Last month I watched a documentary on NetFlix while working on some illustrations called "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead", (you can watch the trailer at that link) about a successful businessman named Joe Cross who over the years had gained an enormous amount of weight, as well as developing a rare and very painful skin condition that required lots of medication. He decided to radically change his life and diet by doing a 60 day juice fast and documenting the process while touring the US. Along the way, he loses the weight and talks with people all over the country about eating and weight loss, inspiring many people to start juicing, even meeting a man at a truck stop who has the same skin condition Joe had (after losing the weight and doing this cleanse of fruits and vegetables his skin condition went away and he was able to go off the medication). Joe told the man he would like to help him lose weight and hopefully clear up the skin condition the same way he did if he's willing (he was) and the second half of the film follows that man's inspiring journey with juicing.
There is a wealth of information in this film about food, eating and weight loss, and seeing the multiple ways the many people who began juicing lives had been transformed I decided it was time to go get a juicer! The film listed the related website where you get information about the fast, recipes, access chat rooms and ask questions of nutritionist for help and about what to expect. I've been meaning to really tackle the weight that continued to creep up since I started working for Gina four years ago (now that's not Gina's fault, mind you, just being sedentary at a desk and blowing off the gym because I'd rather be drawing/blogging/stamping, LOL!) I've also had some health issues as well that I began to think could be diet related after watching this movie, and just generally wanting to feel better, so sign me up! (it's free)
I did not buy the juicer they advertise on the Reboot website, I did some research and decided to go with a cheaper model that was rated good quality and a great value (Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor - $59.88 at Walmart (rollback, that's almost 10 bucks less than I bought it there for last month!!) I don't need to lose as much weight as Joe did, but I was ready to jump into the fast ( a shorter one), however, I found on the website you don't just start fasting with the juice but start phasing out some junky foods and meat over a week, adding in more fruits and vegetables, and then moving to just juice. (During that phase out period I made a really terrific discovery I will tell you about in another post!) After a time doing that, how long depending on your needs and goals, you start adding proteins and other food back in. the website has several different programs you can choose form depending on what you need to do. I am not following any of the programs exactly, just making tons of juice using their recipes* and the recommendation to "eat a rainbow every day" by making sure I am getting all the different colors, rather than just eating all on kind and getting only certain nutrients.
From October 7 to November 7, I lost 10 pounds. Over the past few years I have never been able to lose more than about 2 or 3 pounds at a time without gaining it right back. Working out only wasn't doing it. Trying to control my portions wasn't either (because then I'd splurge somewhere else) I was basically just making one poor choice a day or every other day that prevented losing. Now I have to let you know I have been very successful at other times in my life to lose a good deal of weight and keep it off just controlling portions, but I realize in hindsight the food I was eating weren't very good for me. This is easily the best I have ever eaten in my life from a nutritional standpoint!
The juicer is SO easy to use. I printed out about 25 just fruit, just veggie, and fruit and veggie combos off the site. It is as simple as buying a bunch of produce and throwing it in the juicer, peel and all! Out comes the juice, drink your meal! I'd had fresh juice years ago from juicer, but never anything more exotic than carrot/apple. To give you an example of what all a "lunch" or "dinner" juice might contain: a sweet potato, red bell pepper, 1/4 red head of red cabbage, orange, apple and a lime! That's a ton of pure nutrition in that glass! Breakfast might be 2 pears, 2 apples, 2 carrots, some grapes, and a 1" x 2" piece of ginger (if you like ginger throwing a big piece of this in any fruit drink makes it a total exotic treat for your taste buds!) A glass of all that really satisfies me, I don't feel hungry hours afterwards and it makes me realize how empty a lot of the calories I ate before were that would have me feeling hungry shortly after or overeating.
I've told many friends abut how much I am enjoying this diet and almost everyone responds, "I couldn't do that. I like food too much." Well, you know, I like food, too. But amazingly, I've found I have no cravings for any candy or sweets like I used to I guess because there are so many natural sugars in my fruits, my "sweet tooth" is happy! I'm not bring militant about this fast, meaning if there is an occasion to eat something I have, like a couple sensible dinners with the family each week, modest portions but mostly salad at a church pot luck or if my husband's grilling just a small piece to say, "thanks, honey, you bring home the bacon!!" along with my juice. (There was also that tiny candy bar I tried on Halloween! (and you know, it was yummy, but it didn't have the same effect it would have had before in making me want another, my brain and palate have been retrained so that a lot of things now seem "too sweet"," too oily", etc) I've also made homemade hummus (chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic and olive oil in the food processor) to eat with pita bread. Honestly I'm starting to prefer my juices to everything, that almost instant burst of energy you get from it is fabulous!
About three weeks ago I started working out as well at our church gym. (Prior to that I'd lost 6 pounds with just juicing) It's getting so much easier to have all the energy I need to complete the workouts now that I have less weight to move around and and have better fuel to burn! (I expect my weight loss will probably also slow down a bit as I begin to build muscle.) I think all of you who exercise a lot will agree with me that when you are really pushing yourself physically, foods that aren't going to give you a lot of energy to use really lose their appeal, seem "dead", know what I mean? (They had a huge spread of baked goodies the other day at Bible study and I had no problem passing it all up for just a hot cup of peppermint tea, since I'd already had my juice that morning!) :) I would like to lose 10 more pounds and am confident I will by the end of the year, even with the holidays coming up, because now that I've been doing this for over a month, I've created some really healthy habits and know I can and will replace previous breakfast and lunch or snack choices with some juice. The film suggest many people do an occasional "reboot" where they juice for one two weeks as a cleanse.
The only downside is my husband's a little disappointed I think I'm not indulging in all the food we used to together, but I know he's glad I'm making good choices and perhaps it will even start to rub off on him. ;) I am still cooking for the kids but they are getting more and more curious about "Mom's juice", and I think drinking your fruits and veggies is great way for kids to get some of those things (kale?) they might normally turn their noses up at. ;) Thanksgiving might be a little tricky to navigate in a few weeks, but hopefully family won't pile on a ton of guilt over not feasting on everything they put out!
Please let me know if you decide to do this, we can all root each other on! I hope you will watch the film if you get a chance, I'm so glad I did! I have a few other books and films I've read and watched recently that are related, I'll tell you about those soon, too! Have you seen the film or tried juicing? I would love to hear what you think!
Whew, this was a long post! I really hope it helps you or you will pass along the recommendation to someone who might benefit from it. (I won't tell you the whole thing, but there are definitely people in that film who discover they are practically writing their own death warrant with the food they eat!)
* I've also gotten to where I can just throw in different things I like and know they'll come out tasting good, it's pretty darn cool how well all the foods God made go together! :) One of my Bible study mentors told me after I said I've been juicing: "Yes, someone wise once said, "Don't eat anything God didn't make!"