What made me happy in 2012? Buffalo wings at The Seminole Hard Rock Cafe. The Hot Italian sub at Mazzaros. Deep dish Chicago style pizza at Cappy’s in Brandon. Chicken Parmesan at The Laughing Cat in Ybor. Taco Bus runs at 2AM.
What’s making me happy in 2013? All of the above, plus kale, broccoli, carrots, ginger root, apples, lemons, strawberries, and cucumbers. This weekend, I had to run to Publix and my $20 basket had nothing but fruits and vegetables. You know, it’s possible the Mayans were just off by a few weeks.
Juicing is exactly what it sounds like… grinding out the juice of fruits and vegetables…including ones I would never eat. That supermarket run I just mentioned? Yeah I didn’t eat any of that stuff. I drank it. And no, it wasn’t gross.
How It Began
This all started after some weight loss. Between July and December, I had lost about 30 pounds. This was with the help of 2 apps… MyFitnessPal and SongPop. MyFitnessPal simply counts calories. You just tell it what you’ve eaten. It tells you when to stop. SongPop kept me away from boredom eating. It works! (By the way, I’m undefeated… challenge me… username is “genogeno.” Fair warning, I’ll beat you.)
So why mix things up if my weight loss was going well? I was eating junk – just less of it. I was still sluggish often. And I was hungry more than I wanted to be. After watching a few food documentaries on Netflix, I decided to get the credit card out and drop over $200 on an Omega 8004 juicer. Best believe I kept the receipt for what I figured would be an inevitable return. I’ve since lost it and don’t care.
This is the movie that really kicked me in the butt. This guy went way too hardcore for me… no food, just juice for 90 days.
Those YouTube Lying Fools
By the time UPS dropped the juicer at my front door, I had already watched a dozen or two YouTube clips of professional and amateur juicing demonstrations. They were all the same. A smiling host drops item after item into the chute and when time came for them to actually consume their concoction, they took a little sip and said “mmm, delicious” in unison before saying goodbye and ending the video. So when I finished my first batch of kale, strawberries, apples and ginger, I braced for the worst. And no, it wasn’t delicious. But it wasn’t horrible either. My reward to myself… a Reese’s cup. Not a bad chaser when you’re first starting out!
About an hour later, I was already feeling the effects… I felt more mentally alert. I had real energy. I didn’t feel hyper like a Starbucks caffeine rush. And it wasn’t a sugar high like you get after popping a Reese’s cup. I just felt… good.
I realized that kale is for the hardcore juicers. I’m not one of them yet. So I’m just using it once a week. Broccoli is a great green to start with for us amateurs. The rule of thumb… darker the green, the better it is for you to juice. But mix in the fruit to defeat the grassy taste of the greens… lemons and apples are perfect. Those Plant City strawberries flavor it up well too.
3 Weeks Later
I’m still a juicing infant, but I’m sold… and I still can’t believe it. My mood is constantly stable to good… I don’t drag. Ever. I am never hungry. Why? Because you can eat all the tasty junk food in the world, but your body will still tell you it wants more food because you’re not giving it the stuff it needs. When you give it the vitamins and minerals, it won’t tell you it’s hungry.
I’m finding myself now not really even wanting a lot of the junk I used to crave. Today was especially weird. It’s 3pm and I’ve already juiced twice. I’m almost starting to think I could become a vegetarian. (I won’t… I’m a fan of Bern’s on Facebook and in real life.)
This is when new year’s resolutions start to become a memory. I’m telling you… juicing will give you the smack in the butt you need. I’ve now lost over 40 pounds. I haven’t exercised (although I have the energy to do so if I wanted to). I’m still eating junk food almost daily – just not as much. I feel great. And I like the idea that by eating this stuff, I’m supporting local farmers. I buy most of my stuff from a fruit and vegetable stand.
Here are my tips if you want to give juicing a shot:
- -Don’t go cheap on the juicer, but keep your receipt. Here’s my logic. If you drop $50, you won’t feel bad if you give up! Plus the slower grinding juicers give you more of the good stuff.
- Don’t look at what you’re about to drink. It looks disgusting. It’s swamp green, no matter how many apples or strawberries you put in. The batch of juice I made yesterday was way over the top sweet… it was almost candy.
- Mix it up. I’ve never had the same juice combo twice. Today was the first time I used lemon and I loved it. Almost made the batch taste like lemonade.
- Don’t stop eating junk! Keep your routine going. Don’t start out 100 MPH on this. The juicing will start to do its job. You’ll find yourself WANTING to eat better. It’s freakin’ weird. Some people juice all 3 meals a day to start. Definitely not a good idea in my opinion. Keep some normalcy in your life!
- Work your way up to the hardcore vegetables like kale, wheat grass, spinach, etc. I went hardcore day 1 and it could’ve easily discouraged me. But as I said in Tip 1, the $225 spent helped me continue on to day 2.
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We need Trader Joe's in Tampa!