A few weeks ago I was lying low at home while I kicked a nasty 24-hour bug. Relatively helpless on the couch, I browsed through my Netflix queue and stumbled on the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” As with 94% of films, this movie is pretty extreme. Australian producer, director, and star of the film, Joe Cross goes on a 60-day juice cleanse trying to shed excess weight and a laundry list of health problems as he travels across America championing the health benefits of juicing. Before watching this movie I’d had a few green juices and had even done a juice cleanse with Ritual. But this movie really helped me to understand the health benefits of juicing and inspired me to incorporate it into my everyday life. So I got a juicer.
As I was looking for juice inspiration, I found a post by Lisa at With Style & Grace about juicing. I loved the list she created that delineates the Health Benefits of Juicing:
- It’s another way to get in your fruits and vegetables
- Gives you a concentrated dose of vitamins & enzymes, which are usually killed off by the heat in the cooking process
- Fresh juice is easier for the body to digest than whole fruits and vegetables
- Juicing extracts as much nutrients from the fruits and vegetables as possible without activating the body’s digestion
- Promotes weight loss, increases energy and longevity
Watching this film and getting a juicer happened in symphony with other changes I have been trying to make in my life. I’ve spent the last 15 years “watching what I eat” or “dieting” or even worse, feeling bad about my body. But for the first time, I don’t much care about the scales – I just want to be better to my body. The penny finally dropped – if you put good stuff in, you get good stuff out. No, I don’t mean out the other end (though you’ll probably see improvement there too!), I just mean you’re going to feel different and if you make enough changes in other areas of your life too – hopefully you’ll look different.
Unlike Joe, I’m not exclusively juicing – I enjoy chewing too much, but I also don’t think I need the complete system re-set that his body required. Most days I’m replacing breakfast or lunch with juice or a smoothie. Come dinner, I’m ready for food but I’m not ravenous. And frankly, it takes less to fill me up.
But more importantly, I’ve found that when I’m taking care of my body in some ways, I start to take care of it in other ways. I drink more water throughout the day. I drink more herbal tea and less coffee – green tea in the morning to gear up and peppermint tea in the evening to wind down (instead of wine). I eat less meat, less sugar. Why? Because I feel good and my body is telling me so. But I’m not rigid about it. If I want a cookie, I’ll have a cookie. If someone makes lamb stew, I’ll definitely have a heaping portion of it. This weekend I’m making duck pancakes. As with everything in life – moderation is key. Maybe I’m finally getting that.
I’ve been reading a lot about juicing. Most people who have started juicing say that they now couldn’t live without it, while others feel that juicing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, I think we can all agree that it would be better if everyone ate a platter of kale, spinach, apple and carrots every morning, but I don’t have the time or the jaw-energy to eat all that. So for me, this is a great way to get a nutrient-rich breakfast at the start of my day. My fiber or “ruffage” (most of which is extracted with the pulp during the juicing process) I get at other points during the day or week.
The thing I hear most from friends and family is: “I’d love to do that, but I couldn’t just have juice for breakfast. I would be hungry in an hour.” In my experience, that’s not true. Maybe the first day or two I felt a twinge of hunger (mostly head hunger), but as soon as I started juicing in the morning I noticed a big change in my mental clarity. I feel vibrant, alive, and easily able to focus. If I have a juice at 7:00 AM it keeps me full until about 11:00 AM. If I’m really hungry, I’ll have a few nuts to tide me over until lunch, but most time I’ll just have a mug of herbal tea or a glass of water and that seems to do the trick.
The other thing that people ask is, “How hard is it to clean your juicer?” It takes me less than five minutes to make juice for two (about 500 ml) and five minutes to wash all the parts and put it back together. Sure, it’s faster to open a pot of yogurt or pour milk over a bowl of cereal (it’s even faster to have no breakfast at all!), but in my opinion, that’s ten minutes well spent.
I’m a juicing convert. Full disclosure: Breville sent me this juicer and I have never used another juicer, but the make and model I have gets the job done. It works great, gets positive reviews, and makes great juice! If you’re even remotely interested – I would consider getting one. It’s a good investment in you and your health.
I’ve never followed a juice “recipe”, I just pulled together some produce and ran it through the juicer. I learned which flavors I liked more and which flavors I liked less and which produce created more juice. For example, celery, cucumber, and apples produce quite a bit of juice, while kale, spinach, ginger, produce less.
- 3 large kale leaves
- 1 medium apple, quartered and cored
- ½ cucumber
- 3 stalks of celery
- 2-inch piece ginger
- Turn juicer on, add ingredients. Stir juice with a spoon, pour into glasses. Enjoy!
Ummm … spell check the title?
The Breville juicers are pretty good, I have used several types and for the cost they are great value. I found the different types and choices of juicer bewildering at first. I suggest if anyone is starting out in the juicing world they do a little research first to find the most suitable type and model before buying.
Her is a simple easy to understand article on choosing a juicer…
Tammy K says
Pam, I have been making a green smoothie every morning since January 1. I have to admit day 1-5 (ish) just about turned me inside out! However, this far out in the new lifestyle change, I actually crave my Breakfast Drink! EVERY morning I use a handful of spinach, a handful of arugula, 3 leaves of kale-either kind with rib removed, a small handful of both parsley and cilantro, 3 TB of both flax seeds and chia seeds, a frozen banana, 1 cup of coconut water, a carrot, 3 button mushrooms and then a variety of fresh and frozen fruits to my desire that morning! (Usually frozen peaches, dark cherries, any berries). I have a vitamin, so I’m not losing any nutrients and this whips up to a nice frothy smoothie. The amounts above makes two large drinks for hubby and I. I have lost 27 pounds already and I can’t believe the energy I have. Leaving in NE Ohio, my Vit. D blood levels are so low, Doc has me on 50,000 IU prescription 1 time a week. Until I started my Vitamix drink, my energy level hadn’t really changed. I truly believe it’s all those nutrients going in. I don’t just drink a smoothie 3 times a day, for I, too, enjoy chewing! I don’t eat meat and have given up dairy too to be able to shed these 100+ pounds. I love that my breakfast gives me such a boost for the day! Enjoy your “liquid breakfast”!
Tammy K says
Oops – did not proofread! I have a VITAMIX to make the drink, not a vitamin!!
CJ Larson says
This is so timely for me. I have been trying to figure out a great take and go breakfast that this looks better than the bagel, egg and cheese I currently make for myself at home. Thanks for the inspiration. I do have one question. . . how noisy is it? I am the first up in the morning (getting up 3 hrs before everyone else) and don’t want to make a lot of noise. Also, can I make it the night before?
Pam Anderson says
Alanna, thanks for the spell check! Always good to have another eye.
Annalise N. says
I just purchased a juicer last month but have only used it to make orange and carrot juice. I’m not really sure where to start as far as what are good fruits and veggies to use. I’d love suggestions of some of the sites that you’ve read to see if they have recipes or suggestions! Thanks for the post…I’ve been wanting to use mine more often!
Hey CJ, I would say it’s moderately noisy. Less noisy than a coffee grinder, but more noisy than making a bagel, egg, and cheese! It’s whirring sound, not a harsh grinding sound if that makes any sense.
I love my Vitamix, too, and use it most days of the week! I have to admit, though, I haven’t gotten into green smoothies!
My formula is
1//2 cup do some sort of “milk” – soy, almond, 1%, kefir or yogurt
1/2 cup juice – usually orange, but sometimes mango, blueberry
1/2 or 1 frozen banana
1/2 or more frozen fruit – strawberries, blueberries, peaches, mango
2 T ground flax seed
1 scoop of whey protein
It’s amazing, and my husband will drink it with me, and won’t be the case if I go green!
I saw the movie, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, too. I kept thinking what about Protein????? I love the idea of the fruits and veggies, but how can it be healthy for him to go without protein, which could not have been adequate with 2 months of just juicing?
Also protein helps keep me full. I work out, and need the protein for muscle synthesis and repair. So doe everyone! that is why I .ike to put in whey protein or yogurt, etc. But I definitely thought the movie was interesting and inspirational. Recommend it! Y
Don’t know why I am so nervous about juicing, though, so appreciate the inspiration and dialogue here!
Correction: I meant nervous about green smoothies.
I had been thinking for a few months about getting a juicer, but this post convinced me. I just ordered the Kuvings I had been eyeing online. Can’t wait to use it. !
I’m watching that documentary in bits and pieces. It is pretty extreme, but I find that reminders like that of the goodness of fruits and veggies helps me pick it back up when I’ve been slacking a bit.
I don’t juice because of an oral allergy to raw stone/tree fruits and usually one from those families is suggested for sweetness. I do have a Breville blender for green smoothies and it’s fantastic! Once the weather starts warming up, I’m going to go back to having them for breakfast.
Ruth Meyer says
Went on juice in August 2011, after watching the movie; lost 20 lbs by the end of October and have kept it off so far (March 2012), I juice once or twice a day, and pretty much eat whatever I want, and have a glass or two of wine once in awhile now. I’m 72 yrs old, didn’t need to lose more than 20 lbs, but it just wouldn’t come off before. (Took 15 years to put it on). I’m sold on juicing.
Lisa [With Style and Grace] says
hey, thanks lady for the shout out, so sweet! this is such a wonderful post and loved reading about your experience – I can completely relate. hope you’re feeling better from the flu bug & excited to see you next month!
I purchased a jack lelanne juicer 2years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It helps keep the refrigerator cleaned out too. My go to juice is carrot/apple but I will use ingredients I have on hand. I usually make a two day supply of juice thus making it every other day. Today’s juice contained apples clementines tomatoes carrots and a piece of ginger! Added bonus is pulp for my compost pile.
Before juicing I just never felt I was able to meet the five a day suggestion for fruits and veggies. I love my juicer!
Nancy, check out Forks Over Knives. You get plenty protein from your veggies. Actually, we’re eating way too much protein and it’s actually more harmful.
I’m pumped to get my juicer and get started on this.
As Naomi said protein also comes from veggies as well as carbs. I do paleo and love juicing. Veggies and fruits as the right kinds of calories vs the same number from a twinkie. It gives your body the nutrients it needs to do all the day to day functions.
There are actually studies done that prove that dairy and gluten are terrible for you, which is why juicing is so awesome. In addition, studies have shown that in countries where they predominately ate fruits and veggies had the least amount of disease or cancer in their region, especially compared to the US.
Meat is not supposed to be the shining star of a meal, the veg is supposed to be!
Juicing is wonderful for your body. I have been doing it once per day and everyone around me (I work at a busy call center) is getting sick while I am not even a little. I add an orange and partial lemon to my juice when there are colds and it just works.
I am NEW to this whole juicing thing! Just got my juicer today (Breville) and have no idea where to start (as far as recipes). I am not a huge veggie fan, and that has resulted in my two little boys not liking many veggies as well. Nor do we have the ones we DO like enough. So that is why I decided to get a juicer. What recipes would you recommend to someone (well me) who is new to this (meaning not needing tons of ingredients) and will taste good! I had a juice at my parents house (they have a juicer) and it was green (which kids wouldn’t even TRY) but I could barely gag it down! Just tasted like all the veggies juiced up! Ha…so maybe some yummier juice recipes to start off with then I can slowly add more greens as the kids and I get use to. Also what do you do with the pulp? Seems like a lot of fruit and veggies are used to make one or two cups and then the pulp gets thrown away…BUT I guess if I am at least drinking it, much better then where I am now ( hardly have any veggies)Thanks for any tips or websites of where I can start..
I noticed a comment about making a two supply and holding it vs. making it each day. Is there an advantage or loss to the nutrient value in not comsuming the juice when it is made? Thanks – helpful column!
Pam Anderson says
Hey Mark, I think it’s always ideal to make your juice drink fresh each day, but if making 2 drinks every other day makes it possible, then I’m for it. I do think it’s like salad, however, the fresher, the better!
BTW… are you juicing?!
HI everybody!i have been thinking of trying this for the longest time.I would like to know,for beginners like me who just want to shed off a few lbs,how often should i juice?and once i have attained the weight i want,how often should i do it just to maintain it?i do not want to keep on losing weight.hope you guys can help.thanks!☺
Watched the movie also and i am very interested in doing at least a 10 day fast with juicing. However im Diabetic. Im not so sure about all of the fruit? Can anyone that is Diabetic and tried juicing give some tips or recipe ideas? Please?