Drink your veg – start juicing and feel amazing
January 10, 2012
It’s been a longer than usual stretch of seasonal overeating this year. I always say I’ll start laying off the Christmas cake after new year’s and never quite manage it and then last week when I finally did (on the 2nd or 3rd) generally craziness coupled with complete exhaustion (I’ve got 3 weeks to go before the baby and seem to be sleeping about 4 hours every night) meant that I just couldn’t get round to writing anything til the kids went back to school yesterday something I’ve been more than ready for for a few days now. Yes, it has been lovely- late starts, long lunches, afternoon movies and of course whole days spent throwing toys around and walking away but basically the house is beyond trashed and at the moment you could actually lose a baby in the current chaos. Not the picture they paint in the baby books………….
But I digress. This post is about how to get some healthy eating habits going for the new year so here goes…….
Juicing is one of the best ways I know to kickstart healthy eating. When you juice something you take away most of the fibre which concentrates all the vitamins and allows you to get through a much bigger volume of healthy stuff than you might ordinarily. It would take quite a while to munch your way through a head of kale but you can knock it back in 10 seconds if you juice it – geddit? So far, so brilliant – you get a super-concentrated dose of fresh uncooked good stuff which you can consume in seconds. It’s also really easy to digest which is nice for your insides because believe me they need a break after all the pints and mince pies they’ve had to deal with recently.
So, what to juice? Well, it’s not just things like berries, mangos and pears. Just as juicing concentrates vitamins it also concentrates all the sugar found in fruit so if you just juice fruit you end up taking in a massive dose of sugar. Yes, with loads of vitamins but it’s still a massive sugar hit which is never really good news for your system – your blood sugar will spike then crash when you really want to keep things on an even keel.
To properly get the benefits you need to start with at least 50% veg and from there work up. Yes it seems hardcore at first but really once you start to re-educate your taste buds it becomes less and less so. Carrots are an obvious starting place, they’re naturally sweet. Celery and cucumber are other ones to try – not as sweet but not super earthy either. All of these work really well with apples, pears, lemons and oranges. A small knob of ginger is also great. Not only does it add a lovely zing, it peps up your immune system helping you fight colds and flus plus it’s great for digestion.
A good basic juice recipe
4 or 5 sticks celery
2 apples (or pears or oranges or a mix)
A small knob of ginger
Nothing needs to be peeled or cored just well washed. Juice the lot and consume immediately.
Use this mix as a starting point then start adding a little green veg – a handful of parsley or some salad leaves for example then begin ramping up to things like kale – with veg the darker the variety the more nutrtious is always a good guideline. Obviously you’ll need to pace yourself (things start to get a little bitter when you add things like kale), start with a handful then try to increase it.
Ideally you’ll get your veg content up to 75% maybe even higher and believe me this is when your energy levels really start to take off. You’ll feel refreshed and you’ll also feel much less tempted to eat bad stuff – the theory behind that one is that because you’re consuming way above and beyond what you need vitaminwise you’re less likely to get the munchies which are usually interpreted as “must have a chocolate biscuit /that piece of cake/bag of crisps/ all three” as opposed to what they really are ” I need vitamin C/D/E/whatever”
I usually have my juice mid morning and/or afternoon and my kids generally do the actually juicing. It’s one of those tedious jobs that they think is lots of fun (yay!).It also encourages them to drink all kinds of stuff they mightn’t eat which leaves me feeling really smug if there’s a showdown at dinnertime so if you’ve got little ones I’d highly advise getting them involved. Mine complain if there’s too much ginger (“spicey!!”) and kale content can’t be too high either but apart from that they’ll always try anything they’ve made.
Back to normal with recipes next week and my apologies for the slow start. Chuck is distributing pineapples today which are our way of saying a small thank-you for all your support last year. It’s tough out there but your continued support has kept us going and we are more than grateful. As always please feel free to let us know how we can improve things during 2012.
Pineapple is amazing juiced and it’s very good for your digestive system but it is especially amazing with a shot of rum and a dash of coconut milk (but you didn’t hear that from me!) or, you can roast it up with rum, brown sugar, star anise and cinnamon which makes a dessert that is beyond good.
Happy new year,