Friday, July 26, 2013

Juicing for Health and Wellness

Are you into the juicing craze yet?  Have you thought about how to incorporate juicing into your routine?  Have you seen those crazy expensive bottles of juice being endorsed by celebrities?  Are you not even sure where to start?  Well, I'm here to help.

I have been juicing on and off for the last few years.  I picked up a juicer on a whim during a shopping trip to Costco with the Hub's.  I love the idea of juicing, but I will be takes a commitment.  You have to have the right ingredients on hand, you have to clean your equipment, you have to be creative, and you have to be open minded.  
Juicing is a quick way to get your daily allowance of vitamins and minerals
Ingredients to make an iron rich juice....yummy!
I have recently been diagnosed with anemia so in addition to taking daily iron supplements, I was looking for ways to incorporate iron rich foods into my diet other than eating slabs of beef every day.  In doing a bit of research, I found that fruits and vegetables could be a great source of iron.  Now the question was how to get the necessary daily requirements without crunching on stalks of Kale all day.
There is really no method to juicing and although there are recipes available, I have found the "Do what you like" method is most often the best.  I juice the fruits and vegetable that I like and over the course of time have found the combinations that appeal to me most. 
Organic vegetables waiting to be  juiced
 Now I did say that you have to be creative...with that said, you have to look for options.  You don't want to drink carrot juice everyday.  I think you could turn orange??!!  You want to be creative in your ingredients.  Look for out of the box things to add to your juice such as ginger and cilantro.  

And, you have to be open-minded because some of the recipes you will find are super nutritious but are a bit crazy.  Like wheat-grass, I still have not been able to wrap my head around trimming a small container of grass to drink.

Here is one of my favorite recipes.  This one is most important for me, high in iron but also full of nutrient rich veggies.

Chia Seeds help you stay full longer
Chia Seeds-Great Sources of Omega's

1/2 Red Pepper-Great source of Potassium and Magnesium, Vitamin K-C-E-B6

1/2 Yellow Pepper-High Vitamin C content
1/2 Cucumber-Adds good flavor and a good source of vitamins
2 Carrots-Brings sweetness to the juice

Big handful of Parsley-The richest source of vegetarian iron
2 Stalks Kale-good source of vegetarian iron
2 Big handfuls of Spinach-One of the richest vegetarian sources of iron
1 Tblsp Chia Seeds-Very rich source of Omega 3's

Squeezed Lemon

What to Do:
Wash everything really well, especially the spinach as it can be gritty.  It would be ideal to purchase organic but if not, be sure to wash, wash, wash!  Put the first 7 ingredients into your juicer.  Pour into a glass (I like to drink mine over ice).  Stir in the Chia Seeds and squeeze some lemon in for added taste.  Make sure to drink it right away as the longer it sits, the more nutrients it loses.  Homemade juices should be consumed as they are prepared.

Carrots add sweetness to your juice
Carrots add sweetness to your juice-you can also use an apple

Green Juice is a popular type of juice
Look at the beautiful color spinach adds
Check out The William Sonoma blog for some of my favorite juicing recipes.  They are super easy, have very few ingredients and since there are 30 recipes, you are sure to find one you will like.  The recipe I am featuring here may be a bit aggressive if you've never juiced before.  What I like about the William Sonoma blog is that they start you out with some fruity and sweet juices to ease you into the process.  Just be careful if you are looking to lose weight as fruit and some veggies can have a very high sugar content.
One last site that you need to know about if you are looking to stay healthy and eat right is from Self Magazine.  You can enter just about any food into the search bar including some of your favorite fast food and restaurant options and they will give you all the nutrition data you ever wanted to know.

Hopefully I have convinced you to try out juicing.  If you are a bit skeptical, you can always try out a juice from your local health food store to see if it is for you.  Whole Foods has a juice bar in most locations and will make you any juice you can think of or they have a menu of pre-selected options.  I personally enjoy the Eye-C-U which is loaded with vitamin C.

Let us know if you have any great recipes or if we have inspired you into trying juicing.  We want to hear your story.

Love and Tulips,
Amanda from Irvine, CA