One of my favorite things to grab on the go is a good cup of coffee. Overweight or not, coffee has been and always will be one of my go to beverages (and it fills me up too). I don’t see that ever changing because without it, I am lost. Coffee actually has some health benefits so if you love your cup of Joe, keep loving it. This post is not about coffee but another good friend of mine, vegetable juices.
Over the last 6-8 months or so, my new favorite drink to grab on the go is a good freshly made vegetable juice. The concept alone was enough to sell me. Wait, you mean to tell me that by drinking a fresh juice, you are taking in mega doses of vitamins, minerals, and a whole bunch of other good stuff? Sign me up! Marla explained this to me during our training sessions. She also explained how they help you detox. Where I was coming from, the D word was a trigger word that I really needed to hear. From then on, Detoxing is exactly what I did and how I continue to live. It is these reasons alone why I recommend juicing to anybody who can digest it. The idea of eating 9 carrots, 7 celery sticks, 6 beats, 3 cloves of garlic, and half a bag of kale, is not only overwhelming, it is flat out not very realistic for me. By mixing all of these items together you can really pack in a ton of goodness into one beautiful concoction. I love my asparagus, broccoli, and certain other veggies and I eat them daily. However, in no way am I a vegetable power eater. I do not like carrots, celery, and certain other ones that are good for you. At the same time, I would like to receive those health benefits, which is why a juice is the answer for me. I can take in all those benefits from foods I dislike without really knowing it. Just like a baby. Yes, sipping these juices may not be the tastiest thing around. I’m not going to sit here and say it tastes like a Filet Mignon. However, considering its over the top health benefits, mind over matter really works here. In fact, I have realized that the “greener” the drink is in color, the more earthy it tastes and in turn actually tastes pretty good to me. Some may enjoy the “zing” of ginger or the earthy flavor from the greens. It’s all about trying them out. Think of it like hard liquor. It is an acquired taste. Be careful because a big misconception that you will find in many juicing cookbooks and menus is the mixing of fruits and vegetables in the same juice. This should never happen. Your body has certain enzymes to digest fruits and certain enzymes to digest vegetables. If you mix them together, it will throw off your digestion, confuse your body and you will not receive the max benefits that the fruits and vegetables offer. You should really be strict and stick to veggie juices ONLY. Fruit juices will be high in sugar and you will actually benefit more from eating it whole instead of juicing it.
Is this the queue for you to be done eating vegetables if you are now juicing them often? The answer to that is a very bold NO. Vegetable juices should never replace the real thing in your diet. My advice would be to think of juicing as something to do in addition to, not instead of. Icing on the cake if you will on top of your already veggie filled diet. The reasons are quite simple. First of all if your goal is weight loss, these juices are a concentrated source of calories especially the fruits. This leads right into one of the biggest misconceptions people have above all when it comes to juicing, the nutrients you are missing out on. Most people don’t realize that the skin and pulp is where the fiber and most of the nutrients are found in fruits and vegetables which make them healthy to begin with. Once you juice them out, they are GONE. That’s right, gone. Some of the very benefits that make a particular vegetable great for you are now in your garbage. This is why a lot of people will chose to buy a blender like the NutriBullet over a juicer. The NutriBullet is a blender so it does not discard anything where as a juicer will discard the pulp / skin. Both my Mom and Marla have the NutriBullet and they love it.
If interested, they can be bought at http://www.nutribulletrecipes.org/
At the end of the day, I have stated some pros and cons in regards to juicing. Do I still recommend it regardless of the cons? In one word, yes, just as long as you remember what you read here today. Juicing is still a great way to get fruits and vegetables into your diet especially if you don’t like them very much. Just be aware and remember the misconceptions that you read here. I look at veggie drinking as icing on the cake for me. It is not my primary source for these foods because I eat a lot of fresh vegetables in everyday life. Not a single dinner goes by where I don’t have at least half my plate filled with greens. This way, any juice I buy from a juicebar is that much more helpful to me knowing that I am still taking in veggies the old fashion way, the right way. A few last minute pointers. Instead of spending money on a juice made for you, make it yourself! One way to get enthusiastic about it is do it with friends. I enjoy loading up on a ton of different vegetables from the store, have a couple friends over and make some delicious juice. Your friends will not only thank you but will get a kick out of dropping the food through the juicer! Another pointer; juice from a carton? Not your best friend. I suppose it isn’t the worst thing in the world but again if you can fresh squeeze it yourself, you are much better off. When it comes to cooking, juicing, or anything you do to better yourself, keep it fun, keep it new, none of this should ever be a burden or feel like work.
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