I know some of you may be feeling a couple of pounds heavier right now after the holiday season. Don’t stress it too much, most of us are in the same boat. If you’ve made a resolution to lose those extra pounds this year, get healthier and move your body, power to you! You can do anything you decide to do! However, keep in mind that a shift for the better need not be drastic and may be more sustainable if approached slowly. You can get healthier by making a few minor changes to start, and take it from there, depending on how you feel.
How about trying a short detox? There are many resources out there to help get you started.
My favorite and the most effective way for me to feel lighter, more energized and detoxed, is juicing. Whether you do it for one day, one weekend or a week (or more!) the benefits of juicing are multiple and profound!
Juice fasting, or juice feasting as some like to call it, is essentially taking a break from solid food and only drinking juice and water for a period of time. This allows the organs of the body to rest while the body uses fuel from our fatty tissues. Juicing is a powerful detox method which allows the body to flush out all the impurities we store in the fat cells. We are exposed to toxins every day, whether they be environmental, from chemicals added to our foods, or even our emotions can be toxic to our well-being. Juicing is one method for clearing out all these toxins and thus healing the body.
You can certainly buy a juicing program or find useful links on the Internet, but you can also free-style by keeping a few of these tips in mind:
1) For a base, always use apples or pineapples. This will add a pleasant flavour to build upon.
2) If you are diabetic or concerned about your glycemic index, it is important to juice lower glycemic fruits and veggies. Generally, vegetables that grow underground, like a beet or carrot will contain more sugar than the ones which grow above ground, like celery or cucumber. With respect to fruits, berries, apples and citrus are lower on the glycemic scale. Juicing greens and apples are great, and then pouring this juice, with added berries in a blender will give you a satisfying smoothie, without blowing your glycemic index through the roof.
3) When juicing greens, depending on which juicer you have, it may be more difficult to extract all those precious drops of nutrition, so bunch up the leaves and include them in the middle of something more “juicy” like chunks of apple.
4) Juice little bunches of greens at a time and test the flavour to make sure it is palatable to you. You can add a little coconut water to sweeten the taste of a juice if you find it too bitter.
5) Drink the juice slowly since you are getting massive doses of nutrients. You don’t want to overwhelm your system.
6) Organic is more important than ever when juicing. When we juice, we usually consume much larger quantities of fruits and veggies than when we just eat a serving of each, like one apple and a cup of broccoli. Therefore, not only are we getting a larger quantity of minerals and vitamins, but also a high dose of pesticides and chemicals, if the produce is not organic.
7) When juicing oranges and grapefruits, make sure to peel them first. The peels will make the juice too bitter. However, lemons and limes work both with peel on or off.
8) Add ginger always, but just a small chunk, or else that is all you will taste. Ginger is a magical superfood with so many beneficial properties.
9) I’ve heard a lot of people complain about how messy a juicer is, however, it is no messier than cleaning up pots and pans after cooking. Use a small, hard brush to help you and rinse the juicer right away before anything has time to dry up and harden, making it much harder to clean.
10) As we remove the pacifying, numbing and comforting effects of food, and replace that with juice and water, be prepared for all kinds of emotions to come up! This is a catharsis! Keep in mind: to feel is to heal. When we supress emotions or cover them up with food, we can never really face them and overcome them. This is a positive and exciting journey! Be ready!
You can also check out the Juice Master, Jason Vale, for more helpful hints.
With these general guidelines, you’re ready to go! Just juice it! All the very best in health and in bliss for this exciting new year!
If life gives you lemons, make some kind of fruity juice. ~Conan O’Brien