By Casey Turton
Editor, Carolina Men
Grab a couple apples, pears, pineapple, melon and whatever else you can find, slice them up toss the slices into a juicer and enjoy the great taste of freshmade juice. Do this a couple times a day and chances are you’re going to feel a lot better in mind and body.
I know because I started this practice back on Dec. 29, 2012 when I was already about six months into a weight loss through exercise (yoga) program. Since then, I’m 40 pounds lighter and I give a great deal of credit to the juice detox I did to kick off the new lifestyle and the fun I am having sticking with it.
I lived on nothing but juice for 5 days, then slowly added salads and light meals (all fresh, no fried) for the next 17. I’ve stayed with this plan since then.
Right about now you may be saying “Yuk. Drink fruits and vegetables? This guy is nuts.” To that I say go watch the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” come back and let’s talk. This film by Australian businessman Joe Cross details his transition from an overweight, middle-aged man with serious illness to a healthy, active man when he combined a daily juice regimen with exercise.
So what’s the big deal about juicing? Frankly, experts have differing opinions.
Proponents (nutritionists, naturopaths, personal trainers, dieticians, etc.) will tell you juicing helps cleanse the body of toxins that enter through the processed food we eat (fried chicken ring a bell?), our environment, smoking, alcohol and the list of other evil things. They say the nutrients in juice get into our blood stream faster, doing more good, more quickly.
Opponents, mostly doctors and hospitals interested in keeping you on prescription drugs the rest of your life, say there is no solid scientific proof that any of this works. The website WebMD even go so far as to say the kidney and liver do all the detox work and the body doesn’t need anything else. Go tell that to someone on kidney dialysis.
Let’s get back to the main point of this article. What I want you to try is this: one morning, instead of sliding down three or four scrambled eggs, 4 or 5 strips of fatty bacon, bread slopped with butter and frozen, processed potatoes boiled in oil, take your favorite fruits, juice them and drink. Drink about 12-16 ounces.
Feel the difference a few minutes later. You will experience more energy and feel less “bloated.” And it’s fun.
Or, drive past the burger joint for lunch. Instead, cut up some cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, celery, beets, cabbage and green beans (yep, green beans), toss them in a juicer and drink about 12-16 ounces.
Feel the difference. You won’t be nodding off at your desk or behind the wheel at 2:30 p.m. like you do after a double cheeseburger and extra large fries, topped off with a sugar-soaked soft drink.
Do this for one week. Go ahead. It won’t kill you, you won’t starve to death, promise. And I bet you’ll actually continue on it. I know I did. And I’m glad I did.
There are lots of recipes on the internet for juicing, but just use your imagination. Mix and match and vary the contents. I love adding a modest amount of fresh ginger to the mix to spark up the drink.
And don’t give me the “but eating healthy is expensive” excuse. Heart attacks are cheap?
So, here’s to those of you who will at least give this a try. It’s the perfect time to get started as our local farmers markets are opening and there will be plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables around for you.