My Perspective on Juicing.

posted by Brittney

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Well, the time has come. This is Eric & I's perspective on juicing. Mostly mine, because I have a lot more to say about the subject; but I threw in some of Eric's thoughts too.

[WARNING--lengthy post ahead. Don't say I didn't warn you.]

Let me start by giving some background on our eating habits first; because this will help you understand my comments later on--
Eric & I have always eaten pretty healthy. Our dinners are always healthy and thanks to lots of leftovers, our lunches usually are too. As a runner, I eat a lot of bread carbs and a lot of fruit. Eric, not so much (on the grain/bread carbs part). So my breakfast usually consists of a large smoothie, some toast with peanut butter & honey, or oatmeal. I don't really stray much from that. I am also a snacker and Eric isn't. I tend to nibble here and there throughout the day, and Eric likes 3 meals a day. I drink a protein drink after my runs/cardio & Eric drinks his protein mix after he lifts weights.

I also have the mentality, that because I burn so many calories everyday thanks to hours of running and working out, I can eat whatever I want. When I say "whatever I want", I mean some lots of candy, the occasional coke zero once a day, and Chikfila like once every couple of weeks.
And I may or may not binge on fast food after my long runs on Sundays when I am training for marathons.

[Side note--I registered for the Dallas Marathon (formerly White Rock Marathon) recently and it's on December 8th! I am so ready to get speedier and have a fantastic race.]

Eric has been trying to eat raw breakfasts for the last month or so, just because of wanting to be healthier and because we have/had a lot of beach & river trips this summer.

So he came to me a few weeks ago and asked if we could get a juicer so we could do a juice detox.
We also watched a movie called, "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead", that kind of lit a fire in us. I highly recommend the movie, by the way. It's about a man, Joe Cross, who is overweight and decides that he is going to go on a short juice diet. He ends up losing a ton of weight, so he just stays on the juice diet, and it's all about his progress and his struggles. Very inspirational movie.

Eric & I looked at juice plans, and we came across Joe Cross' juice diet for either 3, 5, 10, or 15 day juice diets. Even though I have mixed feelings about juicing, I would definitely recommend following his plans. [But stay away from the "Joe's Mean Green" recipe. It is absolutely disgusting.]

The main reason Eric wanted to do it was to lose weight. The main reasons I wanted to do it, was to reboot my system (specifically my digestive system) and clear up my skin.

I had my doubts going into it for multiple reasons:
1. I am an athlete, and I require a lot of calories (even though I don't usually get as much as I need) and I live off my workouts & daily runs.
2. I knew it was going to be insanely hard to go off coke zeros and candy. (Thanks to going off candy for the few months before my wedding, I knew how much it sucked.)
3. Apparently, while you are on these juice diets, you stop taking any supplements or vitamins that are not prescription. Well, I am anemic, so I was worried about not getting enough iron, since I take 65 extra mg of iron every day. [Note--I ended up having to take my iron because of how faint and tired I was. See below...]

We started the 3-day juice reboot on a Sunday night. Which coincidentally happened to be the Sunday before our river trip. That night we went to Sprouts (because we figured it would be the cheapest) to gather all our fruits, vegetables, and coconut water. Keep in mind we shopped for only a 3-day juice. When we got to the checkout and started putting our stuff on the belt, we realized that we may not want to see how much it was going to cost.
LESSON #1--It is expensive to juice. If you are going to do anything over a 5 day juice diet, then GO TO THE FARMER'S MARKET. Eric & I would have, except it was a Sunday night, and we figured, well "we are only doing it for 3 days." How much could it possibly cost? $140. For just 3 days worth of food. Woah.
I'm sorry, but we try to find the best deals around, seeing as how I am still in school and we only have one income and all, and we usually spend around $100 at the grocery store every week. Sometimes less.

DAY 1:
That night, we did our first juice for dinner. It was wonderful. It tasted amazing and I remember thinking, "this is going to be a piece of cake".
We planned our meals juices that night as well, and we incorporated a lot of greens, citrus-y fruits, and beets. Beets are an amazing food for endurance athletes. They help your muscles use oxygen way more efficiently, improve your performance, and increase the time it takes for you to hit exhaustion. Beets contain nitrates that your body ends up converting to nitric oxide, which is the reason why beets help your body do all the things listed above. Sorry for the science lesson, but I was fascinated about it when I read it in this article.

Anyways, the next morning, we woke up ready to go. The plan incorporates a breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert juice. So we juiced our breakfast through snacks, so that we wouldn't have to juice again until dinner. LESSON #2--It takes FOREVER to juice. You don't want the strainer in your juicer to get clogged, so you have to clean it out after every 1-2 juices. Ugh. Pain in the butt. You have been warned.
LESSON #3--It is MESSY. Especially because I am OCD about cleaning. It was not fun cleaning up all this after we juiced.

I drank my morning juice, and it was awesome.
After breakfast, I ran 8 miles and did my regular Monday morning Body Pump class. A normal everyday occurrence. But, boy was that a bad idea. Eric had told me I needed to cut down my workouts, but I am stubborn and wanted to try it out anyways. It was a mistake to say the least.
I came home from the gym and drank my lunch, which was terrible. It tasted like dirt. No joke.

I went about my normal routine after holding my nose and trying to gulp my lunch as fast as humanly possible. Unfortunately, we hadn't strained our juice at this point, so some of the pulpy substance was still in it. Double gross.
LESSON #4--Strain your juice. I am a huge texture person, meaning I don't like "stuff" in my juices or smoothies, so this helped me drink the juices way easier.

Snack time came around and it was much better, thanks to another citrus drink.
I discovered I loved anything citrus, and all the breakfast drinks. Not so much the kale drinks. I am just NOT a kale person. I know it's great for you, but no way jose. Definitely won't be drinking it in a juice anytime soon. I'm much more a spinach person...who knew?

When Eric got home, it was not pretty. By this point, we were both so grumpy and each had massive headaches, that just wouldn't go away. We were pretty much bears to be around. (Sic 'em?)
After we had our dinner juice, which was another kale one (gross), I started getting really nauseous and I had the shakes. I was so dizzy and I almost passed out in the kitchen. I had to literally sit down on the floor of the kitchen and stick my head in the refrigerator.

Ya'll, I can't even begin to describe how terrible the side effects were. So miserable.
Thanks to all this, I ended up not only having to supplement a little solid food, but I also had to take my iron supplement. I was about to pass out.

LESSON #5--Know the speed of your metabolism and how many calories you need. Eric & I discovered that we have high metabolisms. We both knew that we did, but it really registered at this point. We just weren't getting enough calories. Even though the plan is 1200 calories, it is definitely not enough for us. First of all, I had burned all of those calories that morning, and secondly, our metabolisms work faster than the average persons.
Needless to say, I had to eat peanut butter & honey toast that evening, along with some protein...scrambled eggs. Oops. I'm not even sorry.

Putting cucumber in a juicer literally taste like you stuck a straw in the middle of it.

LESSON #6--Juice at night. We found that with our schedule it would be best to do all our juicing at night. So, we juiced for 2 HOURS, making our breakfast, lunch, and snack juices for the following day. Time I could have been doing something else. (See lesson #1)

I went to bed that night pissed off, faint, and with a migraine. It was absolutely terrible. I hadn't had candy in 24 hours or a coke zero. And definitely not enough calories. Not ok.

DAY 2:
I woke up feeling much more energized, surprisingly enough. It was an off day for my workout class, so I just had a run and some extra cardio planned. So I took my time drinking my breakfast juice, and then headed to the gym. [The carrot-apple-lemon breakfast juice was fantastic. I highly recommend that one off of Joe Cross' 3-day plan] Weirdly enough, it was one of my better runs of the week. I was shocked.
My energy levels were back up and I wasn't faint or dizzy at all.
LESSON #7--Just make it through the first day. I promise it gets better.

I will say, that I couldn't choke down my lunch juice and ended up pouring the last quarter of it out.
My snack was a watermelon-lime-basil juice and it was awesome. I am obsessed with watermelon, so not only did I have my juice, but I cheated and had some actual slices of watermelon to go with it. It's mainly juice right?!
[PS-Eric said it was OK since I didn't finish my lunch juice ;)]

After my snack, I really started craving the feeling of chewing solid food. Which is one reason why I grabbed the cut up watermelon from the fridge.

When Eric got home, it was a much better experience than the day before. We were both happier and definitely not as grumpy.
After our dinner juice, which I also had to choke down (thanks weird combinations of kale and some other fruit/veggie), I needed more of the chewing sensation, so I just popped a piece of gum. Problem solved. I don't know if that is technically allowed on a juice diet, but it helped SO MUCH!

Around this time, I also started craving specific food items. Buffalo wild wings honey bbq boneless chicken wings were calling my name. I even craved weird foods that I don't usually eat much of, but that I enjoy eating. Like lima beans. What? Most bizarre thing to crave.

Dessert that night was pear pie type flavored drink. And by that point in our juice, it really did taste like pie. Baked, carmelized, pear-y goodness. It's so weird how your mind starts to think that a juice legit tastes like the best thing in the world.

DAY 3:
All I'm gonna say is that everything started tasting the same. I would smell kale and immediately that's what everything tasted like. Even the breakfast drinks, which I love.
I was surprised to see that my energy levels were still up, and I felt better, and my body just felt healthier. I went out for a run after breakfast and still felt great. I went to body pump and still felt great.
How amazing is that? Our body had been on solid juice for 3 days and we felt energized? It's crazy to me.

Since we were going out of town that night, we wanted the transition to solid food to go smoothly, so we had a nice big salad, with lots of veggies on it, that night for dinner. It felt like I was eating the best food in the world. Such a relief after so much dang juice.
LESSON #8--Do this! When transitioning, have some type of veggies or fruit before you just start eating like normal.

Best thing ever.
BTW, I also had a coke zero that night. I think that was the greatest moment of my life from those past 3 days. So much for a smooth transition. I fail.

Here is what we found...
1) We became fuller quicker. For me, this was never really an issue, especially cause I snack all the time and never just eat 3 meals. For Eric, this is a big deal. His portion sizes looked smaller, and he couldn't eat as much without becoming full first.
2) We tended to not stray far from fruits and veggies. I actually craved salad. And for lunch one day after the juice we just had small sandwiches with some turkey and lots of veggies.
The transition definitely wasn't terrible.

- If you are an athlete, cut back on your workouts and then start with a simple juice. Don't make my same mistake. Awful, awful experience.
- If you are doing it to lose weight, then it is highly recommended, because I lost a couple of pounds without even trying. As did Eric...he looks way trimmer. If you do a longer juice, then I'm sure you will lose a good amount of weight. But know that as you transition back to solid food, you will gain some of it back.
-If you are doing it to clear up your skin, it will work, you just have to do a longer juice. Our cousin, Brie, told me that my skin looked like it had a glow to it. My acne didn't clear up, but I definitely noticed a difference in my skin in general.
- Try doing just a juice for breakfast first, before you do juice for all 3 meals. This is what Eric and I will be doing once we get back from all our summer trips. [It's hard to juice and travel at the same time!] I think we dove into it too quickly, without detoxing from other things first. Aka-coke zeros and candy. We tried doing a juice for breakfast from a juice place in San Antonio; we did it for a couple days and it worked out really well. Definitely something I would recommend. I pretty much do this most mornings anyways, so it wasn't as much of a shock to my system.
Experiment with your juice recipes. Juices start to taste the same once you use the same stuff over and over again. Mix it up.
- I highly recommend it, as does Eric, but just know what you are getting into before you do it. We did a lot of research, and it was well worth it.
- Speaking of research...find a nice juicer. Don't get a crappy one. It will end up breaking on you after your second juice. We use the Omega Juicer--Big Mouth 330. It is wonderful! There are different kinds of juicers...centrifugal, masticating, and pulp ejectors. Ours is a pulp ejector. I won't go into detail on them, but if you are seriously interested then either research it or contact me.

Sorry the post was so wordy (I warned you in advance!), but I hope ya'll got a little bit better understanding about the whole thing.

If you have any questions, want to get the 3-day juice plan, or want more info on everything, then let us know. We would be happy to help!
Here is the link to Joe Cross' 3-day juice that Eric & I did.
And here are the others:

I think I'm all caught up up on our summer travels, Port Aransas for the Fernandez family reunion! SO EXCITED!

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