I get funny looks when I tell people, “I juice every day, and I feel great!”. I guess it’s to be expected. In a world where people are generally up to no good and athletes and meatheads alike are downing performance enhancers to give them that extra edge, it’s no surprise that the first thought that probably crosses people’s minds when I make that statement is that I’m shooting steroids in my butt cheek in the bathroom. I get a similar, though slightly more devious response when I tell people I “do pole”…probably involving equally as dirty mental images of shooting and butts, but in a different context that can be irritating after a while.
Back to juicing… I generally make variations on the same three kinds of smoothies or juices each morning, and take them with me in a insulated lunch box to work until I can stuff them in the fridge to drink throughout the day or in between small meals. There’s the red one, the orange/yellow one, and the green one. I figure the more the colors, the more the antioxidants, and the more variety I’m getting in each drink.
What makes my red juice, well, red, are the beets. Beets are beneficial to the liver, balance oxygen use, increase stamina, are packed full of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates (which improve blood flow, as opposed to nitrites, which are found in cured meats and are kinda bad for you), and can help reduce blood pressure. Even yellow beets carry the same amazing properties. Couple that with some carrots rich in beta carotene, B vitamins, vitamin E, and other nutrients that are great for your eyes, bones, teeth, liver, and nails…and you got one awesome free-radical-fightin’ team.
“We Got the Beet” Juice
- 2 small organic beets (or one large one)
- 2-3 organic apples
- 3-5 organic carrots
- ½ lime, peel removed
- Sprig of mint
My orange/yellow juice varies a little more-so. I’ll generally combine pineapple, mangoes, carrots, citrus, and apples in varying amounts, maybe adding some ginger now and then. Pineapple juice (fresh, not processed) has natural anti-inflammatory properties, helps in the healing of wounds, bruises and joint pain (great for pole fitness, believe-you-me), aids in digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and boosts the immune system with its vitamin C content. Mangoes are good sources of beta carotene, cancer-fighting quercetin and phenolic acids, iron, and fiber if eaten whole (sometimes I’ll add some fresh juice to a blender with chunks of pineapple or mango for an added fiber boost). Citrus is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and copper…but I tend to favor grapefruits when juicing, since they also have an added fat-burning benefit.
Morning Sunshine Juice
- 1 large ruby grapefruit
- 4 organic carrots
- 1 mango, 1 apple, or ¼ of a whole pineapple
- ¾” fresh ginger wedge
Green juices can be tough to stomach. Sometimes, they just taste like grass. Yuck. But there are some good combos out there that can defy this juicing law of green = icky. You can actually enjoy it without holding your nose and chugging it like a frat boy on a keg stand just to be over and done with it. Greens, particularly kale and spinach (anything dark green and leafy) are low in calories, and high in iron (more-so than beef!), fiber, vitamins, K, A, and C, antioxidants, calcium (more-so than milk!), and are great for detoxifying, lowering cholesterol, and easing inflammation. Below is my favorite smoothie, adapted from wholeliving.com
Green Machine Smoothie
- 6 romaine leaves, chopped
- 4 kale leaves, chopped
- ½ c fresh parsley sprigs
- ½ c chopped pineapple
- ½ c chopped mango
- 1” fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 ½ c coconut water, or juice from 2 cucumbers, or juice from 1 cucumber and 3-4 stalks celery
Blend until smooth.
There you have it. For more recipes, I highly recommend wholeliving.com, fatsickandnearlydead.com, and juicerecipes.com. However, any internet search for “juicing recipes” will provide you with tons of new concoctions to try. So get out there, start juicing, and use your new-found energy from all your nutrient-rich drinks to punch anyone in the face who snickers when you say you’re “juicing it up”…on second thought, just kindly explain to them that you’re juicing fruits and veggies instead, then offer to make them a glass.