About three months ago I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Prior to that I had flip-flopped between smoothies and eggs for breakfast. I used to blend up tons of greens and some fruit in the morning but I never really liked how it tasted so I constantly fell off the “smoothie wagon”. Prior to watching the inspiring documentary mentioned above, I read another smoothie-juice promoting book called the Beauty Detox by Kimberly Snyder. It was a great reinforcer that juice is magic. However, as much as I believed in juice, I was sure that I was not going to be a person that could just drink juice for breakfast. Though, after three years of feeling like I was getting knocked on the head with little pebbles, I finally was hit with a boulder when watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. Juicing might be the ticket to not feeling like roadkill all of the time. My question was why? Why would juice work? This is the answer that I have settled on. We need raw plant food to get nutrients in their purest form because every function in the body is executed with the support of the vitamins and minerals that it makes and that it absorbs. Sadly, even our organic produce is so depleted of nutrients due to poor soil that we could not possibly chew and swallow the amount of raw veggies that it would take to nourish our bodies each day. But, if you juice or smoothie them, you can get closer. Juice is also extremely easy to absorb leaving the body more energy for other tasks such as healing or exercising.
Confirming my hypothesis is a book called Pottenger’s Prophecy (www.pottengersprophecy.com). This book discusses what foodies, hippies, and die hard organic produce supporters have always known in their hearts….organic plants are medicine and this is why. We are all born with a set of genes. Our genetics predispose us to wellness and illness along with hair color, height, etc. For years, scientists have supported that genes are set in stone and unchangeable, until now. With the growing science of epigenetics we are learing that genes are changeable, in fact, we hold much of the power when it comes to gene expression. What if you were told that you were genetically predisposed for cancer but if you could consume a certain vitamin or mineral in high doses the gene could turn off, helping you avoid the cancer all together. Most of us would stock our kitchens full of the nutrient and take it like medicine. Well, it is not always that easy but what scientists have found with the amazing unraveling of epigenetics is that genes are expressed or not expressed and that our environment can determine which genes turn on and which ones turn off. With genetic testing some single gene expressions can be treated with one little dietary or pharmaceutical alteration but in most cases our dis-ease or wellness is affected by many genes. For this reason it is so important that the food that we consume is helpful and not hurtful. Once I began juicing, my immune system improved quickly and I had energy all day (no need for an afternoon americano). I also found that I did not need coffee in the morning because of the natural boost that I got from my juice.
Juice is a great way to start your day with nutrients and energy. Give it a try and see what you think! Here are a few recipes and a list of foods that I like to juice or smoothie. As well as my thoughts on smoothies and juice for kiddos…
PS I juice weekly and freeze my daily dose (32 oz.) in WIDE MOUTH mason jars. The recipes below are not single servings, they are large batch.
My favorite green juice
1 head of celery, a few broccoli stems, 6 green apples, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 head of chard, 2 green pears, 3 large cucumbers, 1 bunch dandelion greens, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch parsley, 6 limes juiced or squeezed in afterward. (Sometimes I like it spicy and sweet so I add ginger root and a jalepeno)
This makes about 5-7 servings depending on the size of the bunches.
List of other great foods to juice: carrots, tomatoes, red apples, oranges and lemons (peel removed), kale, zucchini, wheatgrass, beets, bok choy. Avoid cabbages.
My daughter will drink any juice or smoothie that you throw at her but my son is not so easy so this is a smoothie for the picky ones.
Chocolate “Peanut Butter” Banana smoothie
1 tbsp organic cocoa powder, 1 banana, 1 handful of spinach, 1 handful of romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup vanilla almond or rice milk, 1 tbsp peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter, dash of cinnamon. (If I have extra green juice I dump that in instead of the greens.)
1 Banana, 1/2 cup stemmed strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen mango, 1/2 – 1 cup OJ or rice, coconut or almond milk (vanilla or not), 1 handful of spinach, 1 handful of stemmed chard or romaine lettuce. Blend well
Other Great Smoothie Elements: Lettuces, spinach, chard, soft pears, tomatoes, berries, pineapple, papaya, peaches, plums, apricots, cucumbers, peeled and seeded limes, lemons and oranges. You can also blend ginger if you blend for a while. It adds a great spice.
I am sure I have forgotten other awesome produce. You can get creative and find out what you like. Just remember, by juicing you concentrate the nutrients but you can also concentrate toxins such as pesticides so I also recommend organics. Whether juicing or making smoothies, your body will benefit because of the dense nutrient value and the ease of digestion. If you battle with health issues, juicing is beneficial to do throughout the day as well!
Here are some other good google topics on this subject:
Gerson Therapy, Crazy Sexy Life, Beauty Detox