How a Foodie Navigates the Juicing Universe

I love food! Actually, that’s an understatement. As someone who celebrates her biggest accomplishments of life with fabulous food – and by accomplishments I mean birthdays, anniversaries and days that end in ‘Y’ 🙂 – I’m not one to count calories, limit carbs or peruse the gluten-free section of the local grocery store. But I am aware that I’m at that stage in my life, as well as my husband, that we probably could benefit from being a little more mindful of our food choices.

I’m a firm believer in “junk in, junk out” and that doesn’t only apply to the food we eat, but also the books we read, what we watch, listen to and the people we bring into our lives. Everything you do matters. If you read nothing but negative news about the decaying society of doom-and-gloom, then guess what? The world will be a pretty crappy place! If you only watch and listen to news radio or mindless reality t.v. then, yup, you guessed it, you’re going to feel pretty depressed and down about just about anything. And if your daily diet ONLY consist of fast food, highly processed foods (think boxed mac and cheese) or donuts, pies and cake (mmm, donuts!) then your body may not be getting the nutrients necessary to build solid bone, muscle and most importantly, give your body the ability to heal itself. At my age – we’ll say… fifty-ish 😉 my body’s natural and internal physician is vital to a happy, productive and active lifestyle.

Notice in the aforementioned I said “only”, if you only eat the so-called bad stuff you can run into trouble, but personally (and this is where the vegans and paleos start screaming at me) I don’t believe the occasional donut, homemade mac and cheese or piece of birthday cake is going to kill you (although many in the fitness blogosphere believe it will). Moderation is the key! But it’s not the only key – you also need to counter your indulgences with what I like to refer to as warrior food – those foods that will help to counteract the negative effects of the less healthy food choices.  It works like this: if I go to a cookout and I partake of the barbeque ribs and potato salad, I will also pile my plate with the fresh veggies; especially the carrots and broccoli (colorful) and I will drink lots of water. If I know I’m going to celebrate a birthday this evening, I will load up on fresh raw veggies and fruit during the day – and, again, lots of water. Now this works for me. I may not be a size four, but this way of eating has kept me and my husband relatively healthy up to this point, for which I am grateful.

But since I’m fifty… ish now, my husband and I have decided to kick it up a notch. We need to infuse a large amount of “warrior” foods into our daily diet and not just to counter the indulgences, but to give our bodies the maximum abilities needed to fight disease, regenerate and recover from strenuous activity or injury as well as assist the body’s daily processes (sleep, digestion, etc.). But, with this in mind I simply don’t want to move out of my comfort-food zone. So after way too much research – seriously, I’m so sick of reading about the table top poison that is your sugar bowl – we have decided that juicing may be our next best friend. You get instant benefits by extracting the mega-nutrients from fruits and veggies in the form of a drink. I can handle that!

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend watching the video documentary, ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’ with Joe Cross – this hour and a half movie where Joe sets out across the U.S. with his juicer to talk about the benefits, is inspiring and easy to follow. Joe is straight forward about where his health started (taking multiple pills a day for various ailments), takes you on his journey into juicing for the sake of his health and gives simple to follow advice from physicians and dieticians that anyone can understand. We learned so much from this movie, it probably saved me the time it would take to read a stack of books to get the same information and Joe makes it fun and interesting. Right now the movie is free if you have Amazon Prime, if not it’s well worth the twelve bucks to buy the DVD, and there is a sequel/follow-up movie available as well. I highly recommend the movie for a quick education on the massive benefits of juicing; although we, personally, may only do a juice fast for a day or two, there is no plan in the works to do a 30-day or more fast. But, hey, who knows!

After researching Amazon.com and many of the local store’s websites regarding the best juicer to start with (this was way more daunting than I expected) we have settled on the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor which isn’t the biggest or most expensive but since this is our first foray into the juicing world it is a good pick for a juicer that is fast, has a wide feeder tube (not as much cutting of produce), easy to clean up and the price range is just right for beginners. As we progress, if we determine we want to continue and integrate juicing more into our lifestyle, then we will probably bump up to a higher-end model, but if this juicer does well we’ll probably just stick with it.

Right now the plan is to incorporate juice as a meal replacement – maybe breakfast or lunch (eight ounces or more) – and as snacks (four ounces). We will also take juice with us when hiking and biking as a compliment to our protein bars and trail mix. I’m a total wuss when it comes to drinking the green stuff, so I have to find a recipe I won’t spit out! 😀  I’m thinking LOTS of sweet fruits (apple, mango, pineapple) with a little kale… we’ll see.  I’ll keep everyone posted!

Below is a wonderful infographic I downloaded from Joe’s website, RebootWithJoe.com, a wonderful place full of juicing information and recipes for both juice and smoothies! Check it out.

Benefits of Fruit and Vegetable Colors

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