Antonia from Houston, Texas, USA is a mother of 4 who has lost 60lbs through juicing and kept it off!
Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing and how did you first learn about the idea?
Antonia Joseph: I first learned about juicing back in 2006 from a Jack LaLanne infomercial for his classic white power juicer.
Though I ordered one, I didn’t stick with it for more than 2 weeks.
Fast forward to October 2012, I’d just given birth to my daughter in August and was at my heaviest weight ever (225lbs).
My mother gave me a Nutribullet for my birthday that month. I wasn’t even familiar with it, having never seen the infomercial. But mom suggested that I begin blasting daily to lose the baby weight.
I’ll confess that it took me a moment to fully grasp that my Nutribullet was making smoothies and not juice! Rookie mistake! But honestly when I did find that out, I didn’t even care because I was enjoying drinking my fruits and vegetables+ so much, and I could see and feel the benefits.
I started with daily smoothies from October 2012 to January 2013 and in February 2013, I pulled out my old but barely used Jack LaLanne and began incorporating a daily juice into my diet.
Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?
Antonia Joseph: My Nutribullet came with an informational booklet that explained the benefits of blasting daily, and also listed the benefits of a number of fruits and vegetables.
Shortly after reading that booklet, I saw the movie Food Matters, and then Hungry for Change which featured Joe Cross from the movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. I looked up FSND, found the movie and as they say, the rest was history.
“The weight was falling off!”
Neil Martin: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?
Antonia Joseph: At first, I simply dived into the recipe book that came with my Nutribullet and just began replacing my breakfast with a smoothie.
I enjoyed that so much that soon I was having more than one smoothie as a meal or snack during the day.
The weight was falling off!
I lost 40lbs between October and December 2012. In January 2013, I did a 21 Day Daniel Fast with my church but decided I would limit myself to just smoothies (and prayer!). I lost an additional 20lbs. Then in March 2013, I think, I did Jason Vale’s 7lbs in 7 Days program. I loved that program, especially the daily coaching Jason provides in his App, but I didn’t do it nearly enough justice and ultimately broke fast on Day 5. Yet, still, I lost 5lbs!
Neil Martin: Did you have any medical conditions prior to juicing?
Antonia Joseph: Yes! In August 2010, my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic and I needed to lose about 25lbs before I saw her again in 4 months.
I weighed 185lbs at the time and I am 5’6”.
I’d been suffering from extreme fatigue and had had two episodes where my body temperature was out of whack and I’d felt as though I was freezing, I mean teeth-chattering, uncontrollable shivering in the middle of the afternoon, in August, in Houston Texas. It was crazy!
I thought my doctor was going to tell me I had a problem with my thyroid. I kinda hoped she would actually because it would explain why I was gaining weight and couldn’t keep it off even though I was exercising regularly. I was hoping she would give me a pill to fix it.
Of course, I know now that it had everything to do with my unhealthy eating habits, namely a dozen Subway Cookies a day! 🙂 I used the Daniel Diet then to lose 13lbs in 21 Days. And that was my first introduction to the power of (my definition of) “clean eating” – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, nothing processed, no meat, no diary, no sugar.
Then in 2012, after I’d had my baby and I found myself at my highest weight ever, I decided that it was time to lose the weight for good. I didn’t want it hanging around because I knew it had the potential to lead to diabetes or worst.
Neil Martin: Was weight loss one of the reason you started juicing? If so, what other diets had you tried and how successful were they?
Antonia Joseph: Losing the baby weight was THE number ONE reason why I started blasting in October 2012 when I got my nutribullet. It was the goal.
I am blessed in that I very quickly learned about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, and living a juicy lifestyle. I joke that it was a lot like falling down a rabbit hole and discovering this alternate universe filled with the promises of good health.
Prior to this I had always tried to lose the weight through exercise programs like Insanity, The Firm, walking on the treadmill 3 times a week. This was how I tried to lose weight or maintain my weight. I would do that while eating sugar-laden desserts that really undid all the exercise I was doing.
It was frustrating because it was slow weight loss and I would always hit a plateau. It was only when I began juicing fruits and vegetables that the weight literary fell off. Experts say 80 percent of the weight loss happens in the kitchen. I’ve found proper nutrition to be key to my weight loss.
Neil Martin: Since juicing, how much weight have you lost?
Antonia Joseph: From October 2012 to January 2013 I lost 60lbs, for good. I’ve maintained that weight, now for a little over a year and counting!
Neil Martin: Since you started juicing what have you found most challenging and how did you deal with this challenge?
Antonia Joseph: Routinely, I’ll participate in a juice only fast with my online juicing community, Juicing Phenomenon; at least one every 3 months. I did a 7-Day Juice only fast this January and another just this March. The toughest part for me on a juice fast is always the mental battle that occurs during the first 3 days. I’m denying myself my daily scone and caffeine, two things that I love even though they’re not good for me. So, it becomes a mental battle to stick to my guns and stay clear of my coffee shop.
“my energy is through the roof”
Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?
Antonia Joseph: Since I’ve begun juicing I’ve noticed that my energy is through the roof. I use to fall asleep on myself a lot, especially in the afternoons. I was always tired.
I don’t have that problem anymore. My mood is better too. I’m a much happier person these days.
When I maintain a juicer lifestyle where I’m eating more alkaline foods than acidic foods, I’m happiest.
I’ve noticed that my nails are stronger. I was a habitual nail-bitter for fifteen years and though I quit sixteen years ago my nails never grew. Now I have long nails.
I’ve noticed that my hair is shiner and fuller.
I had always had a dark spot (discoloration) on each of my cheeks, but now those spots are almost gone, and my skin tone has evened out and improved so much there, that it’s not nearly as noticeable as it was before.
Of course the weight loss is an amazing benefit. I lost 60lbs in 3 months. It was the easiest 60lbs I’ve ever lost in my life! And it’s stayed off. I credit juicing and the power of fruits and veggies for that.
Neil Martin: Any juicing tips you have picked up along the way?
Antonia Joseph: Lining the pulp bin with a plastic bag is the classic tip in the book. It makes cleanup a lot easier. That and washing out the juicer parts immediately, rather than letting it sit in the dry sink.
It’s not fun scrubbing dried pulp out of the juicer basket.
I also have a hard time blending celery and carrots because it makes my smoothie gritty. So, if I’m doing a recipe that calls for celery and carrots, I’ll always juice them first and then use the juice as my smoothie base.
Neil Martin: What equipment do you use?
Antonia Joseph: I use a Nutribullet and I recently received a Bella Nutripro Cold Press Juicer as a gift, so once again I’ve placed my Jack Lalanne in the cupboard.
Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?
Antonia Joseph: That’s a tough one to choose between because I really believe they are equally important. I think they are like King and Queen. Even though I can eat clean and lose weight, a good exercise program is still necessary in order for me to build muscle and achieve that toned, lean look that I desire.
Neil Martin: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?
Antonia Joseph: I struggle with exercise. This is what’s most challenging for me.
During the period where I lost 40lbs I was exercising daily – mostly aerobics DVD programs. I didn’t exercise during my 21 Day fast where I lost 20lbs. After that though I did join a gym and my focus was on strength training for definition and walking on the treadmill for cardio 4x a week.
Today, I try to stick to strength training and cardio 3x a week. But, I’ll confess, when my schedule gets hectic, I’m afraid exercise is the first thing I dump. I am working to fix that, to be more in balance and as diligent about exercise as I am about my juicing, because I know that exercise is vital to my sustained weight loss.
Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day?
Antonia Joseph: On a typical day, I’ll usually have a smoothie made up of oatmeal, banana, strawberries, blueberries and almond milk for breakfast, and lately I’ve been adding Turmeric to that mix. Or I’ll have a Jolt Juice instead (kale, oranges, apples, cucumber and lemon).
At some point or the other during the day I’ll grab a cup of coffee (and a scone sometimes) from my favorite coffee shop – don’t judge me! ☺ Then I’ll have a green juice or another smoothie about three to four hours before dinner time.
Dinner is often brown rice, steamed vegetables, some avocado and fish or beans, or just vegetables with fish.
I try to stay within 1200 to 1800 calories a day. I make a conscious effort to drink about 82 ounces [approx 2.5 litres] of water a day. Sometimes that’s hit or miss though.
In my perfect world I am having a smoothie for breakfast, a juice with a huge green salad for lunch, another smoothie mid-afternoon and then dinner, and I’m drinking the right amount of water every day. That’s where I’m heading.
Neil Martin: Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?
Antonia Joseph: My diet isn’t completely vegetarian or vegan since I do enjoy fish a couple times a week and occasionally I’ll have chicken and very rarely beef. I do make a conscious effort though to eat a larger percentage of fruits and vegetables than anything else during the day.
Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?
Antonia Joseph: I don’t drink alcohol.
I do enjoy coffee daily, except when I’m juice fasting.
I try to keep it to one non-fat latte a day or an Americano. I can always tell if I’m drinking too much caffeine or eating too much sugar – scones or bread – because I get depressed and my mood takes a dip. I experience feelings of sadness, low energy, anxiety, and I feel stressed and my tolerance level gets really low (Did I mention I’m a mom of 4? Low tolerance is not good!)
The difference I feel is very apparent when I’m coming off a 21 day juice fast where I’ve had nothing but juice and I’m bubbling with energy and happiness and then I reintroduce caffeine, and by day 3 of just that one cup a day, I’m noticing much lower levels of everything. So, for me, personally, I have to limit my caffeine intake and I have to pay attention to when I have had too much and actually give it up periodically.
I probably should stay away from it altogether but it’s the one thing from my old lifestyle that I haven’t given up – yet! I’m a work in progress! ☺
Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
Antonia Joseph: Just do it! Take the leap. You’ll never regret it.
Find a recipe you like, something that you know you can do and just juice it. And keep juicing it. Give yourself time to develop this habit. Be kind to yourself. Find an online juicing community like Juicing Phenomenon where you can get support, encouragement and shared knowledge so you’re not doing it all alone.
The best advice I ever heard was David Wolfe saying to focus on adding in more of the good stuff so that it crowds out the bad. That’s what worked for me – adding in more and more juices and smoothies a day until there was very little room for the bad stuff because I was full on the good stuff.
Neil Martin: If you were stuck on a desert island with a working juicer and blender and an unlimited supply of just 6 ingredients, what would those ingredients be?
Antonia Joseph: Hmm, I’m assuming water is a freebie, right?! So, if I were stuck on a desert island with a working juicer and a blender and unlimited supply of just 6 ingredients, it would have to be Kale, Banana, Blueberries, Cucumbers, Apples and Almonds because I could make almond milk for my Kale Banana Blueberry smoothies, and I could juice Kale Cucumbers and Apples to my heart’s content. With these – and my family, and wifi for my iPad – I would be a very happy camper!
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