Monday, June 8, 2015

Juicing for Better Health

Juicing is not to be confused with drinking juice. The two couldn’t be more different. Juicing involves taking whole fruits and vegetables (skin, rinds, and all) and putting them through a machine called a juicer. What comes out is the liquid version of whatever you put through the machine. Drinking juice, orange or apple or grape, for instance, usually involves ingesting a manufactured product that has other ingredients in it, not just the fruit juice. Juicing is a way of getting pure vitamins and minerals into your body very quickly and without any preservatives or other chemicals.

I was given a juicer years ago as a birthday present. This was a thoughtful gift, although I rarely used it. In fact, when I was moving to Chicago in 2002, I wasn’t sure if I should pack it up and bring it with me. Why should I? I hardly ever used it! I didn’t have any good books on juicing, and back then I wasn’t very clear on the hows and whys of juicing. So, like many things in life, I just forgot about it.

Then a friend of mine who was a big proponent of juicing helped get me started on the juicing path. It came at a time when I was in the throes of writing Skin Care A to Z (my second book) and had been neglecting my dietary needs; if I wasn’t skipping meals altogether, I was eating foods I don’t often eat—things that were not contributing to a healthy body. My friend’s enthusiasm about juicing spurred me on to develop my own enthusiastic pursuit of juicing for my health.

My Juiceman Jr. juicer
As you will read in an upcoming article, My quest for proper pH (diet-wise), my enthusiasm died down eventually and my poor juicer spend several years in the back of a kitchen cabinet. But recently it has made another (hopefully permanent) appearance, and it happily sits out on my kitchen counter.

There are many juicing machines available. I have a small, inexpensive Juiceman Junior model (under $100), that has a good motor. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a juicer, but you don’t have to. It depends on how much you are really going to use the juicer. If you haven’t done this before, you might want to go with a less expensive machine until you are sure juicing is something you are going to do regularly. I have recently seen juicers on Amazon.com for under $50. It may be a matter of you get what you pay for, but then again one of these less expensive machines may work well. I’ll use my inexpensive machine until it stops giving me daily green drinks.

There are several books on the market describing what juicing is and how to juice different fruits and vegetables. I have read several of these books, but found one to stand out above the rest. You may have seen Jay Kordich, aka The Juiceman®, on TV infomercials. At the beginning of my juicing adventure, it was his book, The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing, that I went to most often. I found the instructions about how to juice, what tools I would need, and even information on juicers to be the most straightforward and easy to understand. Whether you choose to read his book or another book on the subject, I hope you will add juicing to your diet. It is a wonderful way to get powerful nutrients easily and readily into your body—for your health!

I couldn’t end this article without telling you one more thing. I am sensitive to sugar. I also believe that sugar causes breakouts—not just in my skin, but in anyone who is skin-sensitive to sugar. With that said, when you start juicing be careful how much carrot juice you drink. I have found through trial and error that I am highly sensitive to the sugar in carrots and drinking carrot juice can make my skin break out. It tends to give me canker sores as well. I will add a few carrots to certain drinks, but I don’t drink straight carrot juice. So, in your quest to bring the power of juicing into your life, do watch how your skin may be reacting to high-sugar produce like carrots. You may not breakout, but if you are sensitive to sugar, you may.

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