The Juice, 1: Into Nightshade

Follow along on a low carber’s journey of juicing, sacrifice and… well, right now it’s sacrifice only, really… as a typically low carb blogess and her sweet baboo embark on a liquid only diet for 10 days, based on the documentary,
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The mission? To seek out bold, new flavors. To explore the galaxy for intelligent, new ideas. To shed a little junk in the trunk. To boldly juice what no girl has juiced before.

I now know juicing has to be an adventure desperate people take. No sane, well-adjusted person decides one morning, “Why not live on beverages that consist of the Amana colors from 1970’s appliances and feel like the hairy butt of a carrot for 10 days?” Who, with any shred of dignity willingly drinks a beverage with an avocado green liquid and an orange froth fashioned from cucumber armpits and said hairy carrot butts?

Smoothie fixins

In fact, when I posed that question yesterday, my son said, “I hate the word froth. It’s just a drink’s beard.”
“Fine,” I said. “Look. It’s an avocado green drink with an orange beard. Who’d like that?”
“A juicing Leprechaun.”
He’s here every Tuesday, folks. Try the veal juice.

Yesterday I spent the majority of the day hungry, tired or sweaty. And forget that I was up at least three times last night running for the bathroom because of all of the liquids. But enough about the high points. Here’s the juice on day one of juicing:

Berry Spinach smoothie

Breakfast: I went with the (now-wise) choice of the high-protein Berry Spinach Smoothie (recipe here). From experience, I know proteins and fats fuel me for hours, even if the berries added more carbs than I’d typically spend in a single meal (24 net for each filling smoothie).

The down side: Right off the bat, I realized that not being able to eat any solids really Tanya Harding’d me in the gastronomic kneecaps. I was making my son an omelet and wasn’t allowed a single pepperoni on principle. Who knew I wanted pepperoni so much? It’s one thing when you start your low carb journey and accidentally lick cake batter from your fingers (and then pour it down you cleavage and smear it around for later); it’s another entirely when you feel like you’re off plan if you touch even a sprig of meat candy.

What’s worse is when you’re starving and know even a slice of cheese would cause hunger to sit itself back down, but you’re in no-person’s land, armed with a fridge filled with juice-squeezins. But enough of me whining. It’s time for lunch:


Long Day’s Journey into Nightshade [pictured above]

Makes 4 cups or 32 ounces

2 large red bell peppers, halved and seeded
3 large tomatoes
3 large carrots, ends removed
1 sprig parsley

Because parsley has a tendency in centrifugal juicers to splatter around the outer edges of the bowl and not go into the juice, I wadded the parsley together as many tend to do, and I shoved it into one of the halved bell peppers. It worked great! Juice and serve immediately.

Lunch was where I screwed up. I made an entire 32 ounces to feed my sweet baboo and myself, giving each of us, effectively, only 16 ounces. Only he was still hungry, so I handed him half of mine. I only took in 8 ounces for lunch. I thought it was a super idea until 5 o clock rolled around, and I literally couldn’t function.

I was absolutely tired, crabby, and I was starving. After laying on the bed for hours, I decided to go for quick energy. I had kids asking me what was for dinner. I hat pets that wanted attention. I have a pile of laundry giving me the stink eye.


Granny Smith’s Revenge
Makes 24 ounces

2 whole granny smith apples
4 medium carrots, ends trimmed
3 stalks celery

Juice and serve immediately.

Because I’d been hungry from not ingesting enough at lunch, this time I drank the entire thing in one sitting, whether I liked it or not. I drank until I saw my feet float. I drank until I didn’t sob when I shredded cheese for my daughter’s dinner and couldn’t even sample one… little… shred… of its golden goodness. I drank until I saw the ceiling through the bottom of the glass. That was a lot of juice, but I figured it would definitely last the duration of the evening.

Why do I dub this Granny Smith’s Revenge? Because I was bloody starving within two hours. Now don’t get me wrong—A low carb veteran like me just knows pure fruit, root vegetable and some celery juice is likely not a good choice in the afternoon, so obviously there was going to be some backlash. Still, I needed the quick energy boost to get through making dinner.

Second Dinner: my Egg Drop Soup recipe

Hubby manned the juicer dutifully upon his arrival home. And as I sat at the dinner table, watching the kids nompf Dreamfield’s pasta with low carb meat sauce and shredded Parmesan cheese, I asked my sweet man of a husband how he had fared. I knew I struggled during the day, after all. I went from feeling fine in the morning to being depressed that I couldn’t eat something (even when it was patently low carb)– and followed up with bouts of near delirium, tiredness beyond compare, and a case of the crabbies no mood fisherman has ever seen.

Having a buddy to share the experience with made the event more palpable because I knew my sweet baboo had to be hating life as much as I was yesterday. He had to have dealt with the gnawing pangs of hunger, debilitating lethargy and mental loopiness. This man, the one who said, “Yes. Let’s do this!” only a couple of days before, and listened to me complain about aisles too small to maneuver a cart through at Bed, Bath and Beyond, sheepishly smiled as he juiced kale…and told me he had eaten two slices of pie at work.

My jaw slapped my bellybutton.

“Well,” he smiled, hopefully, “the pie I took in wasn’t going to get eaten at work if no one had taken a slice, so I had to take a piece. Then everyone else had some.”
“The cherries are organic.”

“Cherries have anti-oxidants.”
“I only enjoyed the cherry juice in the pie.”

“Don’t worry,” he said, consolingly. “I’ll be hating life tomorrow, too.”

The upswing? By 8 o clock that night we were almost in crumpled masses of quivering hunger. OK. So that’s not much of an upswing. But the cool thing is we were jonesing for some egg drop soup. Hell. By that time, I would have walked 10 miles to to Old Chicago for a pizza. We were both salivating by the time the soup hit the bowls. How fast can two people drink once-boiling soup?

Extrapolations of the day: Day two I’m changing things up based on Day one. I’ll report on that tomorrow.For Day one, hunger, lethargy and loopiness ruled the day. I was never even remotely as miserable in the worst of Atkins inductions as I was with one day of juicing + one low carb, high protein smoothie. Our mantra: This had better be worth it.

By evening I was a raving linguist maniac. When my husband came home and created his own juice concoction from cherries and cucumbers, I was so tired I couldn’t remember the words “guinea pig”. When he offered me a sip, I remarked, “Sure! I’ll be your… hamster… slave.”

Day One Menu:
Breakfast: Berry Spinach Smoothie
Lunch: Hard Day’s Journey into Nightshade juice
Dinner: Granny Smith’s Revenge
Second Dinner: Egg Drop Soup

 If you’re undertaking your own juicing/liquid diet, how are you faring? Leave a comment below!

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  1. Cybil Solyn says

    I got to tell you I love you more and more each day. I remember wanting to eat the pepperoni too when I started juicing.

    I love LCing, but my liver doesn't. A few years back when my liver panels kept coming in poorly, I went on The Liver Cleanse Diet where I started juicing at least one meal a day, which required me to up my carbs and reduce my meat. Fruit became my crack and to this day I try to stick on a hybrid LC/HC juice diet. Although my liver thanks me (did I mention that my liver panel went back to near perfection after my 8 weeks on the cleanse?) I still carry around the 25lbs the stupid diet put back on me. It seems fruit is my crack – and in larger doses it makes me fat. Still…healthy liver for some extra weight is the choice I made.

    Now that you are juicing maybe I'll get some better ideas for LC juices… It's hard at first, but you'll do it! My favorite trick – add a tiny sliver of beet to almost everything so your juice is a yummy red color instead of baby poop brown/green.

  2. FAMA - Fighting Against Middle Age says

    You…..are….my…….hero! I saw the same documentary and thought (for about 10 seconds) of trying it myself. I wouldn't have the support of doing it with someone and was afraid of getting arrested for banning the pizza delivery guy from my neighborhood. Good luck and I can't wait to see how the rest of the 10 days goes!

  3. Jamie aka Carbarella says

    Wow! You really did reverse those numbers! I am a firm believer that different things work for different people; and when I saw the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, it made me think about the fact that obviously low carb doesn't work for everyone, and here are people who are doing fine with healthy, whole, raw foods.

    Naturally, I have already bastardized the plan by implementing at least one protein-filled smoothie per day, but I think I'd be absolutely miserable with zero fat and protein.

    I love your beet suggestion! My color tip: adding spinach to blueberry drinks brings out the blue much more vividly.

  4. Jamie aka Carbarella says

    FAMA– It certainly isn't easy. In fact, if I wasn't working with my hubby to get through these ten days, I would have been done yesterday at 4 pm when I was fantasizing about a piece of string cheese (who does that?).

    I have to keep reminding myself to drink extra water and that the first three days are literally horrible.

    I'm trying to think happy thoughts. Happyyy… happyyy…

  5. Dana Seilhan says

    Not enough info, Cybil. What kind of low-carbing did you do?

    It's easy enough for me to figure out why it doesn't work if someone tells me veganism didn't work for them, because you can't get all the nutrients you need on a vegan diet (no, sorry, you can't–not unless you cheat or take supplements). But that's not an issue with LCing. And there are so many ways to LC that if someone tells me it "didn't work" my first question is "WHAT didn't work? What were you doing?" There are so many possible answers.

    As for the liver thang, I was interested to learn that you don't always have elevated liver enzymes when something is wrong with your liver. Most people going around with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have no laboratory symptoms at all. They have to be diagnosed by MRI. If you're not getting enough choline in your diet but you're going to town on fruit, you might still have a problem.

    Just saying, nothing mean meant by it or anything.

  6. Dana Seilhan says

    Also, Jamie, you know you can eat whole foods on low carb, right? There are too many people acting like the two dietary modes are mutually exclusive. They're not. Look at the Paleo community, fer cryin out loud. Sure, some of them eat diets higher in starch, but quite a few of them are keeping carbs low.

    Even Dr. Atkins understood that different people can tolerate different carb levels. But there's a difference between "I can tolerate this much variation in macronutrient levels" and "I can go the rest of my life without saturated fat or vitamin B12." Too many people wreck their health in the long run trying to get by on a rabbit's diet. I mean *wreck*, like bone loss, and mental instability, and infertility… The more reserves they have when they start, the longer it takes for them to get hurt. It's scary.

    Not that I don't think smoothies have their place in a modern diet, mind you. I've seen some awesome LC smoothie recipes that even I would try. It beats milkshakes from UDF any old day. I even like the idea of raw fruits and veggies, though I wouldn't overdo raw cruciferous/brassicas. But at a certain point the term "balanced diet" *does* mean something.

  7. Jamie aka Carbarella says

    Hey, Miss Dana! I am so glad you weighed in here. These are my thoughts:

    1. Low carb doesn't work for everyone. I know for some, it's about cutting carbs and for some, it's cutting calories. For me right now, it's about both, since the juicing is definitely less than half of the daily recommended carbs–especially when I'm roughly keeping track mentally of what I'm juicing.

    2. I definitely enjoy whole, healthy foods on low carb. I think, for me, I tend, however, to lean too much on meats/bacon/fish/chicken/beef and butters and not enough on vegetables and low glycemic fruits. I usually avoid anything green, leafy and healthy because, let's face it, I'd rather eat bacon than kale. I'm hopeful that, if nothing else, this is re-acquiring a taste for vegetables that I need before I attempt to implement fresh, uncooked, raw veggies and fruits back into my plan.

    I'd never call this a balanced diet, to be sure. It's purposefully imbalanced in its juicing state.

  8. Paleo Peeps says

    Girl – you have stones! Good luck to you! Hope it works. I saw the movie about a week ago too. For about a minute I thought it may work for me…… way! I love my low carb way of life….I would fall over in a dead like coma after the sugar swings with no fat to even the blood sugar out. Instead I did a five day meat fast…still picking the steak out of my teeth from dinner. Love your posts! You would be the bomb to go out shopping or out to lunch with. Thanks for everything you post!
    Leigh Porter

  9. Jamie aka Carbarella says

    Thank you, Leigh! It's be a hoot to go do some brazilian steakhouse sometime. I swear, the whole difference for me was nixing the apples in the juicing. That and drinking water. All of this is keeping me relatively low carb, for the most part. I really miss the texture of food, though!


  1. […] recap, here are the day one and day two diaries and smoothie recipes. This whole process of liquid nourishment only […]

  2. […] two is already so much better than day one was, and I think I know why, based on changing up a few […]

  3. […] you’re just joining in, you’ll want to first read the introduction, day one, day two, day three and day four.  Are you caught up? That’s OK. Take your time. No, really. […]

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