males also disappear, and believe me, at Christmas I give them many chances to hit me. Again, this is very strange.
My friend Natalie reports that she also drinks celery juice every morning and that the symptoms of Hashimoto's disease diminish. Other people on the Instagram page Medical medium with inflammatory diseases report similar results. I have autoimmune disease in my family, but no clear symptoms, but anything that can help keep it at a distance can only be a good thing.
The only thing I was hoping my old celery juice would help magically is weight loss, and it isn't. There are two very good reasons for this – one, the medical medium also suggests that you follow a fresh, plant-based diet in addition to the daily juices, which is a lot of work for me. And secondly, I did this experiment over Christmas and New Year – with all the accompanying food and especially drink. Celery might be a superfood, but it's still just a vegetable. It cannot perform real miracles.
I'm addicted. I'm real. Even if I get zero measurable benefits over clear skin, it's worth it. But I am really looking forward to a fall in the price of celery in the winter.
Celery juice: the lowdown
How do I jump on the celery juice cart?
According to the godfather of celery juice, Anthony William, you simply drink 470 ml of pure celery juice every morning and wait 15-30 minutes before eating or drinking anything else. For more information, visit the Medial Medium website.
Who likes it?
Famous fans are Naomi Campbell, Gwyneth Paltrow and Pharrell. At the beginning of January Debra Messing gushed about celery juices on Instagram and insisted that a daily dose of green stuff made her feel "so much better".
Is it really as great as everyone says?
After trying, I would say yes. I cannot think of anything that I have ever done that has pressed on my skin so quickly. That said, nutritionists warn that no food is being held up as a panacea for something, particularly serious conditions such as cancer. But it certainly can't harm your health, even if you only get a good – if expensive – dose of hydration.