April 27, 2013
I’ve been pretty juicy lately. You have my recipe for spicy healing green juice, and homemade spicy V8 juice. Maybe now you’re wondering why you would go to all this trouble and expense to make something that might not even sound good to you? I think that’s a good question!
I won’t lie; juicing isn’t cheap and it isn’t quick. I calculate that my spicy healing green juice costs me close to $5 per 16 ounce glass if I’m able to buy all organic produce. You can buy a soda for a fraction of that price, and it won’t take you an hour to shop for it either. Shoot, you could buy a whole fast food meal for that price and in less time. To juice you have to shop for organic ingredients, prep the produce, make the juice, and clean up your mess. That’s a process you’ll go through at least every couple of days.
So, why juice? These are my thoughts on the benefits of juicing, especially green juicing, and why I choose to do it. I should also add that I’m enjoying 1 or 2 glasses of fresh vegetable juice a day; I’m not suggesting that juicing replace a healthy balanced diet including some cooked and lots of raw veggies.
- Greens combat inflammation, which is believed to be the source of many ailments we face, including cancer, arthritis, heart conditions, joint pain, and Alzheimers. Inflammation can be created by processed food, food cooked at a high temperature, alcohol, smoking, stress, pollution, chemicals, pesticides, trans fats, meat, sugar, dairy, wheat, artificial sweeteners, poor sleep, and pretty much just living in this world. Green juicing gives us a weapon to fight back against those powerful forces. We need it!
- Greens also help create an alkaline environment, which is the opposite of acid in our systems. Disease loves an acidic environment, so maintaining a balanced pH in our body is crucial. Excessive acidity weakens the body overall, and contributes to accelerated aging, kidney problems, immune problems, cardiovascular issues, and low energy. Acidity can be caused by many of the same lifestyle and diet factors that cause inflammation.
- Greens are healing. In my spicy green juice recipe, the greens provide vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, folate, iron, chlorophyll, potassium, and magnesium to name just a few. You get antioxidants, cancer fighters, and detoxifying benefits for your liver and kidneys. There are also benefits for your cardiovascular system, circulation, digestion and relief from water retention. Green juicing is low-glycemic too, so you won’t have a blood sugar spike.
- Nutrients are more efficiently absorbed from juice, as opposed to piles of produce. It makes sense that it’s easier on your system to soak up vitamins, minerals and enzymes from juicing, instead of going to all the trouble of digesting the veggies before the nutrients are accessible. Also, many beneficial enzymes in fruits and vegetables are destroyed by cooking. Keep in mind that if you include too much fruit in your juice, all that sugar is going into your bloodstream at turbo speed too.
- There is a place for both smoothies and juices in our day. With a smoothie, you get the fiber you need, but you get filled up because of it. With a juice, you get the benefit of ALL that produce that you could never eat in one meal or in one entire day. Can you eat 6 to 8 servings of produce a day? I’m vegan, so veggies and fruits are my bread and butter (so to speak), but I know I don’t always succeed at that quantity. By juicing, you get the healing benefit of the micro-nutrients without having to spend your entire day chewing, chewing, chewing.
- I’m consuming a wider variety of produce than I ever would have without juicing. I don’t even like cucumber or celery, but I can enjoy their juice if it’s masked with other flavors. The wider variety of veggies we have in our day, the better chance we have of getting all of the nutrients we need.
- Juicing is not cheap and it does take time, but it’s not an expenditure that we’ll never recoup. It is absolutely a commitment, like anything else you do that’s important and valuable. It’s also an investment; not just an outflow of money and time, but an investment into your health. I’m gambling that spending $5 on a glass of green juice right now will ultimately pay huge dividends in my quality of health. That could mean fewer doctor bills, fewer prescription drugs, fewer hospitalizations, and less missed work time. I’m pretty sure this gamble is a sure thing.
- Most of all, the bottom line for me is that after 3 weeks of having 1 or 2 glasses of fresh juice daily, I just feel better right now than I have in probably 3 years. Menopause has been doing it’s darndest to suck the life outta me, cause that’s what it does. It’s made me exhausted, grumpy, moody, blue and just generally out of whack. I’ve found some great ways to manage the annoying side effects of it (I should share those with you another time), but I can honestly say that nothing has made a real difference in my energy and my mood until I started juicing. Because of that I can enjoy my life more today. Who can say they don’t want that?
Those are the reasons I’m juicing. In a nutshell, I just like it. No, actually, I love it. The process is really fun, and I love that I’m doing something that I know is great for my body and my future. That’s as good as it gets!