A couple of weeks ago, while I was painting at Matt’s house, he had me watch Fat Sick And Nearly Dead. He was considering juicing, and wanted to know what I thought about the documentary and the idea of juicing. I said it sounded like it couldn’t hurt as the start of a weight loss plan, and we agreed that we’d do it together. He bought a juicer from Kohls, and we decided to start last Tuesday, the 9th. The plan is to juice for ten days and see where we are, and then decide if we should keep strictly juicing, juice some meals but eat one or two regular meals a day, or just go back to eating regular meals and just change our eating habits. I’m now on day five, and I want to share my experience for anyone who is considering juicing.
With my recent cancer scare, I read over and over that obese women are more likely to get inflammatory breast cancer than women who are not obese. When they weighed me at the oncologist’s office, I was an even 200 lbs. Fear is a great motivator, as this finally was the kick in the ass that I needed to get healthy. Not healthier. Healthy. My diet mainly consisted of chicken flautas from a local restaurant paired with their chips and queso (which I’m pretty sure is a petroleum byproduct); french fries from various restaurants; Sonic milk shakes; ice cream, cookies, cake, cupcakes, muffins, pancakes, spaghetti (gluten free)…the list goes on. Notice there are no veggies mentioned. I guess I could include the guacamole that comes with the flautas, but it’s not really a full serving of avocado.
On top of the cancer scare, I’ve been in a fibromyalgia flare for a few months now; no energy, everything hurts, and all I want to do is sleep. I’m hoping that juicing will help get me out of this flare.
Tuesday, July 9, Day 1
I picked Matt up early in the morning so we could go to a local farmer’s market. Normally, our routine is for me to pick him up and then head to a local Mexican food place that has 3 tacos for $2.50 until 11am. I usually have bean, cheese, and bacon on corn tortillas, and Matt gets bacon and egg on flour. Obviously, this is a meal full of fat.
Instead, Matt wanted me to check out a local juice bar called Urth. We could “eat out” but still juice at the same time. I wanted to try some food combinations so I’d know what fruits and veggies to get. The staff at Urth totally rock. They let me try different juice mixtures, which helped me figure out that I would skip the greens (don’t freak out yet, more is coming) and stick with fruits, carrots, and beets, which was the mixture I chose for my meal. Matt got a carrot/ginger/citrus and then one with kale and other greens. We both really like the “Twang,” as the carrot/ginger/citrus is called, and Matt learned that he could gag down kale.
Because I have interstitial cystitis, I have to watch my potassium intake. Too much potassium and I’ll be doubled over in excruciating pain. That means I can’t juice kale, chard, or spinach because I’d be getting a concentrated amount. No, thank you!
While we explored the different juices, the co-owner answered a lot of questions that I had. Most importantly, I wanted to know what to use to wash the fruits and veggies. I was worried about also getting a concentrated amount of pesticide and food grade wax. She said they use apple cider vinegar; one cup of ACV to one gallon of water. Good to know, even when we’re not juicing.
At the farmers market, there were only five vendors, and they all had pretty much the same thing. Lots of zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers, but no fruits. We bought a couple of things there, then headed to Sprouts to really stock up.
Matt is following the recommended recipes from Fat Sick And Nearly Dead, while I am pretty much making mine up as I go along. I did find some recipes that gave me ideas for what to use, though. I started piling in oranges, limes, nectarines, green apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, carrots, and beets. Matt hit up the leafy greens, with lots of kale, chard, and spinach. He also got fruits and carrots. His total was $82 and some change, and mine was about $40. We calculated how many meals we’d get out of what we’d bought, and our meals average $2 each. WAY cheaper than even a single large serving of McD’s fries.
When we got home, we piled everything on the counters, and there was still more, so Matt grabbed a large Sterilite tub and put the rest of the bags in there. I took the juicer out of the box and started to assemble it (it was a pain in the ass! So many parts!) when I realized that the latches that hold down the hopper were broken. We put it all back in the box and headed to Kohls for an exchange. We ended up with a Bella, which I’ve since read tends to break after a month or two, but for the moment, it works well.
By the time we finished up at Kohl’s, we were both starving. Fortunately, we were less than a mile from Smoothie King. While it’s technically not juicing, it’s pretty close, and nothing is processed except for the sugar, which we asked them to leave out. We had a Groupon, too; $10 for $20 worth of smoothie. Excellent!
We didn’t get started on our juice until almost 5pm. I spent the next two hours scrubbing down fruits and vegetables for four days’ worth of meals (two days for each of us). It is a LOT of scrubbing. My back and feet were already killing me, and I was shoveling tramadol in my mouth like M&Ms. Then came the actual making of the juice.
It is so cool! Carrots contain an unbelievable amount of juice, as do beets. The chard and kale stems are also very juicy. Matt followed the tip of lining the expulsion container with a plastic bag for easier cleanup. It is definitely easy to just switch out bags. One less thing to clean.
By the time we were finished, it was almost 10:30pm. Fortunately, Matt’s friend that’s a girl came and picked him up, so I didn’t have to drive him home. Hooray for not crashing and dying in flaming death!
We decided we would not taste as we went along, because we didn’t want to discover something tasted awful, because then we’d be dreading having to drink that one. I figured it’s better to be surprised and Matt agreed. As he said, “It may taste like shit, but it’s only ten minutes of drinking shit per day. I think it’s worth it.”
Thursday, July 11, Day 3
Here’s the morning breakdown: I’ve lost three pounds in the last two days (yes, I know it’s water weight, but after the first ten pounds, it’s actually “weight” weight). I’ve only felt hungry once, and that was at 1am, because I hadn’t had anything since 6pm. I made a cup of tea, and cheated with cream and splenda, but I don’t think a single cup will kill me, and it’s better than a giant bowl of cookies and ice cream.
On day two, my breakfast juice consisted of orange, nectarine, lime, apple, and kiwi. I call it “Citrus Surprise.” Lunch was a pint of strawberries, a pint of blueberries, 6oz raspberries, a carrot, and a beet. This one is “Beet Berry.” Dinner was nectarine, carrot, kiwi, plum, apple, and orange, otherwise known as “Rainbow Bright” because of the different colors going into it. I was amazed that everything was absolutely delicious! Citrus Surprise is my favorite, followed by Rainbow Bright. Beet Berry is okay, but it’s thick and smells weird, because beets stink.
Ron is of course horrified at the idea of juicing (it’s unhealthy, you won’t lose weight, it’s too much sugar, there’s no protein). It’s not unhealthy, since I’m only doing it for ten days. I am losing weight, so it’s a great kickstart and motivation to continue. Although it’s high in sugar, I haven’t had a single issue with my blood sugar dropping. As for protein, if I want, I can add chia seeds or hemp seeds. The point is to stay away from any fiber, dairy, meat, nuts…nothing but fruits and vegetables, so for this round, I’m skipping the protein. I’m not super active at the moment, so 10 days without protein won’t kill me.
I feel really good today, considering how I felt when I went to bed last night. I’ve had more energy today and my brain is less foggy. We’ll see how it goes by the 10th day. Here’s the BEST surprise side effect… when I washed my hair this morning, exactly ONE hair came out. Even with taking glutathione, I still lose at least a dozen, and I lose fistfuls if I don’t take it. To only lose ONE is pretty miraculous. I wish I could figure out which nutrient I’m getting that I’m so deficient in.
I’m still waiting for the nasty side effects to kick in. It’s supposed to clean out your gut, but nothing so far. I am definitely peeing a lot, though and it is almost clear. My hands still ache, but not as badly as they have been.
I do keep thinking about food, but I think that’s more about habit, not hunger. This is definitely going to affect my eating habits from here on out, though. No more late night snacking with Aubrey, no milkshakes with Ron, lots of leafy greens (romaine and spinach) and veggies, less meat, more beans, nuts, lentils, and I’m going to make Ron eat fish at least once a week.
Friday, July 12, Day 4
I’ve lost a total of 6.5 lbs (I bought a digital scale, and I’m using the weight I was at the oncologist’s office on July 1st, which was 200 even). I’ve gotten much faster at washing my fruit and veggies and getting everything juiced. Last night, it only took me two hours to make two days worth of meals. I started with my most basic juice (Citrus Surprise), then for the second one (Caribbean Cooler), I added a few things, and then finally made my Beet Berry. It saves washing down all the parts between juices. I do have to clear out the extra pulp from the machine, though.
Yesterday I bought fresh pineapple and peeled it all by myself. I had no idea how damn easy it is! All my life I thought you practically need a machete to cut through pineapple skin. It’s actually pretty soft. I also added mangos, which smell awful, but taste really good. Maybe it’s just me, but I think they reek. Ugh, and beets smell even worse. They smell like wet dirt. I think I added too much beet last night, because today I had to drink it really slowly so I wouldn’t retch. The citrus ones are really good, though.
Ron is still being super negative, and I have finally employed the same tactic I used with my first husband; I agree with everything he says. When he tells me it’s not going to work, I say, “You’re absolutely right, it’s not going to work.” When he says I won’t wash the veggies, make my drinks, and drink them, I say, “You’re absolutely right. I won’t drink them.” When he says that it isn’t healthy, I say, “You’re absolutely right. It’s not healthy.” It drives him freakin’ crazy, because then he can’t keep arguing with me, since I refuse to argue. Finally, last night he came into the office and asked if I was feeling any different, if I’d lost any weight, was it helping? Arguments only happen if you allow them to escalate, and agreeing with everything stops it in its tracks.
I forgot to mention that I am supplementing with Chromium Polynicotinate, Vit D, Calcium, and Evening Primrose Oil. I hate that stuff (the EPO). It makes me break out like a teenager. It’s what the oncologist prescribed, so I have to take it, but I hate having pimples at my age. It’s ridiculous. I’ve still got lots of energy, and last night, I slept like a log, in spite of not taking any melatonin because I couldn’t find it.
Saturday, July 13, Day 5
Today I am down 9 lbs! Only one more pound and I am in actual weight territory, as I will have lost the requisite 10 lbs of water that is normal with “crash” diets. While some people consider it to be a one, it most definitely is not. For one thing, I’m not hungry in between my meals. If I were suffering from some kind of deficiency, I would notice the effect by now. I feel healthier than I have in a long time. I’m able to stay awake from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm, and I’m sleeping better and deeper. I’m fortunate that I don’t suffer from sleep apnea, but I do have a serious sleep disorder.
The latest surprise effect is that my rosacea is clearing up. I’ve been struggling for the last two years with a scaly, crusty buildup on my cheeks, nose, and in my eyebrows when I wake up in the morning. This morning, although my face is still outrageously oily, I don’t have any scaliness on my face at all. I’ve tried prescription products as well as over the counter remedies, but the only thing that has helped so far is Obey Your Body Dead Sea Facial Mud Scrub. Even so, it certainly didn’t help as much as five days of juicing has!
I figure that my current daily caloric intake is around 1000 calories, which is what the Mayo Clinic recommends for their obese patients. I am not having any meals after 7pm, and of course, there’s no snacking. As I mentioned before, my only “cheat” is having hot cinnamon tea with cream and splenda, which is around 60 calories. It does break the rules of no processed foods and no dairy, but if it’s between that and a giant bowl of ice cream, I think it’s the better choice.