juicer used in fat, sick and nearly dead.

While losing over 70 pounds thus far, I've been asked a lot about which Juicer I use and why I use it. I put this on the bottom of another post, but decided it needed to be a post by itself.

I use the Breville JE98XL 850 watt juicer (there is a photo of it below taken in the hotel from when we took it to AZ with us). I chose this juicer even though the Omega Juicer line produces more juice. Omega juicers also take longer to produce the juice and require more prep time. You need to slice things up to make them fit in the chute (opening). I use the same juicer used in fat, sick and nearly dead.

Here is a comparison of the Breville and Omegas, based upon my opinion, lifestyle and use.

The Breville has a 3" wide chute. - I can literally throw whole pears, apples, cucumbers, a head of romaine lettuce, a vine of grapes, heads (bushels) of kale, and other items directly into the chute.
Omega has a much smaller chute and nearly everything has to be sliced smaller to fit.

The Breville makes a juice in about 3 minutes. - We have two kids under four that are always wanting our attention. The time saved by the speed and efficiency of the Breville is huge in our family!
Omega Juicers (with time to cut up the items) take about 20 to 30 minutes.

The Breville produces a high amount of juice, especially for how fast it is.
Omega does produce about 3 to 7 ounces more juice than the Breville however, the time it takes is time I don't have.

In comparison to other, cheaper juicers: A medium to large sized cantaloupe produced only 16 ounces of juice with my friend's juicer.
Using a much smaller cantaloupe, about 1/2 the size (I could easily palm it), produced almost 30 ounces when juiced in the Breville.

The Breville JE98XL Fountain Juicer (850 watt) is around $149.99 on amazon. Using the juicer each day makes the price only $0.41 a day for the first year and then, the price drops even lower the longer you own it.

Omega Juicers run around $299 (some are $50 more or less, depending on the model) on amazon. This same concept can be applied here. Using it daily, the cost is $0.82 a day for the first year.

My opinion: The Breville Juicer is faster, more efficient in terms of giving you your life back and helping to make you a healthier person than the Omega and the output of actual juice received is comparable to the Omega line when everything else is taken into consideration.

If you have kids, a life, a desire to do more than just slice up vegetables and fruits, the Breville is the juicer for you.

I'm asked about "cheaper" juicers all the time. From what I've seen... if you go cheaper, you get less output of juice. I was amazed that the Breville juicer produced almost twice the juice as another "cheaper" model when the cantaloupe was roughly half the size.

If I was to do it all over again, I would not change a thing!
I'm not being paid for this review by or from Breville. I'm just speaking my honest opinion, which became what it is over the last three (3) months of juicing.

From Breville: "Our juicers extract up to 70% of the nutrition right into your glass."
Here is a pdf from Breville (found on their site) Nutritional Yield from a Breville Juicer.

To this day, I've been juicing most of my fruits and vegetables (about 98 to 99%). And for those concerned about protein... that is another post all together.
For now, here are my lab results. Check out the Protein, Good and Bad Cholesterol numbers and more! Healthy is what my goal was and healthy is what I've achieved and am still magnifying!

It has been over 101 days... and I'm still juicing 95+% of everything I consume.
Still losing weight.. still working out. Life is going well. And energy levels are through the roof!

Are you ready to lose weight or to start juicing?
I signed up for these to help motivate myself as I lost weight.

The HealthyLoser contest fee was $100 with $8,000 given out to those who place. On their pre-registration page, please tell them that you heard about them here; on 84lbs84days.blogspot
"All participants who lose at least 15% of their Body Weight will win Cash."
Only 300 people are allowed in each group and then another one can start forming.

The HealthyWage website has three different incentives for losing weight.
They give each person a referral ID number if they share their site: My ID number is: 1011207644

Within HealthyWage they have:
A free BMI challenge that pays you $100.00 for lowering your BMI to a healthy one.
10% weight loss challenge that pays $150, up to $300.
5 person team challenge called "The Matchup" that pays $10,000, $5000 and $2,000

Top 10 Items

I do a lot of juicing of my fruits and vegetables. In fact, "a lot" might be an understatement. This post is helpful for anyone (those who consume vegetables and fruits normally and those that are juicing or in the middle of a reboot or detox) that enjoys quality food, decent prices (at times the best prices I've seen, ever) and great overall flavor! Of course this market is located in SoCal. However, in time anyone can learn what a good price is on fruits and vegetables in their area. Knowledge is power and knowing about what prices should be can help you save a lot while shopping for produce... anywhere!

What follows is The Top 10 Food Items purchased last night. The monthly (at times bi-monthly) haul from Red Tomatoes Farmers Market was another HUGE success!

10) Cucumbers (regular) - $0.50 each. Often found for $0.69 - $1.39 each
  9) Eggplant (Big Firm ones) - $0.50 each! Normally $1.29 - $2.00+ each.
  8) Red, Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers - $0.33 a pound! Most stores charge $0.99 - $1.60 each.
  7) Green Bell Peppers - $0.33 each!  Most stores have these for $0.99 - $1.60 each.
  6) Italian Parsley - 7 for $1.00! Typically found around $0.99 - $1.29 each
  5) Red Grapes - $0.99 a pound! Often these are $1.99 to $2.99 a pound!
  4) Green Grapes - $0.50 a pound! Usually these are $1.99 - $2.99 a pound!
  3) English Cucumbers - $0.50 each! Sam's Club has them: $3.99 for 3. Most stores: $1.69+ each!
  2) Kale (Green Kale) - $0.59 each! Normally these are $1.99 - $2.99 each!
  1) Jack Fruit - $0.69 a pound! Last time I bought this they charged $3.99 a pound!

Seriously... who does this?
Red Tomatoes Farmers Market, that's who? I stumbled across them a month or two ago and I LOVE them!

I weighed in at 181 pounds on April 14th! In 13 weeks I have dropped from 252 pounds!

Lose Weight

It is official... 67.4 pounds lost in 84 days!
See photo below.
My goal is still to lose 84 pounds.
I will continue on this journey. Once there I plan on toning up, remaining healthy and enjoying life!

These weight lost contests that I entered increased my motivation. The financial incentives (payouts) was just enough to encourage me to keep pushing forward. While the small fee to join them was low enough to be affordable, but high enough to make me push myself!

The HealthyLoser contest fee was $100 with $8,000 given out to those who place. On their pre-registration page, please tell them that you heard about them here; on 84lbs84days.blogspot
"All participants who lose at least 15% of their Body Weight will win Cash."
Only 300 people are allowed in each group and then another one can start forming.

The HealthyWage website has three different incentives for losing weight.
They give each person a referral ID number if they share their site: My ID number is: 1011207644

Within HealthyWage they have:
A free BMI challenge that pays you $100.00 for lowering your BMI to a healthy one.
10% weight loss challenge that pays $150, up to $300.
5 person team challenge called "The Matchup" that pays $10,000, $5000 and $2,000

These links to other posts that I made throughout this journey. I'm hoping they will help first time readers with any questions they have.


Down 21 pounds in 8 1/2 days!

The 14th day of my efforts. I am down 25 pounds in 14 days!

What about the fiber? Humans need a few grams of fiber a day, not pounds of it.


I desired to lose weight for my own health. Entering a weight loss contest gave me additional motivation as the financial commitment added an extra push. It was only $50 to join the contest, but the incentive of a winner take all contest helped me along the way. At one point I fell into second place... which was actually probably a HUGE blessing. Going from being chased to chasing someone really turned my mentality around as well!

The contest was brutal... as I knew that two of my competitors were actively losing weight. Being that the three of us are part of a five member team going for a $10,000 prize, I knew that at least two members of the individual contest on facebook would be pushing themselves hard too! In reality the incentive was great, but more importantly, the pounds I had hanging around my body got shed, and that is the biggest reward! I posted the photo above on facebook as well, now since the individual competition is completed, I'm okay with my teammates seeing these results.

I'm surprised at how much a percentage contest really makes a difference versus looking at just pounds lost. Losing 67.4 pounds, a 26.75 percent loss was only 2.05 percent more than my closest competitor! She lost 24.7% during the 12 week contest! 

Going from 252 pounds on January 12th, 2013 to weighing out at 184.6 pounds (on the same scale) on April 8th, 2013 is awesome! I feel lighter (obviously), more fit, happier, I have more energy, etc... 

The last twelve weeks have educated me about the power of choice and what having knowledge really means. I've said it before on here and I'll say it again. Having knowledge is one thing, implementing that is another. You can know everything about something and never actually use it or apply it in your life and it will not benefit you. When it comes to weight loss and eating well, no one can do those things for you. I can't do an Insanity workout and you benefit from it. Likewise, a salad consumed by you gives me no nutrients.

It has been nearly 90 days since I started "juicing" my meals. People ask me if I am going to juice forever. This is the best way to answer that question. I can easily see myself making one large juice a day and sticking that in mason jars or some form of a bottle and placing it in the fridge for consumption throughout the day. I used to make several juices a day. The time it took to clean the juicer every time, was a lot. Now, I simply decide what I want for the day and make it. If, as the day progresses I want an apple juice or I want something more, I can fire up the juicer and make something. For now though a juice can be made in just a few minutes in the morning. It yields between 50 to 80 ounces. About 16 to 30 are enjoyed for breakfast and the rest is divided into jars and placed in the fridge. I love variety, so at times I will make a 40 to 60 ounce juice and then another 40+ ounce with different ingredients. Maybe make a sweet one and a vegetable based one.

Do I feel full... and what about calories? I get this question a lot too. When the 400+ pound man in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead said he felt "full" I turned to my wife and said, if he can feel full. This fat man (who was about 1/2 his size) can feel full too! If you are on a "diet" or trying this "juice" lifestyle for a little while or making a change that could involve at least one juice a day, forever. The question about feeling satisfied or better yet, NOT feeling hungry always comes up. The best thing about juicing is you can literally control your calories better (in my opinion) and feel fuller than you ever can while consuming processed foods. Why? Well a 100 calorie snack pack is just that. A snack, with 100 calories in it and it is gone... gone in just a few minutes when most people open it. Take a 100 calories and put it into a juice. Simply said, I can juice 100 calories of vegetables and get several ounces of "juice" and then that can be divided into jars/bottles and consumed throughout the day. Now, I know 100 calories ins't much. That was just an easy number to use. Imagine if your goal was to consume 1,200 calories a day. Well, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is nearly 400 calories (closer to 360). Eat that 3 or 4 times in a day and you're at your threshold. Unless you slice the sandwiches down into pieces and ration them out so you get portion of it every few hours, most people eat their sandwich within a few minutes of making it. Now... the juice. A 1,200 calorie juice. WoW! I don't think I've ever made that caloric of a juice. I'm guessing a bunch of apples would do it. In reality though, most juices, even the best tasting ones will yield around 40 ounces of juice and only maybe give you 400 calories... and that is if it is fruit based. You can hit 1,200 calories if you really wanted to do so, but that would be intentional. Most of the juices I've posted on this blog or any juice from my friend's website; www.makeitvegan.com/juice-recipes would hold you over and keep you feeling full. If you get hungry, you're human. Grab an apple, an orange, a tangerine, some celery, a carrot. People say they want to "feel full." Honestly, a burger versus a 16 ounce juice. Both will feel your stomach up. One is going to be more healthier for you than the other.

A little disclaimer for first time readers. I grew up eating steaks, chicken, fish, having miracle whip, butter, cookies, you name it, jello, etc... I'm not a nutty "vegan" that has no sense of what taste good or that has a warped sense of reality. Instead, I'm an educated person who doesn't have room for all the junk, fillers, antibiotics, salt, chemicals, etc... that are pumped into, injected, fed to or put on or in animals and their processed products. If food was what we all thought it was, I'd be more okay with consuming it. However, a burger in 2013 isn't the same as a burger in 1913. The animals are fed things and given antibiotics to help them be "healthy" enough to be consumed by humans. Finding range (grass) fed meat, in my opinion, is worth the extra cost. If I was going to have a burger, I would pay the higher cost to find meat that wasn't packed full of all of the chemicals, dyes, fillers and other things. I want to be healthier and to have clean arteries. Having a life that is filled with fun times and memories, includes living a long and full life. As much as I love good food. As much as I have always enjoyed beef, fish, sushi, chicken, turkey, exotic and creative meals, I don't have room for those things in my life, not when what we think we are consuming and what we actually are consuming is so different.  I understand that not everything I consume is organic. At least though, I can attempt to limit my intake of all the chemicals and enjoy a healthy life and this lifestyle is giving me just that.

Fruits and vegetables provide more than most people think and know. I read something the other day that said once an item is heated up than only 1/2 of the protein contained within it is actually usable by the human bodies. I'm still researching this. However, if this is true then this example is a real eyeopener.
Imagine a piece of chicken having 30 grams of protein.
Cook it: Only 15 grams are now usable by the body
Eat it: Only about 40 to 60% of the protein is actually absorbed by the body: <-- I'll use 50%
Yield: Our body just received 7.5 grams of protein.

A head of romaine lettuce has 8 grams of protein in it: http://cronometer.com/food.html?food=5520 Place that in your juicer or consume it in a salad and viola! More protein than a piece of chicken.
A 250 gram head of Kale (I prefer purple kale): http://cronometer.com/food.html?food=52694 also has 8 grams of protein.  But check out all the other nutrients, vitamins, and benefits that something like this has in it! This beats a chicken breast any day! Especially if it was a cheap one on sale, with a "solution" added to it, fillers, water and sodium... why not just chicken? Anyways... the point is, vegetables and fruits have more to offer than most people know. And when it comes down to it, I'm getting the protein levels I need. Here are my lab results... I'm healthy and I feel full. I'm getting all the fiber and even more nutrients than a piece of beef or chicken is going to offer.

My Progress: I "officially" lost 67.4 pounds! 

Day 84!

Day 84 is here! I'm so excited! However, I am going to wait to update the above weight loss number until AFTER we officially weigh in? Why...? Well, this goal started on their scale... it should rightly END on their scale too!  So hang in there a little longer and I will update the total number of pounds lost once we weigh in!

I'm currently still hoping to shed some more... even more importantly, hoping that the "official" scale will reflect a nice reduction in overall weight! I know that I've been busting my butt at losing weight!

When I fell into "second" place I knew that would provide some relief, but also some urgency too! Now, with ALL of the Insanity workouts, the sweating, the cardio, the plateauing, the... UGG! Life as we know it happening, it will be nice to see this contest over and done with. The bodybuilding one is now officially over for me too. In terms of days. I need to submit my "After" photos and a paragraph about my "transformation." Maybe I should just give them the link to this blog?  haha  I doubt that is what they want from me.

I finally broke through the last plateau! That took a while! just happened in the last 24 hours or so! Now... to get to crushing those calories!

I'm still juicing... just made yet another Purple Kale and Apple juice... this time I added a head of romaine lettuce to it. YUMMM!  And it has protein, nutrients, and tons of vitamins! Just an all around great juice!

Well, it is a few minutes after 2:40 in the morning here. I'm still wide awake and still shedding calories!  Back to "work" I go... as I need to get myself to lose as much as I can before we go weigh in (out). I'm excited to see what the final number will say.  Then, on Day 91. HealthyLoser is over and on day 96, the HealthyWage Team Challenge is over! We're in third overall for Team Weight loss currently. My weight loss doesn't apply to the team's overall loss, so I can only motivate and ask for people to vote for our team. Which several team members and I have been doing a lot this week. I'll probably post a link to this week's mini challenge (like I've done before) tomorrow or Tuesday. For now, I'm ending this here so I can get back to ELIMINATING calories!

My progress 60.1+ LBS In 84 Days!
(I will update the exact number after we officially weigh in.)

weight loss secret

Well, the date above says 83 days. That's right... it has been 83 days since this journey started. The first contest ends tomorrow and the first official weigh in is Monday. With that said, I haven't been weighing myself as much as I hit a plateau last week and I've pretty much been the same weight all week.  Uggg... however, I was told about a "zig zag" method to stimulate and break through the plateau.

I'm doing that right now... yesterday I consumed 2,000 or so calories. The MOST I've consumed in a long time. That took a lot of work... it was rather difficult to do. As my stomach is much smaller now than it ever was before. In terms of quantity, I can only take a few bites of "real food" before my stomach says it is full. Even the juices fill me up pretty quick. I'm not complaining... it is just a challenge to stuff 2,000 calories in my system if it is salads, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc... so, try as I might, I did all that I could.

I'm looking at it as tomorrow I weigh in for the Facebook contest. The 14th for another and the team challenge ends on the 19th.

No matter what happens, I am healthier now than when I started. I have never taken any diet pills or water pills. I will only do things naturally. In the sense of, no over the counter drugs for me. If I can lose more pounds that could give me a few pound over my opponents.

My little competition weight loss secret is, I'm not actually as far behind as I thought I was... my competition won't see this coming. :-)

At the last weigh in my biggest competitor was at 18.03%. They said I was at 17.46%... a deficit of 0.57% Upon looking at the numbers again (today), I was actually at 18.25%! This is huge (not that it matters now)! The benefit of believing that I was behind was that I no longer had a target on my back. Also, I started working harder and doing all of these workouts (up to 4+ Max Insanity workouts in a day!) to catch up (to make up the deficit). With these numbers now known I'm sitting in a better position than I thought I was. Obviously, there is no guarantee. However, I feel a lot more confident than I did when I initially saw the numbers of the last weigh in.

I will update this blog again after Monday's weigh in. For now... it is back to "work" on busting through this plateau and lose as much as I can before the weigh in!

Sprinting to the finish line

In the home stretch now... 8 in 48! Yes... I've done 8 Max Insanity Workouts in 48 hours... that was up to midnight last night. By the end of tonight I will be up to 12 in 72 hours! And MOST of them are being done with this...
...a twenty (20) pound weight vest! This puts me back up to a former weight. And (by my own personal thought), this has to help me shed calories.  If anything, this will HOPEFULLY help me be in Zone 4 and Zone 5 for longer. What zones? Well, I was shown the following:

"Zone 3 = 12–17 calories per minute
Zone 4 = 17–20 calories per minute
Zone 5 = 20+ calories per minute

Z3 is called aerobic because it’s the hardest zone you can train in without going anaerobic (the point where the pump starts settling in). This is what we’re targeting in steady state “cardio” workouts. It’s actually quite hard to stay in this zone because we’re always creeping into zone 4, so the most effective way to train it is using an over/under strategy, which is done by training in intervals between the higher and lower zones. Again, endurance athletes often try and target this zone more specifically because their sport requires that they maintain as fast a pace as possible without getting pumped."

Z4 and Z5 are your anaerobic zones. You can’t stay in these very long because your heart can’t pump oxygen to your body fast enough. Your body is using glycogen (via blood sugar) as fuel and it runs out rapidly. Trying in these zones forces your body to break down muscle tissue and fire “emergency” hormones to repair this tissue, which is all vital for getting fitter (and looking “ripped”). All athletes, even endurance athletes, spend most of their training focused in this area."

In my opinion (and I'm not a Doctor, this is just my opinion), the extra 20 pounds will help me remain in Zone 4 and 5 longer... which means I should be able to burn more calories. I know when I workout with the vest on I start dripping in sweat a lot faster than without it. However, I AM using my head... if I feel exhausted, I do take the vest off. Of the 4 Max Insanity workouts that I did yesterday, only 3 1/2 of them were done with the vest.  This morning's workout was done with the vest. I see myself gladly taking off the 20 pounds (or at least removing some of the weight) if it started making things unstable. I feel my body is strong and able to do this.  When I did remove the vest... I felt like I could fly!  I did a workout without it just to see... and wow! There is a difference in how fast my body moves and how much higher I can jump when the vest is off, compared to when wearing it!

I'm Digging Deeper and crushing calories!

My juice for today... 
554 grams of kale (235 purple and 319 dinosaur)
7 fuji apples
3.9 pounds before juicing.
Yield: 2.5 pounds of juice
I'm using this as my recovery drink and also added in half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Calories consumed for the day... about 814 from MyFitnessPal
Calories burned from the workouts alone (from MyFitnessPal): 2,333 calories earned
Deficit (from MyFitnessPal) 1,519
Obviously MyFitnessPal doesn't know that I wore the weight vest... so the actual calories burned is being computed off my current weight... not the number of pounds I worked out with.

My Progress: At least 60.1 Pounds in 80 Days!
I will update the weight soon. I've been on a small plateau the last week.

7 days

There are 7 days remaining until the first contest ends. Posts have been minimal, as I've kicked the workouts into high gear! How so? Simple... a 20 pound weight vest and completing 4 Max Insanity workouts a day!
(I took this photo on April 1st, 2013... but you can't see the "loss" due to the vest. There is an image below that shows my progress up until March 19th, 2013. I will update it.)

After the workouts are over... the vest stays on!  It is my new "friend." I will be wearing this most of the time. It has only been about 7 hours since I put it on, but wow! The extra weight (even though it is only a 3rd of what I've lost) is really making an impact!

I have never done an Insanity Asylum workout, but I heard that they use weights in them. I simply decided to kick up my cardio and weight loss by adding weight that I've lost. The vest adds resistance, increases the calorie eliminating abilities of my body and kicks up my heart rate to a level that I haven't had since I was heavier! It feels as if I'm "fat" still... however, I know that I'm not that big anymore. This is pretty intense... and I'm loving it!

About four days ago I discovered my absolute favorite juice yet! Grab an entire head of Purple Kale (it has purple veins going through it (some stores call it "red kale"). Make sure you get the one with purple veins. Then, grab 7 cold fuji apples. Throw them in the Breville Juicer... in this order.

1 Fuji apple. (don't juice it yet)
Half the head of purple kale (I find it easiest to do half at a time). Separate and then fold each half in half.
Push this through the juicer.
Add another apple and then stick the other half inside the juicer.
Once juiced, add the other 5 fuji apples.
Yield: 30+ ounces
And... for those looking for calcium... this has calcium too!

This has ALL the amazing benefits of the unbelievably nutritious kale combined with the amazingly sweet and delicious flavor of the fuji apples! The "froth" that comes out of this is so good! It reminded me of the white peaks one would get when making lemon meringue pie or that you would get when beating egg whites... however, the flavor, WoW! I drink the juice and then grab a spoon for the froth! It is as close to a dessert as the Breville is going to give you without actually working at it. The first time I did this the froth was purple and the flavor was mixed perfectly.  I have since done this about 6 times... and my little one, LOVES it!

Below is the photo that I took on March 19th... I will update this with a 5th image, taken when I weigh out on April 8th, 2013!

My Progress 60.1 Pounds Lost in 78 Days!