Earlier Entries In the Juicing Diary

Week One

The Juicing Diary By Bridget Geegan Blanton

Day One - April 24, 2007

On April 23, 2007 I realized that something needed to change in my diet. Over the winter, I put on a few pounds and while that's not the end of the world, I seemed to have developed a penchant for carbs and sweets. Crackers, popcorn, and cookies... Although, I continued to work out regularly over the winter months, my lousy diet all but sabotaged my efforts. So, on April 23, while feeling a little desperate, I pulled out my juicer. I've had this juicer for awhile now, I'm embarrassed to admit. In the past, the thought of juicing a beet, a carrot and some parsley just didn't appeal to me on any level. I just thought to myself - yuck - no way! I primarily used the juicer to make fresh citrus juices. I was finally ready on April 23 to give it a try, to actually stick an organic beet in the juicer and drink it! I pulled out my juicing recipe book, 'The Juiceman's Power of Juicing' by Jay Kordich; a companion text to my 'Juiceman' juicer and started reading. I read the testimony by Jay Kordich that detailed how juicing saved his health and his life. From there, I worked my way through the recipes. On April 24, I set out for the organic produce market and picked up beets, carrots and parsley. I made my first vegetable juice today. It's called 'Sweet Beet Juice' and is comprised of 1/2 a beet with greens, 4 carrots, an apple and a handful of parsley. You know what, it wasn't half bad and true to it's name it was relatively sweet. I doubled the recipe and made 2 c of juice with the plan to finish off the second half in place of my usual, bowl of pretzels that I indulge in, most evenings. It was around 3:30PM when I got around to juicing those organic veggies. I must report, that after drinking the concoction, I felt amazingly energized. I've never been able to successfully complete any sort of starvation type diet. I'm hypoglycemic and I need to eat. Drinking a freshly made vegetable juice takes care of those hunger pangs in a low calorie way. After my first round of juicing, I think I may be hooked. It might also have a little something to do with the fact that the pounds are supposed to melt away.

Day Two - April 25, 2007

I got off to a good start. I ate better and I juiced, I actually juiced. I drank a beet! How's that for healthy?! As I explained, my weight gain had more to do with my diet than my level of activity. I work out 6 days a week for the most part with a good mix of weight lifting, cardio, pilates and yoga etc. I have decided to 'up' the weight lifting portion of my work-outs and generally work out a little longer every day. Too often, the motivation behind my lousy eating was emotional. I was dealing with life's ups and downs with popcorn at night or cookies in the afternoon. I couldn't seem to maintain any kind of balance nutritionally. I’d get it together for awhile lose a few pounds and within two weeks had gained it back. I'm glad that I had enough sense to drag out that juicer and get back on the right track. (Think Chris Farley as 'The Motivational Speaker')... Mr. Kordich recommends that we work our way up to six 8oz. glasses of juice each day. Juicing is to be done in conjunction with a healthy diet, i.e. oatmeal for breakfast, a salad for lunch and a light dinner. We're supposed to be juicing around our meals. My blood sugar will plunge if I don’t eat, so I tend to snack… Rigth now, it's 10:30 AM and I've had a bowl of oatmeal with a little plain yogurt stirred in and earlier on I juiced a small organic pink grapefruit with a 1" thick slice of fresh pineapple and a 1/2 c of raspberries. Whew... how refreshing. Every other day, (I've been doing this for over 6 months now) I mix a serving of 'Green Vibrance' powder with a small can of V8 juice. 'Green Vibrance' is described as restorative, concentrated Super-Food. I bought it because it contains the Immune support nutrient - Larch arabinogalactin which has been linked to cold and flu prevention. How does it taste? It's a little rough for the novice but, I hardly notice it anymore. It's kind of thick...but it's been keeping me healthy. Due to the fact that I have 10 cans of V8 juice in my pantry, I won't be mixing the green vibrance powder with a fresh juice just yet... Down the road, I'll cross that bridge. That will count for one of my juices today. I made another double portion of the 'Sweet Beet Juice' which upped my juicing total to 3 glasses for the day.

Day Three - April 26

I'll start out today, the same as yesterday because I've got fresh pineapple and fresh raspberries to use up. I'm just 48 hours into this journey and already I've noticed a modicum of discipline when it came to what I was choosing to eat. It’s as if this discipline has come out of nowhere. When I'm hungry and it's between meals or juices, I'll grab a fistful of pecans or walnuts or peel a grapefruit. I made it through a tenuous moment last night, when I was trying to talk myself into 'just a few pretzels'. Guess what? I had the leftover 'Sweet Beet Juice' instead. Can you believe it? Who is that woman knocking back a shot of beet juice? Beet juice? Did you say beet juice?? I have to wonder if I'll keep this up after I meet my weight loss goal. Will the beets be tossed and the pretzel bag brought out? I hope not. I will need to work on balance in the month ahead. My newfound food discipline is as startling as it is surprising. This new, somewhat cautious discipline is really quite remarkable. It’s obvious that I need to do more than just ‘melt away the pounds’. I would like to cut the junk from my diet, once and for all. I'm off to juice... I ended up juicing carrots and cantelope. That juice was surprisingly sweet and kept the hunger pangs away all afternoon. How can that be? I didn’t feel hungry and I had energy. I've been known to grab a box of wheat thins out of the pantry to munch on in the late afternoon. Not today. Today, I juiced half of a little, baby watermelon. It probably would have tasted even better if the fruit had been chilled first. So far today, I'm up to 4 juices.

Day Four - April 27

Day 4 is underway. I’m starting to get the hang of things and juicing is becoming a regular part of my life. I’ve even developed a system. Choose a recipe, assemble the ingredients, wash everything and chop it so that it will fit into the juicer. I leave the chopped veggies on the cutting board separated into groups. If I have greens to juice, I’ll juice them together with a chunk of vegetable. Since I’m using the juicer at least 4 times daily, I’ll give it a good rinse between juicings and at the end of the day, I’ll soak the parts in warm, soapy water. So that’s the system.

My energy hasn’t flagged and I don’t feel deprived. I do believe that I was finally motivated to change and that must have something to do with the discipline that is beginning to emerge. I believed that my lousy eating habits were entrenched; I was wrong. Maybe this is what they mean by eating to live instead of living to eat. I know that I want to effect a permanent change. I want off of this diet see-saw. I want more than will power, I want true, lasting change. I’ve been starting off each day with a citrus juice. I’m trying new recipes every day and working to increase my intake of juices. I replace snacks with a vegetable juice and it has translated into actual weight loss. How cool is that? Today, I'll be rounding out the day with a V8/green vibrance and two carrot/cantalope juices. I'm up to 5!

Day Five - April 28

Although I don't think that using organic produce is of absolute importance, I do believe that it matters. It's more expensive, it's tough to find and it's not always available. The point, is to use organic as often as you can. Yesterday, I stopped off at a market in town that has the best organic produce and they were out of beets and grapefruit. They did however have organic valencia oranges and plenty of carrots and cucumbers. I'm beginning to learn that juicing takes some effort on our part. We've got to keep a supply of produce on hand and we also need to keep it interesting. Aside from the valencia oranges that I'll use to start off the day, I plan to find a cucumber recipe to introduce a little variety into my juicing. I also picked up a sprout jar and some wheatgrass seeds yesterday as I hope to start tossing sprouts into my juice for a little extra 'green power'. There may be days or 'a day' when I hit that magic number of 6 glasses of juice per day, but I'm thinking my average is looking more like 3 - 4 glasses per day. A Week ago, my average was zero, so I'm happy with my progress. Although, the introduction of juicing into my life does require effort, the rewards are worth it. I do feel better and putting all this good stuff into my body feels right. When you consider all the problems with food today, i.e. tainted spinach, the worthless nutritional value of refined foods and the amount of sugar and fat in our diet, juicing makes excellent sense. Like other things that we do on a daily basis, I will eventually fall into a routine of juicing. Early on, I'm realizing the benefits of juicing. These simple, vegetable-based juices that take minimal effort to prepare, are nutritional power houses that go beyond the best nutritional advice out there. They contain zero refined sugar, zero bad fat and are fuel for our bodies in the most natural state possible.

Day Six - April 29

Yesterday I was benevolent with my juicing...I shared it with others. For some reason, nobody was taking me up on my offers of beet, parsley, carrot, apple juice, but they were interested in trying the organic, valencia orange juice I was offering. It's a start. A word on the beet, parsley, carrot, apple juice... that is one energy tonic of a juice. It kept me going all afternoon as I worked in my garden. I was out there all afternoon. It is not a juice that I would suggest drinking before going to bed. I'm afraid that you might have a hard time falling asleep. If you need a 'pick me up' that's the 'go to' juice! Yesterday proved to be another 4 glasses of juice total for the day. I have yet to hit that 6 glass goal. I believe that I'm juicing in place of snacks right now and 6 glasses for me would be more along the lines of meal replacement. It's something to consider as long as I am staying within a healthy, nutritional area. It would most definitely translate into weight loss. Although weight loss is part of my goal, overall health and nutritional balance is of more importance to me. I do believe that today I will try to replace a meal with juice and will report back on the experience.

Day Seven - April 30

I believe that when you set out to replace a meal with a liquid, you’re not supposed to eat anything. Well, replacing lunch with a carrot/cantelope juice was augmented with snacking on olives, almonds, sugar snap peas, and a half of a whole wheat, peanut butter sandwich. I think I had better stay away from the idea of meal replacement. It’s not my thing. I weighed myself this morning and I’ve lost 1 pound in the last week. Not exactly stellar, but better than no pounds lost. More important than weight loss is how I actually feel. Although the scale only relfected a one pound weight loss, I knew that somehow I felt slimmer. Well, after preparing myself for possible disappointment, I opened a drawer with shorts that didn't fit me last week and picked out a favorite denim pair. The shorts slid on easily and felt comfortable. Obviously, cutting out the junk in my diet and replacing it with healthy, nutritious juice has combatted the 'bloat' that accompanies carbs and sweets. Getting into those shorts was a great reward for the effort put forth these past 7 days. A week into the juicing process and without a doubt it has affected my entire approach to nutrition. I’m eating far healthier and snacking far less. I don’t feel forced to juice. I actually look forward to it every day. It’s a good feeling to be doing something really positive for my health. My whole outlook on food is changing. I’m still craving those pretzels at night, but the craving is tempered once I knock back whichever juice I have waiting for me in the fridge. My family is starting to notice that I’m making a lot of noise in the kitchen. I’ve told them that if they can handle a shot of wheatgrass at the smoothie joint, then they can handle a beet, parsley, carrot, apple juice. The taste is simply raw, not awful. I’m still struggling with cravings for sweets and carbs and have given in a couple of times. I had pretzels – once – and who could resist a slice of strawberry peach pie fresh from the Farmer’s Market. The difference, is that it happened once this past week, not nightly or daily. The balance that I wanted to bring into my life is underway.

Week Two

The Juicing Diary By Bridget Geegan Blanton

Day Eight - May 1st, 2007

New week, new month, new recipes. Last week, my first week out of the chute, I switched off between the beet, parsley, carrot, apple juice to the carrot/cantelope juice. I'm going to introduce at least two new vegetable juices to the menu this week. I will continue limiting a 'fruit only' juice to one glass first thing in the morning and focusing solely on vegetable juices as the day goes on. I've gotten into the habit of making a double serving of whichever vegetable juice I'm whipping up for purposes of convenience. It's preferable to drink any freshly juiced vegetable right away, but sometimes schedules don't allow for it. Within hours... can't be so bad... I've noticed that the juicing process lends itself well to overall healthier eating. After going to the trouble of juicing a bunch of carrots, I don't want to sabotage the benefits with a bag of chips. Between juicings and between meals, I'm munching on fresh veggies, almonds and olives. I want to eat well and perhaps this has been the biggest benefit of all after a full week of juicing. Juicing for health is the tag I've decided to give to this process, because that is exactly the benefit I'm walking away with.

Day Nine - May 2

Yesterday I was courageous and made a 'green power' juice. It contained celery, spinach, parsley and carrot. It wasn't as sweet as the carrot/cantelope juice but, it wasn't awful. Green vibrance powder with V8 - now that's a little closer to awful... I really believe that drinking the Green Vibrance/V8 cocktail for the last 6 months truly conditioned me for juicing. In a way, I had taken that first step... I guess the point of the day is that although the 'green power' juice wasn't as sweet as the juices I made last week, it wasn't bad. The taste is 'raw' not awful. My juice total for the day was 3. I juiced a couple of grapefruits in the morning. I think that I like fresh grapefruit juice (ruby red) better than fresh orange juice. It's so refreshing!! In the afternoon, I made a double batch of the 'green power'. I had the second juice in the evening, a few hours after dinner. One of the most remarkable developments of this whole juicing process is that my cravings for carbs and sweets have significantly decreased. I was all but addicted to microwave popcorn and haven't had any since I started juicing. I really haven't wanted any. Not only is juicing good for you, but it assists you in leaving behind bad nutritional habits. Two for one! You can't beat that! I plan to continue trying new juices. I want to build up my recipe repetoire. If the ingredients are in the fridge, I plan to try a cucumber based juice. It's becoming somewhat second nature now, to juice. I'm hoping that as it becomes more of a habit in my life, my number of glasses per day will increase.

Day Ten - May 3

Produce is taking over my refrigerator. This is a good thing. With the price of gas going sky high, I decided to make my 'errand run' count yesterday. I'm using a lot of carrots and citrus and loaded up on those items. Carrots seem to be included in just about every recipe. I am buying organic which is a little more expensive, but worth it. Since I've started juicing regularly, I've seen nothing but positive changes in my life. Most remarkable (still!) is the fact that I've all but stopped eating junk. I've wondered if all those chemicals in the food and and the overly refined nature of a lot of stuff on the grocery shelves, has any sort of effect on our general outlook on life. I swear, I've even felt more even keel emotionally. I'll take that any day of the week! For someone who has needed to eat throughout the day, juicing has stabilized my eating patterns as well. I'll have oatmeal in the morning with a citrus juice. I'll then have a vegetable juice for lunch and it's not until later in the afternoon when I will grab some almonds or something to munch on. If I start off lunch with a juice, I really don't want anything else to eat. I'm full... I've begun replacing lunch with juice without planning to do so. Overall, I seem to be eating less without feelings of deprivation. For the hardcore gardeners out there...the excess from juicing can be tossed into your compost pile. Although I'm way into gardening, I don't have a compost pile myself. How 'un-green' of me. I've thought about it, but that's pretty much where the idea has stalled out. There are composting units out there, but I'm reluctant to take on still another project in my life that requires constant management. Who knows, one of these days I might start... Bottom line, I wonder why I waited so long to start juicing...it has literally changed my life.

Day Eleven - May 4

I believe it's worthwhile to touch on the subject of the true nutritional value of juicing. I mean, why juice? Why not just eat the veggies and skip the middle step of juicing? Juicing sends the nutrients directly into your system. It's easier on your digestive system to receive some of these nutrients by juice as opposed to fiber. Although, getting enough fiber remains an important part of your diet, you can increase the amount of veggies you consume by juicing. Juicing allows for an abundance of live, uncooked food to flush your body of toxins; which leaves you feeling energized, relaxed and refreshed all at once. This pure food has wonderful benefits for skin and hair and you become less prone to colds and flu. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, carrots seem to be a regular ingredient in most of the juices. It's a good thing too as beta carotene is an antioxidant and works to neutralize free radicals in our system. So, drink your carrots!

Day Twelve - May 5

In case you're wondering why I limit my fruit juice to just one per day in the morning, it's because of the natural sugars in fruit. They taste good, better than the vegetable juices, but for reasons of sugar content, it's recommended that you limit your fruit juices to 1 or 2 per day. If I was at the full tilt of 6 glasses of juice per day, I could see having another fruit juice in the afternoon, but I seem to be hovering at around 3 - 4 glasses of juice per day. In the book, mentioned on day one, from where I'm getting all these recipes and information, the author suggests that you drink a juice with your meal. There's no way I could do that. In my own experience, drinking the juices by themselves has worked best for me. If you consider the strong flavor of the 'sweet beet juice' or the 'green power juice' it's difficult not to believe that the flavor of the juice would compete with whatever you're eating... The 'green power juice' which is comprised of spinach, parsley, celery and carrot, has a strong spicy taste from the celery. I like it well enough, but can't conceive of "enjoying" it with a meal. Of course, that's what works best for me. The fruit juice I made yesterday morning practically tasted like a smoothie. I juiced pineapple, oranges and strawberries. It was so good that I'll be having another one today. What a great way to begin the day!

Day Thirteen - May 6

A word on weight loss via the process of juicing. As it turns out, I lost two pounds after that first week of juicing; which is the suggested, healthy way to lose weight. I was able to completely cut out the junk because I had started juicing and the absence of the nutritionally devoid stuff had alot to do with my weight loss. I will also add that I do work-out; usually 6 times a week from anywhere between 40 and 60 minutes. Although I lost just 2 pounds, I feel as though I lost so much more. Juicing cleanses your system and ends the tendency for our bodies to 'bloat' when we're consuming a high percentage of refined foods. You're going to look and feel slimmer after just a week of daily juicing. After just nearly two weeks of juicing, it has already become such an important part of my daily routine. Even though my daily juice intake averages at 3, I am still reaping the benefits. I plan ahead now, deciding what I'll be juicing from day to day and making sure that I have the ingredients on hand. A weekly run to the organic produce market keeps the necessary inventory in the fridge. Since I'm still a novice, I am rotating between a beet juice, a carrot juice and a green power juice, from day to day along with my morning shot of citrus. At this point in the process, I'm not so worried about variety, I am more focused on creating a juicing routine in my life. Variety will come naturally with longevity. A last thought on juicing and weight loss... Due to the fact that you're consuming a juice you will naturally eat less. I also believe that bothering to drink a juice in the first place, leads to healthier food choices throughout the day. Juicing is a great way to lose weight in a safe and healthy manner; it's also instrumental in keeping that weight off.

Day Fourteen - May 7

I'll be unable to juice on a daily basis in the week ahead, as I'll be picking up my daughter from College. At first, I thought that the timing wasn't the greatest as it would interrupt this initial month of juicing, but in retrospect it's a good thing. I'll be able to report back as to how I do without juicing as a nutritional foundation from day to day. My carb cravings are not at the all time high that they were at, two weeks ago. All I can say is that it will be interesting to see how I do. I will need to exert extra effort to find fresh fruits and vegetables while traveling. That is not too hard... What's hard is walking past the cinabon place in the airport. I rarely indulge in calorie fests like that while traveling, but will if affect me? Temptation looms.... Part of my goal with this entire undertaking of juicing, is to create a lasting balance in what I eat from day to day. Will my newfound discipline last in the week ahead? We'll see....

Week Three

The Juicing Diary By Bridget Geegan Blanton

Day Fifteen - May 14

Yesterday, during my first full day back at home, I went out to the organic produce market and restocked my fridge with fruits and vegetables for juicing. I even juiced twice yesterday. My hiatus from juicing was, if anything, instructional and educational. I was doing quite well for the most part. I've learned that most of the Starbucks at the airports sell pure juice. The brand name is 'odwalla'. They have a pure orange juice that is 110 calories for 16 oz. Once outside the airport, I just did not have the time to hunt for pure juice so, I stocked my hotel fridge with some fresh fruit and carrots. For the most part I did stick to good food choices. That's half the battle. However, the schedule I kept just did not allow for more than grabbing meals on the go. I was moving my daughter our of her dorm room and hauling the stuff to a storage center. We also had a bunch of crazy errands to run. It seemed that we didn't stop until 9PM at night. That's a heck of a time to try and find something healthy to eat. One night we picked up chopped salads from Quizno's. We also ate a couple of salad meals at Panera. I think I made the best of the situation. I carried apples in my carry on bag and grabbed salads when I could. I won't always be able to juice. I realized however, that my ability, you might call it... to indulge in the art of emotional eating did rise to the surface. I'm aware of it and am constantly working on the issues that seem to trigger it. Juicing brought calm and order to my nutritional life...travel brought inconsistency and disorder to my nutritional life. I'm new to all of this, but I will say that for the most part, I stayed on track. When I did go off-roading i.e. the strawberry milkshakes that my daughter and I ordered to celebrate that we were FINISHED, just seem to trigger more cravings. I didn't act on them, but there they were. I learned alot during my trip. I learned more about what is behind some of the triggers for carbs and sweets. I even read an article that said people with hypoglycemia (me) crave carbs and sugar. Great. Well, at least I know what I'm up against. I veered a little from the road of healthy eating, but didn't end up in the weeds. I had a transitional day yesterday that was a mixed bag. I did juice, but I also had popcorn at night. Today, it's back to the lifestyle that works wonders for me physically and emotionally. It's so good to be home.

Day Sixteen - May 15

It was obvious to me yesterday, that juicing has become part of my daily routine. I just do it. Earlier on, I was more conscious of the time spent prepping the veggies or rinsing the machine parts or making sure I had what I needed in the fridge. Today, it's more like making a pot of coffee, I don't think much about it, I just go through the paces and move on. I think the part I most appreciate about juicing is how it acts to balance my system both emotionally and physically. I'm even juicing at regular times throughout the day. It has become a natural part of my daily routine. I think that yesterday, I was still having a little trouble avoiding 'thinking' about carbs and sweets. However, it didn't throw me off, I was back on the juicing wagon and aside from a couple of pretzels and a thin, thin, thin wafer of cake with a some strawberries and home made whip cream, I did great yesterday. I was still feeling the effects of jet lag yesterday. Today, however I finally feel rested. I'm looking forward to a day of nutritional balance and control. I've found that when I'm tired, out of sorts or suffering from jet lag, I don't have my best interest at heart nutritionally. This lack of balance within tends to result in a lack of balance in the choices I make. It just proves to me even more, how important it is for me to juice and maintain balance. I was really taken aback by that article I had come across that showed a link between hypoglycemia and carb/sweet cravings. Now that I understand that these cravings are organic and not just weakness on my part, I'm having a easier time just turning them off. The juicing helps too. I've been back 3 days now from my trip and each day I've increased my juicing and regained more balance in my life. Enough of my redundancy! I did want to mention that I've been using these 2 and 4 cup containers by 'Ziploc'. They're actually in a 'cup' shape tall and narrow like a mason jar... They come with screw on lids ( also just like a mason jar )... The 4 c size fits perfectly under the juice chute on my machine and the 2 c size is perfect for storing the second serving for later. I always double the juice batches...it saves time and it's there when I need it.

Day Seventeen - May 16

The total from yesterday was 5. I guess I'm back! The thought on my mind this morning is that of variety. I'm rotating through 3 vegetable juices and haven't tried anything new in a while. With the availability of watermelons, I think I'll be tossing in some watermelon juice every day. Bottom line, I need to expand my juicing repetoire. I've been busy and so that's part of the problem. It's easy just to be able to juice the same thing and move on with my day. I like trying new recipes when I cook and it's no different with juicing. Also, I'm afraid it will just start becoming 'ho-hum' which could possibly lead to no juicing at all. So, that's the theme for this week...new recipes! It will keep things fresh and interesting.

Day Eighteen - May 17

Yesterday turned out to be the type of a day that was like a page out of my recent, un-balanced eating, past... I was researching and writing an article yesterday while the house was being power cleaned (we're having it painted). It was pretty noisy and having a deadline, I had no choice but, to complete my research. My day was turned upside down. I couldn't work out and shower at my regular time and sometimes when I research/write, I just block everything out and work. I had forgotten to have my usual morning juice. I think it was a combo of having workmen just outside and of course my obsessive reasearch style. Around noon, it dawned on me that I was hungry and needed to juice. Well, as it turns out that was my sole juice of the day. Amidst the never ending noise of the powercleaning, I returned to my article and worked for the rest of the day - again - forgetting to stop and eat or even juice. Around 4PM a close, although out of town, friend called and we pulled a marathon - we were on the phone for 2 hours! I had eaten very little all day. I was starving and opened a bag of nacho chips and from there, things pretty much went down hill... OK - so, I'm human and it's not the end of the world if I don't juice, but that's not the lesson to be learned here. Everything about yesterday was just totally out of balance. My low blood sugar deal just kicked in big time after forgetting to eat all day and the lack of balance proved to be the perfect motivation for eating exactly what I didn't need. So, the moral or the lesson from yesterday is this: I like having balance in my life, but I have to work at it. Today, I got up early! I worked out and showered before the painters showed up. I even threw a load of laundry in! I'm feeling more tuned in today and want to regain the balance in my life. It's probably true that my out of town trip contributed to how 'off' I've been all week, but instead of using it as an excuse, I want to learn from the experience. Episodes like this are opportunities. I never want to resume a lifestyle that is unbalanced and yesterday, I stepped back into that cycle. Live and learn just might be the thought of the day.

Day Nineteen - May 18

After 19 days of juicing, I have lost 4 pounds which translates to about 2 pounds per week; which is the recommendation by nutritionists. I actually 'feel' like I've lost about 10 pounds! Cutting down on carbs and sweets also seems to cut down on how puffy or bloated we feel. I feel more svelte.... My daily regimen built around juicing has reduced the amount of calories I've taken in and I'm not starving myself. If you're going to go to the trouble of juicing vegetables, you're going to continue to make healthy food choices throughout the day. My daughter and I 'live' on sugar snap peas...well, not literally, but we always have a ton of them in the fridge. You can eat them like they're a bowl of pretzels or popcorn. They satisfy that need to eat something crunchy... Since my daughter has come home from college she has joined me in this juicing regimen. I space my juices throughout the day and they seem to take care of the hunger pains. Because I've begun juicing and have lost those carb/sweet cravings I really don't feel like I'm being deprived. It's the pathway to eating to live as opposed to living to eat. Weight loss coupled with a nutritional overhaul was the primary goal that set me down this path and the unforeseen benefits have truly blown me away. I kind of thought I was doomed to this vicious carb cycle, but juicing has painlessly lifted that craving. It almost seems miraculous! Best of all, juicing has become a totally natural part of my day. I was really dragging yesterday and made a couple portions of sweet beet juice which never fails to give me an energy boost. My out of town trip definitely threw me off course, but I'm back on the path and happy to be there.

Day 20 - May 19

Along the way, I'm continuing to happen upon time saving tips when it comes to juicing. I've already decided that I'm going to wrap up this series with a final article that delves into this issue. I came up with still another time saving tip. Since my daughter has joined me in this juicing way of life, I've been juicing twice as much. Yesterday, I juiced for the day all at once. I made 3 double batches of juice and just stacked them in the fridge. I cleaned the juicer, put it away and had my juice for the day. I realize that there will be days when crazy mornings won't permit it, but when I've got the time, that's route I'm going to take. I put everything on the counter and systematically cleaned, chopped and juiced. I Split the yield between six of those 2 c ziploc containers and went on with my day. When you want or need the juice, it's there waiting in the fridge. Juicing does require a time commitment, but it's in no way exorbitant. Like all things that add to the quality of your life, juicing requires effort. With the busy lives we Americans lead, time savers are worth their weight in gold. By juicing for the day, all at once I'm shaving time off of my daily commitment to juicing. Instead of cleaning the juicer and prepping veggies 3 - 4 times daily, I'm doing it only once. I was only one day into the whole double juicing routine with my daughter when I realized that something needed to change. This 'all at once' method sets me up for the day. I know the juice is in the fridge and it also helps to keep me on track. I guess necessity is once more the mother of invention.

Day Twenty-One - May 20

Among my thoughts pertaining to juicing are details like the effort involved, the organization needed and the time saving tips. On a more philosophical note, I need to add that at times you will find yourself back in the unweeded area where you started from. In other words, there will be days when you totally blow off juicing even if you started the day with a commitment to follow through on juicing. I've had those days. I've started out a day with my usual citrus juice and ended up not touching the juicer for the rest of the day. Sometimes it was due to my schedule and other times it was because I chose to re-visit my less than nutritional eating habits... Juicing is like all of those efforts we make on behalf of our health and welfare; you can begin again the very next morning. Actually, I believe that days where you find yourself with your hand in the doritos bag not once but twice are necessary and educational. You don't feel 'good' like you do when you juice and often times, that's lesson enough. I think we have to fall off the wagon here and again; in the end, it strengthens our resolve. Bottom line, don't be hard on yourself if you stray from your commitment to improve your nutritional habits. If you've been juicing for awhile, you'll want to get back on track quickly. The benefits of juicing are so extensive that you'll miss it terribly, even if it's just for a day. If you're just starting out and find yourself juicing one day only to abandon it the next; just hang in there. Don't quit, re-commit. In time, you'll find your own rhythm in juicing; you'll find a pace that you're comfortable with. Maybe you'll juice more than 3 times a day, maybe less. In the end, just like me, you'll be 'hooked on juicing' because the benefits outweigh any sacrifice involved.

'Whispers on the Wind'

by Bridget Geegan Blanton

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