I have been on an up and down journey of losing my baby weight (getting there…slowly), so I have found myself finding motivation through documentaries. I had noticed “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” on Netflix for a while, but didn’t know what it was about. Finally, while folding laundry and having nothing else to watch, I put it on.
I must say, I was hooked right from the beginning! If you haven’t seen it yet, you really ought to check it out! Basically, it is about this Australian guy named Joe. He is what the title says…fat, sick with a painful disease, and nearly dead because of it all. He decided to drink fresh-pressed juice of only raw fruit and vegetables for 60 days, in hopes of healing his body naturally.
I won’t spoil it for you (because you really need to watch it!), but he ends up becoming an inspiration to many people along the way. And his body starts to heal too! It was really fascinating and motivating. So much so that I went out and bought a juicer a few days later!
I wouldn’t characterize my family as unhealthy eaters or extremely healthy eaters. We are naturally pretty good at eating well, but struggle with eating lots of raw veggies. I cook vegetables on a regular basis. But when it comes to eating them raw, not so much. So when I discovered juicing, I knew I had to give it a try…for my family.
Even though Myra isn’t a picky eater, she, like lots of other children, isn’t always too crazy about the vegetables. Once in a while she really enjoys them cooked (especially chickpeas!), but rarely eats raw veggies. I understand that it takes time for little ones, but I still want those nutrients to get in her body.
My solution is juicing.
The idea of a juice cleanse sounds pretty cool but I know that it isn’t smart right now, while I’m still breastfeeding. So, I read about this 30 Day Juice Challenge and decided to take the principles and apply it to my time frame. This is not a cleanse. It is simply a way to create a juicing habit. All you have to do is drink one juice per day. It is not necessarily a meal replacement, unless you drink more than one serving. It is simply a way to add fruit and vegetables that you may be lacking in and pump up your healthy nutrients!
To be honest, I started out with hopes of completing 30 days. After missing a couple days and preparing for a trip to Pennsylvania, it didn’t work out. But I ended up completing 21 days and noticed a few benefits along the way.
- It is cleaning out my system – Even though this isn’t a cleanse, I have noticed that my body is more regular (I know…TMI). Seriously! I actually feel like my body is starting to clean out the bad stuff! I think it is pretty cool that I didn’t have to commit to a cleanse to still reap some of the benefits.
- I feel healthier – I’m not sure if it’s all in my head, but I feel like I am just a healthier person all around! I think the whole idea of juicing has made me more aware of the other things I am putting in my body. Now, if I am wanting a snack but haven’t had my juice yet, that becomes my snack. It really fills me up too! Other times, when I am looking for something to eat, I notice the mounds of fruit on my counter that I have stored up for juicing. It causes me to have a healthy mindset when choosing what to eat!
- My daughters are benefiting from it – What I’m most excited about is that Myra absolutely loves the juice! She doesn’t seem to notice that it is green and filled with kale, cucumber, and carrots. She just knows that it is yummy and always asks for more! I love that I get to fill her little body with all those healthy nutrients! I don’t know how much actually gets in my breast milk, but I know that I feel good about giving Vivian whatever I can. I want to be an example to her as she will be eating food pretty soon!
- It is becoming a healthy habit – I think the whole idea of this challenge is so neat. It is not a huge commitment. It is simple and fairly easy to accomplish. I have already noticed that a habit is being formed each time I make and drink my juice. No, I am not going to juice every day from no on, but I know that I want it to become a regular habit in our lives.
I want to encourage you to think about doing this challenge, for however long you can, or simply adding some fresh-pressed juice to your day. You can find more information about it from the documentary on Netflix, Joe’s website, and juicerecipes.com. We have greatly enjoyed it as a family and are glad we tried it out! However, I also want to share the cons with you so that you can have enough knowledge to make the right decision for yourself. Here are some things that make daily juicing tough:
- Expense – Juicing is pretty expensive because of all the produce it takes to make. I haven’t tried any special tips to make it more affordable, but I am looking forward to seeing how our local farmer’s market might help lower the costs. We will see! Otherwise, if you have a garden, that would be helpful too!
- It can time consuming – When you think about washing and cutting the vegetables, making the juice, and cleaning the machine, you are looking at around 20-30 minutes. One of the ways I have made it easier to stick with is by making my juice the night before. When I was making it in the morning, it was warm (yuck!) and I felt like I couldn’t take that much time away from my kids. Now, I enjoy making it at night when the kids are in bed. I have as much time as I need to prepare, juice, and clean up. *Bonus tip: Put a plastic grocery bag in the pulp container. Just toss the bag in the trash when you are done! One less thing to wash!
- Taste – The first juice I made was terrible. Ryan suggested I put a whole lemon in and I literally could not drink it (note to self: half a lemon is more than enough). The next day, the juice was still pretty bad. I started to think that I wouldn’t be able to do this. After a while, though, I think my taste buds got the hang of it. I started chilling them over-night, which made a huge difference in taste and I always add both fruit and vegetables. I think the sweetness takes away any bitter flavors. I have yet to follow any recipes, but trying different variations has really worked for us!
So, that ‘s what I got from our 21 days of juicing. I am excited to continue this habit and look forward to doing a juice cleanse someday! Here is an idea of how much fruit and vegetables it takes to make juice. I juiced everything you see in the pictures and it made this not so pretty looking juice (looked weird but tasted great). It ended up being three days worth: 16oz a day for Ryan and me, and three small glasses for Myra. I was pretty pleased with how much it made.
Have you ever considered juicing? Do you juice now? What are some positive effects that you have noticed?