Chances are that in the last couple of years, you have heard something about the health fad "juicing" or you might have even bought yourself a juicer and given it a try. Still, many of you are wondering what is the deal with juicing? And more importantly should I consider exploring it as an option in my life? There are several choices to consider as reasons to start juicing; Do I want a long-term Juicing detox, a quick juicing reboot, or even just a 1-2 juice a day to increase veggie and fruit intake? Let's find out if Juicing is right for you...
First, let's dispel the myth that Juicing is a new idea. The compressed (pun intended) history of Juicing goes back to 1700 BC when the ancient Greeks called Pomegranate Juice a "Love Potion" and, in fact, mention of Juicing can be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Much later in the 1930's, Dr. Norman Walker, who lived to 118, wrote a book about Juicing vegetables and invented the first technologically advanced juicer. Then, in 1970, Jack Lalane promoted juicing and helped sell the Power Juicer. Twenty years later in 1990, Jay Kordich, considered the father of Juicing, wrote a book and starred in an infomercial about juicing where he talks about healing himself from a life threatening disease by Juicing. Most recently, however, the Award winning movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead has captured a lot of media attention and is partially the inspiration behind its current popularity. So, let's see why Juicing is gaining so much momentum and explore the Good, the Bad and find out if there are any Ugly truths that accompany it.
Juicing can add many benefits to your overall health, but the benefits depend on the extent to which you choose to use Juicing.
* Most significantly, an all-juice diet will help remove everyday toxins from your body while continuing to provide the body with nutrients without the digestible material. It will cleanse your colon and allow for the removal of any waste that may have been built up and were unable to escape the body.
* It will rejuvenate you. Many who experience a full juicing cleanse talk about feeling lighter and reinvigorated. In fact, many cultures have been known to use juicing as one way to reach spiritual enlightenment.
* It will reset your palate. In an era of processed foods, it is easy to become addicted and crave foods that are bad for you. Juicing for even 1-2 days is likely to banish some of these cravings and bring you back to a place where REAL foods taste good and become completely satisfying.
* OF COURSE...Weight Loss. Depending on your juicing agenda, you will undoubtedly shed some pounds by replacing a meal or two (or more) with juice. The longer the juicing, the more pounds lost without a huge concern of proper nutrient intake.
* Juicing in any capacity will help ensure your intake of fruits and vegetables and the nutrients that accompany them and this is especially helpful for those that are not fans of EATING their fruits and veggies.
* The benefits of many juices will help boost your immune system and, some say, possibly help fight cancer. The scientific studies are always changing and remain controversial, but let's look at ginger as an example. Ginger has many benefits including being an anti-inflammatory, preventing nausea, aiding in the absorption of vitamins and minerals and preventing colon cancer and cold and flu. It's unlikely that people will ever eat a thumb size piece of ginger, however this portion of ginger is a regular in many juicing recipes allowing you to reap the benefits that accompany it.
*Happiness, more energy a glow to the skin and a shine to the hair?...YES! A bonus to juicing is that because you're eliminating so many toxins you will likely feel better and be happier. You will no longer be loaded down by all the toxins, giving you more energy and your skin and hair will also reflect these changes.
* It's expensive - Most decent juicing machines range anywhere from $100 - $400 and on top of that, fruits and vegetables needed for juicing can add up, especially given that they don't always yield a lot of juice. But, don't let you this stop you altogether. If you consider that you are replacing meals with the juice, your cost in most cases can come out nearly equal.
* It's time consuming - From making sure that you have the ingredients available, shopping for those ingredients, preparing the vegetables and then using the juicer to make the juice, Juicing can take a lot of physical and mental organization and preparation. That being said, if you replace the time for you regular 3 meals a day, you may actually have more time than before.
* You're HUNGRY- a true replacement of meals Juicing diet is difficult. Like anything in life, nothing comes easy. You will be hungry for the first few days of a Juicing diet, but this shall pass and you will find that the juices start making you more satisfied and that you eventually start craving them.
*You're in a Bad Mood - As with any detox, your body initially goes through many withdrawals and emotional confusion. As with the hunger, this too shall pass. After just a few days, you will find yourself over that miserable hump and enjoying the benefits mentioned above.
Not much that's UGLY here, however, it must be mentioned that in many cases and during juicing, you will likely see an increase in visits to the bathroom and the color of your waste may sometimes reflect the items that you juiced on those days. While this might be in the "ugly" category, it's only because it is not fun to discuss. These bathroom visits are actually a sign that you are ridding yourself of toxins and blockage.
If this article has convinced you to at least try a JUICE to see if it's for you. Here is a recipe to get you started:
Ingredients: 1 cucumber, 3 large leaves of Kale, 2 carrots, a handful of spinach, 1 apple, a beet and 2 knuckles of ginger.
Please remember, this information is a general overview of informational material. There is plenty of research and resources out there for people who are interested in the benefits of juicing. As with any other major nutritional change, someone beginning a juicing regimen should consult with an expert or a Doctor to make sure that they are getting adequate nutrition. Also, remember, that despite what many pro-juicing programs tell you, juicing is not a miracle diet and like anything else will not last without a regular workout regimen.
Article Written by Seana Hart, co-founder of Hart Dance and Fitness in New Fairfield. Seana is currently in a program training intensely for her personal training certification as well as studying for her Certified Strength & Training Certification Test.