Mixing (Juicing) It Up with the Breville Juice Fountain Elite

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 Fountain41N5B1SJ5TL 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.

Green Lemonade

Green_Juice 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
  • Celery
  • Apple
  • Lemon and/or Lime
  • Ginger

Currently, I’ve been finding the freshest looking green stuff each week at my Co-op and using that. This week, my recipe was:

Ingredients

 

    • 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.

Conclusion

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.

Happy Juicing!

Janssen

The New Fit Lifestyle Part 4 – Measuring with Blood Work

One interesting thing I’ve always found when doing something a bit different than the norm or going against the flow of the general populace is that it’s generally met with skepticism, doubters, scoffers, cynicism, and more. When I find myself going down that path, I take solace in one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”.

A few weeks ago, I posted a screenshot of the measurements from my Withings Wifi Scale, but that doesn’t address the concerns others have stressed about “eating too much meat and eggs”, and “not enough fruit”. To go a bit further in addressing these concerns, I’d like to post the results of my two latest physicals and corresponding lab work.
The first was taken 3 months before starting the “low-carb/slow-carb” lifestyle (The 4-Hour Body), and the second was taken after somewhat consistently following the program for six months (taking a cumulative few weeks off during conferences and vacations). Some highlights from the before and after are that after six months of changing my diet, I:

  1. Lost 21 pounds
  2. Lowered my total cholesterol by 11 points
  3. Lowered my triglycerides by 70 points)
  4. Raised my HDL (the “good” cholesterol) by 7 points (taking me out of the “risk factor range”
  5. Lowered my LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) by 4 points (though still slightly above the desired range)
  6. Lowered my Cholesterol/HDL ratio from 5 to 3.8, taking me out of the “risk factor range”
  7. Lowered my systolic blood pressure by 10 points points bringing me to the border of the “optimal range”
  8. Lowered my diastolic blood pressure by 12 points points bringing me into the “optimal range”

The actual numbers

Measurement September10 June11 Ideal
Weight 193 172 <174
Glucose 78 89 70-99
Cholesterol 181 170 <200
Triglycerides 135 65 <150
HDL 38 45 >=40
LDL 116 112 0-100
Total/HDL 5 3.8 <=5
Blood Pressure 132/86 122/74 <120/80

I realize that these numbers can vary over time, and I don’t contend that this is 100% proof that it all works, but I do contend that this is very good evidence that it likely works. I’ll continue to do full lab work every 6 months or so, and keep comparing the numbers. Since this is a lifetime goal, and not a short-term goal, this is simply the start of documenting and measuring how these changes affect all my numbers. Anecdotally, I’ll also say that I have more energy throughout the day and I don’t find myself needing to snack throughout the day like I used to.
In time, I’ll soon post more measurements, but wanted to get this much up as another form of documentation of the changes and effects I’ve been going through with the low-carb/slow-carb lifestyle.

**Update: I meant to post the original post a week or two ago, but didn’t get around to it. I thought it would be beneficial to go ahead and post my latest numbers, now that a bit more time has passed. According to my Withings Wifi Scale, I’m now 169 at 17% body fat (I started at 193 with 26% body fat), and my latest blood pressure results are 114/69. I’m continuing P90X workouts 3 days a week (the weights days, but not the cardio days). Still truckin’ toward 160/10%!