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How to Have a Successful Juice Steadfast

Plan to succeed.  We’ve all heard the saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Taking some time to plan your juice steadfast will immensely increase your odds of success.  These are all things that took me several rounds to learn.  You can get it all here in one scoop!  I’m sure I’ve left something out, so if you have a tip to add, please add it in the comments.

Do your research.  In today’s internet age, we have mounds and mounds of information at our fingertips.  Some of it is accurate, but a lot of it is not.  Do some research and reading on juicing before you begin your juice steadfast.  You will need a juicer.  If you do not have a juicer yet, there are several things to consider before buying one.  (That will be an entirely different post.)  Be discerning about where you get your information and what you choose to believe.  Use reputable sources and be cautious of articles quoting “experts” that don’t back up what they claim.

Plan the length of your steadfast.  The first thing you’ll want to do is to plan the length of your steadfast.  You can always leave it open ended if you want to see how it goes and possibly extend it longer if you’re doing well.  However, you will want to at least set a minimum length.  Think about what your goals are and why you are doing this steadfast.  That will help determine how long it needs to be.

Look at your calendar.  The next thing you’ll want to do is to look at your calendar and plan when you will have your juice steadfast.  Having your steadfast at a time that you have a lot of outings or family gatherings might not be a good idea.  Look at your calendar and find a time that you don’t have a lot of celebratory functions to attend.  If you do have a few to go to, plan now how you will handle them.  Sometimes carrying around a small plate with a few veggies on it is all you need to do to keep people from noticing that you’re not partaking in the buffet of food offered.

Plan your grocery shopping.  Not having what you’ll need to make your juice is a sure way to fail.  Plan your grocery shopping now.  Try to make a grocery list and purchase three to four days worth of produce for your juices at a time.  When it’s time to shop again, take an inventory and only buy what you need for the next three to four days.   If you’re using a pre-made plan, that plan most likely will provide a shopping list.

Don’t let getting to the store and the time it takes to pick out your produce be an obstacle.  If you have to, find a store that delivers or offers pick up.  This has been a huge time saver and life saver for me many times.  The cost associated with this service is cheaper by far than those impulse purchases that we often make.

Plan your juices.  You’ll want your juices to be as fresh as possible.  Making your juice and immediately drinking it is about as fresh as you can get.  However, most of us are not home all day to make each and every juice when we need it.

If you are in a rush to get out the door in the morning, making your juices the night before might be the way to go.  If you have the time to make your juices in the morning, you can still prep your produce the night before to make it go quicker.  When bottling your juices, try to fill the bottle to the very rim and then seal it tight.  This will help keep your juices fresh and keep out air that causes oxidation.

If you will be traveling during the day, plan how you will take your juices with you.  You will most likely need a small cooler and some ice or ice packs to keep your juices cold.  If you are going to work, store them in the refrigerator as soon as you get there.  I’ve never had to worry about my co-workers drinking my juices!

Plan your family’s meals.  If you are the one that makes most of the meals in your house, the best thing you can do is to pass the baton on to someone else during your juice steadfast.  This will keep you away from all kinds of temptation.  If that’s not possible, plan your family’s meals now.  Planning meals that have the least amount of preparation will give you the least amount of temptation.  Now is not the time to try new dishes that you will also want to taste to see how they come out.  Now is the time to fix food for your family that they like that you don’t.

Pull out the crock pot, dutch oven, casserole dishes, and electric skillet.  Make as many one-pot meals as you can.  Better yet, prepare some dishes ahead of time and put them in the freezer so that all you have to do is heat and serve.  If you can, go to a freezer meals class or make some on your own and have them on stand by if needed.

Get support.  Doing something all alone is tough, but it can be done.  If you can, find at least one person to give you encouragement and support.  All it takes is one person.  When it comes to juicing, finding someone else that you can ask questions or confide in is helpful.  If you don’t know someone personally that you can go to, then look for a group that you can be a part of, whether that be locally or online.  There are formal support groups for everything under the sun.  There are plenty of casual, juicing support groups on social media.  If you want something local and more personal look for something in your area.  If you’re not able to find one, you can always start your own!

As with any lifestyle change, there are a lot of naysayers out there.  Broadcasting to your family and friends that you are doing a juice steadfast will let you know right away just who they are.  The best course of action is to keep quiet.  People will start asking questions once they start seeing a positive change in you.

Plan how you will end your juice steadfast.  This step goes back to research.  In researching your juice steadfast, be sure to research how you will end your juice steadfast.  Going back to your old ways or the standard American diet (SAD), may not agree with you.  Take it slow.  Start off with some soups and vegetables and gradually introduce other foods back into your diet.

Don’t want to plan?  If you don’t want to take the time to do all of the planning, or you are unsure about doing your first juice steadfast on your own; you can look for a group to participate with.  Usually, you register for these groups way ahead of time.  They provide you with a shopping list, daily recipes, when the juice steadfast will take place, and lots of support.  This is a great way to get started and get your first juice steadfast under your belt.  If you cannot find a group that is doing a steadfast at a time you would like, there are still programs that will provide you with all of the above, except that you will not be juicing at the same time as others and will not see their success stories.  Regardless, you will still need to plan your grocery shopping and your family’s meals.

Most importantly of all, don’t be hard on yourself.  If things don’t turn out as you planned, reassess and decide what you can do to get things to work better the next time around.  If you have difficulty making it through the day and end up taking a bite of food, it’s ok.  It doesn’t mean failure.  Continue to march ahead!

Regardless of what path you decide to take, the best time to make a healthy lifestyle change is now!  Don’t delay, go do it!

By Lori Camper

305 lbs. People are Watching

Lately I’ve changed my running strategy.  After my 5K at the end of April, I decided to work on running better.  I would like to run a 10K one day, and I know to be able to do that that I am going to have to run better and faster.  I know I’m a horrible runner.  My running is so bad that when I go for a run in my neighborhood, I refer to it as “the neighborhood freak show.”  Still, I keep going; and I’m lapping everyone that’s sitting on the couch.

Some days I run a mile as hard and fast as I can.  I was in the process of doing this when I came up on a lady walking in my neighborhood.  This is a lady that I’ve seen almost every day walking in my neighborhood for the last several years, yet I’ve never taken the time to speak to her.  She had her earphones in, and turned around to see what all the noise was behind her.

“It’s just me,” I said.  And I went on my way.

I was nearly done with my run at that point and starting to huff and puff, I’m sure.  I went on and finished the short distance I had left, and then doubled back since I had just passed my house.  In the process of doubling back, I started to pass this woman again.  This time she stopped me.

You are an inspiration.

I could not believe what I was hearing.  For the last several years, I have watched this woman walk past my house with her little dog.  I had been watching her–I was not expecting to have her tell me that she had also been watching me.

We chatted for a few seconds and then I thought, “Who else is watching that I’m unaware of?”

That answer came to me a few days later.

At church Sunday night the pastor’s wife told me that one of her kids had commented to her Sunday morning on how much weight I had lost.  She was surprised when I told her that I had lost over 100 pounds.

If you are on a fitness and/or weight loss journey, keep going!  You may not realize it, but people are watching and they are noticing.  They are thinking to themselves what a great job you are doing, but they are also scared to death to say anything to you.  Why this is, I don’t know.  It seems like as humans we are quick to criticize but slow to encourage.  Bottom line is, you may be inspiring someone else to make huge changes in their life without even knowing it!  People are counting on you!  Don’t give up.

If you thrive on encouragement, all you need is one person.  Look for that person, seek him or her out, and ask God to bring someone to you.  He can bring someone to you in the most incredible and unexpected way.

By Lori Camper

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305 lbs. Hitting the Century Mark

I took this screenshot Saturday morning, May 7.  I am excited to say that I have passed the century mark on my weight loss.  It is an exciting goal that I’ve been trying to reach for quite some time.  I’ve been very close the last month with my weight tottering up and down.

I was not expecting to hit it that day.  The evening before was very dark and stormy personally.  Seeing these numbers Saturday morning was like a rainbow after a destructive and devastating storm.  Yet, I am saddened that I cannot share this exciting news with the one person that has been my biggest cheerleader this past year.

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By Lori Camper

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305 lbs. My First Juice Steadfast

I decided I was going to abstain from food and drink juice only for 60 days.  I’m calling this a steadfast because that’s exactly what you have to be.  You have to be firm in belief, determined, and adhering.  Could I do it?  What kind of results would I see?

After watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead I was firm in my belief.  I saw how jucing worked for Phil and Joe, so I was convinced it would work for me too.  I was determined to do this and to stick to it (adhere) and make it work.  Sixty days out of my life was a very minute amount of time, and I thought it would certainly be worth it if I saw the results Joe and Phil saw.

My steadfast took place during the early summer.  This has become my favorite time to juice.  This is the time when fruits and vegetables are in plentiful supply and at their best.  They are easy to find and the farmer’s markets are in full swing.  I also think that the colder the juices are the better they taste, so that makes juicing during the hot months very pleasant.

This was also a time that I didn’t have a lot of activities on the calendar.  That made it easy for me to concentrate on juicing and sticking to it.  I didn’t have a lot of activities, dinners, or special events to go to and I didn’t host any either.  We had one potluck dinner at church.  Howver, I was putting the church directory together, so I used the time that everyone was sitting down and eating as an opportunity to talk to the people I needed information from.

After a couple of weeks, the hunger and want for food vanished and my steadfast became my way of life.  I was fortunate not to have any withdrawals or cravings, but sometimes I did want to eat simply to have something to chew on.  I was too scared to eat.  I read horror stories of how people went right back to eating normally immediately after a steadfast and ended up very sick or in the hospital.  I knew better than that.  No matter how tempting something might have been, that was enough to keep me from giving in.

Overall it went well and I lost somewhere around 50 pounds.  People were noticing, and I got lots of compliments on my skin.  It did look better than ever.  I was excited and flying higher than a kite.  It did work for me, and I got the results I wanted.  For the first time in my life I believed my weight was something I could control.

By Lori Camper

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Second 5K in the Bag; You Can Do it Too!

I finished my second 5K today.  The weather was not the best, but it could’ve been a lot worse.  It was cloudy and had been raining, but the rain stopped right before we started running.  The course was a very nice trail in a park, and with the torrential downpours and flooding we’ve been getting, there was lots of water and mud across the trail.

It was cool, but very humid which made it hard to breathe.  If anyone can slip and fall, it’s me, so I walked across the mud.  Still, my time was better than my last and first 5K!

If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d be running 5Ks, I would’ve laughed in their face.  A year ago I could run 60 seconds on a treadmill.  That’s probably equal to 20 or 30 seconds on the street.

I have a lot of people to thank:  my personal trainer who convinced me that I could do anything I put my mind to, a dear friend who has given me truckloads of encouragement and has been my constant cheerleader, and my family that has put up with my making health and fitness a priority.

No matter what anyone tells you, it’s never too late.  I did not start out running a 5K.  I started out running for one minute.  It was 15 weeks of grueling, hard work. There were times I wanted to give up, but I didn’t thanks to all the support and encouragement I had. I got there literally one step at a time. You can do it too!

By Lori Camper

305 lbs. Juicing Plan B

It didn’t take long to learn that we had no clue what we were doing. Our first shot at making juice was a disaster as far as flavor. It made us realize that what came out of the juicer was not necessarily going to taste like what went into the juicer. It also made us realize that we couldn’t just throw anything into it and expect it to be palatable.

After the orange juice disaster, we found some recipes and tried some juices. We found a recipe for green juice and made it. It was ok, but nothing that we were crazy about.

It was clear that this was going to be a long adventure of trial and error.  This was not what I was hoping for.  I was ready to jump in feet first and get started with this now!  I did not want a delay no matter how short it might be.

My daughter and I did some experimenting with juicing while she visited.  I later consulted with Tamara on what were some of her favorite recipes.  I planned to start my first round of juicing after she left.

I was anxious to find the real me that I had been hiding all these years.  Looking back, I now see that God brought people into my life when I needed them.  He knew when I was ready for a change and brought people and circumstances into my life at a time that I was ready to listen and willing to make changes.

By Lori Camper

305 lbs. The Juicer Arrives

It was finally here! The tool that was going to change my life! I was excited to have this huge box sitting in my living room. However, it was an extremely busy day. My daughter was arriving from out of state that day for a visit. I wanted to open the box so badly and take a peak but didn’t feel like I had the time to do so. What would people think? What would my daughter think? Was she going to tell everyone that her mother had lost her marbles?

My daughter finally arrived. She walked right into the living room with this big box sitting in the middle. She said, “What’s that?” I said, “A juicer.” She said, “I’ve been thinking about getting one of those. Let’s open it up.”

It was Dumber and Dumbest from that moment on. We got the juicer out of the box and figured out how to put it together and turn it on. We didn’t have anything in the house at the time that we could put through it, so it just sat there. We didn’t have a clue what to do with it.

The next day my daughter decided she wanted to try making some orange juice, so we stopped at a stand on the side of the road and bought some fresh fruits and vegetables. We bought a bag of oranges to make orange juice. It was going to be fresh; it was going to be delicious. It was going to be the best orange juice we ever tasted—golden nectar from Heaven. We just knew it!

We took the oranges home and then debated on how to juice them. Should we peel them? What about the seeds? I had watched videos where Joe Cross didn’t peel his lemons or limes, so we sent the oranges through the juicer peeling and all.

There it was, our little pitcher of golden, sunshiny goodness. We couldn’t wait to take a taste of the best orange juice on the planet. We poured a glass of juice for each one of us. We took a drink. It tasted like . . . battery acid!

We definitely were not off to a good start. All I could think of was the money I spent on these yummy oranges that were now going into the trash. It was now time for Plan B—if only we had one!

By Lori Camper

305 lbs. The Moment that Changed my Life

I was leaving the building after church one Sunday morning, walked around a corner, and came face to face with someone I hadn’t seen for a few weeks.  We’ll call her Tamara.  Tamara is a little older and wiser than me.  She is one of the women in our church that I feel thinks like me–one of the women I’ve gleaned from.  Tamara looked great and I told her so.  She told me that she had lost 50 pounds through juicing and recommended that I watch a movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.

I was intrigued.  Juicing was not something I was completely unfamiliar with.  Neither was fasting.  I had known people throughout the years that juiced and did juice fasts or juice and soup for periods of time.  But, they did this for health reasons.  This was the first time I had heard of using juicing as a method to lose weight.

Could this work?  Could this work for me?   I needed to lose a lot of weight, and the thought of losing it quickly was exciting to me.

Naturally, I went home and immediately forgot the name of the movie.

The next week I asked Tamara again for the name of the movie.  I made a note of it this time.  I went home and started Googling.  I could not find a place to watch the movie without paying for it.  I finally got my hands on the DVD.  I’m not sure where it came from.  Either Tamara loaned it to me or it came from the library.

I sat down very late one evening and watched the movie.  It was definitely inspiring.  I was pumped and ready to give juicing a try.  Joe Cross’ story was inspiring and amazing.  I believe he lost somewhere around 90 pounds in 90 days.  Could I do that?  Would juicing work for me like it worked for Joe?  Even more inspiring was Phil’s story–a truck driver that parked his truck and went and stayed at a resort to concentrate on juicing and regaining his health.  My husband had a truck-driver friend that reminded me of Phil, so without saying anything about Phil, I recommended that he watch the movie.

I didn’t know anything about juicers or juicing, but I knew I wanted to get started.  I let my fingers do the walking on my keyboard and started looking for the same juicer Joe Cross used in the movie.  My fingers did lots of walking, as it was sold out almost everywhere I looked.

I finally found a place that had the juicer in stock.  It would take it a week or so for me to get it and I had to pay a little more than other advertised prices, but I wanted to get it in my hands before the excitement wore off.

I know all of these events sound very insignificant.  But, this is where it all started.  This is that one snowflake that created a snowball that started the avalanche that changed my life.  If Tamara had not taken the steps to lose 50 pounds herself, I would probably weigh even more than 305 pounds today.  Juicing has changed my life and saved my life, and I have Tamara to thank for introducing me to the world of juicing.

By Lori Camper

305 lbs. Why it was so easy to stay there.

In all my fatness, I never had any health problems. I never had that moment where I went to the doctor and he/she gave me the bad news that if I didn’t change my lifestyle I was going to drop dead one day.

In 2003 I was diagnosed with a blood disorder (MTHFR). At that time it was a fairly new find in the medical field. Google was able to find two search results for it–both being medical journals that I could not get full access to. I was not exhibiting any side effects from the disorder. The first thing my doctor said to me was, “you must be eating pretty well since your homocysteine levels are normal.”

I did think I was eating pretty well. To help make ends meet, we quit buying any convenience food and I was making everything from scratch. We were definitely eating a lot better than we had been, but we could still do a lot better.

Amazingly enough, I never had diabetes. I never had high blood pressure or high cholesteral. Every time I had a physical, the only problem was my “height/weight ratio.” If only I could grow 12 inches!

I did not remain at 305 lbs for long. It took me years to get there. The heavier I got, the harder it got to move. I racked it up to “getting old.” After all, that’s how I felt. The older I got, the heavier I got, the less I moved. It was all a vicious cycle that I was in without even knowing it. I thought that what I was experiencing was a normal part of the aging process.  I thought I was living the life I was destined to live.

By Lori Camper

305 lbs. How did I get here?

I was always the “husky” kid.  I was overweight, but not obese.  I was always the kid that needed to lose 10 or 20 lbs.

As a kid, my weight fluctuated.  I would gain several pounds during the winter and take it off during the summer.  Living in the Midwest, that was easy to do.  We had cold, snowy winters and hot, sunny summers.  We didn’t have air conditioning until I was in high school, so summers were spent outside running, playing, and riding bicycles.

When I became an adult I continued to put on a little weight every winter, but it didn’t come off during the summer months.  I was no longer spending my summers outside.  I was spending all year sitting at a desk.

Five pounds a year for 30 years and there you have it–305 pounds total.  I did try to lose weight a few times.  I tried a few fad diets, but could never stick to them for very long.  The most success I had was with a high protein/low carb diet.  I quickly lost 40 pounds. I also quickly got tired of eating nothing but meat, eggs, and cheese.  After losing 40 pounds, I planned to take a break and then lose 40 more pounds.  I could never make myself go back to the diet, and I eventually gained back 80 pounds.

I had a few miscarriages in my late 30s and then a baby at the age of 40.  I continued to pack on the pounds.  I eventually had two high schoolers involved in sports and a toddler that I could not keep up with.

I finally gave up.  I never believed that my weight was something I could control.  I decided that I was “fat and sassy” and that there was nothing I could do about it–at least about the fat part. I never really was a junk food junkie, but I had my vices (chocolate, ice cream, and Coca Cola).  I had spent the last 20 years taking care of others instead of myself, and it showed.

By Lori Camper