And no I’m not talking about steroids.

We have all heard horror stories of the “Freshman 15.” Some of us may have even fallen victim to it.

I had always considered myself a pretty health conscious person while attending college. I would frequent the rec and eat better than most people (so I thought). Having always hovered around a slim 190 lbs, I was actually kind of excited when I hit 200 for the first time. “Must be muscle,” I would foolishly try and convince myself. Little did I know…

The Benefits of Juicing

JuicingIt was not until one night when I popped on the Netflix and watched the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” that I realized my levels of health were nowhere near where I perceived them to be. The documentary followed an overweight Australian – Joe Cross – as he traveled across the United States with nothing but a centrifugal fruit and vegetable juicer and electric generator. After completing his trans-national journey, Joe had lost more than 100 pounds in 60 days through nothing but drinking juice.

Am I saying to drink nothing but juice for the next two months? No. But supplementing your diet with micro nutrients is something that we should all consider.

With quick stop cafeterias in my dorm and about 5 more within a quarter-mile radius, it was convenient for me to get the least healthy options when meal time rolled around.  These options typically…. scratch that. These options did not provide any nutritional options. The salad bars were sub par and every thing available for purchase was made of processed foods and inorganic ingredients that make me shudder thinking back on them. Nonetheless, the population as a whole does not get any where near the amount of bio-available nutrients that our body requires.

After my first few weeks in the dorms I knew something was up. My energy levels were down, my self-image was lower, and I was just more on edge. I knew eating chicken fingers and tater tots 4 days a week at 10 PM probably wasn’t helping. Something needed to change.

I began to consume 1 glass of juice, at a minimum, per day and my energy, image, and health drastically improved.

Exporing the Perceived Barriers

JuicingTime and money. Two of the largest constraints and excuses every college student uses when it comes to picking up a new habit or getting something done. Yes, I said excuse.

I made it through graduate school and one thing I can tell you is that there is always time. It just comes down to how you manage it.

As far as money is concerned, investing in a quality juicer will run you just north of $100 dollars but the long-term investment is worth exponentially more. When it comes to buying fruits and vegetables, I can tell you right now that purchasing only fresh vegetation is far cheaper than snagging a log of pepperoni, a box of cookies, and 14 cans of condensed soup. Most college communities have farmers markets and locally owned grocers where prices are a little bit more friendly.

Getting Started with Juicing

Once you have your juicer it’s as simple as plugging it in, purchasing your fruits and vegetables, and getting to work. I invested in the same appliance that Cross uses in the documentary, the Breville Juice Fountain Plus JE98XL. Prepping and cleanup typically takes no longer than 15 minutes and I guarantee you will feel better in just a matter of days!

I have included on of my favorite recipes that yields about 40 ounces of juice.

  • 1/3 beet
  • 2 pineapple slices
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled
  • 1/3 sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 slice papaya

For more on Juicing, Check out this Instructional Video

photo credit: Shandi-lee via photopin cc
photo credit: corbin_dana via photopin cc

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