Friday, September 9, 2011

Start your juicers or blenders

Fresh, homemade veggie juices or smoothies are such an important addition to our diets. Nutritionally these juices or smoothies are power packed and bio available meaning our body recognizes them and absorbs them easily without having to exert to much energy in digestion because the vegetables are already broken down into a liquid form. Plus many nutrients work synergistically and by combining veggies you are making it possible for them to work as they are intended. The difference between a juice and a smoothie comes down to the fiber. With a Vitamix or Blendtech (high speed blenders) you are incorporating the fiber into the drink but most juicers are simply extracting the juice and the fiber becomes a byproduct. Now if we are eating our fruits, vegetables and beans we are getting fiber. It is recommended that 50 to 75% of our plates be covered in these foods, depending on who you talk to.
It is so easy to buy a grouping of veggies, take them home, juice them, pour that juice into Mason jars and stick them in the fridge for a day or two and there is your simple, power packed, nutritionally healthy serving of veggies. It really is that easy to do something amazing for your health. I just finished juicing the remainder of my produce from last weeks' farmers market. I juiced one bunch of carrots, about 12 large kale leaves, about 10 large celery stalks & 2 cucumber . Now I have all of that in one juice drink chilling in the fridge.
If you are "healthy" and new to green juices start off with some spinach and romaine lettuce and work up to kale because it is kind of bitter. You can add a pear or small apple for sweetness or add the romaine with the kale. I always use celery and cucumber in my juices not only for their nutritional content but also because they provide a significant amount of juice that helps push the other leafy greens through and cut the bitterness. So a good, general starter green juice can be 1 cucumber, several stalks of celery, 1 small apple or pear, 1 handful of spinach and several leaves of romaine lettuce. For illness I would add a few things like parsley, dandelion greens, maybe tangerine or lemon and ginger for either juice and definitely kale, beets, broccoli and cabbage. Always organic. We do not want pesticides, etc. in our juice.
Broccoli stems add sweetness. You just have to experiment with a flavor that suits you.
I like to follow a juice up with a small portion of protein or healthy fat like avocado (great addition to a smoothie) walnuts, almonds, almond butter sandwich, etc.
Give fresh homemade juices or smoothies a try. Maybe they can replace that morning coffee. I know, one thing at a time. Think about starting your day with something your body can actually use and benefit from. I still have to have my tea everyday, my caffeine shot.
This is an easy way to start taking control and responsibility for your health. It is something you CAN do.

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