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Amy’s Journey: Part I The Early Years – Trying to Outrun the Carbs

Amy started working out in middle school. She was a bit chubby in elementary school, so she did not want to take any chances now that she was a cheerleader and played basketball and ran track. She ate a ‘healthy’ low fat, high carb diet, because that’s what all the experts she read and saw on television said to do. She drank a gallon or two of grocery store skim milk per week. This was the the beginning of her health decline.

Once Amy got to Ole Miss, she kept up the low fat routine and worked out daily. She would do an hour of aerobics every morning before class, then exercise again in the afternoon after class. She was a cardio junkie. She ate all the “right” foods: turkey sandwiches on whole wheat pita, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, pretzels (not chips). She drank skim milk and Diet Cokes, thinking all of this was the healthy way to go. As long as she ate low fat foods, and did lots of aerobics, Amy thought she would stay fit and slim. But three years into her college career, she weighed more than ever — more than 150 pounds! She worked out religiously, and ate an all low fat diet. But she kept getting bigger.

Once Amy graduated from Ole Miss, she taught elementary school in the Mississippi Delta during the day and waited tables at City Grocery (best restaurant in Oxford!) five nights a week. She worked 70 hours per week. All of a sudden, there wasn’t as much time to eat a lot of food and when she did eat, she had no time to overeat. And although she was not working out twice a day at this point, she was standing and moving non stop for twelve plus hours a day. The weight began to drop off. But the gastrointestinal issues were not going away.

When she was 27, Amy moved to Savannah to tend bar at a local venue in Thunderbolt, Georgia, where she met her husband. Two years later, they moved to Atlanta. She kept eating what she thought was a healthy diet for several years. And she always exercised. Amy still suffered with various gastrointestinal issues as she had for most of her life. Sometimes she would go a week or two without pooping; sometimes she would have diarrhea for days. She never knew why. The tummy distress starts to impede upon one’s quality of life after a while. By the time Amy was 30, her stomach issues were affecting her mental health. And if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So, Amy’s stomach issues became a family issue.

On Mother’s Day 2010, Amy was suffering from terrible stomach cramps. Her husband went to see his mother without her for the first time ever. Amy is never sick and has never ‘called in sick.’ But she just could not make it to her husband’s mother’s home for Mother’s Day. She did not think she could make the one hour drive without getting sick in the car. She was physically sick from the stomach pain. She was vomiting and pooping non stop for two day. So he went by himself. But before midnight that night, Amy called her husband and said she needed to go to the hospital. So her husband took her to Piedmont Hospital, where they did more than 20 thousand dollars worth of tests, including a colonoscopy. After all of the testing, the ‘experts’ at Piedmont Hospital told Amy she suffered from ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome.’ IBS, of course, is just shorthand for, ‘We Don’t Know.’ And if you ask Amy, she’ll tell you IBS = WTF. The most interesting thing about Amy’s experience at Piedmont Hospital was what they did not ask. The doctors asked lots of questions. They took lots of blood samples. And they seemed genuinely concerned. But the one question they never asked was what Amy ate. What was her diet? No one seemed to care about what Amy was putting into her body.

After exhaustive research and a lot of trial and error, Amy changed her diet. Stay tuned for Part 2!

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How To Weather the ​​Bad​​ Food Storm During the Holidays

If you google ‘How to stay healthy during the holidays,’ more than 50,000 articles instantly appear. Each one has a different ‘hook,’ the ​clickbait​ urging you to click on a particular article. There are no doubt some helpful tips contained in each article, but the real trick to staying healthy during the holidays is no trick at all. If you want to stay healthy during the holidays, just do what you need to do to stay healthy all year long.

You already know that eating grocery store sugar cookies is not the best idea. And eating an entire half-gallon of ice cream while binge watching your favorite sitcom was never smart. So when you see five dessert options at Thanksgiving, pick the best looking one and enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty. Just don’t eat all five.

If you exercise three times per week, that’s great. Just keep to your routine, even if you are traveling. Do you drink one Journey Juice per day? That’s great, too! Just keep to that routine, too. Are you flying somewhere and worried you can’t take your favorite Journey Juice with you? We can’t live without our Journey Juices, so we always travel with the juice. As long as the juice stays cold, it travels well. The airlines won’t let you carry on a cooler, but you can check a cooler along with your bags.

Here is our take on the most important tips & tricks to staying healthy during the holidays:

  1. The holidays can be stressful, whether it’s the travel or dealing with the relatives. So our number one advice is to manage your stress. Just like the workouts, whatever you do regularly to mitigate stress, keep doing it. You can’t just tell yourself not to stress out. Make a goal to do whatever you do for you. Do it regularly during the holidays.
  2. With travel, parties and eating & drinking a lot, it is very easy to get dehydrated. The single best reason to drink Journey Juice is to maintain good hydration. If you can’t drink the juice regularly during the holidays, make it a point to stay hydrated. Add some lemon or lime juice to a glass of water to turn it into a superfood powerhouse of nutrition. We could write a whole blog just about lemon juice, but here are the highlights:
    • Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral;
    • Rich source of immune system-boosting vitamin C;
    • Rich source of alkalinity-increasing electrolytes;
    • Anti-inflammatory properties fight joint and muscle pain;
    • Detoxifying properties promote good digestion and liver function.
  3. Drink a little grapefruit juice every day. Like lemon juice, grapefruit juice is another one of our favorite superfoods. In addition to the lemon juice benefits above, grapefruit juice lowers blood sugar and increases cholecystokinin, a peptide hormone that naturally lowers ghrelin, the hunger hormone. But be careful: If you take pharmaceuticals, check with your doctor before drinking grapefruit juice as it is contraindicated with certain drugs. If you drink Journey Juice’s ‘Just Grapefruit,’ you can be confident that no added sugar, water, chemicals or preservatives have been added — just like all of our juices.
  4. My Emily Post-loving grandmother always said, ‘Never go to a dinner party hungry.’ That’s great advice anytime but especially during the holidays. Before you go to a party, be sure to eat some high-quality protein and fat. You should never eat or drink high quantities of sugar on an empty stomach.

If you follow these simple suggestions, your body should weather the bad food storm during the holidays. We follow these ideas year round, so the holidays don’t seem quite as bad as they used to. Eat well, drink well, and be well. At Journey Juice we are very thankful to be able to do all three. Happy Holidays!

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The Flu Shot: Should You Take It Or Not?

One of our most popular cold-pressed juices at Journey Juice is the ​Flu Shot. ​​We originally sold it only in the winter months, but we had so many requests to bring it back in the summer, we now sell it year-round. The ​Flu Shot​​ packs a powerful combination of greens, celery, broccoli, lemon/lime, peppers, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Each one of those ingredients helps your body fight colds and flu, but the combination is an amazing boost to your immune system without the nasty side effects of over-the-counter medicines.

Many customers ask us health-related questions, and, of course, we never give medical advice, because we are not doctors. But we do share with customers our opinions about health, fitness and nutrition. Ultimately, everyone should do their own health research and not just accept as truth what you hear on TV and read in the popular press. The conventional wisdom on nutrition and health does not have a good track record. This time of year we get asked all the time, if we take an annual flu shot. And, if not, why not?

We do not take the flu shot, and have never taken one. The reasons are simple:

  1. We don’t get the flu.
  2. The flu shot is not very effective.
  3. Several studies have shown a negative effect on your natural immune system from taking the flu shot.*

Do not mistake our view on the flu shot as being anti-vaccine. Vaccines have successfully eradicated many terrible diseases over the years like smallpox and polio. While there are still a few stubborn areas of world — mostly in Africa — where a few polio cases are still reported, this debilitating disease has been 99 percent eradicated because of world-wide vaccine use. And no smallpox cases have been seen since 1977.

The flu shot does not work like a traditional vaccine, because the virus changes every year. That is what all those H’s and N’s are (e.g., H3N2), describing the particular virus that the CDC et al are guessing will be the most prevalent in a given year. The Haemagglutinin (H) proteins target your cells then reproduce themselves and multiply. Then the Neuraminidase (N) proteins help the new virus particles break out of your cells to go invade the next host (bird, chicken, pig or human). The problem is, every year flu shot takers get ingested with a different type (e.g., H1N1, etc.) of flu strain.

If you have been taking a flu shot for the last 20 years, you’ve had 20 different combinations (multiple strains) of the flu introduced to your immune system. So even if the scientists guess right on this year’s strain and you take the new shot, when the flu comes along your immune system has 20 years’ worth of antibodies to choose from to combat this year’s particular strain. There is mounting evidence (see references below) that when this phenomenon happens — your immune system trying to decide which of its 20 years’ worth of flu antibodies to use to combat this year’s flu — it resorts back to the original flu strain antibody it developed when your body first confronted the flu. Unless your first encounter with the flu happens to be the same exact strain as this year’s flu, which is highly unlikely, you end up getting the flu anyway. That’s why the success rate of each year’s flu shot is almost always less than fifty (50%) percent, and often less than thirty (30%) percent.

So How Do You Avoid the Flu?

There is plenty of evidence that a deficiency of vitamins C & D — and many other vitamins, minerals and other nutrients — can weaken your immune system. And a weakened immune system certainly makes you more susceptible to the flu. So our best advice is to avoid fast foods, bad seed oils, added sugars and anything that turns into sugar once eaten (e.g., wheat and corn). Consume lots of green veggies, and if you eat meat, make sure it is grass-fed and not full of antibiotics and other bad stuff fed to mass-produced animals. Of course, the best way to make sure you are getting plenty of vitamins is to drink Journey Juice. And if you feel like you are getting sick, come get the Journey Juice ​Flu Shot​​. It will cure what ails you!

* References:
● Clinical Infectious Diseases 2014; 59 (10): 1375-1385
● Clinical Infectious Diseases February 20, 2018, ciy097
● Newswise February 15, 2018

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Calories vs Nutrients

Why doesn’t Journey Juice print the calorie count on the labels?

The simple answer: We don’t count calories and we don’t want to encourage our customers to count calories. The problem with using a measure of heat transfer or energy (aka calories) as a tool to lose weight — because that’s what we’re talking about here — is the variability of the metabolic thermic effect of macronutrients.* DO WHAT??? Keep reading…it’s gonna make sense.

Unfortunately, the FDA, CDC and another 20 or so acronymic organizations have led Americans to believe all sorts of crazy ideas over the years:

  • Animal fat is bad for you.
  • Rapeseed oil is good for you.
  • Cholesterol — ubiquitous in every living thing on Earth — is bad for you.
  • CO2 — ubiquitous in every living thing on Earth — is bad for you.
  • Yogurt is good for you.

Add to that list: ‘Consuming too many calories will make you fat.’

Without getting too wonky, let’s discover what the ‘variability of the metabolic thermic effect of macronutrients’ really means. It just means that a fat calorie is different than a carbohydrate calorie. And a carbohydrate calorie is different than a protein calorie. Ever heard someone say they are counting macros? Well this is what that means– keep reading!

What is the Thermic Effect of Macronutrients? Macronutrients are carbs, fats, and proteins. The thermic effect is the energy (calories) lost during the metabolic process. When you eat 400 calories of protein, your body expends 25% of the calories as energy lost during the metabolic breakdown and digestion of the nutrients. So your net calorie ingestion of 400 calories of protein is 300 calories. When you eat 400 calories of carbohydrates, your body expends approximately 7% or net 372 calories. When you eat 400 calories of fat, your body expends approximately 3% or net 388 calories. If you are counting calories in an effort to lose weight, you should probably adjust your calculations to include the thermic effect of the fats, carbs, and proteins you are consuming.

The quality of the macronutrients is much more important than the quantity.

Much more important than the number of calories you are eating is the the quality of the food you are ingesting. Yet, again, it’s complicated. Some fats are good for you, and some are bad. Some carbs are okay, and some are terrible for you. And many modern, Big Food/Big Farm proteins (e.g., antibiotic-filled chicken & beef; farm-raised salmon; massive chicken egg operations where no grass or sunshine is available) are definitely not good for you. So when you drink a bottle of Journey Juice, you can rest assured it has been sourced in the most organic practices. It is worth every calorie. It is quality nutrition. Your cells literally dance and your systems feel like they just got a reboot! So get rid of the Kind bar and grab a Journey Juice.

You Are What You Eat Eats

The takeaway is this: Worrying about the amount of generic calories in your food does nothing but give you something to worry about. Instead of counting calories, try discovering where your food comes from and how it is fed. Is the produce drowned in pesticides? Are the chickens and cows fed grass? Are they given antibiotics to fatten them up? Is the salmon farm raised? Don’t forget that when you eat a plant or an animal, you are ingesting whatever they eat or whatever poison (80% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are given to farm animals) they have been fed. Keeping up with your food sources is infinitely more effective than counting calories when it comes to maintaining good health.

Don’t worry about calories. Worry about the quality of your food. Local, organically grown produce is the way to go. Eat local, grass fed chickens, cows, and eggs. Drink some local raw milk, and lots of cold-pressed Journey Juice.

*Denzer, CM; JC Young (September 2003). “The effect of resistance exercise on the thermic effect of food”. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism . 13 (3): 396–402. PMID 14669938.

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Does Cold-Pressed Juice Contain Any Fiber?

One of the most frequently asked questions at Journey Juice is about fiber.

Does the cold-pressed method get rid of all the fiber?

Don’t we have to eat a lot of fiber to be healthy?

Will I still be able to go to the bathroom if I don’t eat enough fiber?

Like almost everything in the world of health and nutrition, ‘It’s Complicated.’ The most common answer is that fiber is good for you because it keeps you ‘regular.’ And if you are a typical American eating the typical Standard American Diet (SAD), adding fiber to your regular diet will indeed help keep you regular. If you are eating three meals a day of fast and processed foods, it makes sense to get the bad stuff out of your system as fast as possible. If you eat ‘clean,’ the benefits of fiber are less pronounced. But it’s still complicated.

There are two types of fiber, insoluble and soluble. The insoluble fiber in many foods is what your body cannot digest. It speeds up the digestion process and helps to keep you regular. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and ferments in your gut while producing many important byproducts such as short chain fatty acids, which help the millions of microorganisms keep your gut healthy. Soluble fiber also decreases your blood sugar and increases your absorption of vitamins and minerals.

So what about fiber in the juice? The cold press machine that takes two-three pounds of fresh produce and magically produces delicious Journey Juice removes the insoluble fiber but maintains more than 90 percent of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The cellulose that is left over is inedible — to humans anyway. We feed it to the goats!

In the study referenced below, researchers demonstrated how cold-pressed juice with soluble fiber increased the levels of Beta-Carotene concentration more than taking supplements, and even more than eating the actual fruits and vegetables (that contain all that extra fiber). The soluble fiber in cold-pressed juice actually makes the nutrients more bioavailable than eating the fruits and vegetables. And as Amy say,  ‘It’s easier to drink your veggies than to eat them. Especially two to three pounds of them!’

Notice the soluble fiber in this bottle of Just Greens (pictured) that has settled in the bottom of the bottle. Since we do not homogenize, pasteurize, or use amalgamation chemicals at Journey Juice, the water contained in the vegetables is separated from the soluble fiber and nutrients. Therefore, it is always important to Shake Well before consuming.

So enjoy your next bottle of Journey Juice with the piece of mind that there is plenty of soluble fiber in the juice, working hard to bring your body all of the healthy nutrients from the fruits and vegetables.