The Better Juice Fast

I’ve been through some health issues the past few years. It’s made many aspects of my life difficult, including maintaining a low, healthy weight. When medications you’ve been put on add 6 lbs./month on average for patients taking it, you can’t really fight it even with proper wellness.

But once you’re off the heavy meds, as I am now, you can re-focus yourself back on wellness. I love to do this first with a big juice fast. It cleans out your body after 3 days or so, only to then move on to a different state of being. Your mental clarity improves significantly, you feel far lighter during the day (perhaps 10-15 lbs. lighter than you actually are), and you don’t have nearly as much physical energy. Running is difficult, as is hiking or climbing, of which I did all three this week. I’m on day 6 of my juice fast now and it’s going great- I’m down 13.5 lbs in 6 days. For reference, I’m not huge and therefore dropping significant weight quickly- most people say I don’t need to lose weight, even though I do.

The Basics of Juicing

The first thing I like to distinguish is between a cleanse and a fast. I consider the first 3 days as a cleanse, as it truly cleanses out your digestive tract and your body gets a chance to heal. Anything beyond this period is, for the most part, a weight loss initiative. The pounds come off consistently throughout – about 1.5 lbs/day – but the only real benefit beyond 3 days that you haven’t already full experienced is just continued weight loss.

Juicing is properly done without any sugar. As sugar typically comes attached to fiber, and thus is slower to digest, the absence of that fiber can do some serious damage on your body. It’s a huge “sugar shock” to your system if you just suddenly downed the equivalent of 6 apples or 4 mangoes, etc. And so, for an ideal juice fast, no fruits should be used. I do make the exception with lemons and limes because they contain a good source of alkalizing mineral salts and not too much sugar. Most wellness experts tend to agree they are a net positive.

So no fruits, with the exception of lemons and limes, leaves only a bunch of vegetables. This sounds miserable to most of you at this point I’m sure, but I promise you, it still tastes pretty great. The rule of thumb I live by is at least 1/2 of the pre-juicing vegetables need to be leafy greens. I’m not talking weight, but rather just an eyeball of the amount of greens vs. everything else. Again, this is before juicing and they are laid out on the table, not after. They are the most concentrated sources of just about everything and you’d do well to not ignore them, despite the lack of a significant amount of juice. Also, throwing 2 different healthy greens into each juice helps to get a wide array of the proper nutrients. Greens I consider healthy include kale, mustard greens (spicy), dandelion greens, spinach, and arugula.

Good vegetables for a lot of juice and good wellness are carrots, cucumber, celery, and beets. Other good vegetables for wellness are bell peppers. Besides that, there isn’t much I add, except perhaps ginger. It’s really not supposed to be every single vegetable and every leafy green; seeing as you’re doing this anywhere from 3-14 days (if I had to guess), then it’s more important to be cost and time effective. You won’t get any nutrient deficiencies from limiting yourself to what I’ve just described, especially if you stick to the leafy green rule of thumb.

Living the Juice Cleanse/Fast

 Day 1 is a bit tough. You still have energy from the day before and you also have food from last night in your intestines. You make the necessary juice for today- about 3/4 of a gallon- and make sure to drink the required 10+ cups/day. After work at 5, you decide you want to exercise one last time and go for a run. You run out of gas about 2/3 of the way through what used to be an easy loop for you. That’s alright, though, since you’ve consumed less than 500 calories today and you just burned probably somewhere in the vicinity of that off.

Day 2 is harder. Your body isn’t adjusted yet and you’re hungry most of the day. The juice, when made properly and enough is drank, keeps you at bay. But you’re weaker today and you don’t feel like exercising. That’s alright though, as you woke up 4 pounds lighter this morning and know that it’s still continuing.

Day 3 is the hardest. Your body isn’t adjusted yet, your intestines start to really clean themselves out and you’re in the bathroom a lot, and you can’t seem to satisfy your hunger. You keep it at bay with the juice and stay hydrated, but it’s a struggle. But you also know that tomorrow is going to be great.

And Day 4 is great, just as you expected. You wake up and aren’t hungry any more. Your intestines are done cleaning themselves and you’ve never felt so crystal sharp in your mental cognition. It almost feels like a different state of consciousness. You feel far lighter than you thought possible so soon, both because of the weight loss and your body is acting far more efficiently.

Every day after Day 4 gets a small step down in metal cognition, although it is probably not until Day 8 or 9 that you fall below a normal level of mental energy. Some don’t experience that degradation during the duration of their juice fasts, but usually I tend to get fatigued. Each day after Day 3 is great, and although you need to stay disciplined, it’s not as hard as the first 3 days.

Improving the Juicing Experience

So I titled this article “The Better Juice Fast” because there are ways to improve the quality of your fast significantly. The first that I already showed is no sugar- by focusing on veggies and lemons/limes, you get a superior result.

The next thing I highly recommend is getting some healthy fats in your system during this cleanse. Bulletproof coffee is one of the greatest things I’ve ever come across and one of the things recommended to put in their coffee is unsalted grass fed butter. I’ve gotten used to making this either my breakfast or half of my lunch, so with this juice fast currently, I continued drinking it every day. It’s the only direct source of food I have and gets by body used to burning fats. At this point, I think it’s probably helped me maintain muscle mass more as my fat has burned away.

If you don’t drink coffee that’s okay! You can just as easily use tea. What this has gotten me into is using coconut oil as well because it tastes good with the tea. To give a reference of how much healthy fats you’d want in your hot beverage of choice, you should have about an inch at the top of a glass if it were in a beer glass.

You don’t want a lot of healthy fats- just around a slice or two of grass fed butter every day. A similar amount of coconut oil is good to add too.

Conclusion

So yeah, that’s where I’m at currently- back on the way down with weight and doing it highly efficiently. Hopefully these thoughts on improving juicing and your experience go over well. The biggest pitfalls I always see is people not using enough greens or not drinking enough juice throughout the day. That’s called starvation my friends!

Best of luck and have a good weekend.

RJ’s Dog: Much Healthier Than Pavlov’s

A lot happened today. I’ll try to keep them short, as I have an exam tomorrow morning and am not well-versed on tax accounting just yet.

RJ’s Dog Story: A Look Inside The Body

dogRJ was asked to house sit for a family who had a dog of medium size. It was a very hyper dog, always nipping at people and pulling the leash on walks. The family left the traditional bagged dog food and told RJ so many scoops per day. Him, being the Zen master, chose a different route.

He blended up a number of greens and other vegetables, thinking it would improve the dog’s health, and put it in the bowl. Of course, like most Americans, the dog refused it. But then RJ did something profound: he mixed in peanut butter and the dog couldn’t get enough. He also then ran the dog every single day, about 5 miles, which was far more than it normally got.

The result was spectacular: after just one week, the dog no longer needed a leash and stayed right at his side (this without any sort of disciplinary actions or sternness). The dog was calm and at rest during the day, even before his daily run.

To me, this is remarkable in a number of ways. The body can rebound and heal far faster than most of us realize. It’s possible to get mentally healthy alongside physical fitness, even after eating crap for your whole life. And if you make it taste good, which is very possible on a vegan diet, you can get just about anyone to consume the food.

This is why I want to learn to cook. I want to share it with those who are addicted to the best-tasting foods in the world, and no matter how much they destroy their bodies, they have groupthink pushing them to feel like it’s okay. Let’s change that paradigm, and I’m not talking some random blog; a business that is based on real science and gets people healthy quickly. This is my goal: something real I can bring to the people.

Diseases Can Be Cured

My post yesterday was about Forks Over Knives, which instilled in me the idea that cancer is a disease we do to ourselves and that it can be reversed, or at the very least halted in its tracks. My cat died this year of cancer; I can’t help but think the cancer came from her food. We should be like a car- we break when our pipes break, whether its transmission fluid leaking or the turbo shutting down. But to rust from the inside out is just poor ownership; it’s not possible given the way the car was made. Everybody is rusting in the U.S. and yet nobody seems to care or feel how sluggish and diseased they’re becoming. Everyone chalks it up to genetics, as if the level of health and wellness in their lives means nothing.

Cancer is like rust. Let’s take better care of ourselves. Start feeding our pets and our loved ones real foods; we feed our lizard kale and I didn’t actually know kale was edible until I started living with RJ. I just figured it was pet food.

2 Partially Finished New Sources

ph miracleToday I started reading the pH miracle, as per RJ’s request, and I’m absorbing so much knowledge. I’d highly recommend it to those who want something to read, although I haven’t gotten too far into it yet. There’s also a video of him here on YouTube, explaining the basic necessity of fixing your blood so that it fixes your body. It’s a great thing to know.

The other is a documentary called Fathead, recommended to me by someone who had seen FSND. I didn’t know it, but it’s a documentary trying to debunk being super healthy, almost making it seem ridiculous and old fashioned. At one point he asks 10-15 people if they like carrots and every single one said no; it kind of annoyed me. Anyway, he went out to do 30 days on McDonald’s and other fast food to prove he wouldn’t gain weight on it; basically that Morgan Spurlock lied about his results and should be exposed for what he really is. I’m 35 minutes into it currently and just unable to believe what I’m seeing. I’ll be posting a full rebuttal sometime this weekend. Don’t watch this one as fact folks!

A Semi-Gross Anecdote

bathroomI ended my juice fast today after going to the gym hard. I ate salads all day and it was delicious. I no longer crave most shitty foods and I had no trouble today at all on 80-10-10. I passed my first bowel movement at 12:30 AM, which after eating at 2:30 PM and not having gone #2 in 4 days, was pretty surprising. Depending on the source, you will see anywhere from 33-70 hours as being about average for an American today, so for me to pass my first meals of the day in 10 hours is pretty cool. My body doesn’t have to work hard to break it down, it gets more nutrients and less calories than the normal diet, and it allows my body to focus on healing itself from all the food I’ve eaten my whole life. Pretty cool stuff.

That’s that for today. Off to an 8 AM exam tomorrow and then a full day with the people I care about here at school. Should be a great weekend. Going hiking tomorrow if it doesn’t rain.

Also, I wrote this post but didn’t add pictures/links yet, and while studying, I drank 1 German beer with 5.6% alcohol proof and I had a nice buzz for about an hour. 1 beer. I don’t need to poison myself with 10-15 drinks to have a good time.

Being healthy will help those who help themselves.

Great Documentaries!

Today I watched a fabulous documentary- Forks Over Knives- and I’d like to share that with you, as well as another I watched recently. I don’t want to make it a habit of putting up long posts or short posts only; I figure a good mix depending on the content is the best approach. For this one I’ll keep the descriptions short so you can explore for yourself.

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

This documentary got me into juicing, which has completely altered my body and mind in so many ways. It’s a powerful story of two men that are just as the title implies- FSND- and how juicing changed everything. Although I’m not the most fit person in the world- even after my 2 juice fasts I’m still not where I should be- the sheer healthiness of what I’m putting in my body has given me an aura. Girls look at me now, whereas even before I got sick and fat last year, I wasn’t healthy so it wasn’t noticeable despite being skinny and toned. Now, on the other hand, all the beta carotenes and various nutrients I’m putting in my system has given me a bit of a glow. I’m not shining like RJ (my zen master roommate) just yet, but the glow is starting to come out. I hope to keep it going and see my progress!

Forks Over Knives

This is, quite simply, the greatest documentary I’ve ever seen. It’s about the importance of eating the right way and it was passed along to me by a friend who saw that I started this blog. The blog is paying off already! I can’t think of a better way to spend 90 minutes of your time and learn something you can use for the rest of your life. Happy Gilmore or Saw IV can wait- try to do something real with your time this upcoming weekend. You won’t be disappointed. And rather than comment on all the themes it covers, I want to explore all the subjects brought up in it further before writing. Anyone can watch a documentary and write about it; I want to go that extra step and learn more.

The good news: both are on Netflix! Happy learning!

As An Aside

open closeYesterday I went to the bar with my best friends and we did open to close: 11 AM to 3 AM. It was a great environment to study during the day and celebrate at night as we approach finals later in the week. You’ll see us there with our computers out around 2 PM here. My buddy set up a live feed on YouTube, which was hilarious to send to my family & friends so they could watch us at the bar. It’s on the TV above us; we really did make a scene yesterday. They required us to buy a drink every hour, so I consumed quite a lot of alcohol, and above all else I could feel the negativity immediately. Our bodies are equipped with so many senses to let us know when something is wrong. Most people interpret them wrong- I will write about this sometime- but I’m especially in tune with it now that I’m healthy. Alcohol is something my body detests, but I’m on a juice fast so it rebounded quickly. I was able to get work done all day while my two close friends both sat around the TV or slept.

RJ tells me I’m underestimating just how bad alcohol is for me; I’ll have to look into it more but I can definitely feel it. I have no defense of any sort of unhealthy behavior now that I know better, but I won’t miss out on events like yesterday- which turned out to be one of my favorite days in college- just to be perfectly healthy. Everything is a choice, everything is in your hands, and it’s up to you to decide what to do with your body. A lot of people simply don’t know any of this stuff though, so it’s important to at least share it with them so they can make their own choices.

But it’s important to keep in mind- if you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?

(On the lookout for more documentaries, let me know if you have some recommendations! I’ve also seen Super Size Me, but that’s common sense; nobody really needs to watch it to know the story)

An Introduction

Photo on 4-29-13 at 12.38 PMAllow me to introduce myself: My name is Andrew Schneck, I’m 21 years old, and have a number of diverse interests. I’m going to graduate college in 3 days with a business degree from IU Bloomington, originally hail from Pittsburgh, PA, and am headed to Raleigh, NC for a job full time in August.

I ran 2 blogs, one after the other, on investing the past few years. I’m taking one down soon, but a link to my old one is here. I also have a research site where I post my portfolio and research. A sample can be seen here if you’re interested; currently I’m up to over 200 “files” just like this one.

I like to read. A lot. I educated myself through college on all aspects of finance and investing. Malcom Gladwell wrote a fabulous book, The Outliers, which stressed the importance of dedicated practice in order to become an expert. 10,000 hours to be exact. I officially hit 10,000 hours sometime between February and March of this year with stocks, which I am quite pleased with. The book says it should take about 10 years; I did it in half the time, which means 5 hours per day on average over that time. As I said, I’m a pretty intense individual.

I’m not bored with investing, don’t get me wrong, but I want to start a new 10,000 hour project. I decided on health and wellness. My roommate is the zen master of the universe, or at least in my eyes he is, so I’ve looked to him for guidance and education this school year. He’s had me watch a number of documentaries, read books, and try different health experiments to see how my body reacted. I will be posting about much of the education I’ve gotten so far and I’ll then pick topics that interest me. I figure it’s great to learn in the public spotlight and get connected with other like-minded people. But if no one checks my site, so be it; I know from experience the benefits of writing about what you love.

Why Health & Wellness?

I got sick in 2012. I left school, spent 6 months at home recovering (having left school for spring semester) and gained 70 pounds. I was in great shape, approaching six pack status, so 70 pounds on top of 190 was crippling. I increased my weight by 35% and life changed drastically for me. Not only did my medication slow my mind and body down, my weight kept me out of the gym because of the sheer difficulty of activity.

My zen-master roommate changed all of that around, however. He introduced me to juicing, organic foods, and basic education on the differences between the American and paleolithic diets. From January 5th of this year, the day I came off my medication, I’ve dropped somewhere in the range of 50 pounds (I’m on a juice fast currently and part of my ritual is to not weigh myself until it’s over). So while I’m not fully back, I’ve made significant progress toward my goals. I’d say about 20 were just medication-related, but about 30 were hard-earned juicing & exercise pounds that I shed through sheer determination.

Not only that, it was easy! I was never hungry over that period, I actually felt healthier than I ever did eating normal meals, and I started to view food differently. Rather than something that sates a craving, it was something I put in my system to fuel myself. The difference is huge, but most McDonald’s customers wouldn’t understand the distinction. I still am becoming acquainted with it.

Educating Our Youth

I will likely post on this at some point, but I believe our education system has utterly failed our kids. When it comes to health and wellness, it’s egregious. Lobbyists are protecting their respective industries, the amount of money in Big Food is so much that you have to be careful of what you say, for fear of being sued, and so we have a food pyramid forced on us that is nowhere near reality.

I finish school this week after 17 years of “education” and I don’t know how to prepare a meal for myself, let alone know the difference between a cheeseburger and hummus with pita. I’m now getting there, but it’s not because of our schools. We shouldn’t have to go to culinary school for a basic wellness education. But that is where we are today.

childhood obesity education programsWe have the most obese country in the world laden with the most illnesses- nearly all preventable- and a lack of awareness of our bodies. Most Americans believe they have healthy diets when it’s anything but. I’ll get into more detail in its own post, but some of things I have seen have shocked me to my core. And it’s all easily preventable! Weight Watchers isn’t the solution, nor are any of the major weight management programs in the country. They preach discipline but not education; they want to hand you a fish but not teach you how to hook them on your own. They say cake is still okay, as are many other things so long as in moderation. I believe if people truly knew what was in a slice of cake, they wouldn’t touch it except on birthdays. And therein lies the rub: with a focus on profits, nobody is truly helped by the industry.

The answer does not lie with even more regulation, but rather education. McDonald’s can fight the government, but they can’t fight abandonment. If people choose to stop poisoning their bodies, there is no way around it for Big Food.

Recipes, Recipes, Recipes!

2013-04-04 13.11.17I want to start learning to seriously cook and prepare foods- mostly raw vegan- to nurture my body and also taste good. I think most people would be turned off to this type of rigidity, but if you could make it taste good, I doubt many would complain. So for my future romantic relationships, or even perhaps a business someday, I want to learn to prepare food the right way. Salads are great and all, but creativity and new food combinations excite me.

I will be sharing my personal cooking experiences as well as juicing recipes I find or come up with. I’m not into smoothies as much, but maybe that will change. I prefer to eat my fruits and juice my veggies. Be prepared for pictures and my thoughts on some of the foods, in addition to my commentary on topics like pasteurization, mass-produced food, V8, composting, sustainability, and organic vs. regular produce.

That’s Enough Already!

Okay, okay, I know. I can write for a long time, the issue is getting people to read more than a page! So I’ll cut this off here. I just want it to be clear why I’m writing: I was sick, I was introduced to a way of life I want to explore further, and perhaps people can learn along with me. I encourage people to get in touch as well; idea exchanges are highly valuable and I’m always interested in new points of view.

So with that, I’ll say thanks for visiting and I will begin posting more upon graduation.