Juicing is not just for fruit!
OK well that didn't come across too well! LOL
When I first (several months ago) began seeking better nutritional information than I learned in nursing school, I kept tripping over information about juicing. Seriously, this was a totally foreign concept to me. I knew that some people squeezed their own orange juice, but beyond that it never really occurred to me that juicing was becoming so 'main stream'.
Keep in mind that I am a 45 year old 'work from home' mom, with grown teens. I live on Canada's east coast… we are not exactly overflowing with diversity of any kind here. I don't even KNOW a vegetarian! (no I am not kidding!) There are no juice bars… oh there may be one opened up over there at the Goodlife Fitness Center. Seems to me that the last time I was there they had some such, and there could very well be the odd juice type franchise popping up here or there, but our entire province only has 900,000 or so people, so there really isn't a huge market out of the very small percentage of people who might be into all this 'fringe' health stuff.
Anyway… I digress. I started this journey (have been led?) a while ago. Juicing, just vegetarianism, veganism, and raw foodism, has me intrigued. So I dug around and read websites, and blogs, articles and books. I am a 'sometimes' reader of Mike Adams over at NaturalNews.com (it used to be News Target) and he likes the whole juicing thing. At any rate, I've discovered that when it comes to juicing, just like anything else, there's a whole spectrum of people. On one end… where I used to be, there's the person who buys "Florida Sunshine" in a carton and drinks a small glass every day with breakfast. On the other end of the spectrum there are the "Juice Feast" proponents who do 92 days at a time drinking ONLY 100% fresh fruit and vegetable juice, pressed through their kitchen counter top juicer and consumed immediately. Up to 4 gallons a day of fresh pressed juices with no solid foods what so ever for 92 full days.
Apparently the health benefits of the "Juice Feast" are huge, although I may never be able to give you a first hand account. Admittedly, my blog articles are aimed at the "in between" crowd which is where I seem to be planted at the moment. I've been fond of saying that this journey of mine is not a religion. It's simply a day by day choice. while many people might find that non-committal (and they would be right) it suits my lifestyle, and is still a radical shift from how I survived up until a couple of weeks ago.
SO… back to juicing…. oh yeah … for BEGINNERS.
There are so very many reasons why juicing fresh fruits and vegetables is really good for you. I am going to list just a few of them for you.
Enzymes: "Until recently, the scientific community believed that the digestive enzymes in our body are constant and last forever. Researchers now know that we lose digestive enzymes through sweat, body waste and the natural ageing process of the organs that produce our digestive enzymes.
Our current fast-paced society with its preoccupation with convenience has resulted in more chemical pollution, overly processed foods and microwave cooking, all of which create a lot of free-radical damage in our body, also known as a process of accelerated ageing. This process of free-radicals lowers the body's natural ability to produce enzymes and meet its demands to function well."
1. Digestive Enzymes, secreted by the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and the small intestine help break down food into simple components.
2. Food Enzymes exist naturally in raw food. If the food is cooked above 47 degrees Celsius, the high temperature involved in the cooking process destroys the enzymes. Digestive enzymes and food enzymes serve the same function; they digest the food so it can be absorbed into the blood stream. The difference between the two is that food enzymes are derived from fresh, raw, uncooked foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, raw unpasteurised dairy, meat and fish (sashimi), whilst digestive enzymes are made inside our body.
3. Metabolic Enzymes are produced in the cells and are found throughout the body in the organs, in the bones, the blood, and inside the cells themselves. Metabolic enzymes help run the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys. Hundreds of metabolic enzymes are necessary for the working of our body.
ref: The Power of Enzymes
- Juicing is a way to get vitamins and minerals in the most absorbable form to the body.
- Juicing is a way to get far MORE in nutrients than you would if you were eating.
- What we're finding today is not only that raw foods are good medicine, but in fact raw foods are the BEST medicine for virtually all the big diseases now devastating Western civilization. Juicing super concentrates the beneficial compounds in raw fruits and vegetables.
- Heat (cooking) and irradiation destroys the beneficial ingredients in foods.
- Mike Adams (NaturalNews.com) says " Cancer simply melts away when bathed in these vegetable juices."
The bottom line to all this, folks, is that juicing vegetables is the secret to reversing disease now and preventing disease for a lifetime. But it has to be fresh, raw, living juice.
Remember, pasteurized vegetable juices purchased in bottles at the store are worthless! That includes all the Naked Juice, V8, Odwalla and other brands that claim to be good for you. While they're not bad for you, they're also DEAD JUICE. That means they have virtually none of the nutritional healing benefits of fresh, living juice. Don't be fooled by healthy-sounding bottled juice products. If it's in a bottle, it's dead. And dead juice doesn't support life.
There is only one way to get fresh, unprocessed, living juice: Make your own juice! This is the simple secret to staying healthy, vibrant and mentally sharp for the rest of your long, enjoyable life: Juice your way to health! (And then supplement with superfoods, herbs, and other targeted nutritional needs.)
Juicing is the future of medicine. It cures cancer. It reverses heart disease. It stabilizes cholesterol and blood pressure. It ends kidney stones and gall stones. It reverses depression and psychosis. It builds strong bones and strong muscles. It absolutely reverses diabetes in a matter of days, and it obliterates obesity in a matter of weeks. And in doing all that, it makes virtually all pharmaceuticals obsolete.
Juicing and raw foods go hand in hand. They are the answers to disease and sickness. No wonder Big Pharma and the FDA don't want you to find out about the true healing power of plant-based nutrition, huh?
So what do you need if you wanted to start juicing? Well to start with you might want to get a juicer.
The Champion Juicer :
This juicer is what most full time raw foodists will recommend. It is in a mid way price range, but durable as heck. Get this one if you know you are going to be juicing as a lifestyle habit. It will last you forever.
It also gives the best quality juice, giving the most nutrients without damaging them.
click picture to see this juicer
The Big Mouth Pro by Hamilton Beach:
This juicer is a centrifugal juicer. The plastic pieces are not that sturdy but for the price it is good for the beginner. If you just want to try juicing or plan to only use it occasionally then this is the one to start with. It's the first one I got and I like it.
It has a large input tube, and a large well for gathering discarded pulp, so you won't have to stop halfway through to empty it.
There are other juicers on the site, but these are my favorites. Browse until you find one you like.
The other thing you want is a good variety of fruits and vegetables for juicing. If you've never had fresh green juice before I will recommend you start with romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, spinach and maybe some alfalfa or broccoli sprouts. These are milder. I found (and still do) that green juice is an acquired taste. I will juice a couple of apples with mine or some carrots (or both) most days.
Other vegetables that are great for juicing are beets, red cabbage (one of my faves), all kinds of lettuce, zucchini, tomato, yellow and green beans… just about any vegetable you can imagine. I do not like the starchy veggies juiced (potatoes, yams, squashes) but you can try and see what strikes you.
For fruit, lots of whatever is in season. Go organic whenever possible but if you find it is too expensive, save the organic for those fruits and vegetables that are hard to wash (broccoli, cauliflour, lettuce etc) or that you are not going to peel.
Drink the juice right out of the juicer, or add it to a smoothie, but DO drink it right away, as the digestive enzymes and oxidation will begin breaking down the nutrients. If you must make it and save for later, then put it in mason jars (GLASS) and refrigerate no more than 24 hours!
Go for ALL the colors Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and purple, and orange and mix them up. Don't be afraid to experiment.
Please let me know all about YOUR first experience with juicing! Bottoms Up!!