Youth Juice: My Miracle Cure

Saturday, 14 August 2010  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

As most of you know, I was battling a persistent, unforgiving, and embarrassingly noisy cough the past weeks.  Prior to that, I had been getting colds on and off the past months, too.  This was surprising since before I ran my series of marathons I hadn’t gotten sick—nope, not even sore throat—for over a year.  I honestly think running all those marathons in such a short period of time, combined with poor eating habits (boo to Cheetos!), compromised my immune system.

My good friend and mentor Jim Lafferty heard about this (and he heard my awful voice over the phone, too) and suggested I drink Youth Juice.  He even advised me to tell our TBR Dream Marathoners to give it a try.  He said I needed it to boost my immune system and get me ready for New York Marathon.

Youth Juice?  Never heard. I didn’t even know where I could purchase it.  Jim felt so strongly about it that, even if he was all the way in South Africa, he managed to send me three bottles for sampling.

Youth Juice

I’ve been drinking it for 2 weeks now.  Combined with my super healthy diet the past weeks—lots of complex carbs, veggies, and fruits, no simple sugars, limited salt, no junk—I can say that it helped get me back in the pink of health.  And, not just that:  This morning, I ran 21k with friends and I felt powerful even until the last kilometer.  Totally amazing!


According to its brochure, “Youth Juice was developed on the basis of research funded by a Canadian Government Research and Development Grant.  Youth Juice (TM) is a drink made of pure naturally grown berries and sea vegetables.”

Allow me to share Jim’s email to me about Youth Juice as it gets very technical, but he successfully made it simple for me to understand: (This is long, but take the time to read it. It’s worth it!)


  1. As you may know, for a number of years I have sat on the advisory board of MEDICAL WELLNESS ASSOCIATION, a group dedicated to bridging medicine with more wellness and less purely treatment.  It is bascially a panel of doctors and physiologists, based in the US, who review products and wellness concepts. This is how I saw Youth Juice maybe 3 years ago now. The data blew us away. And all our Mayo Clinic Doctors and staff are now taking YJ in the US and Canada.
  2. It starts from a fact that as a by product of many body processes, generating energy, exercise, fighting pollution, smoking, digesting foods, we create atomic compounds called FREE RADICALS which are unstable atomic structures, lacking one electron, and they seek to thus “bond” at a cellular level. When they bond into cells, they cause damage to the cell, or “oxidation” (like rusting on a car) that causes illness, advanced aging, disease, suppressed immune system.
  3. Free radicals can cause cellular damage, and they are also processed and neutralized by the liver and kidneys. But we are often on overload. The way we eat, live, stress, pollution, smog, chemicals in food, all is alot more than our bodies were designed to take on. Think of all the chemistry we ingest in processed foods. This all is more than we evolved to take on.
  4. Exercise is fabulous but also all the energy production creates ALOT of free radicals. This is why high percentages (up to 30%) of marathoners get upper respiratory tract infections post race—a depressed immune system behind free radical damage. Why so many say, “take lots of vitamin C” but it is more complicated than this.
  5. There are compounds in nature that are called ANTI OXIDANTS that possess an extra unpaired electron and thus can “bond” with a free radical and flush it out ofthe body. Anti oxidants come in nature, and are in many of the foods we eat. The highest concentrations are in fruits and vegetables, and the most are in actually BERRIES. They are far and away the most powerful.
  6. The most famous anti oxidant is probably vitamin C. And it is very good! But we are finding all kinds of compounds each year in our food that are anti oxidizing! It’s not so simply as “Take a capsule of vitamin C and all is well”. We need all kinds of various anti oxidants and the simplest way is to EAT right vs. trying to pill our way out of it.
  7. The US Dept of agriculture, based on the reserach, has developed an accepted tool to meausre the anti oxidancy of foods or supplements. It is called ORAC, standing for “Oxygen radical absorption capacity”. This is widely accepted globally as THE standard for anti oxidants.
  8. Tufts university did all the research and found that OPTIMAL human life needs 5,000 ORAC a day. An endurance athlete needs about 10,000/day. Now what does this mean? Let me put it to you this way. 1 orange is 100 ORAC! So to get all you need, you would need to eat ALONE 50 oranges a DAY! Now it is not this messy as different foods have different ORAC levels and oranges are actually not that amazing. A cup full of berries is 2,500 in comparison. So it all depends on all kinds of micro compounds, not just a vitamin like C.
  9. There is NO WAY a person eating at Jollibee and living modern life is an optimal human. Hence why they feel like crap or are sick often. The body cannot handle the free radical load. Simple.
  10. In Canada where it is a government healthcare system, knowing this they wanted to LOWER health care costs, and instead of cutting surgeries for example they focused on keeping people healthy—WELLNESS. The leading idea was to really develop an amazing anti oxidant.
  11. Many products out there, assuming people will not eat perfectly, have low ORACs. In fact, most don’t put on the package as ORAC IS HORRIBLE. A typical Vit C pill is like 200 of 300 ORAC—hardly a dent on what you need. But people feel they can take 1 and they will be fine. In light of 5,000 needed, well it is kidding yourself.
  12. There are anti oxidant drinks out there are 2500 or 3000 ORAC, typically berry drinks, but diluted with grape juice or water. What would happen if someone tried to formulate a perfect anti oxidant drink?
  13. The Canadian government financed the development of YJ, using berries from Britich Columbia and all over the world, plus seaweed (fucoidan) and Reservatrol from grapes. It was a breakthrough and is the number 1 most effective anti oxidant in the world, and no one is CLOSE.  One serving of YJ is about 10,100 ORAC! And you cannot Overdose on ORAC—it’s just juice after all!
  14. Net one serving (there are 10 in a bottle) is all an athlete needs. So on top of a healthy diet, you are about sure to be optimal. I have been drinking this for 18 months and NEVER BEEN SICK. NOR HAVE THE KIDS. Susan (Jim’s wife) had her bowel problems, but not linked to free radicals. She also is never sick and ran a PR on YJ this year in Comrades Marathon at 45. Every Doctor I know who sees the reserach takes it.
  15. I do half servings as I want the bottle to last longer and I eat VERY WELL so 5,000 ORAC is good enough even with my running. If I was you, I would nail the first bottle at 10,000 full dose to get healthy (you will come back FAST) and then drop to half dosages to stretch it out. Just my personal POV.

Everyone should take this. Knowing the science above, this is a big issue in wellness toeday.

I don’t own stock nor do I work for YJ. Just believe in this product.

S+R has exclusive rights for Philippines so only available in S+R. It’s expensive but what price do you put on health? It’s like 2 dollars a day to be totally healthy. That’s how I look at it.”



  1. All natural. I’ve been staying away from processed food for the past month.  So this came at the perfect time as all ingredients are berries or sea vegetables: Elderberry, Red Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Boysenberry, Blackcurrant, Cranberry, Kombu Fucoidan, Bladderwrack Sea Lettuce
  2. Loaded with vitamins and minerals. The nutrition information is astounding.
  3. YJ_Nutrition

  4. Small serving. You don’t have to drink huge quantities to reap the benefits. One serving is 3.2 oz.  Just one shot.
  5. Convenient. No more mixing. No more adding other ingredients. Just pour and drink.
  6. Super yummy. It tastes like a thicker version of cranberry/grape juice.  Even my kids would love it.
  7. It works. My hubby felt stronger the same day he drank it.  As I was sick when I started, I felt its benefits, after a week of drinking YJ.  I honestly believe it helped speed up recovery.  The past couple of days, I believe it’s contributed to improved performance in running and training at the gym.  I feel so strong!


Price. It is painfully expensive.  One bottle costs P1,999.95.  Ouch. Now that I’m feeling better, I’ll take Jim’s advice and cut my serving size to half to extend its lifetime with us.  If budget is of no issue to you though, then I would highly recommend this product.

Youth Juice is available at S&R.

Price: P1,999.95 per bottle.


Oatmeal Freak

Friday, 9 July 2010  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

I used to loathe oatmeal. My mom would make my sister and I eat this for breakfast before school. Before I even picked up the spoon, I would feel like throwing up.  I never ate oatmeal again…until I got married.

Hubby introduced Quakers Old-Fashioned oatmeal into my life.  (No, this is not a paid advertisement!) Much like the way I stumbled into running, I got a quick taste of it, fell in love, and got wildly obsessed over it.


This old-fashioned oatmeal isn’t like the local oatmeal that mom used to serve, mushy and soggy.  This one (in carton cylinders in the grocery) has bits of oats that you can munch on, and it’s less sweet.  I eat mine with almonds, granolas, bananas, or peaches depending on my mood.  I drop low-fat milk and a bit of honey and I’m good to go.

When I’m feeling a bit heavy (or I’m being good with my diet), I usually have it for lunch since it keeps me full all throughout the day.  If I could, I’d have it for dinner too!

Do You Eat More When You Don’t Run?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

I do.  Definitely.

Some eat more after a long run, or after a race, or after speedwork.  Not me.  I eat more when I’m not running at all.  When I’m training properly, I feel healthier so I naturally lean towards better food choices.  

When I can’t run, it seems like my hands are compelled to grab unto something, anything (e.g., Cheetos jalapeno flavor) to make up for the lack of movement in the legs.  The hands and fingers then coordinate—as my feet and legs would do the same when I run—to plop that digestible form of matter unto my mouth for quick consumption.

What’s most worrisome is that, due to my sheer depression from the lack of runs, I don’t even notice the food sliding down my throat and building a home in the comfort of my own tummy.  Usually, I’m watching a DVD, surfing the web, or dining with family when I suddenly have that overstuffed, bloated, I-want-to-vomit feeling and I think Uh oh, I’ve had more than enough again.  Then, panic creeps in, with the next thought: Shoot, how will I burn this if I can’t run?

Needless to say, that is exactly what I was telling myself last night as I stood on the dreaded weighing scale: Shoot, how do I lose the weight I gained over the holidays?  Why did I have to impose that 7-day running ban on myself? Maybe it’s time to break the ban?!!

Fortunately, I paid my favorite PT a visit at Moro Lorenzo this morning. (He’s my favorite because he’s the only guy who cured me of my shin splints and this he did literally overnight.)  After teaching me new drills to strengthen my quads and pull my kneecap inward, and as he poked at my ITB with long, scary needles, he nonchalantly told me that I should just continue with my training.  What?  No need for my 7-day ban?  It was music to my ears.  Woohoo!

I tried my best to keep my composure, even under so much pain, but deep inside I was already thinking of where I should run next, with whom, and what healthy meal I should be having for dinner.  Goodbye leftover Christmas treats.  It’s time for some salad!

Salad for the Stomach (and the Soul)

Thursday, 24 July 2008  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

In an effort to banish the blues this week (caused by tactless people, mischievous househelp, chaotic schedule, etc.), I decided to put on my frilly, pink TBR apron—the one I own only in my delusional Martha Stewartesque world—and whip up a Salad Nicoise for dinner last night.

You must know that this was a special occasion due to the fact that I never cook.  Never.  The closest I ever get to our kitchen is when the kids and I cook their gelatin.  And I don’t even boil the required 1 cup of hot water myself!  For me to actually pick a recipe from a magazine was a feat in itself.  Well, in this case, it wasn’t too difficult since the magazine was my favorite, Runner’s World August issue.

I stumbled upon the recipe a few nights ago soon after I had felt guilty, bloated, unsatisfied by all the junkfood (read: jalapeno cheetos) I’ve been devouring for the past month.  As I browsed through the recipe (over my bulging belly), I knew that I should start eating healthy again.  Tomorrow was the day, I thought.  And, it had to start with nothing else but a totally enticing and delectable sounding salad:  the Salad Nicoise (my favorite salad actually).

The following day, I headed for the supermarket to purchase the red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lettuce, and other ingredients.  Oh, I forgot to mention my favorite capers which was an added treat to the TBR version of this salad recipe.  And, last night, after a 7km run on the treadmill (yes, I’m back on the machine), I whipped up the meal in no time and munched on it like a ravenous little rabbit.  (I ate it so quickly, in fact, that I was halfway through when I thought of taking the photo below.)  

 RW Salad Nicoise

– TBR version of RW Salad Nicoise, August issue. Admittedly, it doesn’t look appetizing in this photo, but my photography skills are to blame for that. –

Needless to say, it was delicious (although no one else can vouch for my claim).  Yes, it did alleviate the stresses of the week.  It made me feel strong, healthy, happy—just like Martha Stewart…after she was released from prison, that is.