I watched a great movie the other night called Sick, Fat & Nearly Dead. This is the trailer:
I streamed it from Netflix, but you might be able to watch the whole thing on youtube as well. I'm not a big fan of The Biggest Loser or I-used-to-be-fat-and-then-I-started-eating-right-and-working-out and look at me now videos, but for some reason this one struck a different chord in me.
Joe, an overweight australian who was over 300 pounds and on numerous medications, came to America to get healthy (ironic, right?) and he did it by living off vegetable juice for 60 days. The movie chronicles his good days, bad days, and entire weight loss, complete with doctors visits, test results and the like. It's no surprise to me, a green-smoothie-drinking, vegetable-juicing raw-food-eating vegan that his health turned around and he was able to lose 200 pounds and get off all his medications, but I think it's a good message to send into the world for non-believers, or even skeptics.
The best part of the movie, for me, was a trucker he met at a truck stop while interviewing random people. I can't tell you what happens or it would be a huge spoiler. You'll have to watch it yourself! :)
Another thing I liked about the movie was how he kept on juicing even when people put him down, discouraged him, or thought he was crazy. He carried a little juicer in the back of his car and he let numerous people try the green juice, wherever he was. He was so enthusiastic and excited about it. Most of the time, that's how I feel about green smoothies, juicing, and veganism, yet the general population is such a downer about it.
After watching the movie I was so incredibly motivated to start juicing more.
I've already done two juice fasts in my life, one which I blogged about here (and each day of the fast is chronicled) and I own a juicer, but after it's put under the cupboard and it's out of sight, out of mind, it's hard to remember to bring it out and juice things.
Perhaps the biggest, and best thing I learned from watching the movie is that it's okay to combine all my vegetables! I used to juice only one thing at a time. A cup of carrot juice in the morning, a cup of celery and apple in the afternoon. This was, of course, boring and lead to me only juicing for one isolated day and going back to my old way of eating. After watching the movie, I did as they instructed and I went to the farmers market and bought everything I laid eyes on:
parsley, romaine, spinach, celery, cucumbers, carrots, kale, apples, peaches, lemons.
Then I put it all into the juicer together! My first juice (and first meal of the day) was parsley, a whole head of romaine, one stalk of celery, one large cucumber, one large carrot, and water. It looked like this but much more:
I thought it would taste like grass and be so awful with all the lettuce and parsley, but it wasn't much different from the other times I've juiced. The carrots did a fine job of sweetening everything up and I didn't even need to add stevia or an apple. It was quite good and I drank it without any problems. I had enough energy to go to the gym and complete a crossfit workout x2. When I got home from the gym, I juiced another batch, same ingredients. For dinner, I had some solid food with more vegetables.
Vegetables contain so many nutrients, minerals and vitamins that can't be released unless you chew, and chew, and chew. It would take you hours to chew all the vegetables that you can drink if you juice them into one cup. Some tips on juicing:
Warm your juice up to room temperature. Either let your vegetables sit out of the fridge for about an hour, or let your juice sit for a little while until it is room temperature. It is better absorbed into your system if it is room temperature and not cold.
"Chew" your juice. Your saliva is meant to integrate digestive enzymes into the food we eat, so drink slowly, allowing this to happen. It will let your body digest and absorb it better.
Drink it slow. Don't drink it all down at once. This could result in a stomach ache. I usually drink a glass in about 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes longer. Imagine if you were chewing all those vegetables, it would certainly take longer than that, so give your stomach time.
Vegetable juice is alkaline. If you have problems with your body or health, there is a chance it is due to to an offset in the acid-base balance. My body needs a lot of alkaline food to balance out the natural acidity of it. When I eat acid-producing food, my body gets way out of balance and I experience skin breakouts, rashes, indigestion, etc. I have noticed the more alkaline foods I eat (carrots, celery, cucumber, spinach) and juice, the better I feel. As hard as it was to quit drinking coffee, I have to admit it was the probably the best thing I've ever done, especially for my skin. Coffee is very acidic and ever since I stopped drinking it, I haven't had to have any prescriptions from my dermatologist.
My goal is to increase my fruit and vegetable juice intake per day, and so far so good. Today I am on day #2, but hopefully soon I won't have to count days because it will just be incorporated into my lifestyle. They say it takes 30 days to form a habit, so here we go!
Do you juice vegetables and/or fruit? What is your favorite combo?
Have you seen the movie Sick,Fat & Nearly Dead?