Monday, July 16, 2012

Juice of the Gods

Sorry, true believers. I’m not talking about chocolate.

A few months ago I came across a movie, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” This described me pretty well so I decided to watch it. Here was a guy from Australia, with a rare auto-immune disorder, documenting a two month juice fast. He talked about the science behind it, why he needed it, and showed his results. Starting out rather chubby, he ended up looking really good by the end of the movie. I was intrigued.

About halfway through, he encountered a guy about twice his size at a truck stop who had the same auto-immune disorder he was suffering from. This guy was bigger than me. These days, that’s saying something. He had a tough time at first, but in the end he was looking trim, fit, and happy. I was impressed. Eventually, I got my wife to watch it with me and we decided to try it, sort of.

Researching various juice fast sites and plans, we settled on a compromise plan. Instead of just having juice and water all day, this one lets us eat dinner with our kids. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of eating dinner at the table with your family, regularly. I didn’t want to miss that if I didn’t have to.

This plan recommends only vegetables for dinner. That’s not going to happen. I might inflict weird dietary rules on myself, but I’m not going to force my family to follow me. I’m also not going to sit at the table with a glass of juice while the rest of my family is

After three days I’ve not lost much weight, but weird things are happening. For starters, my daily diet cola has lost is savor. Most soda has, actually. I don’t feel as well when I drink them and I actually get a headache. I tried eating tater tots one night and I felt like I had a lump of clay in my gut. No more tater tots. Yuck.

Overall my desire for certain kinds of food is waning. I find myself more interested in vegetables than other kinds of food, now. I think this is a good thing. It’s made me more willing to buy a wider variety of vegetables, even those that seem more expensive.

Which brings me to my next point: the finances of it are interesting. Juicing all day isn’t all that cheap, but it’s not actually that expensive (unless you go completely organic). It’s made me realize that vegetables aren’t as expensive as some of them seem. Those that seem expensive, like kale, beets, parsnips or leeks, are certainly more money than lettuce and celery, but not really any more than other kinds of foods we were buying. Certainly they’re less expensive, and better for you, than most process foods.

I’ve dedicated myself to trying this for at least 5 days. After that, we’ll see. With only two days to go, I’m suspicious I will continue for a while longer. Even if I don’t continue with the juice fast, though, juicing in general has become part of my life. More vegetables and legumes will be hitting my table. Pigs and cows everywhere will rejoice. Vegetables are fruit will live in fear. The Mormon Foodie has shifted his palette.


Anonymous said...

Look into blending vs juicing, both have their pros and cons, but both are awesome. I like blending because it's easier to do (and easier to clean), it actually leaves you feeling full, and it doesn't cost as much as juicing.

Juicing isn't a complete food, but green smoothies are, plus you keep the fiber which is good for cleaning the heart arteries & removing toxins from the body.

Here's a very simple but good tasting green smoothie: 2 cups kale, 2 cups frozen strawberries, 1 apple, 1 banana, and 3/4 cup water.

Another great thing about blending, is it can last 24-48+ in the fridge (so you can make extra for later). With juicing, you have to drink that immediately (under 10 minutes) before it starts oxidation!

Get a vitamix, they are expensive but last a long time and will be worth it (look for a used one if necessary). Good luck!

John Newman said...

The point about fiber content is well taken and some of the juice mix recipes from the program are blender based, not juicer based. My understanding, from the program, is that while you do lose much of the fiber content (not all, as the small amount of particulate matter in some of my juices can attest), you gain more in the way of micro-nutrients. It's a simple matter of volume. It would be nearly impossible to eat, solid or blended, the amount of food needed to get as many micro-nutrients as you do when juicing. Having said that, most of the time when I do more fruit than veg in the recipe, I'll use the blender. Some fruits can't be juiced well.

As for a blender, I have a mid-range model Ninja and I'm quite happy with it, although what I've heard about the Vita-mix is great.

Thanks for sharing the recipe! We're at the end of strawberry season here, so this will be perfect.