Boozeless Juicer

beet berry juice smoothie
It's happening... I'm becoming one of those people who writes the story of how one day her life changed when she started...

...juicing.

It's true. I think it's really happening. It all started three whole days ago. Okay, maybe a few weeks ago.

After two years spent running my ass into the ground with work and school while growing a planetary-sized cyst that finally went supernova and had to be removed, I finally felt like I'd recovered enough to focus on my health and get back to the good habits I'd once had for many years. Which brings me to this post...

I used to be a health zealot. Keeping close track of protein, fat, carbs and calories while constantly training for 5 & 10Ks. There were occasional Ben & Jerry, uh, incidents, but only on nights before a race. Can't eat before a race, can't race hungry, so I'd eat a pint of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch for dinner and I'd be set until long after the race. Then it was back to salads without dressing, baked potatoes with tofu and broiled chicken breasts. Sure, I ate my weight in Thin Mints now & then, but who hasn't? It's all fine when you're running 5 or 10 miles a day. And you're in your twenties.

Fast forward a hundred years. Happily married, busy working, no longer consistently training, but consistently letting go of old, healthy habits. Hubby from Michigan had to be slowly - sloooowly - introduced to vegetables, so most nights meant pasta for dinner or some sort of protein with starch.... not much green or dry fare. Butter. Olive oil. Bacon. Pancakes.

Of course, as we get older, our metabolisms slow down, but maybe all this lazy eating helped put the hormones out of whack enough to enable planetary-sized cyst growth. I think it definitely, over time, has led to crappy energy levels and that overall, not-feeling-great feeling. I think the body just can't effectively run anymore on 'food' that comes in a box or a bag. That shit really is for kids. Or maybe I'm just dying. We'll see.

So a few weeks ago I realized, enough is enough. I can't do this anymore. I want to drop the weight that crept on when I was in cyst production mode and I want to feel GOOD again. That's partly what sparked the research into potassium - trying to figure out why most days I feel like warmed over crap.

Learning that there's really no other way to get enough potassium except by eating your weight in vegetables, fruit and beans (and some nuts) made me realize I've been going about this all wrong. Nibbling on whole grain toast & granola bars and drinking decaf isn't a solid plan, as tasty as that is. And while some people love drinking pulverized fruits & vegetables from an emulsifying blender, I really don't need all that extra fiber. I'm getting plenty and need to be able to occasionally leave the house.

So, I got out the juicer. I've had it for a few years & use it only occasionally. Love making my own veggie fruit juice, but wasn't making time to get groceries or use the damn thing. But now... now it's become the single best and easiest way to fix my problem.

I went hardcore on this plan a few days ago after making incredibly delicious turkey burgers for Sunday dinner. They really were delicious, but when I made them again Monday night, I went to bed feeling like I'd eaten a hockey puck. I hadn't even put anything on it - just pickles, lettuce and onions. But my body didn't want it. It was too much.

Now my morning fast breaker is a beet/berry concoction that takes about 5 minutes to put together. One beet, one apple, two carrots, juiced, then I blend that in the magic bullet thingie with whatever fresh berries we have in the fridge. It's so fricken delicious. And it helps me feel awake. Without caffeine.

For a late morning snack I still have a little whole grain toast, but from bread I've baked myself. It's so whole grain it often doesn't rise well enough and turns out like elven bread. That with some almond butter and mostly decaf coffee - tasty. For lunch I'll make soup, salad or a sandwich with lean protein or beans & more veggies.

Afternoon snack is important... I get ravenous in the afternoon, so to shut that down (healthily) I again go to the magic bullet blender and pulverize a banana with one cup of almond milk with a heaping tablespoon of almond butter and brown rice protein powder and a scoop of Organic Frog Greens Today powder. And maybe a dash of honey. I'd like to make one right now and I just ate a huge salad but it tastes so good - I could drink that all day long. I'm still eating meat, but only occasionally.

green protein smoothie
In just a few days, my energy is better, my stomach seems half the size it was and I have not one iota of a craving for starch or sugar. I couldn't even put a nice salad down my gullet for dinner last night. Wasn't hungry. I think I'm sleeping better too.

It's only been three days of hardcore juice/veg eating, but I can't help but think this is the only way to eat. Back to my old, good habits but way better. Just for fun I estimated how much potassium I probably had yesterday and it was almost 5 grams. That came with shit ton of additional, excellent nutrition as well, and for very few calories. Cannot beat that math.

I'm excited to see how I feel in a couple of weeks. And very glad I still have my juicer. Maybe someday I can make my own infomercial.