Monday, March 4, 2013

Jumping into Juicing!

Lately I have been hearing a lot about/ having a lot of people ask me about juicing. I figured the only way to really have an informed opinion is to try it!

For me I want to know more about it...does it live up to the hype? From a health stand point I see it's value but it also poses some concerns. I'm excited mainly for the concept of "rebooting" my system as well as seeing how I feel from it.

If you haven't heard about juicing the following is what you need to know:

Fresh fruits and vegetables are put into a juicer (go figure) where you separate the liquid from everything else.  This is supposed to concentrate the nutrients of a whole bunch of product into an intense and tasty drink. The downside is that you don't get a majority of the fiber as it's cast aside. In addition those who do a juice cleanse strictly drink only juice. Nothing else. You're getting everything you need from the fruit and veggie drink. Documentaries like "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" highlight how beneficial juicing is to your health. In the movie 2 men juiced for 60 days and for both of them their lives were transformed. Both lost considerable weight, had normal blood values by the end, and cut down their medication use considerably.

It makes sense fruits and vegetables are awesome and packed with the good stuff we all need to stay healthy. They're nutrient why not concentrate it further? Well there are a couple of reasons I'm a bit concerned about even if my cleanse is only 7 days compared to their 60.

My Concerns

Problem: Protein
Even if I got every gram of protein (I highly doubt) from the vegetables I juiced I'd still only be getting about 7grams per juice. If I juice 3 times a day that's 21g. Based on my body weight I need about 67g a day. I'll be meeting less than 1/3 of my requirement daily.
Solution: There doesn't seem to be a satisfying answer. I'm considering protein from non-fat organic Greek yogurt. My issue is that eating an animal product when I should be strictly relying on plants leaves me feeling like I'm copping out. I could swap for a handful of nuts...but they're not a complete protein and I'd have to pair it with something else...again leaving me conflicted. This isn't just about health for me, I want to develop the mental resolve to know I can stick to something extreme for a week. Is a week without protein ok?

Problem: Food cravings
Let's face it, I picked nutrition for the love and appreciation of food. There is still food in the house. I have to work multiple double shifts between 2 jobs during this week period...when I'm I going to have time to just juice?
Solution: Again not an easy one. We'll just have to have faith in my will power.

Problem: Workouts
A liquid diet is a drastic change for me. Is it safe to workout at the same intensity? Individuals that do a juice fast type of cleanse report feeling light headed and sometimes sick. Heading off to run a few miles or lift weights before I know how my body will be reacting might not be smart.
Solution: Listening to my body and taking it from there. I thankfully had some satisfying workouts this weekend so I don't feel too guilty about a light week. I plan on transitioning into less intense activities like yoga and swimming. In a sense both of these may help me feel renewed as well.

Problem: Caffeine
I've recently had to admit to myself that I have a reliance on caffeine in the morning. Working most days of the week prior to 6:30 am will do that to you. I do NOT want to be drinking coffee during this week because it is a stimulant and I want to make this process as "clean" as possible. Plus I can't accurately gauge the change in my energy level if I'm still drinking something that makes me alert.
Solution: Pray.
Kidding. I plan on switching to 1 cup of tea on mornings I work up before 5:30 am. Otherwise juice and water only.

Fortunately those are my main concerns outside of cost. I'm just thankful my Dad is joining in on the experiment and went halvsies on the juicer.

Well that's about it. Time to get started!

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