How Juicing Changed My Life

Contributing writer By Quentin Vennie, E-RYT 200
Contributing writer
Quentin Vennie, E-RYT 200 is a writer, speaker, wellness expert, and author of the memoir Strong in the Broken Places. He serves as the Vice President of the Yoga Alliance Foundation, and has been has been featured in the Huffington Post, Thrive Global,Entrepreneur, Fox News and the Observer.

A few years ago, I was a cigarette smoking, pill popping, alcohol drinking, self-destructive aspiring business owner. Not really the qualities you'd associate with someone looking to create a business. I’d been afflicted with anxiety and depression since I was 14 years old, survived a Vicodin overdose, and became physically dependent on another prescription medication. Fortunately for me, I eventually adopted one of my healthiest habits—juicing. 

After my diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder a few years ago, I had a difficult time accepting the fact that I had a mental illness. I was having anxiety attacks every day, so my doctor placed me on 1 mg of Lorazepam (Ativan) twice daily. Lorazepam is a highly addictive drug, commonly used for short-term treatment of anxiety, acute seizures, and insomnia.

My issue wasn’t that I was on medication; it was that I'd been taking it a lot longer than its intended use and had become addicted to it. I'd gone from taking 1 mg twice a day to taking more than 5 pills in a 24 hour period. The more I took, the more I thought I needed. It got to a point where I was only taking them because I was afraid of how I'd feel without them.

I endured my addiction to Lorazepam while simultaneously battling a Vicodin tolerance. I'd been prescribed Vicodin to alleviate the pain from my chronic migraines and—since Vicodin and Lorazepam aren't known to be harmful when taken together—my days consisted of taking sedatives and painkillers.

I was fed up and frustrated, but too afraid to stop. I'd heard that long-term use of Lorazepam led to difficult withdrawal, characterized by increased anxiety, cognitive difficulty, hallucinations, cold sweats, insomnia, psychosis, seizures and, in some cases, suicide.

I had been researching ways to get off my medications without having to deal with these effects. The most common success story seemed to involve dietary changes, particularly juicing, which helps to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. By extracting the vitamins and minerals, the body to easily absorb the nutrients it needs to heal itself.

I'd heard about juicing before, and had even purchased a juicer for my mother a few years back. Back then, we didn’t fully understand the concept. We were just excited to try something different. We juiced apples, broccoli, green beans, oranges and some cherries. Needless to say, the juice was horrible and we never used it again after that.

One day during my daily interactions with my good friend Google, I discovered the documentaries Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Crazy Sexy Cancer, among others. Those two stood out to me the most because of how incredible the stories were. Joe Cross, the star of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, went on a juice fast, lost over 60 pounds, was cured of his autoimmune disease and able to get off of his medications. Amazing! It was even more amazing to me how Kris Carr refused to let her rare cancer diagnosis destroy her life and fought back against it by changing her diet, exercising, and juicing regularly.

I was inspired beyond belief and the juicer in me was re-born.

Now, not only am I an avid juicer, but I’m an advocate, teaching others how to properly introduce juicing into their lives. About 70% my pictures on Instagram are dedicated to my obsession with juicing. I’ve introduced it to all of my clients and relatives. Green juice has helped to regulate my mother's blood pressure and, at 50 years young, she has a great bill of health. Both of my kids also enjoy green juice, often requesting it instead of fruit punch or soda.

Juicing has done wonders for my life. It has decreased my anxiety and depression and has helped me get off of my medication. I rarely have anxiety attacks and I haven’t had a migraine since my overdose.

I credit Kris Carr and Joe Cross for inadvertently inspiring me to implement juicing into my daily activities. Through their stories, I found encouragement and it's my sincere hope that, through my story, others find the same.

You hold the keys to your health, choose your path wisely. Be well!

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