Thursday, March 20, 2014

Juicing 101

Hello HijabiTopian's! 

I’m a huge fan of juicing. I just love it!! And because of its growing popularity and its amazing affects on the body, I’ve decided to share what juicing is, and what a juice cleanse look like! Juicing involves a process where the natural liquids, vitamins, and minerals are extracted from raw fruits and vegetables. This liquid isn't just any hydrating liquid; it's loaded with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and phytonutrients all in one easy to sip drink. I love juicing for obtaining quick energy, whereas many of you may think coffee or caffeine is a quick fix, an even quicker way to fuel your body with all natural and long-lasting energy is with raw fruit and vegetable juices.

The Pros of Juicing:

1) Rest the stomach.  Juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). Remember to gently chew the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion.

2) Rest and repair the gut. Toxic foods (including saturated fats, refined carbs, foods with additives, pesticides and allergenic foods), taking medications (such as antibiotics or antacids), and even stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. Consuming a phytonutrient-dense rainbow plant-based juice diet allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine — consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself.

3) Rest the liver. The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall (fiber is not absorbed) moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. An organic juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.

4) Reduce your appetite. Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach — although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.

5) Eliminate harmful foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (including coffee. Being off this — and other common trigger foods for a period — then reintroducing them can help define what foods are causing our body problems.

6) Floods our body with super nutrition. Being on an all-produce diet gives us not only the vitamins and minerals but the all-important phytonutrients that are powerhouses for the clean-up and healing process. Juices are by nature raw foods — and retain nutrients that would be destroyed by cooking, including some B vitamins and especially (digestive and anti-inflammatory) enzymes.

7) Lose weight. As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse (three days minimum) is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with probably more concentrated beneficial energizing and  healing nutrients than it has seen before.

8) Improve energy. After the first day’s adjustment period (mostly missing crunching, and any coffee/alcohol cessation symptoms), most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity (by consuming only fresh juices) than they ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.

9) Rehydrate the body. Most of my new patients consume inadequate fluids, often having diuretics such as coffee or tea as their main beverages. Drinking sufficient fluids (5-6 glasses/day) makes the body function more efficiently, increases energy (often successfully removing the afternoon blahs/brain fog), and helps insure proper elimination of toxins.

My favorite place to go for pressed juices is Roots Juice in Dallas. They offer a variety of different flavors as well as 5-day cleansing kits. Here are a few of the varieties of flavors available:

Restore: beets, carrots, apple, aloe & ginger
Refresh: cucumber,  lime,  mint, apple & ginger
Wake Up: carrot, apple, ginger & watermelon
Go Green: celery, kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber & lemon
Watermelon Cooler: watermelon & fennel
Skin Glow: apple, spinach, celery & lemon
Health Nut Almond Milk: filtered water, almonds, dates, vanilla bean & sea salt
Pear Pleasure: pears & pineapple
Melon Mania: cantaloupe, honeydew & mint

All of the drinks are 100% juice and sell for $8 for a 16 oz. bottle. Roots Juices says that their ingredients are cold-pressed and unpasteurized. You should use them within 3-5 days and store under refrigeration.

Many people are now purchasing their own juicers to create their unique juice connotations. While juicers can be pretty expensive, buying juices frequently can be a big daily cost, and it might be a great idea to invest in your own machine. If you have not tried cold-pressed juices, I highly recommend it as it has countless health benefits! J

Farah A. for Hijabitopia

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