Friday, August 23, 2013

Time to Get Juiced

As an exercise and endurance enthusiast I love being healthy and work at doing things that will keep me in shape and improve the quality of my life.  One area of focus the past few years is improving my diet.  While I have made great strides in moving from meat and dairy based foods to more plants and healthy oils, it was not until I watched the documentaries Forks over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead that I realized how much more improvement awaited me.
While these two documentaries made me think critically about my already improved diet, it made me realize I am not alone in my need for healthier living through nutrition.  Sadly, most people in our country take better care of their cars than they do their bodies.  Most nutrition experts recommend shopping on the outside of the aisles in the supermarkets to stay away from processed foods yet many shoppers do just the opposite.  Processed foods can be nutrient poor, loaded with sugar and or high fructose corn syrup, salt and unhealthy fats. 

Nutrient stripped and processed foods are mainstays of the American diet and are leading to alarming rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other ailments.  We are eating more processed food, meat and animal protein and taking in fewer nutrients. This recipe for disaster is coined “Disease of Affluence” by Dr. Colin Campbell.
In addition to eating more plants and limiting animal protein, bad fats and processed foods, juicing has recently risen in popularity.  While juice you buy at the grocery store is loaded with sugar and highly processed, juice from fresh vegetables and fruits is nutrient rich, unprocessed and free of added sweeteners, chemicals (like aspartame) and salt. The exact thing your body needs and craves yet is often deprived of.
Does Juicing provide true health benefits? According to juicing aficionado Joe Cross, founder of and creator of documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, the payback can be life changing. Cross suffering from the Disease of Affluence found himself 100+ pounds overweight and in poor health. Joe traded in junk food for juicing for 60 days to shed weight and rid himself of his auto-immune disease. Once his weight loss was kick started, Cross switched to a healthy plant based diet supplemented with juice and turned his life around. Having lost 100+ pounds Cross was able to stop taking many medications for diseases caused by his poor diet.

Juicing supercharges your nutrient intake by providing your body with pure micronutrients, vitamins and enzymes - with none of the bad stuff that constitutes processed food. By putting the most nutritious fuel into your system possible, you can kick start your metabolism, rejuvenate your cells and give your body a break from all of the strange chemicals you've been challenging it to process until now.

While I am neither a doctor nor a dietitian and recommend you consult your physician before making any drastic diet changes, adding fresh vegetable and fruit juice to your diet can be enormously beneficial for health, and can also help you lose weight as part of a balanced diet plan. Instead of reaching for that next soda, try a glass of fresh squeezed carrot, pineapple and strawberry juice.  You may just like it and your body will thank you.