Fitness Quest is a weekly column in which the journey of losing 90 pounds is chronicled online in hopes of helping other people as well as providing a catalyst for motivation. This week’s column features an interview with localvore and Juice Plus+ advocate, Holly Crow. Philadelphians may recognize her from the Flyers Wives Carnival, where she served as the co-chair for two years.

I have noticed that you are very big on tower gardens and growing your own foods. How difficult is it to do? How can someone get started with this?

The “localvore” movement is really becoming more popular around the country. To be a localvore is to want to eat food that is grown locally so that you know where it is coming from.  In a time where big corporations are genetically modifying our foods and spraying them with harmful chemicals, it is hard to be able to trust our food sources. The Tower Garden was created by a man named Tim Blank who used to work at The Land at Epcot Center and wanted to make an aeroponic gardening system that people could use outside their houses or apartments. This makes it easy for anyone with at least 4 hours of sunlight daily to grow their own produce safely! I am not a gardener at all, but the Tower Garden makes it very simple to grow your own food by just adding water and the Tower Tonic that it comes with. You then either grow seedlings yourself (the needed kit comes with the Tower Garden) or you can order seedlings from a company that will ship them right to your house then you put them right into your Tower!  VERY SIMPLE! The Juice Plus+ Company has the exclusive rights to this awesome invention and you must purchase one through a Juice Plus+ representative.

As someone who just started heading towards a healthier lifestyle, I have noticed that smallest changes can have big impacts. What would you say are some of the simplest but most important changes a person can make to get healthier? 

This is a wonderful question! Often, we make these huge goals that are almost impossible to do. What everyone needs to understand is that just making small adjustments and sticking with them can drastically change your health. Adding more water to your diet is HUGE. We need 1/2 our body weight in ounces daily to maintain good health. Our brains need it to think clearly. We need more water if we are sweating or drinking caffeine, alcohol, etc. Just getting outside and talking a 30 minute walk will really help get someone moving in the right direction! Our bodies are created to move so we must move them! The biggest impact on my health and many people’s is adding more fruits and vegetables to their diets. We crave what we put into our bodies, it’s called Metabolic programming. So when you add a couple extra servings of fruits and veggies into your body, you will notice that you crave more fruits and veggies. That is why Juice Plus+ is so impactful. It is a small and simple step but when you are getting all these extra fruits and veggies in your diet, from a few capsules or chewables, your body craves more then your entire body starts functioning better from the cells and beyond.

Which is more important: eating healthy or exercising regularly? Why? I do not know if you are a vegetarian or not but I have read that vegetarians often have some of the worst diets because they supplement their diets with junk food like french fries. How can vegetarians avoid this trap and get a good source of protein in their diet?

You can’t out work a poor diet. So many people and even many trainers have this idea that you can go eat a fast food meal then go work out for 3 hours and the bad food won’t effect them. That is so very wrong. What I keep hearing is that 80% is about your diet and 20% is working out. While working out is incredibly important, fueling your body properly for the work out is critical.  When we work out, something call oxidative stress happens. This causes free radicals in your body and those free radicals actually cause disease and illness if they aren’t neutralized. The only want to neutralize oxidative stress is through ANTIoxidants, which are found in plant foods.  Another reason why people can’t lose weight or it comes back after dieting is something very simple yet many people don’t know. Fat protects vital organs from toxins. The only way to eliminate toxins is by pumping the body full of pure whole foods to help detoxify. Once the toxins are out, the body then can safely shed the fat knowing that the organs are safe.

I try to be 95% vegan. Strict vegans do not eat any foods attached to an animal source. Even honey would be off limits as it comes from a bee. Most vegans just stay away from meat and dairy.  I am vegan at home and allow room for some goat cheese or eggs sometimes. I like to try different foods, so I do tend to allow myself a bite of something that I wouldn’t normally eat. If you give yourself too many rules, it is harder to stay on track. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, therefor, tend to eat a lot of dairy and even go for fried foods (which are probably fried in animal lard anyway.) Meat and dairy are very acidic and when a body is acidic, it is much more susceptible to disease and illness. They are also very fattening.  If you don’t feel you are ready for a plant based diet, then make sure you buy organic meats and cheeses and try to buy local so you are sure of the quality and that the animals have gotten to live humanely like they naturally would and without antibiotics and steroids. I would strongly suggest smaller meat portions and maybe just eating it a few days a week. There are many plant proteins that are filling and much cheaper and healthier!

Without giving away any information that is important to your business, what are the core principles you teach people as a Wellness Educator?

We really keep is super simple! I bought my $50 Juice Plus+ Franchise just to save on my product, but when I saw what something so convenient, simple and affordable was doing for myself and my family, it turned into a moral obligation for me to share it with anyone who would listen. All anyone needs to know to do what I do, is that fruits and vegetables are good for us and only about 1% of Americans are actually getting the 7-13 servings we are supposed to be getting daily. (More if you have an illness, or you are an athlete, fly a lot or do anything else that causes that oxidative stress I talked about previously.)  Everyone in the world can benefit from added whole food nutrition and this is a great way to “bridge the gap” between what we should eat and what we actually do. That’s it! We share, care and follow up with our customers! We are about relationships and helping people. We are mission driven, not profit driven. Our Company is fully of integrity and we have now expanded to over 20 countries. We are trying to get this world to take control of their own health. Many doctors are now agreeing that 80% of chronic disease and illness is preventable! How cool is that? We can chooses our own health destiny! NO EXCUSES!  If anyone would like to help us with this mission, we are always looking for kind hearted people to help us make this world healthier, one conversation at a time!

What got you into Juice Plus+? What are the benefits of Juice Plus+? What are the challenges? 

My dad has been the health nut in the family and used to get out his juicer and make a juice daily. It is a huge pain to do and clean up and it’s expensive. When his friend share Juice Plus+ with him, he looked up all the research and realized there really wasn’t anything negative he could say about it. Basically, Juice Plus+ does the juicing for you. When 90% of produce is water, after you take that out and some of the sugars, etc come out naturally, you’re just left with all the micronutrients in a powder which can be packed into a little capsule or chewable! We had been taking tons of multivitamins and isolated supplements and realized there was and still is no evidence showing these things are beneficial in the body and most research is showing that they cause harm long term because they are unnatural and made in a lab. An apple has over 12,000 known nutrients in it and each nutrient needs the synergy of the other thousands to help your body function properly. Juice Plus+ is just food. It carries a nutrition label, not supplement label. It’s like taking multiple trips to the salad bar.  It’s the only thing I use now and it’s even my medicine! If I’m tired or feel like an illness may be coming on, I take a dose every few hours until I feel better! My immune system has strengthened greatly during the 4 years I have been taking Juice Plus+ and eating more fruits and veggies. The funny thing was that I was eating organically and working out so I really didn’t think I would see any changes, and saw this as a prevention in my long term health. I was WRONG! I quickly starting craving more water, had more energy, at 9 months I no longer wanted to eat my chicken wings on trivia night, at a year my knee got better after 20 years of tennis playing just to name a few awesome changes! The biggest change was my sleeping. My sleep is now more restful and that I am no longer groggy in the morning. There are many more, but every person’s story is different and the nutrition from getting the extra produce goes to work in their body wherever it needs it most. Sometimes it is outwardly noticeable very quickly and sometimes it can be subtle changes over time. It doesn’t matter if you are the sickest person you know or the healthiest, you can benefit from better nutrition. I haven’t heard of any negative side effects to eating Juice Plus+ other than an occasional detox story, ( if you are detoxing, you NEED to be, so stick with it and feel free to take less Juice Plus+ at first to ease your body into it) or people like my brother who complains that his hair grows too fast now! I can’t stand people who order Juice Plus+ and don’t take it and complain it isn’t working. Good health take time and consistency….remember, we have harmed our bodies for years, it takes time to repair that damage.

Finally, if you have any health advice or anything you would like to add, please do!

It’s great to find a buddy to help keep you accountable! Make better health a family venture! Add Juice Plus+ to your family’s diet because you are all worth it and good health is much cheaper than illness! Take baby steps and  The awesome Juice Plus+ Company also care so much about your children that it offers a Children’s Health Study program where a child ages 4- undergrad in college can eat Juice Plus+ for free for up to 4 years just by filling out a quick survey every 4 months on the child’s progress with Juice Plus+. This cost is absorbed by the company and your Juice Plus+ representatives so please take this seriously if you commit to this program. I love to help people get their “health snowball” rolling and I love to help them build a wonderful and simple business where they can help share this simple message. We need as many people sharing this so we can be a healthier nation and world!

If you have any questions, please feel free to find me on Facebook at or on Twitter @cotaze  

Starting weight: 278
Current weight 256.0