Do You Eat to Live, or Live to Eat?

Eat to Live, don’t Live to Eat!

This is a wonderfully ubiquitous phrase. So many people offer it up as diet advice – “You just have to eat to live, not live to eat”…that’s akin to telling a kid “do better at math”.

It’s a nice sound bite, and when you understand the foundations of nutrition  and the psychology behind eating, it’s a nice phrase to give you a boost when you need it. To continue our analogy, it’s like telling someone who understands complex differential equations that they’ve gotten lazy and need to do better next time – the phrase is more helpful in that context.

So why am I spewing out these wildly entertaining analogies? Because I have begun eating to live. For the longest time, I lived to eat. I was a cook – often I say I am a chef, but technically that would be incorrect – since the age of 13. Many would say I was destined to be a chef, though.

  • I was accepted to culinary school with a scholarship
  • I cooked for all of my parents special occasions
  • I mastered truly difficult concepts and cuisines with little more than the food network to guide me (we’re talking chocolate truffles, smoked barbecue, homemade pastas, homemade breads/pizzas, Mexican  Indian  Italian, French, English, German, pastries. I nailed it all!)
  • I was even featured on a 30 minute episode on the Food Network
To say that my life revolved around food would be an understatement. When I was in college (not for culinary school), I used to cook my own food in the cafeteria with the crude instruments they made available for us instead of eating the pre-made stuff, and I even had friends asking me to make their food as well, because what I made was so much tastier.

Eating to Live – Enter the Nutritarian

I kind of understand what it means to Eat to Live now, though I’m not going to spoil it for you – you’ll all have epiphany’s at some point and realize what it really means to Eat to Live (hint: first, you must understand what it really means to live)
I have begun a new way of eating in the past couple of weeks. I’ve been trying to keep my enthusiasm tempered, but it is difficult to do so. I have more energy than I have had in a long time. I’m able to focus as well as I could in High School – I was one of the kids who could actually focus in high school. In 13 days since I started eating this way, I have lost 29 pounds of weight. It just seems to melt off.
I have been doing this by following a nutritarian style of eating. 
What does that mean? It means that I choose the foods I eat based on their nutrient density. I have not limited myself, and I am not following portion controls – those two guidelines are the tenets of *diets* which fail all the time.
You can read all about this lifestyle in a couple of books from Joel Fuhrman:

Fair Disclosure: I get a cut if you click on one of these links and buy something, though it won’t cost you any extra.

Now, I’m not a Doctor, but Dr. Fuhrman is. He’s been a family physician for 20 years. He has guided thousands of patients on this journey, and he has reviewed over 20,000 medical and nutritional papers while developing this program. He knows his stuff.

Eat for Health? I Just Want to Lose Weight

Don’t worry, you will absolutely lose weight. But consider that if you are old enough to read this blog, you are old enough to have the early stages of Atherosclerosis, which basically means you have heart disease, and will probably die younger than you need to. We’re seeing this medical issue in 8 year olds now, and nearly everyone develops it as they get older (if you’re 30, and are not a true health freak…I promise you have developed Atherosclerosis)
The good news is, you can reverse this disease. You can reverse heart disease, you can prevent cancer, you can reverse Type II Diabetes, you can fix your Rheumatoid Arthritis. These aren’t crackpot claims, they are researched, and have been proven to be part of the results of a nutritarian eating plan. 
Let’s take a quick poll:
If you could choose only one, which would it be?
  1. Start getting sick in your 50’s, with major medical issues in your 60’s. Die in your 70’s…maybe 80’s if you are lucky, and don’t die of heart disease or cancer first
  2. Feel vibrant at 50, strong at 60, healthy at 70, still strong at 80, and be able to do your own yard work and work on your house in your 90’s
Easy decision, right? Well guess what, the two scenarios above are based on the two diets below
  1. Scenario 1 (painful, early death) is tied to the Standard American Diet (SAD) and even the diet of many Mediteranean countries now
  2. Scenario 2 is related to a diet that is focused on whole, nutrient dense plant foods.

Healthy Food Tastes Like Cardboard Though!

It’s true. If you eat the “diet” foods out there, the stuff that is labeled as “healthy”, then it usually tastes like crap (but, ironically, is nearly as bad for you as the unhealthy stuff it is replacing)
The key is that you don’t buy food that has to tell you it’s healthy. You buy the actual healthy foods. I’m talking mostly fruits and vegetables. Some nuts and seeds. Legumes (that’s a fancy word for beans). 
Then, you put them together in delicious ways, and voila! You have a method for eating healthy, and putting food in your body that you body will thrive on. 
But won’t you get hungry? You’re not eating anything substantial, right?
Wrong. You’ll actually feel more full than you ever have, because you’ll be properly nourished. You’ll lose your toxic hunger, eventually, and you’ll only feel true hunger. Let me be clear that eating what one co-worker deemed “rabbit food” has made me feel more satisfied than I ever have felt before.

Let me repeat that. Eating whole, nutrient-dense foods has made me feel more full, and more satisfied, than ever before.

Please ignore the gimmicky, Ron Popeil style. The information is good

How can YOU Eat to Live?

Well, I don’t want to rush you into things. If you rush in without understanding the underlying basis behind these recommendations, then you’ll likely starve yourself, and end up with another failed “diet” on your hands.
I highly recommend you read one or both of the books above. They give a fantastic background on nutrition (even if you think you know nutrition, you will learn something, I promise) and Eat to Live is only like $6.
If you want the recommendations right now, then I’ll give them to you, but I’m telling you – read the book. You will be glad that you have the nutritional background. At the very least, start reading the book at the same time as you start the eating plan.

The Nutritarian lifestyle (aka the Eat to Live plan by Dr. Joel Fuhrman)

There are 3 categories of food that we look at. The foods that are Unlimited, those which are limited, and those that are off limits. After 6 weeks, you can start to introduce some of the off limits food (though everyone I have talked to who has done this has said the same thing: “I didn’t even like the foods I used to eat when I tried them again”)


  • All raw vegetables, with an emphasis on greens (goal: 1 lb. daily)
  • Cooked green vegetables and non-green nutrient dense vegetables (goal: 1 lb. daily)
    • The non-green nutrient vegetables are: Eggplant, Mushroom, Peppers, Onions, Tomato, and other non-starchy vegetables
  • Fresh Fruit (at least 4 daily)
  • Beans, Legumes, Bean Sprouts (minimum 1 cup daily total)


  • Cooked starchy vegetables OR whole grains – (MAX: 1 cup daily)
    • This includes: butternut or acorn squash, corn, sweet potato, brown rice, cooked carrots, whole grain breads, whole grain cereals (avoid the bread and cereals as much as possible)
  • Raw nuts and seeds (1 oz daily) or 2 ounces avocado
  • Ground Flaxseed (1 tablespoon daily – you should strive for this)
  • Soymilk, low-sugar preferred (MAX: 1 cup daily)
    • I try not to eat or drink anything soy, because I feel the jury is still out on the safety of soy in large doses

OFF LIMITS (That means NONE)

  • Dairy Products
  • Animal Products
  • Between Meal Snacks
  • Fruit Juice, dried fruits
  • Salt, Sugar
  • Oils
It sounds intense, doesn’t it? It sounds extreme, doesn’t it? Well then read the book – every single suggestion here is backed up by incredible amounts of medical research. I will not list it all here – that would be superfluous.
If you want to dive in, again, read the book as you go, or, ideally, read the book first. 
I will keep you posted along the way, will continue to give tips, and would love to hear from all of you on how you are doing!

I thought Fruit was Bad – It has Sugar

It’s true that fruit has sugar. It’s also true that Fruit has antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and likely hundreds of other compounds we have not even discovered yet which will protect you from cancer and other diseases. Fruit is an important part of your diet, so don’t let one macro nutrient keep you from eating the hundreds of other compounds that you body desperately needs.
While we’re at it, Olive Oil is not good for you either. All oil is detrimental to health. The study (notice the singular form, one single study) that showed olive oil reduced cholesterol was misguided. In follow-up studies, those with a diet high in Olive Oil did reduce cholesterol. The problem is that Cholesterol doesn’t cause Heart Disease – it’s a marker for heart disease, a measurement for heart disease. Those who ate the olive oil had reduced Cholesterol, but had the exact same risk of heart disease as those who ate the diet rich in saturated fat.
This is Dr. Caldwell Eccleston – one of the world leaders in preventing and reversing Heart Disease
He is in his 70’s. Wouldn’t you like to look that good in your 70’s?

100 Calories of Broccoli has more Protein than 100 Calories of Steak

I have heard so many people tell me “You won’t get enough Protein!”

Excuse my french, but bullshit. There have been countless studies that have shown that not only is a vegan diet rich in protein, but that animal protein in the quantities most people consume it is actually detrimental to your health in a big way. 

And don’t feed me the “but our ancestors ate meat” argument. You know what our ancestors ate? They ate mostly greens, fruits, and other vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Sometimes, they would get lucky and get some meat. They ate what they needed to survive, and our bodies are adapted to be adaptable, but they are not designed to be meat processing machines.
100 calories of Broccoli has more protein than 100 calories of steak.

The largest animals on the planet are vegetarian (Whales, horses, rhinoceroses, elephants, giraffes, cows…all vegetarian.)

I don’t think I can do it

Yeah, you can. Trust me. When you are properly nourished, you lose your cravings and addictions to the bad food. Your body was likely living in a state of malnourishment for many years. This eating plan will enable your body to heal itself, and will enable you to live!

When I was home for the weekend, I cooked a few meals based on this lifestyle. My parents ate it, and loved it. Here’s what my dad told me the next week.

“You know, I ate the vegetable heavy foods you made last weekend, and I felt really great. It’s not like I even stopped eating the other stuff, but I felt so different – in a good way. I wasn’t hungry after eating that veggie lasagna until the next day at lunch! 

A couple of days later, after eating the junk again, I could feel it slowing me down”

I’m hoping my parents will join me on this food journey – I’d certainly like to see them live vibrantly into their 90’s. So join us on this journey. Read the book – at the very least, you’ll learn something, and in the best case, you’ll change your life forever.

So why not give it a shot. What do you have to lose? 29 pounds in 12 days sounds pretty sweet, right? 

Tips for Weight Loss: How to Set a Reward for Yourself!

Recently, I blogged about an $11,000 trip I am setting up as a reward for myself for getting to 200 pounds. I’d like to dive a bit deeper into why I set up this reward, and how you can do it too.

Why set a reward?

Often times, the reward set for weight loss is something small, like “I’ll go to the spa”, or “I’ll feel better”, or “The Weight loss is its own reward”. That’s phooey, I want something big. If I get to 200 pounds (which I haven’t been at since I was like 11) I want something that means it was worth it. I will likely set up rewards along the way as well (I’m thinking a flight to New York to see Book of Mormon at, say, 300 pounds) and I may even set up some anti-rewards, ala Tim Ferriss, but this is my final, major goal, and reward.
This is a fantastic, powerful reward…most would say.

This is also going to be a bit painful. You see, if I don’t hit my goal, then I will constantly see $11,000 sitting in this account, earning minimal interest. That is painful to someone who invests his money. This is a constant reminder of what I am saving, and why I am saving. The excitement of what is waiting at the end of the road is great, but when I need the motivation, I’ll have the pain of seeing so much cash sitting uninvested.

Choose a Good Reward – You Deserve It

This works for any goal setting – weight loss, weight gain, starting a business, learning a language (a great reward for learning a language is a trip to that country!), etc.
I am focusing on Weight loss in this post, because it is a universal goal.
If you need help setting a realistic weight loss goal, click here first.
Okay, have you set a goal? Great. Now it’s time to set a reward.
Here are your guidelines:
  • Your Reward must be tangible
  • Your Reward must be allowed only when your goal is met
  • Your Reward must be big and expensive*
  • Your Reward must be something you can brag about
  • Your Reward must be something that excites you
* Expensive is a relative term. If you make $40k/year, then a $2,000 reward might be expensive. If you make $500,000 a year, then $25,000 might be expensive. $11,000 is a lot of money to me, so I chose that, but I know that is way too much for many people as well – I had to do something really big for myself to be a kick in the a**.

Some suggestions for rewards:
  • A trip – Anything from a trip to a local amusement park, to a year long trip around the world
  • A car – For those who are making $500k/year
  • A new TV or other tech gadget (Phone, Game system, computer, etc.)
  • A 2 day spa retreat
  • A new pet (dog, cat, fish, mouse, snake, hamster, gerbil, alligator)
  • A really delicious meal at a fancy restaurant (best for non-weight loss goals)

How to Track a Reward

My preferred method for tracking a reward (not a goal) is a four pronged approach.
  1. Create a savings account just for your reward (this assumes your bank can support this, otherwise, use a spreadsheet, or a simple piece of paper)
  2. Set up the Goal in Mint to track how well you are moving toward your goal.
  3. Calculate how much your reward will cost, and when you are targeting to finish your goal (Mint can help with this)
  4. Set up an automatic draft into your reward account each month
    1. The equation to use is: Cost of reward/# of months until goal attainment = Monthly amount to save
I set up a new account in ING Direct (Capital One 360) called “Around the World” and funded it with $1,000
I set up the goal in Mint for $11,000, with the goal of achieving it by April, 2015
Mint told me I need to save $385 per month to reach my goal
I set up an automatic transfer into this account of $192.50, twice per month (when I get paid)
I created a third account in ING Direct
I then created the goal in Mint

This method forces you to commit to your goal. You are automatically putting money toward this reward, and by doing so, you are taking out one of the barriers that could trip you up: Your own psyche. Computers don’t tell little lies to themselves “well, it wasn’t the right reward”, “I could use this money elsewhere”, “I don’t need this, I have strong will power” – all a bunch of fear based BS. The computer will, every month, automatically transfer the cash.

This provides automatic incentive, and many, if not all of us, can absolutely use some automatic incentive.

As I set additional rewards for my journey, I will be using exactly this approach.

Final Step: Take Action Now

Isn’t this a great idea?

Yes, it is, so take 10 minutes right now to define a goal and a reward. I then will grant you 48 hours to refine or change your goal/reward.

But starting right now, take 10 minutes and define your goal and reward, a starting point at least.

I bet you already have a goal – perhaps one you’ve been talking about for the past 2 years or so, saying “I’m going to do it”. I bet it has been part of at least one broken New Years Resolution. Goals can be refined along the way, but pick an ultimate goal, and pick a reward…NOW.

When you are enjoying your trip, or car, or video game, or dinner, or whatever your reward is, I think you’ll be pretty happy that you took these ten minutes to set a goal, set your reward, and commit to changing your life for the better.

Your new life begins in 10 minutes, so get to it.


Here’s some more motivation. Visualize the goal. You have money sitting in front of you, but if you are just not motivated by money enough, then really visualize what the reward will be like!

For example: During my ’round the world trip, I will be finding this place, and staying there:

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Tips for Weight Loss: Set a Goal…AND a Reward

Of the 3 facets of taking control of your life, Health, Wealth, and Love, my main focus right now is on Health.

I have a lot of goals, a lot of interests, and a lot of hobbies. However, one of the most persistent goals throughout my life has been to be a normal weight.

There’s Something about Paul

When I was a newborn baby, I was an underweight child – I was lactose intolerant but my parents didn’t know it right away. I threw up every night (can you imagine how awful it must have felt to have a child who was sick constantly? I love my parents – that had to be awful). Then, when they figured out that I was intolerant of lactose, I was able to keep food down (lactaid to the rescue!). I got to a normal weight, and then I just kept going, and going and going. You see, except for a few brief months as a newborn, I’ve been overweight all my life.

I was on weight watchers by age 10 (maybe 8? It’s hard to remember), worked with a nutritionist, and was even featured on Food Network’s Cooking Thin. The host, Kathleen Daelemans worked with overweight individuals to show them they could be successful at losing weight – because she had been in the same shoes.

For a very long time, now, I have weighed over 300 pounds – when I was 16, I was nearly down below 300, and then my Birthday happened. I know it sounds crazy to let one event throw off years of work, but it happens. It’s a perfect storm of cravings, low will power, and one event to push you over the edge. The bad habits come flooding back in. This often occurs with the following promises “well, it’s okay to cheat for one day”, “Once I get back home, then it’s back to the diet”, “I worked hard, I deserve a little break, then back to it!” Eventually, the promises stop, and the weight comes back.

I had a few bouts of weight loss in college, and another one earlier this year (lost like 20-30 pounds), but the weight came back. Now, I’m back to where I started – realizing I need to change.

Now, this post is not about the psychological challenges I’ll face – I’m sure I’ll post about those in the future. This is about the goal I am setting for myself, and the associated reward.

My Goal: To reduce my weight to 200 pounds

My Reward: A trip around the world

Now, let me walk you through the reasoning. I’ve recently gotten into travel hacking as a mild hobby. It’s a fun one. Travel hacking is essentially finding a way to travel more than the average person, for much less than it would cost the average person, usually by acquiring frequent flier miles and hotel points, and by using those strategically to book travel for a very low cost – sometimes an international trip for hundreds of dollars.

Why Wait to Travel?

For domestic travel, I’m fine – airplanes and hotels are built for fat Americans now, so it’s not that big of an issue.

However, when looking at International travel, a lot of compromises must be made. Smaller planes, middle seats, small hotel rooms, these all favor someone of a smaller stature.

Additionally, enjoying a lot of these countries requires one to be in semi-decent shape. I have bad knees, and am developing a bad back – I don’t want to get to Thailand and not be able to walk around to see the country!

Furthermore, one thing almost no one thinks of – clothes. Taking clothes for someone my size takes up a lot of space – One of my shirts takes up the space of like 3 shirts someone at a normal weight would – this makes it even more difficult to travel!

So what’s a guy to do? Easy, I’m putting off my trip around the world until I reach my goal weight. To make sure I work toward this, I have set up a separate account in ING Direct with $1,000 (now Capital One 360) for my ’round the world Trip. I have defined the goal in Mint, and am putting away $385 per month to reach this goal. This means that in 2 years or so, I’ll have $11,000 saved up to take this around the world trip. I don’t know if I’ll need the whole 11 grand (I hope not!) but this will allow me to live in some luxury along the way. I am currently planning on 21 days, though that will obviously be subject to change when I start booking my travel in 2 years – I’d love to go for 2 or more months!

This is my story: in the coming days, I will provide you with the guidelines to set your own goal and reward. 2013 is the year for goals, and what goes great with Goals? Rewards!!!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 5

I’m partaking in a 5-day juice fast. To read more about it, and see how you can do it too, check out: The Juice Fast Rules
I am going to keep a daily journal, which will be posted at the end of each day. Wish me luck! When this is all over, I will be a happier, healthier, more energetic self!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 1
Juice Fast Journal: Day 2
Juice Fast Journal: Day 3
Juice Fast Journal: Day 4


Feeling much better this morning. I’m a bit tired, but I am not having those hunger pangs again. The weirdest thing is: I had a dream last night that I accidentally broke my fast on the morning of day 5. I kept writing “failure” everywhere – on my menu, on the recipe…bizarre. I guess writing about breaking the fast right before I went to sleep wasn’t the best thing in the world for my subconscious. 
Weight loss slowed to 0.4 pounds lost.


Well, I had my green juice – Mean Green (though with pears instead of apples). I think I just got hit hard with some detox flu though. It’s like there was a backup of…something, and this is kick starting everything again. Feeling really tired right now. Not in the best condition ever right now, but I’ll persevere.


The Mean Green definitely did help this morning, and straining it was clutch – I don’t know why, but Kale Pulp kind of makes me sick. Here’s the thing, I’m feeling that same deep down, intense hunger I felt yesterday evening. I have about 25 ounces of Juice here at work – if it isn’t enough to keep this at bay, then I’ll be breaking the fast. I believe Juice Fasting to be very good for you, but I am also a very firm believer in listening to your body. 
I’ve been reading through a few articles on Juice Fasting, and have made a connection – the early stage symptoms of a Juice fast are eerily similar to the early stages of Atkins. A quick search for “symptoms of Ketosis” show that the symptoms are nearly the same – headache, body odor, bad breath, headache, lethargy…it’s all the same. I may go ahead and try to find some ketone testing strips before I end this fast. I think we could all use a little empirical evidence regarding Juice Fasting anyway.
I’m also seeing a lot of evidence that a few of the claims of Juice fasting are a bit bogus (we all knew *some* of it would be). For example, there is very little evidence that impacted fecal matter is a real thing (the idea that there is old, putrid fecal matter stuck to your intestine walls). I’m not saying that this is impossible, but that I would like to see more evidence for it. Further, the “Detox Flu” symptoms appears to be simple Ketosis (not simple at all, but you get what I mean). I will hopefully be able to confirm or deny that, at least for myself, shortly.
Either way, Juice Fasting is still a great way to pump loads of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) into your body. The fear of a limited protein diet should be put to rest by having a varied assortment of vegetables – raw vegetables (mostly leafy greens) contain all of the amino acids we need (the essential Amino acids). By taking them in their raw form, and not in cooked protein, I believe it is actually easier for our system to process than a complete protein in the form of Animal Protein or Soy. Consider that horses have one of the highest percentages of muscle per body weight, and they are vegetarian – this doesn’t prove that we process food the same as horses, but does show that all protein requirements are available in a pure vegan, non-soy diet. 
That was a bit of a mind dump – I spent a good chunk of time reading up new information, and since this is a journal, I was able to get it out. I’m off for my juice now.


I’m feeling better now, but I think I am going to break my fast tomorrow morning. I will break it with fruit: Orange, Watermelon, Honeydew melon, etc. I really toyed with the idea of going longer, but it doesn’t feel right, right now. And to me, juice fasting might feel painful sometimes, miserable other times, but it always feels “right” as you’re going through it. Right now, it’s just not feeling right. Whether that is a lack of enthusiasm, or not, it’s how I feel.
I also read something interesting over at – Dr. Andrew Weil pointed out that during a fast, the first two days we are getting energy from foods which were still in our digestive system. The following two days, we are using up the glycogen stores from our livers. The true fast occurs on day 5+ … perhaps that’s why I felt a bit different today. I’m also really looking forward to a kale salad tomorrow for lunch. Like…a lot! I really want that salad – I almost went and got it tonight, but I am going to complete the full 5 days, just so I can say I did it! 
And I did do it.

Juice Fast Journal: Day 4

I’m partaking in a 5-day juice fast. To read more about it, and see how you can do it too, check out: The Juice Fast Rules
I am going to keep a daily journal, which will be posted at the end of each day. Wish me luck! When this is all over, I will be a happier, healthier, more energetic self!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 1
Juice Fast Journal: Day 2
Juice Fast Journal: Day 3
Juice Fast Journal: Day 5


Wow, no post until now, today has been busy! Today has been considerably easier. I am still drinking my citrus juice from this morning (delicious, tasty, and, I’m sure, full of sugar) I have had a few co-workers asking me about what I’m doing – most in disbelief at what I am doing. Unfortunately, one of my co-workers is making Chicken and Dumplings tonight, and I have to say no 🙁 So that’s a downside. Of course, I suppose I could go make a juice, and then head on over to his house…no reason to be anti-social.
I am not having a whole lot of physical reactions to the fast today. A headache at one point – I upped the water intake, and drank some juice. Pretty simple. I do still have the gross taste in my mouth, but that’s to be expected as part of detox. I slept longer last night, but was still tired this morning. The important thing is: I have not had any negative effects on my work (either professional or personal). The Juice fast is making me feel better, and I’m very happy about that! 
Also, more weight loss this morning – 2 more pounds. This can be so damn encouraging – I’m 18 pounds lighter than I was just 81 hours ago. I grant that a good deal of that is water weight (most, in fact, is likely water weight), but to have 18 fewer pounds wearing on your joints just makes you feel a whole heck of a lot better!


It’s interesting – I don’t have a whole lot to journal about regarding the juice fast. I’m drinking less juice than I thought I would, but I’m honestly not missing food right now. I’m not facing major side effects, or massive challenges. I’m pretty much back into living my life, with the juice as an afterthought. This evening, when I was hungry, I prepared my dinner – except instead of chopping vegetables and cooking them up, I chopped up fruits and vegetables and juiced them. I’m amazed at how much it doesn’t feel strange to be juicing. It honestly feels like I’ve been doing it all my life – the fact that I’m very open about it at work, and I’m blogging about it daily helps too, I’m sure.
I think the thing that will be most difficult, if I choose to extend (and I think I will), is when I go to Dallas this weekend to hang out with friends. Food is always part of that relationship, as is drinking. I usually drink coffee at home (my parents house) and I developed a lot of my poor eating habits in that house. I’d be concerned about the environmental factors I might face. 
We shall see how I handle it. It’s difficult to eat healthy when you are somewhere for a short amount of time – consider that if you buy fruits and vegetables, you can’t just buy what looks good and come up with a plan, it feels like you need to have a plan before shopping, which takes forethought. Not impossible, but more difficult. That will certainly be a great challenge, though!


I think I’m feeling real, true, hunger pangs. I have not had any greens in my juices today (this plan seriously needs some work) and I’ve heard that it’s the greens that actually “feed” you. The nutrient density of the greens (I assume) give you the nourishment you need, whereas the more fruit/sugar related juices do not provide this nourishment. I am set to have Sunset juice (sweet/fruit) for breakfast and Mean Green for lunch. I think I’ll change that and do Mean Green for breakfast, Sunset for Lunch. I’m like…seriously hungry right now. Hopefully I’ll make it through the night. The hunger is even a bit painful – if the Mean Green doesn’t fix this, then I’ll go ahead and break the fast. Weird change of mind, but I have a really solid idea that the Mean Green will fix this. Interesting turn of events.
Juice on Everyone!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 3

I’m partaking in a 5-day juice fast. To read more about it, and see how you can do it too, check out: The Juice Fast Rules
I am going to keep a daily journal, which will be posted at the end of each day. Wish me luck! When this is all over, I will be a happier, healthier, more energetic self!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 1
Juice Fast Journal: Day 2
Juice Fast Journal: Day 4
Juice Fast Journal: Day 5


Besides a major ache in my back, last night went well. I wish I had gotten more sleep (who doesn’t?) but other than that, and the sore back, it was good. I’m not sure what caused the sore back – I have a new chair and I am using a new bed which is ultra-firm, so it may be that. I think I’ll need to figure out the proper position within the chair.
Looking forward to the Pink Kale this morning. Additionally, I’ll make one additional juice in case I get really hungry toward the end of the day (I’m going to a juice bar with my boss for lunch) My face looks even clearer this morning, and my skin looks great – it’s amazing what a high dose of fruits and veggies can do for you.
Also, I’m down an additional 3.8 pounds. I think this would be a good plan for weight loss if you were looking for a quick 10 pounds for a wedding or something, though you should keep in mind that short term losses are mostly water weight. If you go on an extended juice f(e)ast, then you will lose real weight, but for these short fasts, it’s mostly water weight.


Lunch was delicious at Roots – a delightful mix of seasonal greens, apples, ginger, and lemon. Simple, yet delicious. It was not very large, however, so I’m glad I brought along my juice in a Perrier bottle just in case. It’s in the fridge at work now. I’m feeling really good – pretty clear headed, a little hungry, though I have a weird taste in my mouth…detox perhaps? It’s possible for your body to expel certain stored chemicals (toxins) through your mouth, which can cause a nasty taste. One time, it even made everything taste bitter for me (I had a wheat beer…it tasted like an IPA – it was too bitter for me to drink). Such a great day so far! Goooooo Juicing!


I’m watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Man, this is such a great shot in the arm. I was feeling weak today – not like I was craving food, though. I had this feeling that I would just eat later today. It was a bizarre feeling. But I know, it’s 2 days until I eat solid food again. I also think it would be pretty cool if I decided to extend this 🙂 7 – 10 days? Nah, we’ll see how I feel at the end of this.
It’s always so amazing to me how much food plays a part in social life, too. It seems like by not eating, I am voluntarily making myself an outcast. That may be tough to manage, but my physical health is coming first right now. This is a change I’m making. I am playing around with how much I want vegetarianism to be part of my new life. And I just realized, I need to take note, that February 9, 2013 was the first day that everything changed. It’s the turning point of my physical health – it’s the switch from BC to AD.


I just finished F,S&ND – seriously, if you’ve never watched it…go watch it right now. I am so freaking inspired, and I think I’m going to take a walk. I need to get out of my room, and start living. Joe said in the film, “I went from being a person who knew, to a person that would do”. It’s time for me to do the same, Damnit! Also – loads of energy right now. I love juice fasts. I did not get enough sleep last night, though, so I need to make sure I sleep well tonight.


Another great development – the energy and feeling of control I have from doing this juice fast is spilling over into other aspects of my life. I was working on an app with a friend called Bar Crawl Bingo (essentially, you go out with your friends on a bar crawl – everyone uses the app, and you compete in a game of bingo. How do you fill in the squares? By ordering the drinks in those squares! Fun for the whole family!!!…please drink responsibly) I had completely dropped the ball on this one, and I felt awful about it, but I just didn’t seem to be able to focus. Well, my buddy e-mailed me today asking if I was still in, and now that I’m turning things around with my productivity, I said yes! We just got off the phone, and we are moving again. Hoping to have the launch in time for the Spring Break Season. I love it (and big thanks to Erik for giving me the little kick in the ass I needed!)


Great night! I walked to Whole Foods to buy a strainer…they didn’t have one. Fortunately, I was able to spend $28 on other stuff there (I hate that store). I bought some blood oranges and d’anjou pears…should be delicious! (The other thing I bought was some “Green Superfood” powder which is quite tasty)
Then, the lady at Whole Foods suggested Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I checked Google Maps, and Hurrah, they were open until 10! Alas, after walking there, they had closed at 9. Fortunately, the guy let me in since I had only one thing to buy. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do some price comparison, and spent $8 on a strainer that mostly meets my needs. I just was so adamant on not having pulp in my juice! Oh well. On the bright side, I walked like 4000 steps.
Lastly, I did not make my final juice this evening, so I think I will make it on Day 6. Any juices that don’t get made will be pushed to a new 6th day. Interesting, huh? (Okay, not THAT interesting, but it’s a great way to account for juices which are part of the menu that don’t get made.
Now, I’m going to sleep while watching The Simpsons…just ‘cuz.
Juice on!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 2

I’m partaking in a 5-day juice fast. To read more about it, and see how you can do it too, check out: The Juice Fast Rules
I am going to keep a daily journal, which will be posted at the end of each day. Wish me luck! When this is all over, I will be a happier, healthier, more energetic self!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 1
Juice Fast Journal: Day 3
Juice Fast Journal: Day 4
Juice Fast Journal: Day 5

Day 2 – Blech


I woke up about 9:30 (actually, exactly 9:30) and I was up. I think I slept really well last night, because I feel incredibly well rested. I don’t think that is actually from the Juice Fast, though, I’m pretty sure that it’s because this is my first weekend without a lot of travel – I’ve been driving back and forth between Houston and Dallas every week for 4 weeks now. I haven’t yet had my juice – I’m not hungry at all, so I think I’ll have to force myself to drink it. Shower felt great – and I used a new soap (Dr. Bronners – if you haven’t discovered it yet – is an awesome product, and you can use it for everything). I also lost 6 pounds since yesterday – this is mostly a combination of water weight and, um, ahem, the food that was still in my digestive system which is no longer there (that was delicate enough, right?)


I realized that the whole not being hungry thing in the morning was good. Now, instead of having Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, I can keep the order of my juices, but change the timing. I had my first juice about 11:30. I’ve just poured my second juice (from the same Mean Green). The Homemade V8 (supposed to be Lunch) will probably not get made/consumed until about 3 or 4. I like it! I did kind of realize just how much fruit is part of this menu – I expect I will change that soon. Usually, I make a mostly vegetable juice with perhaps an apple in it to add some sweetness. In the old days, I would have used maybe 5-10 apples for a 5 day fast, vs. the 16 that this menu calls for. 
Also, I was just in the bathroom, and I noticed my face already looks clearer. Now, I admit, this is partially because of the increased water intake over the past month, and the healthier diet I’ve been trying to eat, but I have to believe part of it is due directly to the juice (and also partially due to the new soap, I suppose). Feeling good. I’m having cravings still (it’s only day 2) but they are less “painful”. I’m talking a psychological pain, not a physical pain…like, I really wanted tortilla chips when I walked by them.
Lastly, since this is a kick-off to weight loss, I have decided that when I get to 200 pounds in weight, I will reward myself with a trip around the world. I’ve created a new savings goal, and will be putting away toward  that goal. Anyone want to join me? I figure 21 days for the travel. I’m going to outline the thought behind this reward in a separate post, because I want to keep these journals nice and succinct.


Homemade V8 is not as lovely as I had hoped. I think I need to get a strainer – I’m getting boatloads of pulp out of my leafy greens. A cup of ground up parsley is not tasty – it’s actually quite nasty. It’s really nasty. I’m choking this down. The flavor is okay – almost like Tabbouleh, but other than that…blech. The good news is, I’m highly productive today – getting my room set up, and getting a lot of work done on the blog. (Changes are coming…I won’t say what, but they are coming. Get ready for a ride!) On a side note: I rather like this whole “living minimalist” style. I can be moved in to a new place in a few days – the last house I was at (where most of my “stuff” still is) never got fully unpacked.


The Homemade V8 sucks. A lot. I just do not enjoy drinking this at all. I’m looking forward to the next juice, hopefully to get this taste out of my mouth. I think I’m going to re-make this menu. I took the menu from another site, and they are just not tasty. The juices I make are much better tasting (and no, I am not just adding a bunch of apples to make it sweet), but the combinations in these juices are just not that tasty. Also, a strainer is mandatory – this pulp just gets sickening after a while. Tomorrow, I’m getting lunch with my boss at Roots Juice, so hopefully a nice storebought juice will be tastier – proven recipes. Also, how nice of my boss to accommodate my juice fasting needs!


Bed time! But first, the harrowing conclusion to the story about the Victim of the V8. I poured it out. An entire glass of juice was poured out because it was so nasty. I was choking it down, minding my own business, when out of no where, I noticed that the juice had taken on a life of its own. “Look out” I said. but it was too late. The juice had separated – all of the liquidy goodness had been trapped by a massive layer of what can only be described as some sort of pond scum. 
Who would drink that?
So…I’ll make edits to my document which outlines the menu for this week. Homemade V8 is out! (It really doesn’t taste anything remotely close to what I remember V8 tasting like the one time I tried it when I was about 12). I didn’t even dare taste the liquid at the bottom, though I was curious what it would taste like. My money is on “pond scum”. If I had never juiced before, and was handed this, I would never, ever, juice.
Fortunately, the Pink Kale recipe was actually quite delicious. It’s for breakfast tomorrow as well. Kale, Apple, Beet, Lime, and Watermelon – it’s a bit sweet, but much more tasty, and just what I needed. Seriously, if the only thing I had for sustenance in my life was that Homemade V8, I would have died in 3 days. Blech.
Goodnight all.

Juice Fast Journal: Day 1

I’m partaking in a 5-day juice fast. To read more about it, and see how you can do it too, check out: The Juice Fast Rules
I am going to keep a daily journal, which will be posted at the end of each day. Wish me luck! When this is all over, I will be a happier, healthier, more energetic self!

Juice Fast Journal: Day 2
Juice Fast Journal: Day 3
Juice Fast Journal: Day 4
Juice Fast Journal: Day 5

Day 1 – So Very Tired


I’ve had my second juice of the day, and I think I’m starting to feel some of the detox flu symptoms. I’m feeling cold, even though I’m snuggled under my favorite blanket. I really am wanting some food – I was watching the Big Bang Theory, and they were eating Chinese, and I just thought how wonderful would that delightfully greasy lo mein be? I’m trying to pass the time by setting up my room (I moved in to a new apartment just 3 days ago) and watching movies/tv shows. I know, it’s a very poor way to spend your time, but it really does help.
I’m glad I started today, because now I have 2 days to get into the fast, and won’t feel miserable at work. The sunset juice is really a delicious juice – not surprising given the abundance of sugar (carrots, apples, sweet potato) and the beets, which I love. I’m looking forward to Mean Green. I know it won’t be as sweet, but I do love how healthy I feel when drinking green juices.


This is kind of funny. I just had the longest stomach growl ever! It was seriously like 8 seconds long. This is fine, because a growling stomach is actually your stomach reverting to its normal size after being stretched out by a meal. If it annoys you, just drink some water, it will fill you on up and slow down the shrinkage. Anyway, my detox flu seems to be getting better – I’m already feeling less lethargic (I’m not into the “crazy energy” stage yet, but I’ll get there). I think I may go ahead and watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly dead…or should I save that until later, when the fast gets really difficult. Who couldn’t use some motivation at that point?


I’m back to feeling incredibly lethargic, I want to just sleep right now, but I’m struggling to do so. I do expect to be asleep by about 9:00 tonight – much earlier than usual. Man, this is always a rough time during the fast. I’m getting some stuff done though – I think in the future, it would be wise to queue up some really easy work for these first couple of days. For example, writing an extensive post about how juice fasting works and what the plan is would be best done before the fast. Definitely hold off on any real physical work. And I just started getting a nasty headache, so I’m signing off of this entry. Oh, mean Green is pretty tasty – very tart (which I like), but if someone didn’t like tartness, they could cut down on the lemon.


It’s just about time for me to sleep. I’m questioning whether there is high enough of a juice consumption with my currently plan. I usually just make juice when I am hungry (every 2-3 hours) but having a specific plan means I don’t have supplies for random juices. I’ll think about that more fully tomorrow.


Sleep time! I’m getting super tired, and probably should just let my body freaking rest! Goodnight. Until tomorrow!

Read on to Day 2!

The Juice Fast Rules

Update: My Juice Fast is now Complete. To read the journals from my 5-day Juice only fast, click below:
Juice Fast Journal: Day 1
Juice Fast Journal: Day 2
Juice Fast Journal: Day 3
Juice Fast Journal: Day 4
Juice Fast Journal: Day 5

Have you ever tried a juice fast? It’s really a great experience. Well, actually, it’s an awful experience at first, but then it becomes a truly wonderful experience. Common effects are increased energy, a healthy “glow” (scientifically proven), clarity of mind, weight loss, and a better sense of well being.

There are a couple of side effects. On day 1-3, some people report “detox flu” which occurs when your body floods its system with a bunch of stored up toxins, plus, the shift from solid food to liquid food has to do something to you as well. Some will experience weird tastes in their mouth, and bad smells coming from their body. This occurs due to the detox – the poison, nasty crap has to escape somehow – and often, it leaves through your mouth and skin. Don’t worry though, it passes (if it even happens at all).

Where can I learn more?

I’m glad you asked. There are plenty of resources for juice fasting. I’d like to give you some!
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead: Follow Joe Cross as he takes off on a 60-day juice fast. Hear his learnings, and get to love one of the gentleman, Phil Staples, who was a 429 lb. truck driver who could barely make it from his truck to the truck stop. It’s a truly inspiring story. It’s an hour and a half that could change your life.
Join the Reboot: There is an entire program based around the juicing program followed by Joe. You can join the reboot, and do like I am – reboot your life. Juice fasting and juice feasting are typically the same. The key is that you are setting yourself up to receive all of your nourishment from fresh juices.
John Kohler – John is so much fun to watch. He has unbelievable energy! Furthermore, he runs This is a great resource with lots of information. Beyond that, though, he has published over 300 videos about juicing on Youtube. 
John’s Rawfoods Channel on Youtube

Related Documentaries: These are not directly related to juicing, but are related to good health, and come highly recommended by me
Forks over Knives
Food Matters
Food, Inc.
Padorec Amazon Store – This has everything included (Note: I get a portion if you buy from this store)

Want to join in?

I’d love it if you joined in for a juice feast (even if it is only one day. Heck, even if it is only one meal, it will help you. A lot of people like to substitute a juice for breakfast, instead of their standard eggs and bacon. 
Well, if you want to join, you’ll need a juicer, or access to a fresh juice bar.
But Paul, can’t I just use storebought juices? 
No. Those juices are usually full of sugar. Even if you find the juices that have no additives (there are very few) they will have sat for a while. Juices lose nutrients the longer they sit. Air and light cause the nutrients in the juice to break down, leading to a lower quality juice. Fresh from the juicer is best, stored in an airtight glass container with no air in it (fill it to the top with liquid to accomplish this) is next, and beyond that, the density of nutrients is questionable. Store bought is still better than bacon and eggs, but if you want to do a feast, then you’ll need a juicer.

What juicer should I buy?

Fear not – you don’t need to buy a $530 Green Star Juicer. You don’t even need a $350 Omega VRT juicer. Nay, a simple, $100 model will work. If you are really strapped for cash, you can go with a cheaper model, but just know that you won’t extract as much juice, which means you’ll need to spend more on produce. 
I own two juicers – an Omega VRT 330, and a L’Equip 306601 XL Juicer. These are two different styles.
Omega VRT350 ($300) – This is my favorite juicer. It’s a “masticating” style juicer, which means it works slowly. That means there is less friction, and less heat build up. Essentially, a masticating juicer grinds up and squeezes the fruits and vegetables, instead of chopping it up and flinging it against a screen at high speed (see below). This leads to more nutrient retention, and a much higher quality juice. For a review of it, see this video from one of my favorite juicer fanatics, John Kohler of
L’Equip 306601 XL Juicer ($120) – This is a centrifugal juicer. Centrifugal juicers are the juicers people think of when they hear the word “juicer”. This is the style that the Jack LaLane juicer is. These chop up the fruits/vegetables and fling them against a screen. They are loud, and obnoxious. I bought this one to keep in Vegas when I was working out there, so I could have a juicer at home, and at work (many miles away) without traveling with it every week. When I’m home, I rarely use this one over the Omega VRT. If you can’t afford the Omega, then go with this one, but I’d say if you can afford it, (and how much is your health worth, really?) then go with the Omega.
If you want to be a superstar juicer, or if you are just someone who always wants to have the best of everything, then there is one more option.
Green Star GSE-5000 Elite Jumbo Twin Gear Juice Extractor ($530) – With a name that long, it has to be good, right? This is the super-start, top of the line model for home use (without getting into a $3000 commercial variety). I don’t have a whole to say about this one, since I have never used one before, so let’s let John tell us his thoughts in the Common Questions and Answers Video
If you can’t afford anything, you can probably get by initially with a $30-$50 juicer, or even borrow one from a friend!

My 5-day Juice Fast

I actually got my menu from elsewhere. You can always put together your own juice recipes, but I felt like trying someone else’s concept for a 5-day fast. I found these at NoSugarSweetLife, and I have made a few modifications. I’ll include the full plan here, with my modifications, but I wanted to provide the original source.

Shopping List:

  • Apples: 16
  • Beets: 8
  • Bell Peppers: 5 (I used red)
  • Exotic Greens – 4c. (I bought Baby Kale. The original calls for broccoli, but I am allergic)
  • Carrots: 3 lbs
  • Cranberries: 3 cubs (I bought 1 lb strawberries because there were no cranberries)
  • Cucumbers: 8
  • Ginger: 4 inches
  • Grapefruit: 2
  • Honeydew: 1
  • Kale: 3 bunches
  • Lemons: 3
  • Limes: 7
  • Oranges: 4
  • Parsley: 2 Bunches
  • Red Onion: 1
  • Spinach: 1 Large container
  • Sweet Potatoes: 2
  • Tomatoes: 8
  • Watermelons (small): 1


This is the menu I’m following – all the recipes are below, or via the file available below.

Day 1:

  • B: Sunset Juice (drink half)
  • L: Leftover Sunset Juice
  • D: Mean Green

Day 2: 

  • B: Mean Green
  • L: Homemade V8
  • D: Pink Kale (drink half)

Day 3:

  • B: Leftover Pink Kale
  • L: Carbeeple
  • D: Green Energy (drink half)

Day 4:

  • B: Sweet ‘n’ Tart Citrus
  • L: Leftover Green Energy
  • D: Sunset (drink half)

Day 5: 

  • B: Leftover Sunset
  • L: Mean Green
  • D: Cucumber Melon


You can absolutely create your own recipes, but if that doesn’t appeal to you, then here’s all the work done for you!

Mean Green

  • 6 stalks Kale
  • 1 Cucumbers
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • ½ Lemon
  • 1 piece Ginger


  • 2 lb. Carrots
  • 2 Apples
  • 3 Small Beets

Sunset Juice

  • 1 large Sweet Potato
  • 3 Pink Lady Apples (could use any apple)
  • 2 Large Beets
  • 1 Bell Pepper (red)
  • 1 Orange
  • 4 Carrots

Homemade V8

  • 4 Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Cucumber
  • 1 Red or Orange Bell Pepper
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 lime

Pink Kale

  • 7 stalks Kale
  • 2 apples
  • 1 Large Beet
  • ½ small watermelon
  • 1 lime

Green Energy

  • 4 c. Broccoli, or Substitute – exotic Greens (I used Baby Kale)
  • 4 c. Baby Spinach
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • Handful of Parsley

Sweet ‘n’ Tart Citrus

  • 3 cups cranberries
  • 2 Oranges
  • 2 Grapefruit
  • 2 limes
  • Small piece ginger

Cucumber Melon

  • 3 Cucumbers
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 cups honeydew melon
  • 2 small bell peppers
  • Small piece ginger

I know that’s a lot to take from a blog post, so I have put all of the information for the 5-day fast into an easy to download document you can print right off.


I will be tracking my juice fast using a daily journal. This blog. During the day, I’ll hop onto Blogger, and at the end of each day, I’ll actually post the full journal. Each night (or the following morning) you can catch up on my progress, my tribulations, and hopefully what I’m doing will help others out there to learn.


This one is simple: buy organic whenever possible. You are juicing. Juicing concentrates the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables (mostly vegetables, no?) but it also concentrates toxins and pesticides. Go organic if you can. If you can’t, then wash your produce thoroughly!

If you can afford some organic produce, but not all, then you should check out the dirty dozen. The dirty dozen is the list of the produce which should absolutely, positively be bought organic all the time due to the pesticide use. 


Juice fasting isn’t necessarily cheap. I’m not going to pull the “well, the cost that you’ll save by not having health issues will more than offset the…” blah blah blah. Look, it’s true, being unhealthy is expensive, but people don’t really tend to respond to that logic, so I’m avoiding it.

 If you’re trying to compare to a meal of ramen and water, then there’s no way juice fasting is anywhere near the affordability of those two items. However, compared with the standard diet you’ll see in most households, you’re going to be saving money. I bought nearly 100% organic foods for this, so my cost is a bit higher, but even so, my cost was just fine!

Just $79.83 for 5 days of produce
$79.83 for 5 days of produce. That means I’m dropping ~$13 per day. That is way cheaper than what I usually pay for food in a day (sadly), so it’s a win for me. If I had gone with less organic produce, this could have easily dropped below $10 per day. 

Well, I think this post is probably long enough. If you have any questions, please do leave a comment, or reach out directly at I’d be happy to answer any questions you have, or figure out the answer if I don’t have one! And, of course, I’d love to hear about your juicing success.

Lastly, did you know that you could get my posts sent directly to your inbox? Sign up below to join the e-mail list.

Water Tracking: Success and a New Juice Fast

Well, my 30 day water tracking experiment is a success! I did not miss a single day of tracking. I did miss one day of drinking water at all (yikes!) but my only requirement was that I track the water.

See the images below – success!!!

January Water Tracking began on Jan 10

February tracking until tomorrow

Water tracking as a habit

I tracked everything perfectly, and I will continue to do so. But even more important than tracking it, I created a new habit. Every time I finish my water bottle, I get a craving to mark my water consumption. The key to this, I believe, is the progress bar which fills up as I mark it off.

So now, when I finish my bottle, my mind wants to fill up this progress bar. This follows the habit loop outlined in The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (which I highly recommend as a read). I never intended to  create a habit – but that is what happened.

My intention was to track something easy, to get a head start on my life tracking. I have previously tried to track just about everything related to health (for the full list, see my previous post: New 30 Day Challenge: Tracking Water Intake). This was the first step in building up my tracking ecosystem.

What’s next?

The next thing I plan on tracking is my weight. Daily tracking. However, before I do that, I will be taking off on a Juice fast! I will be doing a 5 day juice fast, which will lead me to clearer skin, better energy, a clearer mind, etc. 
To keep this post manageable, I will post later today what the plan for the juice fast is (I began it this morning, actually) and I will track my progress daily (hey, what’s 5 days?)
As a sample, here’s what my first juice looks like:
A beautiful Ruby Red