Thursday, April 22, 2010

Juicy Juice

I recently bought a juicer and I'm loving it already. The flavors it produces are sooooo fresh and delicious that I could almost dive right into a glass. I've already found dozens of scrumptious recipes and I'm quickly learning which fruit & veggie combos satisfy my taste buds the most.

While I always knew I'd love the fruity drinks, I never thought I'd actually like one of those "green drinks". After all, they look totally disgusting. But after having sampled quite a few of them, I now must admit it: not only do I like them, I am absolutely cRaZy about them! One of those little green drinks is like a sudden burst of flavor in my mouth and energy in my bod. Wow... now that's some combo!

You may be wondering just why I started juicing in the first place. Well, I'm glad you asked! :-)

While my husband and I are pretty healthy eaters, we definitely wouldn't be labeled as health freaks. We primarily live on fish or chicken, fruits and vegetables. We don't eat a lot red meat, though we love grilling burgers in the summertime. We eat plenty of fiber, drink lots of water, and exercise several times a week. We try not to eat too much junk food, although we don't avoid it altogether. After all, a pizza once in a while is good for the soul. :-)

So, we sound like a fairly average couple with a pretty healthy lifestyle, right? Well, one thing you may or may not know about my husband is that he became a quadriplegic three & a half years ago due to an accident at work, and that is something that radically changed our whole way of life--including how we eat. A second fact that very few people know is that I was recently diagnosed with severe osteoporosis. Amazingly, just four years ago we were the picture of health! And suddenly we were two young people (I'm 46 & he is 51) trapped in old bodies. :-(

My husband, Kenny, is on several medications to help control spasms, etc. I, on the other hand, rarely take any meds. In fact, I cannot even take Boniva for my osteoporosis due to the severity of its side effects. Yet, the two of us are determined to live as healthy as possible and enjoy living. I mean, who wants to get old and decrepit before their time, right? Not me! Enter: juicing. :-)

I recently learned that there are certain foods, such as kale, that actually build bone density. What great news! I wonder why the doc didn't tell me about this before? Well, once I heard that, I began to do some digging about which foods targeted which ailments, and was I ever pleasantly surprised!

Below is a list of "the healthiest foods on earth" and when you see what they can do for us, you'll know why.


Pineapple - Promotes joint health; Speeds post-surgery; Reduces asthma inflammation

Blueberries - Prevent urinary tract infection; Restore antioxidant levels; Reverse age-related brain decline

Spinach - Helps maintain mental sharpness; Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate; Top nutrient density

Red Bell Pepper - Reduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancer; Protects against sunburn; Promotes heart health

Broccoli - Reduces diabetic damage; Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric & breast cancer; Protects the brain in event of injury

Tomato - Reduces inflammation; Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer; Reduces cardiovascular disease risk

Apple - Supports immunity; Fights lung and prostate cancer; Lowers Alzheimer’s risk

Artichoke - Helps blood clotting; Antioxidant Superfood; Lowers “bad” cholesterol

Arugula - Lowers birth defect risk; Reduces fracture risk; Protects eye health

Asparagus - Nourishes good gut bacteria; Protects against birth defects; Promotes heart health

Avocado - Limits liver damage; Reduces oral cancer risk; Lowers cholesterol levels

Blackberries - Build bone density; Suppress appetite; Enhance fat burning

Butternut Squash - Supports night vision; Combats wrinkles; Promotes heart health

Cantaloupe - Bolsters immunity; Protects skin against sunburn; Reduces inflammation

Carrot - Antioxidants defend DNA; Fights cataracts; Protects against some cancers

Cauliflower - Stimulates detoxification; Suppresses breast cancer cell growth; Defends against prostate cancer

Cherries - Alleviate arthritic pain and gout; Lower “bad” cholesterol; Reduce inflammation

Cranberries - Alleviate prostate pain; Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells; Prevent urinary tract infection

Green Cabbage - Promotes healthy blood clotting; Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers; Activates natural detox systems

Kale - Counters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer; Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts; Increases bone density

Kiwi - Combats wrinkles; Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids; Counters constipation

Mango - Supports immunity; Lowers “bad” cholesterol; Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries

Mushrooms - Promote natural detoxification; Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer; Lower blood pressure

Orange - Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol; Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast & stomach, & childhood leukemia; Pectin suppresses appetite

Papaya - Enzymes aid digestion; Reduces risk of lung cancer; Enhances fat burning

Plums & Prunes - Counter constipation; Antioxidants defend against DNA damage; Protects against post-menopausal bone loss

Pomegranate - Enhances sunscreen protection; Lowers “bad” cholesterol; Fights prostate cancer

Pumpkin - Protects joints against poly-arthritis; Lowers lung and prostate cancer risk; Reduces inflammation

Raspberries - Inhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers; Antioxidant DNA defense; Lowers “bad” cholesterol levels

Strawberries - Protect against Alzheimer’s; Reduce “bad” cholesterol; Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer

Sweet Potato - Reduces stroke risk; Lowers cancer risk; Protect against blindness

Watermelon - Supports male fertility; Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal; Protects against sunburn

Banana - Increases Fat Burning; Lowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemia; Reduces asthma symptoms in children

What a list, huh? WHO KNEW??? Wow... God has already provided us with all of the things we need for living this life to the fullest. How cool is that?

After studying this list, Kenny and I decided to zero in on the foods that each of us needs to maintain the healthiest bodies possible; hence, the juicer. We can't possibly eat everything on that list everyday. But we can continue to eat healthy and drink a couple of glasses of juice a day to supplement what we're missing--or what we need extra doses of. (And did I mention that the juice is amazingly delicious??) Anyway, I just thought I'd share my good fortune with you. CHEERS!


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  2. Wow what a great blog Julie...thanks!!!!!

  3. Here's our favorite GREEN DRINK recipe:

    3 Handfuls of Baby Spinach Leaves
    2 Red Delicious Apples
    2 Large Carrots
    1 Orange

    *Roll some spinach leaves around a slice of apple before putting into the hopper. Keep doing that until the spinach is gone. (The apple helps it 'juice' easier.) Then add the other ingredients.
    *Makes 2 cups of green juice.
    **If it's not green, you didn't add enough spinach! :)

    NOTE: Apples are the key to the flavor! If you're not used to juicing, begin with more apples (4-5) to enhance the taste. You can add any other fruits/veggies you like (or need more of in your diet). We've tried it with celery, broccoli, parsley, kale, ginger, limes... but our daily fave is the recipe above. Just go with the flavors you love! :)