Juicing: The Healthy Way to A Killer Bod?
"Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food."
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As April showers are working overtime to bring May flowers, I too am actively trying to turn my winter bod into a more toned summer bod that can better withstand afternoon barbecues and lazy days at the beach.
A #killerbod, however, is not easily achieved... especially, when you're trying to go about it in a healthy way. Sure, there are lots of pills, vitamins, and teas on the market that promise a sculpted physique with little effort required, but are these methods really safe?
How can I drop a pant size by following a regime of Domino, Netflix, and pills? It just doesn't seem to add up.
As a child I was always on the chubby side. What can I say, I loved food and food loved me ;) Though I was never extremely overweight, it was somewhat concerning when I'd choose going on a Mickey D's run over playing tag after school.
In my early teens, I watched as my parents began a "healthy lifestyle change," a phrase that, in my mind, meant the same thing as a diet without the negative connotations of fad dieting.
As they made this change, I too began to partake. Unfortunately, after keeping the weight off for a few years, it seemed to find me after I spent a semester abroad in Italy, shovelling gelato and pasta down my gullet. No regrets though ;)
When I settled back into Canadian life, I needed a weight loss jumpstart. I didn't feel like myself anymore. I lacked energy and none of my pants seemed to fit anymore :( So, I joined my dad as he drank protein shakes formulated for weight loss. I did that for about a month, and the results were pretty good, but I knew that I couldn't continue living like that.
We are meant to nourish our bodies with actual food.
Stumbling upon this realization, I began to incorporate healthy food options into my life. Since then I have been conscientious about making good decisions for my health.
Though it is hard to resist the appeal of a flashing neon lights, the enticement of the drive-thru, or a juicy burger with the works, good and real food never goes out of style. The quick satisfaction that engineered, modified fast-food provides is short term. Our bodies crave nutrients; they need to be feed with the crops of mother nature's yield.
My dad, however, is a marketer's dream. He has tried just about every diet plan created. Sure, they work for a while, but the weight seems to find it's way back almost immediately after the diet is over. Yet, the regimented diet must end at some point because most times it is unhealthy to continue popping pills or constantly be injected with supplements.
So what other options are there for people trying to lose weight and finally get that killer bod?
It seems that we are often very quick to dismiss the one thing that really makes a different with our bodies and weight: food.
Why can't we achieve a healthy and flattering body while heal ourselves from within?
I watched a movie a few weeks ago with Chris called Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead (2010). I tend to like food-based films, while my boyfriend does not. So, I was pretty surprised when he suggested we should watch it.
I must say, the film was quite moving. Never had I considered #juicing the gateway to a "living the best version of yourself." But, I suppose it does make sense. What could be healthier for you then consuming fresh and 100% natural ingredients?
I remember watching In Defence of Food (2015) a couple years prior, Michael Pollen's words racing through my mind to this day: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."
Juicing could only mean concentrating the goodness of plants into a glass.
The movie presented several individuals who tried juicing both short-term and long-term, and the results were unbelievable. Many of the overweight individuals lost a significant amount of weight and their health issues had lessened in severity. Likewise, those who juiced as a cleanse (for one week) felt and looked better, sharing that they had more energy and noticed a certain radiancy in their appearance!
Both Chris and I were encourage to share news of juicing benefits with my father. And after a lengthy discussion he surprised me, suggesting that "Maybe, we should get a juicer."
Excuse me? Did I hear that right? My dad wants to start juicing?
That night we looked at different models online, comparing and contrasting all the pros and cons. I had never considered all the options that could be explored beyond the standard citrus juicer, a compact and handy little kitchen gadget, but very much a one-trick-pony.
Should we choose a centrifugal juicer with its quick but noisy machinery and possibility of heat transference, or the more expensive triturating juicer with two gears to extract and separate juice and pulp?
Finally, my father and I came to a compromise, opting for a masticating juicer. By crushing fruits and veggies as they fall down a chute, the juicer then separates the pulp as it slowly squeezes out the juice. Though a masticating juicer is on the pricier side, these types of juicers are known best for their ability to produce high quality juice without foam or any heat transference. They also do more than just juicing!
Bringing home the Omega J8006 was very exciting. My entire family was huddled around our kitchen island, inspecting all the components of the juicer. After the quick assembly, I found myself flipping though the pages of juicing manual complete with recipes that included everything from baby food to breadsticks! Who knew you could do so much with a juicer? It is single-handedly becoming my new go-to kitchen appliance!
Despite the many intriguing juice recipes, I decided to create my own concoction... partly to be adventurous annnnd partly because we lacked other fruits and vegetables to recreate any of the recipes found in the handbook ;)
Washing, peeling, and chopping up apples, carrots, and oranges, I soon realized that it takes A LOT of fresh produce to make a single glass of juice! Yet, I also realized that I would be getting an unbelievable amount of nutrients from that one glass of homemade juice! And let's be honest, homemade is always the best made!
I'll admit, once my juicing was done and I poured the cocktail into a glass, I expected the worst. Disclaimer: I'm not a huge fan of vegetable juices or spinach in my smoothies, sorry!
But, I was surprised by how tasty the juice actually was. Even my dad, who is notorious for his pickiness, enjoyed it!
I could taste the mild sweetness of the apples, the subtle tang of the carrots, and the refreshing burst of citrus all in one glass! I practically chugged this juice :) Needless to say, it has become a part of my morning routine! I repeat, it is a great way to get a serving of fruit and veg!
Currently, my dad has also begun the #juicing movement. I wish him all the best in his new dietary journey. The two of us are already planning our next trip to the grocery store.
We'd like to try some different fruits (kiwi, mango, pear) and vegetables (spinich, beet) and play around with different flavour combos. In the meantime, I invite you to sample my first juicing masterpiece!
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Hello Sunshine! Juice
* Makes 2 servings *
2 oranges, peeled
3 apples, core and seeds removed
4 carrots, peeled
Cut up fruits and vegetables into chunks and feed through the juicer.
Revel in the healthiness... It really is that easy to juice!
What are your favourite juicing recipes?