Juicing my way back to healthy
Simple ingredients, yummy meal
Back to basics
After recently watching the documentary, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, I began thinking about my health, diet, nutrition, and -well- my life as a whole. At twenty-five, I have back (and bone) problems equivalent to that of a woman in her sixties, along with a buffet of other minor diseases and disorders, which combined leave me achy, moody, and seeking medical care almost constantly. I have had surgery, tried a multitude of hormones and medications, alternative medicines, various diets and exercise programs and therapies, and then some. Overall, I am healthy, but down the road, I fear I may not fair so well. In fact, I have been told that I need to do something now "or else".
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, followed by King Corn, opened my eyes to the realities of the world. Disease is at an all-time high, with many new ones and new diagnosis being named/discovered daily. Foods are grown so radically that some are not as healthy as they claim, and cause some of the diseases facing us now. Lifestyles are changing to meet the demands of the workplace and technological race, and what is being left behind is our health. People in Fat Sick and Nearly Dead had life-changing breakthroughs in their health just by going back to the basics; consuming natural foods, and exercising in the simplest of ways.
I have decided to do the same. Starting now, I am juicing. Yes, juicing. As in, taking raw, mostly organic fruits and vegetables packed full of nutrients, and crushing, blending, chopping, and pureeing them into juice form.
The juicer and ingredients
How I juiced my first juice
I bought a very nice, sturdy juicer that I know will last. It was rather expensive, but I got a nice 4% cash back bonus, and the health benefits will return ten fold, I am sure. After purchasing the juicer, I hit the store. I intend to find my way to the local market in the near future, but, for today, went to an everyday, major grocery store.
Next, I stocked up on the goods: a mixture of various fruits and vegetables, and a new, easy-to-use peeler.
Once home, I let my imagination take over. With so many fruits and vegetables to choose from, creating the perfect concoction should be rather challenging, right? Not at all... I grabbed a few fruits and veggies, washed, peeled, and cut, and juiced away.
My mother has shared with me that her favorite is pear, fresh mint, and romaine - three ingredients I would have never thought to combine, but now sound intriguing and fresh. For my first juice, I decided not to be as daring. Here is what I used/came up with (per glass):
- 1/2 orange, peeled
- 1/2 mango, peeled
- 7 strawberries
- 1/2 cup (roughly) fresh kale
- 1/2 cup (roughly) fresh spinach
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled
Exotic, fruity, and yet, earthly, the combination was perfect. Approximately an hour after drinking the first glass, I have more energy than if I had had a cup of coffee, but without the jitters, and feel focused and motivated. It may be a bit of "mind over matter" as well, but I have a feeling that I will not only shed a few pounds, I will start to see improvements in my health as well.
I hope to write about my experience - recipes I think of or come across, and effects that juicing has on me, as well general benefits of and information about juicing (and fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans).
Here is a simple juice equivalency chart for a few fruits and vegetables:
- Tomatoes: 4 medium, firm tomatoes = 2 cups of juice
- Apples: 6 medium apples = 2 cups of juice
- Pears: 6 medium pears = 2 cups of juice
- Carrots: 5 large carrots = 1 cup of juice
- Celery: 4 celery stalks = 3/4 cup juice
For now, I am drinking juice as a substitute for one meal per day, and will ease into a juice-only diet for 7 straight days (possibly longer), and will repeat the juice fast ("reboot") every couple of months. I have also begun exercising once again, with a mixture of yoga and resistance training.
I am eager to follow this through, and to share with whomever is interested, the trials, tribulations, and successes of my experience. Please feel free to share with me any recipes, research, thoughts, or comments about this subject!