Juicing: A Great Way to Boost Nutrition Around the Holidays

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Juicing itemsRecently, my wife and I watched the award-winning documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead for the second time since it released over 10 years ago. In the film, Joe Cross, an overweight Australian business man sets out to live on fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days to see if he can reverse his autoimmune disease and get off all medications. Along the way, he inspires others to take on this juicing “reboot” as he refers to it. I won’t spoil it for you other than to say it’s a very well done film with valuable information, inspiration and humor along the way.

Needless to say, we were motivated to buy a Breville juicer afterward and begin our own one week juicing reboot. We started the Saturday after Thanksgiving in order to detox our bodies and reset the system. My wife’s goals were to lose a few stubborn pounds and also try alleviating some soreness she had been experiencing due to inflammation caused by diet. She also wanted to see if her allergies would clear up. As for me, I had added a few pounds I could stand to lose and I also wanted to increase my fruit & veggie intake and get my body craving those things daily. We were eating salads and some fruit on a weekly basis but we had also fallen into some bad habits with sweets and things like pizza (one of our weaknesses).

On any kind of fast, whether it’s a water or juicing fast, the first 3 days are always the worst. It’s during this time that the body is trying to figure out what’s happening. If you’ve been used to consuming loads of caffeine, alcohol or sugar, you better believe your body is going to demand those things. As a result of “starving these appetites”, it’s quite normal for people to experience mood swings, headaches, and even some sluggishness. We certainly experienced those things, although not too extreme. I had some minor headaches on days two and three due to refraining from my two cups of daily coffee. Shelley didn’t experience the headaches since she drinks mostly decaf teas. We both experienced the sluggishness and also some mental fog those first three days.

Turning a Corner

I would say we began to turn a corner on day number four. It’s not uncommon for many people to begin experiencing more mental clarity, energy bursts, and decreased craving for unhealthy foods. This was the case for us. Trust me…once you get past the first three to four days, you’re home free. Unfortunately, many people bail before they turn that corner due to the addicting nature of food. Another thing you can expect is sharper senses…sight, smell, taste, etc.

When a person consumes a glass of fresh juice, the stomach receives it as though it’s simply water. Without the extra fiber, fat and protein, the digestion system doesn’t need to send in all the extra tools it normally would to help digest those things. Yes, you get some natural sugar rush, but you also get a rush of nutrients flooding your system. Since the body isn’t working to digest anything, you get the bonus of feeling that extra energy almost immediately. I will say that bowel movements do change with each passing day. As the body detoxes those first few days, you can expect to visit the bathroom quite “regularly” as the body gets rid of the extra baggage. Once you’ve emptied your bowels (each person could vary in terms of the time it takes), the body will simply process the fresh juice as water and you’ll be mostly peeing.

In just one week, both Shelley & I experienced some nice results. I lost 8 pounds and she lost 7. Her allergies cleared up by day four. We came off of the juicing fast with a fresh desire to eat clean and significantly increase our fruit and veggie intake. Not only are we now beginning our day with a green juice but we also intend to do a 5-7 day juicing fast four times a year to cleanse and reboot our bodies.

What a privilege to have access to fresh fruit and vegetable produce all year round for juicing. If you have farmers markets in your area, take advantage of them as much as possible. It’s especially helpful to buy produce when it’s in season.

I highly recommend watching the free documentary and doing your own juicing reboot for at least 4-7 days. Doing something like this after the holidays would be especially beneficial and will launch you into 2018 with a bang!

Here’s to juicing…the legal way!

Below is a recipe we used quite often and now begin our day with:

“Mean Green” Juice

-1 cucumber

-4 celery stalks

-2 apples (Granny Smith or Gala)

-8 leaves of kale (curly or lacinato) with stalks

-1/2 lemon (remove outer peel)

-1 inch piece of fresh ginger

Makes a 20oz glass of fresh juice…cheers!

CJ drinking juice

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Caramel Apple Cool Down Smoothie

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Caramel Apple Cool DownIf you’re a fan of caramel apples, this is a smoothie recipe you’ll want to try. This recipe also reminds me of the Caramel Apple Pops that Tootsie Roll makes…but with much healthier ingredients (and no weird chemicals added). Apples are a great source of dietary fiber which helps bind up waste throughout the body. Not only do they contain plenty of antioxidants but Granny Smith apples are slightly higher in potassium than other varieties. By the way, eat the skin (only if organic) also since it contains a high amount of vitamin content.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 organic Granny Smith apple (cut into 4 pieces)

4 soaked and pitted Medjool dates

½ Cup raw  organic baby spinach

1 Tbsp. honey

1 scoop BodyHealth Perfect Greens Formula – apple flavor (use code HITZ10  for 10% off your order)

Perfect Greens Formula

 

 

 

 

 

2-3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth

*Training Tip

Similar to a warm-up, a cool down is essential after a hard workout or race in order to loosen muscles and help rid the body of lactic acid. I generally like to do a solid 1-2 miles of very easy running post-race or workout. A cool down will allow your next run to feel even better!

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