Not long after watching the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, I went out and bought a juicer.
What can I say, I’m easily influenced.
Although I never got around to doing a full juice fast, I did manage to add juicing to my daily diet on a somewhat regular basis.
Now that it’s 2016 and the start of another year, I’ve decided to try and form a juicing habit by completing 30 days of juicing.
This won’t be a juice fast, I’m sorry to say – I don’t think I’m ready or in need of that just yet – but it will be my attempt to start a new habit and drink a green juice every day.
So far, it’s the fourth day of the year and I’m already off to a good start.
I was juicing last month but not consistently, but I’m already on an eight-day streak of juicing.
Why Drink Green Vegetable Juice?
Juicing, especially with green, leafy vegetables has countless health benefits. Some even claim a strict juice diet can cure all manner of modern diseases such as diabetes type 1 and 2, colitis, and many more.
If you watch the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary or listen to its star and creator Joe Cross in this interview, you’ll probably want to start your own juice fast tomorrow.
Stripping the vegetables of all their fibre, helps you to absorb their nutrients much more effectively. This in turn, gives you a much-improved dose of vitamins and other healthy elements.
How to Get Started with Vegetable Juicing?
When it comes to getting started with juicing and adding a healthy juice drink to your daily food intake, you will need to invest in a suitable machine. There are plenty of options out there, from budget items to full-blown professional juicers for the home.
Typically the more powerful the juicer, in terms of wattage, the easier time it will have when it comes to juicing solid vegetables and fruit. It’s not necessary to go out and buy the best machine out there, just try and get the best juicer for the money you have to spare.
Fat Loss – But at What Cost?
Many people juice with the aim of losing weight. By restricting your food intake to just vegetable water, it makes sense that the pounds would start falling off. However, I expect much of that weight loss would be from a reduction in water and muscle and not just fat.
Can You Still Workout on a Juice Fast?
I’ll still be aiming to hit the gym and complete some home workouts while juicing, so cutting out food would probably hinder me in that regard. I still want to be able to use my kettlebell sets or Jungle Gym trainer during this 30 day period.
I’m not sure if you’d have enough energy on a juice fast for a workout.
If you aren’t eating whole foods and are taking part in a juice fast, your protein intake will be severely restricted. When that happens, your body is likely to enter a catabolic state and begin breaking down or eating lean muscle mass.
Unless you are obese, becoming catabolic, as part of your weight loss program probably isn’t a trade-off you are willing to make.
Is it a Juice Fast Necessary?
If you don’t have any major health issues and aren’t trying to lose a ton of weight, then a juice fast, or at least, an extended one, probably isn’t necessary.
So, for me, this 30 day period is all about having one green juice a day and then seeing where things stand at the end of the month.
Why Am I Juicing?
I’ve probably only got a few kilos to lose in order to reach my target weight. My motives for juicing aren’t weight loss. Instead, I’m hoping to add some much-needed nutrients to my diet on a daily basis.
As a side effect, I’m also anticipating that the juice will sate me enough that I won’t be tempted to snack between meals. This in turn, will aid my weight loss slightly, albeit in a slightly less dramatic way than a juice fast would accomplish.
It will be hard to measure the benefits of this 30-day juice habit. I’m hoping for increases energy and vitality. However, these are hard states to measure so I’ll just see how I get on and if I like how I feel, I’ll keep going. If not I’ll stop at the end of the month and try something else.
What’s My Go-To Juice Recipe?
Essentially, you can throw most types of fruit and veg into a decent juicer. However, it’s best to lay off the fruit, especially the sweeter stuff, as once juiced, you’ve stripped away the fibre and are drinking what essentially amounts to pure sugar.With fruit juice the body doesn’t know where the sugar's from; you might as well be drinking soda. Click To Tweet
However, adding some fruit to your juice, especially in the early days is essential if you aren’t used to drinking liquid kale and other greens by the pint. Therefore, my standard juice diet contains one or two apples, alongside a hearty mix of green and colourful vegetables.
My standard juice recipe now consists of:
- 1 apple
- 6 carrots
- 2 bunches of greens or leaf vegetables
- 1 inch of ginger
I’ll also add some raw beets to the mix if I have any to hand. These give the juice a nice rich flavour and are highly recommended.
It’s important to get a good mixture of vegetables for a varied diet, so I will be mixing things up over the month.
However, creating a palatable juice blend involves a lot of trial and error – unless you have a strong stomach. Therefore, the above will be my go-to juice diet on the days when it all goes wrong or the cupboard is looking bare
Why not Blend?
Blending your own smoothies is probably even more popular than juicing.
Especially since the launch of the NutriBullet blender. While both juicing and blending have their place in a healthy diet, juicing is said to be better at extracting, and allowing your body to take in more nutrients.
I’ve recently bought a blender so I definitely don’t have anything against blending and am not on either side of the great juicing vs. blending debate. Both have their pros and cons.
However, for now, trying to capture some of the health boosting properties of juicing is my main focus.
I’ll still be aiming for one blender-made drink per day, but it will be more for pleasure than for pure health reasons.
While I do like a good juice, they can’t compare with a fresh banana, berry, and avocado smoothie.
I’ll be tracking my progress using the Rewire habit and goal tracking app on my smartphone and sharing my results on this blog, so be sure to check back for updates. As I stated in the intro, I’m off to a good start.
However, it is very early days!
What are your thoughts on juicing and blending? Have you tried a juice fast or integrated a daily vegetable juice into your diet? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.