My Juicing Journey

Proud Meatatarian

I have been an avowed “meatatarian” my entire life. Never, ever been a veggie guy. Sure, I enjoyed potatoes and corn but the only other vegetables I ever ate regularly were onions and peppers…to compliment my steak or sausage, of course. Oh, and I did enjoy a stick or two of celery after I finished my wings (as hot as you can make them is my preference).  If I was feeling really “freaky” I might order some onion on my all-meat pizza.  And I’ve always liked hot peppers of any type on pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, etc.  That said, I have eaten exactly three salads in my 46 years. You read that right, three.  I wasn’t much of a fruit guy either.  I’d eat an apple occasionally (5-6 times a year) but that was it.  I like fruit juices, but not eating the fruit itself.

Like most people, I felt generally immortal and figured I could do anything to my body until it proved me otherwise.  I was always fit because of my job and it seemed I could put whatever I wanted into my body and still be able to easily run half-marathons without training, jump out of planes, run around the terrain with a full rucksack…you name it, I could do it.  But then things started creeping up on me.  Aches, pains, longer recovery after injuries.  Deep down I knew I needed to change how I fueled myself, but I didn’t.  Sometimes people stay on the same path even though they know that path is a dead end. That was me with my eating habits. It’s been a concern of mine for a long time, but I effectively ignored it.

I was always curious about juicing ever since I first saw those late-night infomercials years ago for the Juiceman, remember those?  Somehow I thought that even though I didn’t eat vegetables or fruits that I would be able to drink the juice.  Still, I never actually tried it. I confess I have never even tried a V8!  Yet somehow I tucked the desire to juice away in that part of the brain marked “Someday.”  You know, the place where you store ideas of things you “should” or “need” to do but never seem to get around to…and probably never will?

So What Changed?

As I was reading through my list of unread posts in Google Reader on 3 December 2011, I came across one from the ladies over at On the Green Road. The post was about their plan to juice as they traveled.  In the post, Cece and Brenda mention a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, by an Australian guy named Joe Cross. I was on short vacation at the time but luckily I was able to watch the movie through Netflix on my iPad. The documentary follows Joe on on his 60-day juice fast as he travels across the US.  On his travels he interviews people about their eating habits and introduces them to juicing.  As the movie progresses the viewer is introduced to two others who begin to juice and change their lives. Phil Staples’ story is amazing and so inspirational.  I could go on and on about this flick but suffice it to say I was immediately convinced and have watched it over and over again for motivation and to soak in all the information in the film.  If you’re considering juicing, this documentary is a MUST SEE!

Getting Started

So what is a juice fast? Well, my juice fast is modeled after the one in the movie.  I intend to consume only fresh vegetable and fruit juices that are rich in enzymes and nutrients.  Joe Cross’s website explains the difference between fresh and store-bought juices as follows:

What’s the difference between making fresh juice and buying commercial juices?

Juicing offers us many delicious health benefits including a faster, more efficient way to absorb immune boosting nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It also provides a way to access digestive enzymes typically locked away in the fiber matrix of whole fruits and vegetables.

Most commercial juices are processed and lacking in nutrition compared to fresh juiced fruits and vegetables. Those that indicate they have 100% juice are technically better than those with only 10% or less. However all varieties are not made and drunk right away like with fresh juice from a juicer. There is still processing and travel which must occur thereby decreasing some of the nutrients. Many juices on the market have more sugar per ounce than soda. The least amount of sugar per ounce of juice is found (no surprises) in fresh made juice.

Freshly inspired, I surfed over to Amazon.com and bought the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor so that it would be waiting for us when we got back home. I gotta say, I’m pretty impressed with this thing…all the major parts are stainless steel and it has been very easy to clean.  Looks great in the kitchen, too!

Next was my exploration through uncharted territory… place called ‘the produce section” of the grocery store.  I’m not sure I knew that section existed.  As an area I was always able to skip before, I actually had to have the stock guy show me where things were.  I had never even heard of kale, didn’t know you could buy fresh spinach (hell, Popeye’s was always in a can), didn’t know what a beet, fennel, or ginger root looked like.  Seriously folks, I was completely produce challenged.  But within the first week , and I’m in no way exaggerating this, I had consumed more vegetables and fruits through juicing than I have consumed collectively in my entire life.

So, I’m on my way to a better  me.  Knowing that a ‘juice only” fast is a big step for a reforming meatatarian I have spent the last three weeks getting used to juicing, eating smaller meals, and hydrating.  I’ve done a mini detox already so it’s not so bad when I start the fast. I’ve found lots of great resources online and I’ll be linking to them here on the blog as I go.

One thing I’m confident about is that juicing will be a entirely new part of my daily life after the fast.  I’m amazed with how much better I feel getting all those fresh enzymes, nutrients, and other good stuff into my body.  The changes are awesome.  I’ll be starting the fast on 28 December 2011.  My goal right now is to do a 10-day fast and see how it goes.  If all goes well then I may just keep going!  I’ll keep posting, so if you’re interested keep stopping by!

Resources

UPDATE:  By popular demand I had to move this info about the Withing’s WiFi Body Scale to this post.  So many people have shown an interest and I was asked to put in here in My Juicing Journey by some readers. So, here you go:

OK, I found this amazing WiFi scale.  So, I’m a tech guy…so there’s no reason I can’t include a little high-tech gadgetry in my fast, right?  Well the Withings WiFi Body Scale, White certainly fits the cool gadget bill! Here’s some info about the scale:

  • Records weight, fat mass, lean muscle mass, and BMI
  • Monitors your data on a private, password-secured website
  • Free iPhone application increases data access
  • Accurate graduation of 0.2 pounds; maximum weight of 396 pounds
  • Multi-user monitoring allows up to eight users

There is some more info along with a video here.If you don’t have Netflix or Amazon Prime to view the

Fat Sick & Nearly Dead movie for free, you can buy it on Amazon.com by clicking below:

Here is the juicer that I bought and love. There really are lots of brands to choose from but I wanted something that worked great, was durable (stainless steel) and was easy to clean. I’m juicing to have a better life…I don’t want to spend that better life cleaning a juicer!

Honestly, I read other guides before I began a juice program. They were decent…but as I read Farnoosh Brock’s “Your Comprehensive Green Juicing Guide” I found myself really wishing that I had bought this book FIRST to prepare me for my juicing journey. At least I now have what I consider to be the “definitive reference” to refer others to as they begin their own juicing program.

There are lots of books out there about juicing, too.  I had lots of questions about how the detox works, what I could expect, etc.  I read some reviews that recommended this one and I wasn’t disappointed.  I bought the Kindle version for iPad and it was an easy read.

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