Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Juicin’ (Includes a Recipe)

I’ve been asked ‘why’ I started juicing so here’s why.  First off the documentary (available on Netflix) “Hungry for Change” made me realize I’m probably, no scratch that, I’m not taking in enough fruits and veggies on a daily basis … none of us are if you look at the recommended guidelines and there is no other way to get all of your servings in in a day, at least not for me.  And most importantly, what I learned from that documentary as well as a few others (see my recommended list below) is that “we are what we eat” just like we were taught in school and we should view our food as our medicine.  Now these documentaries do advocate becoming Vegans or Vegetarians, which those two are entirely different as well (look it up) but I shall remain a carnivore at heart … that’s not to say I couldn’t be a PART-TIME Vegetarian because I could eat mostly vegetarian meals and cut out meat to a few times a week.  But you’re either or … a Vegan or a Vegetarian … there is no part-time truly.

Now I started slowly watching what goes in my mouth about 15 years ago with the change back to using butter INSTEAD of margarine, then it evolved to Olive Oil INSTEAD of vegetable oil (course now its only EVOO and only if it comes in a dark glass bottle, preferably imported from Italy) and about 6 years ago now on the advice of my youngest son (who had become very conscious of his eating habits and a vegetarian ~ due to his modeling at the time), to eat ONLY natural peanut butter.  Yea … I thought all peanut butter was just that PEANUTS but its not and boy is the taste so much better … the Natural kind BUT be careful, some claim to be all natural but they have molasses in them for coloring.  The one I use has just 4 ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Palm Oil and Salt.  So lesson here is to READ your ingredient labels … ALL of them!  My kids have all become healthy eaters, conscious of what goes into their mouths … one being a Vegan, which I don’t see that ever happening with me since I am a carnivore … the other two eat mostly veggies but they won’t totally give up meat either and of course, everything in moderation.  Anyway, over the last 3-4 years I’ve really kicked it up a notch and read EVERY label on everything I buy, including stuff from the health food section!!!  I’ve recently given up processed foods (again moderation).  And I’m sure ya’ll heard all the hype about High Fructose Corn Syrup … well from what I understand it isn’t necessarily bad for you … its just that it is in EVERYTHING … literally … and oftentimes the very first or second ingredient!!!  Then of course there is Canola Oil … no way no how I’m ever knowingly putting that in my body again … you do your own research on that and any of the other things I’ve mentioned.  Lastly, there’s Organic, versus Traditionally Grown versus GMO (fruits, veggies and meat).  Like most of this I’ve just touched on … there is lots of research you can do to learn for yourself.  Oh and let’s not forget Ketchup!  Yep, Ketchup is not the same as the kind we grew up eating (not sure when they changed that) but as I recall it was mostly smushed up tomatoes, vinegar and salt but NO somewhere over the years it had changed and I found that Heinz now makes ‘Simply Heinz Ketchup’ … again read the label difference … they still make the one full of all kinds of ingredients but the Simply is just that … simply the best … taste wise and ingredient wise.

Back to my JUICING … sorry, I just had to give a little background info…

NOW Juicing is not to be confused with Smoothies, granted BOTH are very good for you but Smoothies are dairy based and usually have added ice (water) and even peanut butter (ALL healthy).  Juicing is nothing but veggies and fruit … period.  Smoothies are made in a Blender and Juicing is done in a Juicer.  Also, there are some fruits and veggies (like carrots, celery, apples, etc.) that just won’t get smooth in a blender (not raw anyway, which is the best way to eat our fruits and veggies, for maximum vitamin and mineral absorption).  And then on the other hand, there are some fruits and veggies that will not juice in a Juicer (such as bananas, avocados and the like).  There’s more of a difference but that’s another thing you’ll just have to research yourself as I could go on and on and on.

I’ve been juicing since mid-January of this year … I started out doing it twice a day for first ten days to detox and now I just juice once a day … hey I do love to eat REAL food LOL.  I actually CRAVE a juice every day!  It’s definitely healthy for you even though I did still manage to get the flu but I have an auto-immune disease so unfortunately I don’t have the strongest or best working immune system.

Here are the food documentaries I have seen (there are others as well but some of those REALLY push becoming a Vegan or Vegetarian):

Hungry for Change
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
Food Matters

Okay and here’s what my Juice today consisted of … I have basically stayed with the same ingredients but you can change them up according to your tastes and sometimes it breaks the monotony to just have a different juice each day.  Oh and I must confess ~ I DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT like raw carrots or celery … and when cooked they must be diced very small or better yet slivered but no problem with them in my Juice.

Debbie’s Green Juice
Makes 16 ounces

Large Handful Baby Spinach
5-6 Stalks Cilantro (Love Flavor)
2 Stalks Celery
2 Full Carrots
2 Apples (or 1 Apple and 1 Pear)
3 Mini-Cucumbers (or 1 Normal Sized)
Splash of Pom Juice*

*Pomegranate Juice is so very healthy for you but I don’t care for the tartness so this is one way to get it into my diet every day.

Another thing about Juicing I have just got to mention.  I decided when I started this that I would HAVE to leave the Juicer (oh and it is big and bulky) on the counter or I would have an excuse NOT to juice so it stays out on my counter … always!  I also keep a weeks supply of celery and carrots cleaned and ready for use … no excuses!  And cleaning the Juicer?  Easy!  It can all be put in the dishwasher!

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