Valerie Schoner's Not So Fast Juice Fast

Orange Cream: two carrots, two oranges and one sweet potato

I’m totally into juicing. Even bought myself one, a Breville, for $99, and fix myself a stiff one every couple of days. I try to push myself with chard and kale, but mostly rely on apple, carrot, beet and celery combos, sometimes with a little pineapple thrown in. Easy stuff.

Hair stylist Valerie Schoner, on the other hand, just finished juicing for 60 straight days. Only juice. For 60 straight days. And she blogged about it, leaving no detail, however personal, unspoken. After losing 40 pounds and gaining a whole new perspective on health and food and life, we sat down to chat about the nitty-gritty of juicing.

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Valerie Schoner (on right), before her 60 day juice cleanse

Ali Brownrigg: What made you decide to do this?
Valerie Schoner: To be completely honest, I was depressed. I didn't know I was at the time, but I can clearly see it now. I felt like there was this horrible fog following me around, my brain felt fuzzy and I wanted to sleep all the time. I was getting fatter everyday and becoming less motivated to make any changes in my life. I would stuff my mouth with processed crap because I felt like crap and it made me feel good for a minute, and then I felt like crap again. It’s a vicious crap circle. Until I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and was BLOWN AWAY by Joe Cross, his story was so inspiring! Through out the film you see him go from a sad, cranky and chubby guy to WHAMO this handsome guy full of energy who smiles all the time! Who wouldn't want to jump on that bandwagon? Who knew a few vegetables and fruits would totally flip your whole life around! Little did I know it was about to totally change mine! *Insert tears of joy here*

AB: What is your fave recipe?
VS: My most favorite recipe is my "orange cream," two oranges, two carrots and one sweet potato.

AB: How much juice did you make for yourself per day?
VS: I had three to four 12oz juices a day. I would make all my juices in the morning. It only took me 30 minutes to wash, prep, juice and clean my machine. Easy as pie.

AB: How much produce did you buy per day?
VS: I forced myself to spend under $50 a week on produce, which was super easy thanks to Top Banana Produce in Ballard, love those guys! I could leave with two full bags of produce for under $50 no problem! And that was more then enough produce to last the week.

AB: All organic/seasonal produce or just whatever sounded good?
VS: When possible to buy organic, I always buy organic. A pretty typical shopping cart looked like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, celery, apples, carrots, red and green peppers, cucumbers, oranges, sweet potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, mangoes, grapefruits, watermelon, pineapple, kiwi, whatever I could get my hands on, but those were my bread and butter.

AB: Do you think you spent more or less money on food compared to before this experiment?
VS: I saved so much freaking money!!! Are you kidding me? I could spend $50 a day on food! Think about it, go grab a coffee and a snack at Light House Roasters (my favorite coffee shop in Seattle) spending $8 in the morning, run out of the salon to grab some lunch spending $10-15, afternoon coffee $5, dinner out with friends spending at least $15 and of course drinks, oh the drinks, that’s where I really rack up points spending maybe another $15-30 on a few Moscow mules (delicious, order one next time you are out, you will love it!). Yeah, I can spend some cash money on food for sure. My generation, 20s-30s single professional, we eat all our food out. We’re all working hard and fast and when were not we’re living it up with our friends, we just don't have time to think about what were putting in our bodies, we just grab it and stuff it in our mouths. So yes, I saved money—a lot of money.

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Valerie Schoner after her 60 day juice cleanse

Photo by Andria Lindquist

AB: What surprised you the most about this process?
VS: I was surprised at how well my brain worked, that sounds silly, our brains are always working, but I mean I felt like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy finally came with her can to oil me up! My brain was ALIVE! And oh man, it was movin’ and groovin’ so fast I could hardly keep up with it! I was so awake and alert! I got everything done on my to-do list in a blink of an eye. Also, I lost a lot of weight well, I lost over 40 pounds in 60 days to be exact and that, my friend, is a shocking number. You wake up everyday and look in the mirror and you're like “uhhhh, what, I'm shrinking!”

AB: What’s next?
VS: I’m going vegan. I can get everything I need from vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, legumes and whole grains. Meat and dairy are like poison to my body, everything starts going downhill when I put that in my system. I'm not saying this life style is for everyone (although I do think everyone would benefit from more vegetables in their life) but its right for me. I can't wait to try out all the vegan restaurants in Seattle! Its a goal of mine to start reviewing them in my new vegan blog, Respect Yo' Body, along with posting about my struggles, tips and recipes.

AB: Care to share anything else that I didn't ask?
VS: A word of encouragement to all who are feeling low, I have been there. Believe me when I say you don't have to feel lack luster forever. Only you can make the positive healthy changes in your life to make it better and I hope after reading my story you will want to jump on the juice cleanse/vegan bandwagon! Surround yourself with positive people, some fresh whole foods and a walk around Green Lake on a sunny Seattle day. And smile because it’s worth it.

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