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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fruits and Veggies? Let's Juice It!

When we were newlyweds, we used to buy bottled juices from the supermarket.  But after a few months, we stopped because we found that bottled juices contained lots of sugars.  Other than bottled juices we don't buy softdrinks because (1) I never liked the taste of softdrinks and (2) it is unhealthy.  The Husband used to drink softdrinks all the time but developed the discipline to drink water or tea instead.  Although from time to time, we get exposed to softdrinks or bottled juices (parties, dining out or simply because there are no other beverage choice), we make sure that what we keep inside our home are more of the healthy drinks.  Some benefits of not buying bottled juices and softdrinks: we get to save money, we developed the discipline of drinking lots of water, the chance of avoiding illnesses related to drinking beverages high in sugar and chemicals.

For years, I have just eaten fruits as it is but when I learned the benefits of freshly-juiced fruits and vegetables, I lusted for a juicer.  Last year, in order to have freshly-juiced fruits and vegetables, I used a blender or a food processor.  But the texture of the juice was different from the ones that come out of a juicer.  So when the Husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas last year, I said, "Just give me a cheap juicer."  Luckily he found a medium-sized juicer on sale before Christmas.

From an article I've read, here are some of the benefits from drinking freshly-juiced fruits and vegetables:
More absorption. When you drink your fruits and vegetables you absorb up to 80% more of the nutrients. That is a massive amount of minerals, vitamins, etc. that you would otherwise be missing out on.
More fruits and vegetables.  People in today’s world are not eating anywhere near the required amount of fruits and vegetables. Jucing them allows you to pack more into your day thus helping your health. 
Good for your organs.  Juicing your fruit reduces the amount of work your digestive organs have to do and has been shown to increase the health of the liver, kidneys, etc. This kind of thing leads to better immunity and overall better long term health. 
Weight loss.  If you drink fresh juice you are likely to lose weight. The body loves natural foods like this and responds really well. You also don’t need any sugar and kick start your metabolism without the calories 
I've started juicing at the start of the year and we've been enjoying fresh juice at home most days of the week.  What I do is have a "juicing session" at least once or twice a week (usually on weekends) to save myself time and effort.

I started with juicing fruits and lots of carrots--I love carrots so I always include it.

Two weeks ago, I started adding more greens such as celery and cucumber.  Next time, I'll add beetroot and green peppers.  

I don't follow a recipe.  I just go with my gut feel and my sense of taste.  So far, my juice have resulted to just the right balance of sweetness and tangy from fruits and a bit of earthy taste from the from the veggies.

If there's one tip I can give you about juicing, it would be NOT TO ADD SUGAR, please?  While I know some veggies may have a bitter taste or some fruits may be sour, the best solution is to add naturally sweet components such as Carrots and Apples.

It takes time and effort to juice.  I know other people who started juicing only to get tired of it.  The thing with juicing is you still have to cut and peel your raw produce and then afterwards you need to clean up the juicer.  

To make my juicing worthwhile, I do it all in one go.  I cut and peel my raw produce, then juice them up.  Right after juicing, the Husband and I will each have a tall glass of juice as I was told that fresh juice should be consumed within 15 minutes or else it will lose its nutrients.

The rest of the juice are kept in plastic bottles and goes straight into the freezer.  So far the most number of bottles I've made from a juicing session are from two-three bottles.  I drink a bottle of juiced fruits and vegetables during the week, usually from Monday to Wednesday.  That's becomes my dinner.   If I drink a bottle of juice for dinner, I don't eat anymore because it is filling.  Other than cutting down on carbs and sweets, drinking juice for dinner twice/thrice a week is a way of giving my body a break from eating solids. 

I've heard about juice detox being practiced  by some people nowadays but I haven't done a whole day detox.  Maybe one day I will, if I need to.  For now, I do feel healthier that I've incorporated drinking freshly-juice fruits and vegetables in my lifestyle.  Although it is a bit of a challenge to juice at home especially when I'm busy, I'm enjoying the process of making our own juice and loving the benefits it does our my body.

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