Friday, April 13, 2012

Eat your Vegetables

OK people I want you to get serious about your health. Spring is in full swing and summer is right around the cornor. Those farmer's markets are calling your names. These are just charming boothes but opportunities to choose fresh, local, seasonal and preferably organic foods. These are all very important to our health as well as to the health of our planet and the lively hood of those hardworking people growing these foods. Fresh picked local veggies and fruits, etc. offer more nutrients than those that were picked several days or weeks or longer ago that have to be trucked in. Same for meats.
I can think of no better way to spend my Saturday morning or whatever day and time than to go to the farmer's market and smell the fresh foods, see them, talk to the farmers, ranchers, etc. and eat. Well, if the market were across the street from the Pacific Ocean that for me would be paradise.
It is recommended that a person with cancer gets at least 5 servings of vegetables per day. I want us all to get that because prevention is key in this disease and all others. Let's not wait until we get sick to eat healthy. That kind of thinking is not a good idea. I know it seems like a pretty tall order to get five servings of veggies a day. I agree to an extent. The easiest way I know how to do this is to make homemade veggie juices. I just made one with carrots, beets, swiss chard and celery. I filled half a mason jar. I might not drink the entire thing today but it will be good tomorrow. The juicing took maybe 10 minutes. Every house should have a juicer. Of course you still want to eat the vegetables but making a few juices each week is a great, nutritious way to get those veggies into your diet. Juices are susceptible to oxidative damage and nutrient loss so making them at home and consuming them ASAP is definitely preferable to buying them in the stores. It is so easy to do and I know a few kids who love to help make them and come up with their own combinations to try. I find that if they get to participate they will at least try it.
I prefer vegetable juices to juices high in fruit. Fruit juices have high concentrations of sugars. Some Veggie juices do too like the one I made today. If you need to add sweetness to a veggie juice try a small green apple. This is what I do for green leafy vegetable juices. However, broccoli stems add sweetness. Cucumbers also cut the bitter in most veggie juices.
There are many types of juicers on the market. The most available and cheapest are centerfuge juicers. These use blades to extract juice and the motors tend to be located in close proximity to these blades allowing the juice to get slightly warmed from the heat the motor generates. Masticated juicers are a bit more of an investment and in my experience are a little more difficult to locate in stores. These juicers use a rotating agar to press the juice from the vegetables or fruit. I prefer this type of juicer. I love my Omega. I started with a Jack LaLane and went to a Breville but made the leap a few years back to the Omega. It all depends on how much you want to commit to doing this.

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