Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Juice of Life

So you've heard of people doing 'juice cleanses', 'juice fasts', 'juice parties', 'juice weeks'. Well I have been doing none of them. In addition to adding whole foods, only natural products and foods into our diet since last year, for the past month and a half, I decided to add juicing to our life. I love my husband so much that I want to prolong our lives together and make sure we are healthy, and living life to the fullest. 

After doing a lot of research, I decided that juicing everyday for about a week would be the best way to superblast our way into the juice life. We bought a relatively inexpensive juicer, then went to the supermarket and stocked up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and even stepped out of the box while doing so. We broadened our horizon of vegetables to juice and ended up consuming veggies that we wouldn't normally eat in our regular day-to-day diet. 

Now don't forget, we still ate three meals a day, packed with seafood, vegetables, some meat, no processed foods and exercised doing at least 30 mins of high impact workouts 4-5 times a week. Juicing was in no way a meal replacement, and honestly, I wouldn't recommend it. When you juice, necessary fibre and proteins are taken away from your juice in the form of pulp, so eating a light breakfast with your morning juice is highly recommended. I often had boiled eggs, a banana, or some granola with yogurt right after. 

The instant benefits we felt were, elevated moods, healthy digestion, more energy, it was like we were juicing life right back into our bodies.  

After the first week however, we had to cut back on the juicing because one of the cons to juicing is the $$$. Juicing can be quite an expensive ordeal, but that is why I decided to write some helpful tips to those of you thinking of incorporating juicing into your lifestyle.


Tip No. 1
You don't have to buy the best juicer out there. Buy something you think will be easy for you to clean, because half of the motivation lies in the clean up after you have juiced. 

Tip No. 2
After you have juiced your fruits and veggies, tip out your pulp and peels onto your chopping board, and make balls out of the pulp. Put the balled up pulp back through the juicer, thus extracting as much juice from your veggies as possible. 

Tip No. 3
Visit your local farmers markets, shop around for the best deals on your favorite fruits and vegetables. If Green apples are expensive this week, substitute. The best thing about juicing is that you don't have to stick to any recipe. Just go with what feels good to both you AND your wallet.

Tip no. 4
Wash your veggies thoroughly! If you don't know where your vegetables are coming from, and even if you do, you should always wash your veggies like you have OCD. I usually fill my sink right up to the top, pop all my veggies in there, add about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar, let the veggies soak for about 15~20 mins, then scrub and give each fruit and veggie a 2nd and 3rd rinse in water before drying and placing into the refrigerator. This way, when you are ready to juice, all your fruits and veggies are already washed and cleansed.

Treat No. 1 
Start off with vegetables you are comfortable with, celery, carrots, cucumbers. But once you have tried those, try any and all veggies. Your rule here should be, the more colorful the vegetable is, the better for you. You will be surprised with some amazing flavors that are out there.

Treat no. 2
Don't throw out that left over pulp after you have juiced. You could make some homemade sausage by adding the pulp to your mince. You could even add it to your favorite savory muffin  or bread recipe. If you don't want to do any of that, then I totally recommend mixing a spoon full of that pulp back into your juice. It's ALL good stuff! 

Treat no. 3
When you cook your vegetables, you end up leaving half of the nutrients and vitamin value in the pan that you cook it in. Taking in your veggies raw in a juice form, helps your body to absorb most of those nutrients. Great way to boost your immune system and power your body up with vitamins and nutrients that are normally lost in the cooking process.

Just a Few Favorite Vegetables

Zucchini - high in folate, folic acid, manganese, zinc, potassium, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1 & B2, C, beneficial to your bones, blood, eyes, teeth, the benefits of zuchinni just are endless, and taking this vegetable in it's raw form helps you to retain most of those nutrients!

Beets - a favorite of some of my naturopath friends, this vegetable is a stamina increaser, improves blood flow and oxygen in the body, great for people with high blood pressure, liver protector, great for the heart, brain, blood vessels, AND tastes amazing. Bonus! 

Red Cabbage - good source as an antioxidant and for sulfur, iodine, potassium, vitamins C, B6, U. Traditionally used for ailments like asthma, high blood pressure, hair loss, thyroid regulation, skin problems, kidneys, constipation, bladder problems. Turns your juice a pretty purple color and mixed with other fruits and vegetables, in fact has a really mild flavor.  

In addition to all of the above being superfoods, if you juice and mix any of the above with either celery, cucumber, a little hint of mint and ginger, add a fruit of your juice, I usually go for the handy dandy apple or fresh limes, and you have got a magical juice packed with all kinds of nutrients to boost your immune system. Now I am not a doctor, but if you have any health issues causing you to not juice, or are allergic to any thing, then I reccomend talking to your physician first or perhaps a nutritionist to help you come up with a bunch of veggies that will be compatible to your body type. However, for my hubs and I the health benefits alone were a sure sell for us, and we are now official juicers for life! :)

Below are a couple of juice blends that I truly enjoyed, you don't have to have as many veggies or fruit to have a yummy juice, this morning my juice was just 1/2 a green cabbage, plenty of celery and one red apple. Simple and delicious. 

1/2 Red Cabbage, 1 Red Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Cucumber, 3 Celery Sticks 

2 Red Apples, 2 Celery Sticks, 1 Large Zuchinni, Ginger
One of the many resources for my research is available on juicingbook.com, completely free, and can look up the benefits of the fruit and vegetable of your choice on there. But again, keep reading and don't rely on just one resource. Your best friend will be knowledge and can assist you in choosing your vegetables in the supermarket.

Well there you have it people. I don't blog for a couple of weeks, and then I bombard you with my two cents about juicing, health, and life. Hope you enjoy, live long, and don't forget to eat your veggies! :) 

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