“Liven Something Up”

I want to tell you about a phenomenon that fuels the wellness community and has more health benefits than you can possibly imagine. I cannot personally give medical advice but I can attest to the healing powers of juicing fruits and vegetables and if that’s not enough, just check out the documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead“.  You will not be disappointed.

 

A quick google search yields two immediate definitions (I personally love the second one):

juice
jo͞os/
1. extract the juice from (fruit or vegetables).
2. liven something up. [informal]

 

 

I’ve come across several websites, blogs, documentaries, and books and have felt completely overwhelmed by all of the information. The sad reality is that when something takes time and research, a lot of people aren’t going to do it. Not because they are lazy but because there just aren’t enough hours in the day and this can be very time consuming. The good news is, if you have a mentor or trust someone to help along the way, their motivation can guide you on this journey until you find something that works for you. Once you realize something is important to you, you make time for it even when you thought you couldn’t.

Besides my living mentor who just happens to be one of the most inspirational women I’ve ever met, Dr. Deb Harrell, I have found a site I’ll share that is basically a beginner’s guide to juicing. You can read more here (and I hope you do).

My journey with juicing began years ago when I suffered from horrible digestive issues. My first colonoscopy was just 3 days before graduating high school. I’ll spare you the details (for now) but it wasn’t pretty. I never thought the problems would end but after a few years (yes, years) of trying to find what worked best for me I can honestly say they are GONE! I sometimes suffer discomfort but that is mostly due to traveling or stress. Today, I’m proud to say that my digestive woes are a thing of the past. Not something I dwell on but something I remind myself of from time to time in order to keep me going on this mission to spread the news of health, wellness, longevity and the huge part proper nutrition plays in every aspect of life.

green juice 2

I didn’t juice regularly back then and have only done it a few times since, mostly for quick cleanses and/or if I just wanted a healthy drink. I’m more of a smoothie girl but I definitely understand the importance of juicing… I just didn’t make time for it. Until recently…

I’ll give you a little back story because what is a blog without a little personal reference? I’m helping someone fight a tough battle with Ulcerative Colitis (click link for more details). If you don’t know what that is, you’re not alone.  I had NO CLUE and now that I do know, I’m on a mission to help heal and reduce or completely eliminate the high doses of harmful drugs. Do I think medicine is necessary? Yes. I don’t think that the remission would have come this far without pharmaceuticals since the problem was so advanced. I think modern medicine is essential in today’s world because of our high levels of stress, our sedentary lifestyles, and the over processed junk we ingest on a regular basis. If we are not feeding and fueling our bodies with nutrition, a change in diet won’t work quickly enough if your symptoms are severe. Thus, sometimes medicine is necessary to help the symptoms while you increase your nutrition intake. That’s not to say that a lifestyle change won’t heal, because I believe it will. Food used to be medicine. But food also used to be FOOD, not “food-like” substances. Anyway, I digress, that’s not the point of this post.

apple

Picking the right juicer

This took us some time. I’m a thorough researcher and it is difficult for me to make decisions quickly. There are different kinds of juicers and several different brands and opinions, so I started digging to see what my essentials were.

  • First of all, I wanted a warranty. My track record with appliances is not the best so this was a must.
  • Secondly, I decided that because of the amount of juice I needed to make and the fact that I need to do it ahead of time, the masticating juicer made the most sense. Centrifugal juicers are much quicker but they also use a fast spinning blade instead of crushing the fruits and vegetables, which I believe changes the enzyme and nutrient density due to the oxidation process. It’s also best to drink the juice right away since this process has already taken place. Masticating juicers slow down the process preserving the important enzymes and nutrients found in the food which made me feel better about storing it in glass juice bottles for a day or two. Because of the high demand, I needed to be able to make enough juice to last a few days so I wouldn’t be juicing every single day after work.
  • Another important factor was “clean-up”. Juicing is messy and can be time consuming. I wanted a juicer that could be cleaned in less than 10 minutes and was easy to assemble. After hours of reading, watching YouTube videos, and asking friends who own juicers, I finally made my decision.

juicer

Behold, the mack-daddy of juicers. The Omega J8006!  
It’s cost-effective, single-auger masticating, easy to clean, provides great juice, AND it’s actually fun to use (I’m still not tired of using it)!

Now what?

When the juicer came in, it was time to go shopping. I prefer organic produce, but I don’t think all will agree that is necessary. I personally feel better about the food I’m putting into my body when labeled as such but you don’t have to agree. The important thing is to juice. I believe it’s better to juice conventional than to not juice at all so I’ll leave this up to you. Do your research and go with what feels right.

When trying to figure out WHAT to juice, I went to the internet and scoured juicing books for any recipes that were good for both UC and for gaining weight. Cabbage came up several times in the search for Ulcerative Colitis & juicing. So, cabbage I juiced and cabbage he drank! I do not feel comfortable sharing all of the juice recipes I’ve tried yet as I don’t feel that I have mastered a recipe 100%. I’m still working on trying to find the best recipes and I’ll submit a blog post soon with some of my favorites! But I will say that cabbage really isn’t as bad as I thought it would be and celery is worse than I imagined (but I really hate celery)!

green juiceCabbage, celery, parsley, cucumber, apple. Not as disgusting as it sounds (thanks to the apple!). 

Some people struggling with UC find it hard to keep the proper weight on and think that juicing will make you lose weight. But, if you’re underweight and you provide your body with the nutrients it needs, it will adjust and that’s just what we were looking to do (here’s hoping!). Don’t let that scare you away from juicing. It will not make you fat!!

Important: Wash your produce thoroughly!!! 

 

Here’s a list of produce I have juiced so far:

                    Carrots                     Beets
                    Cucumbers                     Apples
                    Celerey                     Kale
                    Pear                     Oranges
                    Sweet Potatoes                     Lemons
                    Turmeric                     Ginger
                    Wheatgrass                      Cabbage

 

**Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory but I wanted to warn you that if you juice it, it will stain everything a weird yellowish color. It is what it is. #WorthIt

Notes: 

First things first… After the VERY FIRST juice that I made, my UC “patient” (who happens to be my bf & a very supportive guinea pig) said he instantly felt more energetic. You see, the flare was so severe that he was sleeping off and on all day due to lack of energy so he couldn’t go to work. Due to his condition, he also hadn’t been eating much and lost 25 lbs in 6 weeks. When you suffer from UC, eating feels more like a burden for fear of what’s to come than anything else. The good thing about juicing is that it is absorbed within 15-20 minutes without the fiber content. You basically skip the digestion step and you go straight to the nutrients.  According to PBS.org, “Although you lose the benefits of consuming fiber when drinking your produce, it takes less energy to digest food in liquid form. Heating and cooking vegetables also reduces or destroys some of their enzyme content, which some say can impede digestion. With juicing, it’s believed that these food enzymes are not only preserved, but your digestive system also gets a ‘rest.'”

Also, according to Joe Cross (Reboot With Joe), Juicing offers many life-enhancing health benefits including a faster, more efficient way to absorb immune boosting nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables.  It provides a way to access digestive enzymes typically locked away in the fiber matrix of whole fruits and vegetables.  Most commercial juices are processed and lacking in nutrition while freshly juiced fruits and vegetables are loaded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

juicing

It has been a few weeks now and we’re still juicing and the “patient” says he’s still noticing the positive benefits. HELLO, ENERGY!! In addition to juicing, he also started taking probiotics (good bacteria that your body needs). Even though he is still taking his regular pharmaceutical cocktail, I can physically see the difference in adding these essential nutrients to his body; and he says he can definitely feel the difference. I don’t think it’s quite the right time to start weaning off of the meds, but that will come soon.

My main purpose for writing this blog was not only to educate on the benefits of juicing and adding essential nutrients to your diet but to make you aware of its healing properties. People have been using this method of healing for years. I urge you to try it before you actually “need” it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, at least that’s what “they” say.

Stay healthy, friends! 

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