It’s that time of year again at my house. My Vitamix gets a much needed rest, and I pull my juicer out of the back of the pantry and dust it off. Twice a year I do a juice fast for 10 days, giving my body a much needed break for detoxing and healing. This year’s second installment was long overdue, as I spent most of the summer traveling, working, and indulging in cheese.
Yes, the infamous dairy! This was the summer I decided to become Vegan, so I ate as much cheese and butter as I possibly could stuff down, in hopes I would either get sick of it, or erase the desire from my system. Needless to say that did nothing to get me closer to my Vegan goal. In fact, it was a nice couple, long term fans of Vitamix and the Vegan lifestyle that challenged me to take the plunge. What was I waiting for? I saw all the latest food documentaries, and I knew what was up.
It was time to end this love affair. It was time once and for all to be free of the bloating, the candida, the constipation, and the mucus. Have I completeley grossed you out yet? I know we Americans although not as cultured and refined as the French when it comes to food delicacies, we love our cheese, albeit processed or not! But this post is not about me becoming Vegan and my triumph over dairy, it’s about juicing and how it can lead you to health, vitality, and beauty!
Many people today, especially young men and women are nutrient deficient. Young men tend to eat a high protein, high processed junk food diet, with a lot of alcohol and energy drinks thrown in. Young women are attracted to the emotional comfort foods like sweets and other carbohydrates, and are prone to eat low-fat “diet” foods such as the ones found in the freezer section. Throw in the high sugar blended coffee drinks and the no calorie soda, combined with hydrogenated and genetically modified foods, you’ve got young bodies that are starving for nutrients, fiber, and are highly acidic creating the perfect stage for long term illness and disease.
Juicing gives you a lot of nutrient bang for your buck! Juices cleanse and nourish your cells protecting you from disease and providing anti-aging benefits. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices infuse your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Most people have difficulty eating the recommended amount of veggies a day, some nutritionists such as Dr. Furhman of Eat to Live, believes that we should eat one pound of raw vegetables and one pound of cooked vegetables everyday. That doesn’t leave much time for junk food now does it! And drinking a pound of vegetables is so much easier than eating a pound.
The act of “juicing” consists of putting your fruits and vegetables through a juice machine that “extracts” the pulp or dietary fiber on one end and gives you juice on the other. Because the fiber is removed the juice goes straight into your bloodstream. While this is the perfect solution for getting more nutrients into the body, this causes some people concerns, and for good reason. Americans are constipated! We don’t get enough fiber because we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Juicing will help you get more nutrients but it is not a substitute for eating the real thing!
Now some of you know me because you’ve seen me at my day job demonstrating the Vitamix machine. (We call it a machine not a blender. After all, blenders don’t make ice cream or hot soup, do they?) I am asked almost on a daily basis is blending better than juicing and vice versa. I believe that blending your fruits and vegetables is a viable way to juice, we call it “whole food juicing”. The benefits are plentiful: you keep your fiber and you get a silky smooth texture, you save money by not having to go through so many vegetables and you aren’t throwing any away, and it’s faster than traditional juicing because the clean up is easier. I recommend juicing in a machine like the Vitamix to those people who are “new” to juicing or those unlikely to stay committed if too much work is involved.
I also believe in juicing from juice extractors. When I do my bi-annual juice fast, the purpose is to shut down all digesting so that my body can focus all it’s energy on healing. The rest of the year when I’m using my Vitamix daily, I love the added benefit of extra nutrients from juices. And although I’m committed to eating healthy daily and making smoothies for my family, I confess to ignoring my juicer and driving to Whole foods and letting them make my juice!
Below is a list of Juice ingredients and their benefits. Feel free to mix them together in any combination that sounds great to you!
- Kale: high in iron, calcium, nutrient dense green, vitamins A,C, and K
- Spinach: magnesium for lowering blood pressure, folate, Vitamins A,C, and K
- Parsley: diuretic, kidney support, detoxifying, vitamin B12
- Celery: curbs cravings for sweets and rich food, helps rid body of excess fluid
- Carrots: blood purifier, liver cleanser, vitamins A B C D E and K
- Wheat grass: blood building, detoxifying,iron, vitamins A, C, and E
- Beets: high in folic acid and manganese, antioxidant, anti-inflamatory, fungicidal
- Cucumber: promotes joint health, controls blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, promotes clear skin, hydrating, and flushes toxins
- Mint: good for digestion, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial
- Ginger: anti-inflammatory, good for digestion, detoxifying
- Cayenne: digestive aid, anti-fungal, rich in vitamins A + C
- Apple: detoxify liver, boost immunity, reduce cholesterol, fiber
- Pineapple: high in manganese, digestive aid, bromelain, anti-inflammatory, vitamin C, potassium
- Lemon: purify liver, promote alkalinity, diuretic, hydrates lymph
Here are some of my favorite combinations:
Apple, lemon, ginger, cayenne
Carrot, apple, beet, lemon, ginger, turmeric
Kale, spinach, celery,parsley, cucmber,lemon, apple
The Healthy Diva