Juicing- For the Health of It

Juicing: you either love it or think its a rediculous dieting fad and refuse to get on the bandwagon- if you have tried it, you wonder why you didn’t start sooner. This mom-on-the-go has figured out how to make it work in her crazy schedule, and I’m here to give you some pointers so it’s not as intimidating.

Yes, the juicer is a pain to clean! Yes, you have to actually grocery shop! Yes, you have to plan your meals more than 5 minutes before you eat! BUT, here’s the thing, you have more energy than ever before and rarely need added caffeine. Unless of course you have a 7 month old who sometimes decides to wake up every 2 hours at night and then be up for the day a few hours earlier than normal,then, by all means, you’ll need that cup of coffee like I did this morning. Otherwise, you can replace that morning coffee and afternoon pick me up with juice and be set for the day. Just think about it, they didn’t have Starbucks, Monster, or 5-hour Energy shots at the beginning of time– not even a couple hundred years ago, for that matter.

Maybe they didn’t have fancy juicers either, but they certainly ate a lot better than we do, with fast food and processed easy-fix meals at our disposal.

Juice For the Health of It was the name of a juice bar around the corner from the house I grew up in. That was almost 20 years ago, so the is not a new concept, it just took me this long to finally catch the vision.

I started juicing before I got pregnant. Unfortunately, the smell or even thought of fruits and vegetables sent me running for the nearest toilet because of my “all-day” sickness. Now that we have a son important life decisions start coming up like life insurance and Wills, and I want to make sure I’m doing my part to stay healthy and teach him good eating habits as well. So here I am, about a year and a half later, excited to get back at it. I’m only two weeks in, and feeling fantastic!

For those skeptics out there afraid of starving, like I was, you don’t have to replace meals in order to juice. That’s such a misconception. You can use it that way, or you can cleanse, or even fast, or you can do what I do and just add it into your regular routine. Juicing basically takes all the important nutrients in fruits and vegetables, gets rid of the seeds, skin, and other fibers that are difficult for your body to digest, and gives your bloodstream a quick boost of all the vitamins and benefits they have to offer. This doesn’t mean eliminating these in whole form completely; your body does need some of those fibers. It is much more difficult to eat enough produce in a day to get the amount of nutrients your body needs than it is to just drink juice.

I like to drink a nice cold glass in the morning to kick start my metabolism for the day. I drink a tall glass of water right after and about 30 minutes later eat breakfast. Half way into my day when I get the lull, I drink another glass to get me over the hump.

If you’re already juicing and want to see some of my latest favorites, scroll to the bottom, otherwise before you start juicing you’ll need some of the basics to set you up for success.

1. A good juicer- find one in your price range obviously, but I’m loving our Breville! There’s hardly any prep; unless its pineapple or something with a hard rind like watermelon: just wash, cut small enough to fit into the machine, let the magic happen. Ok, sorry for the cheese.
2. Get airtight storage containers. Nutrients begin to evaporate after about 15 minutes of open air. I bought a two-pack of 20 ounce containers for under $20 at Costco. I make one veggie/”green” and one fruit, and they last me and my husband almost the whole week.
3. Find the most affordable local resource for fresh produce. I like Sprouts or this other local market near by because we really don’t have a good farmers market near where we live. You don’t have to buy organic, although I’m all for it, don’t let that limit you.
4. Start juicing! There’s no rocket science to it. Anything goes. If it looks good, try it. Ask friends for recipes. Look online. I have a book I use called The Everything Juicing Book that goes as detailed as listing all the nutritional values of each produce item and what diseases/ailments each targets (i.e. watermelon decreases water retention, bell peppers help lower cholesterol, folic acid helps relieve stress and anxiety, etc.). Just start!
5. Smile: it makes everything more enjoyable.

Until my munchkin’s next nap, I leave you with this quote I heard this weekend that I absolutely loved: “Happiness is about the journey, not the destination”. Enjoy each moment, don’t keep wishing for what’s next. If you have kids, make this something you do together instead of just buying the sugar-packed apple juice or the “sugar free” option loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Teach them what the fruits and vegetables are by using their senses: what colors do they see, shapes, etc? What do they smell like? Get your roommates involved or other friends and family members. Share your successes. Have fun!

Below are the juices I made last week and yesterday. What are some of your favorite recipes? I could use some more ideas!

1/2 large Watermelon
1/2 Cucumber
5 Celery stalks
3 Green apples

1 Pineapple
1 Gala apple
2 Pears
5 Carrots

1 Cantaloupe
1 Pineapple
3 Gala apple
5 Carrots

1 Cucumber
1 Celery stalk
1 bunch Kale
1 inch Ginger
1 Lemon
5 Green apple
(Sometimes I add spinach)

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