Lately I've been watching lots of health/nutrition documentaries on Netflix, and recently came across an interesting documentary called Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead, which is basically about a guy that's significantly over-weight with lots of health problems who decides to go on a juice fast to cure his maladies and lose lots of weight. I won't spoil the movie, but I'll just say it got me wondering how adding some "green juice" (kale, chard, collard greens, et cetera) into my diet would affect my overall goals of health.
Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite
After pondering and researching for a couple weeks, I finally decided to pull the trigger on a Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite. I went with Breville primarily because that's the model of juicer they use in the movie, and I went with the Juice Fountain Elite because it has 500+ customer reviews on Amazon, of which almost all are 4 and 5 star. I looked at "lesser" models, but was concerned that cheaper juicers have a hard time with leafy vegetables, and that was going to be one of my primary use cases. So far, I've not been disappointed. I've been able to juice a wide variety of greens and have had great sucess with most everything. I will say that the curly leaved kale variety seems to return much less juice than something like a lacinato kale variety, so I try to avoid that when juicing. Other than that, I've had little to no issues, and am actually very pleasantly surprised with how easy this thing is to clean. I pretty much just rinse out everything but the filter basket, and then do a 30-second scrub of that basket with the provided brush, and then set it on a towel to dry. All in all, the juicing takes under 5 minutes, and the cleaning takes under 5 minutes, so it doesn't wear me out or make me dread going through the process.
So now that I've got this fancy contraption, what am I making with it? Primarily, I started with a "green lemonade" recipe, which I think I found on YouTube (there are hundreds of green lemonade recipes out there), and then started tweaking it slightly each day to make it taste ideal.
Most recipes include something like:
- Kale or chard or other leafy greens
- Lemon and/or Lime
Currently, I've been finding the freshest looking green stuff each week at my Co-op and using that. This week, my recipe was:
- 5 Leaves of Kale
- 3 Leaves of Chard
- 2 Leaves of Collard Greens (these are huge)
- 4 Stalks of Celery
- 3 Granny Smith Apples
- 1/3 of a Lemon
- 1/3 of a Lime
- a 1-inch Chunk of Ginger
That recipe makes somewhere in the neighborhood of 600-800 ml of juice, and I divide it into 3 servings, of which I have one with breakfast (of bacon and eggs), and one in the late morning, and then give the third serving to my wife (who drinks it very slowly over the course of an hour or two).
So how does it taste? Well, it depends on who you ask. I personally love the taste, and could drink it all day, but my wife seems to not be as big of a fan, though she has readily admitted to me that it's really primarly a mental hurdle of drinking something that is bright green and pulpy.
I've been juicing for about two and a half weeks now, and have no regrets. At the moment, I definitely wouldn't go on a juice-only fast like the guy in the documentary, but at least I can now officially tell all the naysayers of my low-carb diet that in combination with the blueberries and raspberries I've started eating (which have low glycemic load) and the large salads and other greens I have with lunch and dinner, I'm getting more than enough of my fruits and vegetable servings per day, while still maintaining a pretty low-carb diet otherwise after having pretty much cut out all starches.
In addition, according to my WiThings Scale, I'm now weighing in at 168 with 16.0% body fat, down from 193 at 26% body fat, so I can't argue with the results. My weight loss has slowed fairly significantly, but then again, I don't expect to keep the pace I started with now that I'm back in normal ranges, and I haven't gained any weight since adding this to the diet. My goal is still to settle in at 160/10% by November, which I feel is still definitely reachable, but at this point, I guess time will tell.
If you have any questions about the juicer, juicing, recipes, or anything else, feel free to post in the comments.