Lessons in Health and Wellness: Juicing

succo di sedano nel bicchiereYou might be surprised to know that some days it’s just too much effort for me to chew. No, I mean it. Taking the time to stop what I’m doing, prepare a meal, serve the meal, chew the food and clean up the mess … well, some days it’s just too much effort.

For that reason, I love juicing. Currently on my kitchen counter is an Omega vertical juicer, a NutriBullet and a Vitamix, residing side-by-side in peaceful harmony.

Each one serves a different purpose. My personal favorite – and the one I use 90% of the time – is the Vitamix. I like juicing with whole foods. I like fiber. That may be TMI, but that’s what I like. Whether you decide you want to do whole foods juicing or regular juicing depend on what your outcome is.

If you’re looking to improve your nutritional intake or you’re looking to give your digestive tract a break, then regular juicing is where you want to be. That’s where my Omega comes in. Clean juice with minimal pulp and maximum nutritional value. But truthfully it can be a lot of work too. You have to prep and cut the vegetables and fruit, juice the lot, disassemble the juicer and clean it thoroughly, dry and reassemble.

If you’re looking to add more fiber and nutrition to your diet (this juice keeps you fuller longer) then hit up the Vitamix. Less waste than traditional juicing, smaller amounts of ingredients to use and easier to clean. The challenges are that it’s noisy – really noisy – and it takes up a good deal of real estate on the counter.

Finally, the NutriBullet. It’s almost as convenient as a Vitamix, and almost as efficient, but with smaller footprint and a bit quieter. This is the one that goes in my bag when I travel and don’t feel like schlepping the Vitamix.

So what is juicing? It’s the extraction of juice from fresh whole fruits and vegetables. Since no heat or processing is applied, all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and biophotons are preserved. The resulting raw juice is a powerhouse food for your health.

Incorporating raw foods into your diet by juicing will provide lasting benefits including:

  • Rapid and more complete absorption of vital nutrients
  • Improved immune system, mental clarity, energy and overall health and wellness
  • Improved patient outcomes with many chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, chronic pain and fatigue, arthritis, diabetes and fibromyalgia
  • Greater likelihood of meeting the recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables

Invest in a juicer you’re going to use. Consider ease of overall use and cleaning. While you may not be excited about broccoli, lemon and ginger juice in the beginning, eventually you’ll want to lean more towards vegetable (especially dark leafy greens) and become less reliant on fruit for flavoring your juicing. You will also want to use organic produce as much as possible. Start by adding at least one green juice a day, you’ll see what I mean. Then on days when it’s too much effort to chew you’ll have a healthy solution.

Here are some of my favorite juice recipes. Most can be adapted for either whole foods juicing or traditional juicing:

  • 1 whole grapefruit peeled and pith removed, 1/2 cup of pineapple, 4 to 5 kale leaves and a small handful of mint
  • 2 oranges peeled, 3 to 4 kale leaves, one garlic clove peeled, pinch of sea salt, pinch of pepper and a pinch of allspice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, small handful of flat leaf parsley, small handful of spinach, one whole lemon or lime (peeled if whole foods juicing) add a dash of hot sauce
  • 1 whole cucumber, handful of flat leaf parsley, handful of spinach,1 green apple,1 inch slices of ginger, 1/2 a peeled lemon or lime
  • 2 green apples,1/2 peeled lemon, handful of whatever green you have on hand

You may need to add water or ice if you’re doing whole foods juicing to thin the texture for drinking.

Share your favorite juice recipe with me.

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