It all started when we were first introduced to the documentary, Food Matters. I remember I was at the library in the non-fiction section, and for some reason this DVD caught my eye.
After I read the back of the DVD, I had a feeling I was going to get hooked.
After watching it, I was completely blown away with the sheer simplicity of it all - it made all the sense in the world to me. The sheets that had been pulled over my eyes to blind me from the truth had finally been removed, to finally reveal the simple truths that had been staring not only me, but the rest of us in the face for our entire lives.
The hook below the title of the film summed it up so eloquently: You are what you eat.
In the film, several experts in the field of nutrition are interviewed and discuss in great detail the positive benefits of eating raw, organic foods. They also discuss the terrible harm that has swept the vast majority of Americans due to the nutritionally inadequate foods that have been processed and delivered to us all over the country, and indeed throughout the world.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I - like many others in this country - was raised to believe that regularly eating meat was good for your health. White bread and potatoes were a dinner staple and fast food had become somewhat of a necessity in the flurry of what had become our inexplicably hectic lives.
And just like many others in this country, I was beginning to develop health problems as a result of this Standard American Diet (SAD for short). By the age of twenty-two I was already in really bad shape: I was over 330 pounds, my pant size had grown to nearly 50 inches, and my health was going downhill rapidly.
But by the time I started to grasp this philosophy of food curing human disease and obesity, I had fortunately already discovered my own method to lose weight.
So, what drew me to these kinds of films if I had already learned how to lose weight and get healthy on my own?
Well, after losing the weight and finding joy in exercise, I subconsciously enlisted myself in a lifelong quest to figure out how to achieve the best health I possibly could, as fast as I possibly could.
Sure, I had done a great job on my own for a couple of years. Losing one hundred pounds on one's own is nothing to snub your nose at. But after all I had been through, I refused to settle for mediocrity. I hadn't worked this hard just to become some average Joe. No, I wanted the absolute best, and I knew that I wasn't going to get there without the help of individuals who had already been there.
So there I was, embarking on this new and exciting journey into a different world. Looking back, I felt a little bit like Neo in the movie, The Matrix. As I walked around and observed others going about their daily lives, I felt like I was let in on this secret world that only I could see.
To put it in perspective; have you or someone close to you ever bought a new car, and then you suddenly start noticing that same model car everywhere you go? Well, that's what started happening to me after watching this documentary.
Everywhere I looked, I began to take note of the habits they spoke about in the film. Habits that I had at one point exhibited.
In the grocery store for instance, I would find myself unintentionally focusing on the carts of the people around me; I was comparing the food in the carts with the people who were pushing them. Sure enough, a pattern had emerged: the people whose carts were filled with junk food were typically overweight and seemed rather unhappy. They also appeared to be aimlessly roaming the store, snatching up whatever food might tickle their fancy.
On the contrary, the people whose carts were filled with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other organic food products seemed to exhibit a more athletic physique, and appeared across the board more put together. They exuded confidence, they made haste, and in general seemed more deliberate in their pursuit of sustenance.
I couldn't believe it took me this long to make the connection. I mean, we are told from such a young age that we are what we eat. Yet I was only now beginning to understand how profoundly true that statement actually was.
As the months progressed, I noticed my own habits were beginning to change. I started reading more about what actually made organic food organic, and why it was better for us than non-organic foods. It was like my mind had been opened up to an entirely different world that had been hiding in plain sight all along.
The more I learned, the more questions I had. Were doctors really the good guys? Can humans really change their diets and not have to worry about this whole healthcare business? Can it really be this simple?!
After a while I noticed a pattern that would continuously pop up in almost every health documentary I watched and almost every health article I read.
That pattern was a little thing called juicing.
Originally the concept of juicing was brought to my attention in March of 2011 after first watching Food Matters. And although I truly was interested in juicing after watching that film, it just wasn't enough to make me want to try it myself. Like many people, I needed more information before I would actually go out of my way and try it.
So what finally gave my wife and I the final push to try it? As fate would have it, towards the end of December of 2011, we decided to give up cable in exchange for Netflix. So as I was browsing through the list of movies one day, I happened upon this documentary titled, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.
Now, based on what you already learned about me from earlier, I'm sure you can imagine why this particular documentary intrigued me so much. The title is pretty self explanatory -- on the cover is this rather sad, portly-looking bloak who after being pureed through this juicer, comes out looking relatively fit and happy on the other end.
I thought, "Could this possibly be the motivation I have been looking for to finally start juicing?!
You bet it was!
The film starts out in the middle of some rural town in America, where we meet the main character Joe. As his story unfolds, we learn more about him, and about his debilitating auto-immune disease. Admittedly, Joe begins to teach us about his many poor lifestyle choices that lead him to this point, and about how his former diet had wreaked havoc on his life.
Now I won't go about spoiling the film for you (since it is an absolute must-see for everybody in my opinion), but Joe teaches the audience about how he intends to go on a 60 day "juice fast" in the hope of relieving his excess weight -- and more importantly eliminating the need of his many prescription medications that he was forced to take as a result of his poor diet and inactive lifestyle.
After I watched this film by myself I had tears in my eyes. It was perfect. Not only do we get to go along on this incredible personal journey with Joe; we also get to have him explain to us in simple terms the incredible health benefits of juicing.
After that, my wife and I decided we could no longer put off buying a juicer. We just had to do it. So we went on Amazon and began our search for the most perfect and affordable juicer we could find.
It wasn't long before we finally decided that this was going to be the one:
After it arrived, we could not wait to get started! After our first juicing session - we were hooked. Personally, I could not believe how amazing the fresh vegetable and fruit juices tasted.
From the moment the juice touched my lips, I remember thinking to myself, "How on Earth have we gone this long without having one of these in our lives?!"
Needless to say, it put all store bought "juices" to shame. For the first time in my entire life I had the chance to taste real apple juice. I discovered the incredible deliciousness of fresh carrot juice.
Above all else, I was amazed at how you could literally blend literally whatever you wanted in this sucker, and no matter what, it would come out tasting extraordinary!
For example, our first blend contained an assortment of five different fruits and vegetables. The first three were the basics: Apples, Oranges and Carrots. The other two, prior to that moment, had almost never entered my mouth before: Kale and Cucumbers.
I was skeptical about whether or not it would taste good. But to my surprise, it was delicious!
So for the past three weeks now we have been juicing at least once a day, every day. And let me tell you, it has been a wonderful experience.
Written below are some of the benefits I have experienced in my own life since I started juicing:
- Right from the start I noticed (and friends can attest) that overall I just flat out feel better from head to toe.
- My attitude has improved dramatically - I feel much more positive than I used to.
- Because I know that I am getting the nutrients my body needs, I have noticed a tremendous drop in my appetite. In short: I am satiated with less food because fresh juices yield higher quality nutrients.
- Though I have only lost five pounds in these first three weeks, I can say that I have noticed a significant difference in the amount of visible fat that once protruded from my torso.
- My overall endurance and stamina has improved, along with my running and cycling performance.
- My mind and focus seem clearer than ever before. I don't get as mixed up as I used to.
So there you have it folks, my take on juicing (thus far). If you are interested in trying it out for yourself, I highly recommend watching both of these films beforehand:
The fun part about all of this is getting to figure this stuff out on your own. There are scores of websites out there that will give you more information about the health benefits of juicing, along with recipes to create incredible juice blends at home.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
"Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor"