The 411 on Smoothies and Fresh Juices

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve noticed that I will share photos of smoothies and fresh juices from time to time. So here’s the spill on that. If you read my previous post, “The F Word: Why Fat Free & Reduced Fat Are Bad Words”, you learned what an insanely picky eater I used to be and what I have done and am doing to overcome that. Essentially, there are a lot of healthy foods, in particular veggies, that I do not readily eat in the raw state. But drinking juices and smoothies is my way to introduce those foods into my system.

imageEvery weekday morning, I start my day off with what I call my “super smoothie”. It consists of fresh fruit, almost always banana, blueberries, and blackberries (blackberries are a super food—eat lots of them!!). This collagen (2 rounded TBS), apple cider vinegar (1-2 capfuls), greek yogurt (big spoonful), lemon essential oil (1 drop), coconut oil (rounded teaspoon), and a small amount of orange juice (I’m talking no more than a TBS). When I was having stomach problems and couldn’t eat ANYTHING (read about that here), this smoothie was the first breakfast I was able to keep down.

I love starting my day off healthy, though it’s important to limit my sugar the rest of the day because a fruit smoothie is high in fructose, but at least it’s the “good” kind of sugar. It’s also important to opt to buy organic ingredients whenever you have the option to do so.

Now juicing…

A statistic that just blows my mind is that processed foods don’t even have one tenth of the nutrients that the food in the native state had. I have lived my life eating processed foods because the majority of what is in the grocery store is processed. Most of us have “impaired” digestive systems from years and years of bad food choices. Because our digestive systems doesn’t always work optimally, we may not always absorb as much nutrients from our food as we’d like to. Juicing, helps deliver nutrients in a way that your body will be more likely to absorb.

I’ve been getting my feet wet with juicing for the past few months. I try to have a glass of fresh juice twice a week, and I’m aiming for that number to increase as time goes on.

Now fresh juices are different from smoothies because juicing removes the insoluble fiber from fruits and vegetables. What this means is you are receiving concentrated nutrients that will be absorbed differently than if it were being delivered with fiber.

The benefit to juicing is that it allows you to receive a greater amount of nutrients—you are able to drink a glass of juice, whereas it would be difficult to eat several carrots, an apple, orange, and a bowl full of spinach, and whatever other fruit or vegetable makes up the glass of juice, in one sitting. So smoothies are made from the whole fruit or veggies, including the fiber, and are more “filling” in that respect. Juice, is just the juice of the fruit or vegetable, fiber removed, and is very concentrated in nutrients and digested differently than it would be if eating the fruit or vegetable in it’s original state. Both smoothies and juices are great ways to receive the benefits of raw fruits and vegetables, they are just different, and it’s important to understand those differences.

Now with juicing in particular, it is important to focus on the veggies, especially the green veggies, instead of the fruit. Remember you are receiving concentrated amounts of nutrients when you juice, and your body will be digesting it differently because it’s already begun to be broken down. This can be hard because I personally think it’s the fruit that makes the juice taste good. Currently, I use more fruit in my fresh juice than I would like, but I am slowly weaning away—using fewer fruits and more vegetables. I think it’s more important to start out however you need to, form the habit of juicing, and then make small adjustments until you get to where you need to be. Sometimes it’s too much of a shock to go full force into something, and then you end up not sticking with it.

My typical juice recipe consists of: Spinach and/ or kale, carrots, green apple, orange, and ginger. But depending on what veggie or fruit I may stumble upon, I’ll try them out too. It is especially important when juicing to buy organic fruits and vegetables. You don’t want to be receiving concentrated amounts of pesticides along with the nutrients.

So I love juicing because it is great for my immune system and energy. Not to mention, that I can sneak the vegetables I don’t like into my juice, AND I have the opportunity to actually get 6-8 servings of raw fruits and veggies a day—because this would NEVER happen otherwise. I also just want to mention that some of you might be eating fruits and vegetables, but remember, eating RAW fruits and veggies is the key. Cooking them kills a lot of the nutrients in the food. And if they came in a can, just forget about it.

The last thing I want to bring up is that juicing can be a great way to cleanse and detox your body. This isn’t the case with everyone, but was with me…the first few times I drank juice, it made me go, like oh my god, bathroom now, go. When I first started, I juiced for 3 days in a row, and I felt sort of icky and experienced a detox headache. So I just want to give everyone a heads up, that there can be “side effects” at the beginning. But they are short lived, and you just have to think of it like bad things are leaving your body, and good things are entering it. It’s a small sacrifice you can make. Now juicing gives me a boost and puts me in superwoman mode!

There’s an awesome documentary on Netflix called “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead” that is all about juicing. Check it out! You will learn a ton!

 

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