A few weeks ago my husband Jeff and I felt like enjoying lazy time on the couch watching a movie, so we took a chance on Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It was recommended by a friend who loves food as much as we do. The film follows the journey of a guy named Joe who was fat, sick and because he was on so much medication, he was indeed almost dead. Joe comes from Australia, but you might think by looking at him that he’s American. He was overweight, his skin looked less-than-youthful, and he didn’t seem to have a lot of energy. I guess we Americans aren’t the only ones with horrible eating habits. Joe decided to get healthy and lose weight by juicing, and he shares his experience in the film.
As soon as it started I realized that it might be a little boring to watch someone’s dieting story. So what that he lost weight? Lots of people do. Let me tell you something: this movie changed my whole perspective and blew my mind, as much as a dieting movie can do so. We watched Joe’s transformation from an out of shape, fat and breathless old man to a healthy, fit, energetic young person. Joe drank only fresh vegetable and fruit juice for almost 3 months and lost a lot of weight. At the end of the movie Jeff and I looked at each other and said, “Let’s Juice!” We don’t have as much to lose as Joe did, but we would like to be more fit and have more energy. Perhaps juicing could help us get there.
We started our Juicing Journey by enjoying a juice for breakfast and another for lunch, followed by a sensible dinner (can you say “portion control”?). In the first week, I lost one pound per day. We entered Week 2 and decided to up the ante a bit by going on a full Juice Fast, consuming only juice and water, and no solid food. Okay, reality check here: have you ever done a liquid fast? I hadn’t. What I found out in those two days is that I really, really like to chew. I like to sit down at the dinner table and enjoy a meal. Jeff felt the same way, so we went back to eating dinner by Day Three of our Juice Fast.
I probably lost about 15 pounds in the first two weeks. I don’t have a scale so I don’t know for sure. I say 15 because I was able to wear clothes after two weeks that I wasn’t able to wear before I started juicing, and the clothes I did wear at the start were suddenly too big. The weight loss is only one piece of this fantastic puzzle though. My energy level and clarity of thought are the real stars of the story. After a few days of juicing for breakfast and lunch I noticed that I had boundless energy. For years I’ve been wanting a few extra hours in the day, and with juicing I feel like I got it. The other thing that happened was that I started thinking much more clearly. I’m able to make better decisions, think more quickly on my feet, and manage my time much better. Who couldn’t use some of that?
I’m still juicing and I see myself incorporating it into my life-long habits. One of the things I love about juicing is that it works very well for any personality type. I tend to live life in bits and spurts, finding myself excited and fully involved in something, then moving away from it as I lose focus, and finally coming back again as I recharge and plug back in. Juicing works for me because I can stray a bit from my regimen and when I am ready to focus on consuming only 2 juices a day along with a sensible dinner, my body and my energy level bounce back immediately after I cut out the excess food and drink a juice.
A perfect juicing day includes my favorite breakfast and lunch juices, a lot of water, and a dinner composed of summer rolls and bok choy salad. I guarantee that if you eat this every day you will lose at least a pound a day.
Breakfast Juice: Apples, Carrots and Mint
Into your juicer will go:
3-4 small apples
Almost one pound of carrots
A few sprigs of mint (I love the orange mint I planted this year)
Lunch Juice: Apples, Swiss Chard and Ginger
3-4 small apples
4-5 Swiss Chard leaves with stems
A piece of fresh ginger – ¼” thickness
A few helpful hints about juicing:
- Drink a lot of water. It will help you to feel less “foggy” and lightheaded during the first few days while your body detoxes.
- You’ll naturally wean yourself off coffee. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, enjoy a cup in the morning or one in the afternoon instead of quitting cold turkey. It’s easier that way. Don’t worry, you’ll eventually give it up without even realizing it.
- Try out different recipes for juices and experiment. Foods that you normally don’t care for taste completely different in juice form, so keep an open mind.
- Lime, mint and ginger are great add-ins that can completely change the taste of your drink, for the better.
- Try to find organic produce if possible – all of the chemicals used to grow the food go right into your juice glass.
- Spray your fruits and veggies with a vinegar/water mixture to clean them before using.
- Cold juice tastes better than room temperature juice.
- It’s fun to drink it through a straw!
- Yes, you’ll be hungry as your body adjusts. Power through it. You can do it. I did, that’s how I know you can.
Good luck, and let me know if you love juicing too!