If, like me, you’ve seen the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, you may have started juicing. I am one of the 37.5% of U.S. adults overweight or obese. I didn’t start juicing to lose weight, although that has been a nice side benefit, and I’m not doing it as a diet, I am doing it to regain health and energy.
About me: I am a compulsive overeater, with specifically an addiction to sugar. I have been in a 12 step program for years to help address this, and gratefully I refrain from eating sugar. In program I lost 55 pounds and kept it off for seven years–easily, remarkably, miraculously. Then one day I slipped. I thought I had that “sugar thing” beat and I reached for a mini Snickers. It’s was the beginning of a slippery slope called relapse and a weight gain of this time around 70 pounds. We call it a progressive disease–compulsive overeating. Often all the weight comes back on and even more. That’s certainly what I experienced along with the hopelessness, shame and isolation that goes with.
Eventually, I came out of the fog, faced reality and knew I had to get my butt back into meetings. I hat to give up “my friend”, my emotional crutch, sugar too. Today I have been off sugar again for one year and two months. What exactly does that mean? I don’t eat anything with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, fructose, glucose, etc. in the first five ingredients on the label. For the most part, I don’t crave it anymore. Sure, every now and then some lovely pastry or chocolate fleets past my eyes and my brain says, “Just one little bite…,” but I know better. One little bite is never enough. Today, I crave more the lack of mood swings and the clarity of mind that I feel off sugar.
Still overweight though, a friend recommended the documentary to me because of late I’ve been complaining of a lack of energy. Before when I went off sugar, the weight came off easily, but today I am older. Losing weight is not unattainable, but it’s not the same. Eat even less, exercise even more, right? Not so easy when you’re a food addict. And we’ve all heard the reports–diets don’t work. Especially for me. The moment, hell, the second I think “diet” I feel like I want to eat the world. It’s just outside the realm of possibility for me. I seem to have to do it by baby steps, a little progress every day, something doable for me for the rest of my life.
And while Joe Cross in the movie lost 60 pounds in 60 days by just consuming juice, I knew it was unrealistic to expect myself, a compulsive overeater, to be able to accomplish the same. I don’t set myself up for failure anymore. Instead, I decided to add juice as a supplement to my food plan and see how that went.
I love it! I’ve been juicing for a month now. I try to have two glasses of juice a day. I add protein in, like chicken and nuts, through meals and snacks and I feel terrific. I invested in a good Breville Ikon 5 juicer that I got on sale at Macy’s for $157.00 (regularly $199.95). Juicers come in different price ranges, but I opted for a mid-range juicer after reading reviews that the lower priced ones don’t extract as much juice, and with produce, especially organic, being a little costly, I wanted every precious drop I could get out of my fruits and vegetables.
The recipe that I use tastes delicious (included below). I found that my energy level increased almost immediately. Truly. Definitely by day two I felt a big difference…to the point where I noticed I didn’t even need caffeine in the morning to get me going on my day. Because I am eating solid foods to, I never feel deprived or hungry. I juice for breakfast, and either include a glass with lunch, dinner, or have it as my after dinner snack. And that’s not to say I’m doing it perfectly…I still indulge in french fries, cheese and pizza occasionally, and all the normal more “junky” foods that make up a typical American diet.
I am surprised by the fact that I desire less red meat. A male friend who is juicing with me and an avid red meat eater expressed the same thing. But for me, I think the greatest pleasure is gone are those typical feelings of guilt I felt after each meal from not including a helping of veggies or fruit. I can happily munch away on chicken and rice or a turkey burger, and snack on popcorn or beer pretzels (carbs have always been a comfort food for me,) and know I’ve hit all my food groups that day. And, even with the moderation of this food plan, I have dropped eight pounds in one month NOT being on a diet.
If juicing sounds like something you might want to add to you food plan, I highly recommend watching the documentary. It’s very inspirational. I plan to watch it again this weekend, just to keep that inspiration going. The health benefits the two men experienced were remarkable. I myself can’t wait to see the benefits at my next doctor’s appointment.
Like all dietary changes, they recommend that you ask your doctor first if this is right for you. Let me know if you do juice how it’s worked for you…or if begin this liquid green adventure too!
Green Veggie & Fruit Juice Recipe
5 stalks of Lacinato or Dino kale
5 stalks of celery
2 cups spinach
1 large cucumber
1 slice of ginger (1 inch thick)
3 Cutie mandarin oranges
Wash all the veggies and fruit, slice the apples and pears in half, remove the stem ends of the carrots, peel the mandarin oranges and run all through the juicer. Stir and serve.
“Jane Doe” is the pseudonym weBEgirls created for contributors who wish to remain anonymous. As this person is a member of a 12 step program, where anonymity provides the security and freedom to share your experiences, we respect this tradition. If you would like to find out more about eating disorders and 12 step programs visit www.oa.org (Overeaters Anonymous).