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To Juice or Not to Juice

To Juice or Not to Juice

“I held up an orange to the young man and asked, What comes out when you squeeze this? He said, Orange juice of course. I asked him, Why?  He told me, Because it’s an orange!  I replied, But why does orange juice come out?  He responded, Because that’s what is inside. I said, Yes, absolutely, because that is what is inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out? Whatever it is, that is what is inside.“- Wayne Dyer 

 

I heard this from Wayne Dyer at a live Hay House event in NYC. What comes out when you are ‘squeezed’? What is inside you. Are you filled with anger and frustration or patience and kindness? Wayne shared a story shortly after this one about a time he realized his ego was taking over and he went back and apologized and corrected it. Even he is not immune to ego squeezing out. If you’re not thrilled with what comes out for you when you are squeezed, simply be aware of it and make an attempt to correct it. After enough times, the patience and kindness will be what is squeezed out. Or maybe green juice 😉

Ok, enough of metaphoric juice and on to the real stuff. Green juice is an excellent way to get in a boat load of hydration, vitamins and minerals in one shot. I incorporate 2-3 green juices or smoothies a week. More in the summertime. But the debate often lands on when is it healthy and when is it too much? 

 

Juice Love:

 Juices help you to absorb all of the nutrients of the vegetables. It is ‘pre-digested’ because the fiber is broken down, so your body absorbs more of it by having less digestive work to do.

 Juices help you consume your daily requirement of veggies in a quick and efficient manner.

 You can add veggies you may not normally like and mask the flavor with other veggies that you do like.

 Produce that is about to go to waste? Throw it in the juicer and finish it all that day before it goes bad!

 Liver detox. Our livers act as a guard, checking out everything we put in our body and detoxing it if necessary. What better thing to do for our livers but give IT a detox and a bit of a breather. Green juices will do just that. 

 Juices give your body a chance to clean house. When we eat food (especially crappy food) a lot of energy goes to our digestive track to figure out what the heck to do with it.  With organic green juices, on the other hand, our bodies know exactly what it is and soak it right up, without having to do much work. All of that energy is then freed up to clean and heal.

 What green juices do for me personally: My eye sight clears up. I have tons of energy. I eat better the rest of the day. I am more apt to exercise, meditate and take time for myself. Within a day I see more vibrant, glowing skin and I’m in a better mood!

 Juices vs. Smoothies: I love them both. Juices (made with a juicer and strained from the fiber) are a quicker shot of energy to our cells. Smoothies (made with a blender) keep us fuller and are packed with more fiber which help move our intestines. I find myself having more smoothies in the winter and juices in the summer. Listen to which your body wants!

What should I put in it!?

Your juice should be 80-90% greens. This is a green juice not a fruit juice. For smoothies I use a base of water & ice.

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Greens: Kale. Spinach. Celery. Cucumber. Chard. Collard Greens. Parsley. Cilantro. Dandelion.

& a handful of a cleansing fruit: Lemon. Lime. Grapefruit. Cranberry. Blueberry. Blackberries. Raspberry. Ginger. Beet. Carrot.

*treat beets & carrots as a fruit when drinking them because they have a similar high amount of natural sugar

 

Juice Cleansing Important Information:

What to be aware of if you are embarking on a cleanse.

My definition of a juice cleanse: one full day or more of only green juices or smoothies.

Weak Adrenals.

Signs of low adrenal function are fatigue, lack of sleep and compromised immune system. If you plan to do a juice cleanse for longer than a day you want to make sure you have a stable body, strong adrenals and healthy blood sugar levels. Absence of fiber and fats in juices, if drinking them for days, makes it difficult to keep a stable blood sugar level, placing a lot of stress of the adrenals and turning you into a healthy, green, monster. Defeating the purpose. If you get irritable after missing one meal your blood sugar levels may not be stable enough to handle an entire juice cleanse.

Thyroid Issues.

Anyone with thyroid issues needs to be careful with how many raw greens they consume. In particular kale and broccoli. Cooked greens is okay but I don’t think any of you are putting cooked greens in your juices 🙂 If you have any kind of thyroid disorder I recommend staying away from juice cleanses and instead adding a juice or two to your day. The reason being that with a thyroid issue, you want your body to feel that it is safe to metabolize at a normal rate and that you are not in a state of alarm or famine.

Great veggies for thyroid health are carrot, beet, cucumber, spinach, parsley and celery. 

Still really want to cleanse with adrenal or thyroid issues? Here is a fix: Adrenals, thyroid and blood sugar levels need fat & fiber to stay stable. Start with a smoothie and add coconut oil, avocado or chia seeds to slow down absorption, keeping blood sugar levels and everything else happy.

Pregnant or Nursing.

Juicing is a very cleansing process, especially if you are adding bitter greens such as dandelion, cilantro or parsely. I do not recommend any cleansing during pregnancy or nursing years. When our body cleanses, toxins are released from fat deposits. Breast milk is a very convenient way for toxins to exit the body via fat deposits (and right into your child). I DO 100% recommend having juices or smoothies while pregnant and nursing, just not overdoing it with a cleanse.

 

Fast Fact: Green smoothies and juices are a fantastic way to nourish and cleanse your body, detoxify your liver, give your skin a healthy glow and improve mood. The question really is what green juices don’t do for your body. If you are embarking on a juice cleanse make sure you have stable adrenals, a healthy thyroid, and are not pregnant or nursing. To ease the stress on your body consider green smoothies and add coconut oil, avocado or chia seeds to slow down absorption and stabilize blood sugar. 

Action: Add green juices and smoothies to your day and watch how they change you! Here is a detailed recipe for a green juice. Just a beginner? Check out my beginners smoothie.  Drink within 24-48 hours of making for optimal nutrition and taste.

 

Love & brussels sprouts,

  

  1. Great information here Brenna. As always! I’ll be juicing this afternoon for my snack.

  2. Very helpful! Perfect timing as I was thinking of a juice for lunch! What are your smooth recommendations?

  3. Parul says:

    Thanks for the info. Also, do you recommend a book for a very beginner who can start making juices and smoothies that are kid friendly too? Thanks in advance 🙂

  4. Brenna says:

    I love this article written by my friend Jenny Sansouci as an addition to why juices can be amazing, especially for real sustained energy and creativity. http://healthycrush.com/is-food-affecting-your-creativity/

  5. An extremely interesting opening to this thread and it has brought to mind some of the teachings of the Jewish cabbalists, who maintain that undesirable reactions to people and events bring darkness and the loss of spiritual light to our lives but proactive response to the same create more light to live by and spiritual growth.

    As you say, juicing is an easy and tasty way of obtaining our five a day fruit and vegetable intake.

    Now, to that juicing machine and good health.

    Stay safe, stay well, and continue to exercise your spirit.

    Christoph 🙂

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