People are passionate about their way of eating and their own definition of health. But, in the end, I don’t think anyone can deny that adding more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables to our diets is a good thing. This post is meant to be a quick introduction on the benefits of juicing, from my point of view, not a research study. And, please check with your health care professional before starting any cleanse, detox or diet.
I am constantly trying to figure out how to add more raw vegetables and fruits to my diet. Juice is a good way to accomplish this, but I firmly believe that the juice sitting on the shelf at the grocery store is simply not the same as fresh squeezed. It can not, and does not, contain the same amount of good stuff as the fresh squeezed variety because the pasteurization process mandated for bottled juices heats the juice, killing nutrients and enzymes, which chemically alters the primary substance, the juice. If you want to read more on this click here or here or here.
But, we need the pasteurization to protect us, as surely we will die without it, right? Well, pasteurization does help prolong shelf life, but it is actually controversial. (To read about what really happens to that “fresh” oj we all love, click here. It’s quite shocking.)
Without pasteurization, you do need to know the source of your fresh juices and that the facility is inspected and meets health codes.
All fresh squeezed juices are not the same. Ideally, I prefer a cold pressed juice, because the quality of the juice lasts longer and the nutrient output is supposedly the best. “Cold pressed” simply means that the juice has been pressed and squeezed, not chopped and spun around. Therefore, no heat is created and no air is added (which causes faster breakdown – think of an apple once it hits the air: fast decomposition). Cold pressing juice preserves the enzymes and nutrients, so nothing is left behind after pressing except the fiber. Pure juicing is about easy digestion and lots of nutrients, not fiber intake, by the way. This type of juice keeps its nutrition for three days, whereas juices that have been centrifuged (the most common way to juice) start losing their nutrients immediately and need to be consumed within hours of preparation.
I ordered some cold pressed juices last year from Blueprint Cleanse for a 3 day juice fast. They are delicious, but expensive. The shipping alone is $20/per day. (*update, Blueprint Cleanse has reduced their shipping rates to $15 per day) Still, order away if it fits your budget as they sure are tasty.
I was THRILLED to discover Juice Nashville a couple months ago as they make it easy to include fresh juice as a part of your healthy lifestyle. At $6 per bottle this is still pricey, but a price I am willing to pay. Juice Nashville can be found at area farmer’s markets, but deliveries are possible for just $8 if your order is over $30 within a limited area. For a higher delivery fee, they can be talked into delivering a bit further out. If you want juice delivered this coming Tuesday or Thursday (their delivery days), you might want to order today as there is only so much juice to go around and they do fill up!
Juice Nashville has also started a Detox plan, consisting of 6 juices a day for 3 days. Since cold pressed juices last for 3 days, you can order all you need for your detox and have them delivered or pick them up. See site for details.
I know people will say, “That’s not safe! Only drinking juice for 3 days!” Well, fasting has been around for thousands of years and has proven benefits–with just water. I know, it’s hard to understand that anything that makes us uncomfortable might be good for us. I will, however, readily admit that I’m one who embraces three days of not thinking about food as a means of getting back on track. It helps to end (or at least delay) the bad habits. Thinking about WHAT to eat is just hard sometimes. (Spoken like a true first-world country gal, huh?) A three day break is kind of nice.
What do I like best about a 3 day juice fast? It’s not a losing weight thing, it’s that I can feel my body sucking in the nutrients from all this raw juice I am flooding my body with. Simply said, I feel better each time I do this – noticeably better. Day 2 is not a lot of fun. But, Day 3 is full of energy. When it’s over, my body wakes up wanting a grapefruit, a raw kale salad and some apples. Really. It’s as though I’ve changed the compass for what my body craves and set it on the right course, once again.
Helpful note: depending on how much sugar, meat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol you’ve been consuming, your body may actually feel a bit ill on day 2… If this happens, no, you do not have a virus. To prevent this from happening, try to give up these things a few days before the fast – or scale waaaaay back and your body will react better.
Do I cheat? Yeah, I do. I eat an avocado each day. I know some people who eat a small portion of salmon each day. But, in the end, it’s your journey. Just be sure to drink all 6 juices every day.
And, if you don’t want to do this 3 day Juice Detox, you could just decide to “juice” all day – maybe 4 juices (I suggest the veggie juices, they are my personal favorite. Of course, my kids like the fruit juices.) and then eat a great big salad with quinoa and grapefruit for dinner? Come on, ditch the processed foods, alcohol, sugar, gluten and dairy for a few days, even a week… see how good you, too, can feel!
More facts on juicing: click here.
Juice Nashville: http://thejuicenashville.com