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50/50: Documentary inspires foray into juice breakfasts

Susie Ekberg Risher

Total pounds lost: 35

Joe was seriously overweight and suffered from a rare skin disease. He said it was like having a constant case of hives. He was on several medications, and at age 42, he felt horrible.

With a doctor’s consent, he embarked on a 60-day juice fast, spending the first 30 days in New York, and the next 30 days driving around the U.S., talking to everyone about weight, food and health.

The documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” inspired me. I decided to try one breakfast with just juice. I pulled out my Costco kale-spinach mix, some fruit and vegetables I had on hand and stuffed it all into my Jack LaLanne Juicer, adding a splash of apple cider vinegar. I had no idea what to expect, but I was hoping it wouldn’t taste too green, if you know what I mean. To my delight, it was delicious!

I decided to try it again the next morning, but this time I doubled all of the ingredients so the large baggie that housed it all could barely close. Bingo! It was amazing! I stopped craving coffee, but instead craved water with lemon in it, and I felt energized and clearer-headed.

I like experimenting to see what works for me, but I’d never really committed to any kind of regular juicing, as I’d read somewhere that just drinking the fruits and vegetables without the pulp could spike your blood sugar too much (especially if you use a lot of fruit), so I decided to do a little more research on it. Here’s what I came up with:

Google results gave me Dr. Oz, Dr. Mercola, and WebMD, but it was the fifth source, Mayo, that caught my eye. Surely they would be objective experts. I clicked on the link, but the page had been removed. Ironic.

I finally found a link from PBS, and that seemed to have helpful information, such as that fresh vegetable and fruit juices are easier for your stomach to digest, and that juicing every so often probably is beneficial.

I would always suggest checking with a licensed health care professional before trying anything new, however. I have no health concerns, so feel relatively confident to try new things.

I must say I’m pretty excited about how great I feel drinking my breakfast every morning. But now I’m considering trading in my juicer for a Vitamix. The fiber factor has me a little worried, but the notion of eating ALL of the fruit and vegetable really appeals to me, as well as expanding my juicing repertoire.

I honestly didn’t know you could juice kale and broccoli AND have it taste so yummy! I’m going to venture into fresh ginger (which we already juice and drink straight when we have sore throats or upset stomachs), and more vegetables, such as raw beets and celery.

There are so many recipes out there, my head instantly hurt when I searched on Pinterest, so I’m trusting it’s a matter of taste, and maybe also what you’re trying to accomplish. I’m just interested in overall health improvement, so I like the idea of trying a myriad of vegetables with just a splash of fruit to sweeten the deal.

I’m working up to the idea of trying the fast for a whole day, but I’m afraid I love to eat food too much and may miss it. How Joe did it for 60 whole days I have absolutely no idea. I think I’d probably tackle someone if they were eating a salmon salad and steal it from them. I’ll keep you posted.

After 5 days of juice breakfasts, I’ve lost another 5 pounds, I’m not as hungry anymore, and I have cut my caffeine intake in half. I’ll let you know how a whole day of juicing goes – if I make it. As I always say, this weight came on slowly, so I can’t expect to take it off fast, but maybe with the help of a fast.

Susie’s ‘What’s in the Fridge’ Juice Recipe

One apple, cored and cut into slices

Handful of grapes

Handful of raspberries

Handful of blueberries

Handful of baby carrots

Few handfuls of baby kale and spinach mix

Three handfuls of broccoli florets

Four celery stalks

A splash of apple cider vinegar