Curious About Juicing?

Glass of Green Juice

My favorite organic green juice made from cucumbers, carrots, kale, and an apple.

If you can’t eat your veggies, maybe you should try drinking them.

Juicing is all the rage these days. It seems like everyone is talking about the goodness gained from a tall, fresh glass of green juice. Even Martha Stewart starts her day with green juice. After all, it’s a good thing. When I’m juicing, you can see it. The dark circles fade from under my eyes, my complexion becomes clearer, and there’s a spring in my step.

I get lots of questions from people eager to learn about juicing and buying a juicer. I always ask them why they’re interested. Because while juicing is awesome, I can’t recommend it for everyone. Juicing is part of a complete nutritional shift. If you’re still drinking liters of soda, smoking, or consuming lots of processed food, don’t waste your money buying a juicer. Instead, start with incorporating green smoothies into your diet. They’re good for you, they offer a nutritional boost, and most people have some sort of blender. If you don’t have a blender then a 2-cup food processor will do the job.

I started juicing as part of my effort eliminate the effects of bad eating habits. I read books that described juicing as a way to flush your cells with nutrition, thereby washing away toxins from soda and other processed food. My imagination went wild envisioning sad, tired cells trying their best to work while coughing toxins like cartoon characters cough smog. I wanted happy, healthy cells that replicated themselves with lots of energy. I pictured newly empowered cells attacking viruses like pro wrestlers – superplexing them into oblivion. I purchased a juicer and bought bags full of organic veggies that were suggested for juicing. The hardest part was taking that first taste of the bizarre-looking elixir. It didn’t taste like anything I ever imaged. It was cool, with a almost milk-like density.

While I’d love to juice everyday, I can’t always get the organic vegetables I prefer. It is important to stress here – only juice organic vegetables and fruits. Otherwise, you’re dumping toxins (and God knows what else) into your bloodstream.

Why Juice?

Simple biology. We all know that food provides energy for our bodies. However, did you know that 60-80% of the energy gained from a meal is used to digest it? When I drink juice rather than eat a meal, suddenly my body has an energy surplus because I’m not digesting food. I don’t know about you, but I need all the energy I can get. Juicing allows me to consume double or triple the amount of vegetables I normally eat. That means double or triple the nutritional value. It also allows me to experiment with new vegetables like kale. One isn’t born with taste buds that like kale. But now, I love it.

There are several reasons why you should be juicing. But there is only one reason why you shouldn’t juice. If you think you’ll lose weight by juicing, you’re wrong. Losing weight is the byproduct of healthy nutrition. Many people start juicing with high hopes of losing extra pounds because they’ve heard that a juice fast is a quick way to lose weight. But like all other diets, a juice fast isn’t a permanent fix. It’s a temporary solution, just another diet gimmick. Oh, you’ll lose weight, but it won’t stay off. You’ll gain it right back unless you completely change your nutritional intake. But for some people, I recognize that juicing can be a necessary beginning to a complete nutritional change, especially if they aren’t eating vegetables or if their meals come through a drive-thru window. Juicing introduces them to vegetables.

1) Few people eat enough veggies.
If you drew a line down the middle of your plate, would 50% of your meal be veggies? What kind of veggies are you consuming? Do you eat enough dark leafies that are filled with chlorophyll to cleanse your cells? Or do you only eat potatoes, sweet corn, and green bean casserole? Consider this: Are potatoes still a vegetable after you boil the dickens out of them, then add a stick of butter and a drown them in milk? My southern taste buds say yes, but my cells say no.

2) Juicing green vegetables adds chlorophyll.
Chemically, chlorophyll is almost identical to hemoglobin – the substance which transports oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. The benefits of chlorophyll fall into three main categories: purifying, anti-inflammatory, and renewal. It has numerous health benefits, as it can help cleanse and oxygenate the blood, detox and alkalize the body, and help promote healthy intestines.

2) Raw veggies provide their full nutritional value when juiced.
Cooking lowers the nutritional value of food. The more you cook them, the less effective vegetables are. I once cooked green beans in a crockpot for three days so that they would taste like my great-aunt’s southern-style green beans. While delicious, there wasn’t an ounce of nutritional value left in them. Poor things.

3) Juicing flushes toxins from bloodstream and from cells.
Every second, millions of your cells replicate. Your body is constantly replacing old cells with new ones. By drinking green juice, you are helping to rejuvenate your body at the cellular level by feeding them what they need — clean energy and glorious vitamins.

What kind of juicer do you have?
My juicer isn’t fancy and it wasn’t too expensive. I bought a Warner Juice Extractor from Lowes. You can easily get one from Wal-Mart, a catalog store, or on-line . The day I bought mine, I discovered it while my Beloved was looking at building supplies. It’s done a good job despite the paces that I’ve put it through including juicing hundreds of tomatoes last summer. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I think it was around $80.

Veggies Ready to JuiceWhat’s your favorite juice recipes?
While I prefer green juice, you can try any combination of veggies and fruit using the magic formula: 3 veggies:1 fruit. Its important not to use a lot of fruit in juicing. You can easily spike your blood sugar levels if you use too much fruit. Besides, eating fruit is easy. Eating vegetables is generally the problem. Use fruit to sweeten your blends, not overtake the spinach. The internet is full of juicing recipes. You can easily find recipes, but below are a couple of my favorites. The organic vegetables are often available, even in Murray.

Green Goodness
2 Cups of Organic Kale (or organic spinach)
2 Organic Cucumbers
2 Organic Carrots
1 Organic Apple

Carrot Delight
6 Organic Carrots
1 Organic Apple
1 knuckle organic ginger

 

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