Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weighing, Juicing While Low Carb, and Biking

Well, here we are more than halfway through the month without a weigh-in. I thought about getting on the scale this morning, but then decided that I may as well wait for April 1. I figure if I am still losing slowly... 1/2 to 1 pound a week... it is nicer to see a "chunk" of weight off (even if it is a small chunk) than to see a pound and get frustrated that it's not faster. So I'll wait.

My clothes don't feel any different. No one else has mentioned that I look like I have lost weight. But I do feel much better when I eat this way: keeping carbs around 85-95 grams a day, lots of protein, small frequent meals, and plenty of veggies with dinner.

Last week, I watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (free on Amazon if you have Prime), which is about a guy who ate no food but just drank freshly made juice for two months. Just watching it makes you want to get a juicer and drink some yummy kale, apple, and cucumber juice for all the wonderful nutrients. I've started to wonder if there is a way to incorporate fresh juices into a low carb way of eating (in maintenance). Certainly fruit juices are way, way too high in sugars for me to drink alone; I think they would drastically spike my blood sugar and give me cravings. But perhaps some of the less sweet juices would be beneficial; you can juice spinach, kale, Romaine, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. You can add fresh lemon and ginger root for flavor. And to give it a bit of sweetness, maybe some fresh carrots, Granny Smith apple, or part of a beet would be nice. But I'm not sure. I do have a juicer, sitting dusty in my cupboard for the past 15 years. I tend to think it is better to just eat the whole, fresh vegetable, but proponents of juicing say there is no way you could eat enough vegetables to get all the nutrition in a glass of juice. Makes sense to me; what do you think?

Breakfast this morning was green tea, black coffee, and Medifast pancakes. I think I will make a cabbage soup with tomatoes and beef for my dinner and let the kids eat leftover Italian beef subs, pasta, or sandwiches. I also got my new (much smaller) TV set up in front of my bike. I've been watching streaming Kindle or reading while I bike, but I find that if I always bike during a certain time and watch a TV show... even something as lame as Judge Judy... I tend to think about it at that time when the show would be coming on, and start to associating exercising with that show and time. I used to *always* bike while watching The Biggest Loser when I had my bike in the living room; I still get the urge to jump on when that show begins! So I will use that to my advantage and continue working towards consistent, 6 days a week biking.

Off to spend time with my kiddos, wonderful blessings that they are!


TNTriathlete said...

If you are trying to get maximum nutrition without all the bulk of consuming the fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a better choice than juicing.

With juicing you don't get all the benefits of the fiber or the nutrients contained in the skin of the fruits and vegetables.

With smoothies you get all the nutrition and as a bonus the cleanup is minimal compared to juicing.

Kelly L said...

You inspire me - I have over 100 pounds to lose - currently on WW - but not following the plan - so basically I'm on "see" food diet.. I like the idea of the movie streamline while riding the bike my husband bought me Christmas before last that I have yet to get on.... I'll be back
I've Become My Mother
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Sharon said...

Although I have not seen that movie, I've read about it and I think that the big results people get is because they have cut out all the bad (processed) stuff, not that juicing is somehow magical. I recently heard a radio interview with Dr. Robert Lustig (he has a lot of interesting things to say about how our bodies deal with sugar) and he mentioned that smoothies cheat you of the insoluble fiber of the vegetables (the pulverizing action of the blender changes it to soluble fiber), so yes it's far better than some other things you can drink but still too easy to drink a huge amount of calories/sugar without the satiating experience of actually chewing your food and getting the insoluble fiber. I was sad when I heard that because I love green smoothies but now I save them for after some truly depleting exercise (4 hr hike on hills for example) and just eat kale salads instead :)

Jami Stakley said...

Lyn you have motivated me to get back on the expensive bike in my workout room. I have no excuse been getting on for 2 days now.

I thought that juicing removes the fiber and other good stuff.

SuzieQZ said...

Juicing CAN be beneficial (ex: cabbage juice is wonderful for healing stomach ulcers)... but... the natural fiber in whole foods is what helps keep the food from being absorbed too fast into the blood stream, thereby causing insulin spikes and crashes.

There's a balance to everything.

SuzieQZ said...

sorry, i meant that the fiber in the whole food causes a slower absorption in to the blood stream (which we know that sugars entering the blood stream too fast causes a spike and crash)

my apologies if i confused anyone!

Amy said...

I saw that movie too, and have been watching others that promote eating whole foods. The detox portion of the juicing is meant to be just that, a detox from all the not natural things we put in our body, and cleanse the things that have been converted from their natural form before we eat them. I think there is a trade-off, you either get extreme nutrients or you get fiber. I think juicing makes it easier to get the volume of great stuff in you, but once the detox/fast portion is done, you have to make juicing a supplement to your healthy diet. In that way, it is like a super-potent multi vitamin that your body uses way more efficiently than the store-bought types that have a bunch of fillers.

Lyn said...

Very interesting thoughts, all. I like your analogy, Amy, to a potent multi. It is kind of like that. Maybe that would be the best way for me to incorporate it into my diet during maintenance... as a supplement, while still eating lots of whole and low carb foods.

Barbara said...

Hi Lyn,

I have done several juice "fasts" before and I am very torn about it. I see that I am getting the juice of a TON of fresh veggies in each glass... but I don't know that the benefits outweigh the risks.

First... I feel like getting the fiber from eating the entire veggie is really important. Also, I think actually juicing the veggies takes some of the nutrients out because of the heat and friction of the juicing process.

The biggest pain for me was cleaning the juicer several times a day. I have heard that you should drink what you juice immediately because it starts to lose nutrients. So I couldn't just wreck my kitchen once and have juice for several days. I had to wreck my kitchen several times a day, then clean and dry the 3 million parts to the juicer.

I honestly believe that different eating styles work differently for each person. So maybe give it a try for a few days and see how you feel.

I probably won't ever do it again, but I'm glad I've had the experience and know what it's all about.

I have to be careful about not taking every documentary I watch as the gospel truth! It's really easy to get sucked in when you've invested 2 hours into listening to people promote a lifestyle. But remember there are a lot of differing views out there that are never all captured in documentaries like that.

ileana said...

GO FOR IT. but do it with every fiber of your being to detox your system [stuff from a box seriously- no nutritional value whatsoever-pure chemicals which mess up the system]and keep fruit low. i've been doing it since August and it's now a part of my daily life- never felt better. what you're doing is clearly not working-but if you're gonna do it give it your all or don't even bother. nobody chooses diets---and if they do? and it goes against its need? Failure. your body tells you what it needs--that's why there are so many miserable vegetarians and dairy/nuts/oatmeal/seeds/fruit people who can't lose and/or are hungry all the damn time and don't lose weight and look at calories and have more nuts or binge whatever- at some point we need to stop beating our head against the wall and take stock and figure out why things aren't working and most importantly stop blaming our body for non-response- oh it is responding allright! if I had oatmeal, fruit and yogurts with nuts and plain vegetables with no fat or meat I would be hungry and pissed off all day. stick to something for an entire week and you'll know whether it worked or not. if it does? you're on to something- if it doesn't- move on and try something else. get off the merrygoround. we can't dictate body to operate a certain way just because of our own personal agenda-not letting go of certain food groups because they're our favorite or we lie and say 'moderation', think some are 'morally' wrongWhatever: body is Boss-and we better get Over It. I juice, I have animal protein and vegetables-use olive oil, grains once a week, i'm never hungry, i'm at the weight I want, run/pilates/dumb bells despite arthro issues. it works for Me. real food, eating foods that satiate me so I don't have to worry about food all fricken day. food has power- it has the power to make you sleepy and tired or energetic and productive. gain or lose weight--and it doesn't come from a box and it doesn't have to be in small bowls. figure out what makes you gain and what makes you LOSE. have you ever done a metabolic typing test? DO ONE.

Tessie said...

You have very wise readers! I agree about the fibre.
Nobody else has mentioned the problems now associated with smoothies. Cavities. I don't have a source but remember reading somewhere that teeth are suffering from the juicing craze.
FWIW, the items that make the juice are awesome, and I love the idea of using the juicer like a supplement.
I'm so happy for you Lyn, it's great to read you feel good. :)

ileana said...

There's a saying: you can be pitiful or you can be Powerful but you're not gonna be both--I read blog after blog of why they have unhealthy relationships with food as they're the only ones and seriously- we all have wounds and scars we carry-difference is we decide to give them all the middle finger and stop rehashing them- i'll be damned if i'm gonna let them eff me over for the rest of my life. who do they want to be? pitiful or powerful? we all draw the line on the sand at some point and act accordingly

Karen said...

I eat only whole vegetables, not juices. My carb window in both loss and weight maintenance is extremely narrow between loss, maintain, and gain.

Juices, even vegetable juices would be way too carby.

I'm with Sharon, I just eat the whole vegetables. Not as "exciting" but great as food being food. Fuel, not entertainment. Yes it needs to taste good, yes, it's still easy to over eat no matter what weight I am.

I'm sure juicing and smoothies are fantastic for some. I'm not one.

Lori said...

I know nothing about juicing, nor have I seen the movie, but I still want to encourage you. You are so good at exploring the options available and finding the right path for YOU like now only weighing once a month, that I know you'll find the righ answer here as well.

Marc said...

I enjoy juicing, just not going on a juice fast. I juice Hi-Alkaline veggies every so often because I tend to eat too many Hi-Acidity foods.

Jamie said...

On Amazon Prime there is another movie that really touches on food addiction its called LBS.

Mary Nussbaum said...

I read your blog! I just don't comment like I should. I am inspired by your commitment to healthy eating. I just wanted you to know I appreciate your blog and all you do to share with others. I am reading the Bible in 90 days if your interested, look me up.
Mary Kay

Lauren said...

I just did a 30 day juice fast, and I think if you are serious and really want to make a change then it is a great idea. I didn't have too much weight to lose but still lost almost 20 pounds in that time. I have been phasing back into eating all real food and have gained none of it back. To avoid spikes or crashes, I just basically sipped on juice all day. And I went to the dentist last week with no new cavities and my gums had improved, so I think that would be all relative. It does up the cost of groceries by a lot, that was the biggest con for me. If you are drinking most of your meals anyway, than why not try the juice fast?

Anonymous said...

You don't need a juicer... all that does is strip the fiber away, which is just as important as anything else. Use a blender and make a green smoothie!

My favorite: a few handfuls of spinach, 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado, a half cup of greek yogurt or a scoop of vanilla protein powder, and 1/2 banana (which you can skip, but add some stevia for sweetness). I also LOVE Amazing Grass in my smoothies.

Anonymous said...

FYI, you can get Amazing Grass on Amazon for pretty cheap.

Lyn said...


agreed, smoothies are good! I have made some "on plan" smoothies while on Medifast simply by adding raw spinach to my Medifast shakes. I've also made them by using Greek yogurt as part of my Lean. I also have Amazing Grass and other wheatgrass powders; I need to ask the dietician if I can use them with Medifast, maybe adding into a shake. They have 4 g carbs per serving.

Chanelle said...

Ok... let me just get this off my chest because I am seeing a lot of this false terminology in the comments (and everywhere else)... As a young woman who has been independently studying nutrition and going to school for it a combined total of 6 years, can we all just stop with the "[insert whatever "detox" here] will cleanse/detox/remove toxins from your body"?!

That is FALSE! Juicing will not detox anything from your body, Lyn. Your kidney's remove toxins and eliminate it through urine, and sweat. A juice fast removes most calories from one's dieet, causing one to lose lots of weight. And that is the truth.

Now, I am not denying that juicing has benefits for some people, but those benefits are usually weight loss because of the decreased calories and a psychological feeling of being "cleansed" because they are not eating processed foods (or any other foods for the matter).

Now that we've got that cleared up... Lyn, I don't really think juicing would be feasible for you, even in maintenance because of your struggle with high Carbs/sugars. Even if you could supplement with juicing, you would probably have to cut out all sugar for the rest of the day to fit in one substancial juice. I feel that, given what you have expressed about your plan/progress, that would just be too stressful.

I honestly think that you would be MUCH better off slowly integrating whole fruit back into your diet when you reach maintenance and reap the benefits of the fiber that comes in fruit and maybe even pair it with protein to keep your satiated longer.

I just really don't want to see you slip into cravings due to high-sugar juices when you get to your goal weight (notice I said WHEN and not IF) ;)


Lyn said...


thank you for your wisdom. It rings true to me. That's part of what was rattling around in my brain as I was watching that movie: if I drank that juice, even in maintenance, wouldn't it blow my carb level up high enough to set off cravings? Mess with my blood sugar? Maybe... and I do not want to risk it when I get there!

Chanelle said...

And to answer your question:

I am, frankly, perplexed at how low your calories need to be for weight loss and very intrigued by the things that cause you to gain.. it also saddens me and leaves me in awe of how you can possibly be so diligent. Given all of that and knowing that you can't risk a few days of "sugar rush" set off my high sugar juice with little fiber, I would definitely tell you to stay away from juices if you were a patient of mine. It's just too risky for you and I wouldn't want you to have the emotional response of trying something, getting your hopes up, then having it not work for you. Just my opinion :)


stephseef said...

Juicing has changed my life.
I did a long fast a year ago, and now juice exclusively when at home,which is most of the time. Occasionally eat vegan-ish meals with the fam, but usually juice. Occasional nutriBullet smoothies when there's not time to clean the juicer (I juice 1x/day - you have 48 hours if the juices are kept Ina dark fridge) but mostly juice. Inspired by Fat,Sick, and Nearly Dead andHungry for Change.

When I do it equally, the weight flies off and I feel like an astronaut. Clear skin, strong nails, better hair, everything. Even my thinking is clear. It has been the answer to this lifelong battle.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lyn.

I finished an 11 day juice fast a couple weeks ago. It was the best decision I ever made. I, too, watched the movie and was inspired by Joe and Phil. Then I rewatched Hungry for Change. Another great movie.

Let me tell you, I have been through hell with my weight and with food addiction. I also have an allergy to gluten yet all I ever crave is sweets and bread.

I lost 113 lbs. on Medifast a couple years ago and regained 80 of it back in about a year. I started back on MF in January of this year but still felt sad about the deprivation. I, like you, still have to cook for my family, make breakfasts, pack lunches, etc... I hated going with them out to eat and be social when I felt deprived. And I did feel deprived. When I was on MF the first time I didn't feel deprived, but the second time around, I did. I think I felt: been here, done this. This sucks!

So, I was inspired to do the juice fast and just try it. Okay, so the first 3 days were HORRIBLE. I thought I had the flu. Also, I stopped almost cold turkey my coffee and diet soda addiction. (I drank 1 full pot of coffee by myself and 2 diet sodas daily.) So, the detox was pretty horrific.

But, by day 4 I noticed I was exuberant. Not happy, exuberant. Energetic. I was running and playing with my kids. I NEVER run. EVER. I was playful and fun. I felt like I was on the best high ever. I could have easily done the 60 days but I stopped after 11 because I had some things coming up that were not feasible to be tethered to a juicer and washing veggies all the time. (I did, however, outsource a couple juices to some local places that served fresh juice.)

Anyway, even though it was only 11 days, I completely rebooted. I have no desire for crap anymore. NO DESIRE. I don't mind making my kids lunch. I don't mind eating out. It's a joy. I can go anywhere and do anything.

We went to the rodeo carnival on Friday. Normally, this would fill me with anxiety - funnel cakes, deep fried oreos, corn dogs. The healthiest thing there was cotton candy. So, I packed a little bag with a couple clementines, a banana and an apple and water. And, guess what??? I wasn't hungry! Nor was I tempted in the least by any of that other junk. This is like a miracle to me. I mean it. This is the miracle I have been searching for. Forget, just the weight loss alone. This gave me a new appreciation for eating clean and healthy. I did, coincidentally lose 14 lbs. I haven't lost anymore since the end of the fast but I haven't gained any back either. I also have just started my period and tend to gain 5 lbs. during that time, so, I'm sure I will start losing soon. Anyway, I fully intend to keep juicing supplementally and then intend to go on another 10 day fast in the near future.

Whatever you decide... I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

Also, Lyn...

To piggy back on my other comment.... As a food addict, there is an indescribable comfort in knowing that I can have ANYTHING I want at any time but that I feel so incredibly good and satisfied (after my rebooting 11 day juice fast) that I have ZERO desire for it. Of course, if I ever chose to have a piece of cake or something, who knows what might happen. It may send me back into that whole cyclical hell of binging/craving, etc... but, as for now, I seriously am not tempted AT ALL by any donut, pastry, chocolate or anything else. My only vice now is some chai tea once a day with some almond milk and raw honey. DELISH. And, so completely satisfying and comforting. As someone who is hypoglycemic, I was afraid I would be craving junk all the time after coming off the juice fast but just the opposite has been true. I never even liked fruit and veggies before. Now, they are 90% of my diet with some raw nuts and seeds making up the other 10%. My energy is through the roof. :) I am so not trying to convince you to do it. I'm just merely sharing my experience with you so you can make a more balanced decision. Best wishes!!

Lyn said...


thank you for sharing your experience! Very interesting :)