Last weekend, my husband and I watched the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  How’s that for a Monday morning blog post intro? It’s relevant, though… I promise!

You see, we have a few friends who have done the whole “juicing” diet thing. Some have had good results, others have ended up not feeling so good. But, everyone I know who has tried it cited the movie as the inspiration that got them started. So, as someone who is generally interested in food, health, and nutrition, I figured that I had to see it. I wanted to know what it was all about.  And, I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical.

After watching it, I totally understand how people get sucked in.  It’s one of those feel good movies where you see this great story of someone who loses tons of weight and changes his whole life fasting (yup… no food!) and drinking nothing but juice from fresh fruits and veggies.  I almost wanted to run out, buy a juicer, and lose a few pounds… Almost.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that it wasn’t for me. Sure, I understand that for someone who ate a lot of pizza, burgers, and fries on a regular basis, a cleansing juice fast may be a good way to change your habits. But, I started to wonder if the juice works on more of a mental level than a physical level. Is drinking juice really better than just eating lots of raw fruits and veggies? Or is it just a good way to change your habits cold turkey (Hmm… that phrase really doesn’t work in this situation!). In the movie, the argument is that in order to get all of the nutrients you need, you’d have to eat a crazy amount of fruits and veggies. So, by turning all of that produce into juice, it’s a much more manageable portion size.

But, by juicing the produce, you’re losing all of the healthy fiber in the fruits and vegetables. And, some people seem to think that the juice causes higher spikes in blood sugar because the liquids are digested differently than the fruits and vegetables would be in their whole state. I am certainly not an expert, and I haven’t studied this a lot, but I just keep going back to the fact that juicing isn’t the way that fruits and vegetables were intended to be eaten.

I want to know…

I have to say that I still haven’t ruled the juicer out entirely… But, I also can’t imagine going for a week on nothing but juice. So, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you seen the movie? If so, what do you think? Do you think that juicing is a healthy way to get your diet in check and develop healthier habits?

While I am deliberating on the whole juicing concept, I can tell you that watching the movie has made me want to eat a lot more raw fruits and vegetables. And, the summertime is the best time of year to rejuvenate our eating habits. (I really don’t want to say diet… I really try to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy all things in moderation!) So, instead of sharing a great juice recipe with you and my solution for fast weight loss, I am going to share a recipe for gazpacho. It’s made with fresh produce from our garden and CSA.  It’s not completely raw because I topped it with some steamed corn.  I also threw in some sour cream. All things in moderation, right?

(Makes about 4 servings)

  • 3 cups quartered roma tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, seeds scooped out and roughy chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
  • Handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1 cup steamed corn kernels (optional)
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro in a food processor or blender. Squeeze the juice from the lime down over the vegetables. Blend the mixture until it is smooth and all of the vegetables are pureed.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chill if desired.  Divide the soup among four bowls, and serve each serving topped with 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1/4 cup corn kernels, and 1/4 of the avocado.

18 Responses to Gazpacho

  1. We used to juice regularly. I mean 5 days a week for two + years.
    I used a Breville juicer but always felt conflicted about all the pulp (fiber) that was being thrown out. When I broke my foot last summer, juicing stopped since I couldn’t stand on my foot for 6 weeks and you-know-who ran in the opposite direction when I suggested she take over the job.

    We eat a LOT of fruits and veggies over here, but I really miss the juicing, I have to say. I’d like to sell my Breville for a Vitamix or something similar.

    • Gail – Yes, in all of my deliberating about the subject, I have been thinking that the Vitamix might be the way to go over a juicer.

      Did you feel good with all of the juice? I like to chew things, so I’m not sure how I’d do with that! :)

      • I felt full and satisfied in the morning with it. Someone told me I should drink it at night, so cell repair could combine with sleep. Skin glows, though, I’ll tell you that. And, intestines hum like a well-oiled machine. (#TMI?)

  2. Jen, I haven’t seen the movie, but have watched the trailer, and can see how you would want to jump on the juicing bandwagon…I did after watching it. :) My reaction was much like that of watching the movie Food, Inc. where I never wanted to eat chicken again. Ever! For people who are in trouble with food and need to change their eating habits in kind of a major way, I can see how juicing would help jump start their behavior. I have a juicer and have gone through periods of having juice for meals but could never imagine not “chewing” food for any length of time…I just enjoy it way too much.

    • Karen – Yes, I struggle with not chewing on any food for a while, too. And, I did react the same way to Food, Inc. I think both movies have definitely shaped my choices and influenced my food habits for the better!

  3. I like to juice from time to time (I also have a Breville), but not as my main source of nutrients! It’s usually a supplement or I’m making juice for another drink – say, like green grape juice for vinho verde sangria. :)

    Plus, I’d much rather be eating those luscious avocados atop your gazpacho than subsisting on watered-down versions of food.

  4. I could never live of juice. I really liked the documentary “Fat Head”…it talks about how it’s healthy living off a high natural fat diet…really interesting. You might like it :)

    The gazpacho looks great. Totally delicious and full of flavor!

  5. Hi! Wow – that gazpacho looks fabulous! I love freshly made juice, and we have a juicer at home. But I’m not a fan of fasting or any kind of extreme diet. We’ll toss a bunch of fruit and vegetables in the juicer a couple of days a week (especially if we have a lot of stray items that we think we won’t use – a beet here, a carrot there, a little knot of ginger, etc.) — but the juice is never the whole meal, and we eat lots of fresh produce during other meals. I think moderation is always the way to go. It’s the most sensible and the most sustainable. Just my $.02!

  6. I couldn’t do it. Like you, I want to chew! I could however gobble up a ton of that gazpacho! And then juice the leftovers and make a bloody Mary, LOL!

  7. I haven’t seen the movie and probably shouldn’t comment until I do but I’m going to anyway. I’ve never fasted, don’t do Fad diets or cleansers. I just believe that if you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, drink lots of water and get regular exercise you are doing what your body needs you to do for it to perform the way it should for you (barring any illness requirements etc.). That, and everything in moderation.

    P.S. Your gazpacho looks wonderful.