Kim Garrison Fitness: Juicing for her Life!

Despite being a nutritionist and certified weight-loss expert, JJ Smith felt sick all the time.  In fact, the then 42-year-old was so sick that she was bedridden for months and lacked the energy and motivation to get up to go to the bathroom.  At that time, the now-48-year-old Smith recalls, she suffered from constant fatigue, dizziness, and overall weakness.  In short, her body was a wreck.

To make matters worse, after more than two years and eight doctors, no one knew what she had.  Did she have some rare neurological disease, was it Lyme disease, or, perhaps, multiple sclerosis (MS)? 

All the tests were coming back negative.  Obviously, there’s nothing wrong because all the tests came back normal, right?  Wrong.  It was a routine visit to the dentist that held the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

Five minutes in the chair and the dentist diagnosed JJ with mercury poisoning.  Mercury poisoning?  It's metal poisoning from exposure to mercury.  

It appears that through the years, some of JJ’s fillings had apparently broken or fallen out, she unknowingly swallowed them, and they were wreaking havoc on her health.

After yet more testing, it was finally confirmed that mercury poisoning was indeed the culprit.  After a long and slow recovery, JJ said, “I decided to get my life back.  I had to get my energy back, as well as lose the 20 pounds I had gained while I was bedridden.”

Already an advocate of detoxing, JJ knew she needed to rid her body of the excess waste and toxins that had accumulated as a consequence of the mercury poisoning.  She had heard about the healing powers of greens, and so she decided to learn how raw greens can heal the body.  

Thereafter, she went on a 10-day green smoothie journey and was blown away by the results.

“When I completed my first cleanse, I lost 11 pounds.  My energy was back, I felt radiant, the bloating was gone, and my digestion had improved.  Now, I was feeling like myself again,” she exclaimed enthusiastically.

But JJ didn’t embark on this journey alone; she solicited help from her community of family and friends to support her.  They created a Facebook group to keep one another motivated, and, to their great surprise, everyone was getting energized, and, perhaps most important, everyone's health was improving, and they were feeling better than they had in years.

The combination of word of mouth and social media created such a buzz that JJ started the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, which became a New York Times best seller.  Her latest book, Green Smoothies for Life, is the answer to what to do after the first 10 days.  

Personally, I like JJ’s hybrid model, which is sort of a combination vegan and paleo plan.  During the day, you eat like a vegan and at dinner you have lean protein, vegetables, and an occasional dessert.  This approach seems reasonable to me and even sustainable for the typical person.

For the most part, it’s an 80/20 plan, where 80 percent of your diet is plant-based and 20 percent is protein-based.  Encouraging folks to stick with a plant-based diet that limits sugar has to be a win-win (though check with your doctor before making any radical changes to your diet).

JJ’s 30-day plan is also filled with wonderful recipes for smoothies, healthy dinners, snacks, and even desserts.  The recipes are simple and easy to follow, and all you have to do is get to the market and plan and prepare.

My advice: Go full steam ahead (unless you have a medical condition that contraindicates doing so).  

Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears on the first and third Wednesdays monthly.