Most Americans today walk around feeling exhausted and sick, relying on sugar and coffee to perk themselves up. That was me a little over five years ago. I just didn't feel right and by 3 in the afternoon I was ready for bed. As a mom with three young children, I needed to do better. I wanted to do better and wanted to feel like I remembered feeling in my 20s.
I always suggest making changes to your diet and lifestyle slowly so as not to become overwhelmed. There always needs to be a first step. My suggestion for your first step is to incorporate fresh pressed green juice into your life. I personally cannot go a day without 1-3 green juices. Maybe for you, it's starting with one green juice a week. Whatever the right starting point is for you, just start!
MY GREEN JUICE STORY
I was introduced to the concept of Green Juice by my amazing and very successful friend who owns Blueprint Cleanse, based in New York City. After drinking only fresh-pressed juice for three days I was hooked. My energy level skyrocketed. I remember picking my daughter up from preschool one day after drinking a green juice and one of my friends asked me if I was on crack because I was bouncing off the walls and she wanted whatever it was I was taking.
I immediately bought a breville juicer and thus began my biweekly outings to Whole Foods to stock up on Kale, Romaine, Cucumbers, celery, green apples, lemon and ginger so that I could create a juice similar to Blueprint. Blueprint juice can now be found at many Whole Foods locations in CT and NY and can also be shipped directly to your home. After a few months of drinking green juice, health issues that doctors were unable to treat began to disappear. There was no turning back for me now, I had found the universal healer, green juice.
Even before I became a certified Holistic Health Counselor, I was spreading the gospel of green juice, bringing it with me to meetings and to yoga class, if you entered my home you were going to try my green masterpiece. Some people loved it at first, others slowly learned to like it and still others have not gotten on the green juice wagon quite yet. But, one day I'd love to figure out how many of my loved ones turned into green juice drinking happy people because of me.
The more I drank green juice, the more my body craved it. My therapist friend who specializes in treating addiction at Yale University thinks I sound like an addict when I speak about green juice ... I say the whole world should have an addiction to green juice.
The whole world seems to be addicted to caffeine, an actual drug I might add, and it is certainly easy enough to satisfy that craving at all the coffee shops located on every corner in Main Street USA. Let me tell you, making green juice for myself was not easy day in and day out and I actually started to resent coffee shops for existing and wished they could all be replaced by juice bars. Knowing that was not likely to happen anytime soon, I simply asked the universe to provide me with one juice bar in my lovely town, Fairfield, CT.
My yoga instructor always said ask the universe and it will provide. Well, after about two years of begging the universe for a juice bar in Fairfield, the universe provided me with . It's at this cafe where you can now buy "The Tara." After ordering the same green juice every day for 1 1/2 years and sending in countless people to order green juice Tara's way, , thought it would be easier to put "The Tara" on the menu. I am told it is the most popular drink on their menu now.
Every time I am in the cafe and I hear someone order the Tara, I smile and giggle to myself and I am beyond thrilled that other people are finding the magic in green juice.
WHY DRINK GREEN JUICE?
The benefits of drinking green juice are many. First of all, most of us do not eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables, thus, we are not getting the essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to function properly and heal. My green juice includes an entire bunch of kale, a head of romaine, a cucumber, 5 stalks of celery, a green apple, a lemon, and fresh ginger.
Do you have any idea how many minerals, vitamins, and enzymes are in that one glass of juice?
It is impossible to eat all of this in one sitting, but by juicing it, you get all those nutrients fast. Your cells drink up that green juice and all those nutrients go to work for you immediately without your body having to do any of the heavy lifting. The juice has a plethora of its own enzymes and is in an easily digestible form. Many people have a difficult time throwing away the pulp and fiber that gets separated from the juice. You just have to get over that!
When juicing, you want your cells to swallow up those nutrients as fast as possible. The fiber would only slow digestion, tax your digestive system and delay the good stuff from fueling your cells. I'm not saying fiber isn't important, it just has no place in your green juice. Eat your veggies, whole grains, flax seeds and chia seeds for fiber. Drink your green juice for a fast boost of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and enzymes. Green smoothies, which are made in a blender and thus still have all the fiber, are also a fantastic addition to your diet but should not be drunk in lieu of green juice.
Some amazing side affects of Green Juice to consider. . . (1) Juicing reverses the signs of aging! That is right, wrinkles fade away. Now I'm not saying you will be left with no wrinkles, but most of us experience pre-mature aging and have way more wrinkles in our skin than we should. Juicing will help you look younger; (2) Juicing can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight! Consider a juice cleanse someday and really watch the lbs fly off; (3) Juicing will help you go to the bathroom regularly! Constipation is a huge problem for many people. Keeping those bowels moving is essential to staying healthy and juicing really helps to keep things moving along; (4) Juicing will give you clearer skin and bright eyes leaving you with an unmistakeable glow.
REAL JUICE FOR REAL LIFE
Hopefully I have convinced you that juicing is something you want to do for yourself, so the obvious question is how to start juicing. I've already mentioned Blueprint Cleanse and Catch A Healthy Habit. , so no matter where you live you should be able to find a place that sells green juice. Even if you find a local place to buy green juice, I still recommend you buy a juicer.
There are a lot of juicers on the market today but I recommend either the Breville Juicers (http://www.brevilleusa.com/beverages/juicers.html) or the Omega Vert (http://www.bestjuicers.com/omegavert.html). These are two different types of juicers. If you are new to juicing I highly recommend going with the Breville. You can actually buy one at Bed, Bath and Beyond for under $200. The Breville is easy to use, easy to clean, and very fast. The downside to this kind of juicer is that the juice needs to be drank immediately as the enzymes and nutrients begin to break down because of how the juice is produced. The Omega Vert is theoretically a better juicer because it extracts more juice and lasts longer in the refrigerator. If you are busy and don't have much free time, Breville is the way to go. I have both the Breville and the Omega Vert and to be completely honest I reach for my Breville more often.
So now you are ready to start juicing! Please make sure you are juicing organic fruits and veggies. We don't want pesticides and herbicides in your juice along with all those nutrients. Feel free to experiment with what you juice. My favorite combination is Kale, Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Green Apple, Ginger, and Lemon. There are fabulous books out there about Juicing with many wonderful recipes. One of my favorite raw food / juicing books is "The Raw Food Detox Diet" by Natalia Rose. Don't wait another day, start juicing now! Trust me, your body will thank you.