Juice Nation

Farmer's market, Jul 2009 - 11

I’m not sure if it’s the warm summer season or a heightened awareness of the impact of food, but recently I’ve noticed a huge shift in the amount of my friends and colleagues either juicing or converting to a raw diet.   So being ever curious, I decided to explore this phenomena a bit further?

What is Juicing?

Essentially juicing is a liquid form of vegetables and/or fruit.  The idea behind is that drinking fresh juice can provide several health benefits including most importantly retaining the vitamins and minerals in the product.  So why not eat the raw material?

There are a variety of reasons why individuals opt for juicing including:

  • Convenience (a lot easier to drink your salad than eat it)
  • Naturally detoxifying
  • Hydrating
  • Excellent source of vitamins and minerals

Creating your own juices is ideal as you will not only ensure that you produce you use is fresh, but also maximize your vitamin/mineral intake.  The heat process involved in pasteurization most retail juices significantly reduces the vitamins/minerals.

However, making your own juice is not an inexpensive process.   As you are consuming, more produce  you will need to purchase more.  In addition, the juicer themselves range in price anywhere from 200  to 800 dollars.   Cost aside sometimes the convenience factor is negated by the cleaning of the juicer.  That being said, when purchasing a new juicer spend some time asking how to clean it and practice taking the juicer apart.

One of the extra bonuses I’ve found with juicing is getting your children involved with the process (and by extension eating more fresh produce).   My children love creating new concoctions and watching them transform from a hard product to a juice.   They also love making green monster juice and daring their daddy to drink it.

Taking your Juicing a Step Further

In my home, fresh juice has become an addition to a healthy meal or sometimes a snack substitute.  However, I have several friends and am aware of several communities that advocate using juicing for either a cleanse or a weight loss.   Dr. Oz, has had avid juicer and inspirational speaker Joe Cross on his television show to discuss his 3 day cleanse.

The purpose of a 3 day cleanse, is quite literally to help your body expel some of its toxins by giving your digestion a rest (it is easier to digest juice than whole food).

If you do decide to use a juice cleanse, speak with your doctor (juicing alone is not for everyone).  In fact, I am one of those individuals that shouldn’t juice  and so instead I opt for a healthier, local diet merging cleansing juices with raw, natural foods.

For additional inspiration, watch Joe Cross’s amazing documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, it has had a positive impact on the food choices of both my friends and family.

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