One word. Juice. I never thought I would be a juicer. It just seemed like something a health nut/yoga instructor would do, and that has never been me [unfortunately]. But a few things conspired at the same time and it lead to juicing. Mostly, I was feeling awful. I had such a lack of energy. I had always considered myself energetic, but add extensive overtime and a crappy diet, and I was going downhill fast. I felt like I was always in a haze, especially work mornings. It took me until lunch time to really awaken and feel alright, and then I would soon crash not long after lunch into a post food coma. I wasn’t exercising. I didn’t have the energy. Acne, allergies, and general weight gain [I was at my heaviest] were just a few of my complaints.
Now, I know I’m writing this all like it’s past tense, but that’s because it somewhat is, and I only started juicing about a week ago! Oscar and I were both feeling pretty down in the dumps about ourselves and then we watched ‘Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead.’ Wow. What a life changer. I’m not the person who is on top of the latest diet craze. Pale-what-o? Atkins who? No, thanks. I felt like this documentary was the complete opposite of ‘Super-Size Me.’ Instead of showing what you’re doing wrong, it focused on how to fix it. I know it’s extreme, but two people in the film fasted on juice for two months. Juice. And water. It was crazy.
I’m not currently fasting. I think it sounds great, but they warn that the first few days are really rough. Like not getting out of bed rough, and I currently don’t have those few days to spare. Although it’s in the back of my mind for when my work schedule changes, I’ll most likely take part in a little “reboot” as they call it.
So we’ve been using juicing as a supplement and for a rare meal replacement. I have at least one every day, with breakfast. Another thing I’ve found that works well for me is that I have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. So sometimes, we switch out a dinner for a juice, especially when I come home late for work and just want to go to bed.
Another reason juicing really works for me? I’m going to let you in on an embarrassing secret. I don’t like veggies, or many fruits. My mother is burying her face in world-wide shame right now. I’ll let you know, she tried. Oh did she try. But I was incredibly picky and stubborn. And although I’ve come far, I still had a long road to go. I was still finding myself getting caught up in the texture of something or the fact I didn’t like the look of a veggie. Ri.dic.u.lous. You don’t need to wag your finger, I know how awful that is. And I expected the complete opposite from my future children. So I knew I needed to be an example to my unborn children. Perfect sense.
That’s why I thought juicing would be perfect. No weird textures or seeds. No overcooking. It’s been magnificent. Wonderful. Amazing. I’ve probably had more fruit and veggies in one week then I’ve had in one year. Yeah. Holy vegetable. It just got real. And I can already feel a difference.
For one, my skin has instantly cleared up. I’ve been dealing with acne lately [much more than I have in a long time] and boom. Gone. You may even go as far to say it’s radiant. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
[Why, thank you]. I’ve also lost some weight. Not much. Just a tad bit more than when you get the stomach flu [but hopefully it won’t be coming back like that always does]. But by far, the biggest change has been my energy level. I feel amazing. Now, when my alarm goes off, I don’t feel so depressed and have such a hard time getting up. I’m up and at ‘em. Also, I make it through the work day with less up’s and down’s. No crashing and burning. I think more clearly and I’m in a general better mood.
I know that this sounds like a lot, like I’m embellishing, but I promise I’m not. I’m just so in love with how I’ve felt this past week, and I want you to feel the same way. I can’t wait to keep this up and find even better combos. Please be warned though to see your doctor. Juicing isn’t for everyone and should be monitored, especially if you have certain medical issues like diabetes.
A few things people have brought up to me that I wanted to discuss as far as any ‘cons’ about juicing.
Cost. Yes, it costs money for fresh veggies and fruits. But we have two stores that sell these at very low prices so that’s where we go. I look at how easily I spend money on going out to eat and realize I’m ok with skipping a meal or two out if it means I can have this on-going energy and general health. I’d rather skimp in other areas of my life. Like cable and margaritas. I can’t believe I just typed that.
Diarrhea. Seriously, everyone at work has been asking me about this. And risking our relationship in the name of TMI, don’t read further if you’re squeamish. If anything, that department has been better because I’ve been eating less
crap… er… junk. Every now and then it’s extra smelly,
but so far no outbreaks of ‘I gotta go… NOW!’ Obviously, everyone is different
but I suppose this is due to the fact that the ‘fiber’ is being removed and you’re
just getting the juice. My bowels are probably just happy to see fresh
nutrients. They don’t know what’s hit them.
“Doesn’t the juicer have like fifteen parts that need to be cleaned?” Yes. Kind of. There’s four on our machine. And you have to clean them out immediately so it doesn’t dry and get caked onto the machine. We clean and prep our veggies the night before and set it in a container. The machine is ready to go so when I get up, I juice, clean the machine, and I’m out the door. The three parts need general rinsing and the grater/strainer needs to be thoroughly cleaned with a little toothbrush they give with the pack. It’s manageable.
“Aren’t those really pricey?” We got ours from living social, a deal at $60, originally $130. It’s called the ‘Big Boss’ and we’ve been impressed. I felt like for that price, if it didn’t work out then it wouldn’t be such a loss. Our deal is over now but I’ve seen some great deals on amazon. Always read the reviews. Or craigslist- just find out the kind it is and google the reviews.
All in all, I say it’s worth every last trouble. I can FEEL my healthiness [and I can’t wait to start an exercise program]! I notice I have more self control when it comes to what I eat and how much of it I have. Everything I eat tastes better too. I’m also craving healthier foods as well. So I wanted to share our favorite juice mixture with you. It’s a pretty sweet one. I’m currently working on finding the right mix for a ‘greener’ one with less natural sugars. I’ll also add some general tips that we find work for us.
Put it on ice. It’s always better when its cold.
I don’t find that we get chunks of anything, but sometimes we do get a lot of foam. I’ll use a mini strainer I have to skim the top layer before I pour if it’s looking rough.
If you’re really worried about the flavor, add a lime or two. This is our favorite method, especially when working with something like kale that can be overpowering. A lime in da juice and you don’t know any better.
Drink it fresh. This is one of those juicing things. The fresher it is, the better it is for you. The longer it sets, the more nutrients die. Poor poor nutrients!
Don’t juice starchy things like sweet potatoes, eggplant, avocados, or bananas. Big no-no. Juicer doesn’t like.
Use the freshest fruits and veggies. But I won’t judge you if you save an outgoing veggie.
Use spinach. It’s a great base. A few handfuls, and you won’t even know it’s in there, I promise.
Now for our favorite juicing recipe [the one in the first photo]:
1 green apple
½ container strawberries
a chunk of ginger
handful of spinach
½ container strawberries
a chunk of ginger
handful of spinach
The lime in this is very strong, so if you aren’t a fan knock it down to half a lime. But this has been our favorite and I can’t wait to share more combos with you as we experiment more.
Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try my best to answer them. I hope even if you're not a juicer that you were inspired!