I just hopped on the juicing bangwagon and I love it! Since I have been living with a chronic infection for many years, I know that my nutrient levels are depleted and I need to focus on rebuilding my body to get optimal nourishment. I can definitely rebuild with nutritional supplements, which I am already doing, but the best source of nutritional supplementation comes from real food.
Whole vegetables and fruits have all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals we need to prevent and reverse disease. Vitamins and minerals perform hundreds of essential roles for the body. They rebuild cellular damage, boost the immune system, help heal wounds and convert food into energy, to name a few. Antioxidants are critical because they neutralize and shuttle free radicals out of the body. Large amounts of free radicals in the body can lead to a wide range of illnesses including cancer, autoimmune disorders and neurodegenerative disease. Phyotochemicals are protective chemicals that reduce oxidative damage to cells that causes various diseases. Since I have experienced a vast amount of cellular damage, dealing with Lyme disease, I LOVE the idea of rebuilding my cells with real whole food. Fresh vegetables and fruits are by far the best bang for your buck, when it comes to raw nutrition.
Knowing these health benefits, I make it my mission to eat as many plants possible. The problem is I am not always consistent. I do a pretty good job when I am eating at home, but when I dine out it’s hard for me to eat as many vegetables as I would like. Juicing is such a quick and easy way to bump up the total amount and variety of vegetables in your diet. Juicing is also a great way to detoxify the body, which is something that can help everybody feel more optimal (I have a lot to say about detoxification, but I will leave that topic for another post).
I do not juice as a meal replacement but rather as an addition to my normal diet. I love drinking fresh juice first thing in the morning, before my breakfast, because it gives me a lot of extra energy. If the thought of having vegetables early in the morning doesn’t appeal to you, drink a juice as a snack with a little bit of protein or right before a big meal.
I wanted to share one of my favorite green juice recipes with you. I think it is well- balanced, refreshing and not too “green” in taste (thanks to the apple, lime and mint). Nutritionally speaking, this juice is high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients and great for detoxification. I hope you like it.
Killer Green Juice Recipe: (16 oz yield)
1/3 bunch of romaine lettuce
1 large leaf of kale, de-veined
¼ large cucumber, peeled
1 small green apple
½ large stalk celery or 1 smaller stalk
½ lime (remove skin)
¼ cup fresh torn mint
1 1/8″ piece fresh ginger (add more if you like it really spicy)
1 small piece fresh turmeric
1 Tbs. cold water
Slice all of the ingredients into small pieces. Process all of the ingredients in a juicer. Pour in your favorite glass and mix well. Enjoy as fresh as possible.
General Tips for Juicing:
- Make it Taste Good:
- Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs have so much concentrated flavor and so many medicinal benefits and they seem to be overlooked in the juicing world. Add a handful of fresh herbs to your favorite juice recipe and you will not believe the transformation! My favorite herbs to use are fresh mint, lemon verbena or cilantro. After I add the herbs, I always follow with 1-2 Tbs. of cold water down the juicer to make sure all of the “herby” juice is extracted.
- Add Acid: Sometimes vegetable juice tastes a little dull. Add 1/2 a lemon, lime or orange to bring it to life.
- Add Ginger or Cayenne: Any juice tastes better with a little spice. Fresh ginger is loaded with health benefits and tastes great. Ginger lowers inflammation, boosts the immune system, aids in digestion and reduces pain. Cayenne is great for digestion, detoxification and is a strong anti-fungal.
- Start Small with Bitter Greens:While the nutritional benefits of bitter greens are off the charts, start with small quantities because their flavors can be extremely over-powering. Examples of bitter greens include: beet greens, dandelion greens, kale, chard and collard greens.
2. Prepare Small Quantities of Juice at a Time
Vegetable juice is highly perishable, so it is best to drink your juice right after you make it or within 24 hours. All juice should be stored in airtight glass containers in the refrigerator.
3. Focus on Green Juice, not Fruit Juice
As a rule, I want at least 80% of the ingredients in my juices to be vegetables. Both fruits and vegetables are packed with phytonutrients, which work with the body to fight disease. While fruits are quite nutritious, they are packed with sugar, which can spike insulin levels, lead to mood disturbance, weight gain and all kinds of disease. Think of using fruit in juices as a flavor accent instead a main ingredients.
4. Drink in Style
As a chef and visual person, I am a huge believer in food presentation. We always eat and drink with our eyes first. Make sure to drink your juice out of a glass that you love. I know this sounds funny, but I swear it makes the juice taste even more delicious. I love pouring my juice in a large wine glass so I can admire the vibrant color and feel fancy first thing in the morning.
Warning: If you have never juiced before, please start slow. Juicing can be extremely detoxifying, which can bring on some unpleasant symptoms if you go too fast. I would start by drinking no more than 4-8oz. of fresh juice a day, for the first few weeks. Hopehealteach provides the information on the website for personal reference only. Hopehealteach is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. Always see your practitioner if suffering an illness or health problem.